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 Andrew and Lee

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srw464

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PostSubject: Andrew and Lee   Tue Dec 15, 2009 6:32 pm

Andrew grew up as a normal boy, believe it or not. He loved his family, and wanted to be just like his father someday. But one day, someone broke into his home. His father seemed to know who it was, and motioned for him to hide. He did. He hid under his bed, and watched his father get killed and then the murderer go free.

He changed after that, becoming more and more reserved. He was 9 then, and from then on out he was stranger. He didn't listen to anyone much, and he was always angry. He wanted revenge. He would get it. His mother was gone, having died giving birth to him, so he went to live with his Aunt and Uncle.

Once he was 13, he started looking into his father's past more. He wanted to find the man who did this to him, and have his revenge. But try as he might, he coudln't.

When he was 17, he left 'home', and went on a search across the country, following a lead that he had gotten. He stopped in a town not far from there for a week after an injury, and met a girl named Lee Maybell. She was the daughter of the head nurse of the village, and took care of him while he healed. They fell in love quickly, and he stayed there with her for a year. He was going to propose, but realized he still had to find the man who killed his father. He told her this, and she grew angry, telling him to leave and never talk to her again. It broke his heart, but he did.

He found the man, and managed to get him alone in a house. He went to him with a knife, but before he could stab him, the man stabbed him in the heart. Andrew died that ngiht, bleeding to death. He wished more than anything else to be able to tell Lee that he was sorry and goodbye. But he could not.

Lee found out a few weeks later, and it's said that she died of a broken heart. She had felt horrible about what she had said almost as soon as he was gone, and went after him, but couldn't find him so she returned home. Then she got the news, and fell into depression before dying, as they said, 'of a broken heart'.
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PostSubject: Re: Andrew and Lee   Thu Dec 17, 2009 9:03 pm

A young boy, around 8 or 9, ran around in the field. He was chasing a small puppy, who refused to be captured. The boy lost his footing, fell to the ground, and laughed. The puppy ran over, tail wagging, and licked his face. The boy laughed and sat up, pulling the puppy up onto his lap and pushing some of his long, black hair behind his small ear. He was badly in need of a haircut.

He stood up, still holding the puppy. It wasn't his; he had found it alone on the side of the trail, helpless and alone, and had decided to help it. He couldn't stand to see any animal or anyone alone, so he had decided to help it.

A few minutes later, he opened the wooden door to his home. He set the puppy down and it ran off into the kitchen. The boy laughed and followed it. He poured some leftover stew from the night before into a bowl and set it on the ground, watching the small thing dig into it as if it were the first thing he'd eaten in day. It probably was.

He had fed it two more bowls when his father opened the door.

"Andrew!" A voice called. The boy froze where he was, knelt on the ground petting the sleeping puppy in his lap. His father walked into their small kitchen and saw him. Andrew saw anger twist his face, then slowly soften. He sighed and knelt down next to his son, placing a hand on his back, as if to comfort him.

"We can't keep it, you know," He said softly. Andrew had tears in his eyes, and shook his head.

"But daddy, it'll die out there!" The small boy cried. The animal in his lap shifted slightly in its sleep, stretched out and let out a small yawn, then settled back down to sleep. His father sighed.

"I'm sorry, Andrew," His father said, and held the young boy as he cried.
~~~~~~~~~~
A small girl, no old than 8, hummed to herself as she walked next to her mother. They were walking down the streets of the small village they calle dhome. The moon cast a bleak and dismal glow on the ground beneath their feet.

The young girl shifted the weight of her bundle from one arm to the other, then ran to catch bcak up to her mother.

Soon, they stopped in front of an old, worn out cottage. The girl's mother pusehd the door open, and the small girl took a few steps in.

"Mr. Collins?" Her small voice echoed off the walls. Her mother shushed her.

"Quiet, Lee, you'll wake the others," She said. The young girl nodded and pursed her lips together, as if that were the only way she knew to keep herself from talking. She followed her to a large room in the middle of the small cottage, where many of the sick and injured lay, asleep on makeshift beds on the ground. Those worse off were upstars, in their won rooms, while those better off were in the barn. She knelt down next to her mom as she gently woke one person, a man in his mid thirties with a nasty sword wound. Lee handed her the bandages as she asked for them.

"How are you feeling, Mr. Allen?" Her mother whispered. The man smiled at her weakly.

"Better, now that you're here," He said. Her mother smiled, then asked Lee for the herbs.

"This should help your fever," Her mother whispered, grinding them into a paste and mixing them into a bowl of water. Lee helped the man sit up while her mother poured the drink down his throat. She then rebandaged the wound on his stomach, spoke to him softly for a few more minutes, then went on to the next person while he went back to sleep.

"May I...?" Lee whispered. Her mom sighed and nodded, and Lee smiled and hurried up the stairs, her skirts swishing around her aknles, barely making a sound. She crept down the hall quietly so as not to wake anyone and opened the door at the end on the right. She quietly closed it behind her once she stepped in, and looked at the man already sitting up in bed, a candles slowly burning on his bedside table.

"I was wondering when you'd come and see me," He said. "I was starting to think that maybe you'd forgotten about me."

Lee smiled brightly and shook her head. "I could never forget about you, Mr. Collins," she said, running over to the bed and hopping up. He flinched in pain as the bed moved, and she saw this.

"Oh, I'm so sorry!" she exclaimed, crawling closer to him. He smiled softly at the small girl.

"Don't worry your pretty little head about it," He said, ruffling her hair. She laughed, then frowned again. He hept his smile.

"I'm a soldier, remember?" He asked. "I'm tough." She laughed and nodded. How many times had he told her the story of his battle? And other stores. He'd make one up for her every single night when she visited.

"Tell me again, Mr. Collins," She said. "About that night."

"Ah," he said, patting his lap and gesturing her closer. She happily crawled up into his lap.

"It was a dark night. The moonlight shone down on the steel of our blades. We---"

Lee let his voice lull her off to sleep.
~~~~~~~~
Andrew woke the next morning, his eyes still tired from tears the night before. He had double chores today, to make up for the ones he hadn't done yesterday because he'd been too precoppupied with the puppy.

It was dawn, the sun just now breaking over the horizon. He admired the view for a moment before getting dressed in his work clothes and heading downstairs. He didn't want to do the work he did; woman's work, the other boys said. They made fun of him for it. He didn't really mind the work itself, but he didn't like being made fun of for it either.

He headed outside with the dirty clothes. He had to do this work, for his mom had died long ago, the day that he was born. She had died giving birth to him.

He held the bundle of clothes in his left arm, heading down to the river. He knelt down in the grass once he arrived there, adn began washing them.
~~~~~~~
Lee was deep in sleep She was laughing and running, her father chasing her.

"No, daddy!" She laughed as he scooped her up in his arms with ease. HE spun her around, and she smiled and laughed.

However, soon, her dream changed.

Rain began to pour down in sheets, making it impossible to see.

"Daddy!" She cried. The rain was turning into a flood. She was being swept away from him. She kicked her legs, struggling to stay above the crashing waves and see his face. She was pulled underr, however, the last thing she saw being him waving goodbye to her.
-----
"LEE!" Her mom yelled, shaking her to wake her up. Lee sat up, gasping for air. He rmom sighed, taking a seat on the edge of her bed. She brushed a strand of her raven black hair out of her eyes. Lee felt ters come to her eyes. This was not the first time she had dreamt about her father. He had died of a fever when she was five years old. Even her mother, the head nurse of the small village they lived in, could not save him.

"Lee..." Her mother said, placing a hand on her shoulder.

"No. I'm fine," Lee said, shrugging her hand off her shoulder, her voice low and even. She sounded much, much older than eight. Her mom just nodded and left her, after telling her to start on the daily chores.
~~~~~~~~~
Andrew hummed softly to himself as he headed home that night. The sun had just set, and the moon lay low in the sky. He was late, and he hated the dark. Was terrified of it, actually. He was humming to try and keep himself calm. As his home came into view, he ran faster. Soon enough he opened the front door and stepped inside, closing it behind him. He closed his eyes and was just taking deep breathes when his father shook him.

"Andrew!" He cried, hands on his shoulders. "Thank goodness you're alright," Andrew frowned in confusion as his father hugged him tightly. He was about to ask what was going on when a loud banging on the door behind him made him jump. His father immediatly pushed him behind him, spreading his arms out so as if to protect him.

"Papa, wha---" He began, but was cut off as his father placed a hand over his mouth.

"Shh. I can't explain right now," He began, and another bang made Andrew jump and cut him off. His father lowered his voice so that i was all Andrew could do just to hear him.

"Go hide. Now. Anywhere, just don't tell me where," He said. Andrew was confused; he was scared.

"But--" He began, but was cut off by the sound of the back door being broken down.

"Go!" His father ordered, giving him a shove. Andrew obeyed this time, and took off down the hallway as fast as his small legs would carry him. His room was upstairs, so he ran into his father's room instead, shutting the door behind him and crawling under the bed.

So many thoughts raced through his young mind, but they all led back to the same thing; what was g oing on?

He didn't have much time to think about it, however, as he heard footsteps coming down the hall. Then he heard his father's voice.

"I'm sorry," He was saying. Sorry for what, Andrew thought.

"It was all a misunderstanding. I can have it for you soon. Just please---" He said, and Andrew heard the sound of metal unsheathing and then a cry of pain. His father's voice.

"We gave you the agreed amount of time. Now, give it to us, or pay with your life," The gruff voice said.

"Please," His father began again, but they, whoever they were, cut him off.

"Or your son's life. Where is he, anyways?" The voice he didn't recognize ask. He heard the door open and saw two pairs of footsteps enter. He recognized one as his father's, but the other was unfamiliar. He held his breathe, his blood running cold. What did they want? Why did they want to kill him, too?

He saw blood dripping to the ground by his father's feet, forming a small pool. Andrew stifled a sob.

'Take me. Not him, me,' he thought, and was tempted to run out right then. He was such a coward.

"It's not here," The voice said.

"I told you already, no," His father's voice replied. Andrew was struggling not to move, or even make a sound. He moved to the left a bit, and realized that they had been talking while he was distracted trying to stay still.

"Your choice. You either give it to me, or I take your son's life."

"I don't have a son. You---" His father began, and Andrew looked out just in time to see the man pull a knife out of his body, covered in blood. His father stumbled back, falling to his knees. Andrew looked at him, eyes wide in horror. His father opened his mouth, as if to say something, bu tno sound came out. He fell the rest of the way down, blood pooling around him and under the bed, soaking Andrew. He heard the footsteps go to the door, pause for a moment, then head down the hall and the door open and close. He held his breathe until they stopped. Then he stayed still, not moving until all of his muscles were stiff and he could no longer stay still, and then he cralwed out.

He stood up, shaking as he looked down at the blood that covered his boy. His father's blood. This couldn't be happening. HIs father's lifeless body lay face down in a puddle of his own blood. Andrew willed himself to move, but his legs would not obey. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, he turned away and ran. And he never looked back.
~~~~~~
It was well past midnight, when any good eight year old girl would be asleep, when Lee's mother woke her. It was time for the night watch of taking care of the patients. Lee and her mother didn't even exchange a word as Lee got dressed; it was so routine.

Soon, they were walking down the road, Lee skipping ahead, humming to herself. She was excited to see Mr. Collins again, as she was every night. Maybe he would have another good story for her tonight; he always thought of one for her during the day, he said. He always said he was excited to see her at night; that she was like his own little sun. She loved him so much; he was like her grandparent in a way. He was in his late 60s, and she looked up to him as a father figure, almost. More like a grandparent. He had been there for as long as she could remember, sick. At least four years. She didn't know exactly what he was sick with, and her mother wouldn't tell her. He was upstairs, though, so she knew he was worse off than the others. But she didn't fuss at her for staying with him so long, so she knew it wasn't contagious like some of those who were sick there.

She opened the door and stepped in, carrying the bag with their supplies in it in her arms. She wordlessly helped her mom take care of several of the patients, then checked on those in the barn before running up the stairs. She threw open his door and smiled.

"Mr. Collins!" She called, shutting the door behind her. But something was off; the candle wasn't burning like usual. It was strangely silent. He didn't sit up to greet her. He wasn't moving.

She took a few hesitant step towards him.

"Mr. Collins...?" she asked again. Still nothing. She soon made her way over to the bed, and looked at him. He looked strangely peaceful.

"Mr. Collins," She whimpered, crawling up onto the bed next to him. He didn't reach out to hug her, invite her to sit on his lap while he told her another story, or even say a word. He was gone, and she knew it.
~~~~~~~~
Andrew woke the next morning in an unfamiliar bed. He sat up quickly, a thin layer of sweat covering his forehead. He looked down at his body, half expecting to be still covered in blood. Nothing.

"It was just a dream," He breathed, and looked around. But it wasn't his room he saw; it was something unfamiliar. He stumbled out of the bed and out of the room.

"Papa?" He called. Nothing. He stumbled down a set of stairs, and came upon two people talking in the kitchen.

"Who are you? Where's my papa?!" Andrew demanded. The man and woman looked at him, their eyes soft and sad, red with tears.

"He's gone, Andrew," The woman whispered. "We're your aunt and uncle. Your father was my brother. We're going to be taking care of you from now on."

Andrew stumbled back, tears in his young eyes.

"You're lying," he whispered. "You're lying!!!" He shouted, and turned and ran.

"Andrew!!" They called after him, but he ignored them. He ran outside, but he didn't recognize anything around him. He ran down the path until things became familiar. He ran into his home when he saw it, and down the hall to his father's room. The sight stopped him cold.

Blood. Everywhere. And his footsteps leading out of the room, in blood.

It was true. They weren't lying.

He cried.
~~~~~~~~
Lee walked down to the river, struggling not to trip over her skirts. Mr. Collins had died the night before; his mother said he'd had a disease that no one could cure, and that that, along with old age, had killed him. There was nothing to do for him, and she knew it was coming. Yet she had never told her.

Lee didn't blame her for it; it would only have made her sadder to know ahead of time. Yet she still felt broken, even though she knew he was in a better place.

Oftentimes he had told her that she couldn't be too sad when he was gone, but she had always brushed it off by saying 'oh, stop it,' or 'don't be silly'. It didn't seem so silly anymore.

She saw a few others her age running around and playing, laughing. For a moment she envied them. She couldn't run and play; she had to work, for her mother spent her days working with the sick. She had to do the housework, and then helped her in the evenings and at night with the sick.

She knelt down at the river, and began to clean her clothes slowly. The water was cold, but she didn't mind it much. It felt good. As she began to wash yet another one of her old, worn out dresses, she felt a tear slip down her cheek. Followed by another. She tried to make them stop; hadn't she cried enough the night before? Yet they continued to fall, rippling the water below her as the sad young girl who stared back at her slowly faded.
~~~~~~~~
Andrew began to pull away after that.

He wasn't the same sweet little boy he had once been. It was as if part of him had died with his father that night.

His Aunt and Uncle tried to pull him out of this, thinking that it was just shock over his father's death, but as the days went on, it was obvious that it was anything but. He wouldnt' speak much, and when he did, it was hateful words. Spiteful. He didn't want anything to do with anybody, and he became almost...sadistic, one could say. Laughigng when others got hurt. Hurting others, even. Some of the other kids became scared of him. His father's death had certainly taken its toll on the young boy.

It was about a year later when the nightmares began again. They had stopped a few months after he began living witih his aunt and uncle.

He was 10 years old, and laying in bed one night, slowly slipping off into sleep. In his dream, he was back to life before his father's death. He was smiling, laughing, having fun. Then, the scene changed.

His father's blood all around him, soaking him to the very bone. The man whose face he could not remember, no matter how many hours he spent trying. He had only caught a glimpse of it, when he peeked out from under the bed. His father opening his mouth to speak to him, but saying nothing. His last breathe. The guilt. Why didn't he come out from under the bed then? The man said he could have killed him instead, and perhaps then he would have been satisfied and left his father alone.

He woke screaming, and his Aunt and Uncle rushed in, a lantern in his uncle's hand.

"Andrew!" His aunt cried, leaning down next to him. "What's wrong? Are you okay??" She asked, placing a hand on his cheek. He slapped it away.

"I'm fine," He growled.

He was back to 'normal', whatever that was nowadays.
-----
The next day, Andrew was out chopping wood for his uncle. He no longer had to do 'woman's work', as he had called it. His aunt did that; he helped his uncle with more of the harder work. He may have only been 10, but he was strong.

He chopped the wood, grunting with the effort until movement out of the corner of his eye caught his attention. He set the axe down, wiping the sweat away with the back of his hand and looking at the source. A puppy.

'We can't keep it, you know.'

His father's voice came into his head, and suddenly he was the young, naive boy back in his home, holding the puppy close to his chest.

'But daddy, it'll die out there!'

He shook his head clear of the memories, glaring at the thing now at his feet. He kicked it away, but it woudln't leave.

"Shoo!" He shouted. "Get out of here!" He yelled, and kicked it once more. It whimpered and scampered away, tail between its legs. Andrew went back to cutting the wood, with more force than was needed.
~~~~~~~~~~~~
Lee, on the other hand, had spent the last year growing up.

She had healed from Mr. Collin's death, and looked at it more as 'it was his time'. She was now 9, but she understood more about this world than most of the other kids her age. She continued to help her mother with the sick and injured, and had seen many come and go. Go, meaning getting better and leaving, or dying. She knew more about death than any girl her age should.

She was a sweet little girl; she always had been, and time only made her grow nicer, or so it seemed. She was quiet at times, thoughtful, and liked to think a lot, weather it be about what to do tomorrow or just life itself. She did not put up with people who are mean, however, and has somewhat of a temper.

She was down at the river right now, and was washing her clothes. It was a daily thing; she would wash the cltohes, go home and help make dinner, then go check on the patients, then come home, go to bed, and then get up around 2 am and take care of them again, go back to bed, get up early and do it all over again. It was tiring, but she wouldn't trade it for the world.

She stood up and walked back to her small cottage, hanging the clothes up on a line outside before stepping inside to clean.
------
Lee woke the next morning, and was soon back to her normal routine. She smiled as she did it, however. On her way down to the river that morning, a few boys who looked about 12 or 13 stopped her. She looked up at them, blinking but saying nothing.

"This is her," One of them said. Lee frowned slightly.

"Excuse me," She mumbled, and tried to get by, but one pushed her back. She stumbled and tripped, falling back with an 'oof!' and landing on the ground. She looked up at the boys as she stood back up, brushing the dirt off of her dress. Still, she said nothing.

"Look, she's mute," One of them teased, and shoved her again. She glared at him.

"I am not mute. Now please move," She said, trying to get by. They just laughed. She glared up at them.

"What do you want?" She asked.

"Nothing," the boys said, yet they still would not let her pass. She remebered Mr. Collins' words: 'Don't let anyone push you around,' He had said. 'Stand up for yourself.' And yet she couldn't. As she ran away from them, tears in her eyes, she felt as though she had let him down. Their laughter carried on the wind, following her as she ran.
~~~~~~~~!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!~~~~~~~~~~~~
Andrew stared at the piece of paper in front of him. Nothing.

He slammed a fist down on the table. Why did every lead bring him nowhere?!?!

3 years it had been since his father's death. 3 long years, and yet he still could not find a thing to link him to anyone who would want his life.

He swept the page off the table with his free hand, and buried his head in his hands. Tears of frustration welled up in his eyes, but he held them back. Tears would do nothing; tears were for babies. He was 13, and considered an adult already. He would not cry.

He pushed the chair back and grabbed the paper, crumpling it up and walking up the stairs and into his room. He added it to a pile on his bed that he had already gone through, and picked the next one off the top. Where did he get these papers, you might ask? And what did they contain?

A few months ago, he had gone back to his old home and searched everywhere, for anything that could help. He found a locked drawer in his father's desk, and picked the lock and found a large stack of papers. However, as he went through them each and every day in between his chores or at night when he had free time, it was looking hopeless; nothing led him to the murderer. Most were just letters from others that he had receieved, nothing useful now. He was beginning to think that he had missed something; he had to have. There had to be something to help him at his old home somewhere, he just had to find it. He wanted to finish with these first, then go back.

One could say he was becoming obsessed with solving this mystery. But could you really blame him? His only close family was gone; sure, he had his aunt and uncle, but they didn't understand him. No one did. No one could. No one ever would.

He hid the papers under his pillow, and walked outside. A few kids saw him and whispered, running away as he approached them. He rolled his eyes, though he was smirking. They were right to be frightened of him; many times he had threatened them, and harmed them. Not bullying, but actually harmed them. Even girls. It didn't seem to matter to him, no matter how many of the villagers hated him. And some whispered about him, pitying him and saying it was his father's death that had done this to him. He hated pity, and he hated everyone here. He had grown bitter, that much was obvious.

One girl, around his age or a few years younger, stopped in front of him to pick something up. He glared at her, and she glared back. He yelled at her to move, and she kicked him. That was a very bad move on her part. He grabbed her arm and twisted it, causing her to drop her clothes and cry out in pain. Yet still he did not let go. Hurting people....maybe he was growing sadisitc.

A few adults saw this and pulled him off of her, while the mother slapped him so hard he saw stars. But he just smirked, even as he was dragged off, the girl's horrified expression following him.
----
He was scolded and hit that night; it was how punishments were given out in his day. He messed up, and he may get hit. But this was far more than messing up, they said.

"How dare you?!" His uncle yelled. Andrew didn't seem to be listened. He grabbed his chin and forced him to look up at him, and disobedience and defiance was written all over his face. His uncle reached back a hand and hit him hard, on the same cheek the woman had.

"You will apologize in public tomorrow, in front of everyone!" His uncle bellowed. Andrew thrust his chin out of his hands, and stormed upstairs.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Lee was now 12, and was still helping her mother with the sick.

Even right now, around 2 am, she was in the same cottage they had used since she was born to help the sick. New people came every day, and it made her sad, to know how many were hurt and being hurt each day. Most that came in were sword wounds from the army, but there were also those who fell sick in their village, and they were taken here for fear of infecting others. The cottage lay on the edge of the village, a ways away from the rest of the homes.

Lee was now assigned her own patients; she was more skilled in this line of work than most adults could ever hope to be, having grown up with it.

She went straight to someone who had been here for a while with a sword wound in his leg. His name was Mr. Gall, and he was in his early twenties, she guessed. She was skilled with herbs, those that healed, those that soothed pain, everything. More of her chores was to go out in the field and pick them, as she did almost every day when they ran low.

She squished some into a paste, and mixed it into a cup of water. Then she gently woke the man, and helped him drink it before removing the bandage on his leg and cleaning out his wound. Then she rebandaged it, all the while he talked to her. She had never grown as close to any patient as she had to Mr. Collins so very long ago, but she still seemed to love and care for them all. She had learned from her mother and from personal experience that this was both good and bad in the long run.

"How old are you now?" Mr. Gall asked, as she continued to rebandage his wound.

"12," She said, laughing slightly as he pretended to look surprised.

"My, my. So big. Any boys interested in you yet?" He asked. Lee's cheeks flushed red, and she lokoed away, though she was smilng. The truth was, a boy had shown interest in her; his name was Peter. He was very sweet, but she just didn't like him that way. Her mother told her that she had been married at a very young age, 13 in fact, and the thought made Lee nervous yet also gave her butterflies.

Soon, she moved on to the next patient, and the next, before helping those upstairs and then those in the barn. Soon she was back in bed, but thoughts of Peter kept her awake.
-------
The next morning, Lee woke, exhausted as usual. She yawned and sat up, and was dressed a few minutes later. Peter, the boy who had shown interest in her, was 15. He had been waiting for her by the river lately, to talk. She liked him, but only as a friend. Not as he liked her.

She didn't need to go there today, anyways. She was supposed to pick herbs. So once she had her pale blue, worn out dress on she took the basket and headed outside and towards the field. Part of her wanted to go tell Peter where she was, but the other part wanted him to just leave her alone. She sighed, and just began to pick the herbs.

Soon, however, she heard footsteps behind her. She turned, and there he was. He was tall, much taller than her, and had dark brown hair that went almost to his ears. He was a bit better off than her family, but not by much. He looked sad today, though, his face in a striaght line instead of adorning the usual smile that it held.

"What's the matter, Peter?" Lee asked, stopping in her picking to look at him.

"My parents are sending me off to get married," He said simply. Lee frowned, then slowly nodded.

"Will I ever see you again?" She finally asked. He shook his head.

"I'm afraid not," He said. Lee looked away. She had tears in her eyes; he was her friend. She didn't want to see him go. He must have seen the tears, however hard she tried to hide them, for he tilted her chin up to look at him.

"You'll always have a place in my heart," He said. She just nodded, and then he was gone, like a ghost. She went back to picking herbs, trying to act as if nothing had just happened. But her tears said otherwise. She didn't like him, not romantically, but that did not mean she wouldn't miss him.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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PostSubject: Re: Andrew and Lee   Fri Dec 18, 2009 10:59 pm

Public apologies were humiliating, as Andrew found out the next morning. He didn't deserve this. He was standing in front of the girl's house, and a small crowd had gathered around him. This wasn't the first time he had hurt someone, but it was the first time anyone had done anything about it or said anything about it.

The girl stood in front of him, looking smug. He wanted to hit her right there, but he did not.

"I'm deeply sorry, Madam," He said to the young girl. "I had no right to touch you." It was obvious that he had rehearsed it, and didn't mean a word of it. Then he looked at the mother, and repeated the same thing, only he replaced 'you' with 'your daughter'.

The woman stepped forward and hit him once more, and he resisted the urge to grab her wrist and twist it until it snapped. These thoughts came to him more and more often lately, and it scared him sometimes. Instead, he was silent. Then she turned and left, and he went home while the villagers began to whisper once more.
------
Andrew spent that entire night looking through the papers. Each time he thought he had a lead, he would double check it,a nd it would turn out to be nothing. He had decided long ago what his goal was; find the man who had taken his father's life and ruined his, and take his in return. It was simple, and it processed easily in his mind. The thought of taking another human life didn't bother him, and that scared him as well as encouraged him. He often told himself that he was right in this, that it was justice. Yet something in the back of his mind nagged at him each and every day, but he had managed to surpress it all this time.

He crumpled up another piece of paper and threw it in the pile accumulating on the floor before moving onto the next.
~~~~~~~~
Lee spent the next day thinking, more than usual.

She often found her mind wandering, and she thought about things bigger than herself. Not just what she needed to do that night, or the next day, though those thoughts often passed through her mind. Sometimes she thought about life, and just what exactly she was meant to do in it. She often thought that she was put here to help others, since that's what she'd spent her life doing, but she always felt as though there was more to it than just helping them heal. She often cheered them up and helped heal them emotionally to, but sometimes she felt as though she were waiting, just waiting for something to happen. Something interesting, something unexpected, to break her from her daily routine.

It was stupid.
------
Lee didn't sleep that night; she lay awake in bed staring at the ceiling until it was time for the night watch. She walked silently next to her mother, carrying the bundle that used to seem to heavy when she was younger with ease. Then she began her routine once more, smiling as she did so, though she still felt as though there were something more.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!~~~~~~~~~
He was 17 years old now. And gone through everything he could find in his father's house at least 100 times each. And still, nothing.

He had grown more sadistic over the years, and almost everyone in the village was frightened of him, even his own aunt and uncle now. He often thought about death, but now he only had one focus; find the man who had killed his father, and kill him.

But it was beginning to look more and more impossible.

Over the years, Andrew had grown stronger and more muscular. He was also taller, much taller, standing at 6 feet 4 inches now. He was also quite handsome, with his long, black hair that went down a bit past his ears and his greenish blue eyes, that always loked so determined and fierece.

He was sitting at home now; it was well past midnight. He needed to check his old home again, see if he had missed something, anything, that may he lp him.

He stood up and walked downstairs and outside, the cold night air reaching out to greet him. He walked and walked, and soon came to his old home.

Memories washed over him like a flood, but he pushed them back. He had become quite good at pushing his feelings back as well, and locking them away.

He walked straight to his father's room. The blood stains on the floor were now a dull brown; no one had bothered to clean them up. He went to his father's drawers, which were all empty. He opened the one that had once been locked, running his hand over the smooth wood on the bottom. Suddnenly, his fingers felt something. A hidden latch.

His eyes widened as he pulled up, and a lid popped up. Papers. There were papers inside, along with a knife. He took all of them out and ran back to his aunt and uncle's house, not once looking back. Once there, he locked himself in his room. He felt so stupid. How could he not have noticed this before??!?!

He opeend the papers with shaking fingers; he could only read a little, having spent most of his time working, not learning. But he could read a name on the top, and a few words in the letter.

'Money.'

'By next week.'

'Or else.'

And then a name.

'Damian Stand.'

He put the paper in his pocket, and then looked at the knife. It felt strangely....right, to be holding it. He put it in his jacket pocket and grabbed the rest of the papers from the hidden compartment. This was all he needed; this was what he had been searching for for years. And now he had it.

He left home that night, setting off on a journey that would forever change his life. And end it as well.
~~~~~~~~~
Lee was now 16, and had grown so much over the years. She was taller now as well, standing at 5'6. She was beautiful, looking like a much younger version of her mother. Her raven black hair had grown to her lower back, and was straight as could be. Her eyes were a bright blue, and always looked as though she was thinking hard about something.

Her mother was disappointed in her that she wasn't married yet, but the truth was, Lee didn't want to get married. At least not yet. She loved her life here, and was happy with it. She liked, no, she loved, being here and helping the sick and injured. More and more came in each day, and she knew that she couldn't just leave her mother here to deal wtih them on her own.

The feeling that she was meant to do something more in life had left her, and she shook it off as nothing more than a childish feeling; life was life, and nothing more. She was still an optimistic girl who tried to look at the bright side of things, and who cried each time one of those at the cottage or barn died, but she was a quick healer by now. She knew how badly it hurt to lose a patient, as she called them, but grew attatched to them all either way.

She spent every day in the same boring routine, though she didn't really mind anymore. She was no longer a child, as she constantly told herself. She was an adult now, and she would accept life the way it was.

Peter hadn't even crossed her mind for the psat few years; she hoped he was happy and had his own family by now. She loved her friend, just not in the way that he had loved her. She had never had someone like that, and didn't think that she ever would. The thought didn't bother her as much as it should have, however.

Right now it was mid-afternoon, and she was in the field, picking more herbs for those at the cottage for her night watch. One was doing especially bad, a woman by the name of Mrs. Owens. She had a fever that most were fearing would spread throughout the village. Lee had been assigned to help her specifically, and she was doing all she could to keep her alive. Not for her sake alone, but for her children's. She had two small kids, a boy and a girl, the boy being 7 and the girl being 4. They were what kept her going and refused to allow her to give up. Their faces alone.

She soon headed back to her cottage to put the herbs down and go wash some clothes before it would be time to help make dinner. It was just another day in her life. Yet sometimes she felt bad for feeling this way; she could be much worse off, she knew. She could be sick in the cottage like those there. But she wasn't; she hadn't even caught anything that they had had, even if it was as contagious as people had feared, which obviously it was not. She walked slowly back towards her cottage, these thoughts following her as she went.
~~~~~~~~~
Andrew didn't know how long he walked down the trail. Long enough that he passed the woods, and walked in the middle of fields for hours on end. He rested for a night, then kept walking. It could have been one, two, even three days later when he saw a village in the distance and encountered somone else. He was starving, and suddenly wished that he had planned this better. He had left on a whim, on the spur of the moment, and had been stupid. If he lived, he vowed to plan better from now on.

However, the person he saw did not look like one who would help him. He had figured it was someone from the village, but now it did not appear to be so. The man pulled his horse to a stop, and jumped off. Andrew stiffened up, reaching hand into his old jacket pocket and gripping the handle of the knife involuntarily. The man took out his sword, and Andrew knew then. Highwayman. Here to steal.

'Jokes on him,' Andrew thought. 'I have no money.' And that was true; yet another thing he had neglected to bring.

"I have no---" he began, keeping his face straight and unmoving, but a sharp pain in his stomach brought him to his knees. It wasn't until he looked up that he saw the man's sword, stained red with blood in the moonlight that had fallen a few hours before that he realized he had been stabbed. The pain that came then was overwhelming, yet he fought it. The man rummaged through his pockets, throwing the knife carelessly aside along with the papers. Andrew struggled to move, and managed only a meager kick before the pain caused him to pass out. He thought he saw a woman's face before the darkness overtook him, yet he could not be sure.
~~~~~~~~
It was two days later that Lee heard that a boy had been found on the side of the trail leading to the village. He was stabbed, her mother had said. She was the one who had found him, and carried him all the way back here.

"He's in your care," Her mother had said, after taking him to the cottage and giving him a room in the barn. It wasn't that his wounds weren't serious; they were. But they were running low on room, and they needed to keep the sick ones indoors more. Lee had been given charge over this boy, who seemed about her age or a year older, her mother had said. But Lee had yet to see him.

It was around midnight, and she and her mother were heading to the cottage as normal. However, this time Lee went straigth to the barn to tend to the new boy, who had yet to be examined, though her mother had clumsily wrapped his wound when he first showed up. She had a bag holding his belongings in one arm, and her medical supplies in the other. No one else was in the barn; it was cold out, and it was hardly humane to keep anyone out here, yet they had no choice; there was no room.

Her mother said that she had found several things scattereda round him, including a knife and several papers that she could not read; her mother had had next to no education, but Lee had taught herself and learned on her own and from Peter, and could read and write quite well, something that her mother didn't know about her. If she knew that she had been learning on her own or especially from Peter, she could have gotten both of them into huge trouble; women in her time were not meant to know how to read or write. So she did not say.

She hadn't read the man's letters, of course. Lee knew how to mind her own business.

She looked at him for the first time, and the first thing she noticed was the look on his face even when he was alseep. He looked troubled, she noticed as she knelt down next to him. She also noticed how handsome she was. She quickly scolded herself for thinking that way. He was just a patient, nothing else.

He was shirtless, and she found her cheeks turning a light pink as she began unbandaging the bandages her mother had roughly put on earlier. She had never had a patient so close to her own age before. Soon, she could see the wound, and her eyes widened slightly. It was one of the worst she had ever seen. It went almost all the way through, and dark red blood stained his skin and the bandages. She flinched, thinking of how much it must hurt.

She immediatly went to work, quickly and efficiently, mixing together herbs and then tilting his body upwards. It made her blush, touching his bare back. She could feel his muscles, and realized how strong he must be. She wondered how this happened to him.

"Sir," She whispered, trying to wake him. "Sir." Nothing.

She tilted the bowl back, trying to pour the liquid down his throat. Some dribbled down his chin, and she wiped it off with the back of her hand just as he woke up.
~~~~~~
Andrew was back with his father in his dreams. The night he died. He was a small boy once more, hiding under the bed. He heard his father's cries as the knife was plunged into his chest. In the back of his mind, he knew that this wasn't real, that this had happened long ago and he was no longer 9 years old. Yet it felt so real.

Suddenly, his eyes opened as he felt someone touch his skin. He reached up a hand and grabbed their wrist tightly, and looked up into the face of a girl he didn't recognize. A beautiful girl, he noticed. He had often noticed things about girls, yet he had never gotten close to one. He had no desire to; besides, most were scared off by him. None caught his attention.

He didn't realize that he still held her wrist until she whimpered in pain, and he realized she was struggling to pull away. He released his grip, and a sudden sharp pain in his stomach made him flinch and close his eyes. The girl leaned over him, setting down the bowl that held the putrid liquid she had been forcing down his throat moments before and instead rummaging in her bag for something else. He closed his eyes agian, but a searing pain brought him back.

He sat up quickly, and clenched his teeth to keep from yelling in pain.

"What do you think you're doing?!" He growled at the girl. She seemed unfazed by him, which surprised him. Then he realized that she didn't know him, had never met him. So why would she be? She didn't know him like those back in his village did.

"Helping you. Now lay down," she said. He shook his head, and attempted to stand.

"I didn't ask for your help," He growled, and had just forced himself to his feet when another sharp stab of pain came. She had stood up and was trying to force him to lay back down, yelling at him, but his world was spinning. He pushed her away, but she pushed back.

"Lay down!" She demanded, and he gripped her shirt as his world spun again and he fell back, landing her on top of him.
~~~~~~~
Lee had decided by now that she did not like this boy.

He was being too hardheaded; he had a giant gaping hole in his stomach, and he said he didn't need help and even tried to stand?!

She had stood up, trying to force him back down, but he grabbed her as he fell, and she yelped as she landed on top of him.

She closed her eyes, and realized that she was resting her head on his bare chest. She quickly got up and off of him, and saw that his blood had stained her dress. He was out cold again.

"Idiot," She mumbled, leaning down next to him again and going to work cleaning his wound. Soon, she had it rebandaged and was just standing up to leave when he woke up again.

"Where are you going?" He mumbled.

"Home," Lee said simply.

"I thought you were supposed to watch me," he mumbled again. She turned to face him.

"I already took care of you for tonight," she said. "There's nothign else I can do."

"You could warm me up," Andrew said, with a strange grin. She glared at him, cheeks bright red. Who did he think he was, talking to her that way??

"Well, you already layed on top of me," he pointed out.

"You pulled me down!" Lee hissed, careful not to be too loud and wake the others back in the cottage. He simply shrugged, and she knelt down next to him once more, rummaging through her bag until she pulled out a blanket. She handed it to him without a word.
~~~~~~
Andrew had to find some way to entertain himself if he was going to be stuck here, right? And teasing this girl seemed to be it for now.

He had to admit, he was surprised when she actually handed him a blanket, but he didn't protest, instead taking it from her without a word, simply nodding. He was cold, now that he thought about it. He flinched as he moved his stomach, attempting to get the blanket over himself, and she took it from him and stood up, covering him with it without a word and then helping him sit up so she could tuck it underneath him. He said nothing this whole time, though his eyes watched her every move. Soon, she turned and left again. She paused at the barn door.

"Sleep well," She mumbled, before pulling the barn doors closed behind her.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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PostSubject: Re: Andrew and Lee   Sun Dec 20, 2009 10:16 am

Lee spent the rest of the night caring for Mrs. Owens. Her fever had increased, and nothing seemed to help in bringing it down. The boy hadn't even crossed her mind once, even as she scrubbed his blood off her dress; she was only concerned about Mrs. Owens and keeping her alive. He would be fine.

She stood up and walked towards the barn. It was midnight, and she was to help again tonight with the boy and those in the cottage. She opened the barn doors and saw that he was still asleep. She smiled slightly, then walked over to him and slowly removed the blanket, then began to unwrap the bandages.

"You're undressing me already?" His voice came, causing her to jump. She sighed, and ignored him as she continued to unwrap the bandages. She looked at his wound, and began to clean it out once more. She saw how he stiffened up, and tried to be gentler.
~~~~~~~
Andrew had spent the entire day asleep. He felt a fever coming, and he was starting to get delusional, thinking he saw things that weren't there. People, figures, illusions. Once he even though he saw his father.

He had his eyes closed when the girl came in, and found himself smirking slightly. He spoke once he felt her taking off the blanket and bandages, teasing her once more. He opened his eyes then, looking up at her as she began to clean his wounds. He clenched his teeth together, stiffening up from the pain. She saw this, and was gentler, he saw. He frowned, but didn't dwell on it for too long.

"I think I have a fever," he mumbled. She looked at him, and placed the back of her hand on his forhead. He relaxed with her touch; she was so cold...it felt...nice.

He heard her gasp and begin rummaging through her bag once more. Apparently it was worse than he thought.
~~~~~~
Lee continued to go through her bag, soon pulling out a small washcloth. She dipped it in the bowl of wqater near her feet and placed it on his forehead. She saw him close his eyes and relax, and then went back to his wound silently.

"What's your name?" Lee asked. It was just something she asked all those she cared for.

"Andrew Manor," He mumbled. "And yourself?" He grunted, struggling not to show how much pain he was in. She rolled her eyes inwardly.

"Lee Maybell," she said, and soon his wound was rewrapped.

"There," She said. "Now, you need to eat something."

"Not hungry," he mumbled. She rolled her eyes for real this time, and Andrew opened his eyes just in time to see it. He found a smirk curl his lips up slightly.

"I don't care if you're hungry, you're going to eat," She said. "You need to keep up your strength."

She soon pulled an orange out of her front dress pocket, and went to work peeling it with a knife.

"Careful," Andrew said simply. "You might--"

"Ow!" Her voice interuppted him, the knife clattering to the dirt as she put her finger in her mouth.

"Cut yourself," He finished. She glared at him, but he just laughed.

Soon, she handed him a piece of the orange. He hesitantly took a bite, and then spoke.

"How long will I be here?" He asked.

"A few months, at the least," She said. Andrew suddenly sat up, ignoring the pain in his stomach.

"I can't stay here that long!" He protested. "I have to do something."

She ignored him, continuing to cut the orange up. Suddenly, he remembered something.

"Where are the things that I had with me yesterday?" He demanded. When she didn't answer right away, he grabbed her dress and forced her to look at him. She blinked, seemingly unfazed by his physical contact.

"Right here," She said, rummaging through her bag and handing the stack of papers to him, along with the knife.

"You didn't read them?" He asked.

"No. I know when to mind my own business," Lee mumbled simply, looking down at the orange in her hands. She saw him slowly lay back down out of the corner of her eye.

"Thank you," He mumbled, and she smirked.

"Ah, so you do have manners!" She said. He glared at her, but it wasn't a funny one. He was angry; that was the night that Lee realized that something else, something far more sinister, lay under the surface of this boy, Andrew. But she would soon find out that she couldn't stay away.
~~~~~~
It must have been a week later, at the least, when Mrs. Collins died.

Lee had spent the last week taking care of all of her patients, including Andrew. She had hardly slept at all, having spent even longer each night taking care of those at the cottage and Andrew in the barn, and then getting up early in the mornings and doing it all over again. She was exhausted, and then one night, when she went to check on Mrs. Collins, she was dead.

It wasn't her lying motionless there that broke her heart; it was the way her young children cried when they heard the news. Lee had tried to comfort them, and they had hugged her and cried. It broke her heart. She hadn't been able to stop the raging fever, and now she lay dead in her bed.

Each time a patient died, they held a small funeral service. This was no different.

Right now, Lee was standing near the small hole in the ground outside the barn. The two children stood weeping for their mother. Their father had one hand on both of their backs, and Lee felt horrible as she stood there, as though it had been her fault.

The priest said a few words, and then the dirt was thrown over her body. They had no money for a casket.

Soon, Lee went back to the others in the cottage, and before she knew it, night had fallen. She took her things and headed out to the barn, her eyes tired from tears.

She walked in and saw that Andrew was already sitting up. She knelt down next to him wordlessly, and went to word on his wounds.

"I heard one of them died," Andrew said. Lee ignored him, struggling to hold back tears.

"It's not your fault," He added quietly. Lee looked at him, blinking in surprise. He never acted nice to her. He was always going on about how he needed to leave now, how he didn't need her help, and everything like that.

"Yes it is," Lee finally said, going back to his wound. "I should have been able to stop the fever."

Her hand passed over his skin lightly, and she felt him shiver.

"Sorry," She mumbled.

"It's okay. I kind of liked it," Andrew said quietly. She felt a tear slip down her cheek, and land on his chest.

"S--Sorry," Lee stammered. Before she knew it, she was sobbing. Andrew struggled to sit up, and pulled her close to him before she could protest.
~~~~~~~~
Andrew wasn't sure what drove him that night. Maybe it was all the herbs she had been giving him to make him sleep, or the lack thereof and his fever, but something made him want to help this girl.

Maybe it was the fact that she was different; most girls he had met only cared about finding husbands and leaving home, or what they were going to do the next day, or whining and complaining about how they wanted to be rich, but not her. She seemed content with what she had, and only wanted to help. He didn't want to see her cry; he had always hated women crying, yet instead of yelling at her, he found himself comforting her by hugging her. He didn't care about how much his stomach hurt, or how fast the room was spinning from his fever. He just wanted to help her.

He wasn't sure how long he held her close like that, but soon he felt her tears stop. She looked up at him, her eyes confused and blurred. He couldn't blame her; he felt the same. He didn't know what he was doing.

Hesitantly, he reached out a hand and brushed a strand of hair out of her eyes and behind her ears. He touched her softly, almost as if he were afraid that he would break her.

He let his hand linger there for a moment, and she closed her eyes, placing a hand over his. He hesitated once more, before leaning close and letting his lips meet hers.
~~~~~
Lee was so confused. This man had done nothing but tease her and annoy her and harass her and be a jerk all week, yet now he was hugging her close, comforting her. She didn't understand; she didn't understand him. He could go from being furious one second and so close to hurting her to.....this.

She didn't pull back, and allowed herself to cry over her loss. She hated to let others see her cry; this was humiliating for her, yet she didn't argue. Soon, she pulled away, and was about to mumble an apology when he reached up a hand. She flinched, afraid he might hit her or something, but he only brushed the hair out of her eyes. She closed her eyes, relaxing into his touch. Soon, however, she felt him come closer, and opened her eyes just as he kissed her.

His lips were gentle, contrasting greatly with his rough demeanor. He didn't push her, and he seemed almost nervous. She soon kissed him back, and then he did the same. She wrapped her arms around his neck, and though her mind yelled at her how wrong this was, it just felt so right and she couldn't stop.

She didn't know how long they sat like that, kissing each other, but soon he pulled back; they were both breathing somewhat heavily, and she quickly looked away.

"I'm...sorry," She mumbled, obviously embarrassed.
~~~~~~
Andrew didn't know what he was doing; never before had he touched a woman in this way, in a caring way. Yet he felt her kiss him back, and then he let his mind take over.

Soon, he pulled back, and smiled crookedly at her, strangely, yet that was just the way he smiled. She, however, apologized and looked away. He frowned; he knew how wrong this was, yet he didn't seem to care.

"No, I am," He said instead. Did this mean she thought it wrong, and that they shouldn't have?

She soon looked back at him, and he saw the answer in her eyes. 'No.'

He leaned his head back and closed his eyes as she went back to rebandaging his wounds, the feeling of her lips on his lingering far into the night. It chased away the hallucinations that came with his fever, and allowed him to sleep peacefully for once.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Her mother noticed the change in Lee the next day; maybe it was the bounce in her step, or the fact that she was humming again that gave it away.

"Did something happen?" She asked that night, as they headed back to help the sick and injured.

"No, why?" Lee asked. Her mom smiled.

"No reason," She said, and they walked inside together.
~~~~
Soon, Lee was back in the barn. Andrew was laying down, asleep. She smiled slightly as she knelt down next to him; his wound was healing faster than she had expected. He would be able to leave in a few weeks time.

She rummaged though her bag when something caught her eye; the papers he had been so eager about that second day. They were held tightly in his hand. She frowned, and slowly pulled them out.

She read the note, with minimal difficulty.

'Dear Allen Manor,

You still owe us money. If you do not have it by the end of this month, we will be forced to take action. I think you know what that means. Have it, or else.

Damian Stand.'

She frowned, and read it several times to be sure. Who was Allen Manor? His father?

She jumped as his hand grabbed her wrist, twisting it and pulling the papers away. His face was so angry that she immediately flinched, though he hadn't said anything yet.

"I thought I told you not to touch them!!" He yelled at her. His cheeks were red with fever.

"I'm sorry, I---" She started, but he ignored her.

"Don't touch them!" He yelled, but quickly fell silent when the room began spinning once more.
~~~~~
Andrew couldn't help himself; he woke up, and saw her there with the papers. Something inside of him snapped; what right did she have to touch them? And so he almost hurt her; in fact, he probably had. Yet the thought didn't seem to bother him as much as it should have.

He stopped yelling when the room began to spin again, and he saw her looking distant.

"I don't know what happened," She said quietly. "But I'm sorry."

Andrew gritted his teeth together to keep from screaming in pain.

"You shouldn't. It's none of your business," He growled, all his feelings of the night before seemingly forgotten. He didn't know what he had been thinking; he was stupid. This girl meant nothing; she was just someone who was taking care of him so he could get on his way. He had to finish what he had started. He couldn't get caught up with women; especially not this one, who did not seem to know her place. She spoke to him as though he were her equal; the way he was raised, women were not equal. They were lower.

"It may not be, but I'm still sorry," She repeated. He saw how unfazed she looked, and for a moment he respected her ability to hide her true feelings; a useful skill indeed. But he quickly shook it off.
~~~~~~
Lee kept her face impassive as she spoke, trying to hide the pain she was feeling from her wrist being twisted and the fact that he seemed to not care about her at all anymore or what had happened last night; it was as if none of it had ever occurred.

She had always been good at hiding what she was really feeling, and that was just what she was doing right now.

"Did something happen?" She found herself asking, before she could stop herself. "To your father, I mean. Allen Manor."

She could feel his anger coming before she saw it. He had sat up and slapped her hard across the cheek. She looked at him in surprise, and jumped to her feet, her anger boiling over.

"Take care of your own wounds," She spat, leaving him lying there with his bandages half wrapped.
~~~~~~~~~
Andrew didn't mean to hit her; it just happened.

He watched as she left with a smirk on his face, as though he were enjoying himself. He truly was twisted at times. But he had a mission to do, and she would only get in the way. In a way, he was doing both of them a favor.

He looked down at his half bandaged wounds, and lay his head back just as the illusions started up again from his fever. This time he saw the man who killed his father; a faint outline of him. His real image was blurred after that night, but now he had a name to go with him.

Damian Stand.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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PostSubject: Re: Andrew and Lee   Mon Dec 21, 2009 12:40 am

Lee's mother didn't see the red on her cheek in the dark, so she didn't have to come up with a lie for it. Of course she wouldn't tell the truth; her mother would probably turn him out into the cold if she did that. It was winter, and getting colder each day. But they still had no room in the cottage for him.

It was a week later now, and she had been taking care of him as if he were just another patient, and not a man that she had kissed and thought about every day since. He had told her twice since than that she didn't mean a thing to him, yet she didn't seem to agree.

Tonight seemed colder than most. Lee could see her breathe in the air as she walked towards the barn; she was shivering after having only been outside for a few moments; she couldn't imagine how Andrew was feeling. She convinced herself that she didn't care, but she knew that she did; she could never hold a grudge against anyone for too long, though this time she almost could. Almost.

She knelt down next to him wordlessly; his fever had gone down, and that was good, yet if he was out here for much longer he would freeze.

He said nothing as she began to clean out his wound, which was almost healed now.
~~~~~~~
Andrew really needed to focus. A few more weeks here, and he could be gone. It had been about a month since he got here, and he was itching to get back on the road to find Damian Stand. He needed to; he wouldn't rest until he did.

He had told Lee several times that she meant nothing to him, that he would be gone soon, and she had just nodded. He didn't understand her at all.

He looked up as she came walking in that night, shivering under the few thin blankets he had. He said nothing even as she knelt down next to him and began to clean out his wounds.

Soon, she had them rebandaged, and was mixing the herbs with the water when he spoke.

"I'm cold."

She paused, then spoke.

"It's winter," She said simply, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world, then went back to what she was doing.

"You could always warm me up," He teased her. He didn't know why he still did that, either.

She turned to him, and he saw a flash of anger in her eyes. Then something else. She lifted the blankets and crawled underneath them next to him without a word.
~~~~~
Lee was so sick of him.

After all that he had said, he still had the nerve to tease her?!

Well not anymore. She took him on his word this time, and crawled under the blankets with him. It was only after she stopped moving that she realized how awkward this was. The barn door was closed, so no one could see them, yet he was shirtless and she was lying here next to him.

His skin was freezing, and she immediately felt bad for not bringing more blankets. He didn't move or speak, and she found herself smirking. She had the upper hand here.

But soon, however, he did something that surprised her. He put his arm around her shoulder, pulling her closer. Her eyes widened as her head came to rest on his chest, his steady breathing matching her own.

"Do you still want to know?" He asked quietly. She looked up at him, her cheeks red, eyes confused.

"About what?" She asked quietly.

"About me," he said. She nodded slowly, and then he began to speak.
~~~~~~~~
Andrew had no idea what came over him then, either. Perhaps it had something to do with her actually crawling under the covers with him to warm him up, or the smell of her hair, or the herbs again, or his lack of sleep, or what , but soon he found himself wanting to tell her everything. Everything about himself, his life, just....everything.

He must have really been going insane, for he began to speak soon enough.

"I lived normally until I was nine years old," He began, keeping his arm around her shoulder as he spoke. "I came home one day, and my father was there waiting. He grabbed me, told me to hide. Someone broke down the back door, and I ran and hid under his bed. Whoever was there came into his room while I was waiting, and killed him while I hid under the bed." He paused here, and she looked up at him. Slowly, he continued. "His blood soaked me to the very core. I came out when they were gone. They threatened to kill me instead, and I should have come out and let them," He whispered. "I was a coward. I let my father die. I didn't do a thing."

She tried to cut him off and protest, but he would not let her.

"I changed after that. I did things to people that I never should have. I thought things that no one should. I hurt people, animals, everything both physically and emotionally. I was bitter, and felt so guilty and I just wanted, I needed to find who did this. When I turned 13 I went back and found a big stack of papers in his locked drawer. I spent the next four years looking through them, for something, anything, that could help me find the man who ruined my life."

He looked furious, and she was almost scared of the look in his eyes. She had been right, to assume that something much darker lay under his surface. She saw it then.

"When I was 17, I went back and found a hidden compartment in one of his drawers," He said. "A few papers were in there, along with a knife. I couldn't read much, but I could make out a few words and a name. And I knew. That was the name of the man who did it. So I set out to find him. I didn't have much of a plan; go from town to town asking about him. But I hadn't made it very far when I was attacked, and now here I am."

Lee remained silent, laying there with her head on his chest and listening to his heart beat. Finally, she spoke.

"You shouldn't feel guilty," She whispered, looking up at him. His eyes were dark and unreadable, and they sent a shiver down her spine. "You did nothing wrong." He still said nothing, just looked at her, so she continued. "I mean, your father....I don't know him, but I don't think he would have wanted you to lose your life to save his." He continued to look at her, and so she continued as well. "I think it's noble what you're doing, but to take a life for a life.....is it really right?" She asked. His eyes changed, and she saw something in them. A flash of anger.

"He killed my father!" He shouted. Lee flinched.

"I know," She whispered. "But he's still a person."

She could tell she had made him very angry, so she stood up to leave, but he grabbed her arm.

"No. I'm cold," He said. She hesitated, then lay back down next to him.

She wasn't sure how long they lay in silence, with her ready for him to snap at any moment. But he just lay in silence.

"I'm sorry," She whispered. Still he said nothing. She knew she had to leave soon. Her mom would start to worry and come check on her. Actually, lately, she had been going home later than her, spending more and more time with her patients. Normally her mother went home without her and was asleep before she even got home. So she should be safe.

Finally, he spoke.

"You're right that maybe I shouldn't feel guilty," He said quietly. "But that man.....I'm still going after him."

Lee looked up at him silently. Finally, she nodded. "I won't stop you," She said quietly. Suddenly, he leaned down and pressed his lips against hers.

It was different now than the first time. She wrapped her arms around his neck, tilting her head and moving closer to him, if that was even possible. They were still laying down.

He kept his arms around her waist, and pulled her even closer. Soon, their kisses became softer, and she pulled back, her eyes twinkling with confusion and happiness. His were more readable than usual, but still quite dark.

"This is....wrong," She said quietly, keeping her arms around him and resting her head on his bare chest.

"I know," He said quietly. "I'm not safe to be around. You should know that by now," Andrew said, keeping an arm around her shoulder.

"But I don't care," Lee said quietly, and they fell asleep like that.
~~~~~~
Lee woke the next morning, and looked around sleepily. She sat up suddenly, eyes wide when she realized where she was and who she was laying next to, close enough she could feel his breathe on her face. She scooted away,and he woke as she did so.

He sat up slowly, blinking hazily. She quickly gathered up her things and stood up, just as he spoke.

"Leaving so soon?" He asked. She couldn't tell if he was teasing her or not, so she just nodded. He smiled slightly and sat up the rest of the way.

"Don't forget to come see me later," He whispered. She nodded and hurried out.
~~~~~~
Lee didn't understand why she liked him the way that she did; he was dangerous. He had hit her once, hurt her more than that, and was constantly talking about how dangerous he was and how he wanted to kill a man. Yet....she liked him. A lot.

She got home before the sun rose and her mom didn't suspect a thing, yet she felt guilty. Why should she, though? It wasn't like she had done anything bad. They had kissed, and fallen asleep. That was it. But she knew that even that was considered 'wrong' if they were not married.

She frowned, deep in thought the entire day as she did her chores, picked more herbs, washed the clothes, and then headed back that night.
~~~~~~~
Andrew didn't understand why he was attracted to this woman. He was supposed to be focusing on finding his father's killer, and he was getting distracted by these strange feelings of the heart. Never before had he even given a woman a passing glance, yet he had just spilled his entire past to this one, and kissed her so much, and then let her sleep next to him. He had made himself vulnerable. He planned to tell her that night that this couldn't go on. He was leaving as soon as he could.
~~~~~~
Lee walked into the barn, giving Andrew a small smile as she did so. He didn't return it; she didn't expect him to.

She walked over to him and knelt down next to him, going to work on unbandaging his wounds. "Does it hurt a lot?" She asked him as she passed her hands over the almost healed wound. He shrugged.

"It'll be fine," He said. Then he looked at her.

"You know I can't stay," He said. "I don't want to."

She faltered with the bandages in her hand, then nodded.

"As soon as I'm well enough, I'm leaving to find my father's killer," He said. She just nodded again. He frowned and sat up suddenly, grabbing her wrist.

"Do you not hear me?" He demanded. "I'm leaving you behind. I'm not coming back."

She looked at him, and just nodded. He sighed in annoyance and lay back down. He didn't understand her, not at all. Yet he felt as though he wanted to.

"Tell me..." He said slowly. "More about you."

He felt her hands falter as they passed over his stomach again, working on cleaning out his wound.

"What about me?" She asked quietly, continuing to work. Her hands were very gentle, he realized.

"Your life. Your family," He said.

She continued to work as she spoke, as if it didn't bother her.

"I was 5 when my father died," She said, taking the herbs and mixing them into water. "He had a fever. My mother couldn't even help him," She said, helping him sit up and pour the liquid down his throat. He understood then, why she got so upset each time one of those who were sick or injured died.

"I'm sorry," He said.

"Don't be," She said quickly. He smirked slightly; she was strong. Very strong. She acted as though none of this bothered her. She continued working as though she were speaking of the weather or something else of little importance.

"After that, I grew up. I started helping my mother here when I was 6. I hardly did anything then; just held things for her or handed them to her. I met a man by the name of Mr. Collins," She said, and here she did waver for a moment, but quickly recovered. He saw it, however. "He was like a grandfather to me. He told me stories every night," She whispered, a smile making its way to her face. "He was so strong. He was like my hero," She said. Then she looked away. "He died when I was 8. Apparently he had been dying the whole time, and no one had told me."

"Did you want them to?" Andrew asked. Lee shook her head.

"No. I think that would have made things harder," she whispered. "I prefer to take things one day at a time. That way, you don't have to dread something coming. And a surprise, good or bad, waits around every corner. Don't you agree?" She asked, looking at him. He just shrugged, looking deep in thought. Then he did speak.

"And what about after that?" He asked.

"Nothing, really. I did chores in the day, came here in the evening, came home at night and slept, came back at midnight then went home and slept some more, got up early the next day and did it all over again," She said.

"Any friends?" He asked.

"A boy named Peter," She said quietly, working on cleaning out his wound again. "He wanted to be more than my friend, though. But he was married off before he could."

Andrew frowned . "And did you like him?"

Lee looked at him, smirking slightly. "Jealous, Andrew?" She asked. "I thought that you were just going to leave me."

She stood up and left then, leaving him respecting her even more.
~~~~~
Two weeks passed after that. Andrew got stronger each day, and Lee knew he would be well enough to leave soon. However, a small fever seemed to coming on, but nothing that she didn't think she could handle.

They hadn't kissed since that day so long ago, and she found herself wanted to. Each time she saw him, she had to resist.

She was heading towards the barn now. She opened the doors and saw him lying there, covered in sweat and breathing raggedly. She shut the doors behind her and ran over to him, placing a hand on the back of his forehead. He was burning up. Worse than she had ever felt before.

Her eyes widened as she took out a bowl and ran outside, filling it with water from the well. She ran back in and dipped a washcloth on it, placing it over his forehead. Then she took another cloth and wiped some of the sweat from his still bare chest. It was freezing out, yet here he was, burning up. He didn't even seem to be conscious.

She felt tears coming to her eyes as she sat there next to him, helping him drink some more of the water with herbs mixed in it. Then she sat, and waited.

The tears fell after an hour passed by, and he still didn't move. She saw his breathing slowing, and it was almost as if she could see death coming for him.
~~~~~
Andrew didn't know why, but earlier that day he had begun to burn up.

He could do nothing; no one would come until later. It was freezing out, yet he was hotter than he had ever been.

The fever was worse, much worse, than the one he had had before. And worse hallucinations came with it. He saw his father, telling him that it was his fault he was now dead. His father, telling him that it should have been him to die instead. And now it seemed that it was happening.

He was fading in and out of consciousness. He thought he saw Lee, and he wanted to say something to her, though he wasn't even sure himself what that something was.

He heard her crying, and felt a tear land on his cheek. With all the strength he could gather, he opened his eyes and looked up at her.

"Don't cry," He mumbled. She stifled a gasp and looked at him, smiling.

"Please don't die, Andrew," She whispered. "I love you."

He wasn't sure if he had heard her right, but he did hear himself say it back.
~~~~~~
Lee surprised herself with her words. Love. It was a strange concept to her, yet looking at him here, so close to death and realizing just how much it hurt to think of life without him, she knew. She was in love.

She couldn't believe she had just said that to him; he was leaving. He didn't love her; he didn't even like her anymore.

Yet she heard him whisper 'I love you' back. Her eyes widened and she smiled down at him, suddenly wishing she hadn't said it. Seeing him like this would hurt much less if he hadn't said that to her. What if...what if he....

No. She refused to think that way. Instead, she went back to helping him, praying all the while for a miracle.
~~~~~~~
Lee spent the next two hours attempting to get his fever down. Slowly, little by little, it lowered until he slept peacefully. She continued to cool him down with fresh washcloths every so often. She couldn't leave; not now.

She stayed there until morning, not once sleeping. When he opened his eyes again, she was right there.

"Andrew?" She whispered, leaning over him and brushing a strand of wet hair out of his dark eyes. He blinked hazily up at her. Had he really said what he was thinking he had? He couldn't remember much of anything that had happened over the past 24 hours; it was all a blur.

He looked up at her, and managed a wry smile. "Am I dead yet?" He asked. She shook her head.

"No," She whispered. She realized she was crying, and quickly turned away. She never let anyone see her cry, not since her father's death. But he had seen her cry so much now.

He watched her, and seemed to understand what she was thinking, for he reached out his hand and took hers in his. She looked at him, struggling to hold back the tears and look strong. He realized then that he did love this woman; she was different than the rest. Stronger. She didn't want anyone to see her sad or hurt or broken, and she cared for them with all she had. She knew how to stand up for herself at the right times and didn't allow herself to be pushed around like most did.

"Did you say anything?" Andrew asked. "While I was...kind of out."

Her cheeks turned red; that was all the answer that he needed.
~~~~
That night Lee was back, taking care of him again. The fever was still there, but it had gone down a lot.

She took care of him silently, allowing him to rest. He was awake, though, and watching her. She could feel his eyes on her, though they didn't exchange one word that night.
~~~~~
Two nights later, and his fever was gone. A few days after that, and his stomach had healed enough for him to walk, and she helped him around the village to help get him back on his feet. Then at night, he would go back to sleep in the barn and she would sit with him until he was asleep.

He didn't deny that he loved her anymore, though they hadn't kissed again. He didn't know what to do. He was torn between fulfilling what he knew he had to do for his father, and the woman he loved. He wanted to forget about his father, put it in the past, and make a future with Lee, but he couldn't.

She was sitting next to him in the barn right now. It was well past midnight, and they were both sitting up, him with an arm around her shoulder.

"I think I'll stay," Andrew said suddenly. Lee looked at him, blinking in surprise. Try as she might not to allow herself to get closer to him, she couldn't help herself. She knew he would leave soon, and she respected him for being so loyal to what he felt he had to do, but she couldn't stand the thought of him leaving, even if he would come back. "With you," He added, pulling her out of her thoughts.

The dark side of Andrew still lay under the surface, and at times it came out stronger than his nicer side. But Lee loved him; that was all she knew, and all that she needed to know, or so she convinced herself.

"What about your father's killer?" Lee asked quietly, still looking up at him.

"Maybe it's time to let go," Andrew said quietly, holding her closer. She closed her eyes and melted into his embrace.
~~~~~~
Andrew was fully well a week later.

Lee was ecstatic; so many times she had been worried they would lose him, but here he was, good as new. Well, almost. He sometimes got sharp pains in his stomach where the large scar was, but besides that, he was usually fine. Physically, anyways.

He had been staying in one of the many rented out cottages in the village. He was paying for it while he worked at the local tavern. He was staying. Lee was so happy.

Every night as he lay down to sleep, Andrew couldn't help but feel as though he were betraying his father. But then Lee's face would come to mind, and he would fall asleep.

They met together each day, and spent time together and talked, about everything and nothing. They still hadn't kissed since that one night, perhaps because they were afraid of what might happen if they did.

It was night time, and they were meeting at the lake in the back of the village. Andrew was waiting for her already. She sat down next to him, giving him a small smile.

"How was your day?" She asked him, taking his hand in hers. He squeezed her hand lightly.

"Good, and you? How is everyone at the cottage doing?" he asked. She smiled at him.

"Fine," She said. "Thanks."

She yawned and leaned her head on his shoulder. He placed an arm around her shoulder silently. A few times over the past month, since he had completely healed, Andrew had gotten angry and almost, or did, hurt Lee. He was confused; normally he wouldn't care, but he loved her, so he did. He told her she should leave him, but she always refused. She said she loved him, and he knew he loved her.

They talked for a while longer, and then were gone. Lee spent the next day thinking of nothing but him, and Andrew thinking of her.

That night, they met at his cottage. She sat at his table, drinking a mug of tea.

"Andrew?" She asked quietly, looking up at him.

He sat down across from her, his eyes as unrevealing as always. When he didn't speak, she continued.

"Are you really happy here?" She asked suddenly. It had been bugging her for so long. She didn't want him to stay unless he really wanted to. He sometimes seemed caught up in his own little world, and she wanted him to be happy, even if that meant not being with her.

His sudden actions surprised her; he pushed his chair back and walked over to her, and looked into her bright blue eyes with his dark brown, almost black ones.

"I mean---" She began, but was cut off by him pressing his lips against hers. Her eyes widened in surprise; he hadn't kissed her since that night in the barn that seemed to be so long ago now. She kissed him back, and he wrapped his arms around her waist as she stood up, pressing herself close to him. They continued to kiss, and soon Lee knew that they had crossed the line. She pulled back, but Andrew kept a hold of her wrist and kissed her once more. She couldn't help herself; she loved him so much. She kissed him again, and his grip on her wrist tightened.

She pulled back.

"You're hurting me, Andrew," she said, trying to pull out of his grasp. Something in his eyes changed, and he just gripped her tighter.

"Let go!" She shouted, and twisted out of his grasp. She took a step back, rubbing her red wrist and trying to figure out what had happened to him. He just looked at her, eyes unmoving and impassive.

"I'm leaving," She mumbled, and was gone a few moments later.
~~~~~~
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PostSubject: Re: Andrew and Lee   Tue Dec 22, 2009 4:22 pm

Lee spent the next day trying to figure out what had happened with Andrew. She had always known he was darker under the surface, but she had never expected him to hurt her again, not after he had said he loved her.

She
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