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I hope you enjoy this intimate moment between my characters, after last month's turmoil when August caught Norah with forging material. This scene takes place prior to that. An unlikely romance during WWII.
August kissed Norah’s naked shoulder, her skin warm after their lovemaking. Her lithe body felt natural against his in their mutual musky scent. Crickets chirped through the open window where a slight breeze filtered around blackout curtains, into the dark room of the gardener’s cottage. The moonlight outlined them both. “I love you, mon amour.”
“I love you…so much. And this is nicer on a mattress,” she murmured, her back to him as they snuggled under the sheets on the iron bed.
“You seemed a little agitated earlier; is something wrong?”
She turned and touched his face. “I’m fine now. Can I ask where you got that huge scar on your right side?”
“I was shot seven years ago, trying to warn friends.” He really didn’t want to go into the details, the pain, at this moment. But he was naked, like she was, to be explored in all his flaws. He shoved away those ugly memories, brushed his lips over hers, then traced his fingers down her silky, soft back. “I’ll tell you more later. In the morning, we’ll plan our picnic, and you can meet my stallion, Maler. He might like his picture drawn, then painted.”
“Another handsome portrait. I’d be happy to.” She reached up and ruffled his hair. “Even in the shadows, I like your hair mussed up.”
He smiled. “No military strictness?” Wouldn’t it be ‘freeing’ to not have to wear that uniform each day, which wrapped him in the menace of the Wehrmacht?
She nestled her head on his chest. “My cousin’s husband might ask me to leave their home.”
“Why? What has happened?” His mind immediately went to the rumor of a forger, an inquiry he’d yet to begin.
“He thinks…I’ve been there too long already.” She sounded evasive. Or he read too much into it.
“Is it as straightforward as that?” Here was the source of her anxiety. A shame to have to discuss these things after they’d shared such sweet passion tonight. He did need to find out what she knew. “Is it because you are with me?”
She sighed and ran her fingers down his abdomen. “That’s part of it. I was wondering, though you might object, if I could move in here.”
August closed his eyes, enjoying her touch, but now these other problems pushed in. “You’d be alone, though I could come most nights; unless I leave for inspections. Let me think about it.” He could throttle the damn butcher. He wanted to recapture that languid, satisfied feeling he’d just had.
“You could provide me with a pistol, for protection,” she whispered.
He grasped her wandering hand. “That is dangerous, too.” Non-Germans weren’t allowed weapons, for obvious reasons. “I would worry about you out here.” But where else could she go? Anywhere close by, without her family, she’d be open to worse scrutiny and hazard.
She kissed his chest, her mouth warm on his skin. “I know how to fire a gun.”
“I’m not surprised.” He pulled her against him and kissed her firmly on the lips. “We should sleep, then talk about this soon. I’ll think of a solution.” Another, more personal question niggled at him. He hated to continue to dishonor her when he felt this intensely about her. He let the question slip out. “Norah, would you marry me? Though as a German officer I might be a threat to you and your people for a short time more."
She breathed in slowly. A few minutes of quiet. “As difficult…yes, I would. We’ll go to Switzerland, you said. You can retire next year?”
“That is my intention.” As soon as he could take his son with them—after graduation—away from the Nazis, and count on his daughters being protected by their husbands.
He kissed the top of her head as he hugged her, holding on to his dream, making it real. He needed her love, though other troubles such as the direction of the war, and the business with the U-boat, kept him from any true peace. But negotiating life was always a challenge. She couldn’t be involved in the clandestine activities in the village—he must believe that. Yet Schmidt was certain to cause problems.
August closed his eyes, trying to drag himself into oblivion. He knew his family wouldn’t be thrilled when he married an Englishwoman. One thirteen years younger, and his mistress. But his love blurred all these battles.
He rested his cheek on her lush, fragrant hair as she snuggled against him. Her name was whispered in the allegations. The picnic—he swallowed a groan; he must question her then.