63. 42 - Extract from the Diary of Captain Thomas Rogue
To look into the sad eyes of the woman you love is a hard thing for a man to do. It's like watching a rogue wave rise to cripple your vessel. But like a rogue wave, only by meeting it head-on can you hope to survive it.
I listened to Midnight tell me about her ex-fiancé, Robert de Gaulle, and I don't even have the heart to put it down in words... How could I have been upset about her never telling me this story? How? I felt disgusted with myself, like I'd dug the ground in the hope of finding some lost casket of jewels only to find the rotting carcass of a tortured soul.
I held her close to me, the baby in her arms asleep, and I didn't say anything for a long time. Midnight kept smelling the flowers, as if they comforted her somehow.
“Midnight...?” I said softly.
She didn't say anything.
“I'm sorry I asked. Really,” I said.
She got up, sniffed and rubbed her eyes, “It's... gone. I'm fine.”
“You know that I'd ne'er be that way, with you. Right?”
“We've been married a long time, Thomas. Don't ask stupid questions.”
I smiled sadly, “Do... Do ye still want t'know about Mr Kenobi, what he said, I mean? Or...?”
“Sure. What did he say?”
I gave her a long look.
She had given up. Midnight didn't care about Mr Kenobi, what he wanted or what the Sons of the Sword existed for. At least, for the moment, it was all irrelevant to her.
“Midnight... It doesn't really matter t'you anymore, does it? That I have the answer t'every question that has stuck ye since the last few months.”
“I'm just in the wrong state of mind at the moment. It will pass. I think.”
“You don't feel lighter, havin' told me?”
“No. I felt lighter when no-one knew. When I had something I could hide from the world about me. Something pathetic and humiliating. Something... that I never meant to make known.”
“I'm not goin' to treat you differently just because-”
She cut in, “But you will. You might not know that you're doing it, but you will. And I'm not saying that that will be a bad thing, but every time you subconsciously do these things - I'll remember that you know. I'll remember that you know that I was somebody's... life-size toy that they played with, snapped and then tossed in a dirty corner.”
“I don't see you that way. I'll ne'er see you that way!”
“Midnight, you aren't that girl anymore. I didn't fall in love with and marry that girl. As far as I knew, I didn't marry someone's discarded toy. It doesn't matter to me. You're the commander of a mercenary state, you're the woman who cut my face, the thief o' my heart and the mother o' my beautiful children. That's who you are, that's who I married. I am ne'er going t'see you that other way. Part of me wants to dig up that past and kill it for you - but you said it: it's gone. It's not comin' back - not from him, not from me. I mean that. It's not your fault that that happened and I'm not about t'blame you for it.”
“I know... I...”
“You need something t'keep your mind off of it. We'll go out tonight, have a nice dinner - you know, normal-people style,” I smiled when she seemed to laugh at that, “I'll see if Georgia can keep Eomer while we're out.”
Midnight nodded, “I'd like that.”
“What's the answer? What did Mr Kenobi want with you?”
I smirked. Finally, I knew something that Midnight didn't and I brazenly felt the need to make the moment last.
“Mr Kenobi,” I said, pausing for effect, “wanted my map.”