To live the adventure from the beginning CLICK HERE!
Amos lay in his bed listening to the soft falling of spring rain. It was the dark hours of the early morning and he found himself feeling an electric mix of emotions that made it hard to sleep. It had been years since he had rested in the home of Perryn and Mike but in so many ways the room that he had always slept in felt exactly the same. The space was opulent but tasteful, a large tufted leather headboard crowning the mahogany four poster bed. The feather mattress was draped with a golden damask fabric that was as warm as it was soft and Amos felt completely at home. He wondered why he had been so afraid to return?
He couldn’t help but think of Nym sleeping in the next room. He remembered the light from the evening’s fire reflecting through her amber hair, her blue eyes wide and sparkling with amusement as Mike told stories of Amos and Emily as children. Everything about Nym’s happiness contented him; she had seemed so sad earlier in the evening and he wondered why? He wanted to hold her and he remembered the feeling of her hands and the softness of her lips. He lay for a time lost in the memory of their kiss. He may have dismissed the moment as a fevered dream if he had not awakened at twilight with the warmth of her soft body curled, sleeping, into his chest. He remembered the sweet, woody smell of her hair, and he closed his eyes drawing in the night around him, seeking her scent.
With his head rested in his hands he looked around the room and felt a warmth in his chest when he noticed the Leyden jar that he had built for his childhood science fair sitting neatly atop the bookcase. He was deeply touched that such a relic was kept and cared for over the years and he wondered if it would still work? He remembered the day that Perryn and Marcel had helped him to construct the wooden box and to understand how static electricity carried a charge and could be contained. He remembered how silly the two men could be when given a project and time to play, and he found himself smiling at the ceiling.
Remembering the science fair, Amos recalled the photo of he and Emily that Nym had unearthed in Marcel’s office and his heart sank. He realized that, much like Mike, he had never given up hope that one day he would see Emily again and perhaps mend the rift between them. The fact that she was gone created a deep, unreal sadness that ached in contrast to the overwhelming gratitude that he felt being in this place, surrounded by the people that he loved. He realized that there would always be a hole there without Emily, the light of her pixie-like smile fading into darkness.
Just then, his thoughts were interrupted by a soft tapping upon his door. Confused, he hurried to answer without taking time for his dressing gown or shirt. He opened the door to find Nym standing in a modest white linen gown that was slightly too big for her body, it had likely been borrowed from one of the housemaids, the light outlining her body through the pale fabric. Her hair hung over her shoulders in dark honey colored curls. Amos might have taken her to the bed at that moment without another thought if her face and eyes had not been so full of sadness.
“Peach?” Amos was alarmed by the stains upon her cheeks from crying, “what has happened? Are you okay?” Distressed she fell into his arms, sobbing.
“Amos?” she choked through tears, “Amos. I …I don’t know who I am.” The words escaped her so openly that Amos, having not the slightest idea what she was talking about, chuckled. He immediately felt badly for the response, but her words were so unanticipated and surprising.
“Oh, Peach! ” he smiled, cupping her face in his hands and smoothing her pale, damp cheeks and hair. “Do you want to talk?” She nodded and he lead her into his room and sat her upon the bed.
She shivered against the cool early morning air and Amos wrapped her shoulders with his dressing gown. He smiled at her gently as she took his handkerchief; after a moment of quiet release she spoke.
“I don’t remember my life, Amos. I don’t remember anything before the cog and the beach and the Heliograph. I know that I should, I feel like there are memories in my mind locked behind a veil. I see the shadows but can’t connect them,” she stared blankly into the handkerchief as the tears rolled from her swollen eyes. “Do you think that I am losing my mind?”
Amos sat down next to her and said succinctly and with confidence, “No.”
The finality of the word seemed to confuse her and she looked at him bewildered.
“No.” He said again, looking into her eyes, “Nym, you are not losing your mind.”
He smiled at her and lay back onto the bed, his feet dangling over the side like they had when he was a boy playing with Emily.
“I think that if you had asked me yesterday I might have seen it differently, but now…” He stared up at the ceiling, disappearing into his thoughts, “two months ago I knew who I was. I was drinkin’ and having fun. I was riding a wave from one port to the next and it was free it had no consequences at all.”
He noticed Nym stiffen at his words but he kept speaking trying to clarify himself to her- and likely to himself.
“I was so deep in my own lies – I couldn’t see though it, Peach, it was that dark. I think you can make yourself run so far and so fast that you can’t see anything but the next moment’s gratification. I think a lot of people live that way, you know?”
He took her hand. She was looking at him utterly confused but he could see she was trying to understand.
“What I’m saying is that none of us know who we are. We all have veils that color our memories and maybe hide us from our truth. The bad things I done were so big to me, I couldn’t imagine that anyone remembered anything else. I was never coming back here, never wanted to face the people I hurt. But that storm had other plans and now I see that there were people who loved me enough to believe in me anyway, even after – I see through that veil now, Peach, and I know who I can be and where I belong. I don’t know that it makes me someone, but it gives me the courage to chose my own definition of who I am.”
He felt her lay back and rest her head against his arm, sharing his view of the blank. ceiling. Her long, delicate fingers tangling into his fingers between them.
He turned towards her propping himself up on his elbow and tenderly touching her face, “So, I guess maybe it’s okay to let go of the things you don’t know; you don’t have to know who you are- just keep working on becoming the person you want to be. Everything else will make sense in time.”
Nym smiled at him as a single final tear escaped her eye and rolled over her cheek. Her body was so close and so warm and for a moment he thought about claiming her lips and her body. He wondered if she wanted him with the same urgency, but seeing how fragile she was and how confused, he simply leaned in and kissed her forehead. He closed his eyes there a moment and enjoyed the smell of her hair and he felt her sigh beneath him, letting go of her worries for the moment.
Their eyes met in the dim light of the early morning, the song of spring rain upon the window. Nym placed her hand softly on Amos’ cheek and smiled, a tenderness in her eyes as she leaned in and kissed him softly and passionately. His heart was pounding in his chest, her body communicating so clearly what he needed to understand. Her fingers tangled his hair and ran hotly over his bare chest and shoulders. For a moment he lost himself in her and feeling the curve of her hip, he pulled her into him.
Urgently his mind called him back. She was everything that he wanted but he knew that taking her now, when she was so vulnerable, would harm her.
He pulled away, a feat of strength with the taste of her upon his lips. He forced himself to maintain his resolve, even as she gazed up at him with eyes full of desire and anticipation.
He had to break the spell of her. He wanted her ferociously- but not this way. He stood up and began looking for his shirt, smiling at her reassuringly and understanding her confusion. In so many ways he was confused by his actions. They were alone and she wanted him, so why was he walking away?
He just knew it was right, and he wanted what was right. He wanted her to feel safe and happy and he wanted to be the sort of man who deserved her.
“Peach, ” he tried to explain as he struggled with his shirt buttons. Nym sat staring at him from the bed, the fabric of her borrowed gown falling over her shoulder exposing her neck. He could see her breasts rise and fall as she sat breathless and waiting. She looked angelic and tantalizing and had to look away. His nervous fingers fiddled with the shirt buttons as he tried to regain his senses.
Nym suddenly understood and was deeply hurt. With a burning face she shyly straightened her gown. She felt embarrassed and ashamed of herself for throwing herself at him but she had been so certain that he wanted her in the same way.
Amos sat down a respectable distance from her, still too aroused to trust himself, “Oh, Nym! It ain’t you! I could go mad from wanting you- and if you was just any girl, I’d …But you’re not any girl, you’re my girl.” he smiled and saw her blush sweetly.
“In the last week we been threatened, beaten, kidnapped, shot at… it’s too much. Right now let’s just be, okay? We keep rushing around we’re gonna smash something, and I’d rather it not be you”
Nym shook her head sadly, but she understood that he was right.
He kissed the back of her soft hand and smiled into her eyes, then scanned the room for something to break the tension between them. Upon the shelf he spied his boyhood project and he grinned awkwardly, “Have you ever seen a Leyden jar?”