Easy is the Descent

Chapter 04

August 1942

"David, let's dance," Annelise pleaded, running to the radio as soon as they entered the Christensen apartment.

"It's nearly one in the morning and you want to dance?" David said teasingly, removing his coat and hat.

Annelise twirled, giggling wildly. "I feel so alive and awake! So much more so than I usually do. Dance with me!"

She tuned the radio to a soft jazzy song and beckoned for David to join her. David grinned and took her up in his arms, holding her small hand in his as they rocked back and forth together. Annelise loved the feeling of his protective hand on her lower back.

"I love you, my darling," David said softly, dipping her backwards. "You're so stunning I wish to ravish you this instant."

Annelise giggled, smiling widely. "Oh, David. You're so handsome that I might just let you."

"When do your parents get home?"

"An hour or so. They stayed with your parents to clean up and talk of matters that don't concern us."

David snapped her back up so that she landed pressed firmly against him. "This talk of our marriage… Do you believe it should happen sooner or later?"

"Sooner," Annelise said firmly, swaying her hips to the beat against his. "Perhaps the spring."

"You don't believe you're too young?"

"My mother was only seventeen when she married my father. I believe that nineteen is plenty old enough," Annelise said as David spun her and then pulled her back in. "Do you care when?"

David shook his head and kissed her suddenly, catching her surprised. "Not at all. You know, the sooner the better works for me too."

"And why is that?" Annelise asked him, a sly grin on her face.

"You've heard of the perks a married man gets, eh?" David waggled his eyebrows.

Annelise playfully slapped his shoulder. "Oh, David. You're just like all the other men."

"And what are the other men like?"


"I see."

"I'm tired already. We'll have to save the lindy hop for another time," Annelise sighed, sitting down on her couch. "Are you worried about the Germans?"

David sat down beside her, wrapping an arm around her shoulder. "What for?"

"That they might get stricter? And make you wear the yellow star like the Jews in the other countries."

Shaking his head, David calmed her, "Annelise, why do you worry so? You're in no danger. You're not Jewish."

"But you are. I don't want anything to happen to you. And I am in danger! Being a part of the resistance is dangerous."

"You're right, you're right," David agreed gently. "But you need not worry your pretty little head about this."

Annelise stared at her thumbs in her lap. "David, he stopped me again today."


"The German! Fritz Meyers. He wishes to dine with me tomorrow. I…I wanted to make sure it was alright with you. I feel as if I'm double-crossing you."

David grabbed her hands and rubbed them gently. "Annelise, sweet Annelise, you are doing no harm to me by seeing the German. You're helping us. I know you don't want to go and that's reassurance enough. Now, what's this about dining together?"

She looked away, guilty though knowing that she shouldn't be. "He has been granted permission to take a…a 'fine Aryan girl' for dinner at a nice restaurant. David, he makes me nervous."

"I know, Darling," David said reassuringly. He drew her into a tender hug. "Don't worry your pretty head about such things. I have people watching to make sure nothing happens. The resistance runs deep in this town, Annelise, and I have many friends that are willing to help me, and you in turn."

Annelise breathed deeply and nestled her head into the crook of his neck. "That makes me feel better."

"Does it truly?"

Annelise nodded, planting a gentle kiss against the soft skin of his neck. "I trust you, David. You know I do. And I know that you'd only have trustworthy friends, so I trust these friends of yours."

"Pretty one, do you not like your wine?"

Annelise's head snapped up, throwing her back into reality. "Oh, well, I suppose it's fine. I just do not usually indulge in wine and have not acquired much of a taste for it."

"Would you perhaps like water instead?"

"Yes, that would be fine." Annelise nodded.

Fritz lifted a hand up to signal the waiter's attention. "Boy, fetch this lady a glass of water."

Annelise offered the waiter a faint smile as he filled a glass full with ice cold water for her. "Thank you," She murmured graciously. The waiter's eyes were knowing and she could vaguely remember seeing him at one of the resistance meetings. A friend of David's…

Relax, she told herself. She was in the company of friends…and enemies.

"Darling, does that Jew ever take you here?"

Annelise was only half listening. "No," She answered, her eyes following the waiter. He was attending to another table, speaking closely with another familiar person. More friends.

"I should think well not. Where does he take you? The harbor?" Fritz scoffed.

"Please don't call me 'darling'," Annelise said coldly. "I mean, my name is Annelise. I'd prefer to be called by my true name," She saved herself; worried that she'd anger him. "And we do go to the harbor. We also go to the park and museums and sometimes we go to the country to visit my relatives. It's simple things that make me happy," She said firmly, looking him straight in the eye.

"Ah, then I will take you to the park after dinner," Fritz said triumphantly. "If trips to the park make you happy, then to the park we'll go."

Annelise sighed. The park was a special place for her and David. "It's so dark out," She said, "And there may be ruffians."

"I'm a strong boy," Fritz said with a laugh. "I could protect you from everything."

She shivered, wondering if he included himself in that offer.

An hour later, they were walking through the park. Annelise had folded her arms across her chest so he could not grab her hand to hold. It was just beginning to get chilly, just as many late August nights are.

Fritz stopped her a while down the path walking closer to her, a confident grin upon his face. "Annelise, you are quite beautiful, you know. You make a lovely German wife. Imagine living in a nice house in Germany, tending to beautiful children, having all the lovely jewelry your heart desires, as my family is quite wealthy."

"Wealth does not matter to me," Annelise said lightly, taking a step away from him.

"Imagine the honor of marrying a brave German soldier, of making love to that German soldier…" He took a step closer. Annelise, in turn, took a step backwards, her eyes widening as she felt her back scrape up against a wide tree. One of his hands fell on her shoulder, holding her firmly in place.

Annelise breathed heavily, beginning to shake. She could smell the wine on his breath. "Fritz, please. I'm already engaged. I don't want-"

He silenced her with his foul mouth on her lips. She tried to push him away, but his grip was strong. She could feel the tree bark digging into her back through her thin dress. One hand held her shoulder firmly against the tree, the other trailed from her cheek, down her neck to her chest. She struggled to get away. His hand squeezed and massaged roughly in an experienced fashion.

Tears dripped down her face. She'd never even let David touch her there. "Stop!" She tried to say, tried to scream, but he just took the opportunity to shove his tongue into her mouth.

His hand left her chest and began to pull her dress up around her waist, exposing her garters and underwear. Annelise's face blushed red in humiliation. She continued to struggle against him, until she heard a voice.

"Is there something wrong here?" A rich, gentlemanly voice asked.

"No, sir. Nothing at all," Fritz answered, shooting the man a calm smile. "My girlfriend and I were just trying to have a private moment. Obviously, we hadn't picked privately enough."

Annelise struggled away from him and pulled the skirt of her dress down. She recognized the man as Kristof Gunnarsen, a writer for her father's newspaper.

"Mr. Gunnarsen, would you care escorting me home? It really is late, and my parents and David will be worried," Annelise said, her face pleading.

Kristof nodded, leading her away by the elbow. "Thank you," Annelise whispered.

"I'll see you tomorrow, beautiful one!" Fritz called; unaware of what was really going on. Annelise surmised that he must have had more to drink than she'd originally thought.

"You don't think I'm a whore, do you Mr. Gunnarsen?" Annelise asked, biting her lip once they'd reached the street.

Kristof shook his head. "No, no. He was drunk, he took advantage. He didn't…?"

Annelise shook her head. "No, but he would have if you hadn't been there." She stopped him as they reached the front of her building. "Please don't tell David about this," She pleaded. "I'm humiliated as it is. This would just make me feel worse."

"I don't agree with your actions, but I promise I won't tell," Kristof nodded. Annelise kissed his old cheek and smiled.

"Thank you," She murmured.

Thanks to the *wow!* six kind people that reviewed!

Kaydence: I try to add details, but I can't find much information about life in Copenhagen in the '40s! Argh! It frustrates me. But thanks for your high praise!

Poetic Squirrel: Eh, she was scared, I guess. If I was being questioned by a guy with a gun who would see me day after day, I might try to be honest to him. ::shrug:: I dunno. I ddn't really think about the other options. But thanks for your review!

Anonymous: Thank you so much! Yeah, I needed to add lovey-dovey stuff, being a hopeless romantic myself. I needed to reach my romance quota for the chapter lol! Thanks so much for reviewing!

zagato: Thank you! I love it when people add me to their favorites list. Alas, my name is not actually Elodie, but it's my favorite name! It's so pretty. Tell your friend that I love her name!

charlotje: Lol! I promise I won't stop writing. It keeps me sane. I'm glad that you like my nonuse of long descriptions. I prefer to keep my stories revolving around the dialogue and inward thoughts because then it makes the reader think more so that they can truly picture the setting. Keep reading, dahlink.

Otahyo'ni: God, I love that passage. I read it and just cracked up. It sounds so much like something my friends and I would say. I'm very flattered by your praise, especially it being from you. You're a very talented writer in your own right. Thanks so much!