Her name was Elisabet Bassin. She and her Husband were being watched closely after someone had snitched that they were Jewish. Her husbands grandmother was Jewish, but they never practiced the religion. Because of the past of is family they were forced to wear the Star of David. Elisabet won't say much more on what happened that day, I don't expect her too, but she's been here for a week and she keeps quiet. I let her help me around the shop and stay with me in exchange that she teaches me German. She speaks it fluently along with French, of course. She even knows English.
We were running low on flour and the demands for anything sweet form the people of Paris and the Germans were putting strains on our groceries. I had to make runs almost three times a week, sometimes more. The food shortages were starting to take an affect on Paris, the Germans had already seized 20% of our food production for themselves. Soon, I would have to close the Bakery. I sighed sadly watching the people pass outside the window. The temperatures were beginning to drop and I hoped my generator would last.
He hadn't visited in a week. I shouldn't want him to come and see me, but I couldn't help to stop breathing whenever the bell announced someone had entered the Bakery. It would never be him. Elisabet could see something was wrong- that something was bothering me. I have no connection to that man- nor do I want a connection. I frowned as I realized those words weren't true. There was something about him that made my blood boil, my flesh rise in goosebumps. It was probably the fact that he was the enemy, dangerous, wrong and all that I shouldn't want. He could even be playing with my head, doing it on purpose. Maybe he thinks that I know something about a resistance somewhere- no, that doesn't make any sense. Stop over thinking. I needed to get out of my head. Without a word I reached for my grocery bag, my wallet and told Elisabet I was going shopping.
"Would you like for me to come along?" She asked drying her hands with a rag.
"No, but thank you. I'll be needing to clear my head," I told her as I slipped out the door into the August warmth. A few people greeted me, not many because word got out about the SS Captain coming to my Bakery. I bet it was that old woman who called me a whore that spread the nasty rumor. I reached the market - it was practically bare. Not much was left or there to begin with. A few apples, meats and bread were on display. I examined the apples and found two out of the whole lot that weren't bruised or soft. As for the meat, I wasn't even going to touch it.
I noticed a few German men standing by the bread cart. There were four of them all identical. The fourth man was standing where I couldn't see him. One who had spotted me whistled and clicked his tongue. I looked up at him as he said something in German to his friends who all laughed. I turned my attention back to the breads, there weren't many to choose from. Most had already molded and I groaned in discontent.
"Miss. Gallagher," His voice was like velvet to my ears. I turned to look up at him, but stepped back when I saw who was with him. It was the man who had kicked me in the ribs and struck me across the face. I clutched my practically empty grocery bag and tried to stay calm. The Captains face had changed the moment I had turned around, his brow was slightly furrowed as he took in my face. The bruise was healing well, but it was still something you could see no matter what. I could feel the older gentle men's gaze slide over my body with his beady little eyes. My weight shifted uncomfortably as I tried to think of something to say.
"When will that little shop of yours be up and running?" The old one asked and for some reason I couldn't shake the feeling that he meant something else.
"Not until I get fresh bread and more flour, excuse me," I sputtered in English walking past the two men. The Captain smelt of smoke, grass and cologne.
With the two apples I had gotten we cut them into slices and Elisabet smothered hers with peanut butter while I ate them plain. No one had come into the store for three hours now, I stepped outside to flip the sign to close when I noticed a large paper bag on the steps. Glancing around I saw no one that could have put it there. Curious I reached for the bag it was surprisingly heavy. As I entered the bakery I flipped the sign to close and my nose caught the smell of bread. I quickly went upstairs to find a surprised Elisabet.
"What is that? I didn't know you went shopping again," Elisabet questioned as I set the bag on the dining table.
She looked at me confused," If you didn't then who did?"
"Maybe he left a note?" I wondered aloud as I pulled out three bags of flour and two loafs of bread.
"He? Do you know who could have left this?"
I shook my head,"No, I couldn't possibly. Whoever did, I owe them," I said placing the bread and the flour in there proper places. Elisabet offered to make vegetable stew for dinner since we had so much of that. While she was preparing dinner I couldn't help but think about who sent the bag. I had a feeling that I knew who it was.
"Oh, that was amazing, thank you, Elisabet,"
"Thank you, it was my husbands favorite,"
A silence car over us as she stared at the table, lost in her thoughts.
"Elisabet, he was lucky to have you," She smiled at me,"Especially when you can cook like that!"
That made her laugh.
"You know he couldn't cook, burned water," She told me smiling at a memory.
"Sounds like we would have gotten along, I hate cooking, but I can bake all day,"
We sat at the table for three hours gushing over everyday life. Wearing a dress that hadn't dried yet, walking out of the house with no makeup, listening to stupid things people say. Not being able to reach the casserole dish from the top shelf.
"Andrew would always get that. I was too short but he was perfect..." Her voice trailed off and her shoulders sagged as she cried. I let her be and cleared off the table opting to read before I fell asleep. I couldn't get myself to concentrate. My mind kept going back to who could have sent the food. I heard Elisabet settle down upstairs. Her sobs carried her to sleep. I waited for thirty minutes after she fell asleep to act. I grabbed my dark thin coat and wrapped it around my body before grabbing my Ausweis. I tucked it in my coat and with one last glance at my bakery-my safe haven- I ducked out into the silent night. I honestly wasn't thinking when I had decided to roam Paris at night, but now that I was out here I was scolding myself for even thinking it was a good idea. I quickly traveled down the street towards the Hotel.
The German's haven't left the walls since they arrived here. I looked upon Hotel Lutetia in awe and sadness. This would be the first time I've ever stepped foot in this lush palace only to have it be defiled by Germans before hand. Everyone was inside, you could hear the squeals of the woman and the rumble of the trumpets as Jazz was played all night. The voices of the German men scratched at my ears. This wasn't a good idea. I spun on my black heels into someones chest. I would have stumbled and hit the ground if not for his strong hands grabbing my hips.
"Miss. Gallagher," I looked up into his eyes and blinked- he was more handsome up close than I could have imagined,"Are you alright?" His voice was harsh to the English words he was speaking, but my eyes were trained on his.
"No, No, sorry," I said trying to pull from his grasp. He only tightened it and whispered in my ear.
"I do not wish to alarm you, but I need you to play along," His hot breath was against my neck and I suppressed the sigh I wanted to give. He began to speak in German, low and seductively. My heart was pounding in my chest and my body grew hot. His hand tugged at my coat tugging it over my shoulder. He laughed loudly and whistled at a few men who had walked by. His face was buried in my neck, I could feel his eyelashes against my collar bone as he blinked, watching the men walk away. Once they were out of earshot he pulled me around the corner and down an alley. My hand was growing hot in his as he pulled me into the kitchen and up some back stairs. Once we reached the heart of the Hotel- he ducked my head and pulled me close. He responded to the men around him.
I could feel a tug at my coat and I felt the back of my dress come up, but he shooed the hand away,"Now, now,gentlemen it won't be fair for me to see you all having fun with such beautiful women and I not have my fill," He said to his men.
"Share her!" One man quipped and I shuddered.
"Yeah, let's us all get a taste of her sweet sugar," Another jeered.
I felt his hands tighten on my hip, pulling me closer to him.
"Is she alright? Did you drug her? Sly bastard,"
"Men! She is very intoxicated, let me have my fun before she realizes I'm a German man," The Captain said swinging us around and up a flight of stairs. He did not loosen his hold on me until we were in an elevator. I slapped him hard across the face.
"I am not some whore you parade around with Captain! I came here to speak to you and after that rendezvous I would like to leave now," I angrily spat at him. He stayed quiet until I was done.
"If you would have walked in there alone they would have surely raped you. These men may have all the women they want, but present them with a fight and they'll pounce," He told me in English,"I did not mean to scare you, you were safe,"
I peaked at him from my corner and saw his blue eyes,strong features and lush mouth I looked away quickly. Passing off want for anger.
"What is it you wanted to speak about?"
At that moment the elevator began to slow and the doors opened with a loud bing. He checked if anyone was near, before beckoning me from the elevator. I followed him down the hall. My mind was trying to take in the walls of the Hotel, but my eyes didn't once stray from him. I hadn't realized he was in casual clothing till now. His dark blue trousers rested high on his hips and his white shirt was tucked in tight. His blonde hair was slicked back. and I admired his back muscles for a brief moment before he opened a door for me. With a blush I ducked past him only to stop short to stare at the room. It was adorned in red and gold. The walls were practically sparkling. I gasped at the bed. It was a king, no doubt. The bed posts went as high as the ceiling. Red curtains hung beautifully. The comforter was the same gold color as the walls. Beads and glimmer sewed into the fabric. A red blanket was folded neatly at the base of the bed.
My eyes traveled to the window. You could see the Eiffel tower from here. The Tower was lit up like the stars on a clear night. My eyes caught sight of the bar- a few bottles were empty and a glass was half full. Then in the sitting area as luxurious as I'm sure it was- his uniform was hanging on the back of a chair. The sudden realization that I was alone in a room with a Nazi dawned on me. The worst part was that I put myself here. I turned back to him an uneasy smile on my lips.
He was leaning against the bed post, hands in his pockets. His eyes were on me and I didn't see hate, or wrong intent- only-only something I couldn't quite put my finger on. We stared at each other for a lifetime it felt like. I knew it was only a few minutes, but I wanted him to look at me like that forever.
I slipped off my coat and he stiffened. I noticed my shirt was still giving him full access to my bare shoulder. Embarrassed I tugged it back up.
"Please, sit," His voice was loud against the silence. I nodded and sat on the bed because I didn't want to be near the uniform that plagued my country. He walked to the sitting area, turned the chair to me and dumped his uniform on the floor.
"Did you leave the bag on my steps?" I asked him.
His eyebrow rose and he smiled. It was an actual smile,"You came all the way here at night, to ask that?" he wondered.
I shifted,"Was it you or not?" I tired again.
"Yes, it was me," His voice was low and filled with smiles.
"Why? Why did you do it?" I asked. It came out a bit harsher than I wanted.
I watched him stand and walk to the bar. He tossed the old liquor and turned to me, I shook my head and he poured himself some scotch. He turned to me his eyes burning with a strong emotion- I couldn't tell if it was anger, hate or...lust.
"Why am I not able to do something nice? You said you were low on on bread and flour, we have more than enough," He said his voice hinting at anger.
"That's not what I meant. Why did you do it? You could have just walked away and not even acknowledged me," I told him. He nodded in agreement sloshing the scotch around his mouth before swallowing. He set the glass down with a dull clank and leaned back. I could see the outline of his lean build beneath his shirt. His arms strained against his sleeves as he crossed them.
"You come here knowing that this is a place not for a woman. You ask me questions about why I did something, stiffen at the sight of my uniform, but can look me in the eye and not falter?" He said his voice was low with anger.
"I,-" he cut me off.
"You're supposed to be afraid of me! Cower in my presence, fear for your life!" He yelled and I jumped. For the first time since I stepped into this room I was scared.
"But you don't. You came here, to see me," he looked me square in the eye and asked the one question I've been pondering for weeks,"Why?"
"I honestly don't know," I told him. Never breaking the gaze. His jaw clenched and my heart sputtered as he took steps away from the bar- towards me.
"Why did you come back into my Bakery and then never come back?" I asked.
"I honestly don't know," He told me standing in front of me. I was staring up at him watching his eyes trail down my face to my lips before shooting back up to my eyes. The tension in the room had finally hit it's high and it was stifling. I was burning up. My body was hot and I couldn't explain it, but I wanted him to kiss me. My mind was screaming, No! Traitor! My heart and body were whispering, Do it. Do it. Kiss him. Kiss me.
And he did.
His lips brushed mine so lightly I had thought he didn't even kiss me- but only for a second because then I felt his lips. They were warm and tender. The sparks shocked my lips as he kissed me harder. His hands reaching to cup my face. I stood up slowly wrapping my arms around his neck. His hands went to my hips as I stood on my tiptoes. We were kissing furiously now, like we would never be able to do it again. I moaned against him when he pulled me hard against his chest. His lips left mine and trailed down my jaw dipping behind my ear- exciting the tender spot that lay there before kissing my neck. I could feel his teeth as he kissed. His tongue, his breath. I let out a low moan and raked my hands through his hair. Now it was time for him to groan. My mind was reeling but I couldn't stop. I wouldn't let him stop. His lips dipped between my breasts and I shuddered pulling his face back up to me. Our eyes locked before we were devouring each other again. His hands roamed down my back, over my butt.
We broke apart. Watching the door. Unsure of what the loud noise was he walked to the door pulling it open ans inspecting what was outside. I could hear him yell at one of his comrades. Still flustered I fixed my hair and buttoned the top three buttons of my dress. Sly man. I was finishing the top button when he came back in. He shut the door and smiled at me. I returned it and stood up grabbing my coat.
"I'm sorry, that was too fast, I should have asked-," I silenced him with a kiss. Before he could be anything more than that one kiss I pulled away.
He opened the door for me. I watched his lips mouth my name. He reached out and clasped my hand bringing his lips to it all the while keeping eye contact.
I smiled and gave him a peck on the cheek before slipping past drunk men, down the hall and out the door.
"You all right?" Elisabet asked me nudging me with her elbow.
"What? Sorry, I was-,"
And there he was. Our eyes locked for a moment before he walked to the counter. Resting his cover on the glass. I watched him look through the glass at the treats below. Elisabet had left the room the minute he walked in. His eyes weren't on the cakes below anymore, but on my legs. He pulled them up ever so slowly. I was anticipating the shock when his eyes reached mine.
I smiled and he ducked his head only to look back up with a bigger smile on his face.
"How are you?" He asked softly.
I tucked a stray hair behind my ear," Alright,"
"You know, I still don't know your name. Miss. Gallagher doesn't seem personal enough- does it?" He asked me.
"Imogen?" He scrunched his nose testing it on his tongue.
"My Grandmothers name," I told him flatly.
"I did not mean to offend you, I like it. It's different," He told me smiling.
"Callan Ritter," He said deeply.
"Callan, It's nice to meet you," I held out my hand and he clasped his around mine.
"The pleasure is all mine, Imogen," His voice saying my name sent chills down my spine. I quickly pulled my hand from his when I heard footsteps on the stairs. He stood up straight and narrowed his eyes.
"No, I want those," He barked pointing at the chocolate chip cookies.
"I apologize,Captain," I quickly reached for the ones he requested when Elisabet came around the corner. Her eyes darkening at the sight of him. I handed him his bag and he shoved money at me.
"Women," He boasted glaring at Elisabet before stalking out.
"Are you all right?"
"He was mad,"
"Yeah, Nazi's tend to be mad sometimes," I told her,"Hey, think you've got the shop for now? I want to go check the market," I told her as I threw on my jacket and headed for the door.
He found me first. His strong words pulling me behind an abandoned shop down the street. We were sitting on a bench behind it eating the cookies. I licked off melted chocolate from my thumb.
"Why did you join the military?" I asked.
Startled by my question he looked at me,"What?"
"Why'd you join the military?"
He thought about it for a moment," My father,"
"He's the reason?"
"What about you? You obviously aren't from around here,"
"I grew up in America," I told him. He stared at me.
"American?" He said in his native tongue.
I nodded feeling small again. My gaze dropped to the bricks below our feet. His hand on my knee brought my eyes up to his.
"Do not fret, I hear American girls are great lovers," He told me with a smirk.
"Could be a rumor," I cooed pulling him close by his collar.
Our lips met and I melted when the spark sprang from my toes, through my core to my heart. I sighed into the kiss wrapping my arm around his neck pulling him closer. His hand clutched at my back. I somehow ended up straddling him our breathing heavy as my fingers snaked through his hair. My dress was hiked up as his hands ran up and down my thighs. The heat between us was unmistakable. His hands pulled off my coat and tossed it aside.
I silently entered the shop. Closing the door behind me. It was dark outside now and all the lights were off. I flicked one on, knowing it was against the rules. A hand shot out and flicked it off.
"Oh my god, Elisabet! You scared me," I cried trying to catch my breath.
"Can you come upstairs already? I was worried sick about you, It got dark," She told me as I followed her upstairs.
"I know, sorry, I had my Ausweis," I told her. She nodded and turned to her room stopping mid stride.
I looked up at her,"You OK?" I asked. She turned around her face was tugged into a frown.
"Elisabet, what is it?"
"Promise to answer honestly?"
"Yeah, what is it? You're scaring me,"
"No, Imogen, you are scaring me. Are you sleeping with that man?"
"What man? Who are you talking about?"
"I listened in on your conversation earlier, exchanging names? Kissing your hand?I couldn't believe it-I had thought that maybe he was forcing himself upon you. I was scared for you, so I followed you. And I saw the both of you together, sharing stories, kissing. That man killed my Husband and you're sleeping with him!" She screamed at me.
"He didn't kill anyone- he certainly didn't kill your husband!" I shot back at her.
"Oh, what you expect him to tell you all his secrets now? He's a Nazi, Imogen! I heard he came from Auschwitz. Do you know what they're doing to my people? You don't forget the face of the man who killed your husband."
Here is Chapter 2. It's a big one, I was sick today with the stomach virus. It was only a half a day one so I was able to add more to the original chapter 2. Tell me what you think:) Read and review.
Right now Imogen and Callan's relationship is lust and wanting what you can't have because it's wrong. Down the line it will change though :D
Normal print is English if you hadn't figured that out.