Luke wrestled the small baby in his arms whose tiny fingered reached upward and outward grasping for her papa’s hair. “She’s looking for something to eat again” he chuckled, glancing towards Kiena who gave him a childlike pout by way of a response.
Kiena had not really bonded with the baby, she dealt with her when she had too. She fed and changed her without complaint, but she never really held her for holdings sake. Still it did not matter Luke supposed, Megs got plenty of attention from him. There was plenty of time for her mama to come around, realising what a joy motherhood could be.
Things in the cabin between Luke and the young woman where tense neither had forgotten the kiss and likewise neither had forgotten the ring. Luke often found himself using the baby as a barrier between them as though the little bundle would provide as shield, protecting him from doing something rash that they both might soon live regret.
It was a strange thing to know you were married but to remember nothing of the woman to whome you had pledged your life. Did he love her? Or had it been a marriage of convenience? Did she love him, where they happy … did they have children? So many questions but for each one there were so few answer’s.
He didn’t know what was worse, not knowing anything of his life before this one or not knowing if the way he felt for Kiena was wrong? Was it truly wrong to love a woman, the mother of the child you had taken as your own. Was it wrong to make a new life for yourself when you could remember nothing of your old one?
Part of him felt he needed to leave, go and seek the answer’s but Megs and Kiena needed him and for that reason he stayed. Yet staying was torture for both of them, they were so close and yet boundaries far more restricting than prison wall’s kept them apart.
As Meg’s began to settle in his arm’s he found himself toying with the ring on his finger. It was a solid gold band of some weight, he must has been wealthy he decided to afford a ring such as this. It still didn’t settle with him to wear it on its appropriate finger, but likewise if chaffed an irritated on the other hand. It didn’t belong there … and he knew it, but likewise until he could remember the woman to whome it was a symbol and so it didn’t belong anywhere.
“Are we going to ignore it ever happened?” he asked suddenly, he hadn’t meant to but the words seemed to have a life of their own. Seeing the confusion on the young womans face “The kiss” he clarified. “Are we going to ignore it… we haven’t spoken about it since?”
“What is there to talk about?” she asked, her voice unsure.
“We both liked it, didn’t we?” he asked, “Or am I mistaken?”
“Don’t do this to yourself” she begged, “We know what is, and what cannot be”
“I know” he agreed, “But what if, It could be? We don’t know that I’m married… I wear a ring, but that doesn’t have to mean I’m married. My wife could be dead or perhaps she moved on?”
“It has not even been a full season” Kiena reasoned, “What sort of woman would give up hope on you after such a short time?”
“I don’t know” he agreed, “Perhaps she was glad to be free of me?”
“Or perhaps she is waiting for you?” the young woman countered. He sighed heavily, he didn’t want to think that way. He rather preferred the idea that she was dead, the ring a relic of his past, at least then he would be free to pursue a future with Kiena and Megs.
He felt lost in limbo not quite ready to move on and able to build a new life, but likewise he had nothing to cling onto from his old life apart from the ring “You should try and find out who you are” Kiena reasoned, “A man with your apparent wealth should not be hard to track down”
He nodded in acceptance that she was right, civilised land was not too far away from what the young woman told him. If he was indeed a wealthy man, a merchant or educated man it was likely he’d been missed or would be recognised.
“I don’t want to leave” he reasoned, “I’m happy here, I want to build a life with you and Megs, is that so wrong?”
“It’s not wrong” she agreed, “But don’t you wonder who you where?”
“Of course I wonder but it won’t change how I feel about you. Whatever that life was, I don’t remember it, it would be like learning something from a book”
“Learning who you are, could trigger your memory”
“It won’t change that I love you” he reasoned.
“You have a wife”
“I might have a wife” he countered “For all we know she died when I was shot, or died before”
“For all we know.. she is at home, with your children praying for your return”
“It won’t change anything” he decided, starting to understand that the thing he most feared was the he may have to face the reality he had a commitment to a woman other than Kiena. Standing from his chair by the fire baby megs still in his arms he headed to the door and looked out across the clearing. “I love you…. I don’t want to lose you. I don’t want another woman. I don’t care that she may have been my wife first. I don’t remember her”