Friday, July 15, 2005

Time Heals All Wounds 34/44

Chapter 34

A companion story to Ghosts

With everyone dressed and the children growing impatient for breakfast Alenka found herself moving to the bed where Luka had somehow managed to remain asleep.  Touching him gently she whispered his name, giving him a moment to register her presence before continuing. 

"Luka...time to wake up."  She shook his shoulder as she repeated his name a bit louder and was rewarded by a slight stirring under her hand.  "That's it."  She found herself smiling as he tried to avoid the inevitable by pulling the pillow over his head.

"Not yet..."  He mumbled the words in his half consciousness before shifting again.

"I'm afraid so...come on..."  She found herself coaxing him gently even as she pulled the pillow off his head and found her action rewarded by the cracking of a bleary eye.

"Still sleeping."  He offered the protest as if talking in his sleep was a totally plausible action.

"No, you aren' come on, time to shower and get dressed, the children are already finished."  She brushed his bangs off his face before continuing.  "I gave you an extra half an hour, but now it's time."

"Okay, okay..."  He offered the agreement reluctantly before sitting up and offering her a tired smile of his own. "Do you want to go down for breakfast while I get ready?"  He punctuated his words with a smothered yawn before wiping his hand across his face.

"I could do that..."  Anything else was lost as Maja noticed that her father was now up and she ran to him and threw herself into his arms.

"Tata...morning..."  Her greeting came among giggles as she almost knocked him backwards on the bed.

"Why didn't I think of that earlier?"  Alenka offered the question amidst her own laugh as she moved to pull his suit from the closet.

"Good morning, Beba...don't you look pretty."  He gave the small girl a kiss as he righted himself then glanced to the couch and gave Juraj a smile as well.  Good morning to you too."

"Morning, Tata."  The boy looked away from his program at the greeting only to return to it as soon as he had answered.

"It looks like I'm the last one to get ready."  Luka deposited his daughter on the floor before getting up and stretching.

"Mama said to let you sleep."  Majaoffered the explanation helpfully.

"Then I had better get busy hadn't I?  I bet you're ready for breakfast already."  As he spoke he moved to the dresser where Alenka was pulling the rest of his clothing out.  "I could have done that."  His words were followed by a light kiss.

"I know, I don't mind though." His kiss had sent the warmth through her that she had grown used to, and when so many marriages seemed unable to stand the test of time, she wondered how she could have been so lucky a second time.  Returning his kiss, she passed first the small pile, then the suit hanger to him.  "I'll go ahead and take the children down to the diningroom, I'll see you there soon."

"I won't be long..."  Luka offered another smile before leaning in for yet another kiss.

"If you keep that up you will go."  Alenka pushed him playfully as a signal that he should get moving before stepping out of his reach.  Juraj, Maja...ready to go get some breakfast?"

"Pancakes...can I have pancakes?"  Maja was dancing around her mother as soon as the question was asked and Luka found himself shaking his head in amusement as he watched her.

"She has way too much energy first thing in the morning." 

"You're just getting old."  Alenka found it easy to tease him, her concerns about what the day would bring residing somewhere in the back of her thoughts for the moment.

"I am not getting that old."  Luka found his protest drowned out by Maja's laugh before she began chanting as she bounced around the room.

"Tata's getting old...Tata's getting old..."  Maja darted outside her father's reach as she continued the teasing her mother had begun.

"No fair ganging up on me."  Luka found his mood lightening without realizing it and deep inside he knew that had been Alenka's intention all along. 

"I don't think you're that old, Tata."  Juraj offered his support to his father from where he sat.

"Thanks, Juraj..." He cocked an eyebrow as the words registered.  "That old?" Luka deposited his clothing on the bed as he looked between the three, then faked a frown of displeasure which only seemed to send them into yet another burst of laughter.  "All right, I can see where this is going, I'm going to go get ready before you start telling me next that I'm going bald." 

"Somehow I don't see that as a problem."  Alenka moved to him again only to brush his thick bangs back off his face again.  "Gray maybe."  She fingered the telling gray at his temple.  "You don't have to worry though, I'll still love you."  With that she pulled his head to her so she could brush his lips lightly before releasing him.  "Go take your shower...we'll meet you downstairs."

to be continued...

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