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    It wasn't his warnings that made her stop her advancement, it was when he said it was his fault that she'd gotten burned. The important thing was, she'd stopped. She wasn't happy with him for taking the blame and called him out for having a massive ego and Elam couldn't help but grin.

    "Didn't say anything about the run rising..." If he hadn't been busy trying to get her to cover up he would've stood there with his arms crossed too, but he couldn't. He shot her a suggestive look however when she said she was a big girl. "And the curtains are only part of it, but I should've slept on that side of the bed."

    Thankfully she finally saw reason and took the sheet as he hissed at a near zipper accident. When she said they'd been needing it later, his boyish grin made a stellar reappearance. "Later." He promised; there was something about her. He couldn't decide if it was her that he couldn't get enough of or just because he was making up for lost time.

    She was disappearing into the bathrooom when he pulled the door open while shrugging into a button down shirt. There was a young Jancuzi standing outside the door, Elam searched his memory from when Silverhawk had introduced him to the staff.

    "Setirian right? " Elam asked and nodded when he got his answer. "Wow, um you're very quick aren't you? You brought the aloe?" When he saw the size of the bottle, not very big, he asked for a couple of handfuls. "Great; thanks! I uh- she's got a burn." He held up a finger and hurried over to the door. As the host he was trying to be polite and efficient with Setirian and yet he was very aware that Naomi was half naked and waiting for the aloe. "I'll be right back or that's all I needed at the moment. Uhm.. thanks again." Elam was flustered; he wasn't very good with this sort of thing and he knew it. Was he supposed to dismiss the Jancuzi? Did he sort of just go away on his own? Dammit Silverhawk...

    He took the small bottles and knocked on the bathroom door. When she opened it he held out the bottles for her to take and administer.


    “Yes, my lord. Thank you. Yes.”

    Dmitri was truly surprised by John’s strong reaction. Like Dmitri, John rarely spoke a huge amount to most people. He left that to his wife. But the lecture he gave the Russian could put Miriam to shame. Dmitri didn’t argue. He didn’t respond at all, other than with a look of gratitude for the man’s point of view.

    "It is great. It was a beautiful wedding, she said they invited you. They toasted you at the reception." She agreed smiling despite the grim work she was doing for Dmitri. "The babies are just starting to crawl around, soon they'll be hanging onto things and standing up. Ah Dmitri they are so sweet and just the cutest things I've ever seen. I've got tons of pictures to show you, when you have time."

    She nodded and pursed her lips when Dmitri said the babe had been through too much. Katie had run too, her insecurities, fear of intimacy and trust all played a part in her episode of cold feet. Of course her boyfriend hadn't already known what she'd been through, telling him had been a big step. If this girl had already told Dmitri or if he'd been her rescuer then it could both help and hinder any romantic notions either of them had.

    While Miriam was getting fresh water, John offered to help with Dmitri's wrist and was surprised when he took him up on it. Sure there was hesitation, but he'd done it. John treated Dmitri as he would any of the other wounded who'd shown up there. Despite his size he gently took Dmitri's wrist and laid it onto the cloth covered ice pack where the worse of the bruising and swelling was. when he had it where he needed it, he let go and got an elastic wrap and secured the icepack where it was needed most. He moved quickly and efficiently by the time Miriam was back he was already finishing up wrapping Dmitri's wrist.

    She came in and got back to work and talked and when she was finished she asked him how he wanted to handle "the rest" and he gave her an answer she took to mean he'd deal with them himself. She also gave him an unopened bottle of pain relievers, something they kept on hand for everyone who came through their home. Most of the victims had some kind of trust issue and they tried to anticipate their needs. Dmitri knew as well as anyone how people were acquired and they never wanted anyone to be able to question their motives. The house was filled with sample sized bottles of unopened items.

    Dmitri took the pills and got up, but was none too steady. When he stumbled into the wall and admitted he needed help John was already on his feet, but Miriam waved him off.

    "All right big guy I gotcha." Miriam murmured as she slipped under his arm and helped stabilize him. She'd gotten on the side with the bad leg so she could serve as a sort of crutch on the way down.

    "Give your babe time Dmitri. It wasn't easy for Katie; she took off too but he didn't give up. She came around." It took them time to get downstairs to where Dmitri seemed to prefer to lick his wounds but they managed. "You know what she told me? She'd had other boyfriends, but it was the one that meant the most, the one she was afraid of losing that she ran from." It was her first time that he'd allowed her down there. Miriam looked around in interest and was disappointed in how he chose to live. He had his own shower and clothes down there and even a small area to prep his own food. It was more or less an efficiency apartment but more sparse. She got him settled onto the couch.

    "You know we've got to get you cleaned up." She prodded gently. "I'll help with the back, but you deal with- anything else. John's right; about what means more, the bruises and the rewards. But not if you're not around to collect them." She nodded to the new silver scars on his chest. "Looks like we're lucky you came back to us at all." Her blue eyes turned grey with concern and her expression was one of a worried mother. "Don't you have people to help you? Where were they Dmitri? Why take these chances with so much on the line? I know you don't trust easily, it's been sixteen years and I'm just getting to see where you stay when you're here, but surely there's someone."
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