My heart fell on hearing my husband's plan to join the Iberan army. While a part of me wanted to make the Handrin's pay for what they had taken from my family, a larger part worried that there was more they could take. We had got away with our lives, could we do the same if my husband went off to war?
"And what I am supposed to do while you ride off to war Lukas? Sit around my mother's small house pining for you and waiting for someone like Jon Hanway to deliver news of your death? Worry myself until I become sick?" I asked, surprised at the sudden anger in my tone.
My tone of voice clearly shocked Lukas as well. He turned to me, his eyes wide. "Helena..." he began, but I wasn't ready to hear the reasons why he thought he must go.
"No Lukas. Yes, the Handrin's hurt me, and yes they took away your home, the home of your family. And they may hurt others. But haven't they done enough to us? Haven't we allowed them to take enough? Do we nearly need to add your life to the mix as well?"
Tears were in my eyes as I said, so convinced was I that if my husband rode to war that would be the last I would ever see him. I heard tales of war before, many men died in war and many wives were left alone, to raise children on their own. After everything that had happened recently, I did not want that to happen to us.
Lukas reached out a hand to me, as if to calm me. I knew that my sudden burst of emotion had shocked him, but after all we had been through wasn't it to be expected that I would want us to stick together? We were a family again, finally. Could not that last a little longer?
"Helena, if you'll just let me," he began again, his voice soothing. And yet I wasn't willing to hear it, wasn't willing to hear the reasons why my husband should leave me even if some of those reasons went beyond mere revenge. Instead I stood, shrugging his arm off me.
"We're alive Lukas. The children and I, we survived. Handrin may have caused it harm, but it didn't take away what is important, it didn't steal our lives. I don't know if I can play the good wife, waiting to hear some news, any news of you while you fight in a war to avenge us," I told him, before heading to the door. I knew I was probably being unreasonable, but then after all I had been through didn't I have that right?
Lukas joined me in bed some time later, much subdued. We didn't mention the fight, until the next morning, when we were eating breakfast, the children still asleep.
"Do you really not want me to go that much?" Lukas asked, looking up from his bread quietly, reaching out a hand to mine. I glanced down at my fingers, tears in my eyes.
"I nearly lost everything Lukas, the children, my life, my future with you. I don't want to risk losing anything else. Can't we just grow old together, and watch the children age, together?" I asked, fighting against the tears.
I could feel my husbands eyes on me, though I was unwilling as yet to look at him, unwilling to let him see the tears glistening in my eyes. We passed this way for a time, a strange silence in the room.
"I suppose that is a good plan as any," Lukas finally said, squeezing my hand. "But one one condition..."
Surprised I glanced up, wondering just what that condition would be. Lukas smiled reassuringly. "I'm not going to go away, don't worry about that. But I do have one request. We don't rebuild the farm, instead we leave it and move south."
"But..." I began, knowing how much the farm meant to my husband.
"Yes, the farm has been in my family for generations, and yes Helena it means a great deal to me. But you and the children, you mean more. I want us to be together somewhere where I know we'll be safe, where the children will be safe. Even if that means starting over."
Tearfully I stood up, throwing my arms around my husband. We held each other in that embrace for a few minutes until finally I spoke. "It's not going to be easy," I said softly.
Lukas let go of me, stepping back so that he was just holding my hands. "We'll make it work somehow though, we always had. And we have friends we can ask for help. Somehow everything will be alright again. "