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Sheltering Michelle
By Ros Sawyer


1. Protection Detail.

Louise Blanche was not exactly impressed when she was presented with the shivering woman she was to protect, not only was she ill-equipped to cope with a sobbing and shaking woman but the woman in question was a DeGaulle Resistance girl, not one of theirs at all.

She had accepted with a sigh of frustration, leading Michelle into a darkly lit room before locking the door. She had waited, in silence, for the sounds of the fight to begin, finding herself surprised by how violently the woman shook. For a DeGaulle girl to be this shaken she had to have suffered unbelievable violence. Louise had looked again at the woman, Michelle, and found she hated the look of sheer terror in her eyes. She had stepped closer, drawing Michelle into her arms, her touch tender on Michelle's back, stroking slow circles until she finally stopped shaking, the kiss they shared one of the most tender kisses that Louise had ever had.

2. The Client Withdrawn.

Michelle DuBois had always seemed shockingly innocent for such a strong woman and when she was forced to seek shelter in the upstairs room of Yvette she had been surprised by how warmly the woman treated her. She had smiled shyly, accepting the offer of a warm bed, curling into it confidently enough, although she had shivered somewhat violently at the feel of Yvette pressed against her back.

Yvette had been gentle, simply holding her and comforting her as best she could. She had accepted the small, sweet kisses that Yvette offered, relaxing into Yvette only slowly, her need for comfort overruling her normal determination to stay 'pure' for the person she was to marry.

3. Beautiful Strangers And Mystery Sobbing In The Night.

Helga Geerhart had been part of the Natzi recruitment campaign for as much of her life as she could remember, however, that didn't mean she enjoyed being used to lead reluctant people to fighting for the wrong side of the war. She was sure she needed to get away, she just wasn't sure how, besides, how long could it take to lose? And was it really so bad now she was here in Occupied France? The first answer was one she didn't know… and the second was one she hoped would not need to be answered ever again.

That had all changed the day that they caught a resistance girl. A DeGaulle. A feisty one at that. At least, she had been at first. Slowly but surely the men of the operation had chipped away at her, turning her from a feisty and beautiful stranger into a hollow shell.

Helga had seen little of what they did to her, but she had become increasingly aware of the sounds of sobbing echoing from the dungeons in the night. She might have been supposed to not feel anything for someone on the other side… but she couldn't stand listening to the woman's sobs.

One night, a full week after the woman's capture, Helga had snuck into the dungeons, taking with her the key and a spare set of her own clothing. She had let herself into the woman's cell, quickly stripping the woman, barely containing her low growl of anger before she re-dressed the woman, leading her from the cells and away, into the night.

She had seen to it that Michelle was secreted away in her own private quarters, protected from whatever else may happen. She had been slow to gain the girl's trust and yet, slowly but surely, Helga did gain her confidence. She had finally learnt the girl's name, Michelle, a name that suited her, and she had been unable to hide her soft smile when Michelle crept into her bed one night, shaking terribly and clearly terrified by the loud fireworks outside. Helga had drawn her close, stroking her hair gently and reassuringly. She had allowed herself to kiss Michelle, softly, her touch tender as she moved to kiss, caress and sooth each tiny scar and cut, her lips soft over Michelle's again as she finally drew the girl closer, sheltering her safely in her arms.

4. The Girl I Love.

Michelle DuBois had always been quick to deny she preferred female company. She would never admit publicly that she always had preferred it but now she felt like, maybe, just maybe, she could be herself without anyone really minding. She had nearly died at the hands of the Gestapo and when she had been freed she had been welcomed back warmly.

Francesca Dupre, a warm hearted girl at the worst of times, had been incredibly tender with her, cleaning her wounds, cradling her when she woke screaming in the night, gently sheltering her from her nightmares with tender hugs and kisses, her arms always tight around her. She had been the one person who didn't seem to mind that Michelle was no longer the sort of woman to do things alone, she had been happy enough to go with her when she needed someone.

Michelle had slowly but surely become aware of the fact that she and Francesca made a pretty perfect pair, the other woman had a way about her that seemed to say 'I'll never let you down'.

5. The Café.

Renee Artois had taken over from her brother Rene when he wanted to leave the Café business, she had also taken over his dealings with Michelle. She was smart, kind and decidedly less of a coward, what was even more impressive, at least for Michelle, was that she respected Michelle's ideas, even the slightly more wacky or risky ones. She had been the one to rescue Michelle from the Gestapo, seemingly fearlessly.

She had been the one to nurse Michelle back to health slowly but surely, seeing to it that Michelle was never disturbed and only letting a few people see her at her worst, those she asked for.

They had kissed only once, Renee's parting gift to her one sweet and honest kiss and the words 'Be safe'.

The End

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