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Warnings: Mature themes throughout the story, dealing with rape, torture and the psychological traumas of imprisonment in a concentration camp. Sexually explicit scene in Chapter 23.

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20
Chapter 21
Chapter 22
Chapter 23
Chapter 24
Chapter 25
Chapter 26
Chapter 27
Chapter 28
Chapter 29
Chapter 30
Chapter 31
Chapter 32
Chapter 33
Chapter 34
Chapter 35
Chapter 36
Chapter 37
Chapter 38
Chapter 39
Chapter 40
Author's Notes



Remy staggers into his infirmary room, feebly attempting to slam the door. He collapses onto the bed, the aches of exhaustion throbbing through his body. Tseidel enters. She takes one look at him, then closes and locks the door.

She watches him punch the pillow. Over and over. All the while uttering French epithets even as his efforts take their toll on his stitches and bandages. She sees blood on the pillow, and immediately grabs his wrist before he can throw another punch.

His body curls around the pillow, vainly trying to suppress wracking sobs. She takes her head in her hands. As she draws his head to her breast, she strokes his forehead soothingly. Tseidel stretches out on the bed, pillowing Remy's body on her own. His tears dampen her throat. Sadness wells up within her, as deep as his own. They are his friends. They have no way of knowing, no way of understanding. Peaches should not make a grown man weep so, they will think.

She had tried to warn him the first day the guards offered fresh fruit. And the first day, he had listened, in spite of the gnawing hunger in his belly. Even the second day, she had managed to coax him away. The truth was, Tseidel admitted, by the second week, she would have taken the fruit herself if it had been offered to her first.

It wasn't easy to be content with bits of undercooked bread and burned soup. He had tried so hard. Until the day they had brought peaches. Peaches and fresh cereal. Cold milk. He could remember the condensation on the pitcher. Ice cold. He remembers a half-hearted attempt to share with Tseidel and Nicola. Nicola was too nauseated. And Tseidel? Tseidel simply said she didn't care for peaches. He had never even noticed how carefully she watched him enjoy every bite.

The guards came to him that night, demanding payment for the special consideration he had received. While dragging him kicking and screaming across the compound and into their beds, they promised better treatment, depending on what Remy had to offer them. Sometime in the still-dark hours of early morning, he was shoved roughly back into the prisoners' quarters. Tseidel was awakened by the sound of Remy crawling across the rough wooden floor.

He never spoke of what happened. It wasn't necessary. At the morning roll call, the ribald jokes and playfully affectionate touches the guards displayed made it clear what he had been subjected to. Weeks passed. Again, the hunger grew. The others needed blankets, medicine. Candles to keep the rats away. Nicola would be having their baby soon.

And no one was going to come to his rescue. He had come to accept his situation. And with acceptance, came the harsh reality of the camps. If you wanted something, if you wanted to survive, you had to be willing to make sacrifices. The next day, he gave his orange to Nicola, for the baby. A somewhat less tattered blanket went to Tseidel. Penicillin to the young orphan boy two cots down. Again, Remy's body went to the guards of New Genosha.

Tseidel looks down at Remy's face. In sleep, he relaxes, losing himself to nothingness. She wipes the dampness from his eyes and face, then slips from the bed. She returns with fresh bandages, and dresses his wounds, careful not to wake him. With a sigh, he rolls over. His hand reaches out to emptiness. Remy frowns, stirs restlessly. Tseidel climbs back into bed and eases under his arm. He settles against the warmth of her body.


Continued in Chapter 13.


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