Love Knots

Chapter 12 - Part 1


Ambrose sighed softly and snuggled up against the warm mound of blankets in his bed and wrinkled his brow, gradually rising to consciousness as it slowly rose and fell. Next, the steady thrum of a heartbeat reached his ears and he slowly blinked his eyes open.

He didn’t move, not seeing whose chest he used for a pillow, but swallowed before a slow smile stole over his features when he spied the decidedly male arms wrapped around him. He was still for another moment before gradually lifting his head and looked up into the man’s face, finding him still sound asleep, blond hair cut short.

Shifting, he sat up slightly, resting his weight on one hand and reaching up with the other, trembling faintly and swallowed dryly. Some how, he was certain this man’s eyes were blue. He held back, and closed his eyes, inhaling sharply and clenched his hand just shy of touching the man.

The memory came in a dreamlike haze and he saw himself in the grand ball room, everything was shiny and glittering with gold, silver and honey. He stood beside the Queen dressed in cream and gold tails, the Queen in a lacy periwinkle blue gown, her consort on the other side in light and navy blues.

He swallowed as he did in the vision; the parade of newly graduated Tin Men moving slowly passed the dais upon which he stood with the Queen and her consort. One stopped before the dais and bowed. He was tall with a thin, rat like face, blue eyes and greasy blond hair.

“Zero….” Ambrose whispered, his breath hitching in his chest. Eyes still tightly closed, Ambrose swallowed thickly over the lump forming in his throat and groaned, collapsing as his body trembled and he winced, whimpering, his head feeling as though it were being split open once more and gasped, panting for breath.

Wyatt blinked, wondering what had woken him before looking down to find Ambrose whimpering and shuddering against him and fear gripped him. “Ambrose?” he asked in alarm, sitting up and wrapping the shaking man in his arms. “Ambrose, are you alright? What’s wrong?”

Ambrose trembled against Wyatt, tears of pain trickling down his cheeks. “M-memory…” he panted softly. “H-hurts…”

“Damn it,” Wyatt swore softly as he began rocking Ambrose gently in his arms and kissed his temple before moving out from under him and throwing back the covers, scrambled from bed, grasping Ambrose’s ankles and tugging him a little further down the bed before moving up behind him onto the bed again and carefully laying Ambrose’s head in his lap before systematically beginning to work over his neck and head once more. “It’ll be okay, Sweetheart,” he promised as he began to massage Ambrose’s temples gently. “Just try to relax.”

Ambrose swallowed and whimpered as tears of pain continued to trickle down his cheeks.

 *          *          *

Twenty minutes later, but after what seemed like hours to both Wyatt and Ambrose, Ambrose’s headache eased and his tears subsided. Moving gingerly, Ambrose turned on his side; his head still nestled in Wyatt’s lap and his hand coming to rest on Wyatt’s thigh just above his knee. “Thank you,” he murmured his voice just above a whisper.

“You’re welcome,” Wyatt returned softly, carding his fingers gently through Ambrose’s soft locks.

Ambrose swallowed thickly and closed his eyes.

“Are you alright now?” Wyatt asked.

Ambrose bit his lip and winced slightly as he nodded.

“You weren’t trying to remember anything this time, were you?” Wyatt prodded gently, continuing to brush his fingers gently through Ambrose’s hair.

“No,” Ambrose replied quietly, his voice wavering slightly. “I-it came on after I woke up. It didn’t hurt at first… till I actually recognized someone in it.”

“Want to talk about it?” Wyatt asked.

Ambrose turned slightly and looked up at him warily, his eyes tired and slightly dull in color. “I – I heard Jeb mention him before…” he said softly. “And that you didn’t really get along…”

Wyatt paused, stilling for a moment before continuing to card his fingers gently through Ambrose’s hair. “Was it him?” he asked. “The one you made those wishes for?”

“No,” Ambrose said meeting Wyatt’s gaze before turning away once more. “But he was there, I’m sure of it.” He paused and swallowed. “I just… didn’t see him.”

“Okay,” Wyatt drawled gently. “Well, if this person wasn’t the one you made those wishes for, then what’s the problem?”

“It was Zero,” Ambrose said after a moment and swallowed. He felt Wyatt stiffen beneath him briefly. “Zero was there when I met him… I-in the memory, I saw Zero bowing to the Queen at the ceremony held for the graduating Tin Men.”

“But it wasn’t Zero,” Wyatt asked.

“No,” Ambrose replied softly. “No, it wasn’t Zero…”

Wyatt exhaled heavily in relief and continued to card his fingers through Ambrose’s soft locks.

Ambrose sighed softly and closed his eyes, his cheek resting at the cross of Wyatt’s calves as he continued to brush his hair.

“Are you okay now?” Wyatt asked gently after a few moments.

“Still a little residual pain,” Ambrose replied. “But it’s not as bad as it was.”

“That’s good,” Wyatt murmured. “If you want, I’m sure we could go see DG if you don’t want to go to the medicos.”

Ambrose swallowed and shook his head slightly. “No,” he replied. “I’ll be okay. It’ll go away in a few minutes.”

“Are you sure?” Wyatt asked gently.

Ambrose nodded slightly. “Yeah, the medicos didn’t want to help anything along, remember?”

“Yeah, I remember,” Wyatt answered and sighed. “Although I don’t think that meant they wanted you to be in pain either.”

Ambrose smiled slightly but didn’t reply, enjoying the feel of Wyatt’s hands in his hair as his headache receded.

“Feeling better?” Wyatt asked a short time later.

“Yes, thank you,” Ambrose replied, rolling to his back a looking up at him with a smile.

“Good,” Wyatt said, returning the smile with one of his own. “And as much as I’d enjoy staying here with you today, there’s something I’ve got to do.”

“Oh?” Ambrose asked, his smile fading slightly though he cocked his head curiously. “What’s that?”

“I have to go inspect the new group of Tin Men Jeb’s been training,” Wyatt answered. “I didn’t get to them yesterday.”

“Oh,” Ambrose replied, slightly crestfallen.

“Want to go?” Wyatt asked, looking down at him.

Ambrose blinked and sat up, moving to his hands and knees. “Really?” he asked brightening once more. “You mean it?”

Wyatt grinned and chuckled at him. “Of course I mean it,” he chided gently. “I wouldn’t have asked if I didn’t.”

Ambrose grinned and scrambled from the bed as Wyatt chuckled once more, shaking his head in amusement.

 *          *          *

He put on a good face, but the truth of the matter was, Ambrose was bored. His gift wasn’t so much in actual training as it was in the basic fundamentals, physics and strategy used in conjunction with said training and while the idea of being with Wyatt and watching him work had appealed to him at first, actually doing it was just plain boring.

It took every ounce of will power Ambrose had not to slump on his horse and sigh or yawn with boredom and to smile when Jeb or Wyatt looked his way so not to let on just how utterly bored he was with all of this over the hour and a half he spent with Wyatt down by the Tin Man barracks as Jeb and Wyatt took turns calling out drills.

He exhaled a soft breath of relief when he heard Wyatt offer his approval of the new Tin Men to his son and waited a little more patiently while they conversed quietly a short distance way for a few minutes.

“All set?” Wyatt asked, riding over to him and Ambrose nodded with a more genuine smile as he fell in next to Wyatt on the ride back to the castle. “Good,” Wyatt said, chuckling softly and leaned a little closer to Ambrose before murmuring, “Because I know you were bored but I think you’ll enjoy what I have planned next.”

Ambrose blinked, surprised both at hearing there was more as well as that he was so transparent.

“Relax,” Wyatt said quietly, pulling back. “It was your horse that tipped me off,” he explained. “It was too restless.”

“Oh,” Ambrose said, flushing with embarrassment. “Sorry.”

Wyatt chuckled softly. “Nothing to be sorry about,” he replied before nodding his head toward the castle. “Come on.”

               Chapter 11 ~~~~~~~~ Back to Tin Man ~~~~~~~~ Chapter 12 - Part 2

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