Carmen had been out since the crack of dawn, riding to every part of the sprawling estate her parents had brought her to every summer since she was a small child. And every year the same boy would be there, looking after the horses until their next visit. But over the years they’d both grown into adults and through each other discovered the pleasures of life while they still could. She sat under a tree smiling as she heard the approaching hooves, looking around to see Aaron coming over. “Got my note then?” She asked him.
Enjolras was already hustling to get home. With a sick child and an exhausted wife he had been hesitant to even leave the house that morning. Or more specifically, leave their room in the house but they needed food enough for Lottie to keep her strength up. It wasn’t until he turned down the alleyway to cut across to their street that he heard the screams, pausing for a moment before recognising it as Maxine’s voice, bolting the rest of the way there and bursting through the door.
Aaron made his way over to their tree smiling happily when he saw her head pop up from behind it. He had been working the stables for her family since he was a kid with his father. And once his father passed he took over the job completely. It didn't pay well but it got him food at least and a roof over his head, even if it was in the horse stables. He jumped off the horse and made his way to her pulling her close to him "I did." He said softly before pushing some hair from her face and smiling. He had been in love with her since he was 10 years old and was falling deeper in love with her everytime he saw her.
Maxine screamed and sobbed when she felt her daughter go limp in her arms. She heard the front door and came out of their room staring at her arms in shock. Their lives had just changed forever and she didn't know how to tell her husband. They'd been married for nearly 10 years and she was deeply in love. Enjolras had swept her off her feet and they were beyond happy even in these awful times. They had a beautiful daughter and she thought everything would soon turn around to be better. But now, she wasn't sure there was anything left for her.
He stepped over to her frowning when she simply looked back into their room, the other women who lived in the house going to his wife’s side while he stepped into their room and over to his daughter in bed, fathering her into his arms, just holding her tight, his body racking with sobs. They had tried to keep her safe. Tried desperately to keep her fed and healthy but then the fever had spread through their streets like wildfire in the packed conditions and there was nothing they could do to stop her from getting sick.
She smiled and slipped her arms around his neck, going on top toes to kiss him. “There’s been talk you know. Of an uprising in the city… they say that the royal family are no longer favoured. Is this true?” She asked him, moving to sit with him under the tree, taking his hands in hers, studying them like she always did on their first meeting for the summer. “My mother is still trying to ship me off to be with the prince, said she may send me away to live with him, far away from the city and in safety.” She frowned a little.
Maxine was wracked in sobs before she felt her husband's arms around her. She turned to look at him wrapping her arms around him "I...I tried...I tried Enjolras." She whimpered as she started shaking. Her daughter had been her everything in life, the only hope she saw in this miserable world. She looked into her husband's eyes taking a shaky breath "It's their fault...the monarch...their fault."
Aaron moved to sit with her giving a small nod "Yes, there are talks all over. The royals pay no mind or care to us, we are starving in the streets. People are dying at their feet and they tell us to eat Cake." He said growing angrier as he spoke about it. Though he soon calmed a little when he felt her hands squeeze his "Ship you away? No...no they can't...you and I..we're supposed to be with one another." He said softly as he looked at her.
He just nodded and held her tightly to him, kissing her head. “I know my love I know… but Paris is a tinderbox right now and it just takes someone to light a match.” He told her quietly, rocking her gently, glancing down at the bread that was now on the floor, breaking off some and handing it to her. “Eat. Keep your strength up.” He coaxed.
She just nodded as she listened. “I feel horrible. I don’t understand how it should be different because of who you are born to.” She muttered, looking back up at him again. “I know… but we have time love. She won’t be doing it until the end of summer.” She assured him. “Just in case though… while they are not looking for me yet.” She murmured, pulling on him to come closer.
Maxine whimpered some but took the bread "This should have been for her." She whispered while keeping her head on his chest letting his heart beat calm her the best it could. She frowned when she heard yelling start to come from outside their door clutching to Enjolras as he tried to go "No....no please don't go Enjolras." She begged
Aaron gave a small nod taking a deep breath "What about when it ends?" He asked quietly moving to hover above her letting a hand start to slid up her dress "I want you to stay here with me..." he whispered in her ear nuzzling his nose into the side of her neck. He smirked some when he felt her shudder under him "Be my wife Carmen." He whispered again before nipping at her neck.
She smiled and held his face gently in her hands. “Then we shall run away together.” She told him quietly, kissing him softly. She froze at his words, pushing him away to look over his face, smiling and pulled him back down. “I would marry you tomorrow if I could.” She mjrmured. She was sharing her skirts once they were done and waiting tik he’d done the same before pulling him to sit with her again and watch the clouds go by.
He could only nod as he listened to her, rocking her gently still until the noise started and he stood “I’ll just be a minute love.” He promised, wiping at his eyes and stepped to the front door, seeing the soldiers in the street, dragging someone between them down the cobbles. “Shit. It’s one of the rebels.” He muttered, moving back into their room and covering every mirror in there before finally bringing himself to cover their daughter.
Maxine followed him to their room letting out a small whimper as he covered their daughter "She deserves a proper burial....not one of throw in the street to rot." She said quietly to her husband as she sat on their bed. She watched him intently as he continued to see what the soldiers were doing with the rebel "Don't.." she whispered when she saw him go to grab his coat.
Aaron smiled softly when he heard her and got down to business. As they finished he tucked himself away and moved to sit with her panting softly "If they could only see the world you do....they deserve it." He murmured holding her to him "I love you." He whispered but frowned as they heard her mother and father yelling for her "It looks like our time has come to an end for now."
He shook his head and watched her. “With what money? No jobs. No food. And they’re marching one of the few doctors down the street right now!” He snapped a little, sitting down when she stopped him from going outside.
Carmen sighed a little, stealing one more kiss before she mounted her horse and rode back towards the estate, hopping odown before they’d completely stopped and smiled “Present.” She smiled at them a little. “I lost track of time.”
She frowned deeply shaking some "No! They'll kill you Enjolras! I can't loose you as well." She sobbed stepping infront of him to keep him from leaving "Please.." she whispered placing her hands on his shoulders and sitting him down.
Her father looked her over and frowned deeply "Where have you been? We spoke of no more running off." He scolded watching her a bit "A prince is not going to want a wife that is constantly with her head in the clouds. You need to mature young lady."
Carmen rolled her eyes a little "I am already mature, I just can't stand being stuck inside or having a schedule." She told him, "And besides, who says I want a prince." She muttered, looking up to see Aaron riding back down into the courtyard, passing the reins over to him, turning back to her father "What if I don't want to marry anyone?" She questioned him, "Why should the men always get the say?" She spat, walking away and inside the house to see what there was left over from lunch
He sighed heavily, just holding her to him, getting lost in the grief, allowing it to fester into anger over the next several months, into the late summer. IfParis had been a tinderbox before, it was now a powder keg, ready to explode at the first sign of distress and Enjolras was walking home from the pub, making his way back to his wife after a long and quiet meeting. Plans were being put in place and he had helped organise the whole thing. Losing their daughter had after all been the first spark to push him further into the revolution.
As the summer progressed Aaron could tell they were getting closer to sending Carmen off. The revolution was only getting worse and his secret participation in it was not something he needed coming out. He'd loose her if her family found out. Tonight though, he knew of an attack that was being planned nearby. His hope was in the midst of the chaos he could convince her to leave with him and they could finally be together.
Maxine stood sweeping the front area of their house pushing the dirt into the alleyway. Not that it really helped much but is occupied her. After the death of their daughter she had closed in on herself, she felt hollow until talks of the revolution came about. She knew why her husband was joining and spear heading some of it, just like her he needed distraction. She was terrified though, even though she believed in the cause she had a feeling he would end up dead at the end of it all
He stumbled back down their street and into the house, catching himself by the stairs and finally into their room, shutting the door behind him. “They’re arming the people tomorrow. A few soldiers on our side, aiding the cause.” He told her quietly. “I am sending you to the country.” He told her seriously, washing up as much as he could in their small bowl, going back to lay with her once done.
Carmen had managed to slip away after lunch. They had guests over and she knew she would get an earful later but she’d been given the news that morning and she couldn’t hold it in any longer. “Aaron? Aaron?!” She called as she reached the stable block, searching everywhere until she found him inside the small shed cleaning all the tack. “Aaron! It’s happening.” She sobbed, falling into his arms.
Maxine looked over at Enjolras as he stumbled into the room. She curled into him as he laid with her and shook her head "I'm not leaving you. I don't care what's happening. I'll go fight myself, but I am not leaving you to go to some countryside." She said seriously making him look down at her "I will not sit there and wait for someone to come tell me what happened." She murmured before kissing him lovingly "I am staying by your side."
Aaron looked up from his duties when he heard her voice. He rushed over when he saw the panicked look on her face and soon tried his best to console her "Shh shh what is happening?" He asked quietly but tensed when she told him she was being sent off.
She held onto him tightly. “I’m to go with them when they leave this evening.” She sobbed into his chest. “He is horrible. He has spent the whole day telling me how awful I look and he won’t be touching me the moment I’ve given him an heir.. I can’t do this.” She blubbered into his shirt.
He shook his head and made her look back at him again. “No. I’m putting my foot down about this. You’re going to the country. There’s a village forty miles south. We’re sending a group of you there tomorrow. I need you there. To be safe. To look after the people we will continue to send to you.” He told her seriously. “I am not going to risk you and that is final.” He told her seriously.
Aaron frowned deeply as he listened to her giving a small nod "Come with me, tomorrow they will be arming the people, we will attack. It will be perfect. I can bring you clothing and get you out." He said softly while wiping her tears "He must be a mad man, saying that you are hideous." He murmured trying to get her to smile.
Maxine took a deep breath but nodded some "Okay....just...you come back to me." She whispered before pulling him down to kiss him lovingly. She let her hands roam his body some and pressed herself to him "If this should be our last night together for quite sometime...we should make the best of it." She whispered against his lips.
He just nodded and pulled her as close to himself as he could, making the most of every last moment, memorising every share inch of her body, getting little sleep that night even after their activities, opting to stay awake and watch her.
She managed to smile a little at him, “when can we leave?” She asked him quietly, wiping her eyes and kissing him gently. “I don’t know how long we have.” She mumbled, looking up as she heard her name being shouted across the courtyard.
She barely slept well that night. She woke up before the sun came up seeing Enjolras staring at her "When do we leave?" She asked quietly while cupping his face gently staring into his big eyes.
Aaron smiled softly at her "Tomorrow night, we can sneak you off in the chaos of it all." He murmured kissing her gently frowning when he heard her name being called for "I'll bring you a change of clothes, we can sneak you off looking like a peasant."
She shook her head panicking. “No.. no you don’t understand…. He’s leaving tonight. He’s leaving before dark tonight. I don’t have until tomorrow.” She told him quietly, looking back at the door over and over.
He sighed heavily and glanced outside. “In an hour. Pack your things.” He told her quietly and brushed her hair out of her face. “When this is all over… when it is age I will come to you and we will start all over. More opportunities more food. Everything will be okay.” He promised her, kissing her nose.
Aaron frowned more but gave a small nod "Go to your room okay? Steal some clothing from a maid. No jewelry, or anything tying you here." He explained quietly "Come to the stables after dinner, say that your are unwell. We will leave okay? I have a safe space for you." He explained to her
Maxine let a few tears fall but gave a small nod "I love you Enjolras." She whispered before getting up and throwing her things into a sack as well as a few of their daughter's keepsakes. She leaned into him when she felt his arms go around her "Would you want another child?"
He nodded, "Once I ensure the safety of the people and you and I can bring you home, I will give you as many children as we can." He promised her, kissing her softly, looking up at the sound of a horse and cart outside, "It's time to go darling." He murmured, bruhsing her hair behind her ear one last time, opening the door and lifting her up to sit on the back with the others they were managing to get out of the city on the first day "I love you." He told her, not allowing the worry onto his face until the cart disappeared from view, heading back inside to get dressed fully and head down to the pub to get things started.
She frowned and just nodded quickly, "I love you." She told him quickly, stealing one more kiss before heading back towards the house, feeling a mixture of nerves and excitement for later that evening. All she had ever wanted was the freedom to live her life how she pleased rather than everything being decided for her and if that included losing every ounce of wealth she had to be with Aaron, she would do it in a heartbeat
She kissed him back as he kissed her. As the sound of a horse and carriage came she grabbed her sack "I love you." She whispered kissing him one last time as they set off.
Aaron left immediatley when she did riding into the town and going straight to the pub. He needed to speak to his good friend Enjolras about helping him. As he rushed inside he gave a sigh of relief seeing his friend "Enjolras!" He called before running over to him "I need your help my friend."
He looked over at the sound of a voice. “Where have you been? You’ve missed the last few meetings.” He muttered, “I don’t know how much I can help you right now, we’re busy with getting everything g ready for the fireworks.” He told him hushed. “What do you need?” He asked him, agreeing with notes that people were bringing him the whole time as well