Closed Reprieve
His eyes closed for a moment as the reality of what occurred between Pony and the girl he couldn't save hit him. His moved his right hand and reached across to put his hand on hers. "That's really good." His thumb ran across the back of her hand that rested on his left arm. "I am proud of you" He didn't know much about her, but the choice she made to go work at the castle and stand up to her brother showed her character.

"I'll only keep the left overs if you have more for yourself elsewhere." The southern accent came out thick on certain words.
Her smile was wavering, but it was there in response to his touch and she wanted to find a way to comfort him. "I saved some, aye. I give ye my word I've been eating," she said and meant. "Even if I find it hard ta do so." Her eyes moved to his hand, then up to his face. She had missed him even if she denied it, but how could she not when he went to her brother like a white knight to defend her and fight for her? She'd been overwhelmed to say the least.

Her arm moved and she touched his face again, her thoughts moving again to his apparent melancholy, her words soft and dulcet, "Talk ta me, Harold..."
He was mentally trying to separate himself from what he had been through for the sake of everyone else that might need his help, but it was tougher than anyone could imagine. "I am afraid there is not much I can say." To express what he saw to anyone else would be a sin.

He had already finished what she had put out in front of him. his fingers fittled with the spoon for a moment. Dropping the spoon so it made a sound against the bowl, his hands moved to rest on his legs.

He got to his feet and moved to stand behind her. Leaning over he placed the lower side of his chin against the side of her forehead. " You are sweeter than apple pie " His hands rested on her shoulders. " I am not a good man, you deserve a good man." He lowered his head slightly and turned his head to place his lips on the side of her head. He let them linger there a moment. " I should get to cleaning."
She frowned when he still wouldn't talk other than to say he couldn't... When he moved behind her and did what he did, she sighed. Then he stated he didn't deserve her. She stood and turned to him, "I don't want someone else..." Karen was not so clingy. She had her moments, of course, but she was trying to be independent and such, mostly because of the way she had felt smothered by Pony. But damned if he didn't make her want to curl up in his lap and just sit there with him. Her words were soft, "I only want ye. Whenever I see ye, I feel like there are butterflies dancing in my belly..." Her arms went around him and she rested her cheek on his chest.

"I'll help ye clean, ye shouldn't be alone for that. Not today. If ye won't let me comfort ye, then at least let me help ye with that."
He listened to her speak of butterflies, which in any other situation would have scared him off. Maybe it was because of the sort of absence he had been feeling since the loss of that girl. Maybe it was because he himself was scared. Harold was scared of having a ghost attached to him now, scared of the fact he couldn't do anything for that poor woman, scared because he actually cared about this beautiful firecracker looking up at him.

"I would, but I am not sure its safe." He still believed it to be possession, but he couldn't rule out that the swampy water and mud could have been a factor. "But, how about we strike a deal." His fingers running through her hair. "We meet up for dinner. I'll tell a tale from my homeland in exchange for one about yours."
She pulled her head back and looked up at his face, her eyes filled with empathy as opposed to sympathy. She could only nod, even if reluctantly. Karen wasn't sure why it would be dangerous unless touching the cot would make her ill, she would just have to take his word for that. After a long spell, she finally nodded and murmured, "As ye wish." She lifted on her toes and pressed a kiss to his lips; not the long and passionate kind, just a soft comforting one.

After she pulled away, she moved to clear the things from the table and returned them to the basket.
He found comfort in the soft short kiss. If he hadn't met her or caved on his bodily needs she wouldn't be here right now. He wouldn't be sitting in the watering hole, but still in a darker place. He would have been in the office writing and reading trying to figure out what he had missed. "Thank you" He moved away from her so she could get to cleaning the table and that was that. He turned around and headed back to his office.
She left the hospital for a time after he went to clean, stopping along the way to leave the food, wrapped in cloth for him to eat if he got hungry again. She took the basket so she could bring more food later, it would be a bit before she returned because of having to work and finish unpacking her trunk. She'd stopped at the market first to see about getting some remnant fabric for making a quilt, then headed home with a blanket worth of cloth and some beef and a few other ingredients.

When she did return, it was dusk and her basket was filled with pot roast and trimmings (veggies included), scones and clotted cream, and apple pie. She arrived at his office just like before, and studied him as opposed to the room. "Many pardon's, Doctor Calloway, but I do believe ye'll have ta have some medicine ta sooth yer soul." She was in the dress she wore for work this time, which included a snowy white apron and a cap to cover her head.
He took in a deep breath and exhaled as he looked around the office. Putting a talisman back on the wall, straightening another one, Harold then picked up the cross and put it on the bookshelf. He turned around and looked at his desk. He picked up the pieces of lavender, then got rid of some ash. Harold reorganized the box that his old governess had given him and then put it back in the desk. A few hours later, and an ice bath later, he was standing in the door way of his office. The room smelled of lavender, maybe from the small bunch that sat on his desk. He walked in to the office as he fixed his cuffs. This room was probably cleaner than the room he performed surgery in.

He was working on the other cuffling when he heard her voice. Turning around he looked from his wrist to her, his hands stopped fumbling with his cuff. The black pants, vest, his hair slicked back, the tie around his neck, and his facial hair trimmed, made him look like he could own a castle or two. Calloway looked refresh compared to earlier in the day. In fact, it was the most put together look he had since his arrival to this sleepy village. "And she seemed to have brought food." He was referring to Karen as the medicine he need.

"Miss McBride, you spoil me..."
Oh... Her belly felt like it flipped about in response to how he looked in the clothes he wore. Her mouth went dry. She murmured, "Ye wanted ta meet for dinner, and I cannot stand to eat another bite of that stew from the inn ever again. Besides, I need the practice. I brought ye a pie too since ye say I am as sweet as one, I figured ye can have a fair comparison now." She dimpled at him. She wished she'd put the green frock back on but she hadn't had much time to do so, though she looked as fresh as a new penny still.
"Well that was mighty thoughtful of ya. " He took a few steps toward her as he finished messing with the cufflin. "What do ya think?" He was talking about his office. She hadn't actually gotten to see it since he unpacked his things. Of course, she could have easily taken his words to be about his outfit, as he was reaching for hit hat when he had spoke. He had noticed her dimples, but he didn't react to them. Sometimes he could be clueless as the next guy when it came to certain things. "Did you have some place in mind … to eat ?" They could easily eat off his desk, but he would go wherever she wanted.
She did take a look around, but only briefly because it was hard to keep her eyes off of him. It'd been a new reaction from her. Lord knew he was already handsome, but looking fresh an all, she stared for a long moment, then remembered he asked a question about... was it him or his office? she wondered. So she gave an answer for both... "The room is lovely, warmer... And yer certainly lookin' handsome, I must say." There.

When asked about where they should eat, she gave a light shrug and said, "We can... go anywhere." She said, feeling discombobulated thanks to him. Good Lord.
He didn't really show off his more eloquent clothing, in fact the last time he had put on something as nice was at a wedding. "Thank you" He placed a simple kiss on her lips and then moved to look at something on the wall. He swore he had seen a reflection on one his wall ornaments that was not one of theirs. He cleared his throat and turned back around. "You look beautiful as always." He moved to the book shelf, making sure his body blocked her view as he grabbed a necklace off the shelf. It was a locket, something he had put together to help protect Karen from spirits. "We could eat here, but I realize being surrounded by oddities may not be easy for some."
"Well thank ye..." she said in regards to his compliment. The kiss was brief, but she was starting to get used to little forms of affection. Harold might notice that he was helping her to bloom into a rose, so to speak, the way he simply just talked to her and developed some bond with her, and kissing her too. She watched him and he seemed to block something, but she didn't comment on that. She did reply to him, "I come from Ireland, Harold, I am not afraid of superstition. The only event that would make me frightened is possibly hearin' a Ban Sidh screamin', tis a sign someone is to die before mornin' tide." She gave a shudder at that.

"Ireland is full of ghosties and tales. Like Leap Castle... Such terrible things are talked about regardin' that place..." Another shudder.
"Superstition.." He repeated the word as he moved up to her. He let the locket fall from the palm of his hand, the chain held between two of his fingers. His other hand moved for the chain. Using both his hands he undid the chain. Harold placed the necklace around her. "My governess was a voo do priestess... she would give my siblings and I items like this for protection after dealing with a dark spirit" he moved to stand behind her as he couldn't connect the ends together when he was standing in front of her. "She feared her work would come after those she cared deeply for." He moved back around and adjusted the locket. "Just don't open it." His hand slowly left the locket. Whether it actually worked or not, he didn't know, but he thought it was fitting under the circumstances.

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