Katherine acquired two travel gowns, a new nightgown, shoes, stockings, a hat, a dress for more fancy events, and a beautiful pair of earrings. Though it would be more correct to say that Nathaniel acquired the earrings, as he suddenly appeared with them in hand after vanishing from the clothing store. Brushing her hair to the side, he gently put them on her, then stole a kiss from her when Jasmin was just looking through some other clothes.
Catching his hair before he broke them apart, Katherine deepened the kiss and let magic glimmer on her skin. Their tongues entangled and the desire returned mightily to their bodies, almost swamping them. Lips crashed against lips; the moans stifled to catch no attention. Nathaniel's arm coiled around her waist, pulling her even closer.
When they finally parted, both panting and dissatisfied, Katherine tenderly rubbed her nose against his. "Darling, lets make the last test in the evening. I don't want to wait anymore and if we set out soon, we won't get another chance before settling somewhere again."
Nathaniel was quiet for a moment, gazing deeply into her eyes. "You used every ounce of your magic for the last test, and then again in the evening. Are you sure you're not overexerting yourself?"
"I'm fine", Katherine reassured him very determinedly. "My magic power even seems to have increased. Besides, I will only get tired, even if it's emptied out again."
Despite her saying this, Nathaniel didn't seem convinced. Or maybe there was something else bothering him.
"What if it fails? I don't want you to get hurt, even if you can heal yourself afterward." His gaze was very serious while he tenderly caressed the small of her back. "I shouldn't risk your safety for my selfish desire."
"Nathaniel." Gently but firmly, Katherine held his face in both of her hands. "Look into my eyes and hear what I say. I am not doing this for you, but for just the same selfish reasons you'll do this for. If something goes wrong, I only have myself to blame, because it was my decision. You warned me so many times, but I still decided to do this. So, if you blame yourself after this, it will mean that you only see me as a child that isn't capable of thinking for itself. I would be very insulted by this. Understood?"
The gorgeous former red now blue eyes turned blank at this declaration, then an amused smile lifted up the corners of his mouth. Softly, he brushed a strand of hair from her forehead. "Sweety, you can't command me not to worry. If something happened to you, I would feel guilty regardless of what you say. Besides, it is just as unfair for you to take all the blame as you think it is for me. But since you insist, I suggest we split it half-half. How about it?"
Katherine didn't answer. However, that was not because she didn't agree. Her brain just stopped working at the very first word out of her husband's mouth.
"Did you... just call me Sweety?", she whispered.
"Yeah, you did. You really did!" Suddenly, Katherine laughed out loud with happiness and threw her arms around his neck, turning Nathaniel stiff with surprise. "You did! You did! That's the first pet name that wasn't used for the facade! My icy hubby is warming up to me! I'm so happy!"
Gingerly, she attacked Nathaniel's face with kisses, until the poor man had to cover his face to get away from her. "Katherine that's - "
Suddenly, his eyes flickered with wariness, and he caught her shoulders to keep her still. When Katherine looked up in surprise, she saw the shop owner standing beside them, a new dress in hand. How long did she stand there already? Had she heard their names? Did she draw the conclusions? From the tenseness of Nathaniel's muscles, she knew that he had the same questions in mind.
The shop owner was very quiet, her already pale skin now with a ghostly touch and her blue eyes jumped. She trembled. It was obvious that she heard something, and also concluded something.
When Nathaniel slowly straightened to his full height, Jasmin took a step back. But then her eyes flickered to Katherine and something strange emerged on her face. It was an emotion, but if it was longing or pain was hard to tell.
She opened her mouth, yet it didn't seem like she was about to cry for help. Despite the obvious danger that was Nathaniel, her eyes remained on Katherine.
"There are rumors", she whispered. "About a magic that looks like light. A glowing Lady that can cure the wounded and sick. Is... Is this true?"
Instinctively, Nathaniel moved to the side, as if to block the gaze on Katherine, yet the latter held him back by the arm. Searching the other woman's eyes for something, Katherine slowly answered: "It is true. I can cure the wounded and sick."
"You know who we are, don't you?", Nathaniel added, his voice threatening. Yet somehow it didn't suffice to avert Jasmin's attention for longer than a breath. She was soly fixed on Katherine, as if she didn't care about her own life.
"The goddess must have send you", Jasmin murmured softly to herself, and tears started rolling down her cheeks. Then suddenly, she went to her hands and knees and placed her forehead firmly against the wooden floor. "Lady Balder, I beg of you to help me! Help me save my husband! Please!"
After saving another life and being assured that neither the shop owner nor her husband, whose lungs were collapsing after breathing too much smoke in a burning warehouse, would talk about their encounter, Katherine felt very weak. Her legs wobbled and she nearly passed out standing. When Nathaniel picked her up and carried her in his arms, she didn't protest.
"Usually, I'm not so easily exhausted", she murmured apologetically against his chest, and snuggled closer.
Nathaniel remained silent. He had an inkling that Katherine's power didn't quite like the excessive use in the last few days. She looked almost ill, and her near-death experience was only a few days in the past. Yet he knew that she would've insisted on curing the man even if she herself was anything but fine. So, he suppressed the urge to scold her and brought her back instead. She already slept when they reached the carriage and didn't wake up despite the bumps in the road.
"My little dummy", he sighed, knowing she wouldn't hear him. "Didn't I tell you that you're too kind?"
The thought that she might kill herself to help others sometime, tore his heart. What he was afraid of the most was that it could be for him. She was someone who would forget about herself to make her loved ones happy. When he felt her temperature fall, he wrapped her into his coat and swore that he wouldn't let her do this. There would be no test tomorrow or in the near future. His woman had to be perfectly healthy before he allowed her to take such a risk again, even if he had to fight her over it. And because if her stubbornness, he was pretty sure they were about to fight.
"It's not like I don't want this as well", he murmured, already unwilling when he mulled over the question how he should explain her they wouldn't have sex anytime soon. "I hate this. Why can't we just have a normal relationship?"
Sighing, he rested his hand on the back of her neck and pulled her closer. The smell of water and roses slowly washed his annoyance away, but he knew it would return soon. It would not be easy to convince Katherine since she was so determined to have her way with him soon. Maybe it was even completely impossible.