We were both worried. It was late '43 and the war was going badly for Mistress' side. The Anglo-Americans had evicted the Desert Fox from Africa and had invaded Italy, and were slowly working their way up towards the northern border.
The German army in Russia was in a retreat that only a fool couldn't see was going to be fatal. The French Resistance movement was becoming far better organized and equipped. They were also becoming much bolder, as it became clear that the Germans weren't going to win the war. Mistress and I were both wondering what we'd do when France was liberated, and Mistress had to return to Germany or be taken prisoner and shipped to England as a prisoner of war.
Either way, I'd be very lucky to ever see my lover again. Suddenly, without any warning, a machine pistol appeared in Mistress' bedroom, indicating that she was worried.
It was rare that I ever saw that M.P., though; it was covered by a folded bed sheet, on a chair at Mistress' side of the big bed. I had never liked guns, which was why I'd volunteered to be a pianist, but I knew that there was a chance we might need that machine pistol in the near future. I'd been trained by S.O.E. to handle weapons, so when Mistress handed me a pistol for self protection, she didn't need to instruct me on how to use it.
I didn't ask where the pistol came from; it probably came out of the stores where Mistress worked, which meant that she must have stolen it for me.
If it hadn't been so serious, it would have been funny; I'd worked for Mistress' enemy, had been captured and interrogated, and Mistress had given me a gun to protect myself from my fellow countrymen, because we didn't know what would happen if they got hold of me, and knew what I was.
I couldn't realistically go home to my parents, at least not in the condition I was in, and I knew that. My neighbors would have been aware of the fact that I got lifted by the enemy, more than two years earlier, and why.
What was I going to tell them when I suddenly turned up after something approaching three years, well fed, well dressed, and in good health? They'd know what I'd been up to! They'd know that I'd been some German's 'piece of meat,' for the previous three years, and I would likely be treated accordingly. I'd have needed time to alter my appearance; i.e. lose at least twenty pounds, look far less healthy, and acquire lower quality, wartime clothes!
My parents would have heard about what happened to me, and what could I tell them? Worse than that though, I'd have been separated from Mistress; and because I loved Mistress, and Mistress loved me, we didn't want to be separated.
I looked back at the frightened young woman of twenty two that I had been, lying on a straw pallet in a cold, dirty cell, with, as Mistress put it so bluntly, 'piss-wet panties,' shivering in a mix of fear and cold; but mainly fear, wondering about what was to come in the very near future.
Then I compared her to what I had become, and I resolved that I would rather die than give up what I had become, and what I had acquired. I had blossomed into a woman and had fallen in love with another woman, and despite the social stigma that a same sex relationship carried in those days, I wanted to continue that relationship despite all of the potential problems. I wanted to stay with the woman I loved, and continue to make love to her. I'd have been marked out as a collaborator, and had I been captured by my own side, my fate would have been uncertain.
Would I have been given a long prison sentence for what was little better than treason, despite my lack of options, or would I have been put up against a wall and shot?
I don't suppose that a plea from me that I'd had no other choice to avoid a death-camp would have done me much good. Perhaps if Mistress felt the same way, she and I would conclude a suicide pact; because we'd have had little worth living for, if we were forcibly separated.
I wouldn't have wanted to see Mistress put in a prison camp, with a long sentence for war-crimes, where I couldn't visit, to assure her of my love. I wouldn't even have been able to write to her without arousing too much suspicion.
Maybe my mother could convince my father to forgive me, due to the alternative to what I faced, and perhaps, with some fake documents from her office, Mistress could pass herself off as being from Alsace, or Lorraine, explaining the unusual accent, because her spoken French was every bit as good as mine. If so, perhaps I could take Mistress to my parents' home with me, and introduce her as a friend from the prison the Germans threw me into, without my father shooting her the moment we walked in the door.
We'd have to create a French background for her, but if there was no option, I'm sure we could have done that. Failing that, maybe she could be introduced as a dissident German from the same prison. Of course I was assuming that my father wouldn't have shot me as a collaborator when I walked in the door, too. To make matters even more complicated, how could I tell an old-fashioned couple like my parents that at twenty two, I had become Mistress' fifth lover, and she became my first?
How could I tell them that I had given her my virginity as payment for her saving my life? My mother might have understood, but my father never would! Christmas came and went, and the signs of an impending invasion were becoming more and more apparent. The strange thing was that more we worried about what the future held for our illicit relationship, the more Mistress made love to me, as if she was giving all she could, in fear of not being able to give any more, soon.
What made a bad situation even worse was that Mistress had been promoted to lieutenant colonel and been given more responsibilities, and therefore ended up spending even more time out of her billet, and I missed her so much that I took to crying myself to sleep on many nights, after I'd used one of Mistress' toys to pleasure myself. I wasn't used to having to pleasure myself; Mistress always did that for me! Mistress' first really long trip away was a surprise to her, and she couldn't give me any warning that I was going to be left alone.
It took two days before I got notification of the situation from Mistress' pet guard. He posted a note through the letterbox, addressed to me, by name, which was how I knew I could trust him. The note said that he'd be back after dark, (at the rear door so as not to draw attention,) and asked me to give him some of Mistress' money when he arrived, along with her ration coupons, to go and get supplies for me.
Mistress was going to be away for between a week and ten days, so I was going to need food providing for me, because the contents of Mistress' kitchen cupboards wouldn't last me that long. A bribe of a month's pay for a private, and the approval for promotion, had been offered for services rendered, and Mistress had issued dire threats of what would happen to him if she returned home to find out that her pretty concubine had missed out on even one meal because he hadn't looked out for me.
I didn't ask about the dire threats, and when she returned home, Mistress didn't volunteer any details of them, so while I wondered about them, I never found out.
The worst thing about Mistress' nights away was that I couldn't have a fire in the hearth because the smoke would give away my presence, so nights tended to be cold in the winter. I spent nine successive nights alone, and I hated every one of them. The bed was comfortable and there was plenty of room in it, but I was accustomed to being able to cuddle up to Mistress while I was in it with her. I liked cuddling up to Mistress when she was naked, grinding my nipples against hers, and tasting her lips, (both sets of them)!
Nine nights of misery, loneliness and tears, and the moment I laid eyes on Mistress was what seemed to make that day into the best of my entire life.
When Mistress got in the door to the house, she was literally all over me like a rash, and it was exactly where I wanted her.
Mistress had her hands inside my blouse and her tongue in my mouth before she'd even opened the belt on her greatcoat, and the feeling was fantastic! Then the shit really hit the fan; D-Day arrived! The British and Americans landed in Normandy, and began the second front. That left Mistress and I in a very awkward position. The life we knew was going to be over very soon, and we didn't know what to do about it. We couldn't stay the way we were, where we were.
We couldn't leave together either. Nor would Mistress be able to stay with me in Paris when it was liberated. I knew that Mistress had grandparents in Paris, so I suggested that with her accent she could stay with them, and try to pass herself off as a Frenchwoman. Her reply kind of killed off that idea. She tapped the twin lightning flash insignia on her jacket collar and said, "After what I've done, I'll be hanging from a lamp post within an hour of this city being liberated, and if I'm lucky, I'll still have my knickers on, and I'll be dead before the rope gets pulled tight, but I wouldn't count on either of them!" At the end of July, I got the shock of my life.
That was the night that everything changed. Mistress came home late, with evidence that she'd been crying. She handed me an envelope and as I opened it and saw the forged identification papers that the Gestapo had taken from me the day I was arrested, I looked at Mistress, in complete shock. I thought that all of my documents had been destroyed.
Mistress had given me my freedom, and I hadn't even asked her for it. "Why Mistress?" I asked. It was all I could think of to say. "I won't be able to protect you for much longer, so I might as well make sure that you can walk away from this city when the time comes." "I don't want to walk away though, Mistress.
I love you, and I want to stay with you!" I protested.
"There's no staying, Princess. I'm going to get shipped back home quite soon, and I can't take you with me. Do you have anywhere to go?" "Probably not, but with these," I indicated my I.D.
papers, "I'm sure I'll be able to think of something." "This should help," said Mistress, handing me another envelope. I was staggered when I looked through the contents; more than a year's pay for Mistress; in French francs. "If you had somewhere to go,would you take me with you?" "You'd go with me, Mistress?" I asked in absolute shock. "What about your career?" "Given a year or two, I'll have no career!
The war will be over, and due to these," she tapped her collar flashes, "I'll be either in a jail cell, or slammed up against a wall for what I've been forced to do in the name of duty!
For the first time in my life, I've truly fallen in love, and I don't want to lose you. You're the closest thing to family that I've got. If I've got to throw away my career, and risk the firing squad for desertion, in order to keep you, I'll take that risk because you're well worth it!" "In that case, Mistress, I have some ideas, but I can't think of anywhere around here." I took hold of Mistress' hands and said, "If you can get away from the job, then I'll take you anywhere you want to go, but how can you?" Mistress reached into one of her pockets and produced a standard issue occupation I.D.
card (obviously fake), in the name of Michelle Maginot from Alsace. "You don't want to know what I had to do to get this, Princess. More importantly you don't want to know who I had to fuck to get this; in my uniform, on my back with my eyes open and my tits out, like a five-mark whore.
I'm not a damn whore, and it was massively humiliating way to be introduced to sex with men. Princess, I apologize for my infidelity, but like you, I had no choice. Occupation currency is going to be worth virtually nothing within a very short space of time, so the forger told me that my fabulous Aryan body was the only thing a dirty little German whore had, that was worth trading for what she wanted.
I also apologize for the fact that I might be pregnant, because the bastard refused to use a condom when he fucked me. He claims to have fucked several female deserters for identities, all without condoms, and I, apparently, was his prize; a Gestapo colonel in her uniform. It was just a pity that I wasn't a virgin, though. He even wished me luck with my forthcoming pregnancy! Six months ago, that bastard would have been licking dog shit off my high heels for a transport permit.
Now it was me with my knickers off, on his office floor. I think I understand you a lot better now, Princess. I understand the way you felt when I approached you in your cell. As I walked into the bastard's studio the second time, I understood the way you felt when I helped you out of the trunk of my staff car. I didn't want to do what I was going to do, and I thought it would be very unlikely that he'd be half as gentle with me, as I was with you.
However, that's over and now that I have a civilian I.D. card, I can go anywhere that you can; just as long as I don't get recognized before we get out of Paris. If that happens, I'm screwed, and probably so are you, for helping a deserter." "We'll probably only be able to hitch out of the city, but it would be nice to go by train, after the liberation." After that Mistress took me to bed to soothe her sensibilities after being used like a prostitute, by a criminal, for several hours, and she took some soothing that night.
I worked very hard to ease the tension in Mistress' body and get her to relax as I pleasured her. I discovered a new taste that night, and one that I didn't like any more than Mistress did. The taste? Semen. I licked it out of Mistress, where the criminal type left it, after doing little better than rape her, no less than three times in her sex, once in her bum, and once in her mouth. She didn't want to have sex with any man, let alone without a condom, and yet she knew there was no choice but to do whatever he demanded.
I knew how that felt, though, for having been in much the same situation when Mistress freed me from my sentence of death, and installed me in her billet. There was of course one vital difference; I enjoyed the attentions of Mistress when she made love to me, but that animal sure as hell didn't make love to Mistress! She was a piece of meat to be used to satisfy his urges, and could expect to be treated no differently.
He even told her that, as she got down on her knees, opening her blouse and her mouth. Mistress lay on our bed, after I got her out of her clothes, and she was almost trembling; which made no sense to me.
What was the worst thing that could happen? With an old cloth, I wiped the semen away from the outside of Mistress' sex, and there was a considerable amount of it.
I kissed her as I rubbed the leftover semen around her sex, and eased a pair of fingers inside it, to pleasure her with just my fingers. Then I sucked them clean of the combined juices. It was my first taste of semen, and I hoped that it would be the final taste. I liked the sweet taste of Mistress' sex juices uncontaminated by the male equivalent, but if it made her feel better, I would suck the entire lot out of her body and swallow it straight down.
After I teased Mistress to her orgasm, I handed her both brush handles and asked for the obvious with them. After that Mistress took me into the shower and asked me, politely, to wash her fabulous body. As I lay in bed that night, I thought about what had happened to Mistress, and about what she had done.
She'd put herself through significant humiliation, just so that she could ask me if I was willing to help her escape her life, and escape from what was likely to happen to her if her enemies caught her; especially if she ended the war in the east!
Could I have refused to help her? As I lay on my side, looking at Mistress in the half light coming in the window, I put my available arm around her body. She turned and kissed me again, and there and then, I promised myself that I would get Mistress safely out of Paris, into a part of France controlled by the French, and I would make sure that she did not get arrested for being a soldier from the other side.
I had a few ideas about how to pull off that minor miracle, but didn't really know if I could pull anything off.
However, being in possession of an identity card, with the ability to walk the city streets again in daytime, without fear of being arrested, I could do so much more. Even if I did get lifted by the police, all I had to do was get word to Mistress that I was in trouble, and I'd be fine. I could easily imagine a French police sergeant getting very nervous when invited by a suspect to contact the local Gestapo headquarters and speak to the area commander to verify my identity.
I could just as easily imagine the sight of him wetting his pants at the sight of Mistress in her full dress uniform, stomping into the police station with an escort, and demanding the immediate release of her stool pigeon.
Seeing as Mistress had her own identity card, getting her away from her employer shouldn't have been that much trouble. If she hadn't lived in Paris for years, it could have been much more difficult, but she even spoke with an accent that could be recognized by representatives of the French authorities as French, and that made things so much easier.
The following morning, as Mistress got dressed for 'work,' I noticed bruises on her fine body from where the filthy opportunist had been rough with her, and I wanted to kill him personally, for the way he hurt her. What I wanted to do was take the pistol that Mistress gave me, push the business end through the open zip of his pants, and pull the trigger.
I wanted to see him lying on the ground, clutching his testicles, and begging for his life. I imagined standing over him, with Mistress machine pistol, and emptying the magazine into him, once I'd become fed up with listening to his pleas to be left alive. I knew I couldn't do any of that, but I thought that there were other ways he could come to a sticky end!
I figured that if information got to the right ears, then something nasty could be arranged for a collaborator once the German army left. Mistress didn't have the contacts within the underground to arrange that 'something nasty', but although I wasn't up-to-date anymore, I figured I could get the word through to the people who would have been interested in the activities of a collaborator and forger. Luck was with us and we actually pulled everything off; including a summary execution of the collaborator bastard that hurt my beautiful little Mistress!
It was in the papers quite quickly, because of why he'd been killed. I saw the irony; the fact that I got a Frenchman killed for hurting a German woman, and the strange thing was that I realized I didn't give a damn. He brought his fate on himself by collaborating with the enemy during the occupation! I'd never really been angry at a person for anything, but I wanted that bastard stone cold dead for what he'd done to my nice, kind Mistress!
I hated guns, but I don't doubt that if I'd had the chance, I'd have shot the bastard myself. Mistress had been so kind to me since the day we met; risking everything she had, including her life, to save me from a death camp, and treating me so well even though she knew she didn't have to.
She didn't deserve what that bastard had done to her! If only he'd taken money from Mistress for the fake identity, rather than coerce her into having sex with him, the bastard would still have been alive, and Mistress had plenty of money to pay.
But no, he wanted to humiliate and hurt a German, rather than just take money from her. It doesn't matter the cause; a man should never intentionally hurt a woman, so he got his just desserts for what he did to her. I can remember thinking that I was disappointed that his death was quick; I'd have liked him to have suffered before he died.
I felt a little guilty for those thoughts later, though. Mistress suspected that I'd had a hand in the death of the man who had hurt her and challenged me about it. I didn't deny a thing, and was surprised when Mistress kissed me, and said that it was one of the nicest things that anyone had ever done for her.
With my returned identity card, I was able to hire an apartment and move Mistress into it with me, although we had to move the timetable forward when Mistress received orders to report to Uncle Heini in Berlin, in seven days. I had a considerable supply of Mistress' money and passed myself off as a relatively wealthy socialite intending to hide my feelings for another woman from my family, and hiding myself away with the woman I loved.
A small, nondescript, apartment in an equally nondescript block, was just perfect for that purpose, so I paid our new landlord in untraceable cash, and he was quite happy with that. When the Free French forces liberated Paris, we stood by the side of the road, threw flowers, kissed passing soldiers, and cheered, as two happy, liberated Frenchwomen would be expected to do, on liberation day.
We knew that the way we looked, the day Mistress took delivery of her fake identity, meant that we couldn't pass ourselves off as wartime Frenchwomen, so we'd virtually starved ourselves for the two weeks before we took over the new apartment, allowing ourselves a mere one meal per day, and two weeks of feeling hungry virtually all day, every day, was absolute torture.
We ate at lunchtime; me at home and Mistress at work, and used our addiction to each other's bodies to take our minds off the overwhelming hunger on a night. We also discovered that filling our stomachs with warm water also helped to reduce our pangs of hunger, so we drank considerable quantities of tea so that we didn't want to eat quite as badly as we otherwise would.
We were putting ourselves through that purgatory for a worthwhile cause though. That cause was our freedom to be together, away from Mistress' army and any of my surviving associates within the resistance; assuming that any were still alive and would recognize me any longer.
However, it achieved what we intended it to achieve; we didn't look suspiciously well-fed and provided for, any longer, having survived for six weeks, purely on what we could get on civilian ration cards; fake as our identities though they were. On the morning of the fifteenth day, Mistress produced a bottle of expensive Cognac to share with me, over breakfast.
Compared to what we were accustomed to living on, breakfast was cheap and miserable, but we had full stomachs at breakfast time for the first day in two weeks, and that counted for a lot. We also had a shot of Cognac each, which became two shots, and then three shots, and sort of expanded into us emptying the bottle between us and us becoming rather drunk, before drunkenly making love for the very first time; while giggling like giddy schoolgirls.
Mistress didn't drink more than a single shot; a double at the most, on any day, and neither did I, and therefore we couldn't handle our drink. After hiding in our new apartment for roughly two months, we presented ourselves to the French army staff administrating Paris, as released forced labor workers, wanting to relocate anywhere away from where we'd been forced to work for our captors for the previous three years.
Mistress deserted just over six weeks before Paris was liberated, and the effect of that was the reprisal action for her murder by the resistance. An officer with Mistress' service record and connections wasn't even suspected of desertion, and it was immediately assumed that she'd been killed by the resistance.
That was the only part of our escape plan that bothered me, because innocents suffered for something that the resistance wasn't guilty of. The effect of German morale was considerable though. The thought that the resistance had lifted a Gestapo colonel, tortured her for what she knew, which was considerable, like as not raped her, too, and then disposed of her body, did not make them happy. The fact that uncle Heini would have been leaning on them very hard to find the guilty party wouldn't have helped any.
It couldn't have any effect other than negative, especially at that stage of the war Our identities were accepted and we were able to get places on a train heading for a safe area well clear of the fighting.
We were allocated two beds in the same barrack block, trading with other women to get beds close together that we could reach out once it was dark and touch each other's hand, and we considered ourselves fortunate in getting even that.
We moved our beds close enough together so that we could talk in hushed whispers. There were a couple of fights because we weren't able to hide the fact that we were lovers, but Mistress protected me from the attentions I received, by beating up at least three other women, and beating one of them quite severely; to the point where she slammed a door onto the bitch's right arm, and broke it.
She wasn't conscious by then anyway, so she didn't feel it, although when I was holding my left cheek, complete with the marks from three of her fingernails, I was wishing that she did feel it!
I had visible injuries that the woman with the broken arm had inflicted on me, and when challenged about it by the military police, Mistress used that as justification for the damage she inflicted on the woman in protecting the love of her life.
No charges were pressed against anyone concerned; Mistress or the woman who attacked yours truly. We were equally lucky in that Mistress wasn't pregnant, although it wouldn't have mattered to me if she had been. It wouldn't have been a problem for me, anyway; in fact it might have been interesting to look after a little baby once we got clear of the processing center. I tried to image Mistress as a mother, but I really couldn't! Did we get much time to make love while we waited to be cleared, and processed through all the paperwork?
Did we hell! We rarely got the chance for any more than a quick fondle and a kiss, and that was only if no one was looking at the time, but we simply made do with what we had. We considered ourselves to be fortunate that we were even still in the same country and could talk to each other every day, even if that was all we could do.
We were in love and were happy just being able to look upon one another's beautiful face. Once things got straightened out, as the Allied forces liberated the entire country, I took my friend 'Michelle' to my parents' home and introduced her, as we had previously dreamt that I could, as a friend from the factory we were forced to work in by the occupying Germans. I hated having to lie to my own parents, but I had little choice in the matter.
We were initially allocated separate bedrooms in my parents' house, until I took my mother aside and, quite scared of how she might react, explained that in the time I had known Michelle, I had fallen in love with her.
I then asked my mother if she would talk to my father on my behalf, and see if Michelle and I would be allowed to put our two single beds together in one bedroom, and share them as if we had a double bed. We had to stitch sheets and blankets together because we didn't have coverings for a double bed, and we certainly couldn't go out a just buy some. The war had ended for us, but rationing was still in place, and the availability of such simple things as blankets was very limited.
It would have been nice to have been able to live off the black market as we had in Paris for several years, but that would have been something we could not have explained away.
When we presented ourselves to the French authorities with our wish to leave, we had very little money in our purses because in our position we wouldn't have had very much money. Mistress' was quite a wealthy woman, and to simply walk away from her savings, her position of power and influence, and become a simple refugee, must have been very difficult for her to do.
Yet she said that money and power weren't worth anything if she had no one to share it with! We left most of her cash in her billet to help give the impression that she hadn't left willingly, and I suspect that a good chunk of it ended up in a greedy bastard of an investigator's pocket! It would have been very nice if we could simply have bought a new double bed and all of the accoutrements to go with it, the way we would have in Paris, yet we couldn't afford even a black market blanket set!
I was very surprised to discover that my worries with my parents were completely unfounded. They accepted Michelle as my lover, and allowed us to share a bed under their roof, without any form of protest, although I obviously couldn't continue to address Michelle as "Mistress" in public.
At least my parents permitted me to share a bed with my lover, the way they wouldn't have if I'd hade a male lover; I'd have had to marry him before that was permitted.
If it had been possible, I would have married Michelle. As Michelle and I couldn't be married, my parents thought that we may as well have been allowed to 'live in sin'. It was strange getting used to addressing my Mistress by any proper name, let alone a false one! For reasons I can't explain, I quite enjoyed addressing Michelle as "Mistress," and I continued to do so in private for many years; in fact I still do on occasion!
The war finished just the way Mistress predicted it would, with the defeat of her nation. The organization that Mistress had belonged to was declared an illegal organization by the victors; many men were hanged and considerable numbers of prison sentences were handed down to men and women who had had little choice but to follow orders, and that really wasn't fair. You can't declare an entire organization to be illegal only after it was disbanded at the point of a gun!
We heard all about it on the radio and read about it in the papers, and thanked our lucky stars that Mistress wasn't in the dock at Nuremberg, which she probably would have been if she'd been unable to safely escape from her career, and a life sentence in Spandau prison would not have been a surprise.
That was nearly ten years ago, and 'Michelle' and I are still together after almost fifteen years. We even adopted a seven year old war orphan in 1946, and she's recently been married.
What is ironic about our little family is that our 'daughter' was orphaned by the Royal Air Force, rather than any branch of the German army! Mistress said it was a good way for her to rehabilitate, and perhaps even make up a little for what she did to other people during the war.
Mistress' conscience will probably be forever stained with the blood spilled for her, in the course of her duty; in the course of vigorous interrogations of captured resistance fighters and S.O.E. operatives.
When I dropped out of that converted bomber, I understood the risk of being captured by the enemy, and I knew what might happen to me if that occurred. Could I have blamed Mistress for what would have happened to me as a consequence of my getting caught, if she hadn't thought that I was pretty and wanted to claim my virginity for herself? I was fortunate in a way that I couldn't have expected, and would never have imagined. How many S.O.E. agents came out of Gestapo headquarters with a lover for life?
I don't think that Mistress will ever forgive herself for what her duty made her do; no matter how long she lives or how she tries to make amends. In her past, Mistress hurt so many people, and sent others to their deaths, so that she needs to atone by doing whatever she can, to help others, and she came up with a fine way to perform penance!
Would I surprise you by telling you that the ex Gestapo colonel is now a junior nurse in a French hospital, specializing in treating wounded veterans from the war? Well, she is! Michelle graduated virtually at the top of her class and could have selected almost any hospital she wanted to work in, yet she chose to work with wounded soldiers.
She descended from Queen of the hill; area commander for the Gestapo, to next to nothing; a mere rank and file nurse at the bottom of the pecking order. The strange thing is that Nurse Mistress is far happier in her new white uniform, than she ever was as Obersturmbannfuhrer Mistress in her old uniform. With her dedication to her job, Michelle won't remain a junior nurse, though.
She'll get promoted, just like she did in her previous line of work, but this time it'll be purely on merit, because she has no influential patron. The doctors love her for her dedication to patient welfare, and the veterans themselves think she's the best nurse since Florence Nightingale.
If they'd seen her in Paris in late '43 in her previous uniform, they wouldn't be saying that! They'd be screaming to put her in front of a firing squad, and arguing amongst themselves as to who got to pull the triggers. As it stands, the veterans are virtually all old-fashioned men, and I doubt that there's even one of them who wouldn't risk his life for the 'pretty little nurse with the funny accent.' As Mistress puts it in her own works, "Fifty percent ex wealthy Paris socialite and fifty percent ex murdering Berlin bitch, and they have no idea!
Let's hope it stays that way, or they'll hang me from one of the ceiling lights!" Nurse Maginot frequently comes home with bouquets of flowers; gifts from patients and their families, as recognition of her dedication to her job, and you've got to see the irony in that. One young Frenchman who served with Bomber Command, being given ongoing treated for bad burns sustained in a crash, even gave her a red rose! How would he react to knowing that the pretty nurse who comes running with painkillers and salve whenever he shouts, was the same woman to send his twin brother to Dachau concentration camp early in '42 after having him tortured for nearly two weeks?
However, if extra hours need to be put in, or an extra shift worked, the doctors know which nurse to call upon, and Michelle will be there for her patients when they need her, simply because that's what she does. Sometimes, after she's done long shifts, and crazy amounts of extra shifts, I accuse her of caring more for her job than for her family, but she knows that it's just the frustration speaking, and that I don't really mean any of it.
It's just that being left alone for upwards of fourteen hours at a stretch reminds me of the long days I sometimes spent in her billet when we first got together, and those are days that I sometimes want to forget all about.
It uprooted the family when Michelle qualified as a nurse, but I thought that if it made her feel better about herself, I'd move anywhere she wanted to go, so when she asked me to accompany her to her new posting, two hundred miles from anyone I knew, I didn't even hesitate; I told her that I'd go anywhere she went.