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Granting a crawl into a Past so Tall.

"Mon Ceour, would you like timewalk again?" Matthew asked her. "Just for fun one day. Like your father used to with your mother."

"Only if you would," Diana replied from where her head rested in his lap.

They were at leisure in the garden of their house in New Haven, the children at school, the cares and worries of the past and the future a distant concern.

"I think there are places I would love to show you in the height of their glory, rather than the faded splendour they possess today," Matthew answered. "The Great Pyramids, Karnak. Paris before the revolution. India in the times of the Raj and before the empire."

"Czarist Russia," Diana suggested. "England during the 1920s and 30s."

Matthew stilled as she spoke the last, causing her to look at him. "What's wrong?"

"I had something during the 1920s and 30s, my love," he replied slowly. "Something I have not told anyone of, even Hamish."

"Are you able to tell me of it?" Diana gently asked. She knew many of husband's secrets, some of his past, but not all of it. Vampires guarded their history and Matthew's was often too dark for her to hear, or for him to care to tell her, for fear of what she might think of him if she knew.

"Yes, I think so," he answered after awhile. Taking hold of her hands in his, he began. "It was the first time I was forced to drop my christian name, because it was reminded the people who I was with of someone else, someone whom they lost in tragic circumstances. I was in England, racing motorcars. The early days of such competitions. I got an invite from a friend to join a shooting party in Scotland. I met a human woman."

"One of the ones you told me about in Madison?" Diana asked.

"No," he replied. "This one I was no danger to. I did not crave her, though I did love her, not as much as I love you. She was the eldest daughter of an Earl, widowed, mother to son who would inherit her father's estate in Yorkshire. We had a brief time together in Scotland, but I managed to meet her when the family returned to their house. She and I came to like each other, but there was a problem."

"Your profession?" Diana guessed.

"Yes, though not in the way you might think, mon ceour," Matthew replied. "Her first husband, the heir to her father's title and estate, a distant cousin, had died in a car crash while driving back to the house from the hospital, to tell them of the birth of their son. Mary saw me race one day, when one of my friends crashed on track. There was no way I could get to him without risking exposure, for none of them knew my true nature. She feared too much for my safety that she broke off the relationship.

"I was stubborn and refused to let her go. Eventually she overcame her fears and we got married in the village church. We had nearly twenty years together."

"What happened to her?" Diana asked.

"The war came," Matthew said. "I joined up, not out of desire or requirement, but because I knew the longer I stayed, the more difficult it would become to conceal my true nature from her and her family. She got involved in the war effort too, driving ambulances. She was killed in one of them during the London Blitz. Her son survived the war and managed to carry on taking care of the family estate. Its one of the few in England still in private ownership now."

"Can we see it?" Diana queried. "Is it open to the public? Or is there a very good portrait of you? Or a venerable member of staff who might remember you?"

"We can if you wish," he answered. "It is open as a member of Historic Houses. I don't believe there's a portrait or photo of me, although I'm sure there will be one of Mary. As far as the household is concerned, I do not believe there would be any alive that may remember me, it is too long ago now." He brought her hands up to his lips for a series of lingering kisses.

"When we're next in England, we'll go if you wish," he proposed.

"That would be nice," she agreed.