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Non-HP related Fanfics >> 1782 by bcomeRN

Simple Text - To view MORE chapters use the chapter jump box to the right.
Hey guys!! This is my first story, and I hope you guys like it! Its kinda fast in some places, but let me know what to change and I’ll work on it! Be nice please! I worked hard, and rudeness isn’t tolerated! Thanks everybody!!!

“Here individuals of all nations are melted into a new race of men whose labours and posterity will one day cause great changes in the world, Americans are the western pilgrims, who are carrying along with them that great mass of arts, sciences, vigor and industry which began long since in the East; they will finish the great circle. The Americans were once scattered all over Europe; here they are incorporated into one of the finest systems of population which has ever appeared, and which hereafter will become distinct by the power of the different climate they inhabit.’

That’s what everyone was saying about the people in America. But here, in England, they weren’t as kind. They were saying they were lazy, no good scoundrels. Who didn’t do an honest day’s work in their lives. My mother didn’t believe it. She said all the time that we were going to go to America and be something great. Be people who were going to be remembered.

She died before she could see it happen.

My mother died when I was barely old enough to be alone and do work. I was only seven, but I was smart. I knew she was watching, so I did my chores and learned my letters. I could read by the age of eight, and could write by nine. I never wanted to leave London. It held many fond memories of my mother. Who had worked so hard. But I was young, and needed money, so I’d do odd jobs, stealing when I didn’t make enough to buy a loaf of bread.

But, sadly, I was caught and shipped off to America when I was only eleven. I was to work as a prisoner for seven years, and then be freed to stay in America or leave back to London.

Those were the longest seven years of my life. When I finally did what I was forced to do, all because I needed some food to keep myself alive, I decided to stay in America. I was working as a maid in the houses of the rich, wishing that I was one of those rich little girls, who had everything handed to them on a silver platter. But, sadly, I wasn’t, so I worked hard and saved up. Every cent I earned went to me finding a way to survive without the help of the rich bastards I worked for. Those men were atrocious. I found solace in the fact that I looked like my mother- the spitting image of her, so I was told when I was younger.

At 18, I was hardly a child, but I was a woman, and I should have been married and starting a family. Once again, I was going against the grain. I could read and write, I was never silent about my opinions, and I wasn’t married. I was…an independent woman.

I was gorgeous, and I knew I received stares from the men on the street. I’d had proposals before, when I was as young as 12. But I didn’t accept them. I wanted to make my own way, by myself. I didn’t want to be constricted by a husband who would not accept my independence. He would attempt to crush it. My mother was alone from the time I was about three until she died. We weren’t rich, per se, but we didn’t starve. She provided. And I was going to do the same for myself, but I wasn’t exactly greeted with open arms on that.

I wasn’t supposed to act this way, I wasn’t supposed to be so strong. But my mother wanted success for me, and I was going to get it. One way or another.

I was a traveler. I went to many different towns and I stayed short periods of time. I wanted to find something to remind me of my home in London. Staying here in America was not the best decision. I yearned for the cool days and chilly nights of England. I longed for the crisp mornings that woke me up so spectacularly when I was younger. I wanted memories of my mother.

So I bought a ticket. I returned home.
The ship I boarded the day I turned 21 was so much like the one I’d boarded ten years previously. So much had changed since that last trip, and the memories assaulted me.

The below decks are foul-smelling and cold. The constant whoosh of the waves make my stomach turn. The chains rub my ankles and my wrists. I am hungry, but there is no food. There are many others with me, but I cannot see faces. It is dark.

I am alone.

I shook my head, trying to control the fear. It was not the same situation, I was a woman now. I got to my small cabin by the back of the ship, and curled up on the soft bed. I remembered feeling so alone during those few weeks, and the feeling stayed with me for all those years. During work, during the night, when I woke up at the first light of day. I missed my mother, and the comfort she offered.

I am alone.

The thought kept swirling through my head, and I hated it. Where was the strong and independent woman I turned out to be? I got up off the bed and walked out the small door, down the tiny hallway past the other rooms to the back end of the ship. The sun was just starting to set, and its fading light was making the water glitter. It was stunning, and I wished there was a way to capture its beauty.

“Oi! Above, Miss!” a voice said.

I glanced up, just in time to see a rope falling where I was standing. I leapt out of the way as the rope swung out across the water. A man jumped down and assisted me while I struggled to get up.

“Thank you, sir. Much obliged.” I responded.

“Are you in good condition, Miss? You are not hurt, are you?” the man asked.

“No, I am not hurt. Your warning did the job, I moved at just the right time.”

“That is good, for my captain would be displeased if such a beautiful young miss was injured.” he said softly.

I laughed, because men’s compliments no longer made me blush. They were just errant thoughts. But this man…he was attractive. More so than those that usually chattered at me.

“What is your name, if I might be so bold?” I asked him, looking him full in the face.

“Jacob Lynch. And yours, Miss? Or am I mistaken? Mrs.?” he asked me.

“Elizabeth Lawton. And no, sir, I am not a Mrs. I never had time for such things.” I laughed.

Jacob smiled, and then said, “And why not, Miss Elizabeth? You are quite a beauty, any man would be lucky to have you.”

My eyes closed. I knew my reasoning for not marrying, and I knew I wanted to eventually find a man…but I didn’t want it to be so soon. I wanted to live my life. Telling this man all of my plans and secrets wasn’t in my sights, either. But I wanted to share it with him. The whys and hows. So I took a chance.

“I had a plan for what I wanted . I didn’t want a husband to prevent me from doing all that I’d set out to do when I was a little child. I promised my mother I’d make something of myself, be remembered. Silly for a woman, I know. But I need to do something great before I marry. And, I thank you for the compliment, sir.” I answered him.

He nodded. And then he looked me in the eye. As I met those deep brown orbs, he smiled. He had a beautiful smile, with straight teeth. His hair was dark brown, almost black in the night. His skin was the color of a man who spent long days in the sun, and he was taller than any man I’d ever met, and that was saying something. For I’d met many men, and many were taller than I by a half foot. Jacob was taller than they by another half foot. I was instantly struck by him.

He noticed my staring, and cleared his throat. I blushed deeply, and he smirked. I realized swiftly he was doing the same thing as I had been. I glanced up at him, and smiled.

“Would you like me to escort you to your cabins, Miss?” he asked.

I tried to stutter a response, but I gave up and just nodded my head. Jacob offered his arm, and I took it, reveling in the feeling that I was happy to be by his side. I caught the direction of my thoughts, and stopped them. I had no time for these things. I wanted to do something great. Be remembered.

I felt theses dreams falling away as a new image swarmed my head. Jacob and I, married. With children. Me taking care of them, him coming home every evening…I blushed, happy he couldn’t have conceived an idea about the line my thoughts were treading. I was upset, when I realized that if I were to take Jacob as my husband I would lose my dreams…but I’d gain new ones. I was working through all of these new feelings and I didn’t realize we had reached my quarters.

My heart sank. I would not see him again…we were almost to our first stop somewhere in Ireland. And his accent was vaguely Irish. I looked up at Jacob, and he was looking down at me.

“Is there something the matter, Miss? You seem very…distracted.”

“I am quite alright, sir. Just tired. As you must be. I will leave you now. Good night, Jacob.” I spun away, and grabbed the elaborate door handle, praying not to start crying.

He grabbed my arm, and pulled me to him. We were so close, I could hear his heart pounding away, just as mine was.

“Jac-” I started, but his lips cut me off. We were kissing frantically, pushing back into the wall. I pushed him away, and looked down at my feet. His hand grabbed my chin, and lifted it up to make me face him. His eyes looked so tender, so sweet.

“Do not make me leave this ship without you. Come with me when we dock tomorrow. Whatever dreams you have, live them. But do so as my wife. I know you want to live and do all these astounding things for your mother’s memory. And I respect that, but I want to know you are taken care of. I want to be the one making sure of that. Please. Come with me.” he stopped, and then kissed my cheek.

I was at a loss for words. His proposal was so tempting, so….deliciously tempting. I looked away from those deep eyes and thought. When I looked up, his face looked so solemn, and then I smiled.
“This is so sudden…but I find myself not worried about that. I want to go with you. But I must know. Do you own property? And do you have family?”

His face lit up like the stars on a clear night. He nodded, and kissed me. I melted into him, and I almost fell to my knees. If he hadn’t been supporting me, I would have crashed to the floor. We pulled away, and I glanced at my room door.

“Join me tonight. I want to make sure we both know where the other is. We do not want to be separated on the night before we dock…and chance not being able to find the other tomorrow when the time comes.”

He nodded. “Let me go pack my trunk. I will join you in less than one hour. Do try to get some rest. We have a busy day tomorrow.” he said as he kissed my cheek, and then turned to go back down the small hallway. I watched him until he turned the corner, and then I walked into my room and closed the door.

It was then that the shock and surprise of what I just did hit me in full. I sat on the mattress, and tried to keep my tears at bay. I sent a silent apology to my mother. She didn’t want me to give up my life for a man.

There was a faint knock at my door, then the knob turned and Jacob’s tall silhouette filled the doorway. I relaxed back against the pillow as the man dragged his huge trunk through the door, right next to mine. Then he looked over to me and he smiled in the semi-darkness.

“Do you want me to leave the candle lit, Elizabeth?”

When he asked my preference, I smiled. Maybe I wasn’t a lost cause, and I still could make a difference in this male chauvinist world. When I shook my head, he blew out the candle, and laid down with me on the small mattress. He was so warm, his lean body firm with muscle.

I started to doze, and he started to hum a soft melody. I dropped off to sleep just as he said, “I’m happiest I have ever been because of you, Elizabeth.”

I smiled in my sleep.

When I was woken up the next morning by a soft kiss on my lips, my eyes fluttered open. I was staring into beautiful brown depths.

“Good morning, Elizabeth. Did you sleep well? I certainly did.” he smiled.

I nodded my answer, and he smiled. He got up off the bed, and helped me up.

“Get dressed,” he said as he slipped a very nice vest over his white puff sleeve shirt. “and I will meet you by where we met last night.”

He grabbed my nicest dress and all my undergarments, and then left the room. I sat on the small mattress, and took a deep breath. All of this happened so swiftly, and none of it made me the least bit uneasy. I should have been uneasy…but I wasn’t.

Too brave, I thought with a shrug.

When I finished dressing, I walked out of the tiny cabin and down the small hallway, to the back of the ship where Jacob and I had met. The sun had risen, and the water was slightly choppy, the sun glittering off the waves blinding me. Jacob was standing there, conversing with the captain, a sturdy man in his late forties, with a gray beard and hair, and a dark tan. His skin was leathery, and he had wrinkles. All in all, a very kind man. Jacob was talking to him, and he looked serious. I wondered what could put a look like that on Jacob’s face. As I walked closer, the captain turned to look at me, and he smiled.

He turned to look at Jacob, and said under his breath, “She is beautiful, Mr. Lynch. My congratulations are in order.”

“Why thank you, Captain. It is much appreciated. She is amazing. Elizabeth, meet Captain Patrick Smith. Captain, meet my beautiful betrothed, Elizabeth Lawton.” Jacob smiled as he led me forward to the captain.

I smiled, and extended my hand. The Captain held it lightly and pressed his lips to it. When he straightened, he looked at Jacob. The two of them held each other’s stare for a minute, and then the captain turned and walked away, shouting for two young hands to collect our trunks, and escort us to the front of the ship, where we could see the shore. We had arrived in Ireland.

Looking up at Jacob, I could see his happiness. He was smiling radiantly, his face lighting up so spectacularly that it was hard to look at; like looking into a bright light on a beautiful day.

“Welcome to your new home, Elizabeth.” Jacob whispered to me.

I looked up at him, and smiled. I felt nothing but happiness, and joy. My feelings had an undertone though, something I hadn’t expected. Sadness. This wasn’t England, not my real home. Jacob noticed my face, and gently held me, silently saying that he was there for me.

The two hands helped us off the ship after it docked, and led us to a waiting coach. Jacob smiled, and helped me into it. The interior was stunning. Silks, and soft leathers. I luxuriated in the softness. Jacob rapped on the roof, and the horses took off, and we began to move.

“My family is happy to have me home, I can not imagine how happy they will be once they discover I have found a bride. My mother will adore you, as will my sisters.” He said with a large smile.

“I am so happy to meet them, Jacob. But, I can’t help but feel sad about my family’s situation. My mother and father are both deceased, and I do not know what became of my sisters after I left for America…I would like to go to London to find out, if you would allow.” I responded softly. I hated having to ask for permission, but I knew I had to, for I was getting married.

Jacob just looked at me, stunned to silence. I didn’t think I said that out loud…I guess I did.

“Darling, you don’t need to ask my permission. You want to go to London, just mention the desire. We can go. I will be with you, of course. But I want you to feel independent. Not like you are stuck in a marriage without any opinion. I want you to be happy.”

Those words struck so deep in my heart that I almost started to cry. My mother had said that to me so long ago…

Be happy, Elizabeth. It is all I ask of you. Be great…and be happy.

I felt like I had done her wishes…on at least one of the two things she’d asked. I was happy. Jacob made me so happy I couldn’t stand it. But I wanted to be great. I just didn’t know how.

“I apologize if I offended you with that comment. It wasn’t meant to be said aloud…I just feel like marriage is but a sheet of paper. Women no longer have a say in their lives anymore, once they devote it to a man. I never wanted that. It is why I never married. I am now glad I haven’t, for I wouldn’t be able to marry you. And that would be a terrible situation. One I don’t want to think about.” I said, with a small smile.

He smiled back and kissed me. I knew I was forgiven, and I felt like I had made a point to him. I wasn’t backing out of this agreement…and I wasn’t ever going to want to. Suddenly, the coach stopped, and Jacob opened the door. The light of the midday sun streamed into the semi-darkness of the coach, and I blinked in the light.

“The horses are being given a rest, and we may go get some lunch in the small town, if you would like.” Jacob answered my questioning stare.

“Sounds delightful. I would love to.” I responded.

Jacob helped me out of the coach and on to a dirt paved road, lined with greenery as far as the eye could see. The slopes of the hills held grasses and beautiful wild flowers, and the trees were magnificent and large. I stared at the simple beauty of sunlight filtering through leaves as we walked down the road to a small little hamlet, where we purchased bread and goat’s milk cheese. Jacob bought us a small bottle of ale, and we returned to the shade of a tree by which the coach stood. We settled down to our little repast and Jacob told me all about his family. His sisters and their husbands, his mother and father. His grandfather and how much he missed the old sailor. I was enraptured by it, because I never had that family life. Mine was ripped from me.

When Jacob asked about my past, I closed my eyes and prayed he wouldn’t judge me on the choices I’d made in my life as I explained to him how my father died, and how I was so saddened by his loss. Then I described how my mother had wanted to go to America so badly, but she , too, had died before she could go. And then I discussed my sisters, who had been taken away from me when I was ten- both married off to rich gentlemen. And then I told him about my arrest and shipment to America, silently praying that he wouldn’t leave me for this black mark on my history. I told him of my indentured servitude, how much I’d hated those bastards that stared at me as I took care of their snotty children and cleaned their homes, and of my time after being freed. My travels all across the American coastline. How much I yearned for my mother, and how much I wished she had been there to see all that I had. When I finished, Jacob was silently appraising me, staring at my face. I blushed, and looked away, trying so hard not to stutter excuses for why I did what I did…and then I felt a soft kiss on my cheek. I was startled.

“You’ve been through more than I could imagine…I just thought you were lonely. I never thought it went so deep. Elizabeth, did you think I would judge you for your fate? I could never, not after how I’ve seen you respond to me. How you act when you see beautiful things. You cherish the sun, and the outdoors. You hate small spaces. Am I right? You do not like being constricted, for you feel like you have been your whole life. This is why marriage terrifies you so. The tie. No freedom. Yes?” Jacob said, all while looking deep into my eyes.
I was at a loss for words. No one had ever tried to understand my qualms, no matter how trivial. But here, on a beautiful day in the Ireland countryside, a man I’d known all of one day was getting to the deepest part of myself that I held so tightly closed in the darkest recesses of my heart. And I was letting him. Not a fear in me. Telling him all of these things lightened me. I felt so much more…whole. And pure. I could never have felt this way with another person, not even my own sisters. Everything I’d suffered was more bearable now, all because of this special person.

“Where were you when I was released from hell three years ago? I needed a man like you then.” I said with a small laugh.

Jacob just kissed me as the driver of the coach signaled that it was time for us to be off again. Jacob led me into the carriage. We snuggled together, and Jacob rolled up the fabric that covered the small window, letting in the sunlight. I smiled as the warmth hit my face, and he returned it.

“I thought that would make you smile. And I was right. I think we only have about one more hour until we arrive to my home.” he told me in my ear.

I wanted to meet the amazing people that had produced my Jacob. I could only imagine his mother, how sweet she had to be. And his father, how handsome he would be. And Jacob’s sisters had to be amazing as well. His family sounded like the best thing for me right now. I needed to feel like I belonged somewhere. It made me happy to know that it was with this amazing man.

“Jacob, will they like me? Will they accept me as your wife? Or fiancé, I should say.” I asked nervously.

“At this point in my life, Elizabeth, they would accept anyone. I am almost 22, and my mum has been worried sick that I would never find a bride.” He shook his head. “I love to sail, and I spent most of my life on the water. I find it ironic that I find you when I was doing my life’s passion.” Jacob’s laugh filled the coach. “Needless to say, love, they will adore you.”

I laughed softly. He was smiling at me, and looked like he was on the verge of saying something else.

“What is it, Jacob?” I said. “Is something wrong?”

“No. I just…I wanted to say that I adore you as well…but I couldn’t think of a way to put it so you wouldn’t be scared off. I am not usually so bold.” Jacob whispered softly.

“I feel the same way about you, Jacob. Nothing would scare me off at this point. You understand me…and that is something I think I was waiting for my whole life. A person that understands me. And that I trust. And I found that. With you.”

Jacob looked at me, with a light in his eyes like I’d never seen before. He seemed…stunned. Like he couldn’t believe I had said that. He kissed me delicately, and then pulled away, staring into my eyes. The coach stopped for the second time, ruining our peaceful moment, and I glanced out the small opening of the coach, and I saw that the sun was setting over the green hills. Jacob opened the door to the carriage and, again, assisted me out of it. I smiled as he held his arm out for me after I stepped down, which I accepted.

As we walked down a narrow path that the coach that couldn’t go on. Jacob helped me get over the small trees that had fallen in the middle of the lane, and we made it to an opening. There were gas lamps lighting the stone path that led to a large and beautiful brick house. More like a small castle. Jacob had a nervous expression on his face, like he expected me to say something negative about his home.

“It is lovely, Jacob. Absolutely lovely.” I told him softly.

He looked down at me, and I stood on my tip-toes to kiss him on the lips softly. Jacob pulled away with a small smile, completely reassured. Just then, the door to the large house flew open, releasing two girls in big dresses. They lunged for Jacob, squealing for him as he scooped them both up in a huge hug.

“Jacob!!!” a short blonde said.

“Big brother!!!” a thin brunette squealed.

“Hello, Katherine and Bridget.” Jacob said. “How are you both?”

“Amazing!” Katherine, the blonde, said.

“Perfect!!” Bridget, the brunette, responded.

Jacob laughed, and both girls turned their stares to me. I smiled and they returned it, slowly. Jacob looked at the three of us, and then led us into the home. His mother was waiting for us in large foyer. She was stunningly gorgeous in her old age. Jacob’s father wasn’t anywhere to be seen, and Jacob seemed to notice this, too.

“Mum, where is father?” Jacob asked softly.

His mother looked sadly at her son, and then she looked at me, and her face broke into a smile. “Your father is working, Jacob. He has been working for many days and nights on something. He hasn’t told me what though. I am worried for his health. Very worried.” she said to him. “But, son, who is this beauty you have brought to our home?”

“This is Elizabeth Lawton, Mum. I met her only a couple days ago on the ship that returned me here to you. Elizabeth, meet my mum, Mrs. Mortimer Lynch. Or Deirdre. We all call her Mum anyway, so it is up to you what you call her.” Jacob said to his mother and I.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Ma’am.” I said to the beautiful gray- haired lady.

“It is a pleasure to meet my son’s future wife, as well. You are quite a beauty, dear. My husband will be delighted.” Deirdre said to me kindly. “And, Elizabeth, please refer to me as “Mum” or Deirdre. Do an old Irish woman proud.”

I smiled and nodded. Looking around the beautiful house, I felt the days of being on a ship and then riding in a carriage come upon me suddenly. I started to droop, and Jacob caught me. He looked concerned, as did his mother, and they led me to a large chair in the foyer. As I sank into it, I realized I had not even the slightest inkling where I was to sleep, and I didn’t want to be away from Jacob tonight. I couldn’t decide if his mother would have objections to us in the same room- the same bed nonetheless. Jacob seemed to sense my uneasiness, and rubbed my back delicately.

“Mum, Elizabeth will be with me at night. I want her near me now that I have her. I want to know that she is not going anywhere, and that she is not bothered by those two.” Jacob said, gesturing to his siblings.

Deirdre nodded her head, and then quietly whispered “Jacob, son, I am happy for you. Out of all my children, you have worried me the most, but now, you have matured and gifted me with another daughter to love. Go on up to bed, you two. And get some rest. I will tell Mort that you have arrived home, and then let you introduce your bride to him tomorrow morning. Go on, now.”

Jacob looked at his mother, and then said, “Mum, thank you. I love you, and I have missed you something terrible these past months. And, there was never anything to worry your head about, for I am a man, and I can take care of myself.”

At that comment from him, I snorted with suppressed laughter. It was such a male comment, so chauvinistic. But it was true. Jacob handled himself well, and he took care of his mother, that much was obvious to me. It made me yearn for my mother all over again, and the pain was almost unbearable. As the tears welled up in my eyes, Deirdre looked over at me.

“My, child! What is the matter with you?” she said, eyes full of worry.

“I lost my mother, and I just realized how much I miss her, Ma’am. Seeing you interact with Jacob…I am jealous. But thank you for your concern over my well-being. I feel slightly better.” I answered her, trying to stop the tears.

“Jacob, take her to bed. This poor girl is exhausted.” Deirdre said, turning to her son. “And, Elizabeth, love. No “Ma’am.” I am here for you just like my other children, for you are to be one of them now. If you need a mother, well here I am. I will be your mother, though I know I can never replace her in your heart. I will love you like your mother did, however, and still does. So don’t you worry your pretty little head about that tonight, or tomorrow. Be merry. You have found an amazing man to marry, and you are young.” She sighed as she said this. “I wish for my youth so often as of late, I barely have time to fret over my children. The shame!” Deirdre laughed, and gave me a maternal smile.

“Thank you, Ma’- Deirdre. Thank you.” I told her, feeling so tired I could barely keep my eyes open.

She nodded, and then shoo-ed Jacob and I off to bed. Jacob had his arm around me, supporting me so I didn’t fall on my face in front of my new family. He took me down an elaborate hallway, with sumptuous carpeting and wall coverings. I was so tired I barely noticed the sheer amount of doors we were passing on the way to Jacob’s quarters.

“Here we are, darling. Let’s get you to bed.” Jacob said to me.

He led me through the rooms, and then he sat me on a massive bed, with four posters and hangings. The room was just as massive as the bed, and I realized that this man had money- a lot of it. Jacob walked out of the bedchamber, and returned with my trunk.

“Elizabeth, change into something that you feel comfortable sleeping in, and I will wait outside the door. Do so quickly, for I am tired too.” he said all of this gently, so it didn’t sound as if he was commanding me.

I nodded slowly, and he walked out, taking clothes with him. I changed, and then called softly for Jacob to come back in. He was not wearing a shirt, and I noticed his muscles swiftly. This man was even more beautiful than I had thought before. I started blushing as I laid down on the right side of the big bed. Jacob walked over to the my side to pull the hangings closed. Then he walked over to the left side of the mattress and climbed in, laying close enough to me that I could roll over and have him hold me, or I could stay put and just have him close enough to feel his body heat. I wanted to be held by this man, and I needed the heat, for I was chilled. It was chilly in the large room, with no fireplace to add warmth.

I rolled over, and his arm enclosed me, pulling me ever closer, as his other hand slid up and down my arm, adding more warmth. I quickly dozed off, feeling more content than I had in many, many years. I sighed, and he kissed the top of my head.

“Good night, Jacob. I…love you.” I whispered this, hoping he was already asleep, and he didn’t hear me admit my weakness.

He was silent, and I thought he was indeed asleep, until he said what I’d yearned to hear.

“I love you, too, Elizabeth. So much. In so short a time, I have fallen irrevocably and irrationally in love you. And it makes me so happy it hurts. Good night, my love.”

My eyes closed, and I was gone.

The sun was streaming through the hangings woke me up the next morning, and I felt that I was alone in the bed. I opened my eyes, and looked over to the pillow that Jacob had occupied the night before. On it was a small piece of paper with my name on it.

I awoke early, and saw you sleeping so peacefully I didn’t want to wake you. When you awake, there are things for you to use to bathe. There is a tub for you in the room right next to this one, with soaps and powders. Please use them. I want you to feel completely relaxed, and women like to be clean, I’ve heard. Come down the hallway I took you last night, and then take the master staircase. The doorway off to the right is the way to get breakfast. We have a busy day today, you and I. Remember that I love you, and that I am so lucky to have found you.

Yours eternally,

After reading the note, I got up to explore. I found the tub, and the bath things Jacob had mentioned. I looked around for my trunk, and I saw it by a large wardrobe. I opened it to find the thing empty. When I opened the wardrobe, my meager supply of dresses had been tripled. I had almost ten, instead of three. I chose one of the new ones, a beautiful gown of pale blue silk, with lace trim and bodice. It was stunning. I wandered off to get my bath, and after I finished, I dressed and found the blue slippers that went with the beautiful dress. I felt so much better after sleeping, and bathing, that I wanted to see Jacob now. I missed him, for I felt his absence like a piece of me was missing.

I opened the door to Jacob’s quarters, and took the hallway that was vaguely familiar from my sleep deprived mind. I followed it to the stairs, and I went down to the ground floor of the huge home. I smelled the delicious scents of coffee and sweet pastries from the door to the right, and I followed it. The dining room was so large, I could have fit six of the ship that had taken me to America in it comfortably. I saw Jacob’s sisters, Bridget and Katherine, sitting at the table, eating from glittering plates. They both looked up when they heard me enter, and they smiled.

“Good morning.” I said pleasantly.

They nodded to me, with smiles, and went back to breakfast. I couldn’t blame them, all of it looked so scrumptious I could have eaten four plates myself. I seated myself, and a servant brought me the same as what the two girls were having. I started to eat, and after I finished half, I had to stop. I had filled myself up completely. When I laid my fork down, the servant came and collected my dishes, and then handed me a small cup of coffee. I took a small sip, and then got up from the table. I wanted to see Jacob.

“He is having a meeting with our father, Elizabeth.” Katherine said.

I turned, shocked that she could figure out what I was thinking. “Oh, um. Thank you for telling me. How much longer do you think he will be?”

“You are quite welcome. And, they have been in there for about two hours. So quite soon. You can have one of the servants take you to Papa’s quarters. You can wait for Jacob there. I’m sure you want to see him.”

“I do, badly. Actually. Thank you again.” I said as a dark haired girl led me down another hall to an oak door at the end of the hallway. She smiled, and curtsied, and left. I stood by the door, wishing Jacob would walk out and hug me. As I waited, the more I felt the urge to knock. I started to pace as the urge built, and I was soon holding my hands together, trying to stop myself from behaving rashly.

When I just started to get the nerve to knock, the door opened, and my Jacob walked out, almost running me over. He caught me, and then realized who he had almost knocked to the floor in his hurry.

“Elizabeth! Hello, love! Are you all right? I apologize for almost making you fall!” Jacob said, worried.

I laughed and said, “I am well. I missed you this morning.” I stood on my tip- toes to kiss him. “Is everything in order?”

“Oh yes. I was coming to find you. My father wants to meet you, and I want to make sure you are comfortable with that.” he said.

“Of course. Please! We should go now, actually. I had wanted to spend time having you take me around this magnificent house today, so I don’t get lost!” I told him with a big smile.

His laugh echoed through the hall, and a tall man stood in the doorway, looking at him. I looked over and saw the man, and I shrieked. Jacob’s father looked startled, and Jacob laughed harder.

“Oh, my. I am truly sorry, sir. I didn’t see you there.” I said to him, my hand over my heart.

“It is quite alright, Miss. You must be Elizabeth, am I correct?” the tall, gray haired man asked me.

“Yes, sir. I sure am. And you are Mr. Lynch, I am assuming.” I said, cheeks flaming from my silly outburst.

He nodded. “I certainly am. It is a pleasure to meet my son’s future bride. How are you feeling this morning, Miss Elizabeth?”

“I am quite well, sir. And yourself?” I asked him.

“Very much the same. And, Elizabeth, you may call me Mortimer, for that is my name. Or Mort, if you so choose.” he answered me.

“Why thank you, Mortimer.” I told him, and he smiled.

Mortimer then turned to Jacob, and nodded his head. Jacob smiled, and then took my hand. He led me down the hall, out to the foyer, and off to the front entrance. Jacob opened the front door, and led me out of it. We stood on the front stoop, and Jacob bent down and kissed me slowly, gently holding me as his lips rained down on me. He pulled away from me, and I laid my forehead on his chest, reveling in the feeling of contentment.

“Would you like to join me for a walk, Elizabeth? We can go to the garden, and get some flowers for the room.” Jacob said, with a large smile on his face.

“I would love to, Jacob. Your quarters are very dark and manly. They could use some femininity.” I said with a smile. “I hope that was not too bold…if it was, and I over-stepped, I apologize.”

Jacob looked at me with gentle eyes. “You are soon to be my wife, and naturally you want to feel like you are accepted in my home. You did not offend me with your statement. In fact, it just made me realize how fiery you can be.” Jacob smiled. “It makes you even more beautiful to me.”

I blushed, and looked down. Jacob was an amazing man, and I wondered what my life was going to be like with him. When I looked up, I saw Jacob looking at me, and I smiled widely.

We took a long stroll around the property, while Jacob was telling me how his great- grandfather had built the home, and designed the gardens himself. How he had been a wealthy man, and earned his money from a successful shipping business. I was astounded, and the more I saw of the property, I realized that the man must have been incredibly good with trading and the work needed to run a business.

After a while, Jacob took me down to a small pond, and we had one of the servants that was tending to the trees around it go and find our mid- day meal that Jacob had planned on. When it arrived, we sat in companionable silence for the first couple minutes, taking in the scenery.

Then, Jacob said, “Elizabeth…I know that you have not been graced when it has come to luck and love…but I want you to know that that is not an issue anymore. You now have me, and my family. My sisters told me this morning, before you had woken, that they both thought you would make a fine addition to our family. My mum so obviously adores you, and my father told me during our meeting that he is happy that I have found someone. And that if you were half as beautiful as my mother had told him, then he would have no qualms about blessing our marriage. I think that what I am trying to tell you is that I love you, and all that you want, and that I can barely wait until you are joined to me in eternal matrimony.” He looked down, and his cheeks reddened slightly.

I was stunned at this statement, and I could not speak. Jacob had looked up at me, trying to judge my reaction, and I said. “Jacob, you will never know how much that statement means to me, how much I appreciate your love. You…make me so happy that I do not know what I should do. I want to marry you, and be the mother to your children, even though I swore to myself I wouldn’t let that happen until I achieved my mother’s wishes. I…want to spend my life with you. I love you, so very much.”

He smiled, and kissed me. When we parted, I had tears in my eyes, and I pulled away. Jacob looked confused, and I tried to reassure him. The tears were not of sadness, but inexplicable happiness. I had found my key to what I had never had, and I couldn’t believe it.

We spent another hour by the pond, and Jacob relived his happiest childhood memories, while I told stories of my most outrageous times as an indentured servant. I told him of the happiness of being free from the men I had to work for, and of the nights I spent dreaming of being free from America. But Jacob stopped me from continuing.

“Tell me of your mother, Elizabeth.” Jacob said, looking sad.

“My mother,” I began, “was the type of woman that never took time for herself. She always did things for the betterment of other people, and she always wanted to go to America. Sadly, she died before she could. She just wanted to have a better life. For all of us. “ I sighed, and looked away.

Jacob stared at me, and then whispered, “I’m sorry you lost her, my love. Really.”

“She is better now, and with the angels in heaven. All I can do now is what she asked of me.” I said.

“Which was?” Jacob asked.

“To be happy.” I answered softly.

“And…are you?” he said, looking worried.

“Yes, Jacob. I am. More so than I ever have been.”

He smiled, and stood. Extending his hand to me, he helped pull me to my feet. We walked back to his home, and then up to his father’s study. Jacob motioned for me to stay, and he disappeared into the room, leaving me in the hall.

About a quarter of an hour later, Jacob walked out with his father in tow. Jacob grabbed my hand and then we all walked down the stairs, to the dining room. Jacob’s mother was sitting at the table, looking down at sketches of a dress, and I realized it was to be my wedding gown.

As soon as I came to this, Jacob was asking his mother when the soonest possible time was for us to be married.

“Well, Jacob,” she started, “ if you want your bride to have her own gown, then it will not be for another few months. If you’d like her to wear a gown we already have, then within the next fortnight. Of course, the choice is hers, seeing as it is her dress.”

Jacob turned to me, the question in his eyes. I thought for a moment, and the idea came to me.

“Mrs. Lynch, I have my mother’s wedding gown. I have carried it with me, all these years. It is one of the few things I have of hers. I would much like to wear that gown on our wedding day, if that is suitable.”

She looked at me, and smiled. “Of course, dear! Why don’t we go upstairs, and have you try it on? And if it needs any fixing, I will do it myself. And dear, Deidre. Please.”

I returned her smile, and said, “That would be delightful, Deidre. Thank you so very much.”

Jacob’s father turned to his son and patted him on the back. “Son, we should write to Father Brennan, and get him here sometime next week, since you are so determined to have this woman married to you before the end of the month.”

I stared at him, and said, “Jacob, what is the hurry?”

“When we were talking today, out by the pond, and you were telling me of all the things you have witnessed and experienced, it made me realize that I no longer wanted to wait any longer. I want to be married to you now. I don’t want to delay any longer.”

I was stunned, but I felt the same. I smiled and nodded my consent. “Deidre, can we please go work on my dress now? If you aren’t too tired.” I asked.

Jacob’s mother smiled, and then led the way up the stairs.


The day had arrived, and I was marrying Jacob in a few short hours.

It was astounding to me that so many plans could come together so quickly when the wealthy willed it. The pastor had been written to while Deirdre and I worked on my gown. Jacob, his father, and the servants planned the menu while his mother and I came up with the dresses for the bridesmaids, Jacob’s sisters. A guest list was written the next evening, before Jacob and I retired. All of the decorations were put up the following days, and soon, it was the night before the wedding.

As my dress was tied, and my hair was done, Jacob’s sisters were putting on their gowns and doing their hair. I was tired, because I hadn’t slept. I didn’t like Jacob not being next to me.

I hated being alone.

Deirdre walked in, looking stunning, and said, “Dear, it is time. Are you ready?”

“As I’ll ever be,” I said with a smile.

And I walked towards my future.

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