|A Legacy of Love
Author: ursa major II PM
Sean and Marita angst. Though they want to be together, they find that love may not be enough and Jeremy came to Lexington seeking a real family, but there is something more to his original proclamations.REVIEWS WELCOMED!EPILOGUE 03.19.06 COMPLETEDRated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Romance - Chapters: 67 - Words: 206,053 - Reviews: 303 - Favs: 13 - Follows: 4 - Updated: 03-19-06 - Published: 05-08-04 - Status: Complete - id: 1853717
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A Legacy of Love
Disclaimer: I don't own any part of the now defunct TV show Legacy. All characters, with the exception of Pete Dixon, Wilhelmina Brown, and other new personalities that may appear, belong to Chris Abbott and the Executives at UPN.
Summary: The story picks up several weeks after Sean broke off his engagement to Vivian. He's already been working as the Deputy Director of Regional Affairs, but has been expelled (rather asked to take some time off), due to the drama going on in his personal life. Jeremy is still Jeremy, but in this story he's a bit more mature than the character on the show.
Author's Note: I know it's been 5 years since this show aired, but I've been working on this fic forever (when I've had time). I'm hoping there are still a few Legacy fans out there who can enjoy this story. Please don't hesitate to leave feedback, but be gentle, this is my first fic.
Category: Sean, Marita and a dash of the others
Sean was restless. Though he'd finally regained some sense of order in his life, after weeks of turmoil, he still couldn't free his mind of all that had occurred. Following the disaster at the engagement party things had quickly spun out of control. Assemblyman Clancy had removed him from his position as Deputy Director of Regional Affairs, citing that he was too distracted by the recent problems in his life to give Lexington the focus it needed; Asa Winters had demanded full payment of the money he'd loaned him towards his tobacco crop, and his barn had mysteriously burned down. Angered and shocked by the Assemblyman's fallacious observation regarding his commitment to his job, Sean had spent the past few weeks fighting for reinstatement. He'd even made a special trip to Washington, D.C. to discuss the matter with Clancy. The Assemblyman was reluctant at first, but he eventually reinstated him. However, the man did make it clear that he was keeping him on only because there were several major projects coming up that needed someone with his skill to oversee. After those projects were initiated the man warned that there was a good chance that Sean's job would be reappointed to someone else in the Fall. Sean was completely bewildered by the Assemblyman's stance. It was so unlike him to be rigid and cold, but he could only guess that Asa Winters had something to do with the Assemblyman's changed demeanor. It was no secret that Vivian's father had played a huge part in Clancy being elected to the Assembly. Hence her father felt that he had a say in all of the decisions the Assemblyman made, and Sean knew that any decision to remove him from office would be welcomed, maybe even initiated by Asa Winters. After all, Asa hadn't wasted any time displaying his fury over what had happened. Immediately after Sean's infamous announcement at the party, Asa had demanded the money he'd loaned him be returned by week's end. If it wasn't for his Pa paying Asa off, Sean would've had to give the man the land he'd used for crops to settle the loan, which would've been a hard loss to swallow. Considering that land had been in the family for years, and the crop that was growing on it was about to generated an enormous amount of revenue that would've been lost to him. Thank God for pa, Sean thought as he continued to lay in the darkness, staring at the ceiling. Despite everything that had went on, his pa had been a rock, standing by him throughout this whole ordeal. He knew that his father wanted to know why he'd chose not to marry Vivian. He could see it in his eyes anytime they remotely discussed what went on that day, but his father didn't press the issue. Sean guessed that he was waiting for the opportunity to broach the subject, or he felt that Sean would tell him the whole story if and when the time was right. Sean didn't know if there would ever be a right time to tell his pa that he loved Marita, and that his love for her was what caused him to renege on his plans with Vivian. It worried him to think how his pa would react to that declaration. It worried him even more to think how Mr. Peters, Marita's father, would take the news. They were both tolerant men. They'd went through hell fighting in the Civil War together and had come out the closest of friends, but despite all of that, they hadn't escaped the hatred people exhibited towards their unusual friendship. Things were better now, but Sean knew that what his pa and Mr. Peters had experienced would cause them both to be firmly against anything beyond friendship developing between him and Marita. But he couldn't get bogged down with thoughts of their reactions to his love for Marita he thought, The most important reaction was her's. He'd told her he couldn't marry anyone unless he felt about them the way he felt about her; they'd even shared a kiss after his affirmation, but did she fully understand what he meant, that she was the only woman for him and that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her? Sean sighed, as he covered his face with his forearm. "Probably not," he whispered into the darkness. He'd barely gotten the opportunity to speak with her the past few weeks. So much had been going on. He had to talk to her soon – tomorrow. He resolved, let her know what his intentions are.
Relaxed by the scent of the freshly blooming flowers Marita felt as if she could finally think clearly. She took a detour through the garden on her way to the Logans because she needed to do some thinking. She had been torn about whether to accept the position at Cherry's Prepatory School, several hundred miles away, or remain in Lexington. She had applied for the position months ago, but it wasn't until a few days earlier that she learned they were interested in hiring her for the job. And though her pa was right when he said the position would be a great opportunity for her to realize her dream to educate more children, Marita didn't want to leave him, the kids she was currently teaching, who were making tremendous progress with their studies, and most importantly Sean. Sean was the main reason why this decision was such a dilemma Marita thought as she stopped to take in the beauty of the azaleas. He was no longer planning to marry Vivian, and since he'd broken off the engagement, she realized that his plans with Vivian were at the core of her reasons for wanting to leave Lexington. Now, even though she wanted to see what Michigan had to offer, she desired just as strongly to remain in Lexington, remain in Sean's life. She couldn't imagine being able to fully enjoy her future if Sean wasn't apart of it, but the reality was, he couldn't be in her life, not in the way she wanted. Society was cruel to those who found themselves in the predicament she and Sean were now in. Not to mention the possible danger it would put their families in. Though there had been some changes in society, there were still many people who were not fond of Negroes and would react to a relationship between her and Sean violently. And Sean had such a solid future ahead of him in politics she thought, and she was not about to jeopardize that or allow him to, due to their feelings. That was why she'd concluded that she would accept the position in Michigan. It broke her heart to realize there was no future for her and Sean, but she had to face that realization. It was much more destructive to live in the dream that they could actually build a future.
"Hello Marita," Sean said softly as his eyes bore holes into her.
"Hello Sean," She answered quietly.
"How have you been?" he asked.
No longer able to hold his gaze, she lowered her eyes, desperately trying to escape the intense emotions she felt for him. "Good and you?" she answered as she mustered the courage to look up again.
"Good," he answered, refusing to remove his gaze from her face. She was breathtaking, he thought, as he studied the flawlessness of her beautiful brown skin. It took everything in him not to act on what he was feeling for her. Sean briefly closed his eyes as he took a deep breath, attempting to fight his desire to kiss her.
"Your father told me you were reinstated as Deputy Director." Marita said, interrupting his thoughts
"Yes, today will be my first day back."
For a moment Marita had managed to steer her mind away from the thoughts that had been triggered by Sean's presence, but now there was a growing silence between them and those thoughts and feelings again began to crowd her heart.
"I have to go" Marita said abruptly, needing to escape the emotions that would soon overpower her will. "I'm way behind schedule and I'm sure you need to get to town"
"Wait!" Sean interjected, causing her to halt "I need to talk to you."
Marita's uneasiness increased. She had a deep fear of what Sean might say. For the passion had not left his eyes since he'd opened that door, and she was not prepared to curb any declarations he might make.
"Sean this isn't a good time." She said
"I know." He answered as he buttoned his shirt and vest, "but what I have to say can't wait."
Marita was reluctant to start a conversation that would no doubt weaken her already fragile emotional state, but she and Sean had to speak about this sometime. It was better to square things away now, than later. At least then they could move on with their lives, without carrying any misconceptions about a possible future together.
"Ok" Marita said as she took a deep breath and nervously clasped her satchel with both hands. "Let's talk."
"Let's go out here." Sean gestured towards the porch.
Just as he closed the door behind them, he and Marita heard his name being called. They followed the voice and saw that it was Alice, who was waving a bright blue scarf as she briskly walked towards the house.
"Sean, where have you been?" Alice asked in an annoyed tone once she reached them. "I've been looking all over for you."
"I've been right here," Sean answered impatiently as he walked towards the steps to meet her. "What is it?" he continued, annoyed at Alice's timing, which was disrupting what he was eager to state to Marita.
"Pa told me you're going to call on Vivian today and I just thought she'd like her scarf back." she said as she met him on the steps and handed him the scarf.
Marita saw this as an opportunity to leave. It was clear, thankfully, that she and Sean's conversation would not be happening that day. They both had to get to work and trying to talk on the porch of his father's house would draw more attention than either one of them wanted.
"I'm going to go," she said, before Sean could respond to Alice "I should've met with your pa a while ago and I'm sure he's wondering where I am."
Sean's first instinct was to stop her and continue what he was about to say before they were interrupted, but he couldn't without giving Alice the shock of her life.
"Ok" he said restraining his wish to say more.
"Good luck today" Marita said to Sean.
"Alice" Marita said as she smiled towards the young lady, then turned and headed for the door. Sean quietly sighed as he and Alice watched Marita disappear into the house. He briefly closed his eyes, and fought his desire to go after her and an even stronger hankering to scold Alice for the interruption. But the latter wouldn't be right he thought, for Alice had no idea what she'd walked up on and only meant well by trying to be sure Vivian received her scarf.
"I better go too," he said as he slowly walked down the remaining stairs. "I'll make sure Vivian gets her scarf."
"Sean" Alice said
"Yeah," he said as he turned back to face her
"I know that the past few weeks have been tough, with everything going on, but I just want you to know that I'm proud of how you've handled the pressure and I'm glad that you're back helping the people of Lexington."
Sean was encouraged by Alice's words. He was happy to know that at least one person in his family was still proud of him. And to think he was actually considering scolding her a few moments earlier.
"Thanks Alice, that means a lot."
"Hello Sean," she said as she walked past him and sat in an armchair near the fireplace.
"Hello Vivian," Sean said as he turned and followed her taking a seat on the sofa nearest to her chair.
"So, how have you been?" he asked
"I've been well." She answered confidently
"Good…Alice wanted me to return this to you" He pulled the scarf from his inside pocket "You left it at the party" he said cautiously as he handed it to her.
"Thank you," she said as she took it from his hands, managing to avoid his eyes in the process.
They both became quiet, unsure about how to proceed, to break the heightened tension between them. However Vivian did know that she wanted to let Sean stew a little longer before bringing him back into her good graces. After all, he'd humiliated her in front of the whole town and deserved to suffer for the pain and embarrassment he caused her. That was one of the main reasons why she refused to see him when he'd tried calling on her the day after the party. She wanted him to be overwhelmed with worry, and to feel the soreness that rejection causes. But that was all over now; her father had called in his loan, which Sean immediately settled up, probably with his father's help, and as a result her father had had him expelled as Deputy Director of Regional Affairs. Sean had been through enough she thought wearily; plus she didn't want to leave him hanging for too long, just long enough for him to realize what he had in her. She would then accept his heartfelt apology and take him back. That's why she'd called on him she pondered confidently, to tell him she was sorry for refusing to see him, something she was certain Sean wouldn't allow her to do. He'd stop her apology and in turn apologize himself and from there, things would fall into place. She would have Sean eating out of her hands in no time.
"I…" they both began and laughed lightly when they realized they had spoken at the same time. The tension between them instantly dissolved, and they both started to feel more comfortable with one another.
"You go first" Vivian said
"I couldn't," Sean responded.
"I insist" Vivian urged
"Ok" Sean said "I want to apologize… for the way things turned out at the party... I never wanted to hurt you… and I'm sorry." Sean paused a moment and took a deep breath. "I should've spoken to you about my feelings before…"
"It's ok Sean" Vivian interjected "What happened at the party is partly the reason why I called on you today."
"I suspected that" Sean said nervously
"First off, I want to say I'm sorry that I turned you away when you came to apologize before. I wasn't ready to face you and I was so hur..."
"Vivian, please don't apologize, it was my…"
"Sean, please, I have to say this." Sean became quiet, letting her continue. "When you came by… the emotions I was feeling was too near. And I just couldn't face you…I know that you were concerned for me, and wanted to express your regret, but I couldn't hear it right then."
"Vivian your apology is not needed. I'm the one that caused all of the hurt you were feeling. So I understand why you turned me away. I'm just glad you're ok now."
"Yes Sean… I am better." Vivian hesitated then continued "After I got passed the feelings that day brought on, I began to understand fully why you couldn't ask me to marry you." Sean became uncomfortable and shifted in his position in an attempt to quell his uneasiness. "You were concerned about your post as Deputy Director…And though I knew how important that position was to you, I continued to insist that we visit Europe for a year without any thoughts as to how that would affect what you wanted. It would have been impossible for you to be away that long and with your job as Deputy Director being so important and me failing to listen…you couldn't go forward with the engagement." Sean was shocked, speechless as Vivian continued "I only wished you'd come and talked to me again before things became so… unpleasant. Though even now I still don't know how much good it would've done. I wasn't listening to anyone at that time." She said lightly ".But that's over now. The reason I asked you by today was to say I understand your concerns and that despite everything, I will marry you." Vivian finished happily.
No longer able to mask his shock, Sean's face reflected the astonishment that he was feeling within. He swallowed hard, then began slowly
"Vivian…I can't…marry you." What followed was a devastating silence. The light mood that surrounded them earlier had given way to intense pressure.
"Pardon?" she whispered with a look of bafflement on her face.
"I'm sorry, but we're not… getting married…" Sean replied as gently as possible.
Vivian was completely shocked. All these weeks she knew that Sean wanted to apologize, and she was just as certain that he wanted to continue their wedding plans. She couldn't believe this was happening. What did she do to deserve this? Had her game of coyness caused his indifference with regard to their relationship?
"No Sean" she said as she looked him squarely in the eyes, shaking her head in denial, "You don't know what you're saying, you're just nervous and need more time to think."
"No, I'm very clear about what I'm saying," Sean said as he returned her gaze.
For a moment Vivian remained silent, still trying to grasp the astonishment she felt. Then gradually the hurt and shock she felt melded into humiliation and anger. "How could you do this to me?" she cried abruptly "How could you have asked me to marry you, plan a future with me and then walk away without looking back? It's as if you never loved me."
"I'm sorry Vivian I…"
"I'm sorry is not an explanation for what you've done!" She interjected "Did you ever love me, because if you did, I don't understand how you could do this?"
Vivian stared at Sean waiting for his response; He felt trapped, and he didn't know how to respond. She was right; he never loved her. He cared for her deeply, but he wasn't in love with her.
"Oh my God," she cried "you never loved me."
"Vivian no," Sean said quickly, trying to prevent things from deteriorating even further, but she continued speaking over his pleas.
"Why were you going to marry me," she cried "Was it political?"
"No," Sean repelled. He wasn't marrying Vivian for love and he most definitely wasn't going to marry her for a political advantage. He was not that kind of man. He'd made plans to marry her because he cared for her and because he thought he had no future with Marita, but when it came time for him to fully commit he couldn't do it. He couldn't let go of Marita.
"I would never do something like that and you know it. If that were my reason for agreeing to marry you, we'd be married."
Vivian's anger amplified within, so much so, that she couldn't stand to look at Sean any longer.
"Wilhelmina!" she called sharply.
Ms. Wilhelmina, a motherly figure, a black woman, almost instantly appeared in the doorway of the room.
"Yes Ms. Vivian," she answered.
"Will you show Mr. Logan the door please?"
"Yes ma'am, Mr. Logan" Wilhelmina said.
"Give me a minute Wilhelmina," Sean asked. But the woman remained in the doorway refusing to leave. "Please" Sean pleaded
"Wait in the hallway" Vivian said angrily at the servant. Ms. Wilhelmina silently retreated into the hallway outside of the door.
"Vivian I'm sorry," Sean said as he turned to face her again "I didn't come here to argue, I just wanted to make things right between us."
"You know Sean, I am so tired of hearing you apologize," Vivian said with tears in her eyes as she stood up and looked down on him " because the truth is, no matter how much you say you're sorry, it will never make up for the pain and humiliation you've caused me."
She immediately began to cry. Sean then stood and attempted to touch her arm, give her some kind of comfort, but she recoiled and turned away.
"Vivian" He uttered again.
She didn't give him another look but instead ran from the room in tears. Sean sighed as he stood there for a moment with his head hung. He was hoping that their talk would make things better, but instead it had only made things worse. He then reluctantly turned to go and found Asa Winters standing in the parlor's doorway. After what just happened with Vivian, that's all he needed was a confrontation with her father, whose face expressed a clear image of lividness.
"What the hell are you doing here?" Asa asked angrily as he walked into the parlor.
"I came to speak with Vivian" Sean responded evenly, "but now I'm leaving." As he made his way towards the door, Asa boldly stepped into his path, blocking his way.
"I want you to stay away from my daughter and stay off of my property." He said tightly "Otherwise there will be hell to pay. Do you understand me Logan?"
"I understand perfectly" Sean said firmly as he stared the man squarely in the eyes. Asa then stepped aside, but Sean didn't move, holding the man's gaze for moment, before he coolly exited the room and the Winters' house.
"There you are," he said as he walked into the room "Why are you in here?"
Sean didn't respond immediately. He really didn't want to discuss the events of the day. He'd rather carry on with his peaceful thoughts.
"What happened?" Ned asked as he stood across the room looking at Sean.
Sean closed his eyes, then opened them again as he recalled the events in his mind that had taken place earlier. When he finally spoke, he told his father everything regarding his visit with Vivian, how the conversation with her was going well until she announced her desire to continue their wedding plans.
"From there, it went downhill." He continued "Things really got ugly; Vivian ended up running from the room in tears. And to top that off, Asa came in on the end of the argument and stopped short of throwing me off the property…How did this turn into such a mess?" Sean whispered as he massaged his temples.
"Son I'm sorry," Ned said as he sat down in the chair adjacent to him. "I was hoping your visit had gone well. However, these things take time to get over, Vivian and Asa will eventually move past what's happened. It may take a while but they will."
"I hope you're right pa," Sean said "because somehow I feel Asa is never going to let go of this."
"Well son, Asa is angry; you broke his daughter's heart. I'm not sure I would respond any different if Alice or Lexy were hurt in the same manner. And like Asa, I'd probably never forgive the gentleman who inflicted that hurt."
"I know," Sean responded sadly "I just wish that my decision hadn't caused so much anger and pain"
"Unfortunately, our decisions sometimes do that." Ned said solemnly
"Pa so much has happened that I haven't had the opportunity to tell you how sorry I am for all I've put you through." Sean said
"Sean its ok," Ned said "…I didn't agree with the way you handled Vivian, but I'm glad that you were honest with her before it was too late." Ned hesitated, then continued "Son, I don't want to pry, but I'm still confused about why you decided to end the engagement. I know that you and Vivian had a couple of things to work out, but I never thought that you were…unhappy."
Taking a moment to gather his thoughts, Sean paused before answering his father; He'd managed to avoid discussing the why behind the breakup for weeks, but he knew eventually his father was going to present the question. He still wasn't ready to be completely honest, for it would only lead to Marita. However, he did owe his father some kind of explanation for what had happened, considering the ramifications it had caused.
"I realized that Vivian and I had completely different ideas about what our future should entail. We wanted different things." Sean said
"Well Sean, before your mother and I married, we had some differing ideas about what our goals for the future should be. She wanted to start a family right away and I wanted to put more focus into the ranch, mainly 5 years of focus. But we talked and came to a compromise. We decided that we'd work on expanding the ranch for a couple of years and then we'd start a family. Ultimately, it turned out to be the best decision of our lives. That's what happens when you love someone."
"Well Vivian and I had too many differences." Sean said. "And neither one of us were willing to compromise on any of our personal goals."
Ned studied Sean for a moment, not totally convinced that his explanation was the whole truth. He knew that Sean was not one to walk away from any commitment, and he was certain Sean was committed to him and Vivian's future. Despite having conflicting ideas about where their future should go, he knew that Sean cared for her and was willing to build a life with her. Something besides their differing opinions caused him to walk away. He wouldn't push it right now though. Sean wasn't ready to give him the full story; maybe someday he would feel that he could trust him enough to open up completely, but for now he'd let it go.
"You're right son." Ned said "some differences are too great to work through. I'm just glad you're ok."
"Thanks" Sean said in a relieved voice, thankful that his father was dropping the discussion on him and Vivian. If he pushed any further, Sean didn't know if he could withhold the truth about him and Marita.
"Well," Ned said as he stood. "We'd better head to the dining room before Alice comes looking for us."
"That sounds great; I'm starving" Sean said as he too stood.
"So, how did things go at the office? I hope better than your visit with Vivian." Ned asked as they left the room
"Much better…" Sean answered then went on to tell his father about his busy, but exciting day back at the office.
"It's about time…" Pete said impatiently when Asa opened the door. "what took you so long?"
"Save it" Asa responded tightly as he led Pete into the house.
"Why am I here at this hour," Pete asked once they were safely behind the locked doors of the parlor.
"Obviously we need to talk," Asa responded shortly
"I had to wait until everyone was gone or asleep. I don't want anyone to know about our…arrangement. Drink?" He asked as he poured himself a glass of bourbon.
"No Thanks. So what is it? What's so urgent?" Pete asked.
"For starters, I haven't heard from you in weeks. What the hell's going on with Logan?"
"Nothing," Pete answered, "as far as I can see, he's squeaky clean; he appears to be on top of everything. Today was his first day back in the office and it was like he never left…"
"I don't want to hear how great a job Sean is doing handling the town business." Asa said angrily as he set his drink down, "I need to find something I can use against him. There's got to be something on Logan. No man is perfect. We all have secrets. You should know that better than anyone."
Pete became very uneasy. Asa was right, everyman did have secrets, but he doubted Sean Logan was hiding anything as terrible as he.
"I need to find Sean's weakness and break him. I can't let him get away with what he's done."
"What's the rush?" Pete asked impatiently "You have until Fall to get Sean ousted as Deputy Director and I'm sure by then you won't have to do much considering Assemblyman Clancy feelings towards him."
"Don't let the Assemblyman's stance fool you. The only reason why he gave Sean a hard time about his "personal problems" was because of me." Asa said, "I reminded him of my contributions to his campaign and told him that I may not be so generous in the future if he didn't …heed my suggestions. He was reluctant, but he complied. If it weren't for your endless debaucheries, Sean would still be out of a job, having no chance of returning."
When Clancy removed Sean from office, he'd appointed Pete as a temporary replacement. The plan was for him to remain there until William returned from Europe and could take over, but things didn't work out that way.
"Instead, Clancy had no choice but to do what he'd wanted to do all along, reinstate Sean." Asa continued "He loves Sean Logan. He wants him as his successor and this is all the more reason why I have to stop him. I'll be damned if I let him destroy my daughter's life, then go on to benefit from the aid I've given him. No one double crosses a Winters and gets away with it."
"What the hell are you talking about? What aid? " Pete was confused.
"Never mind all of that" Asa responded irritably "You know all you need to know about my reasons for despising Sean Logan. Your job is to bring me the ammunition to ruin him."
"This is crazy," Pete said as he ran his hand through his hair. "Sean didn't break your daughter's heart maliciously. Besides, he's out of her life for good now. Isn't that what you wanted?"
"Yes, but that's just it, he's not out of her life."
"What do you mean?"
"Today I walked in on him breaking her heart, yet again, telling her he never loved her. I've never seen Vivian so hurt and upset."
"I can't believe Sean would ever be so cruel," Pete said before he could stop himself "You must've misinterpreted what was said."
"Have you forgotten how 'cruel' Sean was to dump my daughter in front of the whole town?" Asa roared, but quickly lowered his voice not wanting to wake Vivian or the servants. "Don't get soft on me Pete. Sean must be destroyed and you are going to help me destroy him or else you'll find yourself hanging from a tree. Are we clear?"