|Return to Lyme
Author: Beagairbheag PM
What if, upon reaching Uppercross, Frederick made a decision that changed the whole course of the story? Persuasion based story, because there are far too few of them.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Romance/Drama - Chapters: 28 - Words: 47,810 - Reviews: 354 - Favs: 149 - Follows: 331 - Updated: 11-24-12 - Published: 08-09-08 - id: 4459650
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I'm bored and suffering from a small case of writers block, which strangely enough only seems to be affecting my typing work and not my hand written stuff. Try work that one out. Maybe I'm just lazy…
So I thought I'd give you chapter one of my new story and see if your reviews spur me into action. Well, that's the hope anyway. I'm going to go for a chapter a week, so providing I have internet access next Friday, you'll get an update. If not, then I promise a double update between then and the next Friday.
Captain Wentworth emerged from the Great House without a backward glance, though the wails and shouts must have been distracting to him. Especially when his name could be heard being mentioned over and over again, twined with Louisa's and that of Lyme.
Anne still stood on the gravel path, where she had remained when he had entered the house, followed by Henrietta a few moments later. She was allowing the commotion to die down a little till she followed Henrietta inside. She knew that if she entered now, there would be mass hysteria and she would have no control over anything. No, she had best leave it a little while till things where more settled. Besides, it was a close family time, and they needed one another's comfort first and foremost.
Wentworth paused beside her on his walk out as though he meant to say something. Standing by her, he let his gaze linger out towards the way that they had come and he was silent. Anne assumed that his mind was back with Louisa, and in way, she was right.
Frederick was thinking whether they had given in too easily, Charles and him. Whether it had been right to leave Mrs Mary Musgrove behind when it was clear that she was not a suitable nurse for anyone. Anne would have stayed, should have been the one to stay behind. After his foolish mistake, Louisa should have the best care and he had said it himself, none so better as Anne. She alone would have been best to nurse her. To bring her back to full health.
The carriage came round the corner just then, lead by one of the stable hands. Fresh horses had been tethered up and they where raring to go, pawing at the ground with nervous energy. And yet he stood, unmoving. Still silent.
Anne remained where she was, uncertain as to why he waited. She had just opened her mouth to speak when he suddenly brought his gaze round to her, and fixed her with such a stare, that she was left unable to say what she was going to not moments before. Unable even to think, nor to respond to his next amazing statement. Which would have left her speechless had she not already been stripped of that power.
"Will you return with me?"
The stable hand shouted out to him then and Wentworth waved him off, before grabbing one of her hands and holding onto it between two of his own. He shook slightly, and she could feel the tremor radiate through his hand to hers.
"I mean no disrespect on your family, but your sister is not someone I would wish as a nurse to anyone. She does not seem the sort to have a, a level head in these sort of situations. Will you return with me and care for her? For Louisa?"
He spoke with such feeling, that she could not refuse him. Glancing down at their clasped hands, and fighting the urge to twine her fingers with his, she nodded.
"Thank you," he breathed. The relief evident in his voice. Anne then had the impression that he was clearly not thinking straight as he bent down a little and kissed the top of her head. By the time her head had snapped up to look at him, he was already on the move, talking with the stable hand and asking for another blanket to be placed within for her comfort.
Frederick had not been thinking, and would not think of that particular moment again till the following morning, when he would be woken by his inner conscious replying the scene whilst he slept. His main thoughts at the very moment where back in Lyme, back to the woman lying unconscious in bed because he had not been strong enough to say that enough was enough.
Anne looked helplessly between the door and the carriage, unsure of what to do. Should she go inside to let them know she was heading back to Lyme? Would she be able to extract herself in time as to not hold their journey up? Would they miss her if she decided just to go?
Would they notice her if she stayed?
Her mind was made up a moment later, when Captain Wentworth returned and laid a hand gently on her arm. Bending low, he spoke to her. His voice was serene and calm, with a small hint of a wish to be gone.
"Are you ready?"
"I was wondering whether I should let them know I was going back?" she told him, selfishly enjoying the feel of his hand upon her arm and the way she held his attention. For that time at least.
"I shall instruct someone to let them know once things have calmed down a little. I shall also make sure some of your things are brought to Lyme tomorrow, even if I have to come here and bring them to you myself."
She was gratified by his willingness, and allowed herself to be led to the carriage and handed in. There was a little more space this time, since Henrietta was no longer with them, though the enclosed quarters of the carriage where still too small for them to sit and not be affected by one another for such a time.
Thankfully, for both of them, she fell asleep on the way there and the awkward silence they where becoming accustomed to, was replaced with a steady, sleep filled one. The effects of the day finally taking there toll on Anne.
Though there was an evident need to return to Lyme as quickly as possible, Frederick slowed the carriage down slightly so that she might sleep uninterrupted, that she might not be woken by the bumping and jostling of travelling down the road and be fresh once they reached their destination.
His thoughts where dominated by those actions of Lyme, but as the journey went on, he felt part of him open up to her. Parts that had been closed for little over eight years.
She had fallen asleep against the side of the carriage, unwilling even, to bridge the gap between them in sleep. And he could not blame her. He had not been the most…pleasant, nor welcoming towards her since they had renewed their acquaintance. He scoffed, he could hardly call what they had, as an acquaintance. And that was his doing.
The blanket slipped from her shoulders and he reached over to adjust it, sliding in his seat so that he was more centred. As he pulled it up, so that it covered her more, she shifted, turning her head and coming to rest on his shoulder. He stilled, unsure as to how to react. He took his gaze from the road and allowed it to rest on her, turning back to the road only when it was necessary to correct the horses and prevent them from ending up in a ditch. It would not do well, he surmised, to end up injuring themselves in the process.
He allowed her to rest there and a small amount of joy in the fact that she could find some peace while beside him.
They arrived back in Lyme near midnight, the journey having taken slightly longer due to the darkness and one sleeping passenger. Frederick had been racking his brain to think of a way he might remove Anne's head from his shoulder, when she had done so herself after a particularly long turn to the left. She woke not long after to the calls and exclamations of the stable hands at the inn.
They left the horses, and the carriage, at the inn without bothering to check whether anyone was there. Expecting them all to be situated at the Harville's. They walked the relatively short distance to the Harville's abode with the help of a hand held lamp, her hand upon his arm as he led the way down the pitch black streets carrying only a small lantern.
Their arrival caused some amusement between the two Harville's, with man and wife both sharing a glance. Mrs Harville convinced that Frederick had done so, so that his beloved, who lay in a near comatose state above, could have the best care.
Captain Harville, who had prior and private knowledge on what had occurred between the two new arrivals at his door, was slightly more confused. Frederick's actions over the last few days had been puzzling him to no end, yet he had not had the chance to express his views on the subject, for they had always been in company with someone else and never alone.
They soon learnt that Mary had returned to the inn, citing a headache as her cause to retire for the night. Charles was fast asleep in a chair by the fire, a blanket tossed carefully over him. Riding gloves where grasped tightly in his hand in case he had to make a hasty journey on horseback home, bearing news he did not want to bring. They all hoped that it wouldn't come to that.
Reiterating her desires, that a small bed might be made up on the floor of Louisa's bed chamber might do, Anne refused a bed in Captain Benwicks room. Unwilling to kick the young Captain out of his own room.
"I would much rather be near Louisa, in case anything needed to be done during the night," Anne had insisted.
In the end, no one could make her change her mind. Frederick had not even tried, and it had not even entered into his train of thought till long after, that he had never seen her so adamant, so determined to see something through that nothing would have changed her mind.
And that, was how the first night passed.
p.s Yes, I know. It is a very bad idea to start yet another new story when I have so many still needing completed. Its a very, very bad habit of mine.