Disclaimer: I don't own any of the Crimson Peak characters
I came back to the United States with Alan McMichael after we left Allerdale Hall. He offered me his support in comfort after everything that I had happened, but I wanted to be alone. Though my time at Crimson Peak was behind me, it was far from over. The memories there will forever haunt me. Both the bad and the good.
The constant terrors of the lost souls haunting the manor that tormented me every night. Who were in reality actually warning me of the dangers that lurked behind those walls. But despite of it all, my short time with Sir Thomas Sharpe, made everything bearable.
The man manipulated me, seduced me, lied to me, let his sister kill my father and poison me, and loved me. Even after everything, he swore that he truly loved me. And despite all that he'd done, I still believed him. And it was true. I knew it the moment I saw his ghost. And I knew he didn't take his own life in redemption.
Lucille had killed him. She did it in a blind jealous rage. So she must have known that during their little charade, that he had actually fallen in love with me. She didn't want to share. When she saw him, even she was able to feel regret. She'd loved him too. In her own way. It was her act to kill that had done her in. As she watched her deceased brother who was also her lover, gaze at her with sadness, she knew she'd done wrong. With her distraction, it gave me the advantage I needed.
After I finished with her, I looked at the man was once my husband. I gently placed my palm on his cheek, silently telling him that I forgave him. And that I still loved him. His eyes had met mine with love and regret. I could see that he wanted to tell me so much, but our time was short. We both lost what we could have had. That night away from Allerdale Hall was the only time were actually free to be ourselves. Any chance now was taken away.
His spirit faded from me without a word. He was finally free. That was all I needed to know.
But that didn't mean I didn't miss him. It was at night when I missed him most. Sometimes I would turn on my side and hope that he'd be there for me to hold. But I knew he wasn't. Yet apart of him lived within me along with his memory.
I was with child.
I wasn't sure at first. I just believed that the sickness I was going through every morning was a result of lingering poison. I avoided going to a physician out of sheer pride but Alan had finally had enough and examined me himself. Then he told me the news. I was carrying Thomas' child within me. And I was terrified. He couldn't tell me if the child was effected by the poison but it was too soon. But he would visit me weekly to check on us bother.
Each morning was agonizing. It felt like I couldn't put anything down. Not even the smell of oatmeal would keep my stomach still. Every morning I would find myself hunched over the privy as I expelled whatever that was in my stomach. But even thought I was the only there, because the maids weren't awake yet, I didn't feel alone. Each morned as I heaved in agony, I could feel someone rubbing my back in smooth gentle strokes. It was as if there was actually someone there next to me, comforting me through this torment. Letting me know that I wasn't going through it alone.
The baby was alive and well. It still grew with my womb everyday and didn't stop. Alan had assure me that it was healthy at the present time. But it led to an unavoidable question.
"Will you marry me, Edith?" He had asked me during a visit.
I nearly spit out the tea that I was drinking. "What?"
He placed his own cup down and took my hand, "Will you marry me?"
"I…ah…" I couldn't form any words.
"You know I care about you, Edith." He told me. "And you care about me. I know you don't love me like you did him, but I can make you happy. It would be good for the child as well. I won't ask for much, only that you let me keep the two of you safe. And maybe in time you could…grow to love me."
Finally I found my voice, "Alan, you know I care about you. You're my dearest friend." He nodded. "But that's all I feel for you. Friendship. That's all I'll ever feel. And you don't love me. Wait," I held my hand up when he tried to speak. "I know my own heart, Alan. I don't think you know yours. You don't love me. You love the idea of me. We grew up together. Played together as children. We probably would have gotten married had I never met…" My throat clogged. "The point is, we will always be friends. But you have to move on and find the lovely young lady who is waiting for you. And she will be one lucky lady."
He let out a long slow breath and leaned back into his chair. He didn't say anything for several minutes. The candlelight flickered on his face. Then he smiled. "You're right. I considered marrying you before. But it wasn't the love I thought it was. I wanted to protect you." His smile widened. "You grew up. You're not a little girl anymore. I mean look at you!" He raised his hands. "You got away from a haunted mansion and fought off a jealous lust crazed sister-in-law!"
I chuckled, "I have a crazy in-law story to share. Just like everyone else."
He laughed with me for a while before regaining his composure. "You'll know I'll always be here for you." He said gently. "If you ever need anything, I'm here. I hope that we can keep our friendship despite everything.
I smiled back. "You know we can. And, Alan?"
I took his hand again, "You are the one person that I can trust in this entire world, so I can only ask you. Will you be my baby's godfather?"
His eyes widened like saucers at my request. A lone tear leaked from his eye that he quickly wiped away with his handkerchief. Then he gave me a huge grin, "I would be delighted."
"You filthy disgusting, whore!" A nail scratching voice rang throughout the house.
"Good day, Mrs. McMichael, how are you today?" I greeted her.
She stormed into the foyer. Nearly shoving the poor maid to the floor. "You dare flaunt your large belly around town and smile about it? After you turned down my son's hand?"
"Well I do like to go into town." I informed her. "I like going to the toy shop."
"I don't give a wit how you enjoy going!" She pointed a finger at me. "You insult me by rejecting my son in public to give you the chance of a lifetime. You could have had our name but you just had to say no! Now you're going to have a child out of wedlock and insult my son and my family even further."
I stood up straight. "Now you listen to me, dear Mrs. McMichael," Now or Never. "First of all, I didn't reject your son in public. Remove that fantasy from your mind. It was in my home, in this room. I turned him down because I'm still mourning the loss of my husband and I don't see your son as anyone more than a friend. He didn't hold it against me. And as for my child." I came up to her so only a few feet separated us. "That is none of your concern. I conceived my child when I consummated the marriage with my husband before he died. I suffered the tragedy of losing him before I even found out I was even carrying it. The child growing within me was not conceived out wedlock. I was married at the time of conception. I became a widow only days after. And I will be a widow when the child is born."
Her smile was shameless. "Your child is a seed of monstrosity. It is going to grow up and be exactly like it's father."
I got closer. "My husband and his sister were abused both mentally and physically during their childhood. That was what gave them their scars. What they did before me was inexcusable and nothing will change that. But let me tell you this." We were almost nose to nose now. "My husband loved me. Despite what he endured growing up, he was still able to prove to me that he truly loved him. This child growing within me is a symbol of what we shared in our short time together. And I guarantee that my no our child will not suffer like he did. That just because it will bare the Sharpe name doesn't mean that he's branded as evil. And I will hold it every day and every night and shower it with affection that a mother should. Now you." I pointed to the door. "Get. Out!"
She looked like she was about to argue but I silenced her with a look. With a huff, she picked up her skirts and stormed out. Collapsing into a chair I let the tears come. I tenderly stroked my swollen belly as I sobbed. "I'm so sorry, little one." I told it. "You will grow up without ever knowing your father. And I don't have the heart to re-marry and give you a new one. I hope in time you will forgive me." I wrapped both arms around my center. "I miss you, Thomas." I finally allow myself say. His name alone feeling like a taboo on my lips. "I wish you were still alive. I wish you were never taken from me. I'm so alone."
You're never alone, Edith.
My head shot up. "Thomas?" I stood up on my wobbly legs and looked around. "Are you here?" I looked around. "Thomas, say something!" My lip trembled. "Please! Please talk to me! Please! I need you!"
There was an invisible stroke on my midsection and I froze. I'm here. I felt arms wrap around me from behind holding me tightly.
I placed my hand atop the invisible touch and lean back into the embrace as I continued to cry.
It was time. My water had broke. I was in labor. It was in the middle of the night and the first thing I did was call for the midwife I had staying in the guest bedroom. I was in labor for nine hours. The pain was unbearable. All I could do was scream as each contraction hit me harder than the last. It seemed like I was lying there in my sweat stained sheets for days until it was finally time to push.
The midwife stood at the end of the bed as I pushed. She offered me words of encouragement each time I stopped. My hands fisted in the damp sheets as I breathed in out and before giving another push. After another hour of constant attempts My whole upper body had no more strength. I lay as flat as I could that the high pillows adjusted would let me. "I can't." I rasped. "I can't do it anymore."
"You can do it, Mrs. Sharpe!" The midwife said. "You're almost done! Not long now!"
"No more!" I sobbed. "I'm so tired."
"I know you are, Mrs. Sharpe! But you have to try!"
A current shot up my abdomen and I screamed. "It hurts! I can't…"
Yes, you can! A voice urged, and I felt a hand stroke my head. You're doing so well, Edith. Don't stop now.
I tried to lean into the invisible touch, but I reached nothing. So, I took another deep breath, and gave the hardest push I could.
"That was great, Mrs. Sharpe!" She said. "One more! Just one more!"
I closed and gave out one last agonizing scream. The pressure piled at my core released like rubber band. I fell back again in exhaustion. As if that last push forced every bit of strength left out of me.
Then I heard. The wail of a newborn's cry. I weakly lifted my head to see the midwife wrap something small and pink and a white blanket and handed it to the maid. She came around towards my side of the bed with a gentle smile, rocking it. "It's a boy Mrs. Sharpe." Then she placed the bundle in my arms.
Tears fell in waterfalls down my cheeks as I stared at the beautiful small person I held. His crying stopped almost immediately once his eyes met mine. He was so beautiful he took my breath away. There were the same sky blue as his father's.
I felt my face tighten as my smile stretched across my face. "You're such a handsome boy!" I placed his tiny hand in my much larger one. "You'll break many hearts when you get older. I can see it." I laughed when his eyes widened at me. "Yes you!" I brought him closer to cradle his head against my neck. I kiss his ear. "You're name is Jonathan." I tell him. "My little Jonathan."
In just three days, I was already back only my feet. I wanted to walk around with my son, but the midwife insisted that stay on the second floor. Which was fine.
I sat in the rocking chair with Jonathan at my breast while I hummed an old lullaby to him. I didn't dare sing it out of fear to give the poor boy nightmares for the rest of his life. He suckled hungrily as we rocked back and rocked back and forth. My smile ever so wide. I felt that my mouth had been permanently stretched from each side, but I didn't care. I knew that this little being in my arms was worth everything that I been through during my pregnancy.
Jonathan turned his head away with a flared nose, telling me he was finished. I chuckled and placed him so his face was over my shoulder as I patted his back. He let out a small gurgle and sighed, releasing the pressure in his chest. I chuckled feeling his bottom to see if it was dry, knowing I was going to get up in three hours anyway, and stood up, walking to the round curtained crib and laid him on the small mattress. I tucked him in gently and gave him a kiss on the cheek. I got to my bed and blow out the candle. I slip under the covers and doze off.
I didn't know how much time had passed. It could have been two minutes or two hours, but I knew at a certain moment that it wasn't just the two of us in the room. My lids snapped open. The room was dark. Only the full moon shining through the window gave it light. My eyes swung towards crib and stayed there.
Leaning over the crib was a hazy white figure. I couldn't see much of it aside from a sort of odd shaped cloud. But it slowly changed shape after a few moments. I almost shout out of my bed and blurring speed. But out fear that it would leave, I stayed silent.
Thomas stood there over the crib. His clothes and hair white as snow. His once blue eyes now yellow. Just as he did at Crimson Peak. But instead of having look of sad defeat, it was of pure joy. The white face smiled down at the crib where my child lay. No, he was here. It was our child. He was looking at our Jonathan. And he was looking at him full of pride. Very gently, he reached his arm in towards the baby. He tilted his head to the side in wonder. Then he turned to look at me.
He didn't say anything. He just smiled. We looked at each other for who knows how long. But then he gave me one last smile, before fading again.
I'm still here. And I always will be.
I was walking all around the house. Looking for the little devil that was wondering about. "Where are you, my little monster!" I couldn't keep the smile out of my voice. "I'm going to get you! You can't hide forever!"
A small giggle sounded from the left and I ran to it. "Gotcha! Hmmm," I'd bursted into the playroom where his giggle came from, but there was no toddler. Another giggle came from corner of the room, from the toy chest. Grinning, I let out a loud sigh. "Oh well! I guess I missed Jonathan. He's too fast for me. What am I'm going to do now?" I crept towards the chest, the muffled giggles getting louder. "I think I'll just play with some toys from the toy chest. Since Jonathan isn't here to play. I'll just play with his toys." I throw the lid open. "There you are!" But alas, "What?"
I looked around the room. Where was he? "Jonathan? Where are you?"
Another giggle came from my right. The closet. I didn't waste a moment this time as I yank the doors open. "Momma!" I was greeted with a grinning raven haired little boy. "You found me!"
Letting out a breath of relief, I pull him into my arms. "You are such a sneaky little monster, aren't you?"
He pouted cutely. "I had hep!"
I smiled, playing along, "Oh did you now?" I placed him down, but kept his hand in mine and started for the stairs. "Who 'heped' you?"
"Mistoo White Man!" He shouted excitedly hopping each step as I walked.
I stopped in mid-step, "Mister Who?"
"No!" He hopped down another step in a huff. "Not Mistoo Who! Mistoo White Man, Momma!"
We reached the bottom an I placed my hands on his shoulders. "How often do you see Mister White Man, Jonathan?"
He shrugged. "Don't know. Can I have a cookie?"
I sighed. Well so much for getting answers. "No, not yet. Dinner first. And have Denise help you clean up. Uncle Alan will be here soon with his pretty fiancee for dinner. You want to see Uncle Alan, don't you? And the pretty lady?"
"Yay! Inca Awan!" He ran towards the kitchen. "I get clean! See Unca Awan and pwetty wady!"
"Oh goodness." I chuckle. Then give an amusing stare at the alcove. Then I whispered, "What you did there is cheating, Thomas." Then I walked away to prepare for the guests, laughing at the reply that rang in my ears.
That was not cheating. That was fun!
I rolled my eyes and muttered, "Of course it is."
Jonathan was the light of my life. Each day he grew more and more intelligent. Alan came buy a month after the birth and brought a few gifts for his new godson. He would visit whenever possible and Jonathan enjoyed him greatly. And just a few months ago, Alan finally met a lovely young woman. A sweet little thing. Very timid, but artistic. She loved to paint. That was how she met Alan. His dear mother wanted a portrait done for the whole family. Things carried on from here. Janice was her name.
He'd told me much about her over the months. His face brightened with a new glow that I'd never seen in all the years I've known him. That was when I knew, he'd found the one. And what a joy it was to see him happy at last. The wedding was in two weeks, and little Jonathan was to be the ring barer. I couldn't wait.
A knock came at the door, announcing the arrivals. I straightened out my dress and fixed the pins in my hair. "Jonathan, they're here!"
"What a lovely day this is!" The now Mrs Janice McMichael said as we all walked through the park, Her arm linked with Alan's. A young infant in the buggy she pushed with her other hand.
I smiled at her enthusiasm. "It is indeed." It was in fact quite a nice day. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, and the children were playing with the dogs. Just a few feet from us Jonathan, now nine, was playing with Alan and Jane's seven-year-old daughter Agatha.
The two of them were inseparable. Agatha came along only three years after Alan and Jane had wed. A sweet blessing to the happy couple. Although the birth had been difficult. Jane had lost a lot of blood during the delivery they'd nearly lost her. But with Alan there, he was able to stop in time to save her. They sent for us a few weeks after her birth. Once they were sure Jane was out of danger.
Jonathan fell in love with the little child almost immediately. He asked us to visit them often. Whenever we were able. How could I say no? Seven years later and here we are. Each day I could see Jane growing more and more dear to Alan. I was so glad that he finally had someone to give him the happiness he deserved. Now they have a two-month-old son Timothy.
"Be careful, Agatha!" Jane scolded to the young girl. "Don't run too fast! You'll fall!"
And sure enough, she didn't listen. Little Agatha tripped on her skirt and took a tumble down a hill. Once she reached the bottom she let out a loud wale.
We all started toward her but Jonathan got to her before the rest of us. "Are you okay, Aggy?" She continued to cry even as he got her back on feet. "Where does it hurt?" She didn't say anything instead and showed him her wrist. It had a small scratch but nothing serious. He looked at thoughtfully before giving it a gentle kiss. "There all better!"
Alan finally reached them and pulled out a cloth and a small bottle. With a smile he said, "It's nothing to worry about, Agatha. Does it hurt?" She bobbed her head up and down and he laughed.
Jonathan stomped his foot. "Of course it hurts, Uncle Alan! Don't laugh!"
Jane and I had to hide behind our fans to keep him seeing us start laughing as well. Alan was having a more difficult time."Well it won't for much longer." He opened the bottle and quickly tilted it so it some would dab on the cloth. He cleaned it gently then wrapped it in a bandage. "See? All better."
Jonathan scowled at him before examining the bandage. "Well I guess it will have to do."
I couldn't take it. I burst out laughing so hard that my ribs began to ache. "Oh, Jonathan, don't fret! There's nothing to worry about."
He crossed his arms. "Someone needs to take to worry about her safety."
"Oh goodness!" Jane giggled. "It would appear that Jonathan wants to make Agatha his bride."
I would have to agree. A soothing voice sounded. My son would choose the most lovely lady in the land.
I smiled in content. "I think so too."
His look turned horrified. "No I don't! That's just…Ew!"
Agatha looked at him with a shocked look of dejection, "You don't want to marry me, Jonathan? Am I ugly?"
His look turned guilty. "No no, Aggy, it's not that! It's…um…" He pulled at the collar at his collar. "It's not that you're ugly. You're beautiful!"
Her sad eyes immediately lit up. "So will you marry me?"
Alan came and patted him on the shoulder. "You better get down on your knee now, Jonathan!"
Then we all teased him for the rest of the day.
"Is something bothering you, Jonathan?" I asked. We were sitting in the main foyer of my house. My son had long since moved to Boston to attend college. He was starting his own business in toy making of all things. He had already opened his own shop. It was winter and he'd come home to visit for the the holidays. But he seemed rather troubled. He was still as stone. His hands clenched at his knees. Clearly something was on his mind. He didn't even hear me when I called him.
"Jonathan?" He didn't say anything.
I put my tea down and stood up, "Jonathan!" He snapped out of his daze and stared at me. "Whatever is the matter with you? You're never this distracted. What's wrong?"
He too a deep breath and looked me square in the eyes. "I've decided to do it, Mother."
I furrowed my brows. "Do what, son?"
He stood up and placed a hand on my shoulder. "I'm going to propose to Agatha." He gave a small smile. "I love her, mother. I always have. Even when we were children. I want to be with her. Have children and grow old together."
I couldn't help but grin. "You were quite adamant that you wanted the exact opposite when you were children."
He blushed, "Mother!"
"I'm just teasing!" So he did remember!
He game me a look before continuing. "I wanted to wait until I was sure I could provide a home for her. Safety and security. I want to do it before it's too late."
I placed my hand atop of his. "I think that's wonderful, Jonathan." Then I stroked his cheek. "I'm glad to see that you wanted to grow into man before making the decision as a boy. To see that you've done all this for the both of you is a beautiful thing. But you must ask for your Uncle Alan's blessings first."
He shuddered. "I'm afraid he'll dissect me in my sleep."
I slapped his shoulder. "Her father isn't that nasty. You know that. He loves you."
"He won't after he knows I want to marry his daughter." He gave me an odd look. "What was my grandfather's reaction when Father wanted to marry you?"
I gave a sad smile. I had already told him about Thomas on his eighteenth birthday. I decided that he old enough to know the truth. He was scared at first, to know what had happened before. But I assured him of his father's sacrifice to me. That he had loved me.
"It wasn't pleasant. But your father's sister murdered him to go through with the plan." I chuckled. "And yet, I don't regret anything. I know your father didn't want to do he necessary act, but he was manipulated by her from a young age and did as he was told. But despite that, he didn't think he would truly fall in love with me. The one thing they different with this last scheme, was that he chose me. She usually would choose older wealthy women, but he wanted to marry me. I think he had a hope that we could live peacefully together."
You are right. I heard him murmur. I chose you because I saw you with the same dreams I had. And I have no regrets.
"Mother?" he shook my out my trance. "Do you still miss him?"
I wiped away a lone tear with a nod. "Everyday. Despite what had happened, I knew he loved me. A will always love him."
He tucked away a lose curl behind my ear. "Is that why you never remarried?"
I nodded. "One of the reasons. Another was that I never felt the same way with another man like I did your father. I met quite a few gentlemen since, but I didn't feel any draw or connection. My one regret is that we didn't get to spend enough time together. Or to tell him that I forgave him." I smiled at him. "Having you with me was what kept me going all these years. You are a living piece of your father that as able to continue forward in life. And to see you fall in love only makes me the more happier." I took his hand. "Now let's got get Uncle Alan's permission for Agatha's hand."
He turned ghostly pale again. "Will you come with me?"
"So what brings the two of you here?" Alan asked us once we took a seat. Jane sitting right next to him.
"Jonathan." I gestured with my eyes from him to Alan and Jane. "Go on."
He took a big deep breath before standing up straight. "Mr. McMichael, Mrs. McMichael."
Alan raised a brow, never once had Jonathan called him by his surname. He leaned back into his chair. Listening closely. Jonathan continued. "You have known me for all of my life. The both of you would visit us often. And as you know, I care a great deal for your daughter Agatha. We've grown up together and I've grown quite attached."
Jane' gasped in excitment. She knew what was coming. Apparently so did Alan. He didn't seem so happy. "Do you have something you want to ask me, Jonathan?"
Jonathan gulped once before giving a straight face. "Mr. McMichael, may I have your permission to ask for your daughter's hand in marriage?"
Alan chest puffed out as he took in a large breath, then he got up to his feet. He walked forward until he was toe to toe with my son. "Do you love my daughter?"
He didn't move from his ground. "With all my heart."
"If I ever find out that she has shed a single tear because of you, I will remove your organs and place them on your outside."
Jonathan kept his stare level. "She will never shed a tear of sadness while she is with me. I will cherish and love her until my dying breath."
Alan looked to Jane, she gave him an approving nod, and he sighed. "You have my permission to marry my daughter."
The tension in the room lifted in an instant. We all let out a breath that we didn't realize that we were holding. "Mother, Father, we're home!" Well that didn't las long. A moment later Agatha came in with a now twelve-year-old Timothy on her hand. "Is something wrong?"
"Timothy, come here, dearest." Jane said and opened her arms which he eagerly came into.
"Well, my boy!" Alan clapped Jonathan on the back. "Now's the time!"
Jonathan turned pale. "Now?"
Alan grinned. "Oh yes!"
"Jonathan?" Agatha asked placing a hand on his shoulder. "What's the matter?"
He clenched his fists. The let them lose. Clenched. Then unclenched. He took Agatha's hands in his own, stroking her fingers with his thumbs. "Agatha we've been friends for a long time. Since we were children I've always held strong feelings for you. And well, I hope you feel the same for me." He got down on one knee, her hand flew to her mouth, eyes widening in shock. "Agatha Elizabeth McMichael, would you do me the honor and become my wife?"
Agatha sobbed into her hand and nodded. "Yes, Jonathan. Yes I will marry you!"
He smiled and took out a small ring. "No jewel could compare to your beauty, but I had this ruby fitted into a ring. It's red is the color of your hair." He slipped it onto her finger when she giggled at his confession. "Let this be the symbol of our engagement." Then he kissed her hand.
The wedding was beautiful. It was held four months after they announced their engagement. They made their vows in the small church in town. Alan's mother was less than pleased with that idea, but it was Agatha's suggestion. She wanted something small. Only friends and family.
She was so lovely. A lovely vision in white just like her mother was before her. Her hair was piled into a chignon at the nape of her neck. Her dress hand tailored by her mother. Little Timothy was the ring barer.
I sat next to Jane and watched in awe as Alan gave his little girl away. He dared let a few tears escape his eyes as he gave her to my son. The silent exchange between the two of them clear. He gave a kiss to Agatha's cheek then gave her to his new son-in-law and took a seat next to his wife.
Our son chose well. I heard as our children exchanged their vows.
I signed. "Yes he did."
Jane turned to me. "What's that, Edith?"
I shook my head. "Nothing, dear. I'm just happy."
She smiled, "Me too."
Jonathan paced back and forth in front of the room where his wife lay in labor beyond the door. He was beginning to wear his shoes down. His raven hair a haggard mess and his shirt buttoned up wrong.
Next to me sat Jane who was currently knitting a blanket. I was doing similar but knitting a cap. Timothy sat at our feet, reading a large book. I gave my son a knowing look. "You'll make a hole in the floor, Jonathan, you need to calm down."
Jane chuckled in agreement, "She's right, dear. Why don't you sit down?"
A scream came from inside the door and he gave us an exasperated look, "How can I relax while my wife is in there in agony?"
We both laughed, "Dearest, her father is in there with the midwife. She will be fine. I was in labor for nine hours when I had you. These things are normal."
"I was in labor with Agatha for two hours." She smiled at the little on at our feet. "Little Timothy was five hours."
"Well lucky you." I griped, then back to Jonathan. "It's different for every woman."
"Ugh! I can't stand it." He rubbed his hands together.
There was one last loud shout of agony, then a loud screaming wale came from behind the door. Alan burst through the door, a small bundle in his arms. "It's a boy!"
Jonathan's shocked face turned scared as he was handed the small bundle. His expression went from amazement into such pride he actually began to cry. "He's…perfect." The baby cooed as he looked at his little face. "So perfect."
I stood next to him to look over his shoulder, and sobbed. He was perfect. A little beauty. My grandson. We all went into the room to greet the exhausted new mother. Her red hair was pulled into a braid on the side, drenched in sweat. Jonathan placed the baby in her arms and she started to cry. "My little boy."
"Do you have a name for him, Aggy?" Timothy asked.
She looked to Jonathan and nodded. "We decided if we had a boy, we would name him Thomas."
My breath caught, I looked to Jonathan. "You…?"
He nodded and enveloped me in a hug. "I want father to know that even though I never met him, I'm grateful for his sacrifice. Had it not been for him, I wouldn't' be here." He pulled away. "And I wouldn't have been able to have the life I have now."
"Nor I." Alan said next to me, keeping an arm around his wife. "I at first thought Thomas as nothing more than a lying cad. But he saved my life. Had he not deceived his sister, I wouldn't be here. I would have never met Jane." He gave her a living look. "And we never would have had Agatha and Timothy. Or our grandson here." We all looked towards the happy couple who were in their own little world.
"Let's leave them be for now." Jane suggested. "Come on."
I followed not far behind.
I am proud of you, my son.
My head swung too look over my shoulder. And there stood the same hazy figure that I saw over twenty years ago. He was on the opposite side of Jonathan, leaning over Agatha's shoulder, and smiling down at the infant she held in her arms.
You've done well.
I turned away and shut the door behind me. I'd let them have their moment.
I was now an eighty-five year old woman. White hair and wrinkly skin. Bony fingers and almost skeletal body. At least that was how I felt. Jonathan assured me over and over that I was still his beautiful mother.
He was now sixty-one years old. He had opened over three dozen toy shops around the country. He and Agatha were blessed with five children. Now ages forty, thirty-eight, thirty-five, and twins of thirty-one. Each one of them happily married with children of their own.
My book has become famous. What started as a simple shelf book, became a best-seller. I used the money to hold to the side and have it split evenly between my great grandchildren. I didn't have any use for it anymore.
Alan and Jane had already passed on. Three years apart, warm in their beds.
"You know, mother, Lisa is coming by in a few days." Jonathan told me. Tucking me in the bed. "She sent word today. And her husband Nathan is coming."
"What about the children?" I weakly got out. My voice now hoarse with age.
He smiled. "Don't worry. Tiffany, Marie, and Lydia will be coming too."
"Any excuse to see my great grand children." I smiled. "All so much like you."
He smiled. "I fell so old."
I grinned, "You poor old man, had you not make me stay here I would dance all night."
He chuckled with me. "You're a great grandmother now. No need to over exert yourself."
"You're such a kill joy."
He kissed my forehead. "I learned from the best." He walked towards the door. "Rest well, mother."
"I will." I told him. "Tell Agatha good night for me will you, dearest?"
He nodded. "I will mother. Good night."
"Good night." I told him. Then he closed the door. I raised the blankets to my chin and start to doze off.
But then I heard the sound of someone stepping on the floorboards. My eyes flutter open, "Jonathan?"
"I'm afraid not, love."A voice murmured.
I craned my neck to the side to see a white hazy mist form in front of the door. I let a smile reach my lips as it took it's full form. "Hello, Thomas."
He completely formed into view and walked towards me. His white hair and pale face smile wide at me. "You're still as beautiful as ever, Edith."
I gave a week cough as my response. "Still the charmer are we?"
He laughed. "With you? Of course. But you are always beautiful to me."
I looked at my bony fingers with distaste. "The blonde bird you once knew has aged into a haggard sharpie. I am no longer the girl you knew."
"The woman I fell in love with is still right here in front of me." He ghostly hand stroked my cheek. "She never left."
I leaned into his touch. "You never came to me like this." I observed. "How come you haven't done it before?"
His look turned sympathetic.
"Oh," I got out. Understanding filling my heart. "You've come for me."
He held his hand out. "Come with me, Edith." He smiled gently. "I was never far from you. I made sure that I was there for you the entire. Even though you couldn't see me, I was always there. I watched you raise our son all on your own. I was heartbroken that I couldn't help you take care of him. But I was able to let you know that I was still here! You were never alone. And I am so proud of all you accomplished. You lived a long full life. And I was never far from you."
"I knew." I sniffled. "I don't know how. But I knew you were there. I missed you every day. Watching Jonathan grew into such a wonderful young man was a blessing. I just wished we could've done it together. I regret that we didn't have enough time together."
He held his hand out to me. "We have the rest of eternity to look forward to together. We couldn't have it in life. But we can have it now. We will live on in spirit. Together. It's time, Edith."
It seemed so simple. "Alright." The moment my hand touched his everything changed. My bony wrinkly hand reversed in time by decades. Thomas who was the white ghost he was back at Allerdale Hall, changed into the man that I knew. His hair was black again, his eyes sky blue. His skin no longer white.
He smiled gently as he pulled me against his chest. I could then see I was again in my youth. I was wearing the same dress from when we first danced at the ball. He stroked his knuckles against my cheek. "See, you're still here." Then he pressed his lips to mine. The kiss was soft and sweet, and yet so full of passion. When he pulled away he leaned his forehead against mine, "Oh, how I've missed the taste of your lips."
I smacked his chest playfully. "You're shameless."
He chuckled. "Only with you, my love. Now come. It's time for us to go." I nodded but stopped when he didn't reach for the door. "What's wrong?"
"Aren't you going to open it first?" I couldn't help but ask.
He actually confused for a moment before looking a the door. "Why?"
"Oh!" He laughed and took my hand. "I understand. Edith, we're ghosts, remember? Look." He look as if he was going to punch a hole into the door. But instead, it went right through. "See? Now let's go."
I watched in amazement as we both walked right through the door. I wanted to giggle in excitement, but I was met with someone else before I could.
Jonathan stood there on the other side with a cup in is hand. "I'll be right there, Agatha. I just want to get some water for Mother." He went to open the door.
"Jonathan!" I shouted to him.
Thomas wrapped his arms around me. "He can't here you, love."
My hand flew to my mouth as the door opened to reveal my now dead self there on the bed. My face was relaxed in a small smile as it lay on the pillow, blankets still up to my chin. But the hand that I had held to Thomas hung from the side.
"Mother?" Jonathan asked. He quickly put the cup down and moved to my side. "Mother, are you alright." He lifted my hand and pressed his fingers to my wrist. When he couldn't find the pulse, his lip trembled. "Mother, no!"
"Jonathan?" An elder Agatha came to her husbands. "What's wrong?" She gasped once she saw him sobbing over my unresponsive body. She quickly ran to him and tried to calm help. But it was too late.
"I felt the same way when I saw you mourn for me." Thomas whispered in my ear. "Nothing hurt me more. But you've raised our son to be a strong young man. And he is perfection in every way possible. Thanks to you."
"She's with him now, Jonathan." Agatha told our son once they accepted I was gone. She rubbed his back soothingly, "She's finally reunited with him, Jonathan."
He nodded in understanding. "I know she is. But I'll miss you."
I couldn't help myself, "I'm always here, Jonathan. I always will be."
His head shot up as if he'd heard me. He swung his gaze around as if to look for the voice.
"He knows." Thomas murmured. "It is time."
It felt like a weight lifted off my shoulders. I had lived a long and happy life. I had raised one amazing bright son. I watched him grow and get married. Have children of his own. It was a nice life. But it wasn't over.
I turned to look at the man who still held my heart. "This isn't the end." I said to him.
He smiled and pulled me into his embrace, holding me against his chest. His cheek rested atop my head. "This the beginning."
And then we faded together in each other's arms. We would be together in the afterlife. We were no long apart of the living. But that didn't mean weren't alive.
Review please! They are much appreciated! This is my first fanfic for Crimson Peak and I hope you enjoyed!