Beauty and the Beast

By: Pema

"I hope you understand the seriousness of the situation Mr. Hockley. Miss Dewitt Bukater is gone now. She perished along with that gutter rat of a boy and now you are alone. Are you listening?" shouted Mr. Cameron, Cal Hockley's assistant/lawyer. After hearing that Lovejoy had died in the Titanic collision Cal thought it best to visit with Keith Cameron once again. They had a past together. They'd been together for quite sometime now and had developed some what of an relationship between them. But at this moment, Keith Cameron was about to burst. Cal hadn't been listening to him this whole time. Off in a dream world more alike. This was highly unlikely but if you had seen the dazed look on Cal's face as he sat in his leather bound armchair, starring out the window Keith began to wonder.

"Cal! What are you looking at?" Keith asked questioningly. Cal broke out of his daze immediately when he felt the cold stares from his assistant. Smiling at himself Cal shook a hand at his friend.

"Oh it's nothing. I was merely admiring the new garden outside. I suppose someone must've grew it while I was gone?" Cal asked as he pointed his nose high in the air and folded his hands in his lap. Keith rose a unfamiliar eyebrow at his friend and then turned on his heel.

"Yes they were planted once you left," Keith responded, while pouring brandy into a glass for himself and Cal. He carefully passed a drink to Cal and sipped slowly at his own. He looked at Cal with a concerned face. "You don't seem very torn up. You just lost someone close to you. Aren't you the least bit…saddened by the recent events?" Keith asked. Cal merely shrugged the question off and rose the cup towards his mouth and drank it. After taking his time to answer Cal stood up and walked towards the glass window in the corner of the office.

Thinking to himself, Cal slowly began. "It really hasn't sunk in yet I suppose. The whole reality of it all I mean to say. Rose was important to me but she's gone now and I can't exactly bring her back now can I Mr. Cameron? I can just sit and wait for the times to pass," He paused before starting again. "You will see Keith. Everyone will forget about Titanic soon enough. It isn't that big of a tragedy really. There will be finer ships to be built. Manmade objects are becoming a fad now and soon we'll be in a mechanical world. You worry too much Keith," Cal scoffed while tilting his head to the side, as if trying to get a better appearance of something outside, or maybe someone. Keith noticed his unfamiliar behaviour and didn't question it. He quietly stood up and came up behind Cal. Following the direction of Cal's stare Keith smiled to himself and finished off the rest of his brandy.

"You see the new servants I see?" Keith asked. Cal whipped around with a surprised expression on his face. He nodded to himself and continued to stare out the window.

"When did you hire them?" whispered Cal interestingly. Keith sat down in a chair and flipped the pages of a New York Times newspaper near by. He didn't look up from the paper but quickly answered Cal.

"I recall it was on the 14th that they began their work here. Why do you ask so fondly?" Keith asked, folding his paper down and setting it on his lap. "I don't recall you ever giving a rat's ass on anything to do with them before," Keith laughed to himself, obviously satisfied with his "humorous" remark. Cal glared at Keith.

"I was only being curious Keith!" Cal shouted, obviously becoming irritated with the presence of his "friend". Cal had had enough now. He decided on taking a short walk, maybe towards the gardens? "Seeing as you're being nothing of support I shall take a stroll around the gardens for some time. I'll return when I wish to," Cal hissed, setting his brandy glass on the table and shuffling towards the door. Keith crossed his arms across his chest and sighed.

"All right then. I do recommend you have some time to think about what just happened. I think you should be just a bit more concerned Cal. This is really unnatural. Not just for you but for anyone in your place! Jus-," Keith was cut off by the sound of Cal slamming the large oak door loudly behind him, leaving Keith alone in the office.

Meanwhile…

Elizabeth Sheldon, a maid of the Hockley Manor, was setting flower vases in the lobby as usual. She loved flowers and everything about them. She loved how they grew from fresh, green little buds and then bloomed into mature, gorgeous tulips. Her one wish was to be able to watch a flower grow in fast motion. Ever since she had been a little girl she would pick up little weeds and flowers and tie them together with her hair ribbons. She would arrange them into a nice bouquet and then give them away to people on the streets of New York City for 5 cents each. She never made much money with them but she still enjoyed making the flowers. Elizabeth enjoyed everything there was in life. Optimistic as she was, she was also a very emotional person as well. Once she had found out that her employer Cal Hockey had lost his fiancée on the Titanic she burst out into tears, even without knowing who the man was. She felt such a pain inside of her for others. So, being the genuine person she was, Elizabeth put twice as many flowers out in the house today. Including her favourite flowers: roses.

But now Elizabeth, or Lizzie as her family and friends would call her, seemed to have run out of flowers. She had just found out that Mr. Hockley had returned today and she didn't pick up so many flowers. She scratched at her blond head and bit her nails from her free hand. What shall I do now? What…shall I…do…Just then Lizzie sprung to her feet.

"Ah ha!" Lizzie shouted quietly to herself. She picked up her gardening shears, water pot, gardening tools and gardening gloves before opening the entrance doors and stepping out into the blaring sunshine. Of course, Lizzie loved sunshine as well. She was tan, tall and slender. Lizzie never cared much for her looks or appearance. She always felt that the Lord made each person the way they are specially so Lizzie wanted to stay herself all the time. She would always comb her hair but only throw it up into an untidy bun. She then placed the bonnet, which was part of her uniform, on top of the bun, allowing curls of yellow cascade around her perfect complexion and face. As the spring winds blew into her face as Lizzie closed the door she smiled. Today was a nice day for some gardening. She inhaled the wonderful scent of the world around her and then set off in the direction of the gardens. Just days ago Lizzie had started some beautiful gardens, which everyone had complimented her on, down on the fields. She was looking forward to touching up her newest project.

"Ah there you are my little angels. How are you today?" Lizzie asked her flowers affectionately. She sat down on her knees and began to cut out some flowers that seemed to be ready and watered the buds that were little.

"Now drink it slowly! You're only babies! You must nourish the water," Lizzie hummed quietly to little buds. As she continued to plant flowers and seeds in the garden around her she didn't notice the approaching figure behind her.

"You there!" A man's voice boomed out from behind Lizzie. Her heart skipped a beat. She was so caught up in her flowers she hardly noticed a man come up to her. So Lizzie quickly set down her gardening shears and stood up. She dusted off her apron and turned around to the voice that called from her. She stared at him, much too surprised to answer the man. He was an older man, older then Lizzie anyways. Lizzie was only 17 years old. This man looked at least in his late twenties. But he was gorgeous! She scanned the man from head to toe before answering to his now numerous attempts to talk to her.

"Um, yes? How can I help you Sir?" Lizzie asked sweetly. She smiled her priceless smile at the man and curtsied in front of him. The man shielded his eyes from the sun and nodded his head.

"I was just wondering how your garden was coming along. I heard you made it earlier this week?" The man asked. Lizzie smiled from ear to ear. She loved it when people asked her about her flowers.

"Yes, they are going fine Sir. Would you like to help me?" Lizzie asked. She thought about what she had just said and was about to kick herself for it. Who was she trying to kid here? This man was obviously rich and would never want to get his million dollar suit dirty. She looked slowly at the ground.

"No I'm quite all right. I think I should be going in now. And I wonder, don't you have work inside that needs to be dealt with?" The man hissed. Lizzie nodded sadly and picked up her items. She curtsied to the man once again.

"I'm sorry to disturb you Sir. It won't happen again. Good day Sir," Lizzie said quietly and hurried away from the fields and into the manor. The man shook his head and smiled at himself. He knelt down to the garden and scanned it. The garden was indeed pretty; flowers of all kinds were growing slowly and were being water and cut daily, he thought to himself. The man reached out a hand and stroked the petal and stem of one of the yellow flowers gently. It was soft. The feeling reminded him of something. The man's eyes began to tear. Slowly a single tear dropped from his mysterious eyes and ran down his face. He quickly stood up in shock and wiped the tear from his face, quickly looking around and making sure no one had seen this. He quickly hurried off into the side way and into the manor.