Chapter Three: Making Plans

It only took two days for Sawyer to come callling at her door. Shannon had seen him ridding in from her window and had hurried to make herself look good. She had no idea why she cared so much if Sawyer thought she looked good, but that didn't stop her from putting up her hair as nicly as she could. Not two seconds after she had put it up there was a knock on the door.

"Mizz Shannon," came her maids voice, "tere's a young ge'lman coma callin'."

"Thank you I will be down shortly," she sang back. She took a deep breath and waited a minute or two, refusing to run down to him, lest his head swell to two times its normal size.

He was standing at the foot of the stairs when she came out of her room. He looked up and smiled that knowing smile of his. She smiled back. "Good afternoon, Miss Locke," He said as she desended the stairs. "You look well today."

"Thank you, Mr. Sawyer," She said, giving him her hand to kiss. "To what do I owe this great honor?"

"Well, after the converstation we had at your sister's wonderfull wedding I felt I simply could not leave town without talking with you again. Forgive my vanity."

"There is nothing to forgive." She glanced at the door to the parlor where she was sure the maid and her mother were listening in. "Would you like to walk around the garden? It really is quite lovely this time of year."

"I think I would like that very much, thank you." He extended his arm to her and she took it. They walked out the front door and Shannon made a show of turning round the right side of the house toward the garden, making small talk with Sawyer about the weather. when they were sure they were out of earshot, he said. "I must say, Sticks, I didn't think you had it in you."

"Well, you know me. I can lie my head off any everyone would think I was telling the truth." She smiled. "It's a gift."

"To bad I can see right through your lies, right?" He shrugged and sat down on a stone bench. She lowered herself beside him and he took a deep breath. "I'm moving into the hotel about a mile or two from here. Tonight. And so I'll be sticking around. But you know that everyone will hate me for dating you."

"Why would anyone hate you for speaking with me?" Shannon blinked.

"I've seen the way Boone looks at you. Whatever happened in your old life is clearly coming back to haunt you in this one. You and Boone did have a one night stand back in the old days, didn't you?"

She gave his arm a light shrug then sighed slowly. "I was really drunk. I didn't know what I was doing. I--I never stop regreating it. He was my brother. I should never have used him. Maybe that's why clung to the first man who show interest in me."

"Sayid," he said, nodding. "Well it could have been worse, you know. You could have ended up with Charlie and had a whole big fun deal with drugs."

"Sharlie was on drugs?"

"Of course he was." He laughed as she seemed very attentive. "Once a gossip always a gossip. I knew the kid was on drugs the first day. He had those bags under his eyes and he would always slip out into the jungle. And then he gets "the flu." Yeah, I knew. I'm surprised you didn't."

"I've never done drugs. Beer, and stuff I could handle. Drugs were to extreem for me."

"That's surprising, actually. I was the same way. No matter how much shit I'd been through, I wasn't about to get into that web." He sighed. "We really got to think this all through Shannon. You do know what happens in about a year, right?"

"No... what?"

"Did you fail every history class you ever took?"

"Yes. Now what?"

"The civil war, Shannon. And we are on the lossing side!"

She gasped and covered her mouth with her hands. "I hadn't even thought of that! What are we going to do? We'll lose everything!"

"Not if we work it out right... I have a plan."

"You do?"

"Of course. I was a conman, remember? Actually, I still am in a way. But there is a major hole in my plan. The only way it works is if... well, if we get married."

"If we WHAT!"

"That was my reaction to the thought, too."

"I can't merry you! I don't love you! I didn't even like you until I found out you remembered, too. How could I merry someone I don't love!"

"Hey, I'm not falling head over heals for you, Sticks! I told you there were some hitches in my plan!" He sighed and shook his head. "Look, here's the way I see it. We can beat the Yankees--" He ignored Shannon's snort at his use of the word 'yankee'-- "by being one step ahead. I'll have to join the troups here. There's no getting around that. And if you don't play you're cards right, little rich girl Shannon Locke could be out on the streets."

Shannon made a small sound that resembled a mouse squeek. Sawyer snorted with laughter. "Don't stress, Princess. I've thought all out... well, I had. But you won't be able to do a thing about it if we don't get married. Your father won't let you near his money."

"So the only way I can possibly come out on top in this war is if I merry the only person who knows how the war ends. Which is you." She sighed and put her head in her hands. "I don't know if I can do that."

He sighed and absently ran his hand up and down her back. It was strangly comforting for both of them. She needed him. It killed her that she did, but it was the only thing that made since. He was... the only person who could help her through this. Even if she didn't love him.

Suddenly, Sawyer's hand moved from her back to his lap. "Big brother at nine o'clock." Shannon sat up and began to shit-shat with Sawyer, shamlessly flirting with him.

"Oh, Boone!" She smiled as he walked up to them. "You've met James Sawyer, Jack's cousin, haven't you?"

Sawyer stood up and stuck out his hand. Boone looked at it and shook it slowly. Sawyer smiled brightly. "Very nice to see you again, Mr. Locke."

"Call me Boone," he said sternly. "Shannon, mother was looking for you. She says she needs help with the rolls."

"Right," she nodded to Sawyer. "It was very good to see you again, Mr. Sawyer. I do hope we will meet again."

He nodded. "As do I. I think I may stay in town a few more weeks. If it's alright with you, I think I may call on you again."

She blushed. "I'd like that very much. Until then, Mr. Sawyer," she walked away, skirts swishing. Sawyer turned back to Boone and blinked at the look on the younger man's face. "Something wrong?" He asked.

"I know about you," he said slowly. "You best have the best inention for my sister."

"Believe me, Mr. Locke. I only want what's best for her." He nodded. "I must be off. Thanks for your time." He walked away, feeling boone's eyes on him the whole way.