Hi folks. I've always loved these movies, (although I'm upset to learn that Rachel Weisz isn't going to be in #3) so decided to do something about it. Of course, I don't own anything in regards to any of the Mummy movies, never pretended to. I just love Rick and Evy, but especially in the 1st. If the 2nd one is fresh in your mind, remember that there's quite a few years in between, and I'm basing characterization on the first movie. This is one of two parts. I might write more for The Mummy if I get enough of a response, so review if you want more!
First Time, For All Time
Evelyn Carnahan was in heaven, so happy she could scarcely believe it. As horrid of an ordeal as Hamunaptra had been, it seemed as though it was meant to be. The treasure that they'd brought back had solved the family's financial difficulties beyond her wildest hopes, though she suspected Jonathan would fritter away his portion in record time. Well, there was nothing for it, and if her misadventure in the desert had taught her anything it was that life was too precious and fragile a gift to work herself into a state over her hopeless brother.
Besides, her newfound wealth was not the only thing that had Evy smiling and humming under her breath in the morning. Love was in bloom, and she was certain that Rick, (it still gave her an entirely juvenile but undeniable little thrill to call him by his Christian name and cast formalities aside) felt the same way. Oh, he hadn't said as much, but he didn't seem to have much experience at courtship, so she was willing to be patient.
Two months after Hamunaptra, they were still in Egypt. They'd all agreed on the story that Jonathan had come into an inheritance from his spinster aunt on his mother's side. Though Jonathan had been very young when Thomas Carnahan had married his young Egyptian bride, and she had treated Jonathan as her own son, he didn't have a drop of Egyptian blood. He was thoroughly British; his mother a respectable and wealthy lady from London, an arranged marriage. (Though the money had long since been spent on the Carnahan adventuring.) Thomas' true happiness had been in his second marriage. In any case, their different maternal heritage was most convenient now, as Evy wished to keep her portion of the fortune a secret. Rick had helped her liquidate some of the treasure discreetly, and find a safe place to 'stash her cash.' Evy had carried on at the library. It had taken her weeks, with Rick and Jonathan's help, (although he had been more reluctantly pressed into service) but she'd put everything back to rights. A new curator, a Mr. Brooks from New York, had taken over the post, and had taken the young librarian under his wing. He'd elevated her to the post of his assistant, and her vast knowledge had made her invaluable to him.
Her free time was mostly spent with Rick, who was courting her, after a fashion. No, there was no poetry, and precious little in the way of flowers or chocolates, but Evelyn had learned that poisonous lies could be hidden in pretty words and gallant gestures. She trusted Rick's intentions, such as they were, and for all his blunt ways, he made her feel cherished and beautiful with just a look. What truly touched her heart was the effort behind his actions. He was trying to do his best in the role of suitor, though it was obvious he felt awkward. And if he'd been after her heart, he'd certainly succeeded.
But underneath Evy's happiness was a nagging fear that was becoming most difficult to ignore. She told herself she was borrowing trouble, that she had nothing to be anxious over, or feel guilty about. Her past was her business, wasn't it? Had she pried into his personal matters? Certainly not. And yet, the little voice that she recognized as her conscious told her that it wasn't at all the same. In Rick, she understood explicitly the bargain she was making in him, his faults and virtues, whereas Rick had been mislead where she was concerned. Oh, not intentionally, of course, for Evy was an honest soul, perhaps even to a fault. Nonetheless, the man simply didn't have pertinent information where she was concerned.
"Blast," she muttered under her breath. She tried to leave the cowardice and self-serving agendas to her brother, but she was acting as badly as he was. How could she ever admonish him again without being a flaming hypocrite? And what's more, Rick had been nothing but decent and honest with her. Well, naturally he was honest with everyone, but that wasn't the point. She owed him complete truthfulness. She could only pray that he cared for the woman she really was, not some angel he'd placed on a pedestal.
"Why the long face?" She heard his voice, dear and exciting from across the room. She looked up, her eyes hungry for the sight of him. He was propped casually against the wall of her small parlor, a lazy smile on his lips, his thumbs hooked into the loops of his belt.
"Oh…hello." She knew she sounded like a breathless schoolgirl, but that's how he made her feel. She started to rise from her chair, but he waved his hand at her not to trouble herself. Her stomach ached with nerves, her throat tight with them. She clasped her hands together in her lap until they ached.
A worried expression crossed his handsome face. "Okay, let's have it."
Oh, good Lord, had he guessed? "It?" she all but croaked out.
"Whatever mess you've gotten yourself into, just give it to me right between the eyes." He sounded exasperated, but there was patience there. She knew that for all his ranting and grumbling, he was ready to help with whatever 'mess' she'd created. If she wasn't consumed with this matter, she might have lectured him about his dreadful habit of jumping to conclusions.
"It's not really a mess." Without an ounce of grace, she lurched to her feet, almost knocking over the small table in front of her. Rick, almost cat like in his movements, was what saved the poor table from toppling over. Evy was too overwhelmed by the confession she was about to make to feel embarrassment over her clumsiness. "I have something to tell you."
"Okay," he said cautiously, taking the seat she'd just vacated.
Pacing, Evy latched onto her locket, and wished her heart wasn't pounding so. "I don't know where to begin."
"Start in the middle, start at the end, just start any damn place." His swearing was one of those…rough habits she'd grown accustomed to. And Evy, though she never would have told him so, had heard far worse, knew that Rick's cursing was mild in comparison to the other words he probably knew quite well. "Look, Evelyn, why do you look like a kid's that about to be taken behind the woodshed? Come on. It can't be any worse than bringing some guy back from the dead."
"It's very rude of you to bring that up every chance you get." Evy tried to smile, but her lips wouldn't comply, so she gave up. "As for how serious this is, at first I told myself that the past was irrelevant, that it was my business entirely."
"What'd you do? Return a library book late?" Oooh, his flip attitude wasn't making this any easier, and Evy fought down her annoyance. A few seconds of silence passed, with Rick's eyes seeming to search her face intently. He got up, heading over to her. He drew her back against his chest, rubbing her arms soothingly. "This is really eating you up, isn't it?"
"I'm not quite the woman you believe me to be," she blurted out. "You think I'm some sort of pure angel who has never known a life outside library walls. Well, I assure you, sir, that it is not the case. It's my fault that you've got the facts wrong, I never told you otherwise."
She felt him rest his chin on her head, and since she couldn't see his face, she had no way of telling how he was reacting since it was a bit before he said anything. "Evelyn, are you trying to say you used to be a little wild?"
"Nothing of the sort!" she cried. He abruptly drew away, and out the corner of her eye, she saw him rub at his ear. "If you're implying that I used behave as rotten as Jonathan-"
"Honey, I've seen you with a snoot full. If you were anything like Jonathan, you'd hold it better," Rick told her dryly. He drew her back, resuming that delightful rubbing. The flesh beneath the sleeves of her blouse began to tingle in pleasure. Sternly, she told herself to keep steady on; she hadn't really told him anything yet.
"Yes, well, never mind that. What I meant was that…I…have…a past, Rick. I'm…" Lord help her, words failed her.
"Evelyn, are you trying to tell me you're not a virgin?" Curiously enough, he didn't sound upset, but perhaps he hadn't absorbed the implications just yet.
"That's about the size of it," she admitted in a whisper. "There's only been one man, in that way, I mean."
"Come on, why don't you sit down, huh?" He guided her back to the chair, and with little encouragement she fell back into it. "So who was this guy? I'm guessing it was serious between you two."
"Of course it was!" she burst out, her indignation finally giving her the courage to look at Rick's face. He just raised an eyebrow at her until she settled back down. "His name was Winston Dudley, we met in London. Before Jonathan and I came to Cairo we used to live there with my Aunt Mae, my father's cousin. They were raised as brother and sister, so we just referred to her as 'aunt.' She'd been a widow for ages, and had no children, so she was happy to have us. My parents had been dead since I was thirteen and Jonathan seventeen. I had always meant to return to Egypt…but…" she shook her head, waving a hand about in dismissal. "That's neither here nor there. I'm digressing badly. In any event, I'd made my life in London, and that's where I met Winston. He was the most dreadful mistake I would ever make."
"You two hit it off at first though, right?" he prompted. He settled in the chair across from her, stretching his long legs. He seemed relaxed, and this calmed her raw nerves to some degree.
"Yes, I suppose. He was a bit older than me, 29 to my nineteen years. He was very charming and sophisticated. He was a photographer and had seen every corner of the world, and done extensive work in Egypt." She sighed a bit ruefully, resting her chin in her hand. "Looking back, I have to wonder if he didn't use his work as a bit of a ploy. I don't mean to shirk my responsibility-"
"Dam straight it was a ploy," Rick agreed, interrupting. He reached over and took her free hand, giving it a gentle squeeze. "Evy, think about it. He was older, been around, sounds like he had the smooth, suave thing down cold. And hell, you've got a nineteen kid eating it all up. Like stealing candy from a baby." She clung to his hand, grateful thus far he wasn't angry. Rationally, she knew he had nothing to be angry about, as all this happened years before they ever laid eyes on each other, but men were known to make awful fusses about this sort of thing.
"I don't mean to sound as though I was victimized. I was a silly girl with stars in my eyes, and no one forced me to abandon good sense. I certainly shouldn't have believed all that rubbish about marriage after four weeks of courtship." She lifted her chin from her hand, and ran said hand over her face in self-exasperation. "He said he was mad for me, that I was the woman he'd always been searching for, and that we'd be married before the year was out. Fool of all womankind that I was, I never doubted his word. Jonathan even warned me."
Rick shook his head, bringing Evy's knuckles to his lips for a quick kiss. "Well, he's probably sweet talked a gal or two in his time, so he'd know. Let me guess, it didn't go over so good."
Wincing, she shook her head. "No, I became rather cross with him, and said such nasty things. I even accused him of wanting me all to himself so I could clean up after him until we were both old and grey."
"Somehow, I doubt you getting married is gonna stop that. Face it, Evy, you and Jonathan are a package deal. Still, I'll say one thing for him, he's loyal, and once in a while, he get's it right."
"Well, in this case, he was right," she conceded. She looked away, feeling memories sweep over her. "I gave myself to Winston in the understanding that I'd be his wife. I saw our future as a continuation of my mother and father's legacy, adventuring together, living our dreams side by side. He encouraged this belief, even made plans about the places we'd see. I should have begun to suspect, though, when he kept making excuses to avoid setting a date for the wedding. I suppose I only saw what I wanted to see."
"Look, this guy sounds like a piece of work. You're probably not the first sweet young thing to fall for his act," Rick pointed out reasonably. "Probably won't be the last."
"I'm not sure if that's comforting or not." She wrinkled her nose at him, but inside was so grateful she wanted to cry. She believed that it really was going to be all right. Then the black recollection of what happened next entered her mind, and she swallowed hard. "And then it happened. I made the discovery that I was going to have a baby. I was surprised, but not upset. I only thought it meant that Winston would finally settle down about the wedding."
Rick looked incredulous. "You mean this Winston character wasn't careful?"
"Careful?" Evy echoed, biting her lip thoughtfully. "We never discussed it. Is there a way to prevent a baby…I mean for well and certain? Since I thought we were to be married in any event…"
"Yeah, I get it. As for the rest, later, later. I just don't know where his brain was. Hell, he probably didn't give a damn. What happened after that? Obviously, you aren't Mrs. Dudley." Rick gently pulled her out her chair, settling her onto his lap, cradling her.
"Winston…well…he became a stranger. He demanded that I see a doctor that handles such delicate matters. When I refused, he became furious. Why, he struck me!" Evy's hand drifted to her cheek, and she felt Rick stiffen behind her. "No one had ever lifted a finger against me. Well, except for my nanny who would give me a smack when I needed one, but this was different. The way he looked at me, I was afraid. I was informed, under no uncertain terms, there would be no wedding, and he wouldn't claim the child as his. I won't repeat the rest, it's just too ghastly."
"I can guess." Rick's voice was low and tight, but Evy understood she wasn't the target of his anger. Still, she had a fleeting thought that it would be well for Rick and Winston never to meet, for Rick might have another appointment with a rope and a drop when all was said and done. "Your aunt find out?"
"She was irate. Jonathan, bless him, vouched for me, but considering that his behavior was hardly above reproach, all that earned him was boxed ears." She saw Rick briefly smirk, before pressing his face into her hair. "I was sent here to have the baby under the guise of family sentimentality as this was where I lived for a time as a child. Jonathan went along as a chaperone, a fine joke as I've always been the one to look after him. I was dreadfully ill, and we had a miserable time of it with quite a few storms. I lost the baby. It was…I was told that I was lucky. The nurse aboard told me it could have been much worse, that I had not bled overly much, that I could still bear children with great ease."
"And you've been here ever since?" She nodded, relieved that the business of telling him was finished. They just sat that way for a time, Rick pressing a kiss into her hair, holding her tightly. "So, that's what's been worrying you, huh?"
"Yes. You don't seem…I mean you are taking this rather well. Quite a few men would be put off by this story."
"First of all, I ain't most; second of all, if I'm 'put off' it's over this Winston creep." She looked up at his face, shivered at the mask of rage his face had settled into. "Bastard better hope that I don't meet him."
"I quite agree," she murmured nervously. "But aren't you upset that I have a past?"
"Who doesn't?" Rick retorted, his expression calming. "Look, Evelyn, you made a bad bet, fell for a story. It happens. Do I wish I'd met you first? Sure, I'd be a liar if I said different. What does get to me is that you got so worked up about telling me. Did you think I'd make tracks?"
"No. Yes. Oh, I don't know!" She tried to get off his lap, but he held her fast. "I suppose I was afraid that you would never look at me the same way again. Men like virgins, don't they?"
"Wouldn't know, never had one. Guess I never will." He gave her his lopsided grin, nuzzled her jaw, leaving sweet kisses behind. She felt herself melting in his arms, tilting her head to give him better access. His lips traveled lower, attending the sensitive skin of her neck. Every cell of her skin began to awaken and hum, her body coming alive. She'd felt desire with Rick before, had been left trembling and aching with need. But now she felt a freedom that hadn't existed previously, she was no longer a prisoner of her secret. He knew and still did not turn away from her.
"I love you, Evelyn Carnahan," he whispered reverently into her ear, leaving off his lovely torment for a moment. "You think what happened years ago is gonna make a difference to me? You're stuck, honey. Get used to it."
"If I must." She took his lips, kissing him with a wild abandon she'd never displayed before…ever. The ghosts of her past indiscretions had finally been banished.