Persuasion doesn't belong to me

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New Guys in Town

Frederick Wentworth captain in the King's Navy entered the ballroom. All eyes turned to him; he was resplendent in his blue coat. He smiled uncertainly at his friend, Harry Harville.

"Harry, like I said earlier. I don't think this is good idea."

"Frederick you need to loosen up," Harry was in his element, "you said you wanted to meet new people, new young ladies to help you get over Anne Elliot."

"Yes," Frederick agreed, "but I thought we would, I don't know, do it more quietly. In smaller, more, uhm, intimate circumstances."

"No, that was your idea. This is mine; you have to agree its better."

Harry walked around smiling and acknowledging people, everyone was wondering who they where and where they had come from.

"This is good we get to meet all the eligible ladies at once and you can choose which ones you want to get to know better."

Frederick's sister and her husband were in attendance and they had a list of girls they thought would suit Frederick.

"Start with Fanny Little," Sophy advised him; "she's the best of them all. Her family owns half the land but don't hold that against her, she is a sweet, gentile sort of girl."

"Okay," Frederick agreed as the girl in question was being thrown into his path.

Fanny was one of the most stunningly beautiful women Frederick had ever met, she was wearing a bright green gown which fitted her so well, her smile was open and welcoming and she spoke well. She was absolutely perfect, well read and had no airs. They had a lot in common.

'He should have been enjoying himself,' but Frederick couldn't even concentrate on what she was saying. He kept comparing her to Anne Elliot. He wondered what Anne was doing now. She was probably married; married to some rich, suitable gentleman.

'It had been two years since he'd seen her. Two years since she'd rejected him. Two years since she'd found him unworthy to be her husband. Two years.'

Suddenly Frederick was tired of the room; it was too bright and too loud. As for the food and the music; it was lacking.

He apologized to Fanny and excused himself, saying he had a headache. By the time he got to the rooms where he was lodging with Harry, the headache was very real.

He had a bath and sat on his bed.

He couldn't sleep, he was too restless.

Without meaning to he picked up a paper and pen and began to write. He would find out how she was; if she was fine at least, if she was still unmarried and waiting for him. How many children she had, if any, was she still in England.

He folded the letter and addressed it and went to sleep.

When Harry returned he found the letter on the table. He looked at it hard and made a decision. I'll keep it, give him a chance to think about it, and if he still wants to send it tomorrow he will.

In the morning Frederick looked for the letter but couldn't find it. I was probably dreaming, made the whole thing up. Thank God, I didn't send her the letter; she would probably have thought me weak and clingy.

They got orders later that morning; they had to return to the ship.

So much for dreaming, Frederick thought to himself as they boarded, back to real life. This is my life now.


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