Hi! I promise to make this author's note short, I just want to say I read Water for Elephants when I was 12 or 13 (I'm 16 now) and I was no where near mature enough to handle this book. I've recently watched the movie and was blown away by the depth of these characters and power of this story. I hope I can do this story justice.
Marlena awoke in the middle of the night, reaching out to find the other side of the "bed" empty. A hay stack covered in a ratty blanket however, can hardly be considered a bed. Still, with the warmth of a sleeping Queenie tucked into Marlena's torso along with the extra jackets and clothes Jacob had placed upon her while she was sleeping kept the young showgirl warm.
Just thinking about him made her smile. He was the first person to truly care for her in God knows how long. She had fallen asleep in his arms the previous night as they whispered their dreams to each other. Every few minutes or so, Marlena would insist her lover grab another jacket, anything to keep him warm on chilly night. The only items of clothing the young man wore were a thin, dirty shirt and work pants. The exact outfit he had walked away from the Benzini tent in three days prior. Every time she would suggest a change of clothing, Jacob would chuckle,
"I think I'll survive Marlena, you need these much more then I do."
Then he would place a kiss upon her shoulder and continue whatever thought he was previously sharing.
So selfless, so caring, Marlena could not fathom how she had been so lucky to find him, or rather, have him find her. It was truly destiny.
Marlena rubbed the sleep from her eyes and sat up, searching for the man on her mind. He was no where to be found in the barn the two found sojourn in for the night. The pair had come across the abandoned barn during the extensive walk to Cornell. Due to the friends the two had brought along on their journey, a hotel was not an option. Neither took mind to the conditions, more then content with each others presence after the struggle they had to overcome in order to be together peacefully.
Marlena rose to wipe the excess hay off of her clothing, she then wrapped her robe tighter around her fragile body and walked out of the barn into the chilly night; what she saw made her heart melt. Jacob, quietly whispering sweet Polish phrases to the creature which had saved their lives, Rosie. The gigantic mammal was lying down but it's lengthy tail swished attentively. Jacob stroked the elephant's trunk in a soothing manner in an attempt to lure the giant back to sleep. Marlena leaned against the doorframe of the barn, crossing her arms to just watch. It was a beautiful sight, so outrageous yet so natural.
No more then a minute later the elephant caught sight of the beautiful woman and made a delighted sound which can only be described as an elephant 'hello'. Jacob turned around with a smile, attempts at getting Rosie to sleep long forgotten. He rose from his position, kneeling near the elephants head, playfully swatting at the animal. He then walked over to Marlena, wrapping his arms around her waist and gently kissing the top of her head.
"I'm sorry, did we wake you?"
"No, no of course not, what's the matter?"
"Some other animal must have woken ol Rosie up; I'm just trying to make sure she gets some rest for tomorrow's walk. But now that you're here she's way too excited, isn't that right Rose?"
The elephant made yet another joyous noise as the showgirl approached her, climbing on the animals back with some help from Jacob. Marlena then laid down on the beast, running her hands up and down it's rough skin. Rosie stood up and began walking in circles, almost as if to rock her master to sleep. If one can call Marlena, Rosie's master. The two, along with Jacob had a delicate, beautiful, friendship, and at the end of the day, both humans knew who the boss was. Yet, Marlena and Jacob had treated Rosie with nothing but tender love, which the elephant was more then happy to reciprocate.
Jacob watched with a smile as the girl of his dreams giggled atop the giant animal. It was almost surreal to see her laugh, the pain August and his henchman had thrust upon them, still haunted the two. The moon illuminated the black and blue bruise still evident below Marlena's left eye reminding Jacob that they weren't out of the clearing just yet. As he thought, his smile faded. He had promised her so much, he needed to see her live the life she deserves, and he was going to do everything in his power to make her dream life a reality.
Jacob was not an angry man; he had never been violent before, he had no reason to be, yet thinking of the horrible things August had done to Marlena made Jacob's blood boil.
Marlena, looking down at her lover, could sense the change of mood as he looked down at his feet, she gently asked Rosie to let her down, sliding off of the elephants back and joining Jacob once again.
"Hey, what's wrong? Look at me. Jacob, look at me." She softly requested as she took the handsome man's face into her hands.
"What's the matter?" She whispered once more. Jacob responded by gently- always gently-outlining the remaining bruise under his paramour's eye. She leaned into his touch, understanding what was going through his mind.
"I should have protected you. You don't deserve this." She shook her head furiously
"Don't you dare say that, you know it's not your fault."
"That doesn't fix anything Marlena." She attempted a smile and leaned up to kiss him.
"We're free now, and we're together, that's all that matters." The two embraced and quiet overtook them. Jacob was the one to break the silence.
"You know I love you, right? You know I'm going to try my hardest to protect you, to be there for you?" Marlena could only manage a short reply, tears gathering in her eyes at his confession. It was nothing she didn't know already, yet it still got to her.
With that the two returned to their barn, lay down together on the hay stack and fell into a peaceful slumber.
So that's the first chapter! Sorry for the short length. I'm going to be honest, I'm probably only going to update once or twice more following up on Jacob and Marlena's life together. I'm going to watch the movie again next week and I hope that will inspire me to crank out another chapter. I had no beta for this chapter so all grammatical mistakes are min., Reviews really keep me going. Thanks guys, Happy Easter!