Geoff was educated.
Kate was not.
It's not that she was stupid, for she wasn't. But she grew up the only child of her father who taught her everything he knew about being a blacksmith. Since they were poor and her mother had fallen gravely ill shortly after Kate's birth, her father could not afford to send her to school. And so Kate became a blacksmith.
Geoff never knew love.
She met her husband when they were both 21. They were young and in love. He swept her off her feet and they enjoyed 2 years of marriage. It was fever that took him in the end. They were trying for a baby.
Geoff was happy.
Kate was not.
She was sick of all the romance. What with Jocelyn and Will expecting a child, Roland and Christiana were growing fonder every day and Wat bringing home women from the brothel every night, she felt lonely.
Geoff was handsome.
Kate was not.
Or at least she didn't think she was. It was hard to see yourself as beautiful when women like Christiana and Jocelyn strut around in regal gowns and dresses without a spot of dirt on them. Kate walked around in her plain brown dress covered in sweat. One day while in town, Kate was out to get a new hammer for Will's armor when she fell in the mud. She looked up to see what tripped her and realized it was the foot of a noble woman.
"Right where you belong," she smirked. "What man could love a filthy peasant like you?"
She ran home crying. The Noble Woman's words had cut her heart deep. It was in her workplace that Geoff found her.
"Kate I was wondering if-" he stopped at the sniffling woman on the ground. "What's wrong?"
"Nothing I, just-" he bent down to look at her.
"Kate, what happened?"
With a sob, she threw her arms around his neck while he held her and kept hold till she blubbered out what happened. "And she's right," Kate said. "I'm not pretty. I am ugly, poor, dirty and uneducated." At this Geoff gently grabbed her chin so she was forced to look at him. With determination in his eyes, he spoke words that made her heart soar.
"Katherine you are beautiful. You are smart, charming and talented. That woman said that because she was jealous. Kate, you are amazing in every aspect of the word."
Geoff was nervous.
Kate was too.
It had been awhile since either of them had courted. Kate wasn't very sure what to do. But she knew two women who did.
"Jocelyn? Christiana?" The two women looked up from their needle-work.
"Yes Kate?" Jocelyn asked.
"I was wondering if you could help me. You see, me and Geoff are going out tonight and uh-"
"Of course Kate," said Christiana with a smile playing on her lips. "Let's get started."
The next hour was spent washing Kate's face, brushing her hair and picking out a dress. Kate finally agreed on a plain maroon dress with long sleeves and a gold broach to pin on. They pulled her hair back and gave her a pair of matching maroon slippers. Jocelyn and Christina stepped back and gazed at their handiwork. Kate really did look beautiful. The dress they had given her complemented her body type beautifully and she seemed to glow. As she stepped in front of a mirror, Kate drew a small breath.
"Wow, I- don't know what to say!" Kate breathed.
"You don't need to say anything Kate. Now go have fun with young Master Geoff," said Jocelyn playfully.
"Thank you both so much!" Kate threw her arms around the two women and hurried off to meet Geoff. His back was turned to her as he waited behind her smithy where they agreed to meet.
"Hello Geoff," she said softly.
Geoff spun around and his jaw dropped.
"Wow Kate! You look stunning," he exclaimed.
"Thank you Geoff, your not so bad yourself," she said flirting lightly.
Geoff had his unruly, dirty blond hair combed neatly. He wore a clean white shirt accompanied by a long black overcoat.
"Oh well, you know," he said as he awkwardly rubbed his neck. Geoff extended his arm to her.
"Shall we be off then Miss Katherine?"
She laughed and gladly took his arm.
"We shall Mr. Geoffrey," she replied.
They walked into to town and Geoff took her to a fancy restaurant. They talked and laughed for hours, both of them genuinely enjoying themselves. When they were both full, they walked home again arm in arm. By this point, they were totally at ease with each other. When they arrived at her forgery, neither of them wanted the night to end.
"I had a really nice night Geoff," Kate said.
"It was a pleasure Milady," he grinned.
There was an awkward pause before he slowly closed the gap between them. Kate felt her heart rate quicken.
"Katherine, I really feel something for you. Something I've never really felt before. I know you were once married but with your permission, I feel that I could bring you happiness in this dismal world of-"
"Oh shut up," she said as she silenced him with her lips.
The kiss was passionate. At first Geoff was surprised but quickly embraced her and matched her passion. His lips were warm and soft and kissing him made her heart melt. He reached up and gently cupped her face with one hand and placed the other on her lower back. When the kiss broke they both had big smiles on their faces.
"Why don't you come inside?" Kate asked smiling.
Because Geoff loved Kate.
And Kate loved Geoff.