From the Journal, Part 2—
Well, dear friends, I am back, and I am letting DeJean have another look into my journals for another worthy cause. In November, 2011, Fandom Gives Back held a last-minute auction and the delightful Marijee contributed to hear more about little old me, bless her heart. That said I do hope you enjoy the rest of the story.
Oh, Jesus in a petticoat—do I sound like that radio guy?
No, not at all—DeJean.
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Oh, she's lovely. Everything I had hoped for. Bella, that is. Silly me, anyone reading this isn't going to know who 'she' is. I know better than to start an entry like that. Not that I expect people to read my journals but I was once told to write as if speaking to someone and saying a vague 'she' is not proper.
Bella is quite lovely. A little shorter than I am, long wavy brown hair, expressive brown eyes. I see a lot of Chris in her even though there are decades of dilution of that DNA. Maybe it's just wishful thinking.
I do hope she has more of Chris' traits than that of his egg donor. (Alice told me that's the latest way of referring to a female parent that doesn't deserve the moniker of Mom or Mother or some such. The English language truly is an amazing, adaptive creation. So many lovely ways to describe Mary Frances without saying her name aloud.)
Bella seems ever so kind. Friendly, but a little reserved. Not necessarily shy, but certainly not ebullient or effervescent.
I do get the notion she'd hold her own, though, if cornered. She'll need that attribute if she's going to be friends with Alice, and Alice has already said they are to be the best of friends. And I know better than to second guess Alice.
I am looking forward to learning more about her in the next few weeks.
So that was how I felt after first meeting our Bella Swan. I hated looking into her eyes after she remembered her parents in her 'believe state.' The pain and agony of her thinking they had passed was palatable. So sad.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Today was quite possibly the most exciting, thrilling day of my entire life.
No, there is no hyperbole there.
I have watched my family as they have paired up. Granted, it was from afar and through letters, but the sense of awe when Esme was introduced to me through Carlisle's letters was palatable. I could tell my brother had fallen and fallen hard but with no regrets, no second thoughts. Regrettably, I had giggled at his puppy-like devotion.
Then there was the failed Rosalie match for Edward (What WAS Carlisle thinking there?). Maybe he was so blinded by his own happiness and his desire to give Edward that that he had. Fortunately, Emmett was found. Even the Ice Goddess showed she could melt when the right person comes along.
Love her like a niece, but let us face facts, Rosalie is a bit…reserved…holier than thou…um…maybe it's just best to say Rosalie is Rosalie and leave it at that.
And Alice and Jasper joined the family. Well, those two are like peas in a pod—odd but strangely fitting of each other.
After the failure that was my non-relationship with CT, I pretty much gave up on ever finding someone. I always expected Edward and I would go through life like two old curmudgeonly professors. You know the type—the ones that are married happily to their books and offices.
When Edward ran into Bella, quite literally, that first day—I could see the ever so slight widening of his eyes. One doesn't have to be a mind reader to see that he was completely shocked. Then, when I sensed him in her bedroom and wished him good night—That was priceless. That was priceless. I could hear him grumping all the way down the street after I spoke to him.
We may not have had time to talk it over, but I could see my nephew had fallen hard and fast for my niece, cousin, whatever… (Yes, I'm waving my hand as I write this—sue me).
I laughed to myself at how another one had fallen deeply and hopelessly in love. Gotta love vampire relationships—it either is or it isn't. Doesn't mean some don't have a little something something on the side. Sweet Jesus, just look at those Denali sisters if you want a sample of that. Or, maybe not. *shudder*
Little did I know someone else was going to have the last laugh …
Even his name makes me sit up a little straighter and act like a 12 year old with a massive crush.
After an argument with Alice about her changing the script, someone walked into McCarty's. I yelled a greeting, and I came out of the stockroom, all fat and frumpy with dust in my curls from where I climbed under a table in the back to find a bobbin that had rolled under a table. Alice was grinning like a fool and motioned toward the book section before departing to go meet Bella.
Without setting down the fabric, I went to go greet the customer. And I saw HIM, standing in the little book nook I had, all decked out in a charcoal gray suit with an amethyst cravat, hat in hand, looking a touch nervous, a touch bemused.
And time. Stood. Still.
And I promptly dropped a bolt of fabric on my big toe.
"Are you quite alright?" he had inquired, rushing to my aid in the blink of an eye.
And what did I do? I stood there bouncing on one foot, the other in my hand, mouth agape, staring at him. I couldn't say a word if you paid me.
Before I knew it, I was sitting in the window seat, my sore foot cradled in the hands of this man who very carefully pried off my shoe and made sure there was no damage done. I had never before cared about my appearance but at that moment, I felt downright dumpy.
"Miss Alice invited me to meet her here at three o'clock to discuss my participation in the Evermore Experience," he murmured, his eyes not leaving mine as he took my hand and placed a gentle kiss on the back. "I think I need to tell her the answer is yes."
I need to send Alice a fruit basket or flowers or those hoity-toity shoes she loves so much.
Well, I was so flustered, I said the first thing that came to my mouth—I asked him if he had a fetish for fat, gray old women with frizzy hair and glasses.
And he laughed at me. Or at what I said. At that point, I really didn't care one way or the other. As long as he was near, oh. Gee. Em. Or is it Gee. Oh. Em? Or…whatever.
"Forgive me," he announced, rising to his feet and bowing slightly. "My name is William Lawrence of the Virginia Tidewater Lawrences. May I have the honor of your name, Miss?" And he held out one hand, his eyes sparkling.
And I wanted to swoon. Not just faint, not just pass out but—swoon!
"L-L-L," I stuttered.
"Surely, Miss L, I am pleased to make your acquaintance."
And then I burst out my full name. "LiriopeMissouriHermitage!" If it were possible to die, I know I would have right then and there.
I know I turned four different shades of red. I felt like such a fool and tried to get up and run away but he gently held my hand and with one finger lifted my face to look into his eyes.
Such pretty, pretty eyes. Long, sooty lashes. Soft yellow irises with a hint of earthy brown surrounding the pupils.
Oh, I thanked heaven he was a vegetarian like my family. I don't know what I would have done if he had been traditional. My heart would have broken right then and there.
"Well, Miss Liriope Missouri Hermitage," he said ever so softly. "Would you do me the honor of allowing me to escort you home? Mayhaps we could talk along the way?"
I think I nodded and rose to close up the shop. To be honest, I'm not entirely sure. I did know I would be willing to do anything to hear this Mr. Lawrence talk. Such a soft, gentle voice with a lilt of a Virginian accent. He had kept his. Not like some of the others that worked hard to become so neutral.
I liked that a lot.
Mr. Lawrence presented his arm with a little bow, and I cautiously took it. At the bottom of the walk, I started to turn to the left but he gently pulled me to the right. I looked up at him questioningly. I knew the best way to get home and here he was correcting me!
"I thought we might take the long way to your home," he replied, a teasing smile pulling at his lips.
I think he could have said we were going to walk to China, and I would have agreed at that very moment. His face lit up and his eyes sparkled and I could see the tiniest hint of crinkles around his eyes when he smiled. I do love eye crinkles. Oh, he is ever so handsome. Since no one is ever going to read you, my journal, I can tell you this—he is H. O. T.
Well, here's another place where I'm wrong. About the reading. Not that Will is attractive. Thanks, DeJean. Well, carry on, I guess. I wrote this for me and you're going to think I am a lovesick teenager.
You are lovesick—DeJean.
True dat! So …
We strolled through the center of town. To be honest, I was a little nervous. Everyone thought it was 1827 and here I was, someone who looked like a rode-hard, put-up wet mid-forty year old woman walking with a handsome, rugged, early twenty-something. In 2010, I might have gotten a 'you go, girl!' but in 1827, tongues would wag!
But Will didn't care in the least. He made delightful small talk, telling me about the character sketch Alice had written for him. It was not far off of his real life, he said. He was to be a gentleman farmer who had come to Evermore to look at a horse at Masen Manor to add to his stables.
When I asked how he knew Alice, he shook his head and replied that he did not. I'm sure my eyes grew wide at this but with our Alice, anything is possible. Will continued to say that a package had arrived at his home in Virginia with his complete life story at Evermore written and then a plea to come to England as well as a plane ticket. Something in the story had intrigued him and as his parents had come from England, he thought it might be nice to visit the homeland.
That Alice! Maybe I owe her two pairs of those choo-shoes she loves.
The streets of Evermore were amazingly empty. All except this little millinery shop that I love. I have a thing for hats. Alice loves shoes; Rosalie loves cars; Esme loves furniture. I. Love. Hats.
I'm not really sure how it happened but the next thing I know, I was standing in the shop trying on gardening hats. Five minutes later, I was staring at a hat box in Will's hand with the most beautiful big floppy straw hat with a fine satin ribbon around the brim.
As we left the shop, my eye caught on my reflection in the mirror. I would have sworn my eyes looked a little…I don't know. Brighter? When I leaned over to get a closer look, I realized my vision was a little blurry. I took off my glasses and it got a little better but not completely, so I put them back on. When I stood back straight, I shook my head and turned back to Mr. Lawrence with a shrug.
"If it would not be too forward, I would like to say you look beautiful to me," he murmured next to my ear.
I thanked him for the new hat and took his offered arm yet again and we headed to 321 Meyer Lane. Just outside the millinery shop, Will turned his full attention to me and asked, "So, just who is this Liriope Missouri Hermitage McCarty?"
I asked him what he meant. Did he want to know who my character was here at Evermore or did he want to know about me.
He said he wanted to know everything about me; no matter what I wanted to tell him, he wanted to know it. So I told him. Everything.
Thank heaven that he could understand my quick-talking because I told him, in a voice too low for anyone else to hear, absolutely everything. From what I knew about my birth to my life with Mary Frances, to meeting Carlisle to my life in my cabin outside Maggie Valley.
And it was oh, so natural. Oh, so natural. I wanted him to know everything and he listened, nodded when appropriate, and made me feel as if he was genuinely enraptured by what I had to say. It was as if he hung onto every word I told him. As if I was the most fascinating creature in the world.
I have no idea where the nerve to tell Will came from but I felt lighter that someone knew. And I felt like I could tell him anything and that he wouldn't judge me. It was a completely foreign feeling, I tell you!
When my tale was done, he moved my hand from his arm down to his hand, lacing his fingers through mine. Will looked around and saw no one near us. He squeezed my hand, smiled warmly down at me.
"Thank you," he murmured.
We stood still in the alley between my house and the next one over, just holding each other's hand for several minutes.
Nature abhors a vacuum and I could not stand the silence, so I pulled out my new gardening hat, plopped it over my head and pulled Will toward the garden under the auspices of gathering vegetables for Bella's and my dinner.
Then Will started to tell me his own story.
William Alexander Lawrence was born in July of 1750. He had no idea of the day. He was the eighth of twelve children in ten years so by the time he came along, his parents had long since forgotten who was born on what day. I had no doubt of that. Twelve children in ten years! Ouch!
I'm pretty sure I cringed and my lady parts wanted to hide.
Will is originally from the tidewater area of Virginia (which is now the area around Hampton Roads). He has property near Williamsburg. And Richmond. And New Orleans. And Biloxi. And…well, he moves around a lot. He does not have a family like I do even if I am distanced from them by choice, so he comes and goes as he pleases. Always in the south; always on a farm. It's what he knows and what he is most comfortable about.
I interrupted him and asked about his eye color, whether that was a recent choice or …
Will smiled a sad smile as he placed an eggplant into my basket.
I hate eggplant but Alice assured me Bella likes it, so that's why my garden has the evil things.
Will told me that he grew up as a farmer and eventually was apprenticed as a cooper or barrel maker. He couldn't really remember his apprenticeship but he recalled one day seeing a living history reenactment near Monticello and his hands having a mind of their own when the tools of the trade were placed before him. Vague memories broke through and he could recall bits and pieces.
When he was around 27, after being married for ten years, he had joined the colonials to fight against the British. At a minor skirmish outside Hampton Roads, Virginia, he had been injured and the smell of his blood called a vampire to him and his wife became a widow.
My shocked face must have told him I never expected that he had been married. I guess the little fantasy life I had imagined had been I would remain alone and should I ever find someone to spend the rest of my life with I assumed they would have been alone as well.
Quickly, Will continued to tell me that while he had been married in his human life, he had no idea what her name had been. He just didn't remember. What he did recall was never being in love with her. They had grown up on neighboring farms and their parents thought them a good match so they were married off, given a plot of land and sent on their merry way.
I can't say I was very happy to hear he had been married, despite the fact he had never loved her. I didn't like the idea that someone else had touched my William. That someone else had warmed his bed on a cold night.
I may have pouted a little.
Or a lot.
Will went on to explain that he had been changed by a vampire (who never shared his name) and that he was turned after a skirmish near Richmond during the American Revolution. This (insert proper colorful adjective here) vampire had taken Will from confrontation to confrontation, feeding off of injured soldiers. Soldiers that did not necessarily have life-threatening injuries.
As a newborn, Will had taken human lives because he knew no other way. After the Revolution ended and battles were fewer and farther between, it was harder and harder to find a meal that wouldn't arouse suspicion. Will's creator wanted to move into the larger cities to attack humans there. Will remembered enough about his family and friends that he did not want to do that. He was moving out of the newborn stage and was gathering more and more control over his own emotions.
There was a fight that escalated and Will's creator did not survive. In his desperation, Will ran to the mountains—a mere few hours from where I grew up, no less—and discovered that a diet of four-legged beasts could sustain him.
My heart bled for my Will. So much pain in so short of a time.
We continued to gather a few more vegetables in silence.
A few questions bubbled up in my mind, and I couldn't help but ask if he was alone in his travels. Surely someone as handsome as Will had found other companionship. I really didn't want to think about it but it did pop into my brain and you know me, once an idea is in there, it usually comes out my mouth.
Will stopped mid-step and turned to face me. He indicated that for his entire vampire life (with the exception of that first newborn year) he had been alone.
I could not believe it. Wasn't too disappointed about it, to be honest, but I could not believe it.
Will began to tell me silly stories of his post-newborn adventures. Of how he liked the taste of deer but possum left him cold.
Having had my own fair share of the greasy critter, I agreed wholeheartedly.
Then he picked a bunch of sweet onions for me and gave them to me as if presenting me with a bouquet of roses. It was ever so sweet. I picked up my basket of vegetables and turned to head into the house.
"Miss Hermitage?" he inquired softly.
"Yes?" I replied, brushing off my skirt. Some of the dirt stuck to the produce had fallen into my dress.
"Would it be too bold of me to kiss you?"
Now, I know I blushed eight shades of red.
"May I?" he continued.
I nodded my head and he placed one cool hand on my cheek while the sweetest, most reverent kiss landed right on my lips. Well, I kissed him back, of course, feeling all Princess Bride and the like. Just…
I hope we do that again sometime.
And we did. And then some. But that's another journal entry and I'm not sure I'm going to share that one just yet!
Again, many thanks to the wonderful Javamomma0921 for betaing this and thank you to Marijee for contributing to the Fandom Gives Back auction.
I'm not going to hit 'complete' on this story just yet because you never know when Liriope is going to come out of the woodwork and want her say.
For those who have asked, yes, a short sequel to Evermore Experience is in the works. TLammy purchased the other FGB piece I had up and Beyond Evermore was born. I am not sure when posting of that will begin but more than likely, it will be after Hands-On History wraps up.
Again, thank you for reading, reviews and alerts. They do mean the world to me.