A/N: Thank you all so very much for all the reviews/alerts! It makes my day to see those and hear what you have to say. I'm glad that you guys are interested in where this is going because I can assure you that it's going to get interesting! Leave me a review and let me know what you think!
After a hard day of work, Rose was always ready to come home to her apartment and sit down to relax for a little while before she made herself something to eat. It had taken lots of trial and error with cooking before she finally managed to learn how to make a few simple meals for herself. One of her fellow seamstresses, Rebecca, wrote down some of her own recipes that would be easy for Rose to follow to help her out. She would also come over from time to time to teach Rose some new techniques, which Rose appreciated so much since she was pregnant and alone. The company was always welcome in her home, especially because she didn't like to be alone a lot of the time.
Rebecca Anderson was one of the many women who had taught her how to sew when she first got the job, teaching her a few techniques that would make her life easier and her work go faster. She was married and had a little one of her own that her mother kept during the day while she was at work. Her husband, James, worked in one of the factories close by, so he visited frequently and brought them all lunch from the local diner from time to time. The Andersons were one of the many reasons that Rose had survived our in Wisconsin on her own without having to sell the Heart of the Ocean that she found in her pocket upon her arrival to New York. Every single time she looked at it, her stomach would lurch and she would think of Cal and how much she hated him and the society that she came from. She didn't need their money. Being poor and happy was better than being rich and miserable like she had been her entire life before the Titanic changed everything.
After getting a pot of tea on the stove, Rose sat down to relax and think about what she wanted to eat for dinner. The baby had very distinct taste for what he or she wanted to eat, so there were often times when she would eat something and then it would come back up a few hours later if the baby didn't like it. So she had to be careful with what she ate for a while. A knock on her door brought Rose to her feet from her chair as she went to answer it, finding Rebecca standing there with a basket, no doubt full of food.
"Rebecca, I wasn't expecting you tonight," she said, genuinely surprised that someone had come over.
Her friend laughed and nodded. "Oh I know, but I wanted to come surprise you with a little something.
"Well thank you," she said, smiling as she opened the door to let Rebecca in. "I just put some tea on the stove if you'd like some."
"I'd love some actually," Rebecca said as she came in and sat the basket on the table before taking a seat across from where Rose had been sitting before. "Very little sugar and no lemon please, I'm allergic."
Rose walked across the room and pulled out two tea cups before pouring some of the tea in each one, adding a slice lemon in hers and some sugar to Rebecca's before bringing them to the table and taking her seat. Settling down, she fixed her dress so it rested comfortably over her rounded stomach. The baby, who had been quiet for most of the day, started to move around and kick as she smiled. Even though she still missed Jack with all of her heart, it was nice to know that she had a little piece of him with her always.
"I remember when I was waiting for my little William," Rebecca said, smiling at her knowingly. "He never ceased to move during any part of the day, even at night when I was trying to sleep."
A smile spread across Rose's face. "This little one is very active at night, especially right as I am trying to go to sleep."
"James would talk to the baby at night to make him go to sleep so I could get some rest," Rebecca said, sipping on her tea before she paused and realized what she was saying to Rose. "Oh I'm so sorry...I didn't mean that..."
"No it's alright," she said, shaking her head. "You didn't mean any harm."
"It must be hard...doing this on your own."
Rose nodded. "It is...but I know that this baby is a gift. Something I didn't expect."
Rebecca smiled a little. "Sometimes the best surprises come to us in little packages. Did...did your husband know?"
"He didn't," she said, looking down at her stomach. "Rebecca, can you keep a secret?"
"Of course," she replied, reaching over and taking Rose's hand with her own. "You know I keep secrets better than any of the other girls at the theater, including Mary."
Rose took a deep breath and nodded. "Jack...wasn't my husband. Not in the way that you think or believe he was."
"What do you mean?"
"I mean Jack and I were never married," Rose explained carefully. "Not in the legal sense or in the church...even though I believe we were in our own way."
Rose went on to tell Rebecca the story of how she met Jack on the night she almost jumped off the back of the ship because of the inertia of her life and how he pulled her back, saving her life. Rebecca seemed entranced as she went on to tell her how they got to know one another, even though he was from third class and she was a first class passenger, and how she was fascinated with the life that he lived because it was so carefree. She told her of the first class dinner party and then the third class dance that she and Jack went to that evening. The story seemed to flow on as she remembered Sunday morning when he tried to tell her that her world had her trapped and that she would die if she didn't break free. When she got to Sunday evening, when she found Jack and then how he drew her completely naked, Rebecca blushed.
"I promise you...it was the most erotic moment of my life...up until then at least," she said, smiling a little.
"What happened next?" Rebecca asked, completely immursed in the story Rose was telling.
Smiling, Rose went on with her tale and how Cal's spy came after them and how she and Jack got away to the cargo hold of the ship where they made love in the car. It was a part of the story that Rose felt deeply connected to because she loved Jack so much. But as they got to the sinking, tears formed in her eyes as she explained how she had been put in a lifeboat by Jack and Cal, only to jump back on the ship because she couldn't leave Jack. The story seemed to take on a life of it's own as Rose told the rest and how she and Jack stayed together after the ship sank from under them. When she got to Jack's death, tears were streaming down her own cheeks as she held her stomach protectively.
"I promised him...that I would never let go of my promise to go on and that I would survive," she said, rubbing her stomach gently. "It was the hardest thing in the world to let him go and get off that wood panel when the lifeboat came back, but I did it for him. The lifeboat pulled me out of the water, along with five others, before we boarded the Carpathia and made it to New York. When we arrived, I gave my name as Rose Dawson and decided to start my life over."
At the end of the story, Rose looked up and saw Rebecca in tears too. This was a feeling she knew too well as she had spent many nights crying because she missed Jack. But she knew that she had a promise to keep. And that was what kept her going most of the time. That, and the baby that was growing inside of her. The baby was Jack's child and she knew that it would be her greatest treasure.
"I moved out here to feel closer to Jack...because this was the place where he was raised. I figured starting my life over here would be the best place," she went on. "When I arrived, I found out shortly after that I was pregnant...and that I would be having Jack's child, so I figured it was easier to tell people that he was my husband and that he had died in the sinking, which was true."
Reaching over, Rebecca pulled her into a hug and held her as a sister would. "Your secret is safe with me...no one will ever know otherwise," she whispered before pulling back and looking her in the eyes.
"Thank you for your descretion," she said sincerely. "Jack was the only man I've ever loved and he saved me...in every way a person can be saved. Now I have the chance to live my life free of constricting society rules. All because of Jack."
Rose knew that Jack had been the one to inspire her to move away from New York out to a place where she had no aquaintances. There she was forced to make new friends and make a life for herself and their child. Someday, when their child was old enough, she was going to take him or her to the beach and the pier at Santa Monica in California where they would ride horses and swim in the ocean. She would also take her son or daughter on the roller coaster there and make sure he or she had the best life possible. It was her promise to Jack and she was going to make sure that she fulfilled it, no matter what.