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Large brown eyes stared up their depth still hazy and clouded with confusion and incomprehension. The girl on the bed felt her body was a dead weight covered in blankets, she could not think only see what was before her. She did know what was before her.
Only moments before Alice had come running into the room and explanation dying on her lips as she saw with her eyes the girl looking up at her brother.
"Hello." Alice said softly, the girl broke her contact with Edward and turned towards her, she opened her mouth to talk but a sharp clawing at her throat caught her breath making her coughed, it rocked her body painfully, her small hand reached up to grip her through as if she could extinguish the scratching flames with in it.
Alice reached for the glass of cool water on the bedside table but Edward was already helping the girl drink the water.
Alice watched as her brother held the girl up with one strong arm and holding the glass in the other hand. He did not even flinch as water spilled onto him he carried on speaking softly to the girl.
"There there this will help it." He whispered as he lay her back down. She gasped for air spluttering occasionally.
"I'm Alice." Alice said as cheerfully as she could manage and walked towards her and gently pushed her brother out of the way, the girls eyes fluttered.
"Are you ok? Do you need anything?" the girl ignored Alice's question as her vision tried to correct itself. Shaped blurred and colours inked together.
"Can you talk?" her voice was getting more panicked; she gripped the girls hand to let her know that she was there.
"I-" the girl's voice was hoarse and scratch away at her throat.
"Don't try to speak." Edward interjected softly casting a disapproving look towards Alice.
"Edward we need to know her name." she huffed back.
The girl's brain swirled painfully as she tried to make sense of what was happening as the two strangers looked down at her with a mixture of worry and hope.
"Where am I?" she managed to wheeze out even though the words did not sound like hers, they were too weak and scratchy.
"You are in my cottage, my brother and I found you on the beach, you gave us quiet a scare." Alice told her. The girls eyes fluttered, the squeezed them shut tight her mind reeling from this new information. She didn't remember anything about a beach... only being cold.. .so cold.
She shivered at the vague memory, Edward noticed this and grabbed the blue cashmere shawl that was hanging loosely on Alice s shoulders and quickly but ever so gently wrapped it around the girls shoulder.
"I don't remember." The new owner of the shawl said quietly hot tears of frustration pooling behind her eyelids. A sharp pain in the corner of her head made her cry out.
"Alice! Enough questions." Edward demanded sharply, he made a move to get Alice out of the way to check the girl but Alice was already checking the girls head and fussing over her.
"Where does it hurt? Is there anything I can do, are you ok oh god Edward what do I do?" Alice was talking fast and fuelled by panic as the girl clutched her head and whimpered.
"Alice she must have hit her head on the rocks, I need you to go and get me some more water and the chloroform please, quickly." Edward told her calmly, she quickly did as she was told and ran out the room.
Edward sat on the bed next the girl and removed her hands from her head with gentle encouragement.
"Please make it stop!" she gasped squeezing his hands tightly as if the pain could flow like energy from his hands to his. Edward for the first time in a while was struggling to keep calm. It was an art, keeping calm, one that he had mastered with perfection over the years, but now he found his learning slowly slipping away. The same alarmed feeling that was with him earlier on in the morning had taken root and refused to disappear.
"Shh." He soothed fore that was that entire he could do until sister returned with the medicine. Without thinking he swept the smooth silken hair from the girl face dislodging glistening crystal tracks of tear from her cream cheeks. He tucked it behind her ear.
Her whimpering ceased until he heard just her heavy breathing. He quickly removed his hand upon realising what he was doing.
"Has it passed?" Edward asked. The girl nodded.
Alice came back into the room carrying a tray with a sparkling glass of water and blue bottle of liquid and a folded white handkerchief. Her eyes were on Edwards hand as it held the girls; Alice did not so much as raise an eyebrow. Edward stood up and took the medicine from Alice.
"Here this should make you sleep until the pain has passed." He then proceeded to soak the cloth in the sickly sweet liquid.
The girl surprised Alice and Edward by sitting up and backing into the head bored her eyes filled with terror.
"No! Please not that!" she shouted only making her self-cough viciously.
Edward placed the bottle back down and gave Alice a questioning looked she just shrugged her shoulders and looked at the girl with sympathetic alarm.
"It's ok I won't give you that stuff." Edward told the girl reassuringly, Alice quickly placed the offending blue bottle onto the mantelpiece above the fire place out of site and hopefully for the girl out of mind.
"Can you tell us your name? I do not know what to call you and I can't have a guest with no name." Alice said as she sat down in her chair.
The girl thought for a moment but nothing came to mind, it was the simplest question yet no name surfaced. Nothing. It was as if her brain was an empty cupboard that had once been full only ghosts of thoughts remained just like cobwebs do in a long deserted cupboard.
"I-I can't ...remember." her voice was low and full of disbelief.
Edward and Alice gasped. Alice felt herself reeling and cursing herself, why hadn't I seen this! I should have seen this!
"You hit your head, you have amnesia." Edward said his voice calm once more. There was no room for questioning Edwards s diagnosis. The bay was full of rocks and the currant was often very strong, more boats were wrecked coming going into the harbour round the corner of the bay than Edward was able to recount.
The girl slumped back into the cushions exhaustion rolling off of her like ocean spray.
"Well she must have a name, she is going to be here for a while." Alice whispered to her brother, he just looked at her slightly taken aback but knowing better than to question her. Edward looked back at the girl on the bed; she had pulled the woollen blanket tightly around her shoulders and was facing away from them.
He then looked into his sisters worried green eyes, much like his own in every sense. Without saying words of agreement Alice went to sit on the bed next to the girl. She looked up at Alice with a mixture of confusion and frustration.
"What am I to do?" she asked choking on a sob those deep brown eyes welling with shinning unshed tears. Alice reached for her hand and gripped it softly.
"You shall stay with us. It is just us two in the cottage I promise you you will be safe." Alice said Edward nodded in agreement shifting suddenly uncomfortably on his feet. The looked up at him, he gave her a swift smile then looked away.
"T-thank you." She whispered. Alice shook her head as if the girl were talking nonsense.
"Do not fret, we have been waiting for-for company for a while." Alice gushed catching herself slightly.
"But you must have a name!" Alice suddenly exclaimed. Edward let out a small chuckle at his sister's sudden enthusiasm. Even the girl through her confused emotions smiled slightly.
"Now let me see, you look like a..." Alice was silent for a moment, her dainty finger resting on her chin as she scrutinised the girls features as if her name was written on her cheek bones.
The girl blushed slightly from Alice s searching green eyes.
"Joan?" she said after a while. She looked at Edward for his opinion. He shook his head sharply his alabaster face contorted with disgust.
"Yes you're probably right; we had an Aunt Joan, horrible woman." She muttered shaking her head of the memory.
"How does Lillian sound?" she tried, but again it was met with disapproval.
"Ah! I know Cecilia!" Alice exclaimed clapping her hands, the girl looked towards Edward. He too looked at her and scrutinized her himself, her blush intensified as she lay under his gaze.
"Marie." He said his plush lips forming the words effortlessly.
Alice gasped then jumped to her feet "That's perfect Edward! I knew you agree!" she squealed.
"Your name is Marie, my name is Alice and this is my brother Edward nice to meet you." She said offering Marie her hand to shake which she did with a small amused smile.
"Marie, it sounds like it could have been my name. It's pretty." Marie said.
Unbeknownst to the two girls Edward nodded to himself agreeing with them.
Marie yawned giving Edward the cue to escort his sister from the room.
"Come on Alice, let leave M-Marie to rest, you will see her in the morning." Alice nodded and left the room. Edward soon followed her but only after he was sure the girl was confortable from his place by the door.
Edward lay in bed that night listening to the waves that had carried the girl-Marie- to their door, and for some unknown reason he was glad that his sister had predicted right. He fell asleep thinking of those deep eyes that has a jewel like quality to them that shinned with so many secrets, and Edward couldn't help but be intrigued.
Thank you for reading. Please review and tell me what you think. xxx