I know I promised to post a timeline of the chapters on my tumblr, but I haven't. I HAVE A GOOD REASON!
In the last 7DS chapters, I've been leaving little =X's in some of your replies. (Secrets, secrets are such fun… XD) I think it's time for me to reveal why I did that. You probably guessed it from the title. This is the companion piece to Seven Deadly Sins.
I don't intend for 7HV to get smutty. (That's for the weekly tumblr challenges!) It's going a little sweeter and it's going to delve into their life in Dublin a little more than the 7DS did. That doesn't mean that there won't be chapters depicting their early friendship.
I was going to post this during the holidays but I honestly couldn't wait that long.
And always as a side note, I will NEVER have Sybil die in any of my fics. That is a promise and I intend to keep it.
Switching gears now…
These replies are for the last chapter of 7DS!
Moa-Osen: BRANSON SEXYTIMES are the BEST TIMES! Thank you for reading and for your kind words! I'm so glad you enjoyed 7DS so much! Honestly, thank you from the bottom of my heart and the pleasure is all Tom and Sybil's! XD
shana-rose: Thank you! The sexytimes kinda got…okay, not kinda, it got REALLY salacious at the end, but I'm glad I kept it that way. I promise not to write too many more implied sexytimes. =P
The Yankee Countess: YES! We got to see flapper Sybil! I was sorely disappointed when the Bransons didn't go dancing, so I hope this makes up for it, although there wasn't much dancing in the chapter…except for the horizontal (okay, more like vertical) kind! I think they're both pretty fit (both definitions of fit apply) people. They can go like Tom; long and hard. (OMG. Someone please stop me.) And BTW, your request for 12LofC has been approved by management and is now in the development stages. I hope that's good news! =X
MelodyOfSong: Yes. I got kind of carried away at the end. I kinda don't regret it! XD
wslowry: Thank you! I hope you'll like this too!
Switching back again!
I've actually been debating whether or not I should write this, but in the end I decided to do it anyways. Thanks to gothamgirl28 for convincing me to write this. This first chapter is for you! XD
I hope you all like it!
And the journey continues…
o o o
He led her outside.
To be honest, she didn't want to be in his company. He was a terribly rude man. He was always playing practical jokes on the servants and all women around him thought it was hilarious.
She wouldn't have come tonight, but Elizabeth Grey, the youngest daughter had gotten engaged. The Greys had invited the Crawleys, but the only one who could attend was Sybil. Papa was in York with Murray, Mary was still in London with Aunt Rosamund, Edith was at a concert with Sir Anthony, and Mama was resting, having found out she was pregnant again.
Sybil spent the evening with them and she was getting tired. She decided it was time to go home. Then he intervened.
When Larry asked if he could see her to the car, she couldn't refuse him.
She gritted her teeth under her false smile. She couldn't stand being in his presence for a second, but she wanted to spend time with Lizzy. The cost of her happiness tonight was five minutes speaking with Larry.
She had spent three hours with the Greys and the time had flown by. Standing outside with Larry felt like an eternity. Pretending she was having a lovely time with him was a struggle. He never had anything interesting to say but she had to endure him.
'Did he say something funny? Probably not. Laugh just to make sure he thinks you're paying attention to him. Lord Merton finally had the fountain fixed, how nice. I wonder how they pump water into that fountain. There are no rivers around here, so how would it work? Is the water pumped electrically? That must use a lot of electricity if it is. I hope there's a book in the library that would explain how a fountain works…Do I look like I'm paying attention? Nod your head and giggle. Don't forget to smile. Oh! Branson is already in the car! I have to speak with him about going to Thirsk tomorrow. I have to tell him that we're probably going to have to pack lunch and dinner. If he doesn't want to pack a lunch or dinner, we could always get something to eat at the pub. I hope he doesn't mind. I should also tell him that he can bring a change of clothes. Dear Lord! He's always complaining about how uncomfortable his livery is. If he wants to know how uncomfortable feels, he should try wearing a corset!'
The image of Branson in a ladies corset popped into Sybil's head and it set her off. She was giggling uncontrollably and trying hard to cover her mouth with her hand.
She completely forgot that Larry was talking at her. She was brought back to reality when he started leaning in, pursing his lips, and bringing his hand up to her chest.
'Oh, God. Oh, God. What's Larry doing?'
She quickly stepped back and slapped Larry hard on the cheek.
It took a second for Sybil to realize what he was about to do to her. That second of complete ignorance was bliss. Now all she could think of doing was kicking him hard in the groin.
'HOW DARE HE!'
Not only did he try to kiss her without her permission, he tried to cop a feel.
Larry Grey is truly scum of the Earth.
"Come on, Sybil. Don't be a spoil sport."
He leaned in again hoping for a different result this time. He got his wish.
Sybil's knee connected with his groin.
Larry keeled over, wincing in pain.
Sybil stood tall over him. She deserved better than him and she knew it.
"I don't intend to share my first kiss with someone as rude, foul, and deplorable as you. I should tell your parents what you have tried to just do, but I don't want your sister's night to be tainted by your stupidity. Goodnight and goodbye, Larry."
Sybil turned her back to him and ran to the car. She didn't care what happened to Larry. She just wanted lie in bed and forget about tonight.
The closer and closer she got to Branson, the image of Branson in a corset snuck its way back into her thoughts. Sybil imagined him wearing one of her corsets in front of her. His upper body would be constrained and he would have to move his whole body if he needed to turn around. He would try to claw at the ties at the back to no avail. His bare arms would strain to reach back…His very strong arms, broad shoulders, and expansive chest and back would be on display…for her to see…She smiled and blushed at her inappropriate thoughts.
She reached that car and she was breathless. The mere sight of his was enough to make her forget about…what's his name?
Branson held the door open for Sybil but he did not hold his hand out to help her in the car.
"Hello Branson! How was your evening?"
Sybil tried to catch his eye. Instead she saw him stiffen and look straight ahead. He wouldn't look at her.
There was no emotion in his voice.
His tone was so icy she could swear she could see the mist coming out of his mouth despite it being the middle of summer.
But Sybil wasn't taken aback by his tone.
He never called her milady anymore.
They were the words of a servant.
Something was wrong. They had done away with formalities the first time she snuck out with him to go to a rally in Kirkbymoorside. From then on, they had regularly attended rallies and heard speakers together. Over the past year, they had become fast friends and they had bonded over their love of politics. Although their time together, going all over Yorkshire, listening to speeches, and being comfortable with each other was severely cut down due to the incident at the count in Ripon, they always found a way to sneak off.
Gwen was a great friend too, but every time she called her milady, it only emphasized the true nature of their relationship: Lady and maid. Branson was different. When she talked to Branson, he didn't hear her. He listened. He was always challenging her beliefs and she spoke the same way to him. They were equals, best friends: chauffer and suffragette.
To hear him speak to her this way hurt her.
'Did I do something wrong? Is he angry with me?'
Sybil lowered her head and cast her eyes down. Tonight was a complete disaster. Not only did she have to spend time with that God awful man, he tried to kiss her and tried to feel her up. To top it all off, her best friend was angry with her.
She could feel the hot tears forming in her eyes. Sybil reached into her coat pocket and searched for her handkerchief. She couldn't find it. They started to fall and there was nothing she could do about it. She was about to reach up to brush them away with her gloves when a tattered handkerchief appeared before her eyes.
She looked up and saw the eyes of her best friend. They were full of regret.
"I'm sorry," He said quietly.
"No, it's not you. Tonight was awful."
"Care to talk about it?"
"It's a long story."
"It's a long journey back home."
Branson always knew how to make her feel better.
On their way back home, Sybil told Branson all about what happened with Larry. She was sure not to say his name though. She knew if she said his name, she would burst into tears and have the urge to rip a tree out of the ground. Of course she couldn't do it by herself. She'd ask Branson to help.
They had gotten to Downton but Sybil and Branson were so caught up in their conversation that Branson forgot to drop Sybil off at the front of the house.
"No, really Branson. It's okay. To be honest, talking with you has been my favorite part of tonight."
When Branson pulled into the garage they both agreed that Larry Grey needed to be put in his place. She wanted to give him a taste of his own medicine. She didn't want to call it revenge. She thought of as retributive justice for the way he's been treating other people for years.
She turned to her partner in crime and gave him the sweetest smile he had ever seen in his entire life.
"Branson? Do you know any practical jokes?"