Hello everybody: this is my third fanfiction (and the third Jane Eyre fanfiction, I can't seem to want to write about anything else! Please excuse my english, I tried to minimize the mistakes here, all the consctructive reviews are very welcome. I hope you enjoy it!
Angst and hope of two hearts.
The house was finally quiet. It was past midnight, and everybody had gone to their chambers, and the only sound around was the wind howling outside and the flames flickering in the fireplace.
Edward sat in his armchair, staring at the flames, with a blank expression on his rough face. His cravat was gone, his vest unbuttoned and his shirt hanging lose. Pilot laid in the carpet by the fire, from time to time moving his leg as if he was having a dream. He looked at him and smiled, stood up to the little table by the window and poured himself a glass of brandy. He took a gulp, grimaced at the flavor, and went to his chair to sit down again. He stared at the fireplace, and in a minute, he was deeply lost in his thoughts. He was thinking of Jane.
"Why didn't you look up and meet my eyes Jane? Couldn't you tell that tonight, the song I sang with my best voice and with my heart in every note, was for you? Why haven't you noticed that this whole charade of a party, is just for you to start noticing me, at least the way I have noticed you? One word, nay, one gesture from you that will shed some light over what you are feeling, will be enough, enough for me to send everybody to the devil, and take you far away from here, just the two of us, forever."
He took a sip of his brandy, releasing a deep sigh after the liquor went down his throat, burning and soothing him. He smiled, remembering how very close he came to reveal his feelings for Jane. After he sang his song, he noticed how quietly Jane quitted the room, and he couldn't help but to stand up, ignore everybody else and go after her, force her to see him being the charming host he was playing and make her realize how she could have all that with just a word.
"Good night, good night my…"
"My Darling… my love, my angel.. I should have just said it! Why am I such a coward? Why can't I just go to her, pour my heart to her and see how she reacts, she is probably waiting that from me! Instead, I have to scheme a ridiculous game of power and jealousy just to see if Jane will reveal whatever she feels, love, anger, indifference, anything that will give me a sign on how to act. What if she is in love with me, and she's waiting for my proposal? She will never act first, unlikely that she will come to me and just say "Edward I love you". It's not in her character. She won't, but what if I do? What if I just go to her room right now, knock on her door, and as soon as she opens it, just drop to my knees and hold her tight, tell her how very much I love her, how I can't contemplate life without her. To hell with everybody else, this party is proving to be a burden, and Blanche.. Dear God, how can anyone fall in love with that pretentious, spoiled conceited woman? True, she is a beauty, young and elegant, but behind that shell she's shallow, every single gesture from her is practiced, studied, even simple things such as blinking!"
Edward frowned, and quickly stood up with that thought, his glass still in his hand. He walked to his window, to see the dark night that was crowned with beautiful stars, and a bright pale moon that shed a silver light over the country. He opened the window and let the cold air in, closed his eyes and inhaled the fresh air. He smiled and carried on with his thoughts.
"Jane… fresh as this air, nothing in her is like anything I have ever seen in any woman. I have been around so many women, and all of them remind me of Blanche Ingram and her fake flattery. Jane… she is so different, so pure, completely unstained from the society's falseness… Her every move is bold, yet delicate, her eyes meeting mine is like seeing a lighthouse after being lost in the sea for days, the sound of her laughter feeds my soul and her smile is the light of my life. How could I have lived so long without her in my path? And now… how could I go on without her? Now that I have met the one for me, the only woman with whom I am interested to be with, to share my life with, to be my companion… I must have her, her body and her soul. Without her, life is not worth contemplating, worse yet, living."
He covered his face with both hands and rubbed them harshly, as if he was forcing himself to stop thinking about not having her in his life, it was far too painful to even consider it as a possibility. He closed the window, walked to the little table to serve himself a second glass of brandy, took a large gulp and left the glass in the table, and went down to his armchair. He sat with his elbows supported in his legs, leaning down and watching the flames dance in front of his eyes.
"This is my situation: Jane will never confess anything for me unless I make a first move, which I already have. I invited all this people in my house just to show her how I am in company of classy people, how everybody else see me as a gentleman, and how I act around society women, and how they act with me. Blanche is beautiful, and she practically throws herself to me every time I am around her, she's doing her part as if she would be consciously helping me to sting Jane with jealousy. She must see that I am wanted, desired, that she's not the only one who could have me. This must certainly wake up a feeling, something inside her. If I actually go to her and declare my love, two things could happen: one; she will reciprocate the feeling and we will be happy forever. I will take her as my wife, yes as my WIFE, for I am not married, I never have been married! I will take her away from here to somewhere in the Continent, and live a happy life away from all the mockery of my past. But, what could also happen: maybe she doesn't feel this way at all. Maybe she sees me as her employer only, her friend at best, and if I take a huge step such as declaring my love to her and I am not corresponded, she will be frightened, and more than likely, she will leave me. She wouldn't stay in the house of a man who sees her as more than a governess."
He closed his fists and clenched his teeth at the thought of Jane leaving him. His hands reached his hair and messed it up, again trying to break that thought and move him out of the despair that took over him every time the idea of Jane not being his took him.
"This is what must happen. Jane must say it first, I somehow must lure her to confess her love to me, or… or perhaps, not to me?" – Edward smiled, an idea beginning to take form inside his brain…
"What if she confesses whatever feeling she has for me, but not to me? But how, she has no friends... the only friend she has is Mrs. Fairfax and there is no way she would agree to help me, or myself to ask her to deceive her to make her confess something she normally wouldn't. Sophie? She's too simple minded to take part of this plan. Adèle? I would be lucky if she could keep her mouth shut for five minutes without revealing my plans. I must do this all by my own. I must find somebody to make her confess… But she has no family, no friends... Unless…"
Edward smiled again, a broader smile, a mischievous one that indicated he had finally reached the solution he was craving for.
"I remember lady Eshton telling me of a gipsy camp in my lands, and how very curious all the ladies were to see it. Well, gypsies are known for fortune telling… What if I hire a gipsy and have her read Jane's fortune, or rather… tell her that I am her future.
That's it, I will ride first thing in the morning to the camp, and offer money to a gipsy lady to come over to Thornfield tomorrow night. I will ask her to summon all the ladies in the house, ask her to make Jane confess whatever thought she has on me, it's perfect! I could even use the opportunity to get rid of Blanche by letting her think I'm bankrupt. Yes, that's it."
Edward wore a self satisfied smile, relaxed himself in the armchair and let out a sigh of relieve at the feeling of having figured out what to do next to make Jane realize her love for him.
Jane was wearing her nightgown, getting ready to go to bed. She was in her bathroom, taking off the pins that held her tight knot in her hair, standing in front of the mirror. She had a bowl with fresh water, and after she worked her hair down, she began washing her face carefully. She had her face soaked, and reached up to look at her own eyes in the mirror. She stared hard and long at herself, and began thinking…
"Look at you. Why would Mr. Rochester want you? Blanche Ingram is tall, gracious, her skin is porcelain, her black curls are like a doll's, her teeth perfect, her dimples in her cheeks make her smile be lovely to everybody, and has all the class and distinction you have not. Mr. Rochester and Miss Ingram belong in the same world, they were born in the same world. I am not, wasn't born in it, and will never belong in it. And my looks… I am no scarecrow, but I'm certainly no match for Miss Ingram. My plain face could never wake Mr. Rochester's interest, worse yet his love.".
She passed her hand down her face, taking off the excess of water in her face, and looked at her eyes again, this time with sadness and disappointment.
"But can't he tell I love him so much? Can't he read it in my face? Why does he have to torture me this way? Why does he force me to see him with his guests, with Blanche Ingram? Why does he need me to be there? I'm a governess, my duties are to teach and take care of Adéle, not to witness how his society circle acts. Tonight I had to pinch my arm very hard to push back the tears that were forming in my eyes, when he sang… Oh I do wish he would sing those beautiful sonnets to me… with that beautiful, manly voice… For a second, it almost seemed like he was." Jane smiled as she thought that, but her hands reached down to the bowl and splashed her face with the cold water again, wiping out the small smile that began to form in her lips.
"He was not singing that to me of course, I'm fool.. He was singing to his darling Blanche, he never even looked at me, even though I dared to look at his eyes when he was looking somewhere else, just to see if by chance, he would meet mine, but he never did… That's because, Jane Eyre, he's not interested in you, so you must cease to entertain the silly notion that Mr. Rochester has affection to you other than the normal affection of employer-employee."
Jane reached for a towel to dry her face, and reached a top cabinet to take lilac cologne she used to perfume her hair and her neck.
"Why is society the way it is? Who says a woman can't take the first step and declare her love for a man, if she feels that way? Why must she wait until the man she loves, comes to her and offer his heart, if he ever does such a thing? What really keeps me from going to Mr. Rochester's door, knock it and plainly say to him "Mr. Rochester I love you, I have loved you ever since I met you, and even if you do not love me, you must know this." – If the feeling is mutual, all the better! I can not think of anything sweeter tan to be embraced by his strong arms." Jane childishly hugged herself with her arms, closed her eyes, and spun in her tiptoes happily in the small bathroom as she smiled broadly and careless. Then, reality hit her again…
"And if he doesn't share the feeling? Well, at least I have told him how I feel. Of course if this scenario would happen, I would have to leave immediately, I wouldn't stay here to be humilliated by his indiference, knowing that he is aware of the way I feel about him. I would have to leave the very day he would reject my love… and where would I go? I have no friends, no family, nobody… I would have to go and find a position somewhere else, but it took me months to get this position when I advertised in Lowood. It's not so easy, here I have a roof, a bed, bread… Out of here I have nothing, no material and no spiritual comfort. And no Mr. Rochester… to never see his face again, hear his voice, smell his tobacco and perfume in a room, hear his chuckles, his laughter, his angry outbursts, all of it is just as necessary to me as it is to breath." A single tear trickled down her cheek, and she quickly wiped it with the back of her hand, shook her head, watched herself in the mirror again and resolved.
"I can't take such a chance, I can't risk not seeing himself again just because I opened my heart to him. If he is to be married to Miss Ingram, it will take a few weeks, maybe even months. I could enjoy his presence for a little longer. Maybe he isn't going to marry her, after all, he's been through all his adult life without committing himself to the ties of marriage, and I'm sure he's met other women like Blanche Ingram in his life, and yet none of them have really charmed him. Come to think about it, Miss Ingram, while she is beautiful, somehow doesn't seem to have Mr. Rochester completely surrendered in her feet. He pays attention to her of course, but not the way a man in love would or should."
With this last thought, Jane took the candle that lit the small room, and walked to her bedroom. She walked to her bed, placed the candle in the little night table, and crawled into her bed under the covers, shivering at the chilly night that had turned her cold while she had been getting ready to finish her day.
She laid on her back, looking at the ceiling of the room, and thought: "No… I will not break conventionality like this, I will not expose myself to him this way, I have a lot to lose and a lot to win, but the odds of winning are very thin to even consider this plan. If Mr. Rochester feels something for me, which I doubt it, he must be the one to tell me, not me. I'm in no position to claim his love, and he may think it as outrageous, he might even dismiss me! I would have to throw myself to my luck and God knows what will become of me away from the protective sanctuary I have found here in Thornfield. I will enjoy Mr. Rochester's company for as long as I can, and forget about my foolish dreams of being with him."
With this, Jane sighed, rolled over and blew over the candle, leaving the room covered in complete darkness.