[center [font "Calibri" When the Great War broke out there was a surge of patriotism and a rush of men signing up to fight for their country, thinking that the war would be over by Christmas. Four harsh years were taken from those that signed up to fight and for some of the soldiers their time in this world was over; their lives claimed by the horrors of war.]]
[center [font "Calibri" As the war was being fought on the Western Front there were real battles being fought every day back in England. Many women were fighting against the loss of their husbands, fathers and sons and loved ones. It was not uncommon and many banded together to deal with such loss. Still, life had to go on and soon enough the war would be over and those who had lost could work on rebuilding their lives whilst always remember those who had given up theirs.]]
[center [font "Calibri" Elizabeth lost a man whom she loved; a man who had once asked her to marry him but sadly it was the war that broke them apart and one day that dreaded telegram was delivered to her home letting her know that her soul mate had passed early on during the war. She had promised to wait for him until the war was over, but now she knew he would never return to her.]]
[center [font "Calibri" In 1918 a miracle happened and the war came to an end and with the end, came the return of the brave soldiers who had remained to fight for them. Elizabeth hadn’t expected that the man she had once loved would return to her after being pronounced dead but sure enough one day he showed up at her door, ready to give his entire world to her. Yet she seemed sad. It has been a year since she had been told he had died and with not one letter from him how could she had possibly hoped that he was still alive? For when he had returned she had been engaged to another to help with the debt that had been brought upon her family when her father passed.]]
[center [font "Calibri" I am wanting to start at the very beginning of this story. It will begin in 1914 just before the war breaks out. At some point along the line Elizabeth will meet your character, whether that be before the war breaks out or during one of his relief visits home. We can decide that together. I want to follow the story all the way through from them meeting to him returning to her after she had been told that he was dead. Again we can discuss the finer details if you decide to join me. I think after that point we can allow the roleplay to flow however it may.]]
[center [font "Calibri" I would like someone who would be willing to play Elizabeth's love interest. Please PM me to let me know that you are interested and we can discuss the details further. I generally post anything from 300 - 1500 words depending on the level of depth required although I do not require or produce this for every post, especially if there is a conversation taking place. When the time comes, I figured that both of us could have control of Elizabeth's fiance so that we can move the plot along.]]
[center [pic https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/0f/32/92/0f3292a4a124cf8a1d4c43d52ade7c35--thomas-barrow-downton-abbey.jpg]
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Elizabeth was almost relieved when Kyler told her that he expected to see her again the next day. At least now she was sure that she had not caused too much distress. Perhaps she was imagining all of this and that he had not even noticed how close the two were and how they might have kissed if she had the courage to do so. This could easily have been all in her head, an imagined scenario born from simply being close to a man for the first time. Kyler was not just any man though, that was for sure.
Elizabeth held her bag close and nodded her head. With that, she retired back to her home without another word exchanged between the two of them. The walk helped her clear her mind and by the time she arrived at home she was barely thinking about their almost kiss. Instead she was thinking about what she might try to carve with the piece of wood he had given to her. She was a rather creative being so she would take the time to think about it before she committed to anything for sure and she figured she would need a couple more lessons before she was able to carve anything alone. She didn’t have to use the wood straight away after all.
The rest of her evening was relatively uneventful. Her father had not seemed to notice that she was gone at all, mostly because he had business meetings all day and had not been home until dinner time. As for her mother, she was resting and Elizabeth wouldn’t disturb her so that she could tell her about her day. Instead she took dinner in the dining hall with her father and the two remained relatively quiet throughout. There wasn’t even any mention of marriage or of her antics at the wedding. Perhaps no one had told him that his daughter had been seen dancing with a man he would not deem worthy. She was thankful for that because she did not have any energy to argue.
The next day couldn’t have arrived soon enough. Her heart skipped a beat at the thought of seeing Kyler again and she figured that she would need to take some time to train her heart against reacting in such a way. Her father had seen her on her way out that morning and she made up an excuse about Helen needing some help organising a benefit and he seemed to buy that excuse. However, now she would actually have to speak to Helen about organising one so her father didn’t get suspicious. Although, she was sure Helen would be keen to help if she knew that it was so she could spend more time with Kyler.
She found him in the garage the next morning, already at work but this time she forced herself to knock and enter, rather than watching him with admiration from the door like she had the day before. [b “Good morning!”] She said as cheerfully as she possibly could as she set her bag down and looked over the piece that Kyler was working on.
[I “You are very talented Kyler. I do hope that I can continue to visit and learn from you.”]
She sounded so unsure that he would even want her back, as if she had done something repulsive to suddenly make him detest her. In a perfect world, Kyler wouldn't have to send her away. She could be his apprentice for as long as she wanted, and he wouldn't mind. But this wasn't the right era. Elizabeth was a woman from a wealthy family, so she was supposed to be a domestic entity only. Kyler knew that her father and most of society expected her to catch the eye of some rich man that might be a terrible husband for her. Kyler hated that about society. It was the same way he was tough on anyone Elaine decided she wanted to get serious with. He wouldn't let the people he cared about be forced into a loveless marriage for the rest of their lives. What was the point of it? To have a child? While a child was a miracle of a thing, the value of matrimony was worth making a real commitment.
Kyler knew of way too many unhappy women, according to Elaine. Elizabeth seemed to be steered into the same direction. She was acting as a mindless sheep that her father could use to keep his name going. Kyler had thought about the prospect, and it was another reason he kept himself so closed off to other women. He didn't want a father breathing down his neck and trying to control him. Kyler also knew how angry he would get having to watch someone be suppressed in such a way. Kyler simply nodded towards Elizabeth, [b "I expect you here as soon as you can make it. Be safe."] Kyler said, watching her leave to make sure she was on the right track.
This was everything she had ever wanted. Everything in this workshop. Here she had the freedom to step outside of her assigned gender role and learn something aside from the duties of a wife and mother. This was what her mother had wanted for her too. The times were beginning to change although it was exceptionally slow, women were beginning to campaign for the right to vote and her mother was convinced it was only a matter of time before things began to change. Yet, they were still being oppressed by men who did not want women to have a single ounce of independence. That way they could control their wives and daughters and ensure that they were functional for the sole purpose of serving the family and producing male heirs to keep their wealth in their family. In this room she was free to learn, free to explore her intelligence while enjoying the company of a man who seemed to encourage that from her.
He was everything she never knew she wanted…until now. This was dangerous territory for the both of them though. Everything they had together had been orchestrated with the aim of tricking their cupids into believing that their plan had worked. Perhaps agreeing to such a plan had ruined any real chance of the two of them being together. While she did not say it aloud, or admit it to herself, she was certainly feeling something for this man. Twice now she had imagined herself kissing him and she was entirely embarrassed by the fact. Even if they had kissed, it might have meant nothing to him and she could have made a fool of herself for acting upon a burst of emotion. Besides, even if he [I did] feel something for her, there was no way that the two could [I actually] be together. Had Helen and Elaine even thought about her father and how he might react to her falling for a man who did not come from wealth or business? While he was a business man in his own right, it was not something her father would perceive as being in the same league and he would certainly not approve of a relationship between them.
Her heart hammered against her chest now, nervous about how Kyler might react to her intensity and she just watched as he took a sip of his soda and seemed to take a minute to gather herself. Perhaps Elizabeth would no longer be welcome here and that thought saddened here. To not see him again would have hurt, that much she was sure of. Regardless of the fact this was supposed to be make believe, she couldn’t help but imagine that her life was now better because he was in it. Elizabeth would have told him that if she did not think the notion would scare him. He was not interested in her in that way and she needed to move past whatever feelings had stirred within her.
Finally, he turned to face her and the fear she had building inside of her was starting to subside now that she could see that he was smiling. Apparently, their time together was drawing to an end and it caused sorrow deep within her. He wanted her gone, even though he wasn’t saying it openly. Elizabeth nodded and moved towards the desk so that she could complete the description of Kyler’s creation. She swallowed hard and nodded, dressing her lips in a smile so that she could hide the emotions that she truly felt.
Their tension had meant nothing to him…she would have to keep reminding herself of that. She picked up the pen and started to write, making sure that she included as much detail as possible. Elizabeth did not glance up once while she wrote, until Kyler approached her with a block of wood and a chisel as her own. She placed the pen down and smiled towards him, taking the wood and chisel from him while ensuring that the gratitude was clear upon her face. This meant a great deal to her but she needed to make sure her reaction did not cross the boundaries that he was setting out for them. [b “Thank you.”] She said with a smile, placing the items in a bag she had brought with her before returning to the paperwork so that she could finish it and excuse herself from him.
Another five minutes later, that time came and she found herself picking up her bag and looked towards Kyler. [b “You are very talented Kyler. I do hope that I can continue to visit and learn from you.”] She was testing the waters to see if she had made things far too awkward for this to continue. The wood and chisel could have been a parting gift.
He almost kissed her.
Kyler knew just how close he was to closing the distance and taking her lips with his own in a passionate fervor. None of them made the move. They were silent, but they could feel the intensity as it surrounded the entirety of the room. You could have cut the tension with a butter knife... or a carving tool rather. Kyler was sure throughout the process that he'd probably have some small inkling to kiss her but nothing this great. It was like the world would stop turning if he didn't or his heart would stop beating. While he knew that was silly, Kyler felt the pressure all over his body. Only when he moved did it stop. Kyler had no way of knowing how Elizabeth felt in that moment, but he sure as hell knew how he did. Well, he certainly didn't [i understand] it, but he knew it was in existence.
He wasn't good for her. She was [i too good] for him. They were opposites. Polar. She was the North, and he was the South. He drank too much. He got into trouble. She hardly even drank anything but water. She was the one getting people [i out] of trouble. But they saw things in each other that no one else did or understood. There was a part deep inside Kyler that was soft and kind despite his rough exterior. He didn't show it often... if ever. Well, until he met Elizabeth really. Then he was laying down and looking at stars and going to weddings and teaching her how to carve in his own garage? Life was strange...
Kyler took an intentional sip of the soda, draining it of its contents. He needed something to stop the racing of his heart that he wouldn't ever tell anyone about. His palms rested his large frame against a toolbox that was old but functional as if he was letting a weight remove itself from his shoulders before he could stand. That weight was Elizabeth herself.
This wasn't planned. This wasn't what they wanted. He was just supposed to [i pretend.] It was supposed to be make believe. Then it just happened. It hit him. He [i actually] did care. He offered her an internship in his business when he [i always] worked alone. He thought about her more than he'd ever thought about anyone other than his sister, Elaine. He wanted more for her. He wanted to protect her. It was like he was supposed to be there for her... like he'd known her for years and years. It was so easy around her.
Then came that beautiful voice yet again, [i "“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to make you feel uncomfortable.”] She spoke. Kyler wanted to turn and speak. In his mind, he would comfort her and tell her that she didn't make him uncomfortable, but he wasn't that perfect. He wasn't that open. Kyler didn't look back, simply running a hand through his longer, unkempt hair.
[i I'll ruin her...] He kept thinking about all the ways that he was bad for her, so he promised himself to keep her at arm's length. He owed it to her. Kyler would be the better man. It wasn't like anyone, especially her father, would approve of him courting her if he even tried. Nothing about them would work, yet they were absolutely made for each other.
[i “I’ll be making tables in no time.”] She spoke with that infectious laugh that Kyler couldn't help but smile slightly to. He would stand and turn to the woman, playing as if it never happened. [b "How about you finish up that paperwork and then head on back to your father. I'm sure he's asking about you."] Kyler spoke calmly as if nothing had fazed him. His gaze was cool and stable as he tried to be professional. Kyler fished through another set of drawers and found a scrap block of wood along with one of his smaller chisels that would fit in her tinier, more fragile hands. [b "Take this... Hide it. There must be some place you can keep it that your father won't find. Feel free to practice with it as much as you want. I find it helps in the most stressful of times to go to the place in your mind full of creativity."] He would hold out the block and tool to the woman before him, outstretched arms seeming to symbolize that they didn't need to cross a boundary.
Elizabeth knew that the two were close but now that her head was turned towards him she realised just how close they really were. All it would take was a second of movement for their lips to meet but neither one of them moved. She could almost hear her heart beat echoing around her and she wondered if he could hear it too. Aside from that, there was a silence around them and that only added to the intensity of the situation. For the second time she wondered what it might be like to feel his lips against her own, moving so perfectly in time with each other. She knew that she was blushing at the thought, yet his eyes were so mesmerising that she could hardly pull herself away from him. There was a softness behind them that only told of his kind nature, even if he did not know it himself.
Elizabeth swallowed hard as if it might take the swarm of butterflies away from her stomach but they were full of life and she was sure that they would never settle again. This wasn’t supposed to happen. They had agreed to pretend yet everything about him made her feel alive. His touch, his face, his passion for [i wanting] her to learn. Perhaps they had been so busy trying to trick Helen and Elaine that they had missed the fact that the women had been right to force them together. They were both from completely separate worlds yet they were so perfect for each other. She was passionate about learning and her wealth and status didn’t make her ignorant to Kyler’s worth and he did not see her gender as a barrier to learn. For the first time, she felt truly free to be whoever she wanted to be. She knew she would never feel this with anyone else.
Just when she thought that they might share a kiss, she was reminded all too quickly that her feelings were not replicated. This was not real. He pulled away from her and she cleared her throat, focusing her gaze on the leaf they had just made together as she placed the chisel down on top of the table gently. It was all she could do to hide her embarrassment. Elizabeth allowed the silence to engulf them for a moment before turning back to the desk where she had left her drink. Her mouth had gone dry and it was all she could do to deter from whatever emotions had been stirred inside of her. [b “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to make you feel uncomfortable.”] She said after taking a drink and placing it back on the surface. [b “I’ll be making tables in no time.”] Elizabeth laughed now, trying to change to atmosphere of the room.
Elizabeth was certainly nervous as Kyler wrapped his larger, calloused hand around her smaller one to show her how to make enough pressure to carve a detailed line in the wood. He could almost feel the slight trembling or was it shuddering? But he couldn't deny that he didn't feel the same thing. There was a shooting of some kind of tingling all over him. It was like they were in a world of their own as he taught her the way of his world. They were transferring ideas and perspectives in that one touch... that one moment. It was incredibly eye-opening. Elizabeth was a rich girl yet not a rich girl stereotype. She almost seemed right there just in front of him, in his arms, carving with him, smelling like she did...
[i No... No she's just here to learn. Nothing more and nothing less.]
Kyler looked over Elizabeth's petite frame and smiled at the line they had made together. It suddenly became one of his favorite parts of the entire piece. [b "No you didn't ruin it at all."] He spoke softly in a proud tone and with a genuine smile all over his face. She looked so genuinely excited. It was like there was a fire set from her heart up to her eyes that brightened them and made them more alive and more curious. This woman just wanted to see the world, and she wanted to make it her own. She wanted her own life in this nation that no one would ever expect of her stature. And hell Kyler wanted that for her too. Even more so seeing that look on her face that was highlighted by the sun's rays trailing down over her face. She was truly gorgeous. He hadn't moved from just behind her, leaning over enough so when her head turned his lips were close to her own.
He hadn't realized the situation earlier, but it was more than evident to him now. [i “Thank you…for trusting me.” ] She spoke, and he watched her lips form the words so delicately. He was so close that he could see the imperfections on her face that only made it more attractive. Her eyes held gold flecks that were so little yet so beautiful. What would it feel like to close his mouth around hers in a kiss of burning and forbidden passion? He was so inclined to lean down, to taste her soft lips with his own. But he couldn't. Kyler let his own eyes linger on hers before pulling away and stepping across the room. He couldn't look at her, or he was afraid what he might do. She was [i wealthy,] and this was [i fake.] Wasn't it? This meant nothing. She had no feelings for him, and he wasn't supposed to feel anything for her.
[i So why the hell did he?]
There was more than one reason why Elizabeth felt nervous about Kyler’s proposition to learn to carve. Yes, she could have easily messed something up and ruined all the hard work that Kyler had put into his table. That in itself would have absolutely devastated her, but she was also nervous about being so close to him. When they had danced together at Helen’s wedding she had found that something within her had been awakened or stirred and she couldn’t explain what that was exactly. Elizabeth knew that Kyler would have to stand close to her to guide her and she was not sure how she might react to that, knowing that last time she had indecent thoughts about kissing him as they lay together on the grass. She cleared her throat quietly as if that would force the memory from her mind and she looked back towards Kyler who seemed to find some amusement in her uncertainty.
Almost as though his action was meant to ease her protests she found herself being taken by the hand and being pulling closer to the table. While she had the thought before, this was just more proof that Kyler was not like other men. Most men would think that it would be wildly inappropriate for a woman to take up such work, especially one who came from money. She could imagine her father’s reaction if he were to witness this. [I “What on Earth were you thinking Elizabeth? You are a woman and must learn your place in this world. You should be getting married and raising children, not getting yourself dirty in a workshop building things. That is men’s work and working men for that matter.”]
She closed her hand around the chisel as he placed the tool in her hand and she took a deep breath when he moved behind her to show her how to hold it properly. This felt far too intimate for anyone else to observe. If his sister was to walk in and find them like this she was sure that she would not be able to withhold her embarrassment. Elizabeth could feel the heat of his body close to hers and it was as though the hand that he held within his own was tingling with his touch. She needed to push all of that out of her mind so that she could concentrate on the task at hand and avoid ruining the piece of furniture he was building. She concentrated her gaze on the area he asked her to focus on, and with his help she applied the necessary pressure to carve a line through the wood that made it look more like a leaf. Her lips turned up into a smile when she inspected her handy work and she turned her head to look at Kyler.
[b “I did not ruin it.”] She said with a pride that made feel new emotions. She had never created anything like this before and while she had been rather good with a needle and cotton, this was something quite different. Designing and making dresses was far from carving furniture from wood but she knew that this was something she would grow to enjoy rather quickly. [b “Thank you…for trusting me.”] She said, allowing her eyes to linger on his, longer than she had originally intended.
Elizabeth sipped the soda he brought. Did that mean she liked it? Was it one of her favorites? Why the hell did that little detail matter to him? It was similar to the intricate details in his carving of the tea table. It was like the details on the section in his log book that she was now referring to. They were so minute, but they meant more to a person than they could ever express. [I “I intend to be as detailed as possible. I just thought I would wait on that a little bit until I can inspect it better. I fully intend to be as descriptive as I can. I won’t leave out a single detail.” ] Elizabeth's words made Kyler a bit more relaxed at the huge change he had solicited on himself. Kyler always worked alone, but Elizabeth seemed to be proving a quick learner and efficient worker. She would take it seriously unlike some of the other people he could have hired to come on as an apprentice of sorts. Especially some rich kid trying to get experience in the business world as they were sheltered under their daddy's money.
[I “Believe me, I know all too well how particular and picky the ‘higher ups’ can be. I do live with my father after all. I have the best observation of the most particular man on the planet.”] There it was. Elizabeth was from one of the most picky and stuck up higher class families. She was the product of a wealthy man who had even wealthier friends. It was all adding up. Elizabeth was held to such a high standard by everyone for a reason. She was so graceful and pure for a reason. But she was certainly not stuck up or the typical rich girl. She was adventurous and intelligent and just waiting to burst out of her bubble to see more of the world and do more with her sheltered life. He was falling into dangerous waters, but somehow Kyler felt more inclined to save this woman... to lift her up.
He would only laugh a bit at her comment, placing the type with people he'd known before. [i How did I ever get tangled up with someone like you...] Kyler thought of Elizabeth, but he didn't lower his hand with the carving tool. She simply laughed at his proposal for her to carve and work with him, but he knew she was intrigued. [i “Wait, you are serious? I thought you just wanted me to learn this side of things.”]
Kyler would let out another laugh, speaking up, [b "Come on Elizabeth... I wouldn't let you mess it up."] Kyler smiled as she kept gushing about not wanting to make a mistake. [i “But what it I ruin your beautiful table. I would not want to be the cause of you needing to start over again.”]
Kyler simply shook his head and stood to full stature, turning to take her hand. He would gently move the chisel into her soft one, closing her fingers around the tool. [b "So hold it like this..."] He would move behind her slowly, leaning over her shoulder a bit to examine her work. [b "Carve a line right there in that leaf... just a little pressure is enough."] He would take her hand gently in his with the chisel, smiling as he pressed down and they made a line when she moved her hand. [b "Just like that... Perfect."] He would speak, proud of the little lady in front of him. She was surprising him in ways he never thought possible.
It was very clear to Elizabeth that Kyler had to work extremely hard to keep his business going. Some of his clientele were people she knew of, quite well off and extremely particular about the things that they bought yet they had seemed to return to Kyler’s services on more than one occasion. Perhaps he would not have noticed the significance of that, but she certainly did. She then returned to the paperwork she had been asked to complete and started to fill in the relevant parts, ensuring that her handwriting was just as neat as he would expect from a professional. While she was sure that the state of her handwriting did not matter to Kyler all that much, she did not want him to regret inviting her to learn his trade. After all, this was the only opportunity she would ever get to learn something other than the responsibilities of her prescribed gender role. She glanced up at Kyler and smiled towards him as he spoke and watched as he moved away from the work he had completed so far. Perhaps he was getting some more equipment, but she continued to write, just finishing the last bit of the paperwork. She left the description blank for now until she could get closer to inspect it. She would not miss a single detail if she could help it.
When he returned she was quick to thank him for the drink he had retrieved for her and she took a sip while he inspected her work and she nodded when he pointed to the section she had missed. [b “I intend to be as detailed as possible. I just thought I would wait on that a little bit until I can inspect it better. I fully intend to be as descriptive as I can. I won’t leave out a single detail.”] Elizabeth smiled towards him as she placed her drink back on the side. [b “Believe me, I know all too well how particular and picky the ‘higher ups’ can be. I do live with my father after all. I have the best observation of the most particular man on the planet.”] She laughed as her comment before shaking her head as she tried not to focus on the man stretching before her. He moved once more to retrieve more tools and when he was back at the table he invited her to try her hand at carving something herself and at first, she laughed but that soon faded into nothing.
[b “Wait, you are serious? I thought you just wanted me to learn this side of things.”] She said as she gestured towards the paper before her and when she saw that he was completely serious she moved towards him and nodded. [b “But what it I ruin your beautiful table. I would not want to be the cause of you needing to start over again.”]
Kyler would hear Elizabeth's admiration for watching him work, sending something through him that he'd never felt before. He normally liked to work alone... He also liked his private life. Kyler had been closed off for so long. He almost felt as if he wasn't even supposed to be born in the generation he was born in at times. Kyler felt as if women weren't supposed to be simply mothers or caretakers, and it filled his heart to be able to influence someone as intelligent and pure as Elizabeth to forget what everyone said. For these reasons, Kyler was probably the talk of Elizabeth's friends, other than Helen and Elaine. He was the bad influence everyone else saw. He would hold her back and hurt her, wouldn't he? He'd never provide for her or fall to drinking or god forbid [i drugs?] Kyler knew he wasn't the traditional man of the era. He thought differently than most, and he wasn't necessarily afraid of that. [i Hell maybe Elizabeth should be afraid of him.] But for some reason Kyler didn't really give a damn about what anyone thought, especially not this work arrangement that was voluntary on his part.
He was finishing the thin lines on the leaves of the wooden rose carving when Elizabeth spoke again. She seemed to be enjoying observing his log books and paperwork, and it made him proud for once. It wasn't like the clients he worked for were necessarily appreciative of his services. [i “You know, you really do have a lot of customers. I’m surprised you have not taken on someone to work under you before. You would be able to get a lot more done if you didn’t have to waste so much time filling this out.”]
Kyler thought a moment before looking back to the woman he'd taken on, [b "Well then I suppose you're my first someone, aren't you?"] He would offer a slight upward turn of his lips before heading off to a refrigerator in the garage area and grabbing a soda. He would pick up one for her and set it next to her, leaning over the table to check her work. Kyler would place the cold can against his lips and take another sip before speaking, [b "You're doing very good. I normally like to describe what I've done for my clients right there, so you could describe my work however you feel. Some of the higher ups seem to like the extra detail."] Kyler straightened his back, and it would be obvious that he had a strong physical form under his simple white t-shirt. Kyler took another sip of the soda, leaving Elizabeth to decide if she wanted hers as he went to grab another chisel. Kyler simply crouched at the tea table once more and lifted his hand with the new chisel, [b "Now that you have a feel for the books... how about I teach you more about carving. Don't worry I'll help you."] He spoke the last words before she could complain, smiling to himself as he imagined her face.
Elizabeth could have spent all day staring at him while he worked. He was completely lost within it and his passion was so evident upon his face while he carved every last bit of detail into the rose. When he placed the rose on the table it was as though his presence at returned to the room and he had turned to face her. She stood up, removing her frame from leaning in the doorway and smiled towards him as he removed his goggles and brushed away at the wood shavings. With his permission she stepped further inside. [b “I know I can speak up with you, but I rather enjoyed watching you work. I think this is going to be a beneficial arrangement if I get to see such a passionate man at work.”] She said with a smile before moving towards the table. She allowed her hand to run over the wood, feeling the smoothness of it. It really was something quite marvellous and she was impressed by his craftsmanship. He seemed to pick up on the fact that she had enjoyed watching him and said she had the choice to complete the paperwork, look at the logbook or watch him.
[b “I see no reason why I cannot do both.”] She said as she looked over the paperwork. It seemed simple enough. She looked up once he started carving again and beamed at him words. [b “I’m happy I made it too.”] With that, she easily moved between watching him with amazement and completing the paperwork before her. There was no doubt that she had beautiful handwriting, but she did not see anything wrong with Kyler’s either. She ran a finger over the log book and looked over the transactions so that she could get a feel for his clientele. [b “You know, you really do have a lot of customers. I’m surprised you have no taken on someone to work under you before. You would be able to get a lot more done if you didn’t have to waste so much time filling this out.”]
Kyler was crouching down, his eyes resting on the same level as his work. He was carving the tiniest of details, so he wanted to be able to immerse himself in his work. He wouldn't have noticed if someone robbed him behind his back really, but it wasn't like he normally worried about that. Elaine normally knew better than to bother Kyler when he was working. Kyler finished carving the last petal of the wooden rose into the table before he felt a presence as if someone was watching him. Kyler stood, pulling the goggles up above his head and smiled at the sight that beheld him. Elizabeth. Kyler quickly shoved off all the wood carvings from his body to the ground and adjusted his jacket from the coolness of the garage.
[b "I didn't see you there Elizabeth... You know, you can always speak up."] He stepped forward to usher her inside, leading her towards the table he was working on. [b "You came at just the right time. I was about to fill out some paperwork on this piece... or at least have you do it while I finish carving. I'm sure your handwriting is much more beautiful than mine."] He spoke and then pointed to the line. [b "This is where I put names of my customers. Here is the detail work I did. There is the log book I write all my customers transactions down in. You can take a look if you'd like or... you can watch me do this."] He would smile and then return to carving, letting her choose. [b "I'm happy you made it Elizabeth."]
The rest of the evening seemed to pass by slowly and seamlessly. On the morning of her planned encounter with Kyler, she found herself spending time with her mother who seemed of high spirits again. Every day it seemed as though something threatened to take her from this world so she tried to put on a brave face as she sat in the chair next to her bed. They had fallen into a comfortable silence as the two began to stitch decorations into the handkerchiefs that they had purchased for her father’s birthday.
Every time she had been left alone with her thoughts they managed to find Kyler and the offer he had made to help her become more independent; to learn his trade. Yet she couldn’t seem to shake the thought of how she wished their time together had ended. To kiss under the stars would have been something for her to remember but she had to remind herself that they had made the deal to pretend. Nothing more. A sigh escaped her lips, rousing her mother’s attention from the sewing that she had engrossed herself in. Her mother placed the material down onto her lap and adjusted herself slightly so that she was more comfortable before taking a minute to look over Elizabeth’s face.
“Elizabeth dear. You simply must tell me what is on your mind.” Her tone was not unkind as she addressed her daughter but it was laced with concern. For a moment, Elizabeth continued to embroider patterns onto the material before her, lost in thought until she finally realised that her mother had addressed her. She laughed, noticing the distance that she had in her eyes and shook her head. “There is something on your mind dear.” She said, repeating herself to prompt Elizabeth to talk by breaking the silence again.
“Please accept my apology mother. I do not mean to allow my thoughts to encroach on our time together. I’m not sure that this is something you would want to hear about.” She said simply, not knowing how her mother would feel about her antics with a complete stranger. As though to answer, she stared blankly and blinked a few times, waiting for her to continue her explanation. She smiled and decided against her better judgement, divulging everything there was to know about Kyler and the offer he had made her. If a daughter could not speak to her mother about such things then whom could she speak to? All the while, her mother reserved judgement, nodding at different parts of her explanation to show that she was listening to every word and by the time she finished she found herself taking in a deep breath and releasing a sigh, as though telling her released some kind of pressure that the must have been holding over herself.
There was a moment of silence as her mother began to process what she had said and she found that her heart had quickened slightly with the anticipation of what opinion she would offer. There was every chance that she would see her as a disgrace, planning to learn some trade that was meant for men and to be taught by a stranger. The silence felt like a lifetime but soon enough she broke it.
“It sounds like you have strong feelings about this Elizabeth. I want to to be happy and if this is what it takes then you should go...learn.” The sentiment brought a tear to her eye and there was nothing more left to be said between the two and with her mother’s blessing she placed a kiss upon her forehead and made her way towards the address Kyler had given her. Upon arriving she found Kyler working and the smile found her lips easily as she looking up at him. He clearly hadn’t noticed that she was there and she didn’t want to startle him in case it spoiled his work so she simply remained quiet in the doorway as she watched him work. It was mesmerising and she was sure she could watch him work like that forever. She felt the familiar tug at her heart as she lost herself for a moment.
Her eyes looked like they were lightbulbs of excitement, and he was satisfied for having turned them on. It was like she came alive before his eyes. She was similar to a wind-up toy that just needed a little push to get going. Kyler couldn't imagine growing up in the same shoes as she. Elizabeth had no chance of doing what she truly loved, and he could tell from the moment he met her that she wasn't happy. What was the point of life if you weren't going to enjoy it and live to serve others with your talents? Elizabeth wasn't born to be a seamstress or a cook or a maid. She was more than that, and she just needed someone to unlock her potential. Kyler intended to be that someone, for as long as he possibly could. She reminded him of himself... walking aimlessly until the right moment hit her. If she couldn't make a pathway for herself, what could it hurt to make one for her?
Kyler lifted up on Elizabeth, creating enough pressure to pull her to her feet. [i "We'll start tomorrow then... I don't think I've ever been this excited about anything in my life."] Kyler could only smile at her words. Maybe it was a blessing in disguise to have been blindly set up with this woman. She might have needed him as much as he needed her to provide a new perspective on life. They learned from each other in ways they didn't even know yet. Kyler felt her small squeeze on his hand, and his smile only widened. He felt something flutter in his chest, but he played it off as coincidence. [b "It is my pleasure Elizabeth."] He would run his thumb once over her hand then let it go as he headed back into the party.
Grabbing his sister from dancing on the party floor, Kyler would walk them home and blow off his sister's ranting about how cute he looked with Elizabeth. She even told him off about speaking up to a wealthy man, identifying him as Andrew, the classic business jackass type. Kyler just shook his head, looking down to his bubbly sister, [b "He had it coming to him sis."] Kyler just laughed as Elaine went on and on about some guy she might have found for herself. He was just letting his mind drift to Elizabeth's reunion with him for her first day in training. What would he teach her? He'd just have to start from square one.
Kyler slept well that night, hopping into a quick shower and then dressing down to his work clothes and pulling his goggles on. He'd get to work carving an intricate piece that he'd been putting together for a wealthy family with very particular tastes. The lines had to be impeccably sharp and detailed to the finest point. Kyler was a perfectionist with his work, no matter how much he projected himself differently. In a way, he was afraid to show his true self to anyone other than family. He couldn't be distracted and leave his sister all alone. She'd never make it... Kyler was so into his work that he wouldn't have noticed anyone coming in as he began carving another wooden rose into the tea table he had crafted.
Elizabeth has no idea why Kyler was so willing to help her in the way he had suggested. He owed nothing to her. Although a part of her wondered if it would help their sorry motet if she were to frequent his home. However that would not be a reason for the woman to agree to him offer. While they were alone they did not need to pretend and it wasn’t as though she would ever get such an offer from anyone else. To teach a woman how to work or run their own business at this time was considered inappropriate. Sure, they could train and teachers and nurses and whatever jobs they considered suitable for a woman but carpentry, factory work, business...it was a man’s world and she couldn’t see any other way into it.
As she listened to him speak she searched her mind for an excuse, sure that Elaine would help provide an alibi since she was so keen for her to end up with her brother. Perhaps she could tell her father she was teaching her how to sew. It would please him to hear that she was finally taking up something associated with her sex as she had always refused to let her mother teach her. It was part of the small acts of rebellion she had embarked upon when she was younger. She looked up towards his towering frame now that he was stood up and she smiled towards him softly as she took hold of his hand and pulled on it to help her to her feet. Almost without thinking about it she ran her hand over the dress to smooth it down and tried to look for any damage she might had done to it.
“I do not think you realise how much your proposition means to me Kyler. I would be honoured to have you teach me your trade.” She said as her mind started to wonder about the things she might learn. Starting as early as tomorrow was an exciting prospect that made her want to retire from the party and go to sleep so that the following day might arrive quicker but she would not cut her evening short, especially since she knew Helen would be wanting to know every detail of their encounter. There would be things she would need to fabricate and things she would need to keep to herself.
“We shall start tomorrow then.” She said as he started to joke about the saw but her eyes only betrayed the feeling of excitement within her. “I’m not sure I own anything that should get dirty but I can try to find some old clothes. I don’t think I have ever been this excited about anything in my life.” Elizabeth took hold of his hand and squeezed it affectionately. “Thank you...truly.”
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