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Elizabeth was out one morning when she came across chaos in the streets. She had no doubt in her mind that her worst fears were about to be confirmed. Her eyes darted around the crowds of people, reading the different expressions upon their faces. Some of the men were smiling and laughing, throwing their arms around their comrades. Other men looked worriedly towards the woman in their life. Those women exhibited the same expression she would echo herself when she finally read the article. Elizabeth felt her heart rate quicken as the anticipation built up inside of her. Part of her wished that she had chosen to avoid town that morning.
Elizabeth made her way through the crowd towards the newsstand where she might have been able to get a better view of what the papers were saying. At this point she was sure that she needed to read the headlines to know what happened. She had known the moment she had heard of the Archduke’s assassination that Britain would insert themselves into the affairs of Europe. Germany had been applying pressure to France and she knew that it was only a matter of time before Britain went to their aid. With every footstep she became filled with even more dread.
Reading the headline only made it real. Her throat began to close up and the butterflies in her stomach erupted with anxiety. Her eyes started to scan the page and the mix of excitement and sorrow amongst the crowd suddenly became clear. She was overcome with conflicting emotions, knowing that this could likely force her apart from Matthew.
Soon enough she worked up the courage to run to his workshop, her eyes locking with his the moment she arrived. There was no way he hadn’t heard the news by now. Tears threatened the corner of her eyes and she could barely find the words to talk to him. She allowed the paper to fall to the ground and stepped towards him, taking both of his hands in her own. For a moment she looked down at them and tried to commit the feel of them to her mind. She bit her lip to hold back her tears and allowed her eyes to find his again.
[b “You are going to fight.”] She said simply. It wasn’t really a question because they both knew that it was an unspoken truth that hung between them. Matthew was the kind of man that wanted to protect what was his and he would consider fighting for his country to protect his family and she could not begrudge him for that. It did not mean that she had to like it but she would accept it.
Matthew returned the kiss, but her words lingered in his mind. Did she really mean that? Would she really leave from her fathers protection and wealth just to be with him? If she was telling what truth, it only made him feel that much more inclined to her. Elizabeth’s father was no man. He was a coward and a sorry excuse of a man. As he held her on his lap, Matthew thought up a life they could have together. He thought about waking up to her in his bed and sharing the business. Perhaps kids would be in the picture...
With another kiss pressed to her lips, Matthew spoke softly, [b “It is more than about time you thought of yourself. You’re always so generous with others.”] He spoke, eyeing the wooden locket she was wearing with a smile that played on his lips. [b “So... have you decided work or play yet?”] He questioned teasingly, appreciating his woman’s rebellious streak and declarations.
It wouldn’t be much longer from that day though that the draft was announced. On June 5, 1917, the Selective Service Act drew from its deadly hat, names of men aged 21 to 31 for active, bloody duty. It was in that day that everything broke between Elizabeth and Matthew and the life they had planned. The life that included marriage and kids and growing old together.
It wasn’t that Elizabeth doubted his motivations and it wasn’t as though he had done anything to make her think that but she just wanted to make sure that she hadn’t go things confused and that she was in the same lines as him. He obviously found it a little more difficult to talk about emotions than her and she didn’t know if that was just because he was a man or because he just found it personally quite difficult.
Her eyes never left him once when he spoke and at times her heart ached for him and then when he moved on to their relationship she couldn’t stop her heart from racing as she took in every single word he said, having them echo in her mind every after he had finished talking. This has been what she had wanted; to know how he truly felt.
[b “I do understand and I feel the same way. I could barely sleep last night knowing that you were not close to me. You have taken over every little part of me and I cannot get you out of my head, not that I would want to try in the first place. You have to understand that I am very much in love with you and I have every intention of being with you. I do not care what my father’s opinion is of this. As far as I am concerned he doesn’t get a say. It’s been a long time since I have had a father rather than a business man. It’s about time I put myself first and if I have to, I will run away with you.”] She chuckled a little at her final words and placed a kiss upon his lips.
As Elizabeth spoke on a more serious note, Matthew leaned his head into her shoulder. Her description of her mother looking down on them was something he thought of too. Matthew wondered if his mother approved of her, and he wondered what she would say to him if she was still alive. There was no doubting Elizabeth was thinking the same, and she was extremely close to her mother it seemed. Thinking it over, Matthew thought of Elizabeth speaking about him to her sick mother before dwelling on that next sentence about spending their lives together.
Elizabeth set down the tools before turning to look at him, causing Matthews hands to adjust and stabilize her once more. Looking into her eyes as she spoke, he felt nearly shocked at her questions. Did she think he swooped in on her just because she was feeling vulnerable in the midst of her mother’s death? Did she really think he cared nothing more for her than to see how many romp sessions he could get out of her during grieving when she wasn’t thinking straight? She asked about their situation being temporary, and Matthew just sighed deeply. Breathing in, he finally found the strength and composure to look her in the eyes and explain.
One had took hold of hers as he began, [b “Elizabeth... I do not normally delve into these matters of romance and love. You know this from Elaine I’m sure. When my mother died then my father in quick succession, I somehow developed an idea that a woman would only distract me from my work that is the only thing supporting me and Elaine. I promised myself I would never let my sister grow in poverty, not to mention the time constraints it placed on me.”] He hesitated a moment before continuing to open up to her.
[b “But then I met you... Well, I was matched with you rather. The way you see things, the way you speak and act, is all a beautiful mystery to me that I couldn’t stop finding myself drawn to. You make me want to be a better man for you, Elizabeth, even if our status is not near the same. You make me wish I knew you earlier because then I would’ve had you in my arms, right where you belong, for years now. I’m learning how to be a man that is worth love, and I still do not know how you put up with me. If you expected this to be temporary, I do not know exactly how I could react or keep pushing forward. You are all I think about now. You’re wrapped so tightly around my finger that I fear it may break. In short, I’m so damn in love with you that it hurts sometimes. Do you understand that?”]
He spoke, finally baring his soul to her for her to judge and do with what she will. It was the most vulnerable he’d ever been with anyone, and it was the most open too. Every word he spoke was to convince her that he wanted her as his woman, his world. Matthew did not know what it was that made her doubt that, but he never wanted her to again if he could help it.
The flirtatious nature of their conversation had her blushing a little but she enjoyed the fact that she felt comfortable in his presence, so much so that she was comfortable enough to act in such a way when it was normally against her nature. She felt his arms wrapped around her and the way his lips trailed over her neck and jawline and she had to wonder if the two would fall into another session of love making but she reminded herself that they had all the time in the world and she wasn’t about to rush things. She wanted things to happen naturally and she didn’t want anything to feel forced which she imagined it wouldn’t ever be that way with Matthew.
She giggled and pushed aside his flirtatious comments to focus on the wood and continued to carve as best as she could. [b “My mother would have really loved you Matthew. You know, I think she knew how I felt about you before I did. All I had to do was mention you once and she had this glimmer in her eye. I’d like to think that she is looking down on us, glad that I finally found someone I can spend my life with.”] She smiled as a tear ran down her cheek and she placed the wood and the tool down in the workbench so she could wipe at her eyes before turning to look at him.
[b “You do want a life with me don’t you Matthew? I don’t want this to be based on sympathy, I simply couldn’t bear it.”] Her expression was serious then. [b “Is that what this is? A small comfort that is supposed to be temporary?”] Elizabeth wanted him to tell her that she was being ridiculous and that he truly meant it when he told her that he loved her too but there was something at the back of her mind that she just couldn’t shake and she wondered if that was because of her father and the way he had made her believe her worth was only what he gave her.
Matthew grinned at Elizabeth’s flirty and witty comments to banter with him as he offered his own. The woman had him wrapped around her finger. He’d probably do just about anything she asked of him or believe just about anything she told him, no matter how ludicrous. Matthew felt her lips on his cheek, smiling again as he surveyed the way she ran the blade over the wood. It seemed easy to her as she practiced strokes of the blade, but Matthew knew he wasn’t making it easy for her. His light kisses of her skin had her breath catching, and Matthew couldn’t say he didn’t enjoy it. Wrapping his strong arms around her small body more, Matthew grinned against her and laughed.
[b “Oh we can play all day if that’s what you want.”] Matthew considered the distractions bit before placing another kiss to her cheek. [b “I normally do not, but I don’t mind... learning from them.”] His breath was hot still as he could not stop thinking of the way her body looked under his or the way her face contorted as their bodies moved as one. Matthew would have been more than willing to show her just how much he’d enjoyed it or the ways they could enjoy it more. Nonetheless, it was a bit quick to rush into things so soon after her mother’s passing. Matthew has been concerned if she was just trying to fill a void with him, but he could not deny his feelings any longer. He wanted Elizabeth just as much as anything.
She did not speak of her father’s return or express any more sadness of her mother’s death. Perhaps their timing was impeccable... Either way, Matthew wouldn’t change it for a million dollars. He had found the one woman that made him feel like no one else in the world could. He had found the one woman he felt he may truly ever love.
Elizabeth couldn’t begin to explain how seeing him made her feel. She wanted everything with him but she obviously needed to make sure that she wasn’t behaving in a way that was moving to fast. She could really see herself marrying him and even settling down with children one day but she would keep that to herself for now. While people in her class often married soon after falling in love, she wanted to take her time to learn everything she possibly could about him and she also wanted to make sure that they knew how they were going to tell her father because that was certainly a big factor in everything. However, with the way her father had acted in the last couple of days, she didn’t really care about what he thought right now.
Elizabeth didn’t want to think about him right now, just wanting to focus on Matthew. She smiled and leaned into his hand and welcomed his kiss. [b “I came here as soon as I could. I’m sorry to have kept you waiting.”] She chuckled a little when he pulled her onto his knee, finding herself quite comfortable situated there as he handed her some tools and remained close to her. [b “You don’t waste time do you? All work and no play.”] She smiled and kissed his cheek before looking at the tools in her hand and the wood he had prepared for her before running the blade through the wood gently, her breath catching in her throat slightly. [b “How am I supposed to concentrate with you kissing me like that?”] Elizabeth joked slightly before running the blade through once more. She was getting the hand of it quite quickly.
[b “Do you work with such distractions?”]
The knock was soft, but Matthew heard it. Instantly, a huge boyish grin formed on his face. Matthew was seated before his workbench, working on some carving when Elizabeth’s angelic voice confirmed her identity. Turning his head to take in her sight, Matthew smiled as she hurried up to him and wasted no time. [i That’s my girl...] Smiling into her lips as she pressed a soft kiss to his, Matthew took her hands tighter and pulled her closer to him. With him seated, their height difference wasn’t so noticeable. Placing one hand on her lower back, Matthew let his eyes roam over that beautiful face that he’d learned to love. [b “Good morning, beautiful. What took you so long?”] He asked, more out of teasing than actually wondering.
One hand went up to caress her cheek as he kissed her once more, fulfilling everything he’d wanted to do since he woke up. [i Well maybe not everything..] Matthew then pulled Elizabeth gently to situate her on his knee, scooting closer to the table. With his arms wrapped around her, keeping her in place and making sure she didn’t fall, Matthew let his breath pass her ear. His hands took the blank wood slab he’d made for her and then handed her the tools. [b “So this is just like you tried earlier.. just enough pressure to move the blade through the wood. Try it. I’ll bet you’re a natural.”]
Matthew places a few soft kisses over her ear and outline of her jaw, waiting for her hand to work the way he expected it to, creating a magnificent piece of art that only the nimble fingers of a woman could. Matthew again made sure she was stable on him, waiting to see just how she would handle such a thing.
Elizabeth didn’t get much sleep that night, struggling to comprehend why her father was so selfish and why he hadn’t even tried to come and talk to her. It didn’t matter too much because she had Matthew now and she could find a distraction within him, but he was so much more than that. He was her love and she couldn’t be happier about the fact that the two of them had exchanged those meaningful words as well as consolidating them with the act of love making. A blush found its way to her cheeks as the memories brushed by, the heat of his body and the sound of his climax…
She had to focus on sleep now, knowing that the sooner she went to sleep, the sooner she could see him again and that thought alone was enough to carry her through into a slumber. When she awoke the next day, it was early, and she couldn’t hear a single movement in the house which indicated that most people were still asleep. At least she could sneak away without having to speak to her father this way.
It was a strange feeling to grieve the loss of a loved one when another had just entered her heart and while it didn’t make things any easier, it certainly gave her hope that with time, things would get much easier. Elizabeth got herself dressed and fixed her hair and without another thought she made her way towards the workshop that she had grown to love, where she would find the man she hoped to spend the rest of her life with.
There he was, in all his glory, evidently trying to distract himself with work. She knocked lightly on the door and entered, barely able to spend another minute away from him. [b “Morning my love.”] She said with a smile upon her face as she moved towards him to take his hands in her own and place a kiss upon his lips without a moments thought.
Matthew never once stopped thinking about her, even in his sleep. He hadn’t been aware her father returned. Instead, he awoke earlier than normal and set off to cleaning himself and putting on something to impress her. It was her first day of learning... Well, he assumed she wanted to learn. While he did offer her the apprenticeship to see her more often, he also wanted to truly show her what he did. He wanted her to see more of his world. Matthew set out a duplicate of the wood he was carving for her, including her very own tools, picking from the smallest he had for her tiny hand. Matthew put a lot of thought into it. He put more thought into this than most anything for any other person. Matthew even told Elaine some excuse to get her out of the house again. Something about buying groceries they didn’t really need...
He found some kind of work to pass the time, looking up each time he thought he heard a noise. Time seemed to tick on forever as he attempted to lose himself in tiny intricate carvings that he’d wanted to teach her. His world finally seemed like it was going in the right direction with Elizabeth at the center of it. When everything seemed peaceful to him, the world outside was certainly not. What he didn’t know was that nations were militarizing, readying for war that men would be drafted into out of their own will. It would only be a matter of time...
But now wasn’t that time. Things were moving smoothly as Matthew waited and waited for the one person he wanted to see to arrive. Nothing was going to ruin this day for him if he could prevent it.
Elizabeth was not ashamed of what she had done with Matthew but she knew that it was expected of her and if people were to find out then her reputation could be tarnished. Not that it mattered to her but she didn’t want people talking and neither one of them were ready to explain to her father that they had fallen in love and that they had consummated that without a promise of devotion through marriage. Her fingers ran along his softly as she became lost in thought for a moment, glad that Matthew wasn’t upset about her desire for him not to tell anyone. She could tell he would honour that promise too which put her at ease.
She couldn’t help but laugh then. [b “Well I am the lucky one then aren’t I? I had no idea there would be such demand and I am honoured that you have chosen me over the line of people outside of your workshop.”] She smiled as he kissed her with an equal amount of passion as before but when he followed up the kiss with a suggestion that she should go, she sighed. She knew she had to at some point anyway but she was still uneasy about going home to an empty house. At least now she had solidified what she had with Matthew and she could use that as a distraction.
Elizabeth agreed that it was best that she should go and the two worked their way back through the house picking up clothes that had been discarded along the way until they were back in his workshop and fully dressed once more. Another smile found her upon hearing his declaration once more. [b “Tomorrow. I love you too.”] With that she walked out of the door and made her way home, hoping that this feeling would remain with her so that it would help her through another sad and lonely night.
[i “Elizabeth?”] Her father’s voice travelled through the hallway upon entry and she felt anger rising within her instantly as he came around the corner. [i “Elizabeth, where on Earth have you been?”]
[b “I think the better question is where have you been? Mother died two days ago and you were not here!”]
[i “I had business to attend to.”]
[b “What business could be more important that this?”]
[i “Who do you think you are talking to?”]
[b “Not a father, that’s for sure.”] With that she moved passed him and shut herself in her room, angry and upset once more.
Elizabeth’s praise was music to his ears, including her thanks for being gentle. Nodding, Matthew smiles into the kiss before cleaning himself off as much as possible too in the time she washes off. Had this really happened? Had he really consummated his relationship of love with Elizabeth? As Matthew splashed some water on his face, he made sure he wasn’t dreaming. Thoughts of her body under him, the way she reacted to him, the way she told him she wanted him filled his brain. She wasn’t going anywhere from his heart in a long time, if ever. Matthew had fallen so head over heels hopelessly in love with her that he wasn’t even sure what he was doing his whole life without her. It was in that moment that he hit himself inwardly for not being more social to try and find her earlier and increase their time together.
Returning to his bed, Matthew awaited the woman as she finally returned to the bed. His hand opened to hers, allowing her fingers to weave in or play with his own. Looking deep into her eyes, he shook his head. His voice came out softly then, [b “What we do is between us if or when you want this to be public, then we tell my sister and anyone else who asks. In the meantime, I want to continue seeing you... You’re my apprentice now remember? It’s a highly... desired position.”] Grinning, Matthew kissed her passionately again. His hand trailed gently over her back, rubbing in smooth circles. He wouldn’t tire of this.
[b “Elaine will be home soon. Perhaps you should go before she asks questions we aren’t ready to answer?”] Matthew spoke, sitting up to help her dress again. He placed several kisses over her back as he buttoned her skirt and adjusted her top from behind. [b “I love you...”] He whispered, wrapping her in a hug before kissing the top of her head and helping her out the door. [b “I’ll see you tomorrow.”]
When Elaine returned him, she noticed Matthew wouldn’t stop smiling, but he never revealed what truly happened. All he could think about was seeing her again.
Elizabeth knew that she wouldn’t be able to find the words to describe how she was feeling in that moment. Everything felt sensitive and on fire and her mind raced. She could hardly focus on anything but the intense feeling that raced through her body but she was able to take Matthew’s advice and hold on to him a little tighter. She didn’t even know what noises she made from that point on but she knew they only grew louder as the feeling became more and more intense until she could barely take it any more, her body begin to twitch underneath him. Just as she was about to ask him to stop, he pulled out of her, spilling onto her stomach rather than inside of her. Clearly he was able to think straight where she couldn’t.
She needed time to gather herself then and it seemed that Matthew was giving her the space to come back around, lying in the bed next to her. Her breathing began to slow down as she glanced over at Matthew who was talking to her now that their love making was over. Finally she heard those words from him and her lips turned up into a smile, hardly Abel to contain herself. He loved her. They loved each other. She couldn’t even begin to describe how much that meant to her.
Elizabeth was grateful to be offered the chance to clean up but he asked her another question before she left. [b “It was incredible. It was far beyond anything I could imagine. Thank you for making me so comfortable Matthew.”] She leaned over to kiss him gently before she rose from the end to her herself washed up, not wanting to be away from him for long. She worked quickly and returned feeling a little more refreshed as she lay down next to him on the bed once more, taking his hand in her own. [b “You won’t...tell your sister about this will you?”]
Every move she made spurred him forward. Every face she made had him wanting to hit the same spot. Matthew reacted to her moans, and her arms around his neck allowed him to plunger deeper into her. It was ecstasy. It was paradise. Matthew felt his breathing labor even more, kissing him back barely as her back arched up to him and off the bed. As she called his name, Matthew let out more hot breaths, leaning in, so his lips were against her ear. [b “Hold onto me...”] He whispered, feeling her body beginning to tense, thankfully milking him in the already tight fit. Matthew moaned out at that. [b “Damnit... Elizabeth..”] He spoke, feeling her contractions rewarding them both. It was a sight he’d done his job, and it showed him she felt the utmost pleasure on her first time bedding someone else.
It was then that he couldn’t hold himself in any longer. Removing himself from her depths as she rode the waves of pleasure, Matthew felt the eruption on his own part, releasing his hot passion all over her stomach. He hadn’t wanted to get her pregnant on their first time together, pulling on all that he knew to retract himself before things got too late. Leaning down and kissing her passionately, Matthew finally moved off of her, his body laying heavily on his back. Sighing, he caught his breath, the world suddenly returning to him.
As he turned to look at Elizabeth, he leaned over again, kissing her again and then looking into her eyes, [b “I love you too...”] He whispered, baring his feelings. Eyes running down her body again, he whispered against her. [b “If you.. need to clean up. The washroom is down the hall.”] Smiling, he whispered against her lips again, [b “But before you go... how was it?”]
Soon enough, Elizabeth no longer has any undergarments on her to conceal herself from him. It was something that she might have been highly embarrassed about if she even had the ability to think in that moment. Her mind was completely focused on feeling what he was doing to her. His frame completely engulfed her and he kissed her as he readied herself to enter her and she felt overcome with nerves as he could feel him pressing against her, ready to claim her virginity.
Never in a million years would she have imagined that her day would end up like this. She had come to him to seek comfort and to tell him how she felt about him and she had achieved that and it seemed to lead to this. Of course she hadn’t yet heard him say that he had fallen in love with her but she had to believe that this response was his way of telling her that he felt the same. Her breathing quickened with anticipation as their eyes locked together, seemingly ensuring that she was okay with this and telling her that he would be gentle.
He was. With every movement he careful entered her with slow ease and she couldn’t help but hold on to the sheets of the bed as she braved herself. It was uncomfortable to begin with, but only because it was her first time and the first few gentle thrusts were working himself inside her, trying to get into her depths. Soon the discomfort dissolved into pleasure and she found herself moaning with each movement he made and with each kiss he lay upon her skin. Her arms wrapped around his neck then, steadying herself but also adjusting slightly to that he could get a little deeper.
Both their breathing melted into one, laboured and evident of the fact that they were making love to each other. She just hoped that they were alone in the house, a thought which hadn’t even come to her mind as he had paraded her through the house in her underwear. Her expressions were enough to show him that she was completely taken by him and she was sure that her involuntary sounds aroused him further since he was now whispering her name too. With each movement her moans got a little louder and she could barely prepare herself for the orgasm that crept up on her without a warning. Her breath hitched and her back arched. [b “Oh my God...”] She kissed him passionately, not wanting to be apart from him when the climax burst through her body. [b “Matthew...”] She held on to him and felt her body start to tense up, her muscles tightening around him as the contractions worked their way through her. She had never felt anything like it and nothing could have possibly prepared her for this feeling.
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