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There is no way that Helen would believe her if Elizabeth were to divulge the nature of their time together now, that was on how out of character this interaction was but he gave her a confidence she had never felt before and he made her heart feel as though it would burst with the amount of emotion and passion that filled it. She wasn’t unsure of anything now, only nervous that this would be her first time Id they truly did go that far. For now she had to distract her thoughts, no wanting to think about her nerves in case they tripped her up or made her look stupid.
Instead, she tried to let instinct take over, reacting to his touch. Her hand moved down his chest, resting at the waist band of his trousers but she was far to nervous to undo them herself. Instead, she pulled back from their kiss once more but this time it was to do something. She looked at his with an intense vulnerability as she started to move her hands to the back of her skirt, playing with the buttons until they were completely released causing her skirt to fall gracefully to the floor, then she worked on removing the top half of her clothing. Exposed in a way she had never been before, she couldn’t help but feel even more vulnerable. She swallowed hard and brought her hand up to her hair, pulling out some of the pins that kept it in place so that it now fell below her shoulders in loose curls.
When she was down she looked to Matthew, her cheeks red with nerves as she stood before him in nothing but her undergarments. This has to tell him that she wanted this more than her words could tell him. She waited, looking towards him expectantly.
[i "I wasn't asking you to stop Matthew."] Her words were clear, but he still needed to be sure. Matthew wanted her more than he wanted air, but he would not, could not, if she was not feeling the same. He'd nearly made his way back to his bench before she took his hand in hers and returned close to his body. Matthew looked down at the woman before him, his eyes roaming over her as she spoke her desires. He didn't expect her to know what she was doing. How could he? Elizabeth was a woman of her class, and she seemed dignified and honorable enough to follow the confines of it. Matthew was floored that she was even returning, but he wouldn't say no. Matthew didn't want her to feel like she couldn't have him just because that was what the rest of the world or her father said. He wanted her because he wanted [i her.] He didn't want her money or her influence. Matthew wanted this woman before him just because she was Elizabeth Stone, and that in itself was sexier than any other woman he'd been with. Elizabeth saw him for who he was. She challenged him. She wasn't [i afraid] of him. No other woman or, hell, man had done that to him.
As she asked for his guidance, Matthew was about to say more, but her lips were pressed against his once more. Closing his eyes, Matthew sighed against her lips as well, his reasoning and logic went out the window. His heart began hammering in his chest again. He didn't kiss her back yet, simply out of surprise. As her hand rested flat on his chest, Matthew felt something stirring inside. As he had her permission, Matthew finally returned the kiss, pulling her closer to his body and claiming her lips as his. His tongue found its way back into her mouth, causing them to dance in a passionate fervor. As the kiss deepened, Matthew let his hands roam to her sides and over his arms. He wanted to feel her skin pressed against his, and the warmth of her body. No, he [i needed] to feel that.
She felt guilty for stopping the flow of their affections, not intending on putting an end to it entirely but simply intending on warning him so that he was aware that she lacked experience when it came to men. Deep down, she knew that she didn’t really need to warn him, knowing that he probably already knew that before he had started to kiss her, to caress her in the way that he did. But, she felt the strong desire to make sure she said it, so that he knew that to prospect of giving herself to him did scare her a little. She assumed that he had been with a woman before although she couldn’t quite pinpoint what it was about him that suggested such a thing.
Elizabeth frowned a little when his response was to put some distance between them. He had misread her words and assumed she was asking him to stop. The was the last thing she wanted. She wanted him to be her first and she wanted him to take her. She shook her head, not quite able to get her words out straight away but she reached out for his hand and pulled him to a halt.
[b “I wasn’t asking you to stop Matthew.”] She said as she kept her hand in his and stepped closer to him so that the warmth of his body could be felt against hers. [b “I do want this. I just...needed you to know that I don’t know what I’m doing...that I might need your guidance.”]
Elizabeth looked back up at him again and pressed her lips against his, trying to put them right back into the same place they had been in moments ago. The intensity was there in an instant and she placed her hand flat against his chest, inviting him to return to whatever it was he was doing. [b “I want this.”] She whispered against his lips before returning to focusing all of her energy into her kiss.
Matthew relished in the way she granted permission to him, making sure she did. He would never force himself on her. In his mind, she wanted this as much as he, no matter her status. After all, he didn’t feel like that mattered when she was near. He didn’t feel worlds apart from her, especially when they were kissing. He may have gotten carried away as he continued trailing his hand over her dress and wishing to tear it off her body to show her how much he could love her and pleasure her right.
Matthew was broken from his lustful thoughts and actions when Elizabeth pulled her mouth from his, looking into his eyes. Her words came softly but honestly. He’d assumed she wasn’t familiar with this. Women of her class normally didn’t. They were to wait until marriage, but he didn’t care. She made him want things he never considered before. As his eyes found hers again, Matthew began to feel stupid.
Finally giving her some space and stepping backwards, he ran his hand through his hair and scratched the back of his neck. Blushing a bit red, Matthew didn’t make eye contact. [b “Forgive me, Elizabeth. I just thought Uhh... That you wanted this. I understand you are not experienced and may not wish to continue although I know one thing is certain... you would not displease me at all. I should have asked. I will never push you to do things you are not comfortable with.”]
With that, Matthew backed up, beginning to bear his workbench again. He assumed she wanted nothing more with him.
This was not like Elizabeth at all. She would never normally fall so easily for a man and she would never act this way either. She had shared her first kiss with him and she was sure that she would have many more firsts with him if this was going in the direction that she thought it was. It filled her with nerves though because the this was not something a woman of her class should be doing. It was expected that she should wait until marriage before indulging in anything with a man besides courting and kissing but this was already going much further than either of those things and she couldn’t pretend that she couldn’t feel the effect that their closeness had on Matthew either.
She could feel her back being pressed harder against the wall with the weight of him felt flush against her in a way that made her blush even more. Her lips parted to grant him permission to taste her further, her tongue crashing against his in a passion that controlled her every movement. It was then that she felt his hand trail up the fabric of her shirt and she couldn’t help but panic a little, not really knowing what he was doing or why. When it came to this sort of affection she was completely naive and had no idea what she was supposed to do or how she was supposed to behave so she found herself faltering a little.
Elizabeth pulled back from the kiss and looked him in the eye. [b “Matthew...I have not...I am not experienced with anything like this. I do not want to displease you.”]
Breath. Pesky thing. He wished it wasn't invented for the short moment that his lips were crashing against hers over and over. She was intoxicating, and he wasn't sure he would have stopped until his lungs burst if she hadn't moved her lips. Heat built up between them in a raging inferno that was only increasing each time their lips met. Their bodies were pressed together, with obvious signs at least from him that he was enjoying the scenario greatly. Matthew sucked in air as she pulled away, letting his eyes run over her swollen lips that he'd caused. Slight growls aroused him inside at the sight of it, his chest heaving in the passion and catching up on breath. Matthew kept his body pressing hers against the wall, not allowing her to leave unless she pushed him away. But she didn't.
As they both breathed heavily, Matthew's lips stayed just inches from hers. Elizabeth again worded breathlessly that she didn't want them to end. She was willing to jump into this with him head over heels, and he didn't let her words go in vain. [b "Then don't stop..."] He worded in a husky tone before her, his breath caught completely now. There were certain flashes of lust in his eyes as he eyed the woman before him. She drew him in like a magnet again before he could kiss her. Her lips crashed onto his, returning to desperation and passion. As Matthew heard the soft sigh against her lips, he was only spurred on more. Pressing her harder against the wall, Matthew then brought his hands up the fabric of her shirt. His hand trailed upwards further and further until he cupped the outline of her breast, letting his tongue explore her mouth.
Matthew moved so that his body was close to her own and pushed her back against the wall. A heavy breath escaped her lips and she did everything she could to keep her kiss focused on him. Her heart jumped with the anticipation of what might happen between them and the heat rose to her face. The feel of his hands in her hair became an intoxication. Their lips were now permanently locked together. Elizabeth could not help but gasp quietly as his teeth ran over her bottom lip in reaction to her kiss. The desperation and obvious need between the two had been displayed in ways that she had never imagined. The sparks between the two were so apparent now and every nerve ending cried out for his touch. Their bodies now pressed together in passion and the heat between the two burned so avidly that she did not think that there would ever be a moment that could compare to this one.
Elizabeth’s breath became heavy and if it were not for her human need to breathe the oxygen around them, she would have willingly remained lost in his kiss for the rest of time but she was grateful for the air when he finally pulled away. Her cheeks were flushed and her lips swollen. Elizabeth was sure that she looked completely ridiculous but that did not seem to matter. Instead, she allowed herself for to push aside the sub-conscious feelings to take in his appearance. If she were the one to observe such a moment she would think that that had been in love for a long time, yet the truth was they had met a short while ago. No matter how crazy it might have seemed but he had completely taken over her heart so that there would never be room for another again.
Elizabeth needed to fill the intense silence that had come between them. [b “Matthew, I could never allow another to steal my heart now that it already belongs to you. Whatever this might be between us does not have to end. I do not wish it to end. I simply will not allow that.”] Her voice was quiet and now that she had caught her breath she wanted to go back to kissing him so she did just that. She returned to the depths of their desperation and she allowed a soft sigh to escape her lips.
Matthew had never wanted someone more than he wanted her in that moment. Her soft, plump lips met with his and deepened their kiss, desperate to show him just how she felt as well. [i Damn, and how good it felt too.] Matthew’s hand went from her chin to her hair, threading his fingers through the soft strands to guide her lips to him with more pressure. The feel of her smaller, petite body against his was doing things to him that he never thought possible. Matthew felt his chest rising and falling in heavier breathing as the passion took them over.
Maybe it wasn’t what she wanted or expected coming here. Did she only want his hug or his comforting words? But he couldn’t hold out any longer. Elizabeth’s confession of love only cemented his feelings as well. Matthew didn’t want to wait. He didn’t care the risks that created such chasms to leap over between them. She was here in his arms, and he wasn’t letting her go. As soon as she smiled against his lips, Matthew brought his teeth to gently tug at her bottom lip, hands running down her curves. He wouldn’t break from the kiss either. It felt like there was no one else in the world but him and her and oh how much he wanted to show her what she was missing...
As Elizabeth’s arms wrapped themselves around his neck, Matthew placed his hands on her sides, walking her backwards to the wall where he pressed her possessively against it. Leaning down, Matthew claimed her lips hotter and harder, finding himself more and more interested in exploring her.
Elizabeth’s heart was almost beating out of her chest. She had no idea whether he would think she was crazy for admitting that she had feelings of love for him, especially since they were from completely different worlds but the truth was, she didn’t care. She knew how she felt and she needed him to know whether he felt the same way or not remained to be seen and with each second that passed, her heart beat that little bit faster.
For someone who had showed such disinterest in ideas of love, she was certainly captivated by it now. A few weeks ago, she might have laughed at the idea if anyone were to predict that she might be caught up in the affections of another. It was becoming more and more evident that Matthew was unlike anyone she had ever met and that fact alone made her fall even more for him. As he moved forward and kissed her, her heart beat raced in response to the feel of his body against hers and in that moment, she never wanted to be apart from him again. If it were at all possible, it was as though their bodies were made for each other. She fit perfect into his muscular frame and the feel of him only encouraged her to deepen the kiss further. During the passions of their kiss, she felt his heart beat, unsure of whether it was in fact her own that she was feeling. Elizabeth was almost sure that the two were beating in time with each other.
This kiss was certainly different from any they had shared before. While it was still filled with desperation, it also mirrored how much they had they felt for each other. All the doubt she had felt melted away and nothing else seemed to matter. Elizabeth could not help but smile against his lips as it progressed and she felt her body reacting to him in ways that she had never experienced. It was as though every nerve ending cried out for him, yearning to feel his touch and his kiss. Her arms snaked around his neck, echoing the desperation she felt for him. The kiss had become her oxygen and she was not about to break away from it, not unless Matthew did first.
[i “I’ve fallen in love with you.]
Did he just had that correctly? Matthew sat there before her, completely dumbfounded for the first time in his life. His heart was racing like it never had before. He would’ve never seen this moment coming for the life of him. Had Elaine and Helen not plotted to push them together that day, his life would have been totally different. Matthew might have never seen her again. It was now that he was realizing his faults. Even a man as large as he couldn’t fight this world alone. He needed her too. He wanted her. It was the idea that he couldn’t have her that only strengthened his feelings. Elizabeth was the woman that wouldn’t stop appearing in his mind, and she was the woman he spent time away from drinking or carpentry to spend time with. Their bond was one so natural and real. It hadn’t taken long to catch fire.
Matthew was admittedly silent for what seemed like an eternity as she looked at him eagerly. He knew what he wanted to say inside. The words sounded like an intricate poem inside, but there was no way they’d come out the same. As his deep, sapphire eyes trailed down her face, Matthew took in every feature. He memorized the shape of her nose, the outline of her lips, the blush of her cheeks. Matthew knew he wasn’t getting out of this one. He couldn’t run away if he tried.
But there was nothing for him to say. He needed to [i show.] Rising from his stool to his full height, Matthew took one step closer to her. He brought his hand up to her soft face, using his thumb in gentle pressure to push her chin upwards. With that, Matthew waited no longer to wrap his other arm around her back and pull her closer to him. His lips claimed hers in a passionate fervor, spelling out to her everything he couldn’t say in words. With each kiss, Matthew told her how he felt better than anything he could have said.
Elizabeth didn’t really know how to act around Matthew then. She was equal amounts of nervous and desperate to say what she was feeling. The passing of her mother had clearly brought some things to the surface and helped her realise some things and she wasn’t about to let things pass her by or slip through her fingers now. Of course, if her admittance would scare him off then she would deal with the consequences if it did but she knew that she couldn’t hold back now.
It was perhaps a little sudden but she had grown to learn that feelings could develop and change very quickly and there was no set formula to how these things worked. She swallowed hard when she looked up towards him, feeling a little nervous regardless of the fact that he assured her that she could tell him anything. Elizabeth truly believed that too, knowing that he would listen rather than ridicule her. At least she knew that if he didn’t accept what she was about to say, he wouldn’t react with anything other than kindness.
[b “I know that we have only known each other for a short while, and that we are from completely different worlds but I do not want to key another moment go by without telling you how I feel. You will never truly how much you have changed me or how much you have helped be come to realise what I want. I want you Matthew. Only you. Every time I see you my heart skips a beat and I feel that little bit closer to you and I cannot deny that I have developed feelings for you.”] She took a deep breath as if to help her get through her fear and then forced herself to look at him properly.
[b “I’ve fallen in love with you.”] Hearing those words out loud made her feel nervous but it was now completely up to him to decide what to do with that information and if he retreated from her, at least then she knew and she could grieve the loss of him at the same time as her mother.
Matthew was still sitting on his stool when Elizabeth neared him again as if unable to cope with the distance that he placed between them, no matter how small. He intended to make her happy, of course, but he wasn't going to sugarcoat their situation. It wasn't ideal exactly, but her words were something he needed to hear. Elizabeth was standing there, assuring him that she wanted to be her own person. She was essentially telling him that she wanted to be with him, no matter what her father thought. Oh, how sexy those words sounded coming from those lips. Matthew hoped she meant them. She couldn't be handling her father not returning home very well, and matters would only turn for the worse if he knocked a few of his polished teeth out. If it were up to Matthew, both her father and Andrew would be laid flat. He didn't want to know what Elizabeth would think of him if he did that though. Well, she still accepted him even after his near break in the same workshop. It was unbeknownst to him why she ever came back, but he didn't want to mess things up again with her. Matthew knew how close he was to losing her those days ago when he crafted her a wooden locket with her mother's image inside that sat just over her heart. He hoped she still had it and that it gave her comfort.
[i "Matthew... I...wanted...to tell you something."] Elizabeth's voice floated to his ears, and his attention was instantly hers. She only cemented that she wanted him to listen when she stood in front of him and placed her petite, soft hands in his large, calloused ones. Matthew locked eyes with her as she captivated him with her words and body language. His mind was beginning to race with the possibilities of what she might say to him. It seemed serious. Matthew was... slightly dense when it came to these things, romance and love that is. He didn't get involved with women other than the occasional one night stand that he wasn't all that proud of. They usually happened when he wandered out to a bar and got drunk off his ass. But ever since Elizabeth looked at him so disappointedly when he hurtled his glass of alcohol at the wall, Matthew had made a change. He still had a few every now and then, but she made him want to be better like no one else, not even Elaine. The sensation was something he couldn't describe but got stronger every time she grew near.
Now was one of those times. Matthew was completely unsure what she would say to him or ask of him, but she certainly held his attention. With his deep and rugged voice that matched his look and personality, Matthew spoke, [b "You can tell me... anything."]
Elizabeth has never had to face such heartache and regardless of the fact that her mother’s death was expected and inevitable, it didn’t make it any easier. In fact, it was probably harder because she had tried so hard to prepare herself and she was given that little bit of hope when her mother had started to show signs of getting better, only to be completely shot in the heart when she was awakened through the night to be told that her mother had passed. It stung to know that she had been alone when it happened and even more so when a whole day had passed and her father still hadn’t made it home. He had been told of her passing and she made sure of that, yet he couldn’t pull himself away from the business deal until it was secure.
It broke her heart entirely and it made it more difficult that it needed to be. For now, she had Matthew and he was offering her a distraction which is something that she needed. Of course she didn’t intend to forget, not that it would be possible for her to do so, but she wanted to be in a position where she could at least forget that she had heartache for a short time. She attempted to smile towards Matthew as he moved away from her, heart sinking a little as he did, wanting nothing more than to spend the rest of the day in his arms being comforted by him.
[b “I was to learn, I want to watch and try.”] Elizabeth moves closer to him, barely able to cope with the distance between them. [b “I promise you I won’t say anything to my father. I know why you want to be careful and I promise that I will be but...I want to be my own person Matthew, it’s what my mother wanted. She told me that she wanted me to be happy, not make other people happy like she did and being here with you makes me happy. I wouldn’t do anything to jeopardise that.”] Her words were entirely true.
If her mother’s death had taught her anything, it was that she couldn’t keep living her life by her father’s rules to keep him happy, especially when he didn’t seem to care as much about his family, but rather his business and his reputation. [b “Matthew...I... wanted...tell you something.”] She took his hands and stood in front of him so that he couldn’t avoid her gaze.
When Elizabeth admitted her father had not yet returned, Matthew felt his blood boiling. How dare he!? His daughter needed him more than ever, and he just acted like he was off in business meetings? Surely someone told him about the passing of his wife? Or did he even care? Matthew would have liked nothing more than to express his opinion to Mr. Stone about such a thing, but he knew that would be illogical.
Elizabeth’s plea for his help was all he needed. He would offer her sanctuary when no one else would. He would be her saving grace. Matthew considered the risks of taking her on as an apprentice as he’d asked once before. If her father found out, he most likely had enough money and influence to shut down his humble carpentry workshop for good. Matthew wouldn’t be able to combat it. How could he? Even his customers wouldn’t back him if the power of Mr. Stone and all his wrath came crashing down. Without his carpentry business, Matthew and his sister would be forced to move or go homeless. That wasn’t an option... Matthew wouldn’t go back on his personal path to protect his baby sister in the absence of his parents. Although he wanted to mouth off to Elizabeth’s father, everyone would lose as a result. From his initial perspective of the man, he wouldn’t take to conflict lightly.
But Elizabeth [i needed] this, and she needed him. She explicitly told him that to his face as she was wrapped up in his arms. Now, his oath had to go to her too. [i Damnit..] Matthew thought in his mind about backing out, but her face endured he didn’t. Nodding, he finally let her go. [b “Alright, but this is between us. I’m sure you and I both know what your father may think about this arrangement.”]
Matthew let his ocean, blue eyes wash over the woman before him once more before turning and walking towards his workbench again. [b “I can teach you the ways of cutting and measuring and carving wood, but you may like the books better to start. Or would you just like to watch a moment?”] With that, Matthew grabbed his tools and took a seat, awaiting her response. He didn’t want to push her too hard.
Elizabeth wasn’t usually the kind of person to be so emotional in front of another person, mostly because her father had brought her up to hide emotions and only portray an image that led others to believe that life was perfect but it was something she loathed about her father because she didn’t like to lie and to her that was a form of lying. Elizabeth was quite proud of the fact that she wasn’t a liar and she could never bring herself to mislead anyone in that way, even if that was how her father decided to live his life. Instead, Elizabeth just kept her emotions in check and let them out around her friends and now she knew that Matthew was someone she could talk to and be real with.
She completely let herself go for a moment, glad to have him willing to hold her as she cried. Feeling his arms go around her was all she needed to feel safe and she let herself cry until she naturally began to calm down. She was more than exhausted and Elizabeth had no idea how much more she could cry until she was no longer able to muster the energy to do so. Also, there was something so calming about having his hand run through her hair while his other caressed her back gently. His voice found her and she lifted her head. Of course he was speaking from experience rather than simply trying to make her feel better. He, too, had lost his parents and had to look after his sister so he could promise her things would get easier because he had lived through it.
[b “I just wanted a little more time with her and...I wish you had the chance she meet her. She would have loved you and how happy you make me.”] She lifted her head completely then and wiped at her eyes. [b “I think keeping busy is the right thing right now. I have no idea when my father is arriving home. He still hasn’t sent word or returned upon hearing about her...I need you Matthew, more than I realised when we first met.”] Elizabeth wrapped a hand around his and looked up at him with a nod. [b “I’ll become your apprentice. Teach me things that will help be forget.”]
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