War of the Heart

/ By d1gn17y [+Watch]

Replies: 234 / 2 years 182 days 22 hours 32 minutes 41 seconds

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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.
  Elizabeth / d1gn17y / 261d 3h 7m 47s
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.
  Matthew Moore / bubbles12 / 261d 3h 25m 33s
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.”]
  Elizabeth / d1gn17y / 263d 13m 37s
Elizabeth wouldn't be here in his workshop right now if she didn't need him or want him to some extent to help her in some way. It filled Matthew's heart with joy and pride but also uncertainty about what exactly her presence meant. Was she angry that he didn't stay with her? She had every reason to be. He'd been thinking about if he should have stayed and made a stand against her father, no matter if he didn't like him or want him there. Elizabeth could have done anything, but she simply stepped forward, ever closer to his body.

Matthew studied the woman. She explained that she was glad that he was there for her, but she didn't know what to do or where to go since she was gone. If Matthew had a chance to get out of the house his parents were suddenly removed from, he took it. He actually started carpentry after watching a man of the same title working day and night. He'd actually secured an internship and learned everything he knew from the same old man. Now, he had his own workshop and a business that wasn't booming but successful enough in its own right what with Elaine's help in customer service.

Matthew was snapped out of his flashback about the very similar situation he'd found himself in when she finally closed the distance. Her arms wrapped around his body, and her head leaned into his chest. Matthew hesitated a moment, feeling the wetness of her crying against his shirt and the feel of her body wrapped around his. In any other case, he would have been desperate to kiss her, but she needed comfort. Slowly, Matthew wrapped his arms around Elizabeth, one hand pulling her into him by her back and the other gently holding her head to his chest. Rubbing her back in small circles and tracing his fingers through her hair in a most unknown feeling to Matthew, he just held her as she sobbed.

Soon enough, he leaned his head down, kissing the top of her head. With a whisper, he began to speak in the deep tone he possessed, [b "Yes you can. You will make it through this. It is so hard right now to understand that, but time is really the best medicine. And you are never alone. You haven't been since you spilled that glass of water on me."]

Considering things a moment more, Matthew finally spoke again. [b "If you need to keep busy to stop thinking about it all... I have an idea. Become my apprentice like I asked before. I can teach you what I do, and you can help me manage things and gain new customers. It'll be busy work, but I know you need something to do right now. What do you think?"] He asked, never really letting go of her.
  Matthew Moore / bubbles12 / 263d 2h 11m 21s
Elizabeth might have been slightly frightened by how much she seemed to need him in that moment. Her feet had walked her here but it was her heart that had chosen him as her destination and she had turned up at his workshop almost instinctually, like she needed him to be able to function properly and now she stood before him, she knew that to be entirely true. Even though their feelings for each other were only just started to surface and develop into whatever it was between them, she knew that she [i needed] him right now.

It was obvious from the way that he looked at her that he didn’t really know how to react to having her stand before him right then. He had lost parents himself and clearly knew what the grieving process was like but that didn’t mean that he knew how to help someone else grieve or even knew how to behave around someone he cared about when they were going through something so painful.

Elizabeth took another step towards him, suddenly overcome with the desire to fall into his arms and bury her face into his chest life she had the night before but this time it was different this time because they didn’t have company and they didn’t have eyes upon them. [b “I’m glad of that. I don’t know how to do this Matthew. I’m alone. My father is still away on business and had not even sent word to acknowledge that she is...she is gone.”] Her tears were starting again then and she tried not to let them stream down her face. The last thing she wanted to do was make him feel uncomfortable but there was something that told her that he wouldn’t mind and she would be silly to hide how she felt.

In that moment she wrapped her arms around him, resting her head on his chest and started to sob gently. [b “I can’t do this Matthew. I really can’t do this.”]
  Elizabeth / d1gn17y / 265d 1h 47m 30s
This wasn't like him. She wasn't like him. Matthew had promised himself that his main priority in life was taking care of his sister Elaine since their parent's death. He wasn't supposed to be growing close to this woman. Hell, this whole arrangement was supposed to be a joke. They were putting the lid on their respective relative and friend's constant attempt to push them into romance. When did it turn to this? When did she worm her way into his heart and his mind like this? At this point, the when didn't really matter. She was already there. Matthew sighed in deeply, running his large hand down his face. His life had gotten a lot more interesting in the past couple of days that was for sure.

Each time that he tried to carve an intricate design or cut an exact measurement of wood, Matthew found himself beginning to lose more and more focus. Rather than the normal precision he worked with, Matthew realized he was making mistakes. He'd been at the craft for years now, but he made mistakes in the simplest of processes. Even when he tried to measure or make marks in the wood, Matthew found that it wasn't so easy. He almost felt like he [i shouldn't] be working. How was that? Work, specifically carpentry, was the only way he coped with the loss of his parents and found a way to move on. It was one of the most dear places to his heart. The workshop was salvation, money, shelter, and food for him and Elaine. Without it, they would be reduced to street beggars or worse. Now, an aristocrat of sorts entered into his life and made him [i not] want to stay in this dream workshop of his? Matthew just sat there then, placing his work on the bench in front of him. He was trying to make sense of things. He was trying to make sense of her.

Soon enough, her face wasn't just an illusion in his mind. She was reality. Floating in from the doorway, the sound of her voice brought him to attention. Standing from his seated position, Matthew finally turned to take the image of Elizabeth into his blue eyes. He hadn't been sure she'd come to see him. Hell, without her mother there, she may have seen how utterly terrible he was for her. He wouldn't be able to truly support her like another man would. He had problems with drinking and even a violent temper at times that she'd seen. Matthew was nowhere near perfect or even decent in his mind. Yet, here she was at his door again.

Her eyes were still tinted crimson, but it was all customary. Matthew wasn't really sure how to respond. He wanted her there, but he didn't know how much she wanted or what she wanted from him. Matthew would allow her to tell him or show him just that. He wouldn't push her. Bringing his hands together before him, Matthew finally spoke after a bit of a pause, [b "My door is always open, Elizabeth."] It was all he could think to say. Matthew wasn't really a man of many words, but he meant what he said. It was then that he would await her reaction or a response.
  Matthew Moore / bubbles12 / 265d 2h 56s
People came and went for the next few hours. Family and friends but there was still no sign of her father which was quite frustrating for her since everyone was asking for him so that they could give their condolences. Not only did it seem like he didn’t care but it was also difficult to have to deal with everyone alone and although she had Helen, Elaine and Matthew around her, it didn’t mean that she didn’t miss her father’s presence here. Right at this moment she didn’t know how she was going to be able to make it through the rest of the day, let alone how she was supposed to continue on without her mother.

When there was a knock at the door she didn’t move. No doubt that it was someone here to come and take her mother away and that was the last thing she wanted to see and in some ways, even though her mother was gone she was not ready to say goodbye to her. The pain of finding her was enough to keep her from raising from where she sat to greet the mortician. She could hear muttering voices in the hallway but she couldn’t make out what was being said, it was either that or she was purposely trying to block it out so she didn’t have to hear anyone talking about her mother.

Her tear stained cheeks was evidence enough that she had been crying but she wasn’t sure that there were any tears left in her anymore. There was movement in the corner of her eyes and although she wanted to ignore it, something told her to look up and when she saw Matthew she stood. Eventually she was reunited with Matthew and he took her hand. She wanted nothing more than to bury her face in his chest as that was was exactly what she needed and even though it wouldn’t take the pain away, it would help her work through her emotions. However, she had to restrain herself because there was still a lot of people around. There were no more words exchanged and she knew that Matthew wouldn’t expect there to be any but soon enough the people who were here to take her mother away had arrived and they insisted in conversing and completing paper work in the living room where they remained. He said his goodbyes and although she didn’t want him to leave, neither of them were ready for his father to find him there.

After he left she spent some time with the undertakers and before she knew it, she was being taken away and he tears started all over again, being left in Helen’s arms. [b “I can’t believe she is actually gone.”] She cried for a little longer and then excused herself to bed although she didn’t sleep much. When she woke up in the morning she had about an hour sleep and she looked tired but her father still wasn’t home and she couldn’t be in the house alone knowing that her mother’s bed was empty now. She got herself ready for the day and went to the first place she could think of to be with the only person she wanted to be with.

His workshop was the first place she went to and when she saw him she tried her hardest to keep herself together. [b “Matthew?”] Elizabeth stepped inside, her eyes a little red from the day of crying and lack of sleep. [b “I hope you don’t mind be being here. I couldn’t stay at home alone in that house knowing she isn’t there anymore.”]
  Elizabeth / d1gn17y / 265d 2h 22m 25s
Matthew would have safe there with his arms wrapped around Elizabeth for an eternity if she wanted him to. Unfortunately, he never got the chance. Helen arrived soon enough as was expected by the best friend of his blossoming lover, and he knew what had to be done. Wordlessly, Matthew releases Elizabeth and allowed Helen to fill his place albeit with a smaller frame no lesser in comfort and love. As Helen sank in the plush couch next to her best friend and other family members and relatives and friends filled the room, Matthew took the time to heft his large frame and lean back heavily against the wallpapered corridor. His blue eyes scanned everyone who came in. The majority of them were wealthy just by a quick glance of their clothes, jewelry, and mannerisms. It all made sense because Elizabeth’s father was a successful and prominent business man. A rough, calloused hand went to the blonde stubble on his chin as he heard and viewed the crying people all around. Elizabeth’s mother must have been someone special. Well, he already knew that. Just look at the way her daughter turned out. Matthew still wished he could take all the grieving on himself for her, but he had nothing to say that would make the pain lessen. Hell, he knew what this felt like. Both of his parents were gone within months of each other. He wanted a drink. He wanted one [i badly.] Elizabeth wouldn’t take too kindly to that though, understandably. Matthew had to behave himself.

Soon enough, even Elaine was at his side. She also took her time speaking with Elizabeth and Helen at the same time. Her smaller frame leaned beside Matthew’s on the colored walls. Matthew just kept looking forward at the door as if he could make her mother come through it if he stared at it hard enough. Elaine’s hand was soon enough placed on her brother’s shoulder, and her voice followed short after. [i “She has all of us. She’ll be strong. At least she has her father and maybe the best man in this whole room.”] At that, Elaine nudged Matthew with a small smile and the infectious giggle only she held. Matthew felt the slightest tug at his lips before he spoke solemnly, [b “No man can replace her mother, Elaine. You know that.”] Elaine’s shoulders slumped slightly then she leaned into her brother’s shoulder. At that, Matthew wrapped his large arm around her small shoulders and pulled her in a little closer to comfort his kin. [b “But she has friends unlike any we ever did.”] Of course there were looks thrown their way and talk about who exactly they were. Elaine liked to try and dress above her standards, and Matthew always tried paying for anything she wanted. Clothes were expensive though, and they could never just buy status. They were nothing like the other people here in terms of wealth. The Moore siblings lived paycheck to paycheck. In a way, Matthew despises then for that. How easy they had it... He could probably count on one hand how often they attempted to help hurting families.

But Elizabeth wasn’t lumped in that same crowd in his mind, no matter who her father was. After a while, Elaine found another one of her friends and hurried off to talk to her. At that moment, Matthew caught sight of none other than Andrew stepping through the front door that he was burning holes through. [i Of course, that prick has to show up. I bet he doesn’t even know her mother’s name.] Matthew gritted his teeth and clenched his jaw. He never dealt with temper that well, and he couldn’t forget the way Elizabeth always tried to deny him. The man acted like he owned her just because he held the title of her fathers right hand AKA his bitch. Matthew didn’t fall for that, and he sure as hell didn’t like it. If the ass even tried to take one two towards her, he would...

Before Matthew could finish thinking out all the ways he could kick Andrew out the door, Elizabeth was looking at him. Again, he tried to behave. Adjusting his black coat around his shoulders, one of the best he owned, Matthew moved from the wall and stepped a little closer to the woman in grieving. Nodding, he slowly lowered himself to a crouch before her sitting figure on the couch. It didn’t feel like hours had passed, but the crowd was somewhat dwindling. Mr. Stone still wasn’t there. Typical. Matthew already decided he didn’t really care for this man, but he did father Elizabeth. Did he really deserve a chance?

Matthews does blue eyes took hold of Elizabeth’s puffy, red ones before he gently took the cup from her hands and set it on the coffee table behind them. [b “I’m not going anywhere.”] He said with the smallest boyish smirk. His hand took hers now, gently rubbing circles on the back of it. [b “But you do need to rest.”] With that, he looked around then leaned closer and spoke in a husky whisper, [b “And I think we’d both rather not speak with your father about who exactly I am when he arrives. I’ll save you the grief and return. You know where to find me. Send for me if you need to escape from this place.”] As he removed his hand from hers, Matthew stood tall and gave her one last look of comfort and strength before he stepped out the door and left with Elaine.

Matthew wanted to stay, but he knew it would do more harm than good. If her father arrived and saw him touching her hand and holding her, there would be more consequences than she could handle that night. Matthew made the decision for both of them. It was better this way. He knew she’d find him if she needed him. He trusted her that way. She was strong, and she could take care of herself. However, Matthew would never let her go the path of mourning alone. He would try his best to take her mind off as much as possible. In the meantime, he wanted to avoid her father until the time was right if ever. They were from fkwndifferent worlds. He was a struggling carpenter, and she was from one of the wealthiest families in town. Everything told them that they shouldn’t continue. Yet, it was evident that they would, despite the news headlines growing heavier and heavier in content every passing day.

The next morning, Matthew awoke with little sleep to go straight back to carpentry. He’d put it off all day to see Elizabeth, and he had angry customers. Sighing, he tried to lose himself in his work. Despite the sound of carving wood and the meticulous technique required, Matthew couldn’t stop that beautiful face from popping up in his mind.
  Matthew Moore / bubbles12 / 265d 19h 2m 40s
Elizabeth felt relief as Matthew took her in his arms once more she allowed her eyes to close as he seemed to rock her with love and compassion. Neither of them wanted to move and she wasn’t sure that she would be able to stand up anymore if he moved away from him. She hadn’t realised until that point how much she needed him to get through this and even though she might have been surprised that he would have made such an effort to be with her, she was glad that he had done so. He encouraged her to sit down and when she opened her eyes she nodded. She had gone rather numb and sitting would probably help.

Elizabeth wouldn’t have been able to voice how much his words meant to her in that moment. She needed him and he was offering himself to her for whatever she needed. Her lips parted to speak but before she could reply to him the door opened again. She didn’t really want to know who was entering the room and what the reason was but when Helen’s arms wrapped around her she looked up and allowed her friend to comfort her, knowing that she might need this as much as her. Even though she wanted to stay with Matthew, she knew that her friend needed to feel useful and she allowed her to do so. When she apologised she just nodded, preparing herself for the speech that she knew would be inevitable. [I “She was a wonderful woman and I...”]

She stopped talking half way through her sentence and though she was scared to talk about her. Elizabeth let her know that she understood by she pulled back from her and looked towards her friend. [b “She was Helen and I know that she would be grateful that you were here with me now.”] Even now she found herself looking around to Matthew. It was strange to how much she seemed to need him and it wasn’t a feeling that she was used to yet somehow she didn’t want that feeling to ever leave her. She wanted to need him; always.

[i “How long have you been sitting here for Elizabeth? You look positively exhausted.”] The rest of the day was surreal and she wasn’t completely sure that she would be able to forget it. The pain and sorrow that came with it would stay with her forever. Helen had left several hours ago but Matthew didn’t once leave her side. There had not been many words exchanged throughout the day but she was ready to talk now. She looked up from her cup and found Matthew’s eyes.

[b “Thank you for today.”] She said, knowing that it didn’t need to be said. [b “I don’t think I would have been able to make it through the day if you were not here.”] She tried to smile but it was as though her muscles had forgotten how to do it.
  Elizabeth / d1gn17y / 320d 22h 14m 38s
Someone came to take the flowers from his hand, presumably a family member of some sort. He didn’t mind because, before he could even think, he felt a body colliding with his chest. Matthew had warily looked for someone who could have been her father, but he was lucky Mr. Stone wasn’t there yet. If the man had seen Elizabeth nearly collapsing in his arms, Matthew was sure he’d be forbidden from seeing her again, especially after the stress of family death. Matthew would have braved it all, even her father, if that was what it took to comfort her and hold her in that moment.

His strong arms wrapped all the way around the petite woman with her head buried in his chest. He kept his face stoic as he placed one large hand to her head gently to apply some pressure in the warm hug. His fingers idly played with her hair as he stood there. Matthew didn’t care who was looking. He could feel her whimpering into his chest, and he wished more than anything that he could wipe her tears. He knew all too well the pain of losing a parent never really went away. Time made the loss better, but the memories remained. His were fuzzy since he was young when his mother died, but he still hadn’t decided if he’d rather lost her at an older age like Elizabeth or just the way it truly happened.

Matthew was just happy Elizabeth never had to grow up without a mother and was taken care of at least. He knew how important her mother was to her and how she felt about her father. If Matthew could have cured the woman, he would have at any cost for Elizabeth. Unfortunately, he could just stand there and hold her in his arms. It was the only consolation he could manage.

There were tear stains on his jacket and shirt when she finally pulled her head away from his chest. Matthew looked down into her eyes, not saying anything but trying to convey that she wasn’t alone and that he was there. He wanted her to know he would be there every step of the way, and it seemed she understood. Elizabeth was in a bit of a daze as the morticians forced her to sign paperwork and whatnot. Matthew wasn’t family, so he had to stand like a guard dog or a puppy or something in the doorway, waiting for her to finish up as they processed the body.

Matthew stepped forward, holding her again so her head was against his chest and away from the sight of the men moving her mother’s body. She didn’t need to see that. As soon as they left, Matthew guided her to sit on the couch. She muttered something, and he just nodded, bringing her close to him if she wished for more comfort.

[b “I cannot believe it either, Elizabeth. Know this. You are not alone. You have Helen and Elaine and me on your side to walk through this with you as well as your mother in heart. Please tell me anything you need or want, and I will retrieve it.”]
  Matthew Moore / bubbles12 / 321d 5h 6m 9s
When there was a knock at the door she didn’t move. No doubt that it was someone here to come and take her mother away and that was the last thing she wanted to see and in some ways, even though her mother was gone she was not ready to say goodbye to her. The pain of finding her was enough to keep her from raising from where she sat to greet the mortician. She could hear muttering voices in the hallway but she couldn’t make out what was being said, it was either that or she was purposely trying to block it out so she didn’t have to hear anyone talking about her mother.

Her tear stained cheeks was evidence enough that she had been crying but she wasn’t sure that there were any tears left in her anymore. There was movement in the corner of her eyes and although she wanted to ignore it, something told her to look up and when she saw Matthew nearing her she looked up. Elizabeth wanted to scold him for coming to see her and neglecting his work but the truth was she was glad that he was here. Elizbeth was still angry that her father had not been home for her mother’s passing and the fact that he was still away from home. However, at least now he wouldn’t be asking questions about who Matthew was.

Elizabeth didn’t even wait to stand up and go to him so that she could fall into his arms. She noticed that the tears had started once more. All she could do was bury her face in his chest. This was exactly what she needed and even though it didn’t take the pain away, it helped her work through her emotions, and she knew that she wasn’t able to hide them from him anyway. Elizabeth had no idea how long she had stood there in his embrace, but it felt like hours. She just remained there until she was eventually able to pull herself together. She pulled her head away from his chest and looked up towards him through misty eyes. There were no words exchanged and she knew that Matthew wouldn’t expect there to be any but soon enough the people who were here to take her mother away had arrived and they insisted in conversing and completing paper work in the living room. She dealt with them as quick as possible and when the men left the room to retrieve her mother’s body she didn’t know where to look. If it wasn’t for Matthew standing in front of the living room exit, she might have been tempted to watch as they took her away. She closed her eyes, to block out the image and waited until they left.

[b “I can’t believe she is actually gone.”]
  Elizabeth / d1gn17y / 321d 9h 48m 51s
Matthew didn’t stop smiling either. He couldn’t even if he tried. Elizabeth was the woman he always wanted that he never knew he needed. Matthew had all but written off love when Helen and Elaine smushed then together in a desperate last minute attempt. He wouldn’t ever be able to repay his sister for that decision, even if he didn’t want to admit that she was right. After all the bad in his past, Matthew didn’t ever believe he deserved good in the future, but Elizabeth was changing that. He wanted to be good for [i her] and shield her from the inevitable evil of the world that he knew all too well about.

Matthew was busy carving the next morning, not expecting anything like the disaster and sadness that had occurred in the night. If he had, he would have moved mountains to be there for Elizabeth. Since he was oblivious to the event as of her, Matthew was making progress on orders he put off the day before. Today was a delivery day, so he would be paid and put most of it towards rent and taxes and living expenses. If he had enough left over, Matthew was considering asking Elizabeth on a date somewhere or just to spend time with him.

Little did he know, Elizabeth was dragging after her mother’s death. He knew about the illness, but he wasn’t sure just how bad it was. Life was hard sometimes. Well, all the time truly. Matthew was in the process of sawing a piece of wood to make a table leg when Elaine came rushing to the door, tears in her eyes. [i “Matthew it... It’s...”]

Hearing the saddened voice of his sister, Matthew looked upwards from his running saw, concerned. [b “It’s What Elaine? What happened?”] Matthews attention was on her now, hating to see the tears in her eyes. Elaine just took a few steps down to him in the workshop. [i “It’s Elizabeth, Matthew. Her mother died last night, and she can barely move.”]

It didn’t seem real. Matthew lowered the saw, finishing the cut, but it was jagged unlike his normal exceptional work. He didn’t care. Turning off the machine and pulling off his goggles, Matthew took in a deep breath. [b “Where is she?”]

Soon enough, Matthew had taken a ride with Elaine to her house, the same one he remembered from kissing her on her porch for the first time. Except this time, he’d stopped by to pick up a bouquet of fresh flowers and waited for the opportunity to see her. [i His girl.] As soon as they arrived, Matthew didn’t wait to hurry inside. [b “Elizabeth...”] He spoke, seeing her seated there and barely moving. In one hand, he held flowers as he approached her if she allowed it.
  Matthew Moore / bubbles12 / 321d 11h 22m 27s
It was hardly surprising that Matthew would have been worried about what her father might say or do, especially since she was already quite nervous about that fact herself. While Matthew was clearly very perfect for her, she doubted that her father would see things the same way she did. Elizabeth saw Matthew as a businessman and entrepreneur and someone who clearly cared about his family. Her father would just see a poor carpenter and that would not be good enough for him, not good enough for his daughter. All she wanted was the freedom to choose because she couldn’t imagine that there would be anyone more perfect for her than Matthew.

Her breath hitched as he approached her ear and whispered those words to her and then she stood there for a few moments longer as she watched him walk away, breathless from their encounter. She would be with him, regardless of what her father would say. For her entire journey she could not get rid of the smile from her face.

When she arrived home, she spent the rest of the night by her side talking to her about Matthew because Elizabeth knew that she would understand. It was nice to have someone to talk to about such things, but she knew that it wouldn't be for much longer. Her mother approved or Mathew from what she seemed to be saying and she even spoke to her of marriage when she caught sight of the glow to her cheeks.

[b "Mother, come on. It's far too soon to be talking if such things."]

Little did she know that her mother would only last one more night and even then her night had been cut short. Elizabeth was the one who found her as it was her turn to watch over her. She had split duties with the house staff over the past few nights knowing that if she were to be taken it would likely be during the night and now time had caught up with them. She didn't know whether to scream or cry and even though she reacted in some way she couldn't recall how she had an hour later. Whatever it was she had alerted Maria, to her mother's fate and she pulled Elizabeth away and told her that she should sit in the living room. Grief stricken, she didn't want to leave her mother's side but there was nothing that could be done and she spent quite some time sitting in a chair simply crying for the loss of her mother. Even though she was prepared for it, it was as though they had never expected it to happen. Maria took it upon herself to call someone to come and collect her mother's body since her father had not returned home yet and she harboured a lot of resentment for that.

[b "You must call Helen."] Elizabeth managed. [b "It's early but she would want to know...I am not sure I could manage."] She said, her voice trailing off towards the end of her sentence. How could she tell people that her mother was gone? If hearts could break, hers would have been shattered into a million pieces. Maria did just that, calling Helen who in turn called Elaine so that she could get a message to Matthew.
  Elizabeth / d1gn17y / 324d 16h 34m 51s
Matthew mirrored Elizabeth's sweep around their surroundings to see if any spies were waiting. Luckily for the both of them, they had been completely alone. While he did not know what excuse Elizabeth gave to escape her father, he assumed he would keep a tight leash. Matthew wished he could stay with her until sun up and then sun down again and repeat it, but he knew he had to let her go. Their kiss was enough to last him through the night of his daily dose of Elizabeth. Well, it would never be [i enough,] but it would have to do. Matthew wasn't about to have their first love making session out here in the open forest anyway. She deserved a bed and comfort, and she also deserved time. Matthew did not want to rush with her. Elizabeth was already blossoming before his eyes, and it was something he was proud of.

Their relationship was taking off, and he couldn't be more excited. Matthew couldn't stay away from her at this point if he wanted either. He knew he would see her again. His breathing was beginning to return to normal as well and the faint shades of red fading to regular tanned skin. His hands went up to fix his unruly blonde hair that was now messed up from laying on the ground.

Matthew squeezed Elizabeth's hand gently as she took it and stood closer, taking her other hand as she did. [b "Your father shall not find out about us yet. I worry what he would say or do. Tomorrow, I am yours. I will teach you my craft as much as you wish to know."] With a small smirk playing on his lips, Matthew leaned into her ear and whispered, [b "Kiss you later, my dear."]

With that, he strode off out of the lake area and back home. Elaine was waiting, throwing some popcorn into her mouth and chewing. [i "You're home late... And what is that!? Blushing? Is my brother blushing? You kissed her didn't you?"] Matthew turned his head to try and not look her in the eyes, but he couldn't stop smiling. [b "Just get some sleep Elaine."] Elaine leaned against the table and shook her head. [i "Alright alright if you promise to have good dreams about her tonight!"] She threw some of the popcorn at his back, and Matthew just laughed.

He did, indeed, have good dreams about the one and only Elizabeth that night. When he awoke, he made sure to take a long bath to clean his hair and body so that Elizabeth was impressed. He cared about what she thought. He wore a coat since the weather outside was beginning to turn windy and cold with pants to match. Soon enough, he said goodbye to Elaine and headed to his workshop, starting some carving as he waited for Elizabeth.
  Matthew Moore / bubbles12 / 328d 5h 11m 31s
It was probably a good thing that they both needed to catch their breath because things could have gone a lot further than they did and that would have been improper for an unmarried lady, especially when their surroundings were not exactly suited to such intimate moments. Her needed for air was probably a blessing in disguise in that respect. Her eyes locked with his and she searched them, noticing that their mirrored the emotion and desire she had felt for him.

Elizabeth smiles softly as he drew away from her, keeping her hand in his as he did so. That was when she became conscious of their surroundings and she couldn’t help but look around her for a minute to check that they were still alone, relief swimming over her when she saw the only company they had was a lone swan upon the lake. She looked back to him when she heard his voice then. As much as she didn’t want to part from him, she knew he was right and that things would not go well for her if she didn’t return home soon, especially if her father had deemed her absence too much and gone looking for her at Helen’s where she claimed she would be.

[b “I will return tomorrow in the morning. I don’t think I could keep myself away from you even if you wanted me to Matthew.”] Her breathing was beginning to regulate again but the blush in her cheek remained as she started to sit up, briefing running a hand through her hair to remove the leaves that had become embedded within it and smoothed over some loose strands. When she was composed once more she took his hand and then stood close to him, just because the small amount of distance between them was already too much.

[b “No, you are right. I really should be getting home and it wouldn’t be a good idea for you to escort me in case my father is waiting for me. But tomorrow, you’ll teach me some more about your craft?”]
  Elizabeth / d1gn17y / 328d 5h 34m 14s

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