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If Elizabeth knew how kissing Matthew could make her feel, she would have kissed him sooner. She was confident that this was an exclusive feeling that only Matthew could give her and that kissing another man would never have had this kind of on effect in her. Elizabeth hadn’t even [i wanted] to be this close to a man before and now she couldn’t believe that she had been missing this. She had absolutely no idea what she was doing but every movement she made was based on instinct and she didn’t even have a moment to think about things too much which meant she was over analysing whether she was doing things right.
There was clearly something that she did that fuelled Matthew further because he was now kissing her with more passion and her parted lips had led to him doing the same. The next thing she knew their tongues were becoming aquatinted with each other and she was breathing heavier by the second and that was only fuelled further when he reached up to adjust her chin so he had a better angle to kiss her. His hand fell to her side and she was completely intoxicated by him and there was nothing she could do to come out of this in the moment.
Instead, she placed her hand on his chest once more, allowing it to lie flat over his heart as another sigh seeped out of her. It was a good thing that the two of them were in a secluded area because if anyone were to witness this behaviour they would surely be shunned for such intimacies in public but it was clear that neither or them were thinking about the consequences of their intimacy and there was no sing of this stopping or slowing down, only increasing in intensity with every passing moment. Her hand then moved down his chest slightly feeling the contours of his body underneath her hands. Everything about his pulled her to him and never wanted to let go.
The sigh she released she he caught her lips with his drove him over the edge. She was doing things to him that he never allowed anyone to or thought anyone else could. Even in one simple sigh, Matthew felt himself losing himself deeper and deeper. He was just hovering over her as she laid back on the grass, making sure to be gentle with her. Matthew worried that with his size he could easily hurt her. When she arrived at his workshop, he had wanted to kiss her then and there. However, it was most likely better that they waited until they were in this private and quiet lake area to share a passionate moment again.
Matthew shared the rush of electricity with the woman just below him when their lips touched as if flipping a switch. There were parts of him that wanted to kiss her hungrier, but he fought against it with every will in his body. This was Elizabeth. [i His] Elizabeth. He couldn’t mess things up with her. Elizabeth didn’t make it easy. Her arms suddenly wrapped around his neck, pulling him closer. In reaction, Matthew leaned over a bit more, pressing his lips slightly harder against her own.
She was addicting to kiss. When her lips parted to grant him permission to explore more, Matthew parted his lips as well and deepened the kiss. Their tongues began to dance together a she brought his hand from her chin to lift her lips closer to his then to her side, staying there a moment. The heat grew between them as the kiss intensified, passion taking over. It felt like pure bliss. He’d never lose this feeling...
Elizabeth would have kissed him in his workshop if she had been able to work up the courage but having shared her first kiss with Matthew made her slightly more nervous about their second, just in case those same sparks were not there or in case she didn’t quite have his permission. Either way, it felt better now they had talked about it and their feelings were out in the open. They both wanted the same thing and that was for them to be together and they would both find a way for that to happen. Elizabeth didn’t doubt for a second that they would and soon enough she would know what it felt like to fall in love. Matthew just happened to be the one she never knew she was waiting for.
Perhaps this setting was better for them to share a kiss too, since it was far more secluded and romantic as she lay there on the grass with him hovering over her. There went her heart racing again in anticipation of the moment they would share and she couldn’t quite think of a more perfect moment. She held her breath as he closed the gap between their lips, leaning down to claim hers as his own and when they met, she sighed softly against them, allowing the rush of emotion to roll over her.
In reaction to his kiss she placed her arms around his neck and closed them so that she could have him that little bit closer. Elizabeth didn’t know whether she was doing the right thing or whether her kiss would satisfy him but she just followed her instincts, allowing her lips to part a little so that they could explore each other further.
[i “I’ve been wanting you to kiss me the moment I saw you.”]
Matthew didn’t have to be told twice. She didn’t say anything further about her father or what he said. He wasn’t necessarily saying he wanted to take her hand in marriage then and there. There were still things to work out and find out about each other. However, their talk of their feelings was a huge start.
Elizabeth’s words sent heat up through his chest, and he looked to her body laying on the ground. His heart was already pounding as it always did around her. In all truth, Matthew had wanted her to kiss him the instant he saw her too. Finally they would grant each other’s wish in a private setting just before the lake and under the shadow of the great tree.
Eyeing Elizabeth one more time, Matthew finally closed the distance. As his lips met hers, he placed a little more pressure into it and spoke to her his passion. Her lips were everything he remembered and more. The sparks still flew like fireworks.
She was nervous about his reaction to her father and how he had someone in mind for her. He seemed like every man her father had tried to introduce her to was the same. They were born from money and often worked in business but that also made them pompous and looking for a trophy wife or someone to breed with so that they had an heir to inherit their business and fortune because a woman couldn’t inherit that. While Elizabeth was not against children, she wanted to have children with a man she loved, not one who just saw her as a baby making machine.
However, she watched the look on his face and he didn’t seem to be put off by anything she said which made her feel relieved. Then he reaffirmed that by voicing his words, not wanting another man taking her hand. It wasn’t exactly a proposal but she wondered whether that meant perhaps one day he would want that with her. She wouldn’t ask though as she didn’t want to scare him away but she did smile when he said his next words. [i Screw your father and his brash words and opinions for your life.]
They brought a smile to her face and she searched his eyes when his final words were spoken. [b “Enough talking and worrying.”] She repeated and then her breath caught when he got close to her. [b “I’ve been wanting you to kiss me the moment I saw you.”]
At the mention of her father, a sigh escaped her looks. [i I knew he would create a problem.] Matthew thought that may have been it. Elizabeth wouldn’t go against he father, would she? In this day and time, it was essential for daughters to follow their fathers wishes to be cared for in return. However, this was different. If Elizabeth allowed him, he would care for her with the workshop income and his small home. They would make things work. Matthew would fight for her if he had to, and it seemed he may have to with her father in the way.
In the filtered sunlight from the trees, Elizabeth was breathtaking. The golden rays played over her skin like spotlights upon her soft features. [i “I have to be honest with you Matthew, you deserve that much and you’ve been is honest with me. My father is not going to like this. He has a certain person in mind for me. Of course I am not the slightest bit interested. I want you.”]
When she spoke those words, Matthew felt himself holding his breath. Her father already had someone else in mind? So he did have competition just not in her mind. Matthew began to think about it all. Elizabeth’s father most likely picked someone with a high income and status for her to marry. He surely could not compete unless they met in private. It would fall on her shoulders in that way. Matthew wanted nothing more than to save her from her father, but it would not be easy.
[b “I want you too, Elizabeth. I do not want another man taking your hand, as your father wishes.”] Elizabeth’s hand found his cheek and continued to gently caress his cheek as she repeated those words. It felt so damn good to hear her saying that.
Her next words caused his heart to beat faster. She was going against her father and what he could offer to be with him, and he loved it. Matthew was a lucky man then, and he had done something right with her. [b “As I am prepared to do anything to be with you. Screw your father and his brash words and opinions for your life. I want you with me and this is all I know.”] He spoke bluntly and then leaned in closer as she stroked his cheek.
[b “Enough talking and worrying. Can I kiss you?”] He breathed, just before her lips. Matthew has been wanting to kiss her again for days now.
Elizabeth had never been so true to her feelings before now. She always had other people to worry about and consider and she had always adjusted her behaviour to suit what others wanted, including around those she considered to be her friends. Not because she didn’t want to be herself with them, but because there were certain behaviours that were expected of her. Things were different with Matthew. He encouraged her to be herself, to do things for herself and coming to see him and dragging him out to this lake was for herself. When it came to Matthew she wanted to be that little bit more selfish so that she could fulfil her need to have him in her life.
She just hoped that she didn’t come on too strong for him but she was so sure of what she wanted and she wasn’t interested in having this kind of connection with anyone but him. If he wanted to court her, then she wanted that too, but she needed him to know that she intended for this to last, with or without her father’s permission. There was no avoiding talk of him and Matthew was the one to bring him up which caused a sigh to escape her.
[b “I have to be honest with you Matthew, you deserve that much and you’ve been so honest with me. My father is not going to like this. He has a certain person in mind for me. Of course I am not the slightest bit interested, I want you.“] She reached up and allowed her hand to rest gently upon his cheek and then her voice became a whisper as she repeated those three words. [b “I want you.”] Elizabeth smiled and ran her thumb over his cheek. [b “Nothing, not even my father will stop me from being with you. I think meeting privately is a good idea for now and when we are ready we will go to him but I am prepared to walk away from him if he does not accept us. I’m prepared to do anything to be with you Matthew.”] She wouldn’t know just how true those words were yet but she would run away with him if she had to.
Matthew let his heart out in the open. He was honest to a fault with her. Matthew was often blunt, and he didn’t care what that meant. With Elizabeth, he chose his words more carefully and thought about them before blurting out carelessly. He learned his lesson when he broke that glass in the workshop. Matthew didn’t want to lose her. There was still part of him that hoped she agreed. Elizabeth could surely deny him anything, but he didn’t see it likely with her pulling him all the way out here to a private location and walking up to him so close in his shop. She only had to agree now, and they were off to the beautiful start of something new and challenging and right.
Her lips moved, and Matthew took all notice of it. It was her turn. He’d had his, and she had her own side of the story. When she first spoke about wanting his friendship, Matthew applauded himself for it coming off as a complete ass. However, his smile grew to a grin quickly as she spoke about craving him and their time and friendship that worked so well in an unexpected way.
Then, she spoke the heavy words about not wanting friendship but him. [i “I want to be held by you, I want to be kissed by you, and I ant that for a lifetime.”] A lifetime was a long time. She sounded so sure. Matthew didn’t take his eyes from her, but he readjusted his position on the ground. [b “What of your father? If he won’t accept, will that end this? Will it stop you? Shall we meet up privately to strengthen our bond before we take such a proposal to him? I myself may say I do not mind spending more time together to draw everything out. Wouldn’t you agree?”
Elizabeth watched Matthew turn to face her, clearly wanting to look in her eyes as he addressed her question. She wasn’t sure why she felt so nervous but there was no denying that it was nerves that she felt. Perhaps this was just a silly crush to him and he had kissed her because he had become momentarily infatuated with her or perhaps her willingness to help him sparked something inside him that felt like he owed her something. If she only knew then she would feel ridiculous for having such a thought.
It was as though she held her breath for the entire time he spoke and when he finally finished speaking, she let that one long breath out, feeling the relief of knowing that this wasn’t a game to him, nor was it a fleeting kiss that might never happen again. One thing she had begun to notice with Matthew was that he had a knack for being honest, even if it reflected badly on him so she did not doubt that his words were truthful. Now it was her turn to talk.
[b “I wanted your friendship. Even though we had agreed that we would teach Elaine and Helen a lesson, I still grew fond of you and so I craved your friendship. In the short time I have known you I have learned so much about myself and grown to know you better.”] She sighed and shook her head whilst allowing her lips to turn up into a smile. [b “I don’t want your friendship any more Matthew. I want so much more than that. I [i need] so much more than that. I want to be held by you, I want to be kissed by you and I want that for a lifetime.”]
Matthew was content just laying there with her and gazing at the various animals waddling and flying around. He didn't mind taking in the tranquil beauty of the lake and the slow moving of the clouds across the sky. It felt right. He felt at home, even though he wasn't home. Elizabeth made him feel that way. Matthew noticed Elizabeth looking up at the sky like she had that one night when they were looking at stars during the wedding. He remembered how much he wanted to kiss her then. The feeling was only tenfold now that he had actually done the deed before.
Matthew was still resting on one elbow on his side as she was resting on her back. The silence was nice. His workshop was right on the street, so he heard countless chatter and horse hooves as well as newspaper boys yelling. There were the sounds of nature around them and not much else. Then, Elizabeth turned to him and spoke his name. He always loved when she spoke his name, and he loved hearing it rolling off her tongue.
Her eyes were serious and curious at the same time. [i “What do you think this is between us?”] Matthew spent the days they were apart thinking about that one. With one hand pushing his long, blonde hair backwards, Kyler finally shifted so he was facing her. His deep blue eyes locked onto hers, making it clear his attention was only on her. As he continued, his British accent dripped off his soft yet deep tone.
[b "We started this romance as a facade to trick Helen and Elaine into quitting matchmaking for both of us. I didn't believe in romance. I didn't believe in myself. Then, you spilled that water on me. I was annoyed. In all honesty, I would have started a fight if you were anyone else, but I stopped myself when I saw your beauty. We began to know each other, and I realized your aspirations for more. I realized how much you care about the people around you, and I realized I was better with you. To answer your question, it isn't a facade to me anymore. I want you Elizabeth. I want to court you if you would have me."]
He spoke, his eyes now drifting to her lips. He knew it was customary to ask her father, but Matthew wanted this answer from her. Before he acted, he wanted her opinion. [b "What are we to you?"] He questioned, feeling the sparks flying.
There was something Elizabeth found so calming about the lake. She hadn’t been here for months but it was somewhere she used to come to escape from her home life. She knew that other people had it worse but that didn’t mean she wasn’t entitled to feel a little overwhelmed at times and so this place had become her escape and today she happened to be sharing her escape with Matthew who she had come to enjoy spending time with. There were ducks and swans a like who has made the lake their home and she watched as they went about their business, grooming themselves and communicating in their own way. Then there were the birds who had clearly made a home for themselves in the tree that they had chosen to sit under. She could hear them chirping happily amongst themselves and looked up to see that several birds were flying to and from a nest.
A soft and contented sigh escaped her lips as she watched Matthew lower herself to the ground next to her. She smiled when he spoke and for a little while the two sat in a comfortable silence as they simply enjoyed the company and the tranquility that the lake offered them. At some point she had decided to relent and lie down entirely, looking up at the clouds in the sky as though she were looking for patterns, all the while a small smile played on her lips. Elizabeth didn’t remember ever feeling this content. Having Matthew by her side seemed to make her forget about her troubles and look to a future rather than think about the present.
[b “Matthew?”] She tilted her head to the side so that she was now looking at him rather than the dispersing clouds above. [b “What do you think this is between us?”] Elizabeth knew that her feelings were strong but she wanted to know what Matthew thought, wondering whether he felt like there was more to the kiss they had shared. There was one thing she knew for sure, she wanted to share that with him again but she would wait for him, in case it wasn’t what he wanted. She didn’t want to embarrass herself.
Matthew walked with Elizabeth in peace. He wasn’t thinking about finishing orders and paying bills and keeping up with Elaine. Matthew was blessed with her in that manner too that he took time out of throwing himself into work or alcohol just to relax by the lake on a peaceful day. Heaven knew he wouldn’t do this for just anyone.
There were hardly anyone there at the lake in the shade, and he attested it to the later hour of the day. Nonetheless, he and Elizabeth were alone in their secluded spot. When she turned to him, Matthew’s attention was on her. [i “Sit with me?”]
Nodding in response, Matthew lowered his over six foot tall figure down to the grass beside Elizabeth. He’d wondered about grass stains, but he found it progress that she didn’t seem to mind. Her father may ask where she was, but he liked that she paid it no mind. She was escaping from her shell that didn’t allow her any way to follow her dream or care for herself. While he knew she was attached to her mother, Matthew harbored some anger towards her father after hearing what he had from Elizabeth.
Matthew’s mind was shattered from thought when she spoke about a lovely day. Leaning back, Matthew out one forearm down to prop himself up and watch the water ripple. [b “Lovely day. Lovely girl.”]
When Matthew agreed that the lake was the perfect destination for them she took the lead, moving with an excitement that she hadn’t felt in a long time. In this moment Elizabeth felt free. Free from the worry of her mother and free from the judgment of her father and the fact she was not following in the footsteps of other women her age. How wrong he was. Here she was, falling for a man just like he wanted but she knew that he wouldn’t be his choice for her. Her family was a wealthy one and he would want Elizabeth to marry someone of status like he considered himself. Her saving grave was knowing that wasn’t the life that her mother wanted for her. Lately she has told her that she wanted Elizabeth to be truly happy. She had found peace with having Elizabeth two years into her marriage and that is why she stayed with her father but she had been rather vocal about the fact that she wished she walked out on him with her daughter but it wasn’t exactly easy for a woman to make it alone in her day and age. It did sadden her slightly to think that she hadn’t truly been happy or managed to find love.
For now, she moved those thoughts to the back of her mind, wanting to focus on being with Matthew because she didn’t know when she would next see him, especially if her mother deteriorated again. As they reached the lake another smile spread across her lips and she turned to face Matthew, stopping just near a shaded tree. It was a secluded spot and the lake didn’t seem to have any visitors on this particular day. Perhaps most of them had already visited and gone home since it was late afternoon by now.
[b “Sit with me?”] She asked as she started to lower herself to the ground, not caring that the grass would likely stain the light fabric of her dress. Elizabeth was hoping Matthew wouldn’t mind simply sitting and staring out at the lake and simply being together. [b “It’s a lovely day isn’t it?”]
[i “Why don’t we go for a walk?”]
Matthew didn’t even get a chance to respond when Elizabeth took hold of his hand tighter and pulled him along behind her. With a small laugh, Matthew followed behind her making sure to close the workshop door on his way out. [i Someone doesn’t want to wait] He thoughts, but it was in all reality that he didn’t want to wait either.
Soon enough, they were out in the middle of the busy British streets, and Matthew laced his fingers into Elizabeth’s, his hand dwarfing her smaller one. It felt right. Their palms were placed together as Elizabeth pulled him through the streets with him struggling to keep up some. Watching her this way brought a huge smile to his face. She looked happy rather than worried and sad for once, and he wanted to keep putting that look in her eyes and that smile on her lips.
The sky was so blue, and there was certainly some heat to the streets, but it wasn’t unbearable. He and she’s his coat just earlier in the workshop, only wearing a lighter one over a shirt underneath now. He wore boots as always. Elizabeth’s hair was tied up wisely, showing off more of that slender neck. He had missed her when he hadn’t seen her, but he was willing to be patient for her.
Matthew still didn’t know about Sebastian or her father. When Elizabeth suggested the lake, Matthew nodded. It was tucked in a private area with trees overhanging to provide some shade. It was perfect. Nodding, Matthew didn’t let go of her hand as he follows her with her pace set to lead them to the lake. [b “The lake would be perfect. It will offer a quiet and peaceful place to speak to each other and free ourselves of everything for a few moments if anything.”] It wouldn’t be long from then until they made it to the lake, away from the chatter of the streets and finally alone.
Elizabeth has been looking forward to getting back into this workshop since the moment he has invited her inside. He had shown her so many things on that very first day and she couldn’t remember feeling so free before. It just so happened that the feeling didn’t fade so easily.
The one thing she did know was that she would have to keep this from her father. Elizabeth tried hard to conceal her worry and wondered if Matthew would be upset with her that she would have to hide their relationship from her father. He was so lucky in some respect that his family, Elaine, was accepting of their affections and the love that would blossom between the two. Her father had never really understood it. His marriage had been for gain and not for love so she was sure that he would expect the same of Elizabeth and since he had invited Sebastian around the house, it was obvious that he was trying to force an arrangement between them but she would not allow that to happen. For now, she wanted nothing more than to enjoy Matthew’s company. If she could have, she would have stayed there in his arms for the rest of the day but he was right. He had been working hard and she needed a distraction.
[b “Why don’t we go for a walk?”] She didn’t even wait for an answer before she was taking his hand away from his chest and holding it tight, pulling him onto the street. The day was kind to them. The sun high in the sky, offering them enough heat that winter coats were no longer needed. She was glad that she had tied up her hair because she was sure that it would have been uncomfortable if her hair were resting over her neck. It warmed her heart to know that he cared enough about her to want to spend time with her. The truth was she had been struggling through her days without him. Knowing that she would soon lose her mother meant that she was feeling very alone at home. Her father barely spoke to her about it and those working in the house did not want to converse about such matters. There were days when she needed someone to lean on and she wanted it to be him.
[b “We could go to the lake? It’s quiet this time of day and it’s pretty. It will give us a chance to talk and just...be together.”]
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