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As she looked over towards him she could tell that he was feeling stiff from driving for most of the day and if they had not spent most of their time together quarrelling, she might have offered him some relief but then she did not trust him to not sexualise the situation. He seemed to be quite good at doing that. Instead she kept to herself and she watched as he hoped off the bed and made his way over to the bag where he had kept clothes. As soon as she laid eyes on the material of the nightdress she found herself blushing. She should have expected such extravagant material yet she still found herself caught off guard.
Lillian held out her hand so that she could take the nightdress from him and as the material graced her skin she found herself blushing. Wearing such clothing in front of Frederick was not something she expected. She swallowed and looked up to meet his eyes and she nodded. Regardless of what she thought of Frederic, she did not expect that he would be supplying her with cast-offs from his female companions. Lillian’s lips parted as his eyes narrowed. “But…” There was no point. If she argued with him about this it would only cause more issues for the two of them.
Lillian noticed the way he stepped closer to her and she glanced over her shoulder, following his gaze to the bath and she smiled. “Well since you asked so nicely…” she said as she started to step back towards the bathroom, taking hold of his shirt so that she could pull him with her. All the while she kept her eyes locked with his, not once letting it show that she was simply messing with him. When she crossed the threshold of the door she let go of his shirt and allowed her teeth to graze her lip before reaching out and placing her hand on the door.
“Get some sleep.” She said as she allowed the door to close in his face. Lillian laughed to herself as she moved away from the door and prepared herself so that she could get in the bath, slipping off the dress and stepping out of it and then preceded to climb into to the hot water.
Frederick hadn’t expected her to take him up on his offer for the two of them to bath. In reality, despite his strong attraction to Lillian, he didn’t want to cross a line and sharing a bath would cross that line and keep on driving. A bath sounded good, his muscles ached from sitting in the car and though he had showered that morning, he felt stuffy and restless. A bath would sort that. Freddies eyes found Lillians and instead of throwing something at his head due to his suggestion, she proposed that Freddie should sleep whilst she bathed. It was a good idea, especially as he was not sure he could spend the next day driving if he stayed awake any longer.
The mention of her sleeping in his shirt again made his heart stop for a second. Images of her the night before, curled up on the floor filled his mind and had he been more innocent in the ways of women, he probably would have blushed. Instead, Frederick jumped off the bed with more energy than he had felt all day and opened the bag and pulled out a little silk nightdress that he had taken from his sister. At least he had done something right that day. Amongst the argument and messing up the room, he had remembered to bring her clothes. It was folded up neatly and suddenly, and as feeling the material brushed against his hand and ran through his fingers, he was not sure that the nightdress was any better than his shirt.
“This should fit, and before you say anything, this was my sisters. I’m not in the habit of keeping women’s clothes for myself.” Freddie said and walked over to Lillian, placing the bundle of material in her hands. “We made a deal and that resulted in a promise that you that you could have your own bed. I’ll sleep on the floor, Lillian. Don’t argue about this.” Freddie narrowed his eyes at Lillian, daring her to argue with him. Despite how much he wanted to sleep in that bed, he was not about to let the woman in front of him spend another night on the floor.
The warm air from the bathroom and the smell of hotel soap hit his face. Freddie took a step closer and looked over Lillians shoulder to get a glance at the bathroom. “Are you sure you won’t want to bath together, kitten? That bath looks big enough for two.” He said, looking back at her.
The look on his face wasn’t enough to tell her that he had been surprised by her softer approach. While it was partly due to the fact she felt well rested, it was also because she had felt guilty for snapping at him earlier that day. While he had been out of line and deliberately teased her, he was giving up his time and putting a lot of effort into helping her disappear and if she wasn’t careful she would end up being left in the middle of nowhere with nothing and nowhere to go.
They made their way to the room in silence and when they arrived she couldn’t help but notice the upgrade in facilities to the night before. A part of her knee that this still wouldn’t be up to the Lester standard but it was more than enough to satisfy their needs for the night. Her eyes scanned the room and found Frederick when his voice filled the silence. “Nonsense. There is no point in driving to another hotel just in case there might be another room with more than one bed. We’ll make do. As for my mood, it appears that you may have been right about my need for sleep, but don’t get used to it, I’m sure there will be plenty of times you might find that you are wrong.” Lillian laughed softly and ran her hand over the fabric of the chair and let out a satisfied sigh as she leaned her elbows against it and watched Frederick settle down onto the bed.
“We?” She laughed once more and shook her head. “No no, [i we] shall not bath. I am going to soak in the bath and [i you,] darling husband of mine, you are going to get some sleep.” She said as she made her way towards the bathroom, inspecting the facilities and started to run the bath to fill it with hot water. “I’m assuming I do not have to sleep in one of your shirts again this evening?” She asked, appearing from the bathroom and stood a few feet away from Frederick. She didn’t want to start going through bags that did not belong to her. “And don’t worry. You can take the bed. I’ve had more than enough sleep and it’s more important that you get yours if you are going to be driving all day tomorrow.”
Freddie felt the hand on his shoulder and smelt the almost-familiar shampoo before he heard her voice. Her words were more than surprising, calling him dear and darling when only hours ago she had been snapping at his head like a lioness. To top that off, she was accepting that there would only be one bed. Freddie felt his shoulders sag slightly, it really was looking to be the floor for him. Turning his head slightly to look at Lillian he forced a smile onto his face.
"Yes my love, I'm sure the room will be just fine."
Only one bed and now she was talking about hot baths, it was almost as though she knew what the words would make him feel. Freddie didn't believe that Lillian would use his attraction against him, as punishment for his earlier words. Especially after he had apologised so kindly when he could have easily shouted or dragged her back to the car without anyone so much as asking him to pay his bill. No, her desire for a bath would be genuine, not just a tactic to cause a sleepless night for Freddie.
The room was towards the back of the hotel and though it was not as lavish as places he had stayed previously, it certainly beat their hotel the night before. The bed looked comfortable and the room was furnished with an armchair and writing desk and of course, a bath. Freddie dropped the bag onto the armchair and stretched his arms.
"Well [i darling ] it looks like you've woken up in a much better mood." He said, smiling at her. "I wouldn't have minded finding another hotel you know? Somewhere else may have a room with separate beds."
Freddie walked over to the bed as he spoke and sat down, running his hand over the soft throw. At least one of them would be enjoying the bed. It would be a huge improvement to the floor or the car and if she was able to get a good night sleep, hopefully, this bright mood of hers would continue long enough that they would not argue again. Of course, such a thought was futile and a waste of energy. They would argue again, if not that very night then certainly the next day. The two were like fire and ice, opposites in almost every sense other than their stubbornness and their passion. A dangerous recipe.
Getting comfortable on the bed, Freddie kicked his shoes off and propped himself up against the cushions.
"So whats the plan, wife? Shall we bath and then go to bed?" Freddie flashed Lillian a wicked grin and winked at her playfully. He did not expect an answer, possibly something thrown towards his head. Driving for so long with nothing more than his own thoughts for company had made him restless. Frederick was not used to spending so much time with one person, especially when there was no entertainment.
Back home his nights consisted of parties, clubs and alcohol. There was dancing most nights or cards at the club. They would go out driving or on the boat and even quiet nights in were gatherings of school friends with beers until the sun rose.
Frederick had not responded to what she had said, not that she expected him to. He did not seem interested in a real wife and she only said it in passing rather than trying to actually make him think about a potential future. It was then that she had decided to use that break in conversation to take his advice and get some sleep. It meant that they did not have to sit in silence or even tempt fate with another argument. With her head resting on the window, she allowed her eyes to close and quite easily drifted off into sleep. Lillian had come to realise that she could pretty much sleep in any environment these days and comfort did not actually factor in to how well she slept.
It wasn’t until nightfall that she woke again and if it was not for Frederick leaning over to wake her she might have easily slept for several hours longer. She stirred slightly, almost startled by his touch but only because she had been so deep in her sleep. A small groan escaped her lips as her eyes opened, expected to see light but instead they were great by a darkened sky. Apparently she had managed to sleep for the majority of the day. Lillian instantly felt guilty, wondering if it had been unfair of her to sleep all day when he had to drive. Maybe she should have kept him company.
Lillian titled her head and met his eyes with her own and allowed her lips to turn up slightly. “Alright, I’ll be right in.” She said, her voice still a little hoarse from her sleep. She watched as he grabbed their bag and walked into the hotel and she took a minute to stretch out and fully wake herself up so that she could actually function when she walked into the hotel. Frederick had been right about one thing, the sleep had certainly improved her mood. After a few minutes she finally left the car and made her way to the hotel just in time to hear that there was only one room left and that only had one bed.
If she had been in the same mood she had been in earlier she might have been frustrated by that fact but she took it in her stride and joined Frederick at his side, resting her hand on his shoulder after seeing his reaction to the news. Lillian smiled towards the woman working reception and shook her head. “Not to worry dear, that room will be fine.” She looked at Frederick with a smile. “We will manage won’t we darling?” She knew that her mood might have surprised Frederick especially since she would normally find an argument with everything she possibly could. “Please tell me that there is a private bathroom. It’s been such a long day I think I will need to soak in a nice hot bath for a while.”
When it was confirmed that the room did in fact have the facilities she desired she thanked the woman and took the key and smiled towards Frederick again. “Come on darling, you’ve been driving all day you should get your rest.” The role of caring wife seemed to come easy to her that evening but he shouldn’t get used to this side of her.
The journey to Vermont was uneventful. Lillian soon fell asleep and Freddie spent most of the time looking at the road, trying to keep track of where they were heading, and occasionally stealing a glance at Lillian. Despite his teasing, she did not snore and other than the occasional huffing sound and shifting in her seat she was as silent as the road around them. Freddie envied her, he had never been able to sleep in a car for longer than a few minutes and never as soundly as the woman next to him was.
The city approached before night fell and Freddie pulled into the parking lot of one of the better-looking hotels. It was almost criminal to wake up up the sleeping blonde next to him. It had to be done and it would be better for her to sleep in a bed rather than his car, not that he could see her sleeping through the night now that she had slept so long on their drive.
He reached over and gently shook her arm, trying to rouse her from her sleep.
"Kitten, you need to wake up. We're at the hotel." He said and sat back, dropping his hands from her arm. "I'm going to go and get us a room, meet me in there when you're ready." Freddie wasn't sure he wanted to leave her in the car alone, or let her walk to the hotel from the parking lot but he thought it would be better to get a room without having to explain that she was his wife and possibly spark an argument between the two of them again.
Freddie got out of the car and picked up the bag of their clothes, slinging it over his shoulder and made his way into the hotel. It was easy enough to charm the woman at the front desk, she was sweet and when he said he would need a room with two beds because he had trouble sleeping and didn't want to wake his wife, she smiled sympathetically.
The woman looked through her book and when she looked back to meet his gaze Freddie knew she was about to deliver bad news.
"I'm sorry Sir, we only have one room left tonight and it has one bed, not two." Freddie ran a hand through his hair as she spoke and sighed, it was looking like he would be spending the night on the floor. It seemed fitting after he had all but left Lillian with no choice the previous night.
Lillian nodded at his words, understanding that perhaps now they could draw a line under what had happened and at least try to forget about it. The tension between them could easy escalate and she was sure that it was more than just tension but she did not want to ponder that thought any longer. It would be dangerous to do so.
Soon enough they were back on the road and she couldn’t help but feel a wave of relief wash over her as they put distance between them and the restaurant. As the relief came she allowed her head to lean on the window of the car and she started to feel herself relaxing as they travelled further up the road. She chuckled slightly at his comment and shook her head. “I’m sure that my snoring is not as bad as you suggest it is.” She thought after that their conversation was over but when he mentioned the waiter she sat up and looked over at him. Had he not noticed how uncomfortable he had made her felt? Or had in noticed and was attempting to annoy her further? She settled on her first thought, hoping that his apology had been genuine after all.
“And I am sure that I would have turned him down.” Lillian bit the inside of her lip at she contemplated what to say, not wanting to let on that he had made her feel the way he did. “He was a creep and I’m not convinced he would know how to treat a lady anyway. Perhaps a Crystal would be more his speed as well as yours.” She said with a raised eyebrow, keeping her tone light so that she did not anger him. She laughed gently and finished it with a sigh. “I do think that deep down you want something more Mr Lester. You may have spent time in bed with lots of women who have plenty of style but a lack of substance and I’m sure that you are bored. Maybe you don’t realise it yet but I can assure you, men who fill their lives with countless women are never quite satisfied, even if they think they are in the moment. Maybe when you get back home you can find yourself a real wife.”
Her apology was not expected, and as soon as he heard the words, he found they were not wanted. What he had said was out of line, she was not a friend or a lover, she was not his wife or his sister. They may have been through more together in twenty-four hours than he had been through with most people and they may have had chemistry - though he was sure Lillian would never admit that - but he had no right to speak to her or joke how he had. Frederick would need to be more careful with the things he said.
"I do not need your apology, Lillian. I have already said I am sorry so we can just leave it at that." His words were softly spoken, matching her quiet voice. He looked down at her hand that was now gently resting on his arm and swallowed. It was a bad idea. This entire venture was a bad idea. Spending so much time with her was torture on more than one level. It was a very good idea she would be sleeping in her own bed that night otherwise he would be tempted to teach her a real lesson on losing ones temper.
Freddie watched her drop her hand and then looked out the window, mirroring her own movement. The car started and the second part of their journey that day began. How was it possible that one woman, a tiny blonde woman, could force so many emotions from him.
"There is not much else to do whilst we drive. I can not sleep, if I did we might crash, but there is no reason you can't. I won't even tease you if you snore this time." He said and looked at her, half smiling.
Resting his head back against the seat he tapped his hands against the steering wheel for a few moments before speaking again.
"It is a shame I told that waiter we were married, I'm sure if I had merely been your brother then I'm sure he would have asked to take you out." Freddie looked back at the road and continued to tap his fingers to no particular rhythm.
His mind was drawn back to his earlier thoughts. Had Lillian someone waiting for her? Was that why she had overreacted.
He opened his mouth to ask her then, but promptly shut it. He had told her to sleep, to save them both from the risk of another argument. Prying into her personal life would only give her reason to lash out at him and Freddie was not sure how much patience he had left.
Of course Frederick would not understand how something as simple as a degrading name might anger her but then he did not understand enough of her past for it to make sense to him and the less he knew about her the better. They just needed to get through the rest of the journey without causing the death of each other. From the moment on there were no more words exchanged between the two of them and they ate their lunch in silence, occasionally being watched by the waiter. She was unsure of whether Frederick noticed or whether he chose to ignore it but she was sure that his watchful eye had contributed to how short her fuse had been this time around. It wasn’t the first time she had a man look at her like that. Lillian closed her eyes for a moment so that she could avoid the image of him being burnt into her mind. She might have sat there with her eyes closer longer than intended but it was not until Frederick moved to pay the waiter that she finally opened them again and looked up at him, nodding at his claim that he would behave.
She looked away once more, not because she was still annoying at Frederick but because the waiter had approached that table so that he could pay for their food and she did not want to catch his gaze again. Once he had finished paying she rose from her seat and made her way to the car. The false affection they had shown each other on the way into the restaurant did not make a return upon their exit. She entered the car quietly and waiting for him to start the engine before speaking again. Lillian hated what she was about to say, but it needed to be said.
“I’m sorry that I over reacted.” She said quietly, almost so quietly that he might not have heard her but she cleared her throat and reached out her hand, resting it on his arm so that she might get his attention before he started to drive off. “I should not have let that get to me.” Lillian quickly removed her hand, not wanting to cross any lines and moved her head so that her eyes were on the road once more. “Perhaps I am more exhausted than I realised. Sleep might be a good idea.” She knew that it wasn’t exhaustion but it seemed like a good enough excuse.
Freddie could have almost laughed at how quickly she had simmered down. Although he could still feel the anger radiating from her as they sat side by side, he did not move to sit back opposite her. It would be easier for them both if they did not have to look at each other after Lillians outburst. A few more mouthfuls of food passed through his lips before he placed his hands down, drawing in a deep breath. It was almost upsetting that she was right, he had enjoyed their teasing and provoking of each other but if it did not stop then they would not make the trips end.
"We will go by a name of your choosing from now on. I had not realised something like that would cause you to get so angered" Freddie said and sighed once again, sorry that he had pushed things too far. He did not enjoy being careful with his words, he rarely sugar coated anything for people, Lester charm.
The remainder of their lunch was eaten in silence and before Freddie moved to pay the waiter he turned towards Lillian. If they hadn't been travelling together, if there was not such a delicate line he did not want to cross for fear of making their journey harder than it already was, he might have touched her. Her hand or her face, maybe her hair. Something to reassure her that he was a good person and had not meant to upset her. If he had not had a reputation to upkeep and boundaries to set, he might have.
"I will behave like a proper gentleman from now on."
He waved the waiter over and before he reached the table he smiled at her. "Well, at least for now I will." The waiter approached and seemed to look at Freddie disapprovingly. Maybe he deserved that, after all, he had spoken about his 'wife' in such a degrading way. The food was paid for and Freddie stood from his seat, not taking Lillian's arm or hand as he had done previously. Instead, he waited for her to finish and then walked them to the car in silence, getting in the driver's seat.
Before she could sit in the car he picked up the map and started to trace the remainder of their route to Vermont with his finger. He counted the small towns they would need to pass, the risks that could arise from travelling certain routes and when he was satisfied that he had found them the safest way to travel, he folded the map up, placing it on the dashboard and started the car.
"We should reach Vermont before nightfall, it's a long drive and in light of what happened perhaps, you should try to get some sleep."
Lillian knew that she was acting like a child and perhaps she [I had] overreacted but she was not about to admit that now. From the very moment the two had met they had been hurling insults and each other and trying to get under the other’s skin and she was just as to blame for their situation as he was. She bated him and he just took it. Could she really blame him for what he had said? Maybe Lester’s wife would have been a gold-digger. Maybe he would marry a Crystal or Kitty and that actually his portrayal of her said more about him than it did her.
Lillian loosened the grip of her crossed arms, letting out a sigh as her arms fell so that her hands were now resting on her lap, though she did not look towards Frederick out of fear of her frustration surfacing once more she did allow the tension from her shoulders to slowly drift away. She detected the movement of the waiter beside them and she refused to look at him too. He had made her uncomfortable from the moment she had walked in and she did not want anything adding to the tension that was already sitting in the air.
It wasn’t until the waiter placed their food down and walked away that she pulled her eyes away from the window to look at the food before her, suddenly her appetite had subsided but she knew that they were unlikely to stop again until they arrived in Vermont and she wouldn’t have Frederick using this against her too. Even though she was not looked at Frederick she saw him rise out of his chair and move towards her. The last thing she expected was an apology from him yet that it what she seemed to get anyway. She considered his words for a moment and during the silence he took his place next to her and continued to talk.
Her anger seemed to melt away the moment he used her real name and declared that he never intended to upset her. It seemed that now he was sat next to her he wasn’t about to move and he started to eat his food and even though she was not hungry she knew that she would need her energy so with a sigh she reached out for her own food and started to eat. “Perhaps it would be a good idea to forget about names for now. It seems that they cause more trouble than they are worth.” She thought for a moment before turning to look at him. “We can’t keep behaving like this. We’re going to end up killing each other.”
Freddie let them sit in silence. He had seen the change on her face, from smug happiness to anger. It was clear that he had gone too far, their game had turned into an insult. He thought he was being smart, she had tried to twist things on him and he had snapped fate back and though she was not really his wife, he had portrayed her as nothing more than - how did she put it - a gold-digging whore. There was no point arguing with her, she had a fury in her eyes as she snatched her hand from him and folded her arms, a sign that their conversation was over.
The waiter came back shortly, most likely noticing the tension between the two, and placed their plates of food down. Freddie scarcely noticed the food, his eyes were fixed on the woman opposite him who refused to return his gaze. Had she been his wife, perhaps he would have marched her out of there and disciplined her for the way she had spoken to him but she was not his wife and he was not his father. There would be no hitting, no screaming or throwing of things. Not yet anyway.
Freddie waited until the waiter left and then slowly stood up from his chair, keeping his eyes on Lillian the whole time.
"I am sorry for what I said. Maybe things would have been better if I had sent someone to take you up North. I'm not the best company for a young lady." He said and without waiting for her to look up at him or comment, he went to sit beside her.
"I know things are not easy, having to be on the run, travelling with me. I truly am sorry Lillian. I never meant to upset you."
Freddie dragged his plate across the table and started to eat, not waiting to see if Lillian would hit him, throw her food at him or scream. Either way, he was prepared for the worst and did not expect her to suddenly become a sweet, soft, well-mannered girl, nor did he want that. The fire he had seen in her had made him want to say worse, to see how angry she could get but he knew it would not end well for either of them.
"It seems that your temper may actually match mine, kitten." Freddie laughed softly and chewed a piece of food for a moment before continuing. "Maybe kitten is not an appropriate name for you, after all," he said. "I can't very well go calling you lioness or viper though, can I?"
She thought that she had one up on him. She thought that perhaps she had managed to get her revenge and make him look just as foolish as he had naming her Crystal, Kitty and whatever else he had named her over the last twenty-four hours. Lillian remained sat there with the look of victory upon her face. Little did she know that her look of victory would not remain for much longer. However, she enjoyed the look he now displayed on his face, looking for some kind of story but when he found it the smile disappeared from her face as he had found a way to turn it around on her.
Lillian tried to laugh and brush over it but she found herself biting the inside of her lip so that she didn’t lash out at him. Her eyes locked with his and she shot him a look that told him he would be in a lot of trouble when they were left alone but he seemed to response by taking her hand and kissing if almost affectionately before the waiter seemed to have heard enough and placed their order.
Lillian snatched her hand back and let out a frustrated sigh before leaning forward and lowering her voice so that only he could here. “I’m so glad that you find it amusing to let your wife appear to be a gold-digging whore. I hope you realise that it does not reflect on you very well either. At least now I know that the women that fall to their knees around you really are desperate.” Her words could cut like a knife as they came out sharp and harsh and when she was done, she leaned back in the chair and crossed her arms angrily. Even though they were playing pretend and whatever story he told about her did not besmirch her [I actual] reputation she did not exactly appreciate the way he was portraying her to other people.
For the remainder of their wait for food she avoided looking at him, simply gazing out of the window and thinking about all the things she wished she could say. All she knew was that she would be glad when they got to wherever they were going so that they could go their separate ways and never have to see each other again.
If Lillian had really been his wife and if they hadn’t been trying to avoid suspicion he might have hit the waiter. It wasn’t just the man's rude intrusion on them, asking such questions when he really had no place, it was the way he was looking at Lillian, his eyes burning into her as though she were not sat opposite her husband or ignoring his stares so evidently. He had seen her look away and wondered how much trouble he would be in if he were to hit the waiter. Surely Lillian would not blame him, this man was creepy and his attention was not wanted, by either of them.
Lillian spoke and it forced Freddie to give up his daydreams of giving the waiter a black eye. He looked down at her hand that he had decided to hold, with an intention of winding her up, and then to the waiter. His holding her hand only drew attention to her lack of wedding ring, something that he hadn’t thought of up until this point. It certainly wasn’t ideal and he could see why it would cause someone to question their relationship. He would need to rectify it.
He would have happily bought a ring for her to use, maybe even let her pick one herself, but Lillian was trying to get back at him, that much was clear.
“Now you see, that is a story. A very, very good story indeed.” Freddie placed the menu on the table and rubbed his jaw, trying to think quickly. He could not just make up some plain excuse, anything he now said would need to make Lillian either embarrassed or angry. Both options sounded entertaining.
“My wife did have a ring. A beautiful ring that was my grandmothers, she left it to me with her dying breath. Sadly my dear Crystal did not approve, the diamond wasn’t big enough, isn’t that right my sweetheart? It is where we are travelling today, to buy a new ring for her.” Freddie told the story all whilst smiling like he had won a war. The story painted him to be the sentimental type, a loving grandson who proposed with a family ring and it made Lillian – or Crystal – out to be a gold digging wife.
Freddie lent forward and bought Lillian's hand to his mouth, kissing it with the briefest of touches.
“You understand, I would do anything for my beloved wife.” He said, looking at her, his eyes blazing with mischief. The waiter seemed to accept the story, either that or he had gotten bored of hearing Freddie prattle on. He walked away, presumably to get their food and the moment his back was turned, Freddie dropped Lillian's hand and sat back in his seat, folding his arms across his chest.
“You think you’re funny, don’t you? Well, I won’t have you make a fool out of me again so easily.” He said and tried to suppress a smile, keeping the appearance of an unamused gentleman.
The waiter instantly made her feel uncomfortable. Even in clothes that were not her own, hair that had quite literally been thrown up and a face that had no be tarnished with the slightest bit of make-up, he stared at her as though he had never seen a woman before. She swallowed and looked up towards Frederick, hoping that when he introduced her as his wife he might stop staring at her in such a way and in his new protective manner he slipped his arm around her. She might have flinched or backed away from him if she did not need to pretend to be his wife. She would not be an estranged one if she could help if because that would simply raise questions. Instead she hesitantly smiled up at Frederick, perhaps the slightest bit grateful that the waiter might understand that she was taken, even if that had not been the case.
Lillian followed the waiter as Frederick moved forward and she found herself relieved that he hadn’t given her a horrific name. Once they were at the table he moved his arm from around her and she shot him a look before taking her place opposite him. She personally did not mind the limited menu or the fact that they have clearly been the same menu for several years since they were not exactly pristine and a part of her wanted to laugh at Frederick’s expression. It was evident that he was used to something a little more upmarket. When she heard the waiter’s voice she looked up and notice the he was staring at her the entire time he spoke. Usually if a man and his wife were out to lunch the waiter would mostly address the husband due to the status of women not yet being equal but she understood that his staring was not customary.
As soon as their eyes locked she pulled them away and looked at Frederick instead who had decided to give her another name that one would associate with a prostitute. Her lips twitched slightly as she held herself back from saying anything in front of the waiter. “Water will be just fine for me too, thank you.” She said as he leaned over and rested his hand on her own and did not seem to move it even when his eyes drew back to the menu. It was not long before the two were ordering their food and when the waiter had finished he looked down at their hands and Lillian looked towards him curiously. “Is something the matter?” She asked with a raised eyebrow.
“It’s just...he called you his wife. Why do you not have a ring?” Lillian smiled and her eyes met Frederick’s. She had been granted with the perfect payback for her horrific name.
“Oh darling, why don’t you explain to this gentleman why your wife does not have a ring?”
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