Expanding the British Empire was of significant importance. Once they had spread to the Americas in the 1600s they set about setting up colonies of their own; colonies that could contribute to the profit of the empire. With the tobacco industry booming and the Americas offering them the perfect environment to cultivate such a demand, there was a new desire to make life there.
At first they transported farmers so that they might set up their homes and begin to farm the land but once the settlers had found themselves a routine, they began to realise that they would not be returning home to England. Such realities demanded laws and governance and women so that the farmers might settle with families and start their lives there rather than simply farm the land.
Those who could afford to pay for the passage of women would marry them. Most of the women were those whose families put them forward for such adventures, others were prisoners who might have been transported for their crimes.
Annabelle was one of the women to be transported, paid for by a man of the colony. She does not know what kind of life awaits her or who will be waiting for her when she gets off the boat.
What is awaiting her is to be discussed with my partner. Looking for someone to play a male counterpart.
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Annabelle smiled to herself, knowing that Jaxon had begun to understand what he had asked of her and how important all of this truly was. Neither of them could promise that the two of them would be happy deep down but it was a start and it was something that allowed them both to get a little bit of what they wanted. She continued to look up at the ceiling as he explained that he found it to be similar to a form of meditation and a part of her could see how that would be the case and she couldn’t help but smile at his words
Annabelle turned her head so that she was looking at him now after detecting that he had made the same movement and she listened to his sincerity as he spoke towards her about their arrangement. He had started to look at the ceiling once more as he curled a finger around hers and she let him do so as she let out a sigh. Without even thinking about it she allowed her head to come and rest upon his shoulder. “I know torture, more than you would care to know. I’m sure that this will not be the same.” She said with confidence, allowing herself to relax next to him. If anyone would have seen the two of them know she couldn’t imagine what anyone might think.
[size12 He smiled as she laughed, shrugging his shoulders. "I like the word arrangement. It seems to fit this, almost perfect," he was thoughtful, as he looked over to her. "Of course you would. I wouldn't question that you wouldn't hesitate to strike me down where I stand."his voice was confident but all in good nature. As she lay down he simply stared at the ceiling as he was thoughtful.
"It's almost like meditation in a way. You simply concentrate on nothing. It's quite the luxury." his voice was soft and thoughtful as he turned his head to look forwards her. "I mean, it is a way of relaxing in the face of an eternity of life," his voice was serious before cracking a smile. "I mean, either that or I'm just lazy." he gave a laugh as his shoulders relaxed, stretching out as he felt his back arch, a good stretch.
He let the silence before sit them, before opening his mouth. "This won't be the worst thing. In the world. I hope. Not torturous for you." he was careful in words as he continued to stare at the ceiling, letting his hand drift over hers before curling his pinky around hers. "I hope that this won't be torture." he reaffirmed it, giving her pinky a light squeeze as he simply lay there with her, letting her pull away if she wanted to.
Excitement was not exactly the emotion that either of them were feeling but she couldn’t help but laugh, especially when began to lay down on the floor. “An arrangement is a word for it.” She said and looked around the room before allowing her eyes to settle on him and raised her eyebrows as he suggested something inappropriate.
“I will most certainly smite you down.” She said with seriousness in her voice and shook her head as the man winked towards her before she let out a sigh and decided she would take him up on his offer to lay down next to him. She moved her body around and lowered herself down so that she was lying next to him. “It is slightly strange that you find this relaxing.” She said with a laugh as she looked over at him. Annabelle hadn’t really looked at him this close up before she noticed that he wasn’t exactly disgusting. He was rather handsome and he would make her a good husband.
“What’s so interesting on the ceiling anyway?”
[size12 He was genuine in his proposal, and genuine with the slight smile as she rolled his eyes. "Oh, well then it'll be exciting for the both of us I imagine." he patted her hand. "Of course not darling. Then I suppose we're to be wed." he paused as he lied back down. "That was surprisingly easy and void of stress," he said out loud to himself, lying down as he stretched out. "Well, I suppose that it is an arrangement. Which is exciting," he also noted, speaking out loud to himself as he then glanced at Annabelle.
"Granted, it's not too late to just do something ungodly," he raised his eyebrows with a wink before laughing. "Granted, I'm only joking, I swear. You would probably smite me down before we even started such acts," he teased, as he crossed his arms while staring at his ceiling. "Care to join? The floor is quite comfortable," he lay there quite still, just simply relaxing as he enjoyed the feeling of the cool tiles against his hot neck. ]
As thought he detected her nerves he seemed to adjust the way he spoke and his body language even changed as though he was trying to comfort her in some way. She looked down at his hand on top of hers momentarily before looking back at him, not retreating from his touch.
“I don’t know what to say.” She said. It was the truth. He seemed willing to compromise to protect her which suggested that he thought about what she had said about his original proposal. “I don’t think that I have ever met someone who does not seem to care much for marriage.” Annabelle laughed slightly and shook her head. She was beyond nervous and although she had always imagined that she would marry for love, she knew that was simply a dream, one that she would not achieve if she worked for him or took him up on his offer. At least marrying him would help them both. He would be able to get what he wanted and she would have that safety and protection.
“Jaxon...I...alright.” She said with a sigh. “If you can promise to protect my reputation and at least [i pretend] that this relationship is not void of all emotions if we are ever in public, then I think I can agree to this.”
[size12 He understood her sigh. He understood the nervousness that was coming from this conversation and he shrugged in return. "I mean, you wanted something different correct. You said that you would not want a relationship in which you had something physical if it did not have a union. I am proposing a union because it simply does not matter to me. Marriage does not matter to me. But if that is what you want, then I," he paused, putting his hand onto hers, very gently as he almost expected her to pull away. "I am completely yours." he was so genuine in words, he almost believed them himself.
"I would offer it because my goal is to give you happiness. But if the happiness I want to give you is not what you want, then I am offering you an out. That seems fair," he pointed out, as he contemplated. "Although marriage would not make me happy, being able to have someone to fill my loneliness would. I am not asking for a perfect union. I am asking for something that would protect your reputation. As you have asked. I am asking for compromise, so we both get what we want," he pointed this all out calmly, a relaxed nature to her anxiety.
Whether either of them were ready for the conversation or not, it was happening now and neither of them could continue to avoid it. Her breath caught in her throat as his hand came to rest on her shoulder and she looked up to meet his eyes as he spoke. This time he laid out two options and she contemplated what he said for a moment and let out a sigh as the man continued to speak once more.
“When you spoke of an arrangement on my first night here. Marriage was not something you offered to me. You simply wanted a physical relationship with no emotion. That would give me a reputation. No protection from the names that people might call me and no security for a future.” She felt nerves beginning to creep up on her and she couldn’t help try to swallow them as she continued to talk. “Marriage is a different offer completely. What you were asking of me does not seem so ungodly when there is a union.”
She looked up at him once more after spending some time avoided his eyes. “Why would you offer a marriage now?”
[size12 He was all smiles and relaxed once she nodded at him, making sure that nothing else was sore as he stretched out his arm, nodding as she replied. "Of course Alina would convince you. She always believes the best in me," he was thoughtful as he leaned over to gently put a hand on her shoulder. "I don't want to make decisions for you. I don't want to make you do anything you don't want to. That's why there's a choice. You can either choose to work under my service or to start to engage in something more with me. You can choose to marry me, to have a life with me, or you can choose to work with me and we will stay acquaintances."
His voice was not as strict, although starting to sound softer. He was not going to force a girl into humoring him in his loneliness. That wasn't what she was here for. He sighed. "Granted, I am sure you know my preference, but working for me would have its perks too. I am saying that I would like to have much more with you, if you would allow it. Granted, I understand how you feel about ungodly acts, let alone how you must think of me," he was careful with his wording. He had an entire day to think about how he would approach this, and he wanted to make sure that she knew he was trying to be more accommodating.
Annabelle nodded with satisfaction when he agree that his shoulder felt better and she contemplated moving for the time being but she stayed where she was in case he needed anything else from her and simply listened to his talk about Alina. She couldn’t help but wonder if he had any idea about Alina’s feelings towards him. Men could often be blind to what was right in front of them but sometimes they could choose to ignore feelings, especially if some could lead to tension and Alina did work for him after all and it wouldn’t make sense for him to address them.
Eventually his eyes ended up landing on hers and she found herself looking back at him for a moment, waiting to see if he would bring up the subject that they both knew would need discussing sooner or later.
“I...well, yes I’m feeling alright. Alina has convinced me that I should hear you out, give you an opportunity to explain before I make a decision.” She said as she looked down at her hands in her lap. She couldn’t imagine him being able to say anything to her that would convince her one way but she at least had the decency to listen to him if he decided he was going to talk.
[size12 Jaxon was lighthearted about the fall although he winced as she took his arm into her hands, feeling a wince and a rush of relief as he took a deep breath. "Oh, it was quite a way to spend my waking hours." he rolled both of his shoulders back as he felt relaxed, now working on his hip as he placed the towel over the exposed skin, the cool water feeling a little better. He smiled as he saw her place her hands on her lap. "It does feel alot better."
"Well, I'm glad that she was able to accompany you. She's quite the sweetheart," he commented offhandedly as he gently patted the skin a few more times, feeling the irritation bite back with each pat. "She tends to be a little too overbearing. I think she appreciated my good nature though. On good days," he was thoughtful although he ended up simply looking at her.
"Are you feeling better? I imagine you must still be feeling some shock." his voice hinted concern, although he really was wondering if this was the time to start a more serious conversation.
Annabelle almost laughed upon hearing Jaxon explain what happened. However, even if he wasn’t saying anything she could tell that he was in pain. When she helped him sit up she noticed that he had lifted his shirt and lowered part of the material of his pants. Her eyes widened, her cheeks instantly flushed a light shade of pink and she turned her head away so that she was not looking at him. When he asked for the cloth she in instantly retreated into the kitchen and returned with it handing it over to him so he could clean on his wound.
“Well I assumed that one does not swear with such aggression without there being a cause. I would not have left you in here alone.” She said as she noticed him moving his shoulder. Annabelle sighed softly and moved to sit beside him. “Here.” She said as she took hold of his arm, placing her hand gently upon his shoulder as she started to move it around gently to knock out any of the knots caused by his fall.
“Town was fine. I feel that I know my way around a lot better now and I have gotten to know Alina a little more.” She kept moving his shoulder for a minute before pulling her hands back and putting them in her lap.
“Does that feel better?”
[size12 Jaxon simply lay there, hands on his chest as he blankly looked at the ceiling. "It seems.. I've had an ungodly karma thrust upon me," he looked at her seriously as he placed a hand on hers as she helped him sit up. "Oh, no please, let me perish. I deserve it," he had a joking tone the whole time before laughing, rubbing his back. "I seemed to have just bumped myself. And then tripped. Over myself," he took it all in good nature, relaxed as he pulled the side of his shirt up to revealed the irritated skin against his hip.
"Ugh, serves me right," he sighed as he pressed a few fingers gently against the skin, frowning slightly. "Would you be a dear and get me a wet rag? It's just sore, that's all." he obviously did not know much about patching up wounds, as he simply leaned over his own, wondering how he could have been so stupid as to hurt himself in this way.
"Thank you for coming though. I imagine hearing swearing in the middle of the day was not the way that you wanted to spend it. Was the market good?" he tried to make conversation with her, although wincing as he realized that there were far more problems than that. It seemed as if his shoulder had hurt more than recently, something that he had not anticipated. He did not say anything, just very subtly shifting it backwards and forwards as if to find where the problem was. ]
Several hours had passed and during that time Annabelle had managed to sleep off some of the fatigue she had felt from her morning walk and when she awoke she noticed that she had not yet been disturbed by Alina which suggested that Jaxon was probably still asleep. She stretched herself so that she was no longer stiff and sat up on the bed, looking around for a moment before decided to get herself some water from the kitchen.
Alina was no where to be found and she assumed that she had jobs somewhere around the house. A part of her was glad that she wasn’t here too. The fact that the woman had feelings for Jaxon made her position here very difficult and no matter how nice she appeared to be, she could tell when a woman was hiding something or overcompensating. Once she poured herself some water she held it up to her lips to take a sip of it. She barely got any water before Jaxon’s cursing was echoing through the house, startling her and causing her to drop her water but she didn’t stop to clean it up just then.
She moved towards the study with confusion and knocked slightly before letting herself in, finding Jaxon laying on the floor in pain. She quickly rushed to his side and got down onto her knees so that she could check him over. “Oh my...are you alright? What happened?” She moved slightly so that she could help him sit up.
[size12 Alina was glad to have gotten along with this girl so well, but there was still something that felt difficult about this, that felt wrong. She could almost feel something twist inside of her, leaving her face in a grimace once Annabelle had left. She did not say much once Annabelle left, simply grasping at the top of her dress, wringing the cloth as she felt the jealousy sit like a pit in the base of her stomach, feeling disgusted with herself. She couldn't help but feel frustrated towards Annabelle, feel annoyed. She wanted her out of the picture.
Jaxon eventually woke up, the afternoon sun streaking through the windows. He yawned, pushing the blanket off of him and leaving it a mess on the floor. He stood up, rubbing at his eyes before accidentally walking too close to the desk, hitting his side on the corner. [b "Shit!"] his voice was loud as it ran through the halls as he rubbed his side, whining in pain beneath his voice. He was almost annoyed to feel the area sore, knowing it would leave a bruise. He moved to start to head out before tripping on a dog toy, left on the ground by Notch, as he fell back hard on his ass. [b "Fuck!" ] he yelled even louder, lying on the ground in pain. Alina was too far to hear him but his voice echoed through the house as this man lie in pain on the ground, wondering how he could have just been so lucky today.
Annabelle smiled towards Alina and placed her hand on the woman’s arm thankfully before the two made their way into the house. She was lucky that Alina seemed to care enough about her work that she took the time to make sure that she was looked after. She followed behind her and she listened as she mentioned Jaxon.
She shook her head and glanced towards the study. “I will talk to him, I will listen but I do not see the need to wake him just to do so. He doesn’t sleep at night and I don’t what his first conversation of his awakened state to be intense. I’m going to retire to my room and get some rest myself. Perhaps come and get me when he is ready to talk.” Annabelle smiled as she made her way up the stairs and took to her room. When she arrived she lay on her bed and stared up at the ceiling trying to figure out what she might say to Jaxon but she would let him have his say first and she couldn’t predict what he was about to say.
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