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[left [pic http://i.imgur.com/R9bcGpC.jpg]] Willow could hardly say anything as Anastasia lept up to embrace her. She didn’t even know that he had bought a ring or planned on proposing but that didn’t matter now. In this era, time was irrelevant, and she did not care about the fact they had only been open about their feelings for a short period of time. They knew how they felt about each other and that was all that mattered.
Willow looked over to Justin before Anastasia started to pull her into a conversation about the wedding. She giggled when she talked of getting her a dress and flowers and she nodded. [b “I just want it to be the four of us. You are both so important to us and I don’t see any reason why we should invite people we don’t know. If it’s alright I just a [I very] small and insignificant ceremony. It’s how I would have wanted to get married even if we were still in our own time. I’ve never been the type to want a fuss.”] She said with a smile.
She heard what Jobe said and she looked up. [b “What did you just say?”] She had heard that somewhere before.
[right [pic http://i.imgur.com/gb7q260.jpg]] Jobe nodded. [b “That would be easy to arrange if you are sure that is what you both want. We can set up a meeting with the vicar and discuss the details if you like.”] He said as he glanced over at the two women. He was glad that Anastasia had a female in her life, one that she could get excited with over news such as this.
[b “The doctor and his wife.”] He said with a smile as he looked back at Justin before he heard Willow’s voice and he looked at her with confusion. [b “The doctor and his wife?”] He repeated, this time posing it more as a question. Did that mean something to her? He looked to Justin to see if he had any answers.
Justin laughed a little and nodded to Jobe,
“I should take your advice more often.” He laughed quietly and looked to Willow, kissing her cheek as Anastasia came over and he embraced the woman and murmured a thanks to them both.
He looked to Jobe as both women began cooing over plans and he raised an eyebrow.
“Willow mentioned a very small wedding. Just you and Anastasia present.” He commented and hoped that would be alright. He wasn’t sure how weddings worked and if small things like that were okay. He would marry Willow there and then if he could.
Anastasia looked to them and sprang to them, hugging them as she sat with Willow,
“Well, finally! It took you long enough!” She laughed and looked to the ring. It was gorgeous and she was so excited for them!
“We should get you a dress! And flowers! Oh I can’t wait!” She said and she was genuinely over the moon for her friends that they could get married and be together properly!
“Have you given it any thought?” She asked the other woman and smiled.
[left [pic http://i.imgur.com/R9bcGpC.jpg]] Willow was sure that there was nothing in the world that would make her happier than she was in this moment. The way he jumped up to his feet and put the ring on her finger made everything feel that little bit more real. She had just agreed to be his wife. She would become Mrs Gallway. The smile upon her face was wider than any smile she had ever had before. She put her arms around Justin and held him tight as if to confirm the happiness that she felt. Willow laughed at the excited nature he was showing her and she nodded. [b “Of course I mean it.”] She said as he told hold of her hand and started to rush back towards the house.
[b “But we didn’t even sort out the stall.”] She said, still laughing but not really caring about that. In the moment she was just happy to see Justin so excited about something. When they got into the house she was out of breath from the run and she looked to Justin who was beaming. She looked towards Jobe and Anastasia, who seemed clued in on the situation and without saying a single word she helped her hand out in front of them to show off her engagement ring. It was perfect. Nothing too fancy and just the right size for her petite hand.
[right [pic http://i.imgur.com/gb7q260.jpg]] Jobe smiled, promising that he wouldn’t overdo it. If it was up to him, he would spend his days in bed with his wife. He wanted nothing more than to start their family but he would not tire poor Anastasia out, no matter how much he wanted to share every part of him with her.
He looked up with surprise as Justin and Willow entered the house. [b “Finished with the stall already?”] He asked, almost amused by his question, knowing exactly what had just happened. The two had the same expression Jobe and Anastasia had when they announced their engagement. He rose to his feet and clapped Justin on the shoulder in a congratulatory manner and lowered his voice.
[b “I told you she wouldn’t say no.”]
Justin felt he might die if she didn’t answer in his favour, he’d never felt at someone’s mercy so much before in his life. When she answered he jumped to his feet and slid the ring on her finger, kissing her almost immediately.
“Thank you.” He whispered softly and wrapped his arms around her waist as he lifted her up and span her in a circle before setting her down. This was all he had wanted since landing in this era!
“Mrs Gallway, huh?” He laughed and kissed her cheek gently as he watched her. He couldn’t believe she had said yes!
“You really mean it? You’re going to marry me?” He babbled and he could have ran across the ground in a fit of elation right that minute. He’d got the girl! They were going to be married!
“We have to tell everyone! I’ll shout it from the rooftop!” He beamed as he took her hand and went back to Anastasia and Jobe, standing with Willow.
Anastasia thought for a while. The thought of having another support in raising children was something she adored. And she could imagine Jobe with a son, teaching him tolerance and patience or doting over a daughter. She smiled a little and knew he wouldn’t tell her even if his injury did hurt.
“Don’t overdo yourself.” She said quietly to him and looked to Justin and Willow. They both looked out of breath and positively bursting with happiness.
“Did we miss something?” She asked and smiled at the pair.
[left [pic http://i.imgur.com/R9bcGpC.jpg]] Willow smiled towards Justin, waiting for a sarcastic comment or remark. It had become clear that it was part of his personality and she had grown to love that part of him but it never came. Instead he seemed to be completely serious and full of emotion and she was so full of love for him in that moment. [b “At least we are both on the same page then.”] She said quietly as she looked down at their interlocked fingers before looking back up at him.
There was an intensity waiting there for her and her breath caught in her throat as he looked into her very soul. He started to speak but he faltered and she could not keep the confused expression from her face as he started to press his hand into his pocket as if searching for something. [b “Lost something?”] She asked softly, only moments before he lowered himself onto one knee. Her heart was beating impossibly fast and she pulled her hands over her mouth as he opened a box that had a ring inside. She had no idea when he had bought the ring or what was going through his mind in that moment. They had only declared their love for each other a few days ago but even that did not matter to her then.
His words took her breath away and even though neither of them had considered themselves to be the romantic type, she was completely taken aback by his words. She smiled and removed her hands from her mouth as as tear started to creep out of the corner of her eye. [b “Justin I...”] Her voice faltered for a minute while she tried to gather her emotions. [b “Nothing would make me happier. Yes...yes I will be your wife.”]
[right [pic http://i.imgur.com/gb7q260.jpg]] [b “Ah but I was fortunate enough to have a father who taught be the difference between right and wrong and not the kind that society engrains next a lot of people. The [i real] right and wrong. It’s not that difficult to have a mind heart when there are people in the world so willing to return goodwill.”] He ran her fingers over her cheek and smiled. [b “I’m sure there will be another soon. Then who knows? We will all be bringing up children together.”] He said with a laugh. Jobe wanted nothing more than to start a family with Anastasia and he imagined that they would be excellent parents and role models to their children.
He looked down at his stomach and shrugged. [b “I barely notice it now.”] He said truthfully. They had all done such a good job of keeping him for doing too much that he was sure he was healing faster than he was meant to.
Justin watched her and smiled. This time there was no joking around or boyish remarked. He nodded to her and he could feel his heart racing under his chest.
“Really? Well, it’s just as well because I love you.” He murmured as he played with her fingers gently. He could have got lost in her eyes, he could have let the ground fall away from under them and everything would be alright if she just kept looking at him the way she was right that moment.
“I uh-“ he laughed a little. Now was as perfect a moment as any, lost in her gaze and feeling totally at her mercy. He looked around and back to Willow. She looked perfect, the day was perfect. He fished around in his pocket, rather awkwardly because nerves were really getting the better of him. He didn’t know if gentlemen got on one knee in this era but he dropped down to his knee anyways as he opened the box and looked up at her
“Willow, I don’t want to go a day without you. And I want you to be my wife- not because it is good and proper but because I need you and I love you. I always have, I just never knew what I had with you until now.” He said to her as he stared at her.
“Willow, please do me every honour and be my wife, for always?” He asked her. He was almost shaking he was that nervous and maybe he had blown it all to Hell and she would flat refuse him.
Anastasia scoffed slightly at his compliment. She was a kind person, despite everything she had been through at the poor house as a child and all the scoldings she had received in this house for her behaviour. Somehow she always found compassion.
“I find compassion because I have to. You were born a wealthy man, with everything you needed and yet you still found a way to be grateful and give others what they needed.” She pointed out and smiled a little.
“I wouldn’t say no to another wedding, although I think they would want a quieter affair than us.” They didn’t know many people in this era, so it was understandable but neither of them really seemed like overly outgoing people either. Besides, it was about what they wanted. No one else mattered. She looked to Jobe and smiled a little,
“How is your injury?” She asked. They had been doing a lot as of late and she didn’t want him overdoing anything, no matter how much she enjoyed their closeness.
[left [pic http://i.imgur.com/R9bcGpC.jpg]] Willow laughed. [b “Are you saying that I’m always grumpy?”] She asked, another yawn stifling her words. She watched as he stood up and she pulled a face as he held out his hand to her. [b “Do I really have to do that right now?”] Her tone mimicked that of a child who did not want to do as she was told. She let out a sigh and took his hand anyway. She had slept most of the morning so she supposed a little bit of work wouldn’t do her much harm.
[b “Fine.”] She said with a faint smile as she followed him to the stables. She was surprised to hear that Justin did not know about the horse, a part of her figured that was what they had been discussing in the study the night before but apparently not. [b “It is very kind of them.”] She said as she glanced around the stable before settling on the perfect spot for her horse and she moved inside the empty stall and looked up at Justin as he spoke.
Willow smiled and took hold of his hand and nodded. [b “Of course I’m happy. I got stuck in my favourite time in history and fell in love with my best friend.”]
[right [pic http://i.imgur.com/gb7q260.jpg]] Jobe nodded towards Justin and Willow as they left the room, still laughing at Willow’s reaction to his suggestion. [b “Do you really not see that you have the same way about you?”] He said with a raised eyebrow. Every single member of staff working in this house adored her and she had brought happiness to many of their lives, including his, even if he did not see it. He smiled towards her and her lips brushed his cheek and he nodded at her words.
[b “I think you are right. It’s what he wanted to talk to me about last night. A part of me thought that he was looking for permission from me.”] He said with a laugh and a shake of his head. [b “Although, I do not think that Willow has noticed, so it will most certainly be a surprise when he does ask.”
Justin smiled at Willow’s reaction and he was honestly glad she would have something to call her own in this era. It was a beautiful thing to see her so happy and so vibrant and he wanted that to last for her. He couldn’t help but laugh a little.
“It’s quite the miracle to see you so happy.” He murmured to her.
“Although you will have to make a stable ready.” He said to her and stood.
He held out his hand,
“Come on. I’ll help you out.” He said and honestly he just wanted privacy with her for a few moment to relish the happiness she exuded as he lead her to the stables and smiled.
“I didn’t even know about that.” He said to her and smiled,
“Jobe and Anastasia must have plotted.” He remarked as he stopped at the stables and looked to an empty stall.
He sighed contently and watched Willow, the way the sun caught her hair and her smile seemed to make everything much brighter.
“Are you happy?” He asked her quietly and watched her carefully.
Anastasia Hughes Willow gently and giggled at her reaction. What a relief to see her so happy! She nodded to the woman and felt Jobe’s lips press to her fingers. He was right. Without influence she would have forever buried her own emotions and obeyed societies pressures. And now she couldn’t be happier to have gone against them.
She watched them go and looked to Jobe,
“I’m unsure how you have the remarkable ability to make everyone who meets you so happy.” She said to him quietly and kissed his cheek gently. Summer would be coming to an end soon, then it would be rain and winds. It didn’t matter though, because she had Jobe to keep her warm at nights where the snow fell.
“Justin is getting fidgety.” She noted quietly.
“I think he’s looking for his perfect moment.”
[left [pic http://i.imgur.com/R9bcGpC.jpg]] Willow glanced towards Justin when she noticed and exchange of a glance between Jobe and Anastasia and it was one that raised suspicion. She did not have to wait too long to find out what it was they were going to reveal but by the time she had finished talking Willow was already on her feet and putting her arms around Jobe and Anastasia since they were sitting so close.
[b “You have no idea how much this means to me. You have given so much to Justin and I and I just wish that there was something we could do or give to you in return.”] She really did feel like the two were just giving and she was taking. She wished there was more than she could do but in reality, she just did not know how much she had already done.
She lowered herself back to her seat and smiled towards Justin as she curled her legs underneath her again. This is what true happiness felt like.
[right [pic http://i.imgur.com/gb7q260.jpg]] Jobe was excited to see Willow’s reactions and he laughed as the woman pulled the two of them into a brief embrace. [b “It is quite alright. You have done much for us, it’s the least we can do.”] He said with a smile as he took hold of Anastasia’s hand. [b “I doubt she would have agreed to be my wife if it wasn’t for you.”] He said as she brought her hand up to his lips and kissed her fingers.
[b “The horse will be here on Wednesday. I am assured that she will be in good health. He is the finest breeder in London so I have no doubt of his word.”]
Justin watched the two ladies and shook his head. What was it they did to each other to get so lost in conversation, anyways? He thought and figured the question would never be answered about how women could talk so much. He listened though and it was actually oddly soothing to hear the two talk.
He looked to Anastasia and Justin when they mentioned the gift and he smiled a little to Willow, excited to see her reaction and honestly, as a man, he kind of appreciated the imagery of her riding a horse around the grounds.
“You two are too kind.” He said to them and sighed quietly. It seemed their kindness never ended and he was so grateful because Willow had done so much for them.
Anastasia shook her head,
“No, it would have been improper to steal a horse for a ride.” She remarked and watched Jobe for a second.
“Myself and Jobe wanted to show our gratitude to you, for all of your help these last few days.” She said to Willow and watched her, making sure to carefully choose her words.
“We decided to gift you a horse. Jobe knows all of the finest horse breeders and we have arranged for someone to drop off a horse to thank you.” She said to the other woman and smiled a little. She hoped she would accept because it would give Willow some freedom in the grounds, she could go out riding if she ever felt overwhelmed and it would be her own to do as she pleased with.
[left [pic http://i.imgur.com/R9bcGpC.jpg]] She smiled down at all of them, allowing her gaze to fall upon Jobe and Anastasia. They certainly looked happy and it was clear to her that Anastasia’s nerves about their night together and seemed to melt away into nothingness. She truly was happy that everything had worked out for them. Willow then turned her attention back to Justin who was commenting on her apparent fatigue and encouraged her to sit next to him.
With a yawn, she lowered herself into the chair and pulled her legs up underneath her. [b “Thank you.”] She said as she accepting the tea from Anastasia and took a sip. [b “I did! I had my own horse back at home. I was quite the rider as a teenager. My horse and I won a few medals and such but that seems like such a long time ago.”] She couldn’t help but laugh at the image of Anastasia almost falling in the water. [b “Have you ridden since?”]
[right [pic http://i.imgur.com/gb7q260.jpg]] Jobe was just as interested in Justin’s explanation of starlings and he made a note to ask more questions about the future later if Willow and Justin were allowed to give away much. They had already saved his life by giving him something called antibiotics and they had explored coffee and chocolate. He was quite intrigued to learn more about a world he would never know.
When Willow entered the room he smiled up at her, also showing a bit of concern for her well being. [b “You did not have to get up. You could have stayed in bed.”] He said as he sipped on his tea. He listened to Willow’s experience with the horses and he glanced over towards Anastasia with a smile and nodded her head, encouraging her to be the one to tell her they were gifting her a horse.
Justin smiled to them both, they were both such patient people.
“I should expect a few days off, you’re newly married. And I can always take a trip to the factory myself if there are any cases which require dire attention.” He said to Jobe with a nod. Although given Jobe kept everything so well done, he doubted it unless there was an accident.
In time they moved to the conservatory and Justin took great pleasure in explaining the movements of the starlings to Anastasia, explaining why they moved as a flock and the way they did in unison. He figured there was little harm in explaining the movements of birds. He looked up when Willow came in and smiled, she still looked so tired.
“Quite alright. You still look so tired.” He murmured, hoping she wasn’t coming down with any illness. He made a silent promise to keep an eye on her the next few days. He ushered her to sit with them and she didn’t seem to look too pale or running a temperature.
Anastasia was of course enthralled in all the stories Justin would tell as she sat by Jobe. She wasn’t so keen on hearing about the future, she didn’t understand their rules or their new technology but when it came to nature and such, it was a real fascination how much he knew. She looked to Willow and smiled.
“Don’t fret so much. You deserved a good rest after everything.” She said as she poured some tea for her.
“I heard you visited Jobe’s horses before the wedding.” She said to Willow,
“Do you ride?” She asked her and glanced to Justin.
“Jobe’s father was a keen rider, and a lover of animals I believe. He once took me and Jobe out riding with him, I nearly fell into the lake.” She laughed a little and thought back. No one had been particularly pleased Mr Hughes had taken a servant girl along but she had enjoyed herself none the less.
[left [pic http://i.imgur.com/R9bcGpC.jpg]] Willow might have detected company in the room with her and she might have felt Justin press his lips against her forehead but she did not react to it or wake from her sleep. She was absolutely exhausted and even though she had insisted that she would be alright, it was clear that her body betrayed her in the respect.
It was close to midday when she finally awoke and stretched herself out in bed. She had no idea what time it was or if anyone else was awake until she turned over in bed to see the tray beside her. She smiled to herself as she sat up in her bed and pulled the tray on to her lap.
After another thirty minutes she decided to get out of bed and moved downstairs, an air of exhaustion about her still. Willow placed the tray in the kitchen before she found Jobe, Anastasia and Justin all together in the conservatory area and she smiled. [b “I’m sorry, it appears I have slept through most of the morning.”]
[right [pic http://i.imgur.com/gb7q260.jpg]] Jobe smiled widely towards Justin, not caring in the slightest if his happy disposition was enough to give the two of them away. He watched as Justin prepared a tray for Willow and laughed when he left the room. [b “I think you might be right there.”] He said as he started to pour himself a cup of tea. He exchanged a look with Anastasia when he came back into the room.
[b “Quite right. There is nothing for her to attend to today so I see no reason why we should wake her.”] He placed a bit of toast on his plate and started to put some jam on it and looked up at Justin. [b “I think we should give ourselves a couple more days off. I believe the factory is doing alright and I certainly do not want to rush back to work.”]
Justin figured Willow was still asleep and he didn’t want to wake her. She needed and deserved rest. He looked over to Anastasia and Jobe,
“Good morning!” He smiled and he figured they had enjoyed their night judging by the smiles on their lips.
“You slept well?” He asked them and smirked a little as he put some tea on a tray.
“I’m just going to take this up to Willow, she’s still resting up.” He said as he added some toast and jam to the tray before heading up and quietly setting the tray down so it was there for when she woke up. He leant down and kissed her forehead softly. He closed a gap in the curtain so the light wouldn’t wake her up early and he closed the door as he headed downstairs. He looked to Anastasia and Jobe with a pleasant smile.
“She needs a good rest.” He said and gestured to the stairs.
Anastasia couldn’t deny Jobe or herself another chance at exploring each other’s bodies. She would never get tired of the closeness she felt with Jobe right that moment. To be as one with her husband was a sensation she would not grow weary of.
As much as staying in bed seemed like a wonderful idea, she knew there was matters to be dealt with. She went downstairs and smiled to Justin, watching him bustle around with a tray and she giggled a little at his diligence to Willow. It was very sweet and she looked to Jobe, placing a kiss to his cheek as she sat to have some breakfast with him. She took a drink of tea and looked to Jobe,
“I don’t think we will be waiting long for the next wedding.” She murmured quietly and quickly hushed when Justin returned.
“She can sleep all day if she wishes, she’s been very busy after all.” Anastasia said to him with a smile as she took a drink of tea.
[left [pic http://i.imgur.com/R9bcGpC.jpg]] All this talk of her being his wife made her smile but she knew that it was just talk. A far off dream that both of them seemed to want. She smiled up at him and found herself completely content simply stood in this hallway with him. She could stay here forever but the unwarranted yawn that came unannounced was enough to tell her that she really did need to get some sleep. Everything was catching up with her and she was feeling as though she might end up falling asleep right there.
Willow was caught off guard by his kiss and it was enough to awaken her desire for him. If she had not been so fatigued she had no doubt that she would have taken him inside her room. Screw the rules. However, she didn’t want it to happen like this. She wanted to be awake for a start. When he pulled away and whispered she pulled up her hand to wave at him and she waited for him to be gone before she too went into her own room and practically collapsed on her bed.
She was out like a light. Dreams and deep sleep claiming her and even as the rest of the household woke up, she remained asleep in bed. This time it was her turn to miss breakfast and while she would probably feel guilty by the time she finally woke up, she knew that no one would blame her after all the early mornings, late nights and preparation she had been doing.
[right [pic http://i.imgur.com/gb7q260.jpg]] Jobe sighed happily and blinked a few times before he fell into a sleep. He couldn’t remember a time where it had been so easy for him to do so. Having Anastasia here in his arms was clearly so right and it was as though he could finally rest easy now that she was here, sharing his bed.
He did not wake until morning although it was not the light that started to peek into the room that forced him from his sleep but something far sweeter. The lips of his wife dancing along his forced his eyes to blink a few times as he gave himself a moment or two to wake up and when he was awake he looked down at Anastasia and tightened his arms around her. [b “Good morning.”] He said quietly, his voice a little hoarse from the sleep. He couldn’t wait another second to kiss her.
Jobe turned into his side and brought a hand up to her cheek and pressed his lips to hers gently but passionately, testing the waters for the chance to share himself with her once more. They spent some time getting to know each other’s bodies a little better before he decided it was time to get up and enjoy brand new day. He got dressed and led Anastasia downstairs and greeted Justin with a smile.
[b "Morning Justin."]
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