John Thornton’s Unfolding Dream
The train blew its whistle alerting everyone that they were only minutes from the station.
Still holding Margaret in his arms, he started to kiss the hollow at the base of her throat. Moving from there, he caressed her with his lips down the arch of her ivory neck. Margaret tilted her head back giving him full access to that most intimate sensation. As John kissed his way back to her ear he whispered to her.” Will you put your hand in my lap, Margaret?”
Margaret was very aware of the heaviness he was carrying in his lap, as he had been aroused since she woke over an hour ago. She could not help but be fascinated by this completely intimate process of feelings and swellings and heat. To her, this was her compliment as her fainting was to him but she wasn’t sure if she should be as bold as he wished. He covered her mouth while stealing her breath and she immediately reached for him. Margaret had learned from what she had seen in books but she was still overwhelmed with the rigidness and size. As John slowly set a rhythm with his stroking tongue, Margaret found herself following his lead with her hand, not only stroking him but held him tightly through the thickness of his heavy dark clothes. His husky moans had turned into a chorus of hums upon her mouth. She could hear the air rushing in and out of his nose as he tried to take in air without interrupting the sensual bonding their bodies were creating. John slipped one of his hands to her breast and that is when Margaret heard her own soft moan. “Please, do not faint,” she told herself. John’s tongue was moving salaciously . . . deliciously and Margaret was in a whirlwind of passion waiting to be spent. John hugged her tremendously hard; his hands were everywhere as he sunk his mouth into her hair and murmured words she could not understand. Finally pulling back, framing her face with his hands, he pierced her very soul with his eyes, and whispered, “Thank you, my love.”
Margaret was not experienced in such matters to know if his “thank you” was for what she hoped but she loved every passionate moment they had just shared. She wanted more. She wanted him.
As John pulled her away with the steam spewing by the window, she thought she caught glassiness in his eyes. He would not look straight at her. He rose, turned his back to her while making some adjustment before reaching for the overhead satchels.” Margaret, do not forget that you are mine and I want you in my life. I do not care what it takes,” he said, finally turning towards her as the train was almost at a stop.” The next few moments are going to be the hardest in my life . . . watching you walk away from me.”
Margaret looked up into his sorrowful face. Almost beginning to cry herself, she said, “John . . .” but the door to their coach opened, forbidding him hearing her final words.
Daniel greeted Margaret and handed her out, stepping back while the two young ladies hugged and giggled.
Daniel Pinson recognized John Thornton immediately as he stepped out carrying their baggage. Daniel had listened to him speak on several occasions and often read about him when he could afford a daily paper. “Mr. Thornton, isn’t it?” Daniel asked, extending his hand. “I am Daniel Pinson.”
John set the baggage down and returned the handshake, remembering that Margaret had said that he was a mill worker.
“Yes, I am John Thornton. Nice to meet you, Mr. Pinson. I take it that is Mrs. Pinson who seems as delighted as Margaret is in seeing each other. Margaret and I have traveled as sole riders in that coach, all the way from London. We talked quite a bit and I know how anxious she was to see her friend. I am finding it rather difficult to say goodbye to my coach mate. Would you and your wife, along with Margaret, care to have dinner at my house tomorrow night? I will understand if you have plans. I know your time together is short.”
“Well, that is very kind of you, Mr. Thornton. If I can get a word in between these two, I will ask Megan.” John handed Daniel Margaret’s satchel as all four of them drifted towards the waiting coach area.
“Megan . . . Megan . . . this is Mr. Thornton . . . ,” but Margaret interrupted.
I am very sorry, I have forgotten my manners. Yes, Eve, this is John Thornton. John, this is Eve and Daniel Pinson.”
John doffed his hat to Mrs. Pinson.
“Megan, Mr. Thornton has invited us to his home tomorrow night for dinner. Do we have any plans that we cannot change?”
Surprised, Margaret turned to John and smiled. She knew he was finding a few more moments to share.
“As long as Margaret and I are together we have no plans we cannot change. She turned towards John and said, “Thank you, Mr. Thornton.”
“My pleasure,” John remarked looking at Mrs. Pinson and then Margaret, hoping she did not mind that he was butting in. “When we get to our coaches, if you will wait, Mr. Pinson, I will send my driver to you for directions to your home and he will collect you around 7:00 p. m. tomorrow evening. Is that agreeable?”
“Most assuredly, Mr. Thornton. Thank you, again.”
As Mr. Pinson, his wife and Margaret had further to walk for their coach John had to veer away from them. “Until tomorrow evening then,” he spoke while doffing his hat once again to the ladies who were walking arm and arm chattering.
John turned his back on them to head in his own direction and realized moisture was dropping from his face, like rain. He found the ground with his eyes and pulled his top hat a little further over his brow. He had never known himself to be this emotional. He did not walk directly to his coach until he was in control. Thankful twilight was falling, John finally reached the curb and hailed his driver, Branson.
Margaret and Megan continued to talk all evening. Margaret had not realized that she had left so much out of her letters to Megan, but then most of what she had to say was the journey of love she had been on for several weeks. Megan was very interested to hear all that Margaret said. Even though she loved Daniel terribly and did not really miss the excitement of being courted, she was still interested and fascinated about how Margaret was handling it. Megan could see Margaret’s emotions were in a vivid whirlpool of desire and lust.
Daniel had finally gone to bed. He had waited patiently to find out more about her acquaintance, Mr. Thornton. From the little he had overheard earlier on the ride home; Margaret had no idea as to his standing in Milton and to the New Machine Industry as a whole. He was quite famous but Margaret seemed oblivious to it, or maybe she was like his wonderful wife and prestige or wealth meant little to her. He knew a bit about Mr. Thornton’s more personal nature, as he was always the talk among the single women in town; even Megan knew that. But Mr. Thornton had proved to be a very private man. He never brought women to his house since he lived alone. He rarely dated the same woman more than twice. He could not find happiness, it seemed, allowing him to settle down like most hard working men in Milton. Daniel was grateful that he had found the woman he wanted to be with always but felt sorry for people like Thornton, who had everything but no one with which to share life. It certainly shows that money does not buy happiness.
Finding a plate of sandwiches left for him by Cook, John carried them into his sitting room, poured himself a brandy, and sat in his favorite high-back leather chair where he could see down into the mill yard. Coming home, he was so absorbed in his own thoughts that he hadn’t noticed that Nicholas Higgins was still at the office. Taking a few more bites, he topped off his brandy, and poured a large whiskey for Higgins, headed down his stairs and walked to his office across the yard. He stopped at the foot of the office steps, inhaled deeply several times, and then ascended them.
Cupping both glasses in his hand, he opened the door.” Higgins, you’re burning the oil tonight.” He said in a jesting manner.
“I was just going to come find you since I saw the coach come back. I wanted to know what you may have learned in that big book store about your gift,” said Higgins.
John moved towards him and said, “Well, you better sit down because you’re not going to believe this.” John handed him his whiskey while Higgins sat down as commanded giving John an anxious look.
“Nicholas, I was in the book store and she appeared right in front of me. One minute there was no one and then she walked into my space. And she was real. I was so stunned I moved out of her sight. I worried a moment what might happen if I found myself in my own vision. I cannot tell you what I have been through over the last 30 hours.
Before John had finished his story, the two of them had walked back to his home, repaired their drinks and John shared the rest of his sandwiches.” She and her friends will be here tomorrow evening for dinner. I wish you and Peggy could attend. I want you to see her, Nicholas. You have to see her, get to know her a little so a month from now you can assure me that I am not dreaming this up. The women seem like they will enjoy each other’s company, too. Please tell me you will try to make it.” John was on the verge of pleading. He needed his best friend to acknowledge that she was real.
“John, of course, we will be here. I see how much it means to you and frankly I am very curious myself.” Higgins asked him many questions like: did Margaret know about his visions, what were her initial reactions, what would happen next?
Knowing he would probably pace the floor all night like he had done all evening, wearing Higgins out, he said, “Nicholas, I could go on all night but I must let you go. Bloody hell, it’s nearly 2:00 a. m. It is a wonder Peggy has not sent Chief Mason over here looking for you. I am sorry.”
“John, I am about as “not sorry” as I can be for you. This is still a mystery and it looks like a difficult challenge awaits both of you. I will always be at your side to help, to listen and to cry with you.” Higgins stood and John came towards him wrapping his arms around his friend and wasn’t the least embarrassed when his eyes began to water.
John turned his back as Higgins started towards the door. “I will see you tomorrow . . . make that six hours from now, Nicholas.”
“Sure thing,” Higgins said popping his top hat on as he left.
John was not sure he would be able to sleep again. That would be going on 48 hours without sleep, but he could not shut down his thoughts, emotions, or the course of the rest of his life. As he paced the floor, he thought of more and more things he wanted to tell Margaret. He did not see where he would have any time for talking alone with her at dinner later, but he could pen his thoughts to paper and give her that before he said goodbye for some indefinite time. There was the chance that he would never see her again. What seemed to bother him most was the fact that another gentleman of some apparent prestige or wealth was probably as much in love with Margaret as he was. Never in his life had he been denied a woman of his choice. He had never been turned down and certainly never had a competitor vying for the favors of the same woman. As he paced the floor, he thought of the possible ways to approach such a situation. Would he fight bitterly for her attention or would he remain the gentleman to the end and hope Margaret selected him. Suddenly, John felt sick to his stomach. He raced down the back steps to the outside and heaved violently. John knew he was not only in love with her, but obsessed with her. Was it the premature visions of her that made him feel so desperate or was this the way love took you? Being a magistrate, he thought he could understand ‘crimes of passion’. It was all so clear now.
John walked to his library. Turned up the gas light and settled in his chair. Pulling out a sheaf of paper, his ink and feathered pen . . . he began.
To my dearest lovely, Margaret,
* * *
John slowly woke as the morning sun came streaming through his library window. Pen still in hand, he realized he had dozed off only briefly. No dreams, no visions this time. He set the pen down and pinched the bridge of his nose between his fingers hoping that would help to sustain his eyes in an open position. He stood, stretched out his arms, and yawned. He then proceeded to walk around his desk a few times. Finally, he settled back in his chair to reread his letter. There was much he had to say. He wanted to pour out his heart to Margaret but even if her feelings were really love for him, he did not think she could withstand the onslaught of emotions that wanted to gush forth out of him. He had never felt this deeply about anyone in his life and he did not think he was handling it very maturely. His heart had him by a leash and was leading him toward one goal without a thought about anyone or anything else. He had to find some composure. He was reminded of Margaret’s words yesterday, saying she had to learn she did not have to come to some life-changing decision quickly. There was no need to panic. John went over that in his mind and tried to adopt it himself but he could not. She may feel that way purely for the fact that she had no other competitor. There was the worry. Feeling very ashamed and underhanded, he had decided to find out more about Margaret’s other suitor. Surely, if he was as wealthy as he seemed, he would be in some registry somewhere. John looked over his letter a final time. More was not necessarily good at this time, at least in a letter. He signed and sealed it.
My heart is yours,