Amazon Video December 2016

Available on Amazon Prime, December 2016

For some reason, Amazon is adding a lot of westerns in December from the 1930s and 1940s like “Six Shootin’ Sheriff,” “Renegade Trail” and “In Old Santa Fe.” Westerns aren’t for everybody, so Amazon also has its originals to bolster the lineup.

The second season of “Man in the High Castle” starts streaming on December 16. “Mozart in the Jungle” arrives earlier, December 9. Both shows are critically acclaimed.

December 1

December 2

  • The Lobster
  • Lost in Oz, season 1 (Amazon original)

December 7

  • Therapy for a Vampire

December 9

December 10

December 14

December 16

December 17

December 22

  • Cafe Society (Amazon original)

I Killed Him – pt 16

 Chapter Sixteen

“Good morning, Margaret. You look happy this morning. It must be because you are going home with that handsome husband of yours.”

“Yes. Do you know he spent the whole night with me in that chair, holding my hand? I woke in the middle of the night and found him still here.”

Outside the room, Branson heard that endearment about the Guv, and it reaffirmed that his boss was a passionate man. Those were sides he’d never shown to anyone, but Branson had always felt were there. He hoped to be that way, himself.

“I’ve brought you a frock today. I wasn’t sure about a corset, but I brought one along in case.”

“I’m afraid I have a hospital corset looking thing bound about me that I shall wear for a few weeks, I suspect. I’m waiting on breakfast and the doctor. John should return soon.”

“But, wasn’t that his driver?” huffed Aunt Shaw, which drew a stern look from Edith.

“Yes, that is Branson outside the door, listening,” she laughed. “I am sure he is here as my guard. I have a suspicion that John does not want to leave me alone or unwatched.”

“Well, I would hope so!” said her aunt, which sparked a chord in Edith.

i-killed-him-268x179“Mother, you see that Margaret is recovering. We know she’s happy about her marriage to Mr. Thornton. It might be best for you to return to your committees and teas in London. I know you care dearly for Margaret and she knows it, too, but you will soon be an unwelcome guest in their home if you continue these snide outbursts.”

“Snide, you say! Humph. I will see Margaret today, get settled into the home she will live in and then I will take a train home. God seems to have forsaken this part of England.”

“Aunt, nothing will ever compare to London and the circles you move in. You will find that nowhere else within this land. You are comfortable there. I am comfortable here. Let that be something we will both learn to live with.” Margaret gently spoke.

“Well, if you are sure you are happy?”

“Very happy, aunt.”

“I hope that wicked man does not come looking for you when I return. I’ll have my butler bar him from the house.”

“That is very wise, aunt. Perhaps, you should tell the police if he pesters you.” Margaret suggested.

“Oh, they know about him. Edith and Maxwell have seen to that.”

Again Edith snapped a frown at her mother.

“Oh, you went to the police, Edith?”

“Of course, we did, when you didn’t return home. We had no idea of the abuse you had received; we just wanted to find you.”

“So, how did you find me?”

“Mr. Bell wrote to us. We even went searching for you at his quarters on campus, but he’d been gone a day or two. He was here, perhaps. It seems you confided in him about the coerced marriage and not us. Margaret, I don’t mean that the way it sounds. It’s perfectly obvious why ” Edit said as she looked towards her mother. “Mr. Bell would have been in a better position to advise you.”

“Advise her of what?” boomed John as he entered the room. He didn’t know if he would ever warm to her aunt. The cousin was still undetermined in his mind.

“Advise Margaret of what?” he asked again.

“Edith and I were discussing why I confided in Mr. Bell before them of my difficulties with Captain Hartford, forcing me to marry him. That was part of the conversation we did not cover yesterday.”

“Here are you clothes, Margaret. We will leave, now, and see you later this afternoon, when you are settled into your new home.”

“I will look forward to it. Good bye, aunt.”

“Good by Margaret, and to you, Mr. Thornton.”

“Good day ladies,” John returned.

John picked up on Margaret’s look. “I’m sorry, my love. I’ll try harder to get along with your aunt. I just cannot forgive her insistence that you return with her to London. I know, you could not live here alone. We were not, yet, in a position for a second proposal. It was her attitude towards me, the city, and the fact that she didn’t respect you to have a mind of your own.”

“I never looked at it that way, before.”

“I know you didn’t. The loss of your family took all your thoughts and buried them to stave the hurt. I understood that but was powerless to intervene. Certainly, no one, including you, would have listened to me. But I felt I knew you and knew what was best for you in your future. I finally had to let go and hope you found your real feelings. I know that sounds a bit conceited on my part, but that’s how much I loved you. I knew you could and would love me if we only had more time.”

“Now, we have all the time in the world.”

“Thank God for that. Have you been served breakfast yet, or seen the doctor?”

“No, I’m afraid there is a bit more waiting. Tell me, are Branson’s horses still well? Is the coach in one piece or do I go home in a cab?”

John laughed and ruffled her hair. “He told you about that, did he?”

“Yes, he was quite funny about it.”

“He thinks those horses belong to him because he selected them. I do admit, he made a very wise choice, and I have never been sorry for what they cost, but they are still mine,” John smiled.

“Do not ever tell him that. Did you wear his little livery cap?”

“Only while I was within his view. I will admit, it took a bit of handling, and I certainly admire his skills more than I did, but I made it there and back.”

“Some day in the future, I wish to have a conversation about him, with you. He and I had quite a talk when we were alone.”

“Oh, you did, did you? Did he tell you he is an experienced driver and needs a raise in his salary?”

“Nothing of the kind. You will just have to wait and see.”

“I love you, Mrs. Thornton.” John sat down beside her.

“We discussed that, too.”

“What? You were discussing our love with our driver?”

“John, you know he’s more than a driver. He is almost family. You own horses that he belongs to; I think that makes us related, somehow, don’t you?” Margaret laughed, forgetting her rib, again.

“You see, that’s what you get for discussing personal things with our friend, the driver.”

John waited for her discomfort to ease and explain what she had meant.

Margaret knew he was waiting and kept silent.

A moment passed.

“Well, Mrs. Thornton?”

“Well, what?”

“You know very well, well what.” John returned.

“You said, ‘I love you, Mrs. Thornton’ and I said that he, Branson, and I had discussed that.”

“Mrs. Thornton,” John soothed, with a smile on his face. “I know very well what I said, and I distinctively heard what you said.”

“And then you said, ‘You were discussing our love with our driver,’ I do not believe I heard a question in there. Was there suppose to be one? Being your wife, does that include being a mind-reader?”

John sighed, pulled a bit of paper with writing on it from his pocket. He reached for a pencil near Margaret’s chart and scribbled on the back of the paper. He replaced the pencil and put the paper in his pocket, sat back and folded his hands in his lap.

Margaret watched his actions, trying to figure out what he was doing, knowing he wanted her to ask.

Another moment passed. John, now, had the upper hand. She put on her pouty face and looked at him with sad eyes.

It didn’t work. He just smiled back at her.

Another moment passed.

“Well, so much for not denying me anything!”

John almost doubled over laughing; instead, he moved to the bed and held her in his arms as he had last night. “I love you, Mrs. Thornton, and you can discuss that with the whole world if you care to.”

“All right you two love birds; it’s time for some food,” announced Nurse Pickering, as she entered the room.

“Margaret, your food will be a little more solid this morning. You know what that means; don’t you?”

Margaret looked bewildered.

“Didn’t your husband show you the list?”

“No, what list?” Margaret asked, looking at John.

“Margaret, it was a list of items and foods you should have at home, which includes, drinking prune juice daily.”

Margaret turned red. John beamed. “Did you have to tell me that with him in here?” she frowned.

John got up and walked out the door. He was bursting inside. If discussing natural body functions was an embarrassment to her, he’d give her time to adjust.

Nurse Pickering watched as John left the room. “Margaret, you are married, now. These things are a part of life. You almost act as if you have just met the man.”

“I have, really,” she said, looking at her eggs and toast.

“What do you mean, you have just met him?”

Margaret explained the two year’s separation and just returning to him only a week ago. “We hadn’t even kissed until a few days ago.”

“My, that is a story. It’s a beautiful love story if you had found a different way to be together than being beaten by another man. That explains a lot to me about your reluctance on these personal matters and his failing control to keep his hands to himself. You two make a sweet couple. I’ve heard about your husband, being a Milton native myself for 10 years, but I see a different man than I thought him to be. He’s very loving.”

“Nobody would recognize the man that loves me,” Margaret said.

“You are a very lucky woman,” replied Nurse Pickering.

“He’s already lied to me, though. What do you think I should do?”

“Lied to you? That’s unfortunate.”

“Yes, he said he would deny me nothing, and he just did.” Margaret waited for the laugh outside the door. It was there. She finally heard his booted steps move away from the door.

“Was he listening?” asked the nurse.

“I thought he might be, that’s why I said what I did. Of course, I was kidding.”

“The doctor should be in within a half an hour. He’s on the floor. You may dress and leave after he’s seen you unless he tells you different. Do you want me to come back and help you dress?” Pickering smiled.

“I don’t know. I might try it myself behind that screen first. I’m steady on my feet this morning. I’ll send my husband after you or another nurse if I need help.”

“All right, MISS Thornton,” the nurse said for amusement.

Margaret thought about her little joke and realized she was right. If her rib was not bound, they would be past the initial lusts of a newly married couple. She would have lost her virginity by now. That had not occurred to her, but she thought it must have occurred to John. Well, maybe not because of her injuries. He was being terribly kind and patient with her. She knew he really loved her.

John saw the doctor headed towards Margaret’s room and caught up with him. The doctor stopped to talk with John before going in.

“Mr. Thornton, I am sure this does not need telling, but it is my duty. I can hardly imagine what it must be like for you to bring your new bride to your bed but you must exercise great care.”

John felt like a child being admonished. Who did he think he was? “There are no needs for such words, doctor.”

“I am sure of that, too, but I cannot pick and chose who and what to advise. There are rules, and I am at their mercy.”

“Proceed, doctor,” John replied.

“There should be no pressure against that rib for a few more days. It won’t be fully healed for another three weeks, she may begin to move and lift as she feels fit. Unfortunately, she will feel good before she is completely healed and may try things beyond her capacity. Just take note of today and keep her from hurting herself for the next three weeks. I would like to see her in my office, each Friday morning for the next month.”

“I understand.”

John and Doctor Wagner entered Margaret’s room as Pickering was leaving.

Margaret noticed the doctor had closed the door behind him and John came to sit beside her. He held her hand.

“Mrs. Thornton, are you ready to leave this place? We’ve enjoyed having you, but I’ll bet you would rather be somewhere else,” said Wagner.

“Yes, I am anxious to go and sit and walk and see the sun,” Margaret replied.

The doctor pulled another chair to her other side and placed her chart on his lap. “First we will talk a few minutes and then I will check that rib one last time. All right?”

“Yes, please.”

“I’ve talked a bit with your husband about how you will feel well before you truly are. Take one more week of rest. After that you may begin to move about as you feel you can, but under no circumstances must you lift anything more than your handbag for three weeks. You will need assistance in and out of the tub for washing. And definitely, someone else must wash your hair.”

Margaret could feel John squeezing her hand in delight.

The doctor fished in his pocket for a packet and handed them to John. “Those are pills to ease the pain. Take one twice a day for the next week and then take them as you need after that. As I told your husband, I will see you for the next four Friday mornings in my office and any time you find you have any problems. The rib corset can be removed to wash it when you bath and if you feel at ease, it can be removed at night. Otherwise, keep it on during the day. Do you have any questions?”

“How about using the steps?”

“Have someone with you for a week or two. You will exhaust yourself quickly. There is nothing to prevent you from using steps, but you’re own strength. You must remember, you had internal bleeding for at least seven hours that we know of. It will take approximately, six to eight weeks for your body to build back to its normal level. You will be weakened from that alone. Your bed rest for these 5 days and a few more to come, plus the damage to muscle tissue; you will not be strong. The medication will hide that from you, so you use your head. Anything else?”

Margaret looked at John to see if he had questions. “I do not believe we have any more questions.”

“Are you ready for me to check your rib? I will push a bit on it to gauge your discomfort.”

“Yes, I am ready.”

“Do you mind your husband being here?”

Margaret thought that an odd question and quickly said, “No, of course not.”

John continued to hold her hand.

The doctor lifted her head and removed the pillow, so she was laying flat. John turned towards her to watch for her pain.

The doctor then proceeded to pull down the sheet and lift her gown above her breasts, exposing everything except her corseted rib area. Margaret was mortified, but it was too late. John was stunned.

John quickly looked at what God was about to bless him with and squeezed Margaret’s hand firmly. He knew she was in shock. He hadn’t expected that either, but after his quick perusal, the large blotches of bruises brought watering to his eyes. He squeezed his eyes tightly and brought his thumb and forefinger to wipe away the evidence. She was a man’s dream in body, but the nightmare she suffered was all too apparent. He wanted to look away but didn’t for fear Margaret would think he found dissatisfaction. She was firmly holding on to his hand as the doctor prodded her rib area. John heard her inhale through her teeth with a hissing sound. He lowered his forehead to her shoulder, so she knew he wasn’t staring at her nakedness. He leaned in and kissed her on the cheek while the tears began seeping from the corners of her eyes.

John quietly whispered in her ear, “You are exquisite, my love.”

Finally, the gown was lowered, and the sheet returned. John moved back as the doctor returned the pillow under her head.

“I think we can let you go, Mrs. Thornton. I believe it best if you take her through the back entrance where there are no stairs. When she is dressed, open the door, and a nurse will bring in the rolling chair and wheel her to the door. Mr. Thornton, you may want to sit her on your lap to absorb the bumpy ride.”

“I am eager to help,” he smiled at Margaret.

“Thank you, Dr. Wagner, for tending to my wife so well. I have been impressed with your courtesy and medical knowledge throughout her stay. We will see you on Friday.”

“Yes, doctor thank you so much,” Margaret added.

The doctor left the room, and Margaret was speechless over what had just happened.

“John, I didn’t expect . . . I mean . .I”

“Shh . . . Margaret. That took us both by surprise. I’m sorry your surprise was upsetting, but mine was magnificent. I am fortunate to have someone with such a beautiful body as yours. You are far lovelier than I deserve and expected. I’m afraid you have a few extra colors that I had never fantasized about, but we will heal them. I would have preferred to kiss you naked for the first time, but that still waits.”

John leaned in and kissed her lips passionately. He lifted her to his chest and ran one hand down her body over top of the sheet. Then he held her with both arms.

“I love you, John.” Margaret whimpered.

“I hope so because I would never give you up.” John kissed her again.

Who is Steven Lund

Date of Birth 9 January 1989Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Height 6′ 3″ (1.91 m)

steve-lund2

A proud native of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, Steve was inspired at an early age to pursue a passion for performance after taking part in an elementary school production of the Lion King. A play where, according to his account, he “stole the show”. However, like many kids from his part of the world, playing hockey took precedent over all and he began a lengthy affair with the sport.

It wasn’t until in his late teens while playing competitively in his hometown, that injuries began to plague his future with the game. Steve then considered his first love and, fostered by the overwhelming support from his beloved community, made a bold choice to abandon hockey and head west to attend the Vancouver Film School Acting program. From day 1, he felt as though he had made the right choice. Steve says: “The only advice I’ve ever been able to give truthfully is, do what you love.”

Soon after graduation, Steve got his first gig which sent him north of the 60th parallel to the Yukon territory to take part in a buddy-flick web series called Yukonic! It featured homages to famous films in a beautiful part of the world and was a great way to further hone the skills he learned of being on a film set, and included memorable moments such as trudging through 3 feet of snow in -40 C temperatures embodying the crazed Jack Torrance in a tribute to “The Shining”.

Steve then moved to the city of Toronto where, while spending most nights on friend’s couches and some cramped in his tiny Jetta, he had the pleasure of being cast in minor roles in various television shows such as Nikita, Blue Mountain State, Alphas and Suits. He also had the wonderful opportunity to return to Nova Scotia to incarnate the recurring role of “The Colorado Kid” on the Syfy series Haven (2010).

In 2014 Steve was tasked with his biggest challenge to date and was given the series regular role of playboy werewolf Nick Sorrentino in the Space and steve-lund-4Syfy series Bitten (2014). Working alongside such a great and talented cast with Laura Vandervoort, Greyston Holt, Greg Bryk and Michael Xavier has solidified his stance that “..Nowhere else do I feel most at home, than on a film set.”

Also in 2014, Steve had a lead role alongside the beautiful Torrey DeVitto in the Hallmark Channel feature Best Christmas Party Ever (2014).

Steve can be seen in 2015 reprising his role in season 2 of Bitten on the Space Channel(CAN) and SyFy(US).

IMDB

– IMDb Mini Biography By: Jessica Jerome

 

steve-lund-1

Watch for this rising star

The Counterfeit Governess – Part Ten

books

Ten – Complications

 

The dowager’s words rang clearly, and Beth heard them as she was about to step into the room. She froze in horror. Dispose? Did the dowager know what Beth was up to? Had she recognized her? Or had Fenton told her about her? Too many questions, too little answers! She looked at Stephen and was surprised to see a look of pure dismay on his face, yet he said nothing in response to his mother’s quip. Instead, he walked toward her and bowed, his mocking smile firmly in place.

“Ah, Mademoiselle Guillaume, I trust you received the book you were looking for earlier? It was not hard to find, once I remembered where I put it in the first place. That was, after I recovered from my ‘fall’, that is.”

He said this in a low voice, so that his mother would not hear the words. His bright, blue-grey eyes burned with suppressed anger now, and Beth swallowed, unable to reply.

Fenton left her standing there as if she were a servant he just scolded and dismissed. He turned to the twins, greeting them in a cordial way, and accompanying them to his mother so that they could pay their respects to her. Beth watched in utter astonishment as the dowager – usually quite stern with the children – now began a friendly conversation with them. Lily and Oliver seemed to respond spontaneously as always and soon, their laughter rang through the room. Beth smiled, her heart warming when she saw the children’s happy faces.

“What I would not give for that smile to be directed at me, Beth,” Stephen Fenton’s quiet voice sounded right behind her. Beth had not noticed him standing there and she startled. She also did not understand the meaning of his words, unless he meant them to be mocking. A ready answer would not materialise in her brain, so she just looked up at him, trying to keep her countenance bland. And why had there been a catch in his tone, as if he felt genuinely envious over her attachment to the children?

“What? No scolding reply to my friendly remark? How extraordinary, Mademoiselle Guillaume!” Fenton bent over to her so that the breath of his words tickled her ear when he spoke.

“You will be so good as to notice that I mean to keep up your little charade, my dear. If my mother knew what you are up to, she would have you on the streets in the blink of an eye.”

At that moment, Raleigh glided into the room to announce dinner and Beth was, once again, saved from having to answer. Dinner was actually quite pleasant, the two children being relaxed and behaving sweetly and naturally with the baron and his mother. Fenton amused the twins with stories of his childhood, occurring while he was home from Eton for the holidays. He spoke of his father, Sir Septimus, and the close relationship they seemed to have had. The previous baron apparently spent a good deal of his time with his only son and heir, fishing, hunting and instructing him on estate matters. To Beth’s astonishment, Fenton’s words rang with deep respect and genuine love for his father. He clearly seemed to have suffered a loss when the baron died.

When the dowager chimed in with funny stories about her son at Oliver’s own ten years of age, Beth’s astonishment grew into utter bewilderment. Henrietta, Dowager Baroness of Brixton Abbey, telling witticisms? Soon Lily and Oliver were merrily laughing and telling stories themselves, and the four of them were having a jolly good time. Once again, Beth was excluded from their company but it did not bother her. To watch the children growing closer to their father and grandmother, was a pleasant sight to her.

When the meal ended and the dowager rose to retire, Fenton addressed her courteously.

“My Lady, I would be very much obliged to you if you would stay with me for a short time. There are some matters in which I could use your advice.” Henrietta nodded and sat down again whereupon Fenton turned to Beth.

“Mademoiselle Guillaume, I have some new instructions regarding my children’s upbringing so I will need you to come down again, when you have seen to your charges. Meet me in the library in half an hour.” It was an order, not a request, and it stung. Beth had no choice but to curtsy and leave to put the children to bed.

 

~~~~

 

Stephen’s thoughtful gaze followed Beth as she left the dining room, her back ramrod straight and her head held high. The sway of her hips when she turned away in anger had been particularly tantalizing in its utter defiance of him, so much that his cock had stirred as a violent shock of need stabbed through him.

Ah! But that was only one of his many problems, was it not? This powerful urge of him to bed this mysterious woman he knew for so long and yet, knew not at all. The frustration he felt when in her company, with that annoying ability of hers to challenge him with every word she spoke.

A sudden cough from his mother spun him back into reality and he hastened to apologize. His mother’s eyebrows rose in mocking surprise.

“I am astonished, My Lord, but you have nothing to apologize for. Yet, you seemed to be in a totally different place, just now, and it occurred to me that you might want to come back to this one and inform me about why you need my advice.”

Stephen turned away from the dowager’s keen gaze and, involuntary, gave a deep sigh. Then, realizing what he had just done, he felt his cheeks grow darker in dismay. Drat! His mother still had the power to upset him like if he had been a little boy! He squared his shoulders, looked directly at her and spoke.

“You should maintain a modicum of politeness toward Mademoiselle Guillaume, Mother. She is working miracles with the twins, and I want her to feel at home at Brixton Hall, at least until Oliver and Lily are ready to be sent to a boarding school.”

“Do not patronize nor underestimate me, Stephen. Did you think I had not recognized Beth Williams after all these years? Why is she still in your employment? She cannot have returned solely to be a governess to your bastard children. I am convinced that she has other purposes, one of them most certainly wanting revenge for her relatives’ death.”

“I do apologize most emphatically, Mother, for I was indeed patronizing,” Stephen replied swiftly, amused by his mother’s astuteness. He could have seen that coming, knowing how smart and observant she was. “Yes, you are right. Miss Guillaume is Beth Williams, and I think she is looking for evidence about our involvement with her family members’ accident. Beth knows I was the one driving the vehicle and she rightly holds me responsible for the accident.”

“Well, then you must put an end to this, Stephen! Dismiss her, immediately!”

The dowager looked at her son with firm determination, trying to convey the feeling onto him, but somehow, she knew she had failed. Stephen was smiling faintly, and his gaze took a faraway quality.

“No, Mother, I have something entirely different in mind for Beth, although I have no inkling on how I must succeed in my mission.”

It then hit Henrietta like a blow to the stomach! Stephen was infatuated with the wretched governess, and it was all Henrietta could do not to slap him in the face and bring him down to earth again! Yet, then she saw the hurt in his eyes and knew what she had to do.

“Shall I speak to her, My Lord?” Henrietta kept her voice level and her face bland, even when Stephen turned to her in bewilderment.

 

~~~~

 

Found out! She was found out, not only by Stephen but – oh, horror! – also by the hostile dowager baroness! Beth stood rooted to the spot in the corridor just outside Fenton’s library where she had eavesdropped upon the two. On an impulse, she had sent the children upstairs on their own and returned to know what the baron had in mind for his charges.

Instead, she just heard the worst possible thing the future could have in store for her, banishment from Brixton Abbey and Stephen Fenton!

 

 

 

Journey to the SuperBowl

Meet trainer Robin Wiltshire

The well known Budweiser Clydesdales made their Super Bowl business make a big appearance about 30 years prior. Today, their promotions are the absolute most exceptionally foreseen. Whether the Clydesdales are playing football in a field or taking part in a snowball battle, there is a huge amount of preparing that makes these great steeds so camera-ready.

After the altering, embellishments, and shading rectifications are finished, viewing the ads on TV is considerably all the more astonishing when you know the creatures are dealt with so brilliantly by a man who genuinely thinks about them.

– See more at: http://www.viralvo.com/he-tells-11-horses-to-line-up-now-watch-the-one-in-the-middlewow/#sthash.vI2u3MGq.dpuf

I Killed Him – pt 15

Chapter Fifteen

Grant Hartford began to assess the damages. He was damned to know how everything had gone wrong so quickly. It was the backhand to her face and the forceful sexual performance he had expected. That had worked in the past, but this time he’d gone too far with a woman who was a lady.

He pulled a sheaf of paper from his drawer and thought he’d start with a list of ‘irons in the fire.’ He sat there for a while. The list was blank. The only thing he knew for certain at that time was that Margaret was alive, now in hospital and married. The beatings to her body were no longer a secret. Maybe his ‘ace-in-the-hole’ was still playable. She never had known for sure that he did know of her brother so now that he didn’t have him anymore, it made little difference.

No one had yet to come after him for offenses against her, so perhaps she was still silent, covering for him, in order to maintain the safety of her brother.

On the other hand, her family would know of her injuries, and Captain Lenox and the Shaw’s knew that Margaret had been seeing him. Therein, lay the problem. Even if Margaret never spoke his name, the assumption would be there. Still, perhaps, they could do little with assumptions, legally.

Her husband could be a thorn in his side. If he was any man at all, he would seek some retribution. It would not matter if his wife admitted it to him or not, he would come after the man that had inflicted the fists to her body.

Grant thought, perhaps, this man, being only a mill master, may be willing to forego his revenge for a price. That was a long shot, but he had no worries about her husband in any regard. He could easily be dispatched, too.

Yes, Margaret had beating marks to her body, but until she told the world what happened to her, nothing was provable. He couldn’t believe a lady would admit what happened to cause his own injury. Margaret was the key. If she could never testify, he could get past the rumors as he’d done once before.

Grant knew he could put on a good act. He’d had Margaret and her family all fooled from the beginning, which included Captain Lenox. It would not be too hard to convince his Commander of his innocence if he tried hard enough. He would ask for reassignment and start over.

He drew up his battle plans and pulled out a map to see where Milton was located. No one in Milton knew what he looked like except Margaret and her family, who would be at the hotels or thereabouts. He would leave for Milton to reconnoiter the playing field and finalize his plans, once there.

He wrote the name, John Thornton, on his paper.

 

i-killed-him-268x179Margaret awoke in the middle of the night with a nightmare. Quickly she became aware that John was sleeping in the chair beside her with his hand on hers. She wondered if she was worthy of this almost unreal man and his love for her. How could she be so blessed?

She laid back down and began to think about the conversation they had never finished earlier about him staying the night. Why she asked herself. She was coming home tomorrow. There had to be more to his wanting to be close than he was saying.

“He feared for her!” swiftly bolted through her head. John loved her, but he was there for protection. That was the only thing that made sense. Why she asked herself again. Grant Hartford would never come seeking her in Milton, would he?

Margaret tried to step into Grant’s mind and see this situation from his perspective. A kaleidoscope of ideas cascaded through her mind. The colored chips of glass would change with every thought. She couldn’t put anything together. Were the police involved; no one had even asked her about informing the police. That was strange in and of itself. Aunt Shaw should have been hounding her to go to the police. John was handling her as delicate as was possible. He had shown no signs of anger or revenge. She would not wish him to be obliged to harm her perpetrator but not speaking about him at all was . . .

“What are you thinking, my love?” John whispered in the dark.

“I woke, not expecting you to still be here and found you holding my hand. How am I so lucky to be the woman of your choice? You’ve had many women to select from over the years, and I wonder what makes me special.”

“It would take me a long time to list all that I love about you. We shall save that for a time when you are healed.”

“Would you ever lie to me,” Margaret asked.

“Now, where did that come from?” he asked. “Do you think I have lied to you?”

“You haven’t answered my question.”

John pulled his hand from hers long enough to right himself in the chair. She was serious. Something was pressing in on her to have any doubts about him.

“Do you have doubts about marrying me?” John asked with a trembling voice held at bay.

“No. I have no doubts about being your wife or your love for me or my love for you.”

“Then, what is this?” John rubbed her arm with one hand and intertwined his other fingers in her hand.

“I guess I don’t mean ‘lie to me’ but hold something from me?”

“Such as?”

“Your being here tonight. I think you fear something and you are here to protect me.”

“Margaret, I will protect you all my life.”

“Is that a yes? I am the happiest woman in the world, John, being loved by you. I only have one fear and that is behind me now. I will move on. You will help me through the rough times, I know. By your sleeping in that horrid chair beside me, I feel there is something else happening that I know nothing of. It is a feeling, I have. Everyone is walking on eggs around me. No one has suggested going to the police. That seems strange. It occurred to me that my aunt did not once suggest I do something about that Captain. You know her well enough to know that is not her normal behavior. Talk to me, my husband. Where is your fear?”

John moved to her bed and sat beside her. He kissed her tenderly in the night. He held the sides of her face with both his hands and licked her lips. He kissed her eyes closed.

Margaret raised her arms gently to ensconce his face in her own hands. She couldn’t see him, but she ran her fingers through his hair, down his face, across his lips and pulled him back for a deep kiss that she could feel through her body.

John wrapped his arms carefully around and drew her to his chest, holding her there. He could feel her heart hammering as was his. There was no talking, only feeling. He pulled her braided hair lose and raked it with his fingers. Margaret moaned softly.

“Am I hurting you my love?” John whispered into her ear.

“Quite the contrary. Why do I feel your fingers pulling through my hair all the way to my toes?”

“That’s what love is all about, my Margaret.”

“I think we’d better stop. I’m feeling as if my body is light-headed all over. My nerve endings are tingling.”

“Oh God, Margaret, how I love you.” John made love to her mouth once again and then laid her back on her pillow, but stayed on the bed.

“I’ve had a cot put into our room for me to sleep away from you, but I think I’ll have to move to another room, altogether. I can’t help but want to touch you all over, and you’re still in a hospital. I have no control around you, it would seem.”

“I think I will be glad of your weakness very soon. I cannot think of what my own actions are going to be like after this.”

“Margaret, don’t think. At times like this, when we are moved to an emotional and passionate place, you don’t think, you just do. You draw from me and I from you. We want to become one, that is natural, that is love. You hold nothing back from me. You forget all that you were ever taught as a child, and you give yourself to me as I give myself to you. Never think, just love me. Be one with me.”

“John, that is beautiful. I am not sure I would even have the willpower to hold back if you make me feel like I just did.”

“That is beautiful to hear, too. You have just given me the pride to be the man to make the earth move for you of which I have only dreamt about. It’s within my reach, now.”

John could hear Margaret beginning to weep. He leaned down and swept away the new tears with his mouth and kissed her once again.

 

Captain Lenox was on the train platform to Milton by 6:00am. He carried with him a satchel with his uniform and other clothes as well as a portfolio of all gathered information. He had sat and tried to draw a picture of Grant, but that wasn’t one of his specialized skills. His training was more into ‘infiltration,’ where Grant’s was setting a battle field with logistics and strategy’s. Lenox had brought his small personal arsenal of two pistols, ammunition, but left his dress sword behind. To his way of thinking Grant had one recourse and that was to silence Margaret before she accused him directly of her mistreatment. Maxwell had to bring the man to Army justice or bring him down. He was an embarrassment to a proud and centuries old tradition of brave men, stemming back to the knights of old. Women were always championed, never mistreated or worse.

 

With the exception of a daylight cargo voyage across the channel, Frederick had traveled by night, mostly on foot, with the occasional merchant wagon giving him a lift on their way to market in Milton. After three years of running he didn’t feel the Navy was actively pursuing him, but would always be on the lookout should he ever be spotted by forces that knew of such wanted seaman. He felt more at ease from how he managed entry and exit from England, now almost two years ago. No one knew him in Milton. He would only be recognized in Helstone. It would not be beyond the Navy’s realm to check on his sister now and again to ensure that he had not taken refuge with her.

 

Margaret insisted that John go home and clean himself up and have a meal and hopefully she would be nearly ready for him when he returned. With his hesitation, it took constant prodding by Margaret for him to leave.

“I thought I once heard you say – and it was very recent – that you would not be able to deny me anything. Has that gone away?” Margaret smiled.

John kissed her for the fourth time that morning and did her bidding. He was surprised to find Branson waiting outside. Branson seemed to be nodding off in the box. John woke him by getting into the box himself.

“Master, I’m sorry. I haven’t even been waiting that long.”

“I didn’t expect you, but I’m glad you are here,” John said. “I would like you to go in the hospital and keep an eye on my wife while I run home for a short time.”

“I’ll be glad to, but wouldn’t you want me to drive you home first?”

“I’ll take the team,” John said, trying very hard, not to show his trepidation. It had been a long time since Branson had taught him how to handle a team and turning a coach.”

“You, sir? You’ll pull the coach?” Branson wanted to laugh.

“I see that smile you are hiding. Go ahead, laugh. I will permit it this time because these are unusual times.”

Branson took his Master at his word and burst out laughing.

“You know, Branson, I really didn’t think you would do that.” And then John laughed.

“Here Guv, take my cap. I’d be too embarrassed for anyone noticing it was you driving my team. They are used to an experienced driver.”

“Give me the damn cap and get out of the box,” John laughed.

From ground level, Branson shouted, “It’s WHOA to make them stop and WALK ON to make them start.” He turned his back on his master, almost in a fit of hysterics.

As Branson mounted the hospital steps he heard his master say, “Walk on . . . . walk on.”

“Guv, you have to ruffle the reins at the same time.” Branson didn’t have the heart to watch any longer and entered the hospital. He went to the registration desk to find where Mrs. Thornton was located. He wondered to himself, what should he call her. He’d have to see what Jane and Cook called her.

Branson found his way to the room and the door was open. He knocked lightly to get her attention before proceeding inside.

“Branson! Come here and give me a hug.”

Branson was stupefied. What planet was he on? The master driving the team­-the mistress wanting a hug.

“If you wish,” he babbled out.

“It’s very good to see you, Miss,” Branson gently put his arms around her, like an old friend. “My heartiest congratulations on your marriage. Besides being very happy because my boss is finally happy, you will now be saving me long hours of waiting for him.”

“You mean as he visits his past lady friends,” Margaret smiled, putting him at ease for the words he realized he’d misspoken.

“You have a real shiner, there, Miss. I’m not sure what to call you. Do you have a preference?”

“Hmm… you won’t call me Mrs. Thornton, I don’t want that rigid formality in our home as I am sure your master wouldn’t either. What do you call, John?”

“I usually call him Guv, which he has never seemed to mind. Once in a while, I’ll call him Master like everyone one at the Mill does.”

“Let me think. I would imagine Mistress would be most suitable, but you can leave it at Miss, short for Mistress, as far as I am concerned. If ‘the Guv’ says different, we’ll negotiate.”

Branson knew his Master had met and married the perfect woman for him. He almost loved her, himself, in a brotherly fashion.

“We all have been waiting for you to come home.”

“Home . . . that has a nice sound to it, Branson.” Margaret became a bit maudlin, and Branson didn’t know what to do.

“Did you pass John on the way here?”

Branson started with a big smile, and it turned into a chuckle.

“What has you smiling like that? You are going to make me laugh, and I don’t know why.”

“The Guv sent me in here, and he took the team home.”

“And why is that funny?”

“He really doesn’t ever drive the team. It’s been years. We’ll be lucky to see the coach return in one piece.”

Margaret started to laugh and then held herself around the ribs. “I’m sorry. That is funny, but right now, I have a hard time laughing.”

“Miss, we are all terribly upset about the . . . the horrible experiences you’ve been through.”

Margaret had to wonder if everyone knew everything.

“Thank you, Branson. That’s all behind us now,” Margaret said as she saw Branson’s serious face appear.

“What is it, Branson? And just why did your Guv send you to me, when we would meet again in a few hours?”

“I just obey him.” Branson worried that he couldn’t recover from the sense that she just picked up on.

“He is so happy today, he’s acting like another person from the one I’ve always known. I didn’t ask why I just did and am very happy to see you recovering. Do you have a bag packed or can I help you with anything?”

Margaret did not want to put Branson on the spot any longer.

“I’m waiting for a final visit and last minute directions from the doctor. Then, I believe, my cousin should be here any moment, to bring me a frock to dress in. Now, I am just waiting for me breakfast. Why don’t you sit down in that chair and so we can talk. Where’s your cap? Don’t you always wear a cap?”

Branson smiled. “I made the master wear it so no one would notice him. You don’t know how flustered I am at him driving my team.”

“Are they really your team? Is that common for a driver to be hired with his own team?”

“The master bought them, of course, but they’re mine, and he knows that. Besides my lady friend, they are my life.”

“Tell me about your lady friend. Is she pretty?”

“As pretty as they come. She’s about this high,” Branson indicated a few inches shorter than himself, “and she’s a little bit of a thing. She has black hair like the Guv, unlike my yellow hair.”

“Does she work at the mill?”

“Oh, no. She works for a lady in a ribbon shop on the main street.”

“Are there any thoughts by you for a future attachment to her?”

Branson began to squirm in his seat. “I’m not sure how that would work. I will never leave the Guv, and I don’t know how she’d feel living over a stable in two small rooms. I haven’t yet talked with the Master if there was any other answer.”

“Well, Branson, don’t worry. I am now half of the decisions being made in regards to the house. I might be able to have him see my way about some changes. Not in the very near future, mind you, I have to break him in gently . . . like a horse.” Margaret laughed, again, holding her ribs. “I’m sure he would not want to lose you, either. Let’s keep that in mind.”

“Thank you, Miss. I can see where a lot of things are going to change for the better when you are well.”

Edith came through the door with a small parcel in her hand. Aunt Shaw was right behind her.

“I’ll be outside the door,” Branson said and left the room.