The Taverner Chronicles: And Then It Fell, One

Fiction By Marlene E. Schuler // 2/27/2013

We're back on track with the main story arc, though I did enjoy writing Gianna's hidden tale. I promise that when I go back through the story in the first revision that there will be more of Gianna. For now, though, I need to get the MC story down... any side story threads are going to have to wait until 2013.

To make sense, place yourself where this one left off:
www.apricotpie.com/marlene-e-schuler/taverner-chronicles-one-summers-nig...

~~~~~

Millie took a deep breath. It had come to this.

She was standing by the river, close to the place where the bridge should have been, and it was almost the appointed time of meeting. That morning, she and Louise had arisen late: the clock was nearing half-past ten when they had finally arrayed themselves in their day dresses. All the while, they laughed and talked about the dance... but there was a certain tense air that was lying beneath it all. She was certain that Louise could feel it too; there was a certain stiffness in her actions and the way she spoke, almost as if she was putting on a mask to hide something. What that something was, Millie could not guess, for all her pondering of the subject.

In the meantime, she had quickly eaten breakfast (which was surprisingly warm, despite the late hour) with Louise and few of the other guests, made an excuse that she needed the air, and had slipped out of the house. Alone, thankfully. Millie had been constantly afraid that she would encounter Anthony around every corner until she was reassured by Grandmother that he had gone riding with some of the other men.

The relief of not having to see Anthony for a while yet was almost overwhelming.

Now she was waiting under the willow, dreading every moment to come and yet hoping desperately to see him as each passed. Such a state of urgent expectation! Such feelings that filled her heart she would not be likely to forget for some time. Now and then, she would check her pocket watch, and her heart would stop for a second when she saw that the long hand was nearer to the twelve mark then the last time she had looked. She mentally chided herself for being so girlish and naïve, but relished it all at the same time.

A few times, there were sounds nearby that made her start; footsteps and voices that were certainly not Doctor Rawling's, but still made her heart flutter. Why was she so apprehensive? Granted, when you had to tell someone that you were from the future it was more than a little thing, but why was it any different this time? She had tried to tell him many times, but never before had she been so worried about what would happen afterward.

To him.

In fact, she cared less about what her feelings would be and more about what his would be. She didn't want him to hurt... in fact, she didn't want to tell him at all. She just wanted things to stay the way they were. But then, in that instant, she realized that things could never just stay they way they were- time was always changing things, however subtle and unconscious those changes might be. And it was no different in her case.

Then, a sound behind her startled her back into reality. Her mental reverie was interrupted and forgotten; for someone was coming in her direction. Footsteps approached, and she hugged the side of the tree to remain hidden until the person came into full view. If it was Anthony, she wanted to have sufficient time to regain her composure. However, when she beheld a tall form in a fine suit, she found she was not ready to address Doctor Rawlings, for all her time and preparation.

He looked around for a few moments before seeing her behind the drooping branches.

'Well hello, Miss Taverner! Fancy meeting you here!'

Although his words were playfully meant, she could tell there was an entirely different emotion than jocular teasing behind his eyes. Needless to say, it took her a little while before she was capable of responding.

'Doctor Rawlings... good to see you.' and holding out her hand, she looked forward to his warm grip. She knew it would sent shivers up and down her spine, just like it had last night.

However, she was surprised when, after gently taking her hand into his, he bent over it and lightly kissed it. Her cheeks blushed crimson as he looked up at her; she swallowed hard and pretended that she wasn't embarrassed or even surprised by his action. Apparently, she didn't do such a great job at it, because he grinned rather rakishly when he beheld the color of her cheeks.

'Now, there was something you were going to tell me before we were interrupted last night?'

He said it as if last night were of little consequence. As if it was the sort of thing that happened all the time- the moonlight, his song, and the dance. As if he hadn't given it another thought; that he didn't apply too much importance to all the little things that had happened, those little things that had inevitably changed her... and made her fall in love with him.

Oh, the cruelty of the words which were forming in her mind! It was so much harder now then it would have been all those months ago, when she was going to tell him first. No, she had tarried to long. It had to be done.

'Edward, I... this is going to sound very strange. Please, don't ask any questions- let me finish before that. I need you to listen.'

A look of anxiety crossed his face.

'Are you all right? Your face is pale, Mili-'

'No questions.'

'Right, sorry.'

She took a deep breath, tried to stay her hand from trembling, and looked him squarely in the eyes.

And she told him.

Everything.

Comments

I'm slightly obsessed...

I discovered the Taverner Chronicles during Christmas break, and promptly read everything you had posted. And then several weeks ago, I became impatient and just went to your blog to finish the story. I loved it! And yes, I'm slightly obsessed...

I thought it was really well written, and since I haven't commented yet, I figured I should. Great job!

little woman | Mon, 03/04/2013

The most astonishing thing about miracles is that they happen.
-G. K. Chesterton

Well, I'm caught up here. I

Well, I'm caught up here. I hope you post the rest of the story soon. :)

Anna | Mon, 04/29/2013

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. --The Book Thief

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