Fun Day Sunday: The week ends or begins, and is spent or saved on Sunday, September 28, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #641)

Whether you view Sunday as the end of your week, or just the beginning of it–dKeepCalmRichardArmitageinTheCrucibleFilmComingSoonSept2814GratianaLovelaceo you “spend” your day, or do you “save” it?

Sometimes, the number of long term household projects to be tackled on the weekend can seem daunting–apart from the every day cooking, dish washing, laundry, etc., that we have to do for the basics.

But one constant remains a welcome distraction  for me–looking forward to the next Richard Armitage Project (see my graphic, right).  Yay!

So here are some of my long term projects to be tackled:

  • I have closets to be culled of their too big to fit me anymore clothing that I just can’t seem to part with. It’s not that I think I will mushroom in size again–the 70 pounds have stayed off for two years–with only a bit of plateauing that has recently broken with me counting carbs, and losing another 7 pounds (half stone) this past month.  Snap!
  • My overfilled computer hard drive also contains multiple copies of the same RA image–sometimes from different sources, or different sizes, or saved in different topic folders (Johns saved in N&S, Sparkhouse, Strike Back, and John Day Monday, etc.). And I currently have each one of the files backed up in 3 places–hard drive, external backup drive, and flash drive. I recently had to decide to remove something from the computer hard drive because my computer had slowed to a crawl. So my “Grati made” videos folder is now only backed up in 2 places–and no longer on the computer hard drive, making 10 GB available. Snap!
  • I also have to tackle the abundance of plastic storage containers that do not fit in our small kitchen’s cabinets anymore–they are heading to the recycling bin. That is, if I can convince my hubby that he only needs three empty dip containers for his lunch box carrying needs. Ha!
  • Then there is the lovely distRAction my daily writing and reading stories. They tend to take precedence over closets and hard drives and recycling bins. But there, I also need to file away my essay posts–like this one–as I do for my story chapter posts (each story has its own folder). Ha!
  • And finally, there is my other lovely distRAction of my daily social mediaing with you and on Twitter, etc. Less organizing needed here–except for the pix that I download. And not to mention me playing around with graphics (such as the above Keep Calm image graphic). Ha! And though I pooh poohed playing games on my new smart phone, I now have a Scrabble app that is quite amusing. *grins sheepishly* Ha!

Whew! Maybe I should count up daily activities similar to how I count carbs each day, apportioning them out–1 hour daily for a longterm house organization project, plus 2 hours daily for writing, plus 2 hrs daily for reading, plus 2hrs daily for social mediaing, etc. Since I work full time during the day, those activities have to occur in the evenings and weekends. Ha!

So, I plan to pick one home project to tackle for this Sunday (spend)–probably the plastic storage containers, because the clothes will take more than one weekend to sort out. I rarely throw/give away any of my clothes because I’m too mindful that it “might come back into style”–in ten years. Ha!

And then I’m going to “save” my Sunday for the four R’s of Reading wRiting, Romance, and Richard Armitage. Sighhhh!   A good choice.   Don’t you think?

I hope that you enjoy your Sunday–as an ending or a beginning to your week–and however you choose to spend it or save it!

Hugs and Cheers!   Grati ;->

Posted in Creativity, John Proctor, My Life, Richard Armitage, Something About Love | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

“N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 85 (PG-13, S): A Good Man is Not Hard to Find, September 27, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #640)

“N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 85 (PG-13, S): A Good Man is Not Hard to Find, September 27, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #640)

aaaN&SJohnThorntonLoveLessonsFanFicCoverDec2913GratianaLovelace-256x401 (An original fan fiction copyrighted by Gratiana Lovelace;   All rights reserved; Based on the Elizabeth Gaskell novel, North & South and its 2004 BBC adaptation; No copyright infringement intended)

[I will illustrate my story using my dream cast from the 2004 BBC production of “North & South” and other actors for additional characters:   Richard Armitage for John Thornton, Daniela Denby-Ashe for Margaret Hale, Lesley Manville for Mrs. Maria Hale, Tim Pigott-Smith for Mr. Richard Hale, Sinead Cusack for Mrs. Hannah Thornton Ogilvy, Jo Joyner for Fiona/Fanny Thornton Ogilvy, Brendan Coyle for Nicholas Higgins, Graham McTavish as Dr. Cameron Ogilvy, Holliday Grainger for Angharad Ogilvy MacIntosh, Simon Woods for Baird Ogilvy, Emma Ashton as Mrs. Dillard, John Light as Henry Lennox, Tim Faraday as Watson, Gillian Anderson at Carlotta Quint Watson, Jeremy Northam as Dr. Miles Houghton, Gerard Butler as Lord Jamie Ogilvy, Juliette Lewis as Lady Thistle Ogilvy, Helena Bonham Carter as Brigid Gordon, and Steven Waddington as Major Reginald Monckton, etc.] [(1) story logo]

Author’s Mature Content Note: “N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons” is a story with mature themes of love and relationships set within a period drama of the 1850’s. As such there will be heartfelt moments of love and sensuality (S)–as well as other dramatic emotions (D), including some violence (V)–and I will rate those chapters accordingly. If you are unable or unwilling to attend a movie with the ratings that I provide, then please do not read that chapter. This is my disclaimer.

Author’s Recap from the previous chapter: With Nanny Brigid Gordon’s secret about her baby son Arthur’s birth being outside of wedlock about to come out due to his birth father soldier Major Reginald Reggie Monckton’s Northern England Militia military unit sojourning a week in Milton and him spying Brigid as she and Margaret Thornton are shopping on Tuesday, Sept. 16, 1855. Though the women escape detection by the Major due to a helpful shopkeeper spiriting them to a back office sitting room, Brigid reveals her shame to Margaret. Brigid is worried that a scandal will erupt if Reggie asks around about her–marring her planned wedding to Nicholas Higgins slated to occur this Sunday. But ever the optimist, Margaret thinks that John can talk some reason into this Major to be discreet. And she also thinks that Nicholas will still accept and want Brigid as his Bride. However, Brigid is less certain about that.

 

“N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 85 (PG-13, S): A Good Man is Not Hard to Find

When Margaret Thornton and Brigid Gordon reach Marlborough Mills late Tuesday afternoon of September 9th after eluding a meeting with Brigid’s son’s birth father–Major Reginald Monckton, in town through Sunday with the Northern England Militia–Margaret heads to her husband John’s office and sends Brigid to Thornton Manor to be with her son and to await a visit from Nicholas. Margaret will tell John what is going on, but Margaret believes that it is best left to Brigid to break her secret about her eleven month old baby son Arthur’s birth being out of wedlock to Nicholas.

But as it happens, it is Nicholas whom Margaret is the first to see as she climbs the inner stairs toward John’s Mill Administrative Offices. Nicholas is coming down the stairs having just concluded a meeting with John Thornton about worker schedules.

Nicholas: “Miss Margaret! It is a delight to see you back! Has Brigid returned as well?” He asks hopefully. It is not Brigid’s afternoon off, but he usually tries to sneak in a moment by dashing over to Thornton Manor to see her and little Arthur around tea time.

Margaret: “Oh Nicholas!   I’m glad that I found you!” He looks at her curiously for the tone of urgency in her voice. “Brigid is with the children. Um. And uh.” Margaret finds that her throat has dried up as she tries to form the words that will send Nicholas to Thornton Manor, but without conveying the reason for his needed haste.

Nicholas: “Is everything alright? Is Brigid well?” He asks nervously. Nicholas has been worried ever since he proposed that Brigid might regret her decision to marry him since he is twelve years older than she, recant her promise to marry him, and withdraw from their planned wedding.

Margaret: “Yes!   I think so. Well, you should go and see her yourself. She wants to talk to you.” Margaret states in a nervously flustered manner so unlike her. But her insistent tone makes Nicholas feel uneasy.

Nicholas: “Did something happen?”

Margaret: “I cannot say. You must talk to Brigid. Please go to her now at the Manor and talk with her.” Margaret reinforces portentously and she nearly pushes him toward the open Mill building door.

Nicholas: “Alright.” He replies resignedly. He is worried that Brigid has changed her mind about marrying him.   What he does not know is that the decision about whether they will marry is up to him in her mind.

***

Margaret continues up the Mill Office stairs, rushes down the hallway, and bursts into her husband John’s Mill Office. Unfortunately, John is not alone as his clerk Bartleby looks up from taking notes about a letter that he must write to a customer for Mr. Thornton.

Margaret: “John!”

John: “Margaret!” He quickly stands up and he moves around his desk toward her. “Is everything alright?” It seems that worried husbands to be and husbands have similar concerns.

Margaret: Noticing that John is not alone, she apologizes profusely. “I am so sorry!   I didn’t realize that you were busy. But I would not have come, if it were not an urgent matter.”

Of course, John is always busy with work at the Mill, so she is bound to interrupt him doing something.

Surveying her flushed face and agitated manner, John concludes that his young wife Margaret’s unexpected visit is not a social call for elicit kissing and such to tide him over until tonight.

John: “Not at all, Margaret. Bartleby and I were just finishing.” Then he turns to his clerk. “Please write out that letter  and I will sign it in the morning so that we can get it on the early post train.”

Bartleby: “As you wish, Mr. Thornton, Sir.” Bartleby nods at both Thorntons and leaves.

John shuts the door behind his retreating clerk.

John: “Now what is so …”

But Margaret doesn’t let her husband finish as she launches herself at him and kisses him soundly. Hmmm, thinks John–maybe this is a social call. After a few moments of passionate kissing, Margaret pulls back and adoringly gazes up at her husband.

Margaret: “Thank you for marrying me!” She blurts out. It is slightly off topic, but tangentially important.

John: “Ha ha ha!   Thank you for marrying me!” He kisses the tip of her nose and her eyes flutter closed for an instant, then she opens them again and smiles brilliantly up at him.

Margaret: “It’s just that we … before we were married we …” She doesn’t need to state that they made love the week before they married, they both remember their mutual need for love and assurances after the Mill’s near riot that fateful late October 1850, nearly five years ago.

John has a twinkle in his eye for his wife bringing up their slightly naughty past, as he gently strokes her back.

John: “And what made you think of that, My Love?”

Margaret: Margaret bites her lower lip. “I learned something about Nanny Brigid today when we were shopping in town.”

John: “Oh? Do you wear the same size clothing?”

Margaret: “No silly!” She swats at his shoulder. Then she tilts her head in annoyance. “Have you never noticed that my bodices are … more full?” She pouts.

Now John is in a quandary. Is this a trick question to get him to admit that he has compared Margaret’s attributes to their Nanny’s? As a husband of long standing, he knows well enough not to be lead down that garden path [(2)].

John: “You are beyond compare, My Love. I truly do not even notice other women.” He shakes his head and shrugs his shoulders sincerely.

Margaret:   She smiles. “Hmmm!” Margaret voices an indiscriminate sound of contentment. “But the point is, Brigid has never been married and the man who abandoned she and their son is a major in the militia visiting Milton this week.” Margaret covers her mouth with both hands after having revealed the shocking background of their nanny in such an unvarnished manner.

John gazes at Margaret for a long moment–again, wondering if she is testing him. He raises his eyebrows in a questioning expression. Margaret nods her head yes, while not removing her hands from her mouth.

John: “Does Nicholas know?’’

Margaret: “No. I sent him over to see her at the manor and she is telling him now.”

John: “Well, this could go one of two ways. Either Nicholas accepts her history and marries her anyway. Or…”

Margaret:   “Or?…”

John: “Or he does not and Brigid will, naturally, want to quit Milton so as to avoid further scandal.”

Margaret: “Scandal may be unavoidable. Little Arthur’s father–the cad–is trying to track her down. He followed us into the children’s clothing store run by Mrs. Beaton.”

Then Margaret proceeds to tell him all that she knows. John elects to visit the general of the militia at the Milton Arms Hotel as a courtesy call–since John is a magistrate and a leading businessman in Milton. He hopes to perhaps learn more about this Major Reginald Monckton.

***

Meanwhile, Nanny Brigid Gordon’s return to Thornton Manor to tend to the children makes her even more frazzled and upset than she is already. After nursing baby Douglas one last time, she quickly starts packing her and Arthur’s clothes into two fabric traveling bags while the children are still taking their naps before tea time.   Her plan is to take her baby son Arthur and run–catching the six o’clock train for Scotland tonight. Brigid plans to slip away when Mrs. Margaret has tea with her children. That is her plan, anyway.

Having been admitted to Thornton Manor, Nicholas Higgins as a frequent guest waves away the maid trying to usher him into the small parlor.

Nicholas: “Nay! I will see Mrs. Gordon directly. Is she about?”

Maid Sarah: “Mr. Higgins, Sir. Nanny Brigid is tending to baby Douglas.” She tilts her head to politely indicate that Nanny Brigid is nursing the baby. “The other children have not yet awoken from their naps. Tea will be served in the family sitting room up stairs when Mrs. Thornton arrives home.”

Nicholas: “It is Mrs. Thornton who stressed to me just now that I must see Mrs. Gordon. And I am here at her behest.” To the startled surprise of Maid Sarah, Nicholas moves toward the stairs leading to the family bed chamber hallway. “No need to announce me. I know my way from times that I was a guest of the Thorntons.” Nicholas waves his hand in a gesture of dismissal to Maid Sarah, who curtsies and returns to her duties.

Nicholas is uncertain what is going on, but by god he will find out. He climbs the stairs two at a time and strides down the bed chamber hallways like a lion seeking its prey. But in this case, Nicholas is seeking his hoped for mate, his intended, Brigid Gordon. Seeing baby Douglas’ door open ajar, Nicholas gives two swift knocks and pushes the door open.

Nanny Brigid jerks around and drops some of the baby clothes in her hands onto the floor. The open travel bags are on the bed in front of her.

Brigid: “Nicholas!” Brigid sighs.

Nicholas: Surveying the disheveled state of the room, he asks her pointedly. “Have I come too late?   Or too early?” Brigid says nothing, staring at him with a sorrowful expression on her face. She had hoped to avoid a confrontation with him. Nicholas takes two steps toward her, his anger giving way to his hurt and disappointment as he asks in a whisper so as not to waken baby Douglas and baby Arthur. “You are leaving me?”

Brigid: “I… we must go!   I am not who you think I am.”

Nicholas: “Are you my sweet Brigid?” She nods. “Are you baby Arthur’s mother?” She nods. “Then you are who I think you are, Lass.”

Brigid:   Tears stream down her face. “It is na that simple.” Brigid closes her eyes. She can not bear to see his face when she tells him. “I am na a widow.” She winces.

Nicholas:   Nicholas’ eyes widen. “You are still married to Arthur’s father?” His voice raises slightly in volume.

Brigid: Brigid glances at Nicholas’ stupefied expression. “Nay! We arrre not … we werrre neverrr … marrrried.”

Nicholas looks at Brigid with lessened shock. Many a child has been born on the wrong side of the blanket [(3)].

Nicholas: Lowering his head and shaking it resignedly, he sighs. “Brigid, Brigid. Why did you not tell me before? The circumstances of Arthur’s birth will make no difference to you and I.”

Brigid: “I wish I had told you. But I was afrrraid that you would na want us.” She is sobbing now, her hands covering her face.

Nicholas: “Not want you? I want you so much, my heart aches for you when I can’t be with you. My heart will break if you leave.   Please stay.” Nicholas closes the distance between them and he envelops Brigid in his embrace as he gently kisses her. “My sweet Brigid. You have been ill used by a man before. But you will know only tenderness, love, and protection with me.” Nicholas kisses her temple as he rocks her in his arms.

Brigid begins to relax in Nicholas’ arms as they sit down on the bed–there being no sette in the room where they could sit. Nicholas just holds her–and Brigid allows herself to be held. Then it all comes out.

Brigid: In gasping hiccupping sobbing sentences, Brigid tells him all. “Rrreggie had prrromised me marriage and took advantage of me love for him when we eloped to Grrretna Grrreen.   But he did not marry me and he abandoned Arrrthurr and I as soon as I told him I was with child. And Rrreggie is here now in Milton with the militia. He is an officerrr–but he is no gentleman. The Mrs. and I saw him when we werrre shopping. He followed us into a storrre, but we hid in the back. I do na know why he would want to contact me now.”

Nicholas: “So you do not love him any more?” Nicholas asks hesitantly.

Brigid: Resolutely, she looks into Nicholas’ eyes. “Nay, he is na the man for me. And he does na deserrrve to be Arthur’s father.”

Nicholas: Nicholas smiles. “Then might I presume that I may hope that you and I will still be married and that I will adopt little Arthur?”

Brigid: “Afterrr all that I have told ye, you still want to marrrry me and adopt Arrthurr?” She asks in astonishment.

Nicholas: “I do. You see, you and I need each other, and Arthur and I need each other.”

Brigid: “We do? We do.” She corrects herself. “How so?” She asks drying her tears.

Nicholas adjusts their sitting position to bring Brigid to sitting across his knee as he caresses her face.

Nicholas: “Well, Arthur needs a father, and I need a son. And you need a husband to give you more children. And I want to give you more children.” Nicholas smiles shyly at his last admission.

Brigid’s eyes widen and her breathing quickens. This is the first time that they have talked about having more children. And of course, that will mean that they will …. lie with each other as husband and wife. Leaning her head into the hollow of Nicholas’ neck, Brigid shyly whispers.

Brigid:   “I would like a little daughterrr, too.”

Nicholas: Stroking her back soothingly, Nicholas reverently kisses her temple. “Then you shall have your wish, my Sweet Brigid.”

When John and Margaret arrive in their home in the next quarter hour, they find Nicholas helping a now calmed Brigid to repack her and Arthur’s clothes in the clothes cabinet. It is also decided that they will not wait for Sunday to wed, but to have the third banns read at Thursday morning mass and then marry in the late morning. Then Thursday afternoon, Nicholas and Brigid will then take a weekend trip by train to Scotland with Arthur, before taking up residence in their new home with Nicholas in Thornton Village on Monday. They will miss the Military Ball, but some things are worth missing. And John and Margaret will also refrain from attending–such that a perplexed and completely thwarted Major Reginald Monckton and the militia continue South with nary a ripple in the Milton gossip mill.

***

The train ride to Scotland after their wedding on Thursday is uneventful–baby Arthur sleeps, lulled by the hum and sway of the train, while Nicholas and Brigid shyly hold hands talking about what they will see and do in Scotland. Nicholas has never been to Scotland, Brigid’s former home. But they are avoiding the topic of this being their honeymoon and what that usually entails. John had express mailed a letter to his Mother and Cameron requesting that Nicholas and his bride be granted use of a small guest cottage on the Airlie Estate that John and Margaret had enjoyed spending time in when visiting during their early married years.

 

It is still light out in the late afternoon when Nicholas, Brigid, and baby Arthur arrive at the guest cottage. The ever thoughtful Cameron Lord Airlie has ordered the cottage stocked for a week’s supplies of food stuffs and such should they wish not to venture far from the cottage during their honeymoon trip. And an Airlie Estate Groundskeeper shows the Higgins family around the cottage and its amenities–including the marvel of an indoor well water pump in the kitchen– before discreetly departing to leave them to their rest.

So after seeing baby Arthur down for a nap after lunch in an adjoining bed chamber, Nicholas and Brigid finds themselves alone together with no demands upon their time. So they shyly walk hand in hand into their now shared bed chamber to unpack, and then some.

Nicholas: Pulling his wife into his arms, Nicholas asks. “Mrs. Higgins, have I told you how beautiful you are today?”

Brigid:   “I am not for cerrrtain, Mr. Higgins.” She smiles back at him–as much for him complimenting her, as for him addressing her as Mrs. Higgins–a title that she now rightly bears.

Nicholas: “Well, I say we should take a nap ourselves. We will need our energy when Arthur awakens.” Nicholas smiles because he hopes that their nap will involve some lovely cuddling. He does not expect to consummate their marriage right away. Nicholas realizes that he needs to give Brigid time to adjust to the notion of being married to him. And, truth be told, Nicholas is a little nervous at the thought of being a husband to her this night. Actually, he is very nervous.

Brigid: “Just nap?” Brigid asks hesitantly, fearfully. Afterall, it is still daylight outside–not bed time in her mind.

Nicholas: “Just nap.” Nicholas nods, his face turning red. He is thrilled beyond words that she is even agreeing to nap with him. He has not lain with another person–a lady–since before his late wife Sharon became ill. So his skills of seduction are rusty, charmingly so.

Brigid: “Alrrright.” Brigid smiles wanly. She knows that she and Nicholas are married now.   And that he has every right to expect to exercise his husbandly rights.   She simply needs a bit more time to accustom herself to such intimacies.

Nicholas removes his suit coat and folds it over a chair, then he unties his cravat.   Brigid stands rigidly to one side, not knowing what she should do. Ladies clothes are so much more complicated than men’s clothes–ladies usually requiring assistance into and out of them. And she realizes that she will need his assistance. Seeing that Brigid is not getting undressed, Nicholas asks.

Nicholas: “Do you need help with … that is, would you like me to … Hhhhh!” Nicholas stammers, not being able to express the question of does she need help undressing.

Brigid: “Aye. I do … need your help.” Brigid blanches and her face pales.

Nicholas nods encouragingly, but does not step toward her so as not to frighten her–with his closeness. They have only kissed twice–the second time today after they wed.   So the intimacies that he hopes they will eventually share–if not tonight, then in a day or two–will expand their closeness with each other.

Brigid smiles shyly and turns her back to her husband to unbutton her. The potential calamity of not having a maid to help her out of her upscale and tigtly closed new traveling dress is somewhat mitigated by her helpful and restrained husband. His breathing deepens Brigid-isHelenaBonhamCarter-at2012CriticsCircleAwards_Sept2614CriticsCircle-sized-bkgrndbluras he unbuttons her bodice at the back, and she removes her dress bodice to reveal her corset underneath. Brigidly shyly stands with her back toward him [(4) right]–trembling with the sensual moment, wondering what he will do next. The taller Nicholas glances briefly over her shoulders at her loveliness and his heart swells with desire as he struggles to treat her gently this night.   Then Nicholas slowly and carefully undoes her corset’s lacings–with Brigid holding on to the corset in the front to maintain its support and its concealment of her womanly charms. And then Nicholas lowers his arms before his urge to wrap them around her waist from behind and kiss the creamy expanse of her neck and shoulders overwhelms him.

Sensing that her husband has completed his task, due to the looseness of her corset, Brigid shyly moves to stand behind a standing screen to complete changing into her night dress–though it is only now late afternoon. The somewhat skittish Brigid hopes that Nicholas will not be too eager to embark on their marital intimacies. Brigid knows that Mrs. Margaret Thornton said in her marital advice talk that husbands can be tender and considerate with regard to such intimacies. But whenever Brigid and Nicholas consummate their mamrriage, it will only be Brigid’s second time making love. And the first time was so rushed and painful that she is not certain what to expect.

To Nicholas’ way of thinking, the fact that he and Brigid have progressed to getting ready to lie cuddling together in their night clothes is a huge leap forward for them. Nicholas knows how betrayed Brigid felt when she gave her love before to the Major–and she was rejected after becoming with child. So he wants her to feel completely comfortable in his love and with their marriage when they consummate their love. His patience may seem unconventional at the very least, but given that Nicholas was also without loving tenderness for the ten years he was a widower does explain his wanting to ease them into full marital relations.

Brigid walks out from behind the standing screen in naught but her soft cotton nightdress–her cutely chubby pink toes peeking out from the lace edging, her long hair falling about her shoulders in brunette waves. Nicholas is already in bed, his bare torso visible above the covers. And unbeknownst to his wife, he has forgone his night pants as well. He is not necessarily thinking that they will finally make love, but he hopes that they will make progress toward it. Still, Nicholas is nervous as hell.

Brigid awkwardly slides into bed and lies on her back at first–mirroring Nicholas’ form of repose–with both of them looking up at the gathered fabric center of the bed canopy. They lie silently like this for several moments. Then in a rush to break the vacuum of silence between them, they both inadvertently talk over one another.

Nicholas: “This is a fine and sturdy bed.”

Brigid: “Should we check on Arthur? Oh!   It is a fine bed.” She concedes. However, Brigid wonders why her husband is concerned with the bed’s sturdiness.

Nicholas: “I do not hear Arthur making any noises that he is awake yet.” He turns his head and looks at her, seeing her biting her lower lip in a pout. He smiles. “But let us go and check on him.” Then he remembers that he is missing his night pants and he looks around for something to cover himself with. He grabs his shirt, hoping that it will hang low below his thighs.

Brigid nods gratefully at Nicholas for allowing them to check on baby Arthur again. So Brigid and Nicholas each rise from their respective sides of the bed–with Nicholas letting her precede him so he can hastily don his shirt, finding his makeshift attire rather drafty. They walk toward the connecting door and quietly open it and creep into baby Arthur’s bed chamber. There they find him fast asleep–contented and resting comfortably.

Brigid: “Hhhh!” Her hands resting on the crib rails, Brigid sighs in a loving whisper at seeing her baby son so peaceful.

Brigid and Nicholas stand there for several moments, just watching baby Arthur sleep. Brigid unconsciously leans back into Nicholas’ arms and he lays his he head upon her shoulder. Nicholas grins and takes Brigid’s hand off of the crib rail and squeezes it. She turns in his arms and looks up at him.

Nicholas: Then he mouths the words.   “Let us leave Arthur to his sleep.”

Brigid nods and they walk back to their bed chamber to nap–each sliding into their side of the bed. Brigid notices that Nicholas still has his shirt on–presuming that he also has undergarment pants on down below, which he does not.

Brigid:   Then she asks teasingly “If ye wrrrinkle your shirrrt, will ye be expecting me to irrron it for ye?”

Nicholas: “Well, we wouldn’t want that.”

Nicholas smiles and pulls the shirt off over his head, folds the shirt lengthwise, then in half and reaches over the nightstand to place the shirt on a nearby chair. However in straining Higgins-BrendanCoyle-shirtless-in-bed_Sept1814samsar23-tumblr_n23fe3qxj31qhbz7co2_1280-sized-flippedto reach the chair, Nicholas leans quite far over–enough to reveal his bare hip. And Brigid’s eyes widen with the realization that, like her, he has nothing on down below. However, her long night dress reaches to her ankles. Nicholas leans back, brings the sheet to cover under his arms, turns toward her while lying on his side and he closes his eyes to sleep [(5) right]. They are supposed to be napping, afterall.

However, Brigid is transfixed with gazing at Nicholas’ bare chest that she had not looked at earlier. His closed eyes give her leave to do so. Brigid notices Nicholas’ rather hairy chest. She had only seen the most fierce and the strongest Highland Games competitors in Scotland display such masculine distinction. Not even Reggie had much hair on his chest. And with Nicholas not forcing his attentions on her, she admits silently to herself that her previous experience with Reggie and his hurried and unpleasant lovemaking might not be how men usually are.

Brigid especially appreciates that Nicholas is making no moves to cover her body with his body. She is so much smaller than he and she would not be able to fend him off. However, Brigid realizes that her husband is giving her leave to dictate what they will do, or what they will not do. Brigid reaches out and touches Nicholas’ bare shoulder–finding it muscular as Nicholas purposely tenses his bicep muscle. Her hands lightly pass over his hairy chest and comes to rest against his stubbled cheek. He smiles, but he keeps his eyelids closed during her exploration of him.

Brigid:   Smiling, she boldly asks. “Husband?”

Nicholas: “Hmmm?” Nicholas feigns nonchalance, still with his eyes closed. But his mouth can’t help but curl up ever so slightly at the corners.

Brigid: “Might I cuddle with ye?” She asks shyly.

Wordlessly, Nicholas raises his arm and Brigid lies on her side and she snuggles up to his side, his arm then going around her small form to embrace her.

Brigid: “Hmmm. Ye arrre verrry warrrm.” She sighs as she lays her hand upon his bare broad chest.

Nicholas: “Am I?” He bemusedly wonders if he has a fever. Or maybe, his fever is for his beautiful wife.

Brigid: “I like it. I am always so chilled when in bed. Ye arrre like me own perrrsonal bed warmer. Ha ha ha!” She giggles

Now that statement gives Nicholas some pause. Does Brigid merely like him for the warmth he projects?   With him lying on his side, facing toward her, Nicholas opens his eyes.

Nicholas:   “Well, your toes do seem quite cold.” Then his hand runs down the length of her leg and bends it toward him. She startles with the contact, but she does not resist. “Here, let me warm them for you.”

Nicholas begins to massage his wife’s dainty toes and feet underneath the bed covers–with her night dress covered knee resting on his bare upper thigh. Brigid sweetly gazes at her husband, her hand moving to his neck and thence to run her fingers through his hair of their own volition. She leans her head back and lifts up her chin and kisses him. He kisses her back with the same level of dawning awareness that the room is indeed becoming quite warm as their arms and legs and bodies entangle themselves with one another in heated embraces.

Nicholas gradually deepens their kissing as Brigid becomes comfortable with each new intimacy. Slowly pulling her open neckline nightdress down to reveal her bare shoulder, Nicholas’ lips and teeth and tongue begin an adoring descent of pleasure down his wife Brigid’s body. And Brigid closes her eyes and gives in to her husband’s loving ministrations as he kisses her neck and exposed shoulder, and her upper chest. Nicholas’s kisses and caresses are slow–to allow her time to adjust to them. She does not protest. But rather, she sighs her encouragement to him.

Brigid: “Hhhhh!”

Nicholas:   “My sweet Brigid. I love you so.” Nicholas’ voice growls in loving desire as he and Brigid begin to give themselves in love to each other this late afternoon waning into early evening.

And Brigid realizes that for all her fears and nervousness about her marriage to Nicholas, that he is a good man who loves her. And she feels blessed to have found him.

Sometime later this same day–after the sun begins to set–Nicholas awakens to find his wife Brigid softly clutching his chest as she sprawls across his torso.   And he watches her steady breathing with some bemusement–especially for the way her lips puff out when she exhales. He gently adjusts her position to bring her lower body to also lie on top of him–bare skin to bare skin–enjoying the pleasing slight weight of her petite form upon him. But this movement causes her to stir as she sleepily opens her eyes and gazes at him with peaceful contentment expressed on her face. He had loved her well–and she had loved him well. They each tenderly smile at each other and they begin to kiss each other again as their passions return.

Then Nicholas and Brigid hear baby Arthur vocalizing and know that their son is awake and needing their love and attention. Nicholas and Brigid smile pleasantly at each other. Then father, mother, and son arise to share their first dinner together as a new family.

After nearly four days of wedded bliss–that does involve some out of doors hiking and picnicking–Nicholas, Brigid, and their baby son Arthur arrive back home in Milton, England the following Monday, August 15th, 1850. And their lives as a family will now truly start anew in their cottage home in Thornton Village.

To be continued with Chapter 86

 

“N&S: JT Love Lessons”, Ch. 85 References, September 27, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #640)

1)  N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons” story logo: Richard Armitage as John Thornton and Daniela Denby-Ashe in the 2004 BBC period drama North & South, was found at richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/nands/album/episode3/ns3-110.jpg ; For more information about this wonderful 2004 BBC miniseries adaptation of Elizabeth’s Gaskell’s story North & South, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_&_South_%28TV_serial%29

2)  The phrase, “to lead someone down the garden path” is an idiom indicating to deceive them; for more information, visit http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/lead_someone_down_the_garden_path

3) The phrase, “born on the wrong side o the blanket” is an idiom that refers to a child being born out of wedlock; for more information, visit http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/born-on-the-wrong-side-of-the-blanket

4) Brigid image is that of Helena Bonham Carter being honored at the 2012 Critics Circle Film Awards found at http://www.criticscircle.org.uk/pictures/hbc.jpg ; for more information, visit http://www.criticscircle.org.uk/film/?ID=307

5) Higgins image (flipped) is that of Brendan Coyle found at http://31.media.tumblr.com/fda7242b64feaea259fd85ce519d0b6b/tumblr_n23fe3qxj31qhbz7co2_1280.jpg

 

Link to Previous Ch. 84
http://gratianads90.wordpress.com/2014/09/23/ns-john-thornton-love-lessons-ch-84-pg-13-d-brigids-past-threatens-to-claim-her-future-september-23-2014-gratiana-lovelace-aaare-post-639/

Posted in "N&S: John Thornton Love Lessons", Creativity, Family, Fan Fiction, John Thornton, Love and Relationships, North & South, Period Drama, Richard Armitage, Romance, Something About Love | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

“N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 84 (PG-13, D): Brigid’s Past Threatens to Claim Her Future, September 23, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #639)

“N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 84 (PG-13, D): Brigid’s Past Threatens to Claim Her Future, September 23, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #639)

aaaN&SJohnThorntonLoveLessonsFanFicCoverDec2913GratianaLovelace-256x401(An original fan fiction copyrighted by Gratiana Lovelace;   All rights reserved; Based on the Elizabeth Gaskell novel, North & South and its 2004 BBC adaptation; No copyright infringement intended)

[I will illustrate my story using my dream cast from the 2004 BBC production of “North & South” and other actors for additional characters:   Richard Armitage for John Thornton, Daniela Denby-Ashe for Margaret Hale, Lesley Manville for Mrs. Maria Hale, Tim Pigott-Smith for Mr. Richard Hale, Sinead Cusack for Mrs. Hannah Thornton Ogilvy, Jo Joyner for Fiona/Fanny Thornton Ogilvy, Brendan Coyle for Nicholas Higgins, Graham McTavish as Dr. Cameron Ogilvy, Holliday Grainger for Angharad Ogilvy MacIntosh, Simon Woods for Baird Ogilvy, Emma Ashton as Mrs. Dillard, John Light as Henry Lennox, Tim Faraday as Watson, Gillian Anderson at Carlotta Quint Watson, Jeremy Northam as Dr. Miles Houghton, Gerard Butler as Lord Jamie Ogilvy, Juliette Lewis as Lady Thistle Ogilvy, Helena Bonham Carter as Brigid Gordon,  and Steven Waddington as Major Reginald Monckton, etc.] [(1) story logo]

Author’s Mature Content Note: “N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons” is a story with mature themes of love and relationships set within a period drama of the 1850’s. As such there will be heartfelt moments of love and sensuality (S)–as well as other dramatic emotions (D), including some violence (V)–and I will rate those chapters accordingly. If you are unable or unwilling to attend a movie with the ratings that I provide, then please do not read that chapter. This is my disclaimer.

Author’s Recap from the previous chapter: Margaret and John congratulated the happily engaged couple of Nicholas Higgins and Brigid Gordon that Saturday, August 30, 1855. However, the rain prevented Margaret and Brigid going in to town to begin wedding clothing shopping. So that excursion will be delayed until the following week. But Nicholas and Brigid at least convey their intention to marry to the parson on Sunday and the first of three wedding banns are read in church to everyone’s delight. Nicholas and Brigid are a very happy pair contemplating their wedding to take place in the coming weeks at the conclusion of her serving as wet nurse to baby Douglas Thornton. But just as the rain deluged Nicholas’ and Brigid’s engagement proposal, a development will arise to cloud their hoped for happiness.

 

“N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 84 (PG-13, D): Brigid’s Past Threatens to Claim Her Future

After the first week of Nicholas Higgins’ and Brigid Gordon’s engagement, the second of three wedding banns [(2)] are announced in Sunday church as is custom–they will be wed the following Sunday, September 14th, 1855.   Two week engagements seem to be prevalent amongst John and Margaret Thornton’s extended family and friends–and was the case for John and Margaret.

The first week of Nicholas Higgins’ and Nanny Brigid Gordon’s engagement is a whirlwind of wedding clothes fittings and a small trousseau collection for Brigid courtesy of John and Margaret.   However, Nicholas buys a new dark blue suit from his own pocket. Though Nicholas is gracious about John and Margaret Thornton gifting his intended bride Brigid with some wedding allowances in lieu of her parents doing so, he will not accept such largesse for himself. A man has his pride.

Nicholas earns a generous salary as Senior Overseer of Marlborough Mills for Master John Thornton. He saves a good deal of his salary in the bank and under his mattress, and there is plenty saved for Nicholas to support his hoped for growing family of his intended wife Brigid and her now eleven month old baby son Arthur.

Sunday afternoon of September 7th, Brigid and Nicholas are preparing a bedchamber for baby Arthur in Nicholas’ home. Nicholas had earlier painted the walls a muted blue shade. And today, they are installing new to them gently used baby/toddler furniture of a crib for now and small bed for later, a night stand, a dresser cabinet for Arthur’s clothes, and a rocking chair for sleepless nights when Arthur might need cajoling to sleep. Nicholas’ married daughter Mary is down stairs with the younger Boucher children she parents. Mary is acting as chaperone for the engaged couple.

Nicholas and Brigid are a happy and excited engaged couple as they work on making his Overseer’s cottage home more amenable to Brigid and her eleven month old baby son Arthur. And with room redecorating, of course, there are the inevitable rearrangements of said furniture requests by the future Mrs. Nicholas Higgins. It is the afternoon after their second wedding banns were read out in church this morning and they have only one week to go until their wedding.

Brigid stands in the connecting doorway from the master bedchamber to what will become baby Arthur’s bed chamber. Actually, this would have been the lady of the house’s bed chamber. But not being wealthy, they do not aspire to the pretentions of the wealthy–in the matter of separate bedrooms.

Nicholas: “How about this arrangement now?” Nicholas smiles hopefully [(3) right] after Higgins-isBrendan-Coyle-Terry-Starling_Sept1814anothertongue-sized-backgroundmaskmoving the crib and dresser cabinet each three times. He is wearing a warm navy blue sweater in which he feels even warmer now with all of his exertions.

Brigid hesitates–a sure sign to Nicholas that she doesn’t like something. And he is right.

Brigid: “Well. Do ye think it wise to place the crrrib in frrront of the window? What if we want to open it for the brrreeze, or forrr frrresh airrr? Arrrthurrr,might be tempted to climb out. Then he would fall and hurrrt himself–or worrrse.” She clasps Arthur in her loving arms more closely, protectively–and she kisses his chubby cheek.

Arthur: “Maw-muh!”

Nicholas smiles at the little boy patting his Mama’s face. Maybe one day, Arthur will call him Papa. But all in good time. First things first, furniture placement. Nicholas walks over to his soon to be new family. Nicholas caresses the back of Arthur’s curly blond head and he kisses Brigid on her cheek.

Nicholas: “We can’t have that.” He holds his arms out for Arthur, who then does the same to him. Arthur likes the big smiling man enormously. And Brigid lets Nicholas pull her baby son into his arms, watching them with a poignant smile on her face–her son will have a father come Sunday. “Little fellow, how would you like your room arranged?”

Brigid: “Ha ha ha!” Brigid giggles in amusement.   “Nicholas, Arrrthur is just a baby.” She smiles and rolls her eyes at Nicholas’ teasing.

Nicholas: “Still, he will be walking soon. So if you are worried about him and the window, I say we place all of the furniture well away from it on the opposite wall.”

Brigid: “Alright. Ye best get on with it. Let me have him back.”

Nicholas: Nicholas turns with baby Arthur in his arms and says with a mischievous smile. “No! I want a real kiss from you Lass, and then I will give you Arthur to hold again.”

Brigid: “But Nicholas, we shouldn’t. Not until we are married.” She blushes and looks down demurely.

Nicholas: “You kissed me when I proposed and we became engaged.” He counters cheekily.

Brigid: Blushing, she protests shyly. “That was a special occasion.” She begins to breathe quickly in nervousness.

Nicholas: “And is not preparing our son’s bed chamber for him a special occasion?” Now Nicholas’ grin becomes more desirous, his voice deeper.

Brigid likes that Nicholas refers to her son Arthur as being his son, too.

Brigid: “But, Marrry and the childrrren are downstairrrs.”   Brigid pouts primly.   She will not have herself compromised again. There will be no intimacies beyond hand holding–or something similarly chaste–until they are married.

Nicholas: Nicholas senses Brigid’s concern and he relents as he replies softly to her. “Yes. They are chaperoning us. And none can say that anything untoward is going on between us.” Nicholas leans over and softly kisses Brigid’s temple with her eyes still averted downward. “It is alright, my Sweet Brigid.” Then he hands baby Arthur to her. “I was only teasing, Lass. Pay me no mind. We will be wed on Sunday. I can wait … to kiss you until then.” Nicholas’ eyes gaze smoulderingly at the petite and lovely Brigid. He hopes to give her more children once they are wed.

Brigid: “Thank you.” She says in a small trembling voice, with her cheeks blushing a delicate shade of pink as Nicholas gently caresses her cheek briefly with his index finger, guiding her to look up at him so that she can see the sincerity in his eyes.

Brigid does see the kind sincerity in Nicholas’ eyes. And Brigid is becoming more and more fond of Nicholas Higgins, precisely because he does not try to overwhelm her with requests of a romantic nature. When she says no, he accepts that. Brigid thinks that Nicholas is kind, loving, friendly, even tempered, family oriented, and above all, honorable. She will be proud to be his wife. And in time, she is certain that she will grow to love him–maybe she already does love him a little bit. In marrying Nicholas, Brigid will find a safe and nurturing haven for she and her baby son at last.

Nicholas and Brigid then spend another quarter hour finalizing the furniture placement in baby Arthur’s bed chamber to everyone’s satisfaction.

***

So this second week of Nicholas and Brigid’s engagement leading up to their marriage this weekend, Brigid has her wedding dress and trousseau fittings on Tuesday afternoon with grateful joy. Brigid’s modest trousseau funded by the Thorntons includes two lovely day dresses for entertaining at home, a dressier evening dress for occasions at the Thornton home or at a musical concert in Milton, two traveling/visiting dresses that she might also wear to church, and assorted undergarments and shoes, gloves, and stockings.Brigid-isHelena+Bonham+Carter+helena_Aug2414lastfm-sized-sepia-dresstosageclr

In fact, Nanny Brigid is wearing one of her new visiting or traveling dresses this Tuesday, September 9th, 1855 afternoon that is similar to her brown dress in style, but with a more conservative bodice neckline and in an Autumnal sage green color that suits her [(4) right]. Margaret is also dressed in Autumnal colors of plum with rust accents.

However, this afternoon will prove to be a particularly unsettling experience that Margaret Thornton and Nanny Brigid Gordon do not suspect as they continue shopping in Milton after her dress fittings and they stop to peruse the selection of baby clothes for Brigid’s baby Arthur and Margaret’s baby Douglas at the Wee Ones Shoppe of children’s ready made clothes without their children in tow. The clothes are made by local seamstresses in Milton as piecework–women who stay at home to take care of their own children, but who want, and perhaps need, to earn a bit of money on the side to support their families. Brigid and Margaret finger the lovely and reasonably priced clothes as they make their selections.

Looking out the shop window and noticing the press of people on the street increasing, Margaret asks the shop’s mature grey haired proprietor, Mrs Beaton about it.

Margaret: “My! There are so many people about today. One would think that it is a holiday. I wonder what is the cause?”

Brigid: “Aye!   I have na seen such a thrrrong of people on the strrreets of Milton before–except when the Mills let out of worrrk. Ha ha ha!”

Margaret: “Ha ha ha!”

Brigid smiles quite broadly since the sea of humanity that are the millworkers are well known to her since she will be living among them when she and Nicholas are wed–albeit in the larger and substantial Overseer’s cottage in Thornton Village. So upon her visits to what will be her new home with Arthur, Nicholas has proudly introduced her to his neighbors among the Marlborough Mill Employees.

Mrs. Beaton: “Oh my dears! Do you not know? Have you not heard?” Margaret and Brigid shake their heads no. They have been so caught up with wedding planning and clothes, etc., that they have not paid attention to local news. Mrs. Beaton gestures to the window just as some soldiers in red coats march by in formation. “It is the Northern England Militia passing through town. Everyone is agog to see them! They are to stay the week for rest, training, and a social ball hosted on Saturday by their General whose wife was from these parts, before the Militia pushes further south.” Mrs. Beaton speaks breathlessly as she fans herself. There was a time in her youth when many a man in a red coat caught her eye as a young woman.   But that was long before she met her late husband, Mr. Beaton, and became his helpmate in life.

Upon hearing Mrs. Beaton’s report and noticing the soldiers through the window, Brigid’s smile freezes on her face. It cannot be, she thinks. Why now? Just when her life is soon to settle into a calm and safe position with her marrying Nicholas Higgins this coming Sunday.

Margaret:   And Margaret notices her pallor. “Brigid? Do you feel unwell? Would you like to forgo our shopping for the boys today?”

Sensing her losing a sale, Mrs. Beaton speaks ups.
Mrs. Beaton: “You poor dears have been on your feet all afternoon. Let me offer you some tea in my office sitting room at the back. There you might rest and refresh yourselves before continuing with your needed purchases for your sons.”

Wordlessly, Mrs. Beaton gestures to her other counter clerk to attend to the shop’s other patrons as she ushers the two Marlborough Mill ladies to the back of her shop. Margaret and Brigid are pleased to find a charmingly small sitting room with a small sette and wing chair opposite a desk in one corner. Brigid rather unceremoniously plops onto the sette before she faints, while still clutching a toddler’s shirt she had been looking at in her hand.

Margaret: Speaking for both of them, Margaret smiles at the proprietor. “This is a lovely and welcome respite. Thank you Mrs. Beaton.”

Mrs. Beaton: “Of course, my dears.” Mrs. Beaton is a motherly soul, as well as being in business. Reaching her hand to Nanny Brigid, she asks. “Would you like me to set that shirt aside for your son, Mrs. Gordon?”

Brigid: Brigid looks up at Mrs. Beaton and then down at the small boy’s shirt in her hands. Handing it to Mrs. Beaton, Brigid nods. “Yes, please. Though I have na made me final choice yet.”

Mrs. Beaton: “That is fine.”   Then she hears the bell above the door tinkling and a man’s deep voice. “I must go for a few moments to set the kettle on and help out front. I will be back to you in a few moments with your tea.”   She leaves to put the kettle on the small warming stove she has in the back storeroom.

***

A dashing English officer in full red regimentals enters the Wee Ones Shoppe door and Reggie-isStevenWaddington-inthelastofthemohicans5_Sept2114hesaidshesaidmoviestripod-crop-sized-maskstartles at the tinkling bell above his head as he ducks under the door frame. He is Major Reginald Reggie Monckton [(5) right] assigned to the Northern England Militia now, but who had been posted in Scotland for many years. He scours the store, not seeing whom he is looking for when he had seen her enter it not ten minutes prior as his garrison marched past the shop. The Major had doubled back toward the shoppe. He impatiently raps his knuckles on the counter to get the attention of the young clerk helping another customer.

Major Reginald: “I say, miss. Might you tell me if you have seen a pretty petite brown haired lady enter the store just now?”

The shop girl looks up at the handsome major with a shy smile. Her current lady customer also turns to stare at him, forgetting her annoyance at her transaction being interrupted. They are both captivated by his tallness, his muscular handsomeness, and the expensiveness of his regimental uniform. The man is accustomed to having this effect on women and smiles benignly at them with a hint of ennui.

Shop Girl: Jolting herself out of her stupor, the shop girl replies. “Begging your pardon, Sir, but most ladies who come in here seem to have brown hair–or perhaps, red.” She offers helpfully. She is just a fill in shop girl–not a regular shop helper. So she does not know all of the customers who come to call–such as Mrs. Margaret Thornton’s children’s nanny, Mrs. Brigid Gordon.

Major Reginald: “Seem to?” He latches onto her phrasing.

Shop Girl: “Yes sir. Yellow hair like yours is not often seen in these parts.” She gushes admiringly.

Major Reginald: “Yes, well, I am from Scarborough.” His voice resonates deeply in the confines of the shoppe/ Major Reginald’s ancestral home is on the East coast of England and his forebears are purported to be of Viking heritage [(6)]–hence the blond hair. “What about the two ladies I saw entering moments ago?”

Just then, the shop’s proprietress Mrs. Beaton returns to the shop floor after putting the kettle on for Mrs. Thornton’s and her nanny’s tea in her sitting room office.

Mrs. Beaton: “May I be of service? I am the proprietress of this shop.” She states proudly to the too handsome for his own good officer standing in front of her. Thankfully, her having had a loving husband means that her heart is no longer subject to the whims of a young girl’s fancy like the Adonis before her.

Mrs. Beaton shoos away her mooney eyed shop girl to attend to her other customer and she draws the major to a quiet corner of the shop near the baby toys.

Major Reginald:   “Hhhh!” The Major sighs, then fingers a small stuffed fabric bear. He had a stuffed bear when he was a child. “Yes. Thank you, madam. I am Major Reginald Monckton.   And I seek to ascertain if a Miss Brigid Gordon was recently inhabiting the premises.” He looks around, but does not see Brigid.

Mrs. Beaton:   “Hmmm. A Miss Gordon?” She asks in a puzzling tone. For Mrs. Brigid Gordon is awaiting tea with Mrs. Margaret Thornton in her sitting room.

Major Reginald: “Yes. Well, perhaps she is married by now and her last name altered, but her first name is Brigid.” He emphasizes.

Mrs. Beaton: Sensing that something is amiss, she smiles benignly. “I’m sorry, but I can not help you.” Which means that she will not help him.   Mrs. Thornton is a very good customer of hers–very good. And Mrs. Beaton will not do anything to jeopardize that–including revealing that the person the major likely seeks is in her back office sitting room.

But the major is no fool. He knows that he saw what he saw. And what looked like his former conquest Brigid Gordon–though more stylishly dressed–walk into this shop. He will not be deterred.

Major Reginald: “Well, if something comes to mind, …” He raises an inquisitive eyebrow. “… my name again is Major Reginald Monckton. I am billeted with the other officers at the Milton Arms Hotel until next Monday.”

Mrs. Beaton: “Of course.” Then not wanting to miss a potential sale as she sees him continuing to touch the stuffed bear, she gestures to it. “May I interest you in something for a young child?”

Major Reginald: He stares at her and replies brusquely. “I have no children–that I know of.” He adds hastily, thinking about the child on the way Brigid had claimed was his after they had enjoyed only one tryst.

Mrs. Beaton: “Perhaps for a relative’s child, then?” She smiles sweetly.

Major Reginald hesitates. Then he snatches the stuffed bear off of the display and Mrs. Beaton makes her sale–wrapping the bear in brown paper and tying it with string. Major Reginald feels that he is being overly impulsive–not only for dashing into this shop thinking that he had seen Brigid, but for also buying the stuffed bear. As the Major leaves the shop, Mrs. Beaton returns to the back room to check on the tea.

***

While Mrs. Beaton had left them alone to return to the shop–and then them over hearing what the Major and Mrs. Beaton are saying–Margaret and Brigid chat.

Margaret: “My! The Major is a handsome and dashing fellow.” Margaret smiles impishly after peeking through the curtain and looking to the front of the shop. For her husband John is the only man who will ever have her heart.

Brigid: “He can be.” Brigid nods and replies tonelessly. This is Brigid’s worst nightmare coming true–of Reggie reinserting himself back into her life–that is, after he disavowed her and their coming child nineteen months ago, her now eleven month old son Arthur.

Margaret: “Do you know that man, Brigid?”

Brigid: “Aye, Mrs. Reggie was posted in my village in Scotland for several months a few years ago.”   But Brigid does not state more.

Margaret:   Margaret probes a bit further. “Was he a friend of your husband’s?”

Brigid: “No.” Brigid replies in barely a whisper.   She does not want to lie to Maragaret, but she does not know if she can risk telling the truth.

Then they hear Major Reginald state that he is looking for an unmarried lady named Brigid Gordon. Margaret’s eyes widen and she turns to Brigid and whispers.

Margaret: “Could there be more than one Brigid Gordon? A relative of yours, perhaps?” Margaret asks charitably.

Brigid: “No, Mrs.   I am she.” Then she blurts out in a hushed tone. “He was so handsome and charrrming then. I was a tradesman’s daughter with no dowry to tempt him. But Rrreggie swept me off me feet and we eloped to Gretna Green–or I thought we were eloping. But, though he lay with me as me husband, no marriage took place and I returned home to me father fearful of the consequences. And then when I discovered I was with child, Rrreggie said that I lied when I told him the baby was his.   He is Arrrthurrr’s fatherrr, but he abandoned me, us, when I became prrregnant by him–and afterrr only one time. And me father packed me off to me distant cousins in Angus, Scotland to give me and Arthur a new start, and you know the rest. I became a widow to protect my son.” She states sotto voce.

Margaret:   “Oh!” Margaret sighs as she gazes at Brigid with compassionate concern. In her father’s parish in Helstone, there had been many an impressionable young woman taken advantage of by unscrupulous men. And Margaret never thought it fair that the woman was always made to suffer the consequences, while the men did not.

Brigid: Misreading her employer’s quiet response as censure, Brigid straightens her posture with as much dignity as she can muster. “Mrs. Thornton, I thank ye for yourrr kindness toward me baby Arrrthurrr and I. I am sorrry to have put you in this awkwarrrd position.   I have saved some money and Arrrthurr and I will returrrn to Scotland tomororrrow.” Though she does not know what they will do after that.

Margaret: “But you are getting married to Nicholas on Sunday.” Margaret caringly touches Brigid’s arm.

Brigid: Brigid remarks sorrowfully. “Nay! He will na want to marrry a fallen woman with a bastarrrd child. I rrrelease him frrrom his prrromise.”

Margaret: “You will do no such thing! If Nicholas is the man I think he is, he will still want to marry you.”

Brigid:   “But Mrs., the scandal? If Rrreggie asks arrround, people will starrrt to talk. You will na escape theirrr viscious gossip, neitherrr–harborrring a woman such as I, brrrought low and dishonorrred by a man.”

Margaret: “Brigid, all is not lost. I will ask John to talk to this Reggie person, man to man–get him to see the sense of the need for his discretion.”
Brigid looks at Margaret Thornton curiously–wondering if there might be a chance that she won’t be found out by the gossps of Milton.

At that moment, Mrs. Beaton returns with their tea. And Margaret and Brigid politely stay the minimum amount of time necessary–and perfunctorily buying a few items, including a small fabric ball for each son–before quickly returning to Marlborough Mills to seek out John and Nicholas for their help. There are many what ifs in Brigid’s mind that will only be quelled once she has spoken to her intended Nicholas Higgins and shared with him her truth.   And Nicholas’ response will determine Brigid’s and her baby son Arthur’s future.

To be continued with Chapter 85

 

“N&S: JT Love Lessons”, Ch. 84 References, September 23, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #639)

1) “N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons” story logo: Richard Armitage as John Thornton and Daniela Denby-Ashe in the 2004 BBC period drama North & South, was found at richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/nands/album/episode3/ns3-110.jpg ; For more information about this wonderful 2004 BBC miniseries adaptation of Elizabeth’s Gaskell’s story North & South, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_&_South_%28TV_serial%29

2) General information about the banns of marriage was found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banns_of_marriage

3) Higgins image is Brendan Coyle found at http://www.anothertongue.com/img/db/blog-large/brendan-coyle-terry-starling.jpg

4)  Image representing the Scottish Brigid Gordon is that of actress Helena Bonham Carter found at http://userserve-ak.last.fm/serve/500/34779527/Helena+Bonham+Carter+helena.jpg

5) Image representing Major Reginald Monckton is Steven Waddington portraying Major Duncan Heyward in The Last of the Mohicans film in 1992 (set in the 1760’s) was found at http://hesaidshesaidmovies.tripod.com/img/posters/lastofthemohicans5.jpg ; for more about The Last of the Mohicans film, visit http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0104691/?ref_=nm_knf_t2

6) For more information about Scarborough in North East England, and its Viking invasions, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scarborough,_North_Yorkshire

 

Link to Previous Ch. 83
http://gratianads90.wordpress.com/2014/09/19/ns-john-thornton-love-lessons-ch-83-pg-13-on-bended-knee-september-19-2014-gratiana-lovelace-post-637/

 

Posted in "Love & Friendship" story, "N&S: John Thornton Love Lessons", Creativity, Fan Fiction, N&S Nurturing Love, North & South, Richard Armitage, Romance, Something About Love | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Silly Saturday: Joining in on the Fun with #OneBeardToBringThemAll, September 20, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #638)

I joined in the silly fun of getting my bearded lady portrait done today–by my hubby, of course–for the #OneBeardToBringThemAll RA Fans challenge initiated by Lily and Claudia here. Thanks to Servetus for pointing me to the site!

Here was my bearded lady submission:

If  only I had known a few days ago, I would have planned ahead–and not waxed. Ha!  And I had really wanted ringlets for my beard–but alas, my hair in front is not that long.

 

For more RA Fans bearded ladies in the #OneBeardToBringThemAll challenge, please visit here.

Enjoy!

 

Posted in Fangurling, Graphic, Humor, Middle Earth, Richard Armitage, Something About Love, The Hobbit | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

“N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 83 (PG-13): On Bended Knee, September 19, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #637)

“N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 83 (PG-13): On Bended Knee, September 19, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #637)

aaaN&SJohnThorntonLoveLessonsFanFicCoverDec2913GratianaLovelace-256x401(An original fan fiction copyrighted by Gratiana Lovelace;   All rights reserved; Based on the Elizabeth Gaskell novel, North & South and its 2004 BBC adaptation; No copyright infringement intended)

 

[I will illustrate my story using my dream cast from the 2004 BBC production of “North & South” and other actors for additional characters:   Richard Armitage for John Thornton, Daniela Denby-Ashe for Margaret Hale, Lesley Manville for Mrs. Maria Hale, Tim Pigott-Smith for Mr. Richard Hale, Sinead Cusack for Mrs. Hannah Thornton Ogilvy, Jo Joyner for Fiona/Fanny Thornton Ogilvy, Brendan Coyle for Nicholas Higgins, Graham McTavish as Dr. Cameron Ogilvy, Holliday Grainger for Angharad Ogilvy MacIntosh, Simon Woods for Baird Ogilvy, Emma Ashton as Mrs. Dillard, John Light as Henry Lennox, Tim Faraday as Watson, Gillian Anderson at Carlotta Quint Watson, Jeremy Northam as Dr. Miles Houghton, Gerard Butler as Lord Jamie Ogilvy, Juliette Lewis as Lady Thistle Ogilvy, and Helena Bonham Carter as Brigid Gordon, etc.] [(1) story logo]

Author’s Mature Content Note: “N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons” is a story with mature themes of love and relationships set within a period drama of the 1850’s. As such there will be heartfelt moments of love and sensuality (S)–as well as other dramatic emotions (D), including some violence (V)–and I will rate those chapters accordingly. If you are unable or unwilling to attend a movie with the ratings that I provide, then please do not read that chapter. This is my disclaimer.

Author’s Recap from the previous chapter: With John and Margaret Thornton playing matchmakers, the weekend following Audrey Grace Thornton’s fourth birthday, Nicholas Higgins begins his courtship of Nanny Brigid Gordon with a picnic after giving her and the Thornton’s a tour of his overseer cottage home on Saturday, June 28th, 1855. And Brigid and Nicholas share their first kiss, chastely, on her cheek and they hold hands. A good beginning.

 

“N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 83 (PG-13): On Bended Knee

What began as shy courtship on Nicholas Higgins and Brigid Gordon’s parts in late June 1855, develops into a blossoming friendship over the July and August Summer months with picnics and concerts and other outings–most including Brigid’s baby boy Arthur. Now a strapping eleven month old, Arthur has quite taken to Nicholas–as Nicholas has taken to Arthur as the son he never had, but now Nicholas has the chance to parent when he and Brigid are married. Marriage is the goal of courtship. Nicholas just has to work up the courage to ask Brigid for her hand in marriage.

John Thornton sits reviewing some figures in his Marlborough Mills office [(2) right] this John-atMillOfficeDesk-isRichardArmitage-inNorth&South-epi4-216_Mar1614ranetblustery and overcast midday of Saturday, August 30, 1855 after everyone has left for the half work day. Nicholas Higgins approaches Thornton’s Mill open office door, twisting his cap in his hand. Nicholas pauses at the doorway.

John: Without looking up to see who approaches him–the footfalls on the wooden floor timbers gave Higgins away–and John observes. “Nicholas, if you twist your cap once more it might disintegrate in your hands.” John smiles and looks up to see a sheepish Nicholas still his hands.

Nicholas: “Well, John.”

Nicholas still feels foreign in addressing the Master of Marlborough Mills by his Christian name. But when they are alone–as they are now–John has requested that they address one another familiarly, as friends do.

John: Leaning back in his chair and observing his friend and Overseer, he prods with a small smile. “Yes?”

Nicholas: “You might have guessed what I wish to ask of you?”

John: A smile creeps further across John’s face. “Perhaps. But I thought that you might never get around to it. Sit.” John gestures to the chair in front of his desk and Nicholas sits.

John does not reveal that he and Margaret have a little side bet going as to whether or not Nicholas would propose to Brigid Gordon before or after her three months of serving as baby Douglas’ wet nurse are up. John thought after, Margaret the opposite.

Nicholas: “I will ask Brigid to marry me. And, I want yo to know that if she accepts me, we will wait to get married until Miss Margaret feels that baby Douglas no longer has need of Mrs. Gordon for his ….” But like John, Nicholas cannot quite finish his thought of Nanny Brigid being wet nurse to the baby.

John: “Quite.” John raises his eyebrows in amusement. “Of course, Mrs. Gordon being of age and a widow, she has the right to command her own future.   But as her employer, I do feel a certain obligation to act on her behalf, in her parents’ stead, as it were.”

Nicholas: “That is right proper and fitting of you, John.” Nicholas winces and asks nervously. “Do you think that she will accept me?”

John: Shaking his head, John shrugs his shoulders. “Mrs. Gordon has not taken me into her confidence about the matter.” Nicholas looks at John plaintively. “And if she has said anything to Margaret, Margaret is not divulging it to me.”

Nicholas:   “Hhhhh!” Nicholas sighs nervously. “I had hoped to have some small insight into her inclination.”

John: “Nicholas, you’re going to have to take the direct approach.” John intones as he stands and walks around his desk. Nicholas also stands out of courtesy.

Nicholas: “And what is that?”

Clapping Nicholas on his back, propelling him forward through his office door, John smiles broadly.

John: “Come, come, man. You will have to pose your question to Mrs. Gordon herself–perhaps during a garden stroll.” John gazes out of the Mill Office window and rethinks his suggestion.   “And you had best do it before much longer this afternoon, or I fear that the skies will open their flood gates and you will not have a private garden strolling opportunity again until tomorrow.”

Nicholas nods and quickly heads toward Thornton Manor, whilst John closes his ledgers, dons his coat and heads home.

***

Nicholas is ushered into Thornton Manor by their footman who asks him to wait in the small parlor. The size of the room is by no means an indicator of Higgins lesser station than that Thornton’s. It is quite the opposite. This smaller parlor is used for family and close friends. And Higgins as a regular weekly guest of Thornton Manor when he courts Nanny Brigid Gordon, is very familiar with this room as their usual meeting place before walking outside in the garden.

After being informed that Mr. Higgins awaits her in the small parlor–when today was not arranged for them to meet since Brigid is to go into town with Margaret Thornton this afternoon–Brigid is uncertain why Nicholas Higgins has come to call. Brigid smoothes her hair, checking her hairpins as she gracefully walks down the main Thornton Manor staircase. Brigid pauses at the closed small parlor door before turning the door knob and entering the room. Nicholas turns toward the opening door with a hopeful expression upon his face, then smiles when he sees his lovely Brigid.

Brigid: “Nicholas! I was not expecting you today.” She smiles, letting him know that though his visit is unexpected, it is still welcome.

Nicholas: “Hello, Brigid.” He smiles, but does not move toward her. Nicholas is trying to work up his courage for what he hopes to ask of her. The moments tick by as they gaze at each other.

Brigid: Then she ponders. “Is everything alright?”

Nicholas: “Yes. At least, I hope so. You will have to tell me.” Nicholas says a bit confusingly as he takes a step closer to her.

Well, it is confusing to Brigid, at first. Then a thought comes to her mind.

Brigid: “And what is it that you wish me to tell you?” She asks with a small knowing smile Brigid-isHelena-Bonham-Carter_2703004b_Sept1814telegraphcouk-sized[(3) right]. Or at least, Brigid thinks she knows.

But there is a quick double knock at the open parlor door and Maid Sarah pops her head in.

Maid Sarah: “Begging your pardon, Nanny Brigid. Mrs. Thornton asks if you will be ready to go with her into Milton at 2 o’clock?   Or should she delay ordering the carriage?”

Both Nicholas and Brigid look to the mantel place clock. It is now a half past one o’clock. That does not give Nicholas much time.

Brigid: “I don’t know…”

Nicholas: “She’ll be ready.”   He nods at the maid.

***

Then Nicholas unceremoniously clasps Brigid’s hand in his and leads her out of the Thornton Manor–to the astonishment of both Brigid and Maid Sarah–and into the lovely Thornton garden behind the manor. But the clouds look even more ominous as it starts to sprinkle.

Brigid: “Oh no!” She exclaims as the first droplets dampen her dress.

Nicholas: “Let’s make a dash for the gazebo out yonder there.”  The gazebo will afford he and Brigid some privacy for their interactions.

And Nicholas starts running, still holding Brigid’s hand. So the only thing she can do is to run as well. The small Thornton Manor gazebo is about ten yards beyond the Thornton Manor fountain now made into a raised garden of flower plantings out of safety concerns for the children at the Manor–ever since little Caty Thornton fell into the then water fountain and was fished out by Nicholas.

However, the rain clouds burst forth and deluge both Nicholas and Brigid only moments before they reach the dry environs of the gazebo. Once inside the lattice sided gazebo–that allows air flow while insuring some privacy–they assess the damage to their clothing.

Brigid: “I will have to change dresses now beforrre the Mrrrs. and I can go to town.” She smiles wryly at him. “Was there a reason that ye saw fit to have me rrrained upon today?” Brigid tries to reign in her annoyance as she wipes the rainwater from her face.

For his part, Nicholas removes his soaked outer coat and tie and stands in his rolled up shirt sleeves. He is worried that he might have botched his planned proposal even before he is half begun. Then again, there is no time like the present.

Nicholas: “I’m sorry, Brigid.” Nicholas winces at her apologetically, then he drops to his knee to her amazement. “But … I want to marry you!”   He blurts out, jumps up again, and takes her into his arms, gazing at her with an adoring smile. “Please say yes.”

Brigid: “Oh!” Brigid startles at his sudden vehemence and his impromptu proposal and now his embracing closeness. Her arms are not pushing him away, but neither is she embracing him–with her hands resting on his forearms.

Nicholas: “Well?” He asks eagerly towering over her.

Brigid: “May I ask ye why ye wish to marrry me?” Nicholas’ lack of preamble to his proposal has caught her off guard.

Nicholas: “Why?”

Nicholas looks at Brigid in confusion, him taking a firm posture and stance with his shirt Higgins-brendan-coyle-mickey-in-mojo-at-the-harold-pinter-theatre-photo-credit-simon-annand_Sept1714babyskins--mask-sizedcollar open and his hair mussed that has the effect of making him appear–at least to Brigid–quite smouldering [(4) right]. So Brigid continues delicately, and feeling a heightened sense of Nicholas’ manly presence before her.

Brigid: “Yes. Though we have been enjoying garrrden strrrolls and having picnics and such togetherrr weekly, ye have not seemed to … favorrr me in any parrrticularr way.”

Brigid feels that if she has to tell him what she wants to hear from him, she doesn’t feel that he will express those sentiments genuinely to her. She doesn’t feel that she should have to prompt him. Their outings thus far have been proper and chaste–frustratingly so–to each of them.

Nicholas: He blinks. “But I have spent all of my free time with you and little Arthur.” Nicholas pouts, looking hurt.

Brigid: “Yes, and that has been lovely. But …   Hhhhh!” Brigid looks away from him. “Nicholas, Though ye arrre a good man–and Arrrthurrr adorrres ye–I had hoped that you and I might develop some tenderrr feelings forrr each otherrr overrr time.”

Nicholas: “But I do feel tenderly toward you! I love you!” He finally asserts, drawing her into his embrace–but no more. Nicholas is so afraid of doing the wrong thing, that he is failing to do the right thing.

Brigid: “Well then?”

Brigid looks up sheepishly into Nicholas’s eyes as she bats her eyelashes at him with a small smile. He just stares at her–albeit adoringly. Brigid thinks that Nicholas can be so infuriatingly dense sometimes. She wonders if that is because he is a man or because he is English. She thinks that the answer is probably yes. So Brigid moves her arms from lying lightly upon Nicholas’ partially exposed muscular forearms to around his neck and shoulders. The next move is his.

Nicholas: Nicholas smiles broadly and sighs. “Oh Brigid!”

Then Nicholas Higgins leans down and kisses Brigid Gordon on her mouth for the first time. It is a tentative kiss at first–their lips just lightly grazing each other. Nicholas has not kissed anyone in over ten years–and his shyness is quite evident in his hesitation. But Brigid finds Nicholas’ shyness charming and she helps him out by pressing her little rosebud mouth to his lips and she kisses him back. It has been nearly twenty months since she has kissed anyone–since Arthur’s father refused to acknowledge his coming child and abandoned her. And by kissing Nicholas, Brigid hopes to banish her hurtful past forever.

Nicholas pulls Brigid flush against him as he thoroughly encompasses her in his arms’ embrace. His hands do not stray indecorously, but they firmly hold her around her hips and Brigid lets her fingers run through the hair at the back of Nicholas’s head. With encouragement such as this, Nicholas feels emboldened to tear his lips away from hers and begin a slow adoring descent of kisses down her creamy neck.

Brigid: “Hhhhh!” Brigid gasps at this seduction.

Nicholas: “Marry me, my sweet adorable Brigid?”

Brigid thinks upon that for only a millisecond. For there are few men who would countenance the feisty Brigid Gordon–let alone, think her forthrightness is sweet.

Brigid: “Yes.”

Nicholas lifts Brigid up on the air and swings her around with joy in his heart. Then Nicholas returns to her lips and covers her mouth with his in jubilant exultation–entangling their tongues for several heated moments, and then for a few moments more.

***

Meanwhile, John Thornton stealthily walks up behind his wife Margaret on the second floor landing of their bed chamber hallway looking out at their back garden through the rain splattered second floor window, as he wraps his arms around her and kisses her cheek.

Margaret: “John!” She sighs welcomingly.

John: “Margaret, My Love.” He kisses her on her lips most heartily, then he returns to have her snuggling into him. Then looking out the window at the rain, John has to ask with a knowing smile. “Are we looking for something?”

Margaret: “Our probably engaged friends, Nicholas and Brigid.” She smiles up at him cheerfully, feeling very smug about her matchmaking skills.

John: “If they’re out in this rain, they will get soaked!” John looks aghast.

Margaret: “My guess is that they are in the gazebo.”

John: “Ah! Rather drafty that gazebo. And the benches are not at all comfortable.”

Margaret: Margaret playfully swats at her husband John. “They will not be using the benches.” She states primly.

John:   “Ow! I confess that I had not thought of that. But you certainly did.” He teases. “Well, well, Nicholas actually plucked up the courage to ask for Brigid’s hand.” Then John gazes out at the rain again. “Margaret, if this rain doesn’t let up, maybe I should take an umbrella out to the gazebo and lead Brigid and Nicholas back into the warm and dry manor.”

Margaret: “You will do no such thing, John Thornton. They will return to the manor in their own good time.”

John: “Well anything more than ten more minutes and we must insist that they marry upon the morrow.”

Margaret: “Oh no! Brigid and I must arrange for her wedding clothes and trousseau and we will need several weeks for that.”

John: “Woman! Hhhh! Is there no end to your compassionate expressions for others?”

Margaret: “No!” She smiles cheekily.

John: “At least temper the expression of how deeply you incur said compassionate expenses.” Though John admonishes his wife Margaret with a jovial smile, he knows that she will be prudent in her spending for Nanny Brigid’s wedding clothes and trousseau.

Margaret: “Oh look! Nicholas and Brigid are emerging from the gazebo!” Margaret points out the window as she sees Nicholas and Brigid hurrying toward Thornton Manor hand in hand.

John: “Excellent! Now let us arrange for them to be warmed, dryed, and plied with some tea to fortify them.”

Margaret: “Some how, I think they are already warm.” She smiles cheekily.
NandSepi4-370RichardArmitageasJTandDanielaDenbyAsheasMHkissMar2512granetbrtcrop
John: “Indeed.” He returns her cheeky smile and deposits a tender kiss upon her lips [(5) right].

Margaret and John congratulated the happily engaged couple of Nicholas Higgins and Brigid Gordon that Saturday. However, the rain prevented Margaret and Brigid going in to town to begin wedding clothing shopping. So that excursion will be delayed until the following week. But Nicholas and Brigid at least convey their intention to marry to the parson on Sunday and the first of three banns are read to everyone’s delight. Nicholas and Brigid are a very happy pair contemplating their wedding to take place in the coming weeks at the conclusion of her serving as wet nurse to baby Douglas Thornton.

But just as the rain deluged Nicholas’ and Brigid’s engagement proposal, a development will arise to cloud their hoped for happiness.

To be continued with Chapter 84

 

“N&S: JT Love Lessons”, Ch. 83 References, September 19, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #637)

1)  “N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons” story logo: Richard Armitage as John Thornton and Daniela Denby-Ashe in the 2004 BBC period drama North & South, was found at richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/nands/album/episode3/ns3-110.jpg ; For more information about this wonderful 2004 BBC miniseries adaptation of Elizabeth’s Gaskell’s story North & South, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_&_South_%28TV_serial%29

2)  John Thornton sitting at his mill office desk is portrayed by Richard Armitage in the 2004 BBC drama North & South, epi4, pix 216 found at richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/nands/album/episode4/ns4-216.jpg

3)  Brigid Gordon image is Helena Bonham Carter found at
http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/02703/Helena-Bonham-Cart_2703004b.jpg

4)  Higgins image is Brendan Coyle in a Pinter Play found at http://babyskins.wordpress.com/tag/brandon-coyle/#jp-carousel-1013

5)   John is Richard Armitage and Margaret is Daniela Denby-Ashe in North & South- Epi4 _17h54m34s7_Nov1013 Gratiana Lovelace cap.

 

Link to Previous Ch. 82
http://gratianads90.wordpress.com/2014/09/14/ns-john-thornton-love-lessons-ch-82-pg-13-wooing-september-14-2014-gratiana-lovelace-aaari-post-635/

 

Posted in "N&S: John Thornton Love Lessons", Creative Writing, Fan Fiction, John Thornton, Love and Relationships, North & South, Period Drama, Richard Armitage, Romance, Something About Love | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies Tapestry Scroll, Grati’s Thorin Poster Edit, and WB Video Trailer, September 16, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #636)

I love the graphics that The Hobbit films design team–aka marketers–have shared with fans along the way for each of the three films! The wallpaper generator and other special graphics with the first film was delightful!

And now we have a new tapestry scroll designed for the third film, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (Thanks to the Virna Pachon for sharing the link to the hi res image at Digital Spy!):

a-movies-the-hobbit-the-battle-of-the-five-armies-tapestry-artwork_Sept1514DigitalSpy_Sized2000x371Grati

 

Hopefully, the next tapestry version will share some images of the rest of the Dwarves as EmpireAwards2014--RichardArmitageSept1514RichardArmitageFrance-sizedGratiwell. But in the meantime, I couldn’t resist a little Thorin poster edit of my own (below) of the exquisitely talented British actor Richard Armitage (right at the Empire 2014 Awards courtesy of RAFrance) portraying Thorin Oakenshield):

aa-movies-the-hobbit-the-battle-of-the-five-armies-tapestry-artwork_Sept1514DigitalSpy--ThorinPosterCropGratianaLovelace800x1680Rev

 

And to further entice us into full Hobbit BOFA anticipation, here is the official trailer again (as shared by Warner Bros. Pictures, Thanks!):

And finally, just a reminder as to who we have to look forward to seeing in this film:

THBOFA-credits-billingblock_Sept1514TheHobbitCom-sized

Posted in Creativity, Middle Earth, movies, Period Drama, Richard Armitage, The Battle of the Five Armies, The Hobbit, Thorin, Video | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

“N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 82 (PG-13): Wooing, September 14, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #635)

“N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 82 (PG-13): Wooing, September 14, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #635)

aaaN&SJohnThorntonLoveLessonsFanFicCoverDec2913GratianaLovelace-256x401(An original fan fiction copyrighted by Gratiana Lovelace;   All rights reserved; Based on the Elizabeth Gaskell novel, North & South and its 2004 BBC adaptation; No copyright infringement intended)

[I will illustrate my story using my dream cast from the 2004 BBC production of “North & South” and other actors for additional characters:   Richard Armitage for John Thornton, Daniela Denby-Ashe for Margaret Hale, Lesley Manville for Mrs. Maria Hale, Tim Pigott-Smith for Mr. Richard Hale, Sinead Cusack for Mrs. Hannah Thornton Ogilvy, Jo Joyner for Fiona/Fanny Thornton Ogilvy, Brendan Coyle for Nicholas Higgins, Graham McTavish as Dr. Cameron Ogilvy, Holliday Grainger for Angharad Ogilvy MacIntosh, Simon Woods for Baird Ogilvy, Emma Ashton as Mrs. Dillard, John Light as Henry Lennox, Tim Faraday as Watson, Gillian Anderson at Carlotta Quint Watson, Jeremy Northam as Dr. Miles Houghton, Gerard Butler as Lord Jamie Ogilvy, Juliette Lewis as Lady Thistle Ogilvy, and Helena Bonham Carter as Brigid Gordon, etc.] [(1) story logo]

Author’s Mature Content Note: “N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons” is a story with mature themes of love and relationships set within a period drama of the 1850’s. As such there will be heartfelt moments of love and sensuality (S)–as well as other dramatic emotions (D), including some violence (V)–and I will rate those chapters accordingly. If you are unable or unwilling to attend a movie with the ratings that I provide, then please do not read that chapter. This is my disclaimer.

Author’s Recap from the previous chapter: During Audrey Grace Thornton’s fourth birthday party weekend, Nicholas Higgins had his first courting opportunity with Nanny Brigid Gordon in the form of lawn bowling with John and Margaret after luncheon. However, it has been over twenty years since Nicholas courted a lady–his late wife Sharon, God rest her soul. And Nicholas will need some help to woo the lady of his choice now–Brigid Gordon. But with John Thornton’s wooing skills tempered by his now wife Margaret’s help during their courtship five years ago–the grape incident almost derailed John and Margaret at the start, but for Margaret’s sense of humor–Nicholas Higgins may need more than John Thornton’s advice to woo and wed the feisty Brigid Gordon.

 

“N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 82 (PG-13): Wooing

The week passed not quickly enough for Nicholas Higgins, despite being consumed with Marlborough Mills finishing a large cotton fabric order and sending it off on the Saturday morning train of June 28th. Nicholas looks forward to seeing Mrs. Gordon again this coming Sunday afternoon on the morrow, though he has not planned an activity yet–more than taking a stroll about the Thornton Manor garden. But Nicholas will soon discover that John and Margaret have taken each other into their confidences and joined forces in matchmaking for their friend Nicholas Higgins and their Nanny Brigid Gordon.

To that end–matchmaking–Margaret has arranged to take the children to meet her husband John, their father, at the Thornton Village Park for a family picnic and feeding the ducks Saturday afternoon. And afterward, they plan to tour the latest of the recently completed housing hubs of eight homes in the last of their mill worker housing development project. These homes will be filled by other tenants who had been previously sharing a home in Thornton Village while awaiting their home being built–rather than them continuing to live in the squalor of the Princeton District.

John had invited Nicholas to join them for the picnic since he lives in Thornton Village. So each man dashes from the Mill to his respective home to freshen up before John Thornton and his family collect Nicholas Higgins at his Thornton Village cottage. The open Thornton carriage stops in front of the small two story three bedroom stone overseer’s cottage that is Nicholas Higgin’s home. There is green grass and a flower garden in front–Nicholas’ daughter Mary’s doing–and a plot of land behind for a kitchen garden and such.   Nanny Brigid holding her son Arthur and carrying the baby necessities for he and baby Douglas in a bag, smiles approvingly at the cottage.

John: “Audrey Grace, Come with me and we will collect Mr. Higgins.” John smiles and Margaret nods knowingly while cradling their baby son Douglas in her arms and with their younger daughter Caty snuggled into her side sucking her thumb.

So, John alights from the carriage and lifts Audrey Grace out.

Audrey Grace: “I love picnics, Papa! Sitting on the ground to eat is so much fun!” Audrey Grace says gleefully.

John: “Yes.” John agrees, but hopes that they can find a tree for him to lean against for support of his tall frame. “And be sure to sit on the blanket so that you don’t get grass stains on your play dress.” Audrey Grace nods.

John knocks at Nicholas Higgins front door. And inside, Nicholas bounds up from a nearby chair and opens it for him.

Nicholas: “Mast … John!” Nicholas catches himself and shakes John hands warmly. “Please come in for a moment while I collect my food contributions for our picnic.”

John: “You don’t have to bring anything.” John smiles indulgently.

Nicholas: “But I want to.” Nicholas smiles and walks back to his small kitchen and dining area beyond the sitting room. Nicholas is no charity case. A man has his pride. Nicholas makes a good wage at Thornton’s Marlborough Mills and he can afford to contribute to their picnic with some bread and seasonal fruit, etc. Fruit. Hmmm.

John motions back to Margaret sitting in the carriage that he and Audrey Grace are going inside of the cottage as they walk inside–which Margaret takes to mean that John wants her to follow him. So she and Nanny Brigid and the children exit the carriage and walk toward and then into Nicholas Higgins cottage.

Nanny Brigid looks around the sparsely furnished cottage’s sitting room, liking what she sees. There is a sette facing the fireplace hearth, with two large chairs on either side of the mantel. The sitting room has a slightly masculine feel to in it–in the sense that it is not cozy yet and needs a bit of color in the window hangings and perhaps some fresh flowers on the sofa table to give it the homey touch of a woman’s influence.

Being so wrapped up in her appraisal of Nicholas’ sitting room, Brigid does not realize that Nicholas has turned around from packing up his picnic basket to see that she and Margaret and the children are all standing in his home. Nicholas is frozen, wondering whether Mrs. Gordon thinks that his home is suitable for a family–were she to grant him the boon of becoming his wife.

Margaret:   Breaking the awkward silence, Margaret warmly suggests. “Nicholas, your home looks lovely. Might we have a tour?” Nicholas knows that Margaret has been here several times, the tour is obviously for Nanny Brigid’s benefit.

John: “Ha ha ha!   Margaret, I don’t know if we should surprise Nicholas seeking a tour without any warning.” John offers sympathetically. Margaret pouts.   She is only hoping to give Brigid more reasons to like Nicholas.

Nicholas: “Nay, it is alright. With the children gone to live with Mary and I am all alone, it is not so difficult to keep the place tidy.” Nicholas smiles sheepishly, then he sneaks a glance at Nanny Brigid Gordon.

But he has said the wrong thing, as her cool facial expression reveals.

Nanny Brigid: “Childrrren often have play toys orrr clothes strrrewn about, but they can also be taught to pick up afterrr themselves.” She challenges–wondering if Mr. Higgins does not want more children brought into his life. She has her baby son Arthur, and any man whom she considers to marry must welcome him wholeheartedly.

Nicholas: “I beg your pardon.” Nicholas back peddles, realizing that he has given offense.   “Children’s messes are a delightful reminder of their joyful presence in our lives.” Nicholas smiles broadly at Nanny Gordon. “Let me give you a tour.” Margaret smiles. “The down stairs you see here, except for a pantry and cold storage larder off of the kitchen.”   He points to the right of the wood stove along the back wall.

Everyone nods approvingly as they walk back to the open kitchen area.

Catriona: Tugging on her Mama Margaret’s dress, little Caty looks up at her Mama’s face. “Potty?”

Brigid: “I’ll help her, Mrs.” Then Brigid looks at Nicholas Higgins. “And is there an indoor convenience, or is it outside?” She asks curiously.

John: “Oh no! All of the cottages have a small bathing chamber.” John states pridefully for the modern means of sanitation that Thornton Village provides its resident–but having clean water distribution and waste water removal. “And Thornton Village has never had an outbreak of disease since its founding.

Nicholas: “Aye! The bathing chamber is to the left of the stove–if you would care to take Caty.”

Brigid shifts her nine month old baby son Arthur in her arms and takes Caty’s hand with her free hand.

Brigid: “Come Caty.” She smiles at the two year old toddler.

Nicholas: Reaching out his arms, Nicholas offers. “Here, let me help you.   I will hold baby Arthur while you help Caty.”

Margaret’s eyebrows rise and she smiles–thinking that Nicholas is making a good impression. John also shrugs his encouragement to Nicholas.

Brigid: Becoming instantly tense, Brigid replies. “I do na know if he will take to you. Only Mrs. has held him.” Brigid refers to Margaret.

Margaret: “Oh Nicholas has held many a child and baby in arms before. But if you prefer, I will let him hold baby Douglas and I will hold Arthur.”

Margaret makes this shift in babies so that Brigid can see all is well. Now Margaret holds baby Arthur who playfully swats at her cheek. Nicholas smiles down at baby Douglas, rocking him in his arms.

Nicholas: “You have a fine son, John.”

John: “Thank you, we think so.” John beams and places his arms around Margaret’s shoulders.

Audrey Grace: “How can you tell?   Baby Douglas is so little. And he doesn’t do much but sleep and eat and stink up his diapers.” She wrinkles up her cute little button nose.

The adults all laugh: “Ha ha ha ha ha!”

Margaret: “Just as you did when you were little.” Margaret remarks wryly.

Caty: “Potty?” She tugs on Nanny Brigid’s hand holding hers.

Brigid: Jolted out of her reverie of observing Nicholas Higgins holding baby Douglas, Brigid refocuses and returns her attention to the matter at hand. “The wee one and I will be back in a moment.”

John takes baby Douglas into his arms now as Nicholas reluctantly relinquishes the baby.

Nicholas: “May I?” Nicholas reaches for baby Arthur again.Brigid-isHelena+Bonham+Carter+helena_Aug2414lastfm-sized-sepia-crop

Brigid: “Verrry well.” Brigid [(2) right] nods and holds her breath as her son goes to Nicholas–and without Arthur fussing. Brigid nods and takes Caty into the bathing chamber, but not before hearing her son cooing in Nicholas Higgins’ arms.

Arthur: “Ha ha ha!” Baby Arthur laughs at the friendly big man with a large grin holding him and making faces at him.

Nicholas:   “Lord!   He’s a big lad. You’ll be a strong one when you grow up, Arthur!”

Brigid and Caty are back in no time from the bathing chamber–with Nicholas then giving them a tour of the upstairs of his hime, while still carrying baby Arthur in his arms. Brigid likes what she sees. Oh the cottage is alright–it needs a woman’s touch. But she likes how her son seems quite taken with Nicholas Higgins.

***

They all go on to have a pleasant picnic in the park with grapes no where in evidence–only apples. John and Margaret Thornton and their children sit and eat on one blanket under the large oak tree giving them much needed shade from the bright sun.   While some ten yards away and behind a bush, Nicholas Higgins and Brigid Gordon and her baby son Arthur sit on another blanket under another large tree shading them. The distance allows each couple to have some privacy while still enjoying their picnic together.

Removing the cloth covering the picnic basket that Nicholas had packed, Brigid is surprised at what she finds–baked chicken legs and thighs, bread, cheese, apples, and a small 4 ounce jug of milk.

Brigid: “Arrre ye fond of milk, Mr. Higgins?” She asks with a smile as she sets baby Arthur sitting up on the blanket.

Nicholas: “Nay. But I thought your little one, might like it. It has been a while since I have been around one so small. And I forgot what they eat.” Nicholas shrugs his shoulders while admitting this failing.

Brigid: “I thank ye. He will. Though he has some teeth, he is still not eating much solid food. I mash cooked vegetables and fruit for him.” She smiles while taking a small covered jar out of her own picnic basket and opens it. Then she holds the jar out to Nicholas.

Nicholas: Nicholas leans over and takes a whiff of the baby food concoction. “Hmmm. Smells good–like stew.”

Brigid: “Just so, this has mashed carrots in beef brrroth.” Baby Arthur waves his arms to get his Mama’s attention. Arthur is hungry and she begins to slowly spoon fee him–with the baby managing to keep most of the food in his mouth and swallowing it.

Nicholas: “I’d say the little fellow is hungry.”

Nicholas unplugs the milk jug and offers it to baby Arthur, him carefully holding onto the jug so that the baby doesn’t pour it all over himself. Brigid watches Nicholas carefully and smiles as he dabs a napkin at the baby’s chin to catch the milk gurgling over his lips. Baby Arthur at nine months old is still learning how to drink fluids that do not come from his mother’s breast. And Brigid thinks that Nicholas will do as a father for her baby boy Arthur. They begin to eat their own picnic meals as baby Arthur takes a nap in his Mama’s lap.

With the gentle breeze, Nicholas [(3) right] notices small wisps of Brigid’s hair become Nicholas-isBrendanCoyle-asJohnBates-and-anna_zpsef78673f_inDowntonAbbeySep0414games-crop-sized2untucked from her upswept hair and frame her face in soft tendril curls. She has a pert little face, heart shaped and comely. Nicholas likes her womanly figure as well. But it has been so long since he and his late wife had lain together as husband and wife–more than ten years now–let alone when he had dated twenty years ago, that Nicholas is uncertain how to proceed in courting Brigid Gordon.

And with Brigid seeming so reserved and ladylike, Nicholas is uncertain if she will welcome any romantic attentions on his part–even if to only kiss her hand. He knows that he would like to kiss her on her lips as he watches her eat–her mouth moving as she delicately chews her chicken.   He is itching to find out how soft the lips on her rosebud mouth might be. But being in a public park, and in broad daylight, is also a deterrent for Nicholas’ amorous thoughts.

However, the plucky Brigid senses Nicholas’ reserve, but she also wishes to settle the matter of what it might be like to kiss him. For though Brigid does not currently feel a grand passion for Nicholas as she did for the father of her son–her being swept off her feet by the dashing young soldier whose muscled virility and handsomeness quite overwhelmed her–Brigid is not averse to developing a fondness for the man who might become her husband. And pleasant affections between the two of them would be received agreeably by her–once they are married. So Brigid breaks through Nicholas’ mesmerized silence.

Brigid: “Mr. Higgins?”

Nicholas: Startled, Nicholas flinches. “Is my late father here? For I am just Nicholas, if you please, Mrs. Gordon?” He smiles at her teasingly.

Brigid: She nods her head. “Verrry well, Nicholas. You werrre deep in thought just now. Might I ask what so entranced you?”

Nicholas: Nicholas’s face blushes. “Well, I …” He stops, too embarrassed to admit where his thoughts had wandered.

Brigid: Feeling playful, she asks most enticingly. “Shall I guess?”

Nicholas:   His breath catching in his throat, Nicholas croaks with a wavering tone in his voice. “Alright.”

Brigid sets down her plate, wipes the corners of her mouth with her napkin, and sets it aside. Nicholas’ eyes widen. He also sets down his plate and brushes the napkin across his mouth.

Brigid: “Well, if we arrre to get to know each otherrr–with marriage being our intended outcome?” Nicholas nods his head without speaking. “Then perrrhaps we should see if we might develop …” Nicholas leans toward her. “… tenderrr feelings forrr each otherrr.”

Nicholas: “Though I am no gentleman with a fine manner or grace, I am not a brute. My late wife Sharon and I had a tender feeling for each other.”

Brigid: “Ye werrre a love match?”

Nicholas; “We were. Just sixteen we were when we wed as childhood sweethearts–we could not wait any longer.” He smiles sheepishly. “We quickly had two daughters–my Mary who is now married was the younger. Our oldest daughter Bessie died from a lung ailment several years ago–but she was a great friend of Miss Margaret’s until the end.” He states proudly.

Brigid: “I am sorry for your loss. But ye did na think to remarry to secure a mother for your daughters?”

Nicholas:   “I couldn’t.” Nicholas shakes his head mournfully. “Right after when Sharon died, I couldn’t imagine loving anyone ever again. So I was both mother and father to my girls. And we had plenty of other mothers living nearby who could help me with my girls’ womanly issues.”

Brigid: “I see.” She nods acknowledging the difficult time that Nicholas had had in those early years after his wife died.

Nicholas: “And then as my girls grew up, my work with the union became my mistress. I did not have time to think about myself and my wishes.” Or manly needs he thinks, but does not state due to propriety. “But when I took in the six orphaned Boucher children a few years ago, having young ones around again reminded me of the days when Sharon and I had our two little daughters growing up. And I slowly came to feel an ache to share my life again with someone.”

Brigid: “And now, you wish to sharrre yourrr life with me?” She smiles shyly at him.

Nicholas slowly reaches out his hand and gently clasps her hand in his. She does not pull away, but allows him to continue holding her hand. Nicholas’ thumb slowly rubs the back of her hand as he smiles caringly at her.

Nicholas: “I do. And how do you feel? Your being so recently widowed yourself, do you feel ready to … love again?”

Brigid’s breath catches in her throat. She cannot reveal her non-widow status to him, because it would also reveal her non-married status–and that her son was born out of wed lock. She will not be taken advantage of again, her son’s future depends upon her cautious actions now.

Brigid: “I wish Arrrthurrr to grrrow up with a fatherrr. So I must marrry.” She states simply, but with a small smile to him.

Nicholas: Nicholas thinks about her statement, that she wants a father for her son. “You seem to be a puzzle to me Mrs. Gordon.” He looks at her quizzically as he unclasps his hand from her hand.

Brigid:   “Oh?” She asks with slight dread as she retracts her hand to her lap–her not wanting to leave it looking forlorn at being unclasped.

Nicholas: “One moment, you seem bold and forthright. But just now, you seem very shy.” Then a thought occurs to him as he leans back from her. “Or is it that you have decided already that you do not wish me to court you afterall? Is there someone else?” Nicholas feels a bit jealous, though he realizes that he has no right to.

Brigid: “Therrre is no one else.” Brigid shakes her head no. Nicholas gazes at her pointedly about the other matter. She continues “Mrrr. Hig …” Nicholas raises his left eyebrow. “Nicholas, I am agreeable to consider marrying you at a future time.” She smiles pleasantly.

Now Nicholas feels emboldened by her not outright rejecting him. Maybe there is a chance for the two of them.

Nicholas: “I would like to kiss your cheek.   May I?” Nicholas’ eyes twinkle in hopeful longing.

Lowering her eyes demurely, Brigid’s breathing deepens. She is not certain if it is proper for a man to kiss her cheek so early in their courtship. Afterall, she has let him hold her hand. Yet she also is still thinking about possibly feeling what being kissed by him might be like. If she cannot have a grand passion–such as what everyone can see is shared by John and Margaret Thornton in their tender and caring gazes at one another–Brigid would like to at least know a caring tenderness and feel a sense of security.

Brigid: Surprising herself, taking a leap of faith that this man will not use her and cast her aside, Brigid relents. “You may.” However, she keeps her eyes gazing down toward her hands clasping and unclasping together.

Nicholas leans over toward Brigid. But her ladylike posture has her sitting upright.

Nicholas: Whispering, Nicholas requests. “Brigid, might you please lean a little toward me so that I may reach you to kiss your cheek?” Nicholas does not want to move his whole body toward her lest she feel he is being too forward in his demeanor.

Silently, Brigid complies and leans toward him slightly. Their eyes lock and the merriment in Nicholas’ eyes and grin are very apparent. However, Brigid looks quite uncertain–as if she is being kissed for the first time. Nicholas leans further toward her and Brigid can feel his breath on her face.

Brigid: “Hhh!” She gasps in nervousness, wondering if he will take more liberties and kiss her on her lips.

Brigid has not been kissed on her lips by a man–her kissing her baby son does not count–since before Arthur was born and his father refused to acknowledge the coming baby as his child. The man had even hinted that if Brigid had lain with him and they were unmarried, that she had probably lain with other men. Brigid was so hurt by his accusations that she resolved to never again put herself in a position to be compromised by a man.

Nicholas: Whispering still, Nicholas leans in to kiss Brigid and he cannot help gushing. “You are so beautiful and sweet.”

Brigid closes her eyes, smiling with his kind compliment. Nicholas bestows his kiss below her cheekbone, half way to her mouth, in the soft hollow of her cheek. He finds her skin soft and supple as his lips linger there. He would like nothing better than to kiss her jaw and then her lips, before proceeding to bestow soft kisses upon her creamy neck. Brigid does not move away from him. She finds Nicholas’ lips upon her cheek pleasing for a few moments more, before he pulls back–as he knows that he must as an honorable man. Brigid opens her eyes and smiles shyly at Nicholas. He smiles shyly back at her.

Nicholas Higgins and Brigid Gordon are reaching a turning point in their acquaintanceship.

To be continued with Chapter 83

 

“N&S: JT Love Lessons”, Ch. 82 References, September 14, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #635)

1) “N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons” story logo: Richard Armitage as John Thornton and Daniela Denby-Ashe in the 2004 BBC period drama North & South, was found at richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/nands/album/episode3/ns3-110.jpg ; For more information about this wonderful 2004 BBC miniseries adaptation of Elizabeth’s Gaskell’s story North & South, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_&_South_%28TV_serial%29

2)  Image representing the Scottish Brigid Gordon is that of actress Helena Bonham Carter found at http://userserve-ak.last.fm/serve/500/34779527/Helena+Bonham+Carter+helena.jpg

3)     Image of Nicholas Higgins is that of Brendan Coyle in his role of John Bates in Downton Abbey and was found at : http://i100.photobucket.com/albums/m23/mrbateslegal/DA1/bates-and-anna_zpsef78673f.jpg

 

Link to Previous Ch. 81
http://gratianads90.wordpress.com/2014/09/09/ns-john-thornton-love-lessons-ch-81-pg-13-courting-permission-september-9-2014-gratiana-lovelace-post-633/

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