“N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 46 (PG-13): Home is Where the Heart Is, April 11, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #546)
[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, Jo Joyner for Fanny Thornton, Brendan Coyle for Nicholas Higgins, Graham McTavish as Dr. Cameron Ogilvy, Holliday Grainger for Angharad Ogilvy MacIntosh, Simon Woods for Baird Ogilvy, and Emma Ashton as Mrs. Dillard, John Light as Henry Lennox, Tim Faraday as Watson, Gillian Anderson at Carlotta Quint Watson, and Jeremy Northam as Dr. Miles Houghton, 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 and beyond. As such there will be heartfelt moments of love and sensuality (S)–as well as other dramatic emotions, 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: After experiencing the delightful Chopin Nocturnes concert in Milton Friday night with their respective escorts of Dr. Miles Houghton for Fanny Thornton and Ann Lattimer for Baird Ogilvy, both Fanny and Baird realized the incompatibility of these connections to themselves. Fanny said it best about Ann and Dr. Miles–dull and duller–making Baird roar with laughter. And yes, Baird is a little jealous of Miles having the honor of Baird’s Fiona on Miles’ arm. Yet Baird looks forward to his Sunday luncheon invitation from Fiona–with hope. However, one romantic couple was missing Friday evening–Hannah and Cameron
“N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 46 (PG-13): Home is Where the Heart Is
With the children having gone out Friday evening to the Chopin Nocturnes concert, Hannah and her husband of five weeks Dr. Cameron Ogilvy have Thornton Manor mostly to themselves. It is a bittersweet moment for Hannah. She had been mistress of Thornton Manor for nearly twelve years–when her son John’s industry and business acumen returned their family to wealth and prosperity when he became Master of Marlborough Mills. Hannah eventually–albeit grudgingly at first–accepted Margaret as the new lady of the manor when Margaret wed Hannah’s son John. Thornton Manor will be their home now to raise their children in–Hannah’s grandchildren.
And Hannah’s daughter, the unmarried Fanny Thornton, has elected to stay with John and Margaret at Thornton Manor–not the least of which is Fanny’s desire not to be thrust into constant memory of nor proximity with Cameron’s son Baird upon his visits from London. Baird and Fanny are still working out where their relationship is going–them not knowing if they can return to the easy familiarity and tender feelings that they shared before the Charity Ball fiasco. Their pleasantness and humor at the Chopin Nocturnes concert, notwithstanding.
So this Friday night is rather a poignant farewell to Thornton Manor for Hannah. Her husband Cameron notices his wife Hannah’s subdued demeanor [(2) right]–and he astutely guesses the reason for it. For although they have been away from Milton and Thornton Manor for nearly seven weeks–including the two weeks in Scotland prior to their marriage and wedding trip–Hannah has yet to fully accept her new reality as Mistress of her and Cameron’s newly renovated home above his medical practice and also as Lady Airlie of Airlie Castle when they are in Scotland.
Cameron tries to draw his quiet wife Hannah out of her shell tonight as they cuddle together on the sette in their guest stateroom at Thornton Manor in their dressing gowns after preparing for bed. The fire brightly blazes in the hearth and emits a pleasing toasty warmth–since April evenings are still cool. With Hannah leaning back into her husband Cameron, his arms encircle her and clasp her hands in front of her. He kisses her temple and rubs his bearded cheek against her smooth cheek, claiming her as his own.
Cameron: “Arrre ye happy, Hannah?” Cameron asks haltingly.
Hannah tilts her head to look overher shoulder and into her husband’s eyes. The worry lines upon Cameron’s furrowed brow and his amusing pout [(3) right] give evidence of his concern.
Hannah: She smiles up at him as she squeezes his hands clasped in hers. “Have I not said so?” She rubs her smooth cheek against his bearded cheek in acknowledged submission to him.
Cameron: “Aye. But I do na mind hearrring it daily. I fearrr that ourrr marriage has meant much change forrr you. But I also wish to make a sacrrrifice.”
Hannah: “Sacrifice?” Hannah startles and sits up and turns to look at her husband fully. Then she softens and gently caresses her face as her voice also softens. “And what, pray tell, is the sacrifice that I have made in marrying you Cameron?”
Cameron: Put on the spot, he blusters. “Well! Ye … ye …”
Hannah: “I? I?” She teases and gives him a playful kiss on his lips with a loving smile.
Cameron: “Hannah, Me Dear. I’ll na be able to think if ye give me such distractions.”
Hannah: “There you have it! Your sacrifice is your lack of clarity of thought. Though, I can’t think of any sacrifice that I have had to endure.” She shakes her head smiling ruefully.
Cameron: “Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!” His laughter booms loudly for she has punctured his nervousness and he pulls her to sit across his lap and they kiss some more. “So! My loving attentions are not burdensome and make you wish to return to our initial friendship marriage agreement?” He asks shyly, because they have not made love as often since coming to Milton.
Hannah: Her cheeks blushing crimson, Hannah lowers her eyes demurely. “No. I no longer wish for a friendship marriage with you, Cameron.”
Cameron’s eyes twinkle and he nudges Hannah to look up at him with his nose under her chin. Hannah and Cameron kiss each other adoringly–caringly stroking each others’ backs as they console each other for their lingering insecurities.
Cameron: “Ach! I was worried since ye… well, since we have na …”
Intuitively understanding what her husband is trying to say, Hannah offers an explanation for her reticence to make love while they are in Thornton Manor.
Hannah: “This house–Thornton Manor–holds many memories for me. In it, I have been a mother first and foremost. I have never been a wife.” Her having been widowed four years before they moved to Thornton Manor.
Cameron: Cameron nods in understanding. “Ye will be sorrrry to leave it?”
Hannah: “Yes, and no. My children are grown and their days of needing my mothering of them is long past. Well! Except Fanny still needs a bit of guidance.” They both roll their eyes. “But my home is where you are.” She gazes at him lovingly as she puts her hand flat upon his chest, over his heart. “I gave you my heart, Cameron. Wherever you are is my home.”
Cameron: “Trrrully?” She nods and smiles lovingly as tears brim in her eyes. “And wherever ye arrre, is my home, Hannah my Love.”
They kiss each other with loving tenderness for several minutes–not wanting to part their lips from each other as if their kiss is life sustaining, like unto the air that they breathe.
Hannah: “I love you, Cameron.”
Cameron: “And I love you, Hannah.” They kiss a bit more. “So ye do na dislike my loving carrresses?” He smiles and tightens his hold on her hips and her rump as she sits across him, and then he kisses her neck and begins to descend toward her silk nightgown covered breasts.
Hannah squeezes Cameron’s arms sharply to get his attention–effectively halting his loving exploration.
Hannah: “Cameron, I wish to make love with you. But recently, I have felt some tenderness … in my breasts.” She says in a shy whisper.
Cameron: “Ye have?” He asks incredulously for he is very gentle with her in ther lovemaking and he would feel awful were he to think that he has caused her any pain, when he only wishes to give her joy.
Hannah: “The pain comes and goes. It is just that coupled with the indigestion I have felt the past few days–probably due to our traveling so much–I do not feel at my best all the time. And I am quite fatigued.” She winces at him apologetically–for she loves their lovemaking as much as he does.
Cameron: “Hannah, I wish ye would have told me soonerrr.” He comfortingly rocks her in his arms. “Perhaps I should examine ye to make sure it is na something else.” His thoughts begin to fill with worries of diseases that as of his time have no cure.
Hannah: “No, no. I am fine, Cameron. Truly. Dr. Houghton visited with me after seeing Margaret one day this week. And he prescribed me to take more rest and suggested that the ginger tea that Margaret drank for her nausea, might also benefit me for what he called my travel sickness.” Hannah lays her head on her husband’s shoulder and sleepily snuggles in to him.
At Hannah’s declarations, Cameron’s eyes go wide. His mouth drops open, but no sound issues forth. After some minutes, he closes his mouth–with only his teeth rattling as they touch. Then he hears his wife’s breathing become steady and rhythmic. She has fallen asleep. Cameron slowly lifts Hannah into his arms as he stands up from the sette and carries her to their bed, gently laying her down upon it and covering her with the bed linens–even as he slides into bed next to her and cradles her in his arms.
Cameron’s mind considers several possible diagnoses for his wife. As a fifty year old woman, Hannah is very fit and healthy–of this he knows well from their loving making interludes and their walks in touring the Scottish hillside back in Scotland. The woman is indefatiguable–except seemingly, now. Cameron reasons that Hannah’s ailments could be due to many things–including exhaustion from their busy wedding trip schedule. She had led a sedate and predictable life in Milton. Hannah’s marriage to Cameron caused that sedateness to be set aside in favor of a more vigorous life style.
Of course, travel fatigue is what ails his wife Hannah, Cameron thinks. And yet … and yet. Cameron falls asleep with the what ifs colliding in his brain–some quizzical, some concerning, and one notion in particular that is truly terrifying–but in a good way.
Both married couples under the Thornton Manor roof awaken Saturday morning after the Friday evening Chopin Nocturnes concert, with happy smiles–especially Hannah and Cameron who wake up to a lovely morning romantic tryst [(4) right].
John and Margaret plan to spend a lazy morning at home for a change–with John delegating the Mill’s Saturday morning half work day shift to Higgins and Williams to supervise. John wakens first and delights in watching Margaret continue to slumber In his arms. But Margaret’s sleepy eyes flutter open as she slowly awakens as morning light begins to enter their bed chamber.
John: John sweetly kisses Margaret’s forehead, her cheeks, her nose, and then her lips. “Good morning, my wife.” The deep timbre of John’s voice feels like a velvet cloth brushing against Margaret’s heart.
Margaret: “Hhhh!” She yawns. “Good morning.” She sighs softly. With being almost six months preganant now, Margaret finds that sleeping is her main activity.
John: “Go back to sleep for a little while if you wish, My Love. I will shave and ask for our breakfast to be brought up in a half hour at eight o’clock.” He smiles as his index finger caresses her cheek. Then he sits up on the side of the bed, his bare back to her as he prepares to stand up.
Margaret: Instantly awake now that she is apprised of the lateness of the hour, she winces. “Oh! I had not meant to sleep so long.”
John: Looking over his shoulder as he stands up and grabs his dressing gown to cover his night pants only covered form, John smiles. “I slept in as well. So we both are guilty.”
Margaret nods and sits up on her side of the bed. She is still wearing her night gown. They had both been too tired after the musical concert last evening to make love before they went to sleep. Well, mostly Margaret had been too tired and the ever considerate John chimed in that he felt the same way–so that Margaret would not feel that she was denying her husband.
Margaret: “John will you help me into our bathing chamber? I should like to splash some water on my face and such.” She smiles shyly with thinly veiled admiration for her husband’s muscular chest peeking out of his dressing gown. “Then I should like to return to bed.” Margaret’s cheeks pinken in a charming blush.
John: “Of course. Then I will shave while you doze.” John smiles indulgently, not catching her hidden meaning at first.
Margaret: She pouts. “I am not sleepy.” She bats her eyelashes at him. “I would like to cuddle with you.”
Asking to cuddle with John is Margaret’s charming way of saying that she wants to make love with him. John’s eyes smoulder with a desire that he has had to keep tempered during Margaret’s delicate condition related to her pregnancy these past two weeks. Their lovemaking has become more sporadic, to only a few times a week–when they had enjoyed nightly romantic couplings in their early married days.
John: “I can think of nothing that would please me more.”
After they each return from the bathing chamber, they do indeed cuddle with each other in their bed. But as their tender kisses and caresses deepen [(5) right], they find that an all consuming passion overtakes them. Soon they are both naked and marveling in his hard sinews and her soft and growing curves. John adores his wife so thoroughly as they make love that they both fall asleep again afterward in blissful contentment.
Cameron and Hannah eagerly look forward to moving into their new home above his medical practice today. And Cameron will see a few patients at his office while his wife Hannah supervises the hired labor moving their furniture into their now renovated home above his medical practice on the second floor–including some new pieces and reupholstered old pieces. Baird stops by his Father’s medical practice building and is almost immediately commandeered by Hannah for him to help with rearranging the furniture after all but one of the movers left.
Cameron had strictly forbidden Hannah to lift, carry, push, pull, or otherwise move or touch anything–due to her health and fatigue issues. Or that is what he tells her. She is supposed to let the movers do the moving. But after hearing more scraping and dragging noises above his head on the second floor when he is done with his last patient, Cameron can be patient no longer and goes to investigate.
Cameron pokes his head into their new spacious sitting room with the formal dining area at one end–it being Hannah’s idea to remove the non-weight bearing wall to open up the two medium sized rooms into one large salon.
Cameron: “Is the Lady at home? Or are there mice moving the furrrniturrre arrround?”
Hannah: “Cameron!” She clasps her hands together in barely contained delight. “Come see what we have done!”
Cameron strides over to his wife Hannah and she slips her arm around his arm. Baird waves at his father from a nearby wing chair that he had gratefully plopped into after his exertions.
Cameron: “Very nice!” He compliments her and she beams. “Ah! Baird! I see Hannah has put you to work.” With a twinkle in his eye, Cameron smiles at his son.
Baird: “Mother could na settle on an arrrrangement she liked.”
Hannah: “This will do for now.” She smiles satisfied with herself [(4) right]. It will still take several days for her to distribute the new and old wall ornaments and table decorations.
Baird: “Excellent! I’ll be off.”
Hannah: “Oh Baird. So soon?” Baird glowers at her because he has been at her service for two punishing hours. “I hoped that you and Cameron might assist in rearranging the cabinets in our bed chamber.” She looks at him hopefully.
Cameron: Slapping Baird on his shoulders, Cameron marshalls his troop. “My Lady, lead and we will follow.” Cameron smiles broadly.”
Hannah: “Thank you, kind sir.” Hannah flouncily does a faux curtsy with a dazzling smile and then she precedes them through the drawing room doors to the hallway.
Baird: Baird looks astonished at his formerly taciturn stepmother’s departing form. And then he glances at his smiling father with new eyes. “So ye arrre happy, Papa?”
Cameron: “Morrre than I can possibly say.” Cameron’s chest puffs up with pride as he grins broadly with barely concealed joy. For tonight, he and his bride Hannah will be under their own roof with no one to worry about in the next room.
Baird’s eyes widen in realization that his Father–his sixty year old father–is a besotted man in love with his new wife. This makes Baird very happy, indeed. For he knows that his Father has been lonely since his mother died five years ago.
Hannah: “Oh gentlemen!” Hannah’s musical voice wafts from across the hallway where she and Cameron’s large bedchamber, sitting room, and bathing chamber are. Again, Hannah’s architectural flair had combined two medium sized rooms into one larger room. And that still leaves them two guest rooms for when Angharad and her family come to stay.
The men spend the next hour trying different placements of the bed chamber furniture at Hannah’s request–the large and heavy four poster bed changes walls twice, and the cabinet and armoir also change their arrangement twice. The momentous result being that one cabinet ends up four inches to the left of where it had originally been. The men had suspicioned it would be thus. But they knew that Hannah had to have her ideas visualized–five or six times. The men are exhausted and look forward to some much needed nourishment
Baird joins his father and stepmother for tea and cake, but then he respectfully begs off dining out with them this evening–he received word from his law office that one of his cases that a colleague had taken over needs Baird’s attention and he must craft his reply. Since the bulk of Hannah and Cameron’s kitchen food stuffs and their home’s staff have yet to arrive, they can not entertain lavishly at their home as of yet. Hannah will keep four live in servants–one cook, one scullery maid, one housekeeping maid, and one footman–who will live in the refurbished third floor attic servants’ rooms.
And Baird still has his luncheon with Fanny on Sunday to look forward to–though this thought is tempered by his need to return to London for a special legal case. And he doesn’t quite know how to broach it to her since he had promised to stay in Milton for a month.
To be continued with Chapter 47
“N&S: JT Love Lessons”, Ch. 46 References, April 11, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #546)
1) “N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons” story logo: Richard Armitageas 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) Hannah Thornton is Sinead Cusack in North & South epi 2, pix073, Dec1913 (crop-brt-flip) found at richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/nands/album/episode2/ns2-073.jpg
3) Dr. Cameron Ogilvy image is Graham McTavish in the role of Dougal MacKenzie in the Starz tv series “Outlander “ found at http://outlander.wikia.com/wiki/Dougal_MacKenzie
4) Hannah Thornton Ogilvy and Cameron Ogilvy as husband and wife lovers (manip version 4) is Grati’s composite of three images:
a) body images www.spyghana.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/lovers-in-bed.jpg ;
b) Hannah Thornton Ogilvy face image is Sinead Cusack in North & South epi 2, Dec1913 (crop-drkn) found at http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m628/lena_catta/English/kinopoiskru-North-_26_2338_3B-South-1668820.jpg ;
c) Dr. Cameron Ogilvy is Graham McTavish in Rambo http://gmctavisharmy.com/72131421992791982/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/vlcsnap-2013-12-07-01h38m17s175-150×150.png
5) John is Richard Armitage and Margaret is Daniela Denby-Ashe in North & South- Epi4 _17h54m34s7_Nov1013 Gratiana Lovelace cap.