“A Magnificent Love”, Ch. 09 End (PG-13, S): Their Magnificent Love, December 31, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #684)
[From time to time, I will illustrate my story with my dream cast of: Richard Armitage for Richard Thorne, Sigourney Weaver for Richard’s mother Elise Thorne, Jennifer Jason Leigh for Edith Thorne Burke, Haley Atwell for Christina Gilcrist, James Slattery for Frederick Burke, Harrison Ford for Prof. Percy Gilcrist, Franco Nero for Count Victor Renaldi, and others]
Author’s Mature Content Note: “A Magnificent Love” is story with mature themes (D for drama and S for sensuality) of love and relationships. Most chapters will be PG or PG-13. However, 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 spending a romantic New Year’s Eve 2014 together, Richard and Christina court for the next five weeks. Their interactions with each other are tender and loving but chaste–so much so that Christina worries that Richard has gotten tired of waiting for her and taken up with an old mistress. But what she doesn’t know is that very day, Richard has secretly gone to her home to see her father to seek his permission to ask Christina to marry him. Prof. Gilcrist is dubious. And later that day after Christina jumps to the wrong conclusion–thinking he was with a mistress–they clear the air when her father verifies that Richard was with him seeking permission to marry her and not with a mistress. Then Christina takes Richard up to her room–to the apoplexy of her father–and Christina and Richard kiss and make up, and become engaged.
“A Magnificent Love”, Ch. 09 End (PG-13, S): Their Magnificent Love
Soon. With Richard’s and Christina’s passions progressing into a lovely makeout tryst on her bed, in her bedroom at her father’s house, with him downstairs that early evening off Friday, January 3oth, 2015–stopping frustratingly before consummation and before Richard would have guided Christina to experience forbidden sensual pleasures because they vowed to remain chaste until their wedding night –the love birds are very eager to wed soon. And for Richard their wedding night cannot come soon enough.
However when Richard and Christine share their happy engagement news that same night–first with her father and then driving over to Ravenwood to tell his mother–they discover that soon is a relative term. For Prof. Gilcrist, soon would be eight months from now in August–it being the cooler waning days of Summer and would be perfect timing for Christina having a baby nine months later when school is out of session. For Christina has indicated to Richard and to her father that she will continue to work at Barnette Chicago during the Spring, but she really wants to resume her teaching career in the Fall. And of course, Prof. Gilcrist is being presumptuous about his daughter Chrissy’s and his potential son-in-law Richard’s family planning since Chrissy was born to her parents the first thing out of the gate–so to speak.
Then there is Richard’s mother Elise Thorne who gushes rhapsodically about how beautiful a Spring April or May wedding will be. She hopes to create a garden of paradise for the ceremony at Ravenwood with hanging tropical flowers, swans, a string orchestra, and such–so it is a good thing that she already has a garden as a starting point. And Elise is confident that her son Richard can use his contacts to rent some swans. And even if they have to purchase swans, they could then donate them to the local zoo.
Christina and Richard both feel a little shell shocked. Neither of them wants a huge wedding–with or without swans. They want a small intimate affair with their closest family and friends–most of whom live in or near Chicago. Though, a few college friends and esteemed business associates living out of town will be invited with transportation and accommodations provided for them should they be able to attend. Of course, Christina is grateful for Elise’s wedding planning assistance since her own mother is deceased. Christina just wishes that she could reign her future mother-in-law in. By the look on Richard’s face, he feels exactly the same way.
Then almost immediately, a ray of sunshine pokes through the Elise Thorne wedding planning fervor gloom. Elise Thorne insists upon hosting an engagement party at an upscale hotel in Chicago for her son Richard and his fiancé Christina in two weeks time on Saturday February 14th, Valentine’s Day. Christina and Richard turn to look at each other knowingly–no telepathy needed here–and they begin to hatch a plot.
It is ideal, actually. Elise plans to invite their closest friends and family to the Valentine’sDay engagement party. So it would be the same set of people that they would invite to their wedding. So Richard and Christina begin to set in motion their plan to marry at the engagement party. They buy their platinum engagement and wedding ring sets at Barnette Chicago jewelry store–using Christina’s employee discount, of course. Then Richard and Christina send out save the date email notices to their closest friends and family, informing them that Elise will be sending them proper paper invitations for their Valentine’s Day engagement party.
However, Richard and Christina hit a snag in their secret plans to wed on Valentine’s Day. It turns out that newly married Susan Gilcrist Hoffman and her husband Talbot Hoffman have planned a romantic getaway for Valentine’s Day weekend. And Christina does not want to marry without her best friend and favorite cousin Susan being her Matron of Honor. Richard and Christina seem to be at an impasse–with them not wanting to reveal that the engagement party is really going to be their wedding, for fear that the media might get a hold of the news and make their lives miserable. For Christina discovers that as soon as she and Richard bought her engagement and their wedding rings at Barnette Chicago the Monday after they became engaged, the Chicago society editors were proclaiming theirs to be the wedding of the decade and she was already getting calls from wedding planners.
But the ever resourceful Richard saves the day by having a discreet conversation with Talbot Hoffman where he hints at the necessity for he and Susan to be present at his and Christina’s Valentine’s Day engagement party. The subliminal male code seems to work and Talbot agrees to change his vacation plans with his wife Susan so that they will be present at the engagement part. Richard will ask his brother-in-law Frederick Burke to be his Best Man. So all that remains is for Richard to line up their Episcopal priest from their church in Chicago and swear him to secrecy, too–which is finalized swiftly. Now all that remains is for Richard and Cristina to show up at their engagement party, and to be married.
As the guests of honor at their Valentine’s Day Engagement party, Richard and Christina walk into the elegant ballroom of the Grand Chicago Hotel to thunderous applause. All of their closest friends and family have joined them and Richard’s mother Elise has outdone herself with coordinating every detail with the hotel’s event planning and catering staff. The beautifully elegant ballroom with silk patterned wallpaper similar to what is at the Versailles Palace in France [(2) right] is enhanced by low lighting with silver candelabras on each round dinner table illuminating the gold satin table cloths strewn with red rose petals. And down the middle of the groupings of round tables is a central clear space where a dance floor has been set up as a nearby string orchestra plays softly in the background.
Elise Thorne has thought of every detail and smiles glowingly [(3) left] as she greets her guests with Count Victor Renaldi when Richard and Christina arrive and thank her for making the arrangements. Christina’s father, Prof. Gilcrist and Richard’s sister Edie and her family–along with Susan and Talbot Hoffman will all sit together at a large oval dining table brought in especially to accommodate all 12 family members at the same table. As is Elise Thorne, everyone is dressed in either black, white, or a combination at the request of their hostess.
That is, except for Christina Gilcrist on the arm of her fiancé Richard Thorne. She is adorned in a a dusty rose champagne colored satin gown as befitting the guest of honor [(4) right]. And she eschews wearing any jewelry tonight, but for her solitaire diamond platinum engagement ring from Richard that each guest requests to see as she greets them when she and Richard walk around the room.
Dressed in a black tux looking more handsome than ever [(5) right] –Richard leans down to whisper in Christina’s ear as they stand in front of a window looking out upon a snowy scene after dinner, but before dancing and dessert.
Richard: “You look exquisitely beautiful tonight, Christina My Love.” Richard compliments her with hushed reverence. For this sweet and stunningly beautiful lady will be his bride tonight.
Christina: “Thank you, Richard Dear. You look quite handsome yourself.”
Richard: “Are you ready?” He asks, the tremble in his deep voice betraying his heightened emotions.
Christina: “Yes.” Christina gazes up at Richard adoringly.
This is their moment.Christina discreetly guides her father to the back of the dance floor opposite where the orchestra sits. Everyone–including her father–think that they are to start the dancing with a father-daughter dance. Christina also has her soon to be niece, the ten year old Elisa Burke with her–who will find out about her Flower Girl role in the next few minutes. And Frederick Burke and Susan Hoffman who were notified of their special duties earlier tonight as attendants to the Bride and Groom, stand off to the side up front, waiting to be beckoned by Richard to join him at the front..
Richard exchanges smiles with Christina, then he walks over to the orchestra and is handed a wireless microphone. The guests quieten down, thinking that some speeches will be made–as they usually are at such functions.
Richard: “Dear family and friends, Christina and I want to thank you for joining us tonight for our engagement party. It means the world to us that you came tonight–on Valentine’s Day. Christina and I feel blessed to have found each other and fallen in love. She is my exquisitely kind and beautiful lady. And I look forward to us starting our lives together.”
Here it comes, thinks Christina. Then a hotel staffer discreetly walks up behind Christina and surprises her by handing Christina a lovely bridal bouquet–of white roses and tulips and purple lilacs–and then handing Elisa a small basket with flower petals in it–per Richard’s prior arrangement. He thought of everything. Immediately, the guests take notice, as does her father.
Prof. Gilcrist: “Chrissy, Dear?” He looks at his daughter with stunned eyes.
Christina: She whispers to him. “Daddy? Will you walk me down the aisle tonight for Richard and I to be married?”
Prof. Gilcrist: Stunned, but happily so, he kisses her forhead. “Of course, my Dear.” He smiles lovingly at his daughter.
The buzz in the room elevates and all eyes turn to Richard as the Episcopal priest who had earlier been in a tuxedo now joins Richard up front in his ecclesiastical robes. Elise Thorne laughs softly as she gazes at her son and at then her soon to be new daughter-in law at the other end of the ballroom.
Elise: “Ha ha ha ha ha.” There will be no huge society wedding for her son, and Elise Thorne is sanguine about that. For now she concentrates upon the joy that is unfolding before her eyes as her son plans to wed his bride.
Edie: “Oh Mother!” Edie exclaims when seeing that her daughter Elisa is handed a basket with flower petals in it. And then seeing Elisa embracing Christina as Edie surmises Elisa is being told that she is Christina’s Flower Girl.
Richard: “As I was saying, Christina and I are happy that you could join us this evening. Because we can’t wait to be husband and wife …” A few chuckles murmur around the room. “… and so we aren’t waiting. You came for our Engagement Party, and that we have had. Thank you Mother!” He bows to her and she tilts her head to him with a beaming smile. “But before we continue with the dancing and dessert portion of our evening, please join Christina and I as we celebrate our wedding vows before you.”
The ballroom erupts with joy and applause for this completely unexpected turn of events. Richard and the priest and Susan and Frederick take their positions at the end of the dance floor, in front of the orchestra.
Conductor: Leaning forward to Richard Thorne, the Conductor asks. “And your request for the bride’s entrance, Mr. Thorne, Sir?” He asks Richard knowingly.
Richard: “Pachobel’s Canon in D, please.” Richard had found out ahead of time that this piece [(6)] was in the orchestra’s repertoire and he had requested it to be played sometime in the evening–to insure that they would have their music with them.
Pachobel’s Canon in D major – Violin (eXquisite version) in a video by swaysie2 found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUZui0ojYCs
As the orchestra begins to play, a lone first violinist plays the melody, then is joined in harmony by a second violinist, and then another, and then the full orchestra. The guests stand respectfully–their gazes being riveted upon the bride. The room is hushed with silence but for the lovely music as first Elisa walks across the dance floor toward her Uncle Richard, while delicately dropping rose petals. Then Christina and her father follow a few steps behind Elisa.
The priest intones a blessing and begins the marriage ceremony. Then as Richard and Christina say their vows together while facing each other, their eyes lock together and everything else in the ballroom falls away. It is as if it is just the two of them alone, so focused are their thoughts and their hearts upon each other.
Richard: In a deeply resonant voice, Richard begins. “I, Richard, take you Christina, to be my lawfully wedded wife. To have and to hold from this day forward. For Better or for worse, for richer and for poorer, in sickness and in health, til death us do part. And thereto, I plight thee my troth.” Richard slides Christina’s platinum wedding band that is interspersed with diamond chips, upon her finger.
Christina: “I, Christina, take you Richard , to be my lawfully wedded husband. To have and to hold from this day forward. For Better or for worse, for richer and for poorer, in sickness and in health, til death us do part. And thereto, I plight thee my troth.” Now Christina slides Richard’s platinum wedding band that is also interspersed with diamond chips, upon his finger.
The inscription in each of their wedding bands reads, Love Always and Forever, Richard & Christina, 2015.
When Richard and Christina are presented to their guests as Mr. and Mrs. Richard Thorne, they tenderly kiss each other and their guests joyously applaud and cheer. Richard and Christina have done it! They married sooner rather than later, and with everyone they hold dear bearing witness to their marriage.
Over the course of the next hour, there is some dancing with Richard and Christina, and then each of them dances with their parent–and Richard also dances with his sister Edie and Christina dances with Frederick. There are also some family photos taken by a professional photographer whom Elise had hired for the engagement party–5 poses was all Richard would allow, and the photographer complied quickly and efficiently. Then Richard and Christina cut their pineapple wedding cake with white cream cheese fondant frosting and fondant crafted purple lilacs for decoration –that had also secretly been ordered by Richard–and they feed it to each other, nicely. Finally, Richard and Christina walk around the room and greet as many of their guests as they can before saying farewell to their family to begin their wedding night. It was a beautiful wedding. And now the marriage begins.
Though Richard and Christina will take a two week vacation to a warmer climate–leaving on Monday–Richard had asked Christina ahead of time if she wished to spend their wedding night in the hotel where most of their friends and family were staying for the night, at their newly purchased and as yet sparsely furnished penthouse apartment a few buildings down from Elise in Chicago, or in their country home? Christina had chosen home. Richard smiled at the time, knowing which residence that she meant.
As their limo drives them to the country, Richard and Christina use the hour long drive to kiss, hold hands, and reminisce about their wedding. Both of them are feeling anticipatory about this evening–and both are a little nervous. Richard will be guiding his new wife into sensual intimacies for the first time. And he feels that it is a rather humbling to be his wife’s first love.
Christina knows the basics of what to expect on her wedding night after having had a forthright conversation with her best friend and cousin Susan. But still, knowing something and doing something are altogether very different. But Christina trusts Richard, she loves Richard, and she knows that he will guide her as they make love.
The limo stops in front of Bellhurst, Christina’s home–and now Richard’s and Christina’s home when they are not staying in their new penthouse in the city. Christina did not want to leave her father all alone and Richard agreed with that. But tonight, Prof. Gilcrist is staying at the hotel where Richard and Christina married tonight. So Richard and Christina are alone for their first night of love.
The limo driver deposits Richard’s overnight bag from the trunk on the front steps of Bellhurst mansion as Richard opens the front door. Then the limo driver leaves after wishing them well upon the occasion of their marriage–to Richard and Christina’s kind thanks. Richard sets his bag inside the front door and then he turns to his new wife.
Richard: “Mrs. Thorne. May I assist you into our new home?” His eyes glimmer with desire.
Christina: “Yes you may, Mr. Thorne.” Richard effortlessly lifts Christina up into his arms. “Be careful not to catch my dress on the door jam. It needs to be fixed.” She winces sheepishly.
Richard: “Your wish is my command, fair lady.” Richard turns sideways and makes and overly broad and slow entrance in their their new home as he crosses over the threshhold.
Christina: “Ha ha ha ha ha!”
Christina giggles until Richard stops her giggling with his lips. And he uses his foot to push the front door closed. Then he turns the deadbolt to lock. Richard’s intentions are very clear. He wants and desires.his beautiful new wife. Yet, he does not want to rush her.
Richard: He stammers, uncertain if he will be able to be as slow and tender with her this night as he wishes to be. “Would you like to …”
Christina: “Take me to bed, my love”. The desire in her new husband Richard’s eyes are mirrored in her own. He is her husband, she is his wife. Their making love with each other is their right, their privilege, and god willing, their joy.
Richard sets Christina down and takes her hand in his, kissing her fingers tenderly. Then he lifts up his overnight bag and they ascend the stairs to Christina’s–now their–bedroom.
Richard looks about the bedroom in mild surprise and he smiles at her–for she has refurnished and redecorated the bedroom with new darker and larger furniture, as well as, darkening the fabrics used on the bed spread and drapes.
Richard: “Nice bedroom.” He had told her that before when they became engaged here just two weeks ago. “I see that you have made some changes.” His eye brow rises mirthfully.
Christina: “Yes.”She smiles–pleased that he is pleased. “I thought that it was time for the girly stuff to be placed away in a hope chest for our future daughter some day. And …”
Richard: “And?” He pulls her into his embrace.
Christina: “Your 6 foot 3 inch height clearly didn’t fit lengthwise on my childhood bed–when you were here before.” She smiles impishly at him, even as she blushes for seeing to his comfort in what will be their shared bed.
Richard: “Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!” He rocks his head back and laughs heartily. “True. But with this new larger four poster bed, I will fit nicely.” He smoulders.
Then Richard kisses Christina soundly for several minutes. Their tender kisses becoming ever more passionate as Christina pushes against his tuxedo jacket lapels and he removes it. Then Richard unzips her dress at the side, his hands eager to caress her skin within, but holding back. They place their foreheads together, each of them breathing quickly in anticipation of their lovemaking.
Christina: “Richard, why don’t you change in the bathroom first, then I will.” Because though their bedroom suite is large and spacious, it has only one shared bathroom–but with two sinks and two cabinets.
Richard: “Alright.” He smiles.
Then Richard places his overnight bag on the said hope chest at the foot of the bed and takes out his night things–consisting of his robe and electric shaver. Richard has a scratchy beard–which Christina has mentioned a time or two–and he will quickly shave to spare his lovely Christina’s delicate skin.
While Richard is in the en suite bathroom freshening up, Christina opens her dresser drawer and removes her white silk nightgown–its thin straps attaching to delicate lace in front and plunging in back to her hips. It is perhaps a scandalously sexy nightgown for a virgin bride, but Christina thinks that Richard will not mind.
When Richard is done shaving, he reenters the bedroom–seeing Christina standing patiently by her dresser. She looks slightly nervous standing there, holding something that looks like white silk–probably her nightgown, he reasons correctly. Richard pulls Christina to him, molding her body to his and she can feel that his robe does not disguise anything about his masculine form. And yet Richard wishes to have the same felicity of touch when Christina removes her outer clothes and returns to him in her nightgown.
They change places and Christina enters the bathroom–but not before noticing that her husband Richard’s bare legs stick out from underneath his burgundy satin robe. What she had guessed when they kissed just now is true. Her husband is naked under his robe. And she surmises that though her silk nightgown is very pretty–and she in it is very pretty–that she, also, will be naked very soon. Christina is both a little scared, but also desirous. She had just enough champagne at their wedding to relax her a bit. And she knows that Richard will be caring and loving with her as they make love for the first time–as she makes love for the first time.
After removing her clothes and unpinning and brushing out her hair, Christina returns to her now darkened bedroom with but a single candle flickering on her dresser to provide illumination. She finds her husband Richard already in bed, the sateen bed linens resting below his chest–revealing his broad muscular shoulders that she had only glimpsed and barely felt inside his shirt two weeks ago. Richard turns his face toward Christina and she smiles shyly at him. Christina looks exquisitely beautiful to Richard, her womanly curves encased in silk, for his eyes alone. Richard holds up his arms, beckoning to her.
Richard: “Come to bed, Christina, My love.”
Christina lifts up the sheet and blanket from her side of the bed and she slides into her side of the bed, the right side. Richard turns onto his left side, facing her and he reaches across the bed to her, coaxing her to come closer, until she lies on her right side facing him, flush with his body as they kiss.
Their lips meet in eager couplings as their kisses deepen and Richard plunders her mouth with his tongue. They had shared such deeply erotic kisses two weeks ago when they became engaged, on this very spot in her room, though the bed was a different one. But they had dared not repeat these kisses until now–for fear that they would not be able to stop. And now, they do not have to stop. Richard’s hands roam freely now as he caresses her lovingly through her silk covering–it not hindering his adoration of her. Christina delights in her husband’s pleasurable exploration, his hands gentle, tender, and loving.
Richard’s kisses descend from her lips to her neck and down her body as he slowly lowers the thin straps of her nightgown to reveal her loveliness to him.
Richard: “You are so beautiful my love.” Richard whispers in hushed awe of her beauty.
Christina: “Hhhhhh!” Christina sighs, giving herself up to Richard’s loving ministrations.
Richard’s kisses return to her lips, even as his hands glide up her legs, and push the hem of her silk nightgown away until there is nothing separating them. They are two bodies, two hearts, two souls joining as one in loving splendor as they make love this night.
And though they sleep contentedly for some time after their lovemaking, they awaken in the early morning hours of Sunday and love again before returning to sleep once more.
It is almost midmorning on Sunday February 15th, when Christina awakens again–from what she does not realize is her husband returning to bed after visiting the bathroom to shave and such. Because when she looks at her husband Richard, his eyes are closed, his face relaxed, as if asleep [(7) right].
Christina gazes in wonder upon her husband Richard sleeping next to her. She loves him more than she did yesterday–after their night of tender lovemaking joy. He had not rushed her, instead him entreating her to love him in such ways that she could not deny him. She notices that he looks clean shaven and she reaches out her hand to touch his face and verify it for herself.
Richard: “Hhhh! That feels nice.” He says without opening his eyes.
Christina: “I’m sorry, Richard Dear. Did I wake you?” She asks apologetically.
Richard: Opening his eyes, Richard turns to her and smiles. “No Christina My Love. But if you promise to awaken me every morning with your tender touch I will never want to leave our bed. Nor do I want to leave it now.” His voice trembles with desire.
Christina: “Ohhh!” She blushes. “But we should probably get showered and dressed–so we can attend church and then meet the family for brunch.”
Richard: Richard smiles. “I think they will understand if we do not join them today.” He smoulders. Then he rolls from his side to lying across her, but holding himself above so that she does not feel the full weight of his muscular body pressing upon her–yet.
Christina; “Ohhh!’ Christina blushes with his implication–and with his apparent need.
Richard: “I want you all to myself . We will see everyone at Mother’s family dinner tonight.”
Christina ponders that as she gazes at him in wonder. They will wake up together every morning like this for the rest of their lives. She nestles into the crook of his arm, even as her hand reaches up to run her fingers through his hair. Then she smiles.
Richard: “What makes you smile, My Love?” She bites her lip “Out with it!” He teases her bemusedly.
Christina: “Your hair! It’s so spikey in the morning.” She observes as she pats it carefully.
Of all the things Richard thought that his new wife Christina might ask him or say to him, that topic wasn’t among them.
Richard: “Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!” Richard roars with laughter as he hauls her body to lie upon his body as he returns to lying on his back. “I’m afraid so. You have found me out. I’m a spikey haired fellow who uses wax to tame my hair down. Is that a deal breaker? Are you going to kick me out so soon?”
Christina: “Ha ha ha ha ha!” She giggles. “No silly! But is there anything else I should know?” She asks impishly.
Richard: “A million things! And I’m sure that I’ll discover a million things about you as we live together and as we love together.”
Christina: “As we live together, and as we love together.” She repeats back to him. “I like the sound of that.” She smiles at her husband sweetly.
Richard: “As do I, My Love, as do I.”
Then Richard and Christina kiss each other adoringly, and such.
Richard and Christina begin their married lives together with love and tenderness. They share everything together, including a love of family that leads them to mostly live at Bellhurst with Christina’s father–renovating their mansion home to create a first floor master suite for him so that he no longer has to use the stairs as he approaches his later seventies. But they will also stay at their new Chicago penthouse some weekends and late working weeknights as Richard’s business and Christina’s school teaching job she starts in August will require.
And also as Spring gave way to Summer and Fall, then becoming on the cusp of winter, Christina gave birth to their first child, a son whom they named Burke Thorne–in honor of Richard’s and Christina’s brother-in-law, Edie’s husband Frederick Burke, who played such a vital role in helping Richard to see that he wanted Christina for his wife and through his sage advice and counsel of Richard in the early days of Richard’s and Christina’s courtship. The birth of their first child was joyous, and joined two years later by their adorable daughter, Meghan Elise, named after their children’s grandmothers.
To be continued with the Epilogue
“A Magnificent Love”, Epilogue
It is now twenty four years later after the birth of their son Burke, and a now 55 year old Christina moves gracefully about her and Richard’s bedroom suite getting dressed in their penthouse apartment that they share with the now 90 year old and quite frail Elise Thorne. She had come to live with them when she turned eighty, ten years ago–after her longtime companion Count Victor Renald had passed away at the age of 92 years at their villa in Italy. Mostly confined to sitting on the couch amongst her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren –granted her by Elisa, Daniel, and Will–these days, Elise Thorne still dresses to perfection and is happily ensconced as the dowager doyenne of the Thorne extended family–with Christina now considered to be the reigning doyenne. And Elise would not have it any other way.
And Christina would have it no other way, than to have her mother-in-law living with them. Elise had filled the void that Christina had felt when her own mother had died thirty years ago before she and Richard met and fell in love. And she and Elise have long ago forged a loving Mother-in-law and Daughter-in-law relationship with each other. So much so that upon the occasion of Christina and Richard’s 15th wedding anniversary ten years ago, Elise gifted Christina with the diamond earring and pendant set that Richard had purchased for his mother’s birthday when Christina assisted him at Barnette Chicago so many years ago. Christina wears that matching diamond set proudly today. Of course, this close relationship between his wife and mother pleases the now 68 year old Richard Thorne greatly–for theirs is a loving and harmonious extended family that he feels blessed to be a part of.
And to be sure, the ever expanding success of Thorne Medical Inc.–due to Richard’s astute and humanitarian focused business practices– has continued to make Richard Thorne and their family billionaires many times over–and they are now well into double digit billions. But their medical supplies empire is built on more than mere acquisition of wealth. The Thorne name and company are world leaders in innovation and philanthropy. Their Thorne Family Foundation serving to distribute several billion dollars over the last 25 years to meet the medical needs of people and countries around the world. And Richard Thorne was recently awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom [(8)]–the highest civilian accolade that is bestowed in the U.S.–for his humanitarian efforts.
However, this evening–a cool mid May in the year 2040, Richard is just the proud father of his eldest son Burke Thorne who is graduating from Richard’s alma mater the University of Chicago with double master’s degrees in public health and business, an MBA.
Christina walks up to her distinguished looking husband standing in front of the long mirror in their bedroom adjusting his tie, her touching the silver gray that now flecks his still very full head of hair. Her own hair stylishly dyed to her natural burnished auburn to cover the few gray hairs that are starting to surface. Richard and Christina kiss sweetly. They had enjoyed a morning of lovemaking while Elise napped–Richard long ago having reconciled himself to having family in their home when he and Christina made love, with their first living with Christina’s father Prof. Gilcrist at Bellhurst during their early married years, then their own children’s growing up years, and also his mother Elise living with them for the last ten years.
But now, Richard’s and Christina’s attention are focusing upon their upcoming attendance at their son’s graduation this afternoon at 1:00pm.
Christina: “Richard Dear, I think Burke is sweet on someone.”
Richard: His ears perking up, Richard smiles inquisitively at his beloved wife of 25 years and counting. “Oh?”
Christina: Christina now looks at herself in the mirror, as she straightens her ladies jacket. “I gather that she is also graduating with a degree in public health. Though her plans are to enter medical school in the fall and become a pediatrician.”
Richard: “A doctor. Hmm. Well, that will be a change from Burke’s usual girlfriends.” He furrows his brow. For his son Burke did not fall too far from the tree in his appetite for beautiful women via short term relationships.
Christina:”Yes.” Christina sighs relievedly about her son Burke finally turning his attention to his future family prospect.
Richard: “And are we to know who this someone is, Christina My Love? Perhaps we should ask him at the graduation reception at the university.”
Christina: “Now now, don’t tease him, Richard. The lady in question comes from an old family and is my dear friend and cousin Susan Hoffman’s niece. She is also someone whom Burke happened to have been in private day school with when they were little–though he was a year ahead of her in school.”
Richard: Wracking his brain, he asks. “Who is it?”
Christina: “Dierdre Talbot Hoffman, Susie’s niece on her husband Talbot’s mother’s side. Talbot was Talbot Hoffman’s mother’s maiden name.” Christina smiles. “But she goes by Tally, a family nick name.”
Richard: “Tally?” Christina nods. “Tally Thorne.” He tries it out on his tongue. “It works!”
Christina: “Ha ha ha! Now Richard, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Burke and Tally have just started dating. Who knows where it will lead?” Then Christina gazes at her husband pointedly. “And our son might need some romantic guidance with regard to courtship.” She smiles at her husband Richard who improved as her suitor during their courtship so many years ago. “It is my understanding that Burke will bring Tally back here for our family afternoon supper buffet with Grandmama Elise and the rest of the family at 4:00pm, before Burke joins Tally at her family’s graduation dinner later tonight.”
Richard: “He’s already negotiating where he is spending his family time with her? That sounds promising.” Richard looks at his wife non plussed. Richard has hoped that their children–their son in particular–would not sow as many wild oats as he did before they settle down and marry. Grandchildren being very much wanted by Richard–and by Christina.
Christina: “It does. She’s a lovely young lady. Intelligent, kind, and she will keep Burke on his toes.” Christina smiles impishly.
Richard: “As you did for me.” Richard kisses his wife’s forehead. “Good! The men in our family need our women to keep us on the right path. But what about Meg and her romantic prospects?” Meghan Thorne is Meg, as her father affectionately calls her. Their younger child, their daughter Meg, is a lovely girl, but she hasn’t dated much nor has she had a steady boyfriend–so focused on her studies is she.
Christina: “Welllll.” Christina sighs. “Meghan is still young yet–only 22 years old. Let her get her feet planted firmly in law school that she starts in the Fall. Maybe she will meet someone at school whom she might like to date.”
Richard: “Well whomever comes calling for our Meg will have to come through me first.” He wags his finger firmly.
Christina: “Ha ha ha! You looked just like Daddy for a moment.” Then Christina’s eyes tear up and Richard pulls her into his embrace.
Richard: “I know sweetheart, I miss your father, too. At least our children had your father in their lives during their childhoods.”
Christina: “I know.” She nods. “But I still miss him–everyday.” Christina leans in to her husband’s chest, gaining solace from his embrace, and from his love.
Richard: “Yes.” Richard smiles and leans back–crooking his index finger under her chin and kissing her sweetly. “But today we have much to be thankful for. Burke will graduate, and maybe he will fall in love.” Richard winks at her
Christina: “Love is what I wish for our children. Love, and to have a purpose in their lives, and to help others.”
Richard: “They will my love, they will.” Richard caresses his wife’s still lovely face that time has only enhanced her beauty. “And if they are half as happy and in love as we have been these past 25 years–and god willing, 25 more years and beyond–they will have a wonderful life.”
Richard and Christina Thorne kiss tenderly for several moments. Theirs is a love that has burned ever more deeply over the course of their 25 year marriage. They have shared life’s joys and sorrows together. Time has not diminished their passion for each other, it has only increased and enriched it. And they are as one heart, one mind, one body, and one soul–loving always and forever. For Richard and Christina, theirs is a magnificent love.
Thank you for reading my original story about Richard and Christina’s journey to find love together. I’m glad that you enjoyed it! The idea for story for the holidays came so unexpectedly to me–perhaps as love came unexpectedly to Richard and Christina–that I had to share their story with you.
It has been a marathon for me writing and publishing new chapters daily for “A Magnificent Love”–which I was only able to accomplish because I was on vacation, since I work fulltime. But I have enjoyed every minute of writing and sharing my original story with you.
So, in the coming weeks, I will select one of my other stories to share with you that I have been working on already, but that I have yet to serialize –my probably returning to a once or twice a week chapter posting schedule. Though I haven’t decided which original or fan fic story I will share next–several have been waiting in the queue for a long time now, competing in my mind. I rotate writing on them as the mood and my muse inspires me. Both my Guy Tale Book 3 (“Sir Guy’s Atonement) and a Lucas fan fic (“Lucas, True North”) have been percolating. But I have several others as well–both contemporary original and fan fic original and period drama love stories.
So, out of curiosity on my part, if “you” have any preferences for what tale I weave and serialize next, please share your thoughts with me in a comment below.
And as always, thank you for your faithful readership, your encouraging and supportive comments, and your likes/stars/votes, etc! I really appreciate them!
Hugs and Holiday Cheers! Grati
Gratiana Lovelace, 2014
“A Magnificent Love”, Ch. 9 End References for Wattpad, December 31, 2014, Gratiana Lovelace (Post #684)
1) The “A Magnificent Love” story cover by Gratiana Lovelace is a composite of images I capped from the video “The Hobbit Star Richard Armitage: Exclusive Interview on The Hobbit” by Glamour UK found at their YouTube Channel:
a) the cropped background of Richard Armitage on street for Glamour UK 2013 Photo Shoot Dec1714 Bright Box Productions; and
- b) the masked image of Richard Armitage on street for Glamour UK 2013 Photo Shoot Dec1714 Bright Box Productions.
2) Image of the rose colored silk wallpaper (cropped) in the King’s Chamber at Versaille Palance in France was found at http://api.ning.com/files/LnKEbafElofAOKH9ywi77GrMtOLUCeFH0pN6T0stUjVHwPUDMhJ4gu*4aK*M-2LS9PIjIYcY749T*j5YHW2*RDRFlZmb-t8a/KingsChamber.jpg via tweettravelers
3) Elise Thorne is a composite of :
a) Sigourney Weaver at the American Ballet Theatre Opening found at zimbio; http://www1.pictures.zimbio.com/gi/Sigourney+Weaver+American+Ballet+Theatre+Opening+qfBLSD2jSG7l.jpg;
b) King’s Chamber Wallpaper at Versaille Palace France found at http://api.ning.com/files/LnKEbafElofAOKH9ywi77GrMtOLUCeFH0pN6T0stUjVHwPUDMhJ4gu*4aK*M-2LS9PIjIYcY749T*j5YHW2*RDRFlZmb-t8a/KingsChamber.jpg via tweettravelers
4) Image of Christina Gilcrist is Hayley Atwell at 2009 Orange BAFTADec3014 found at topnews.com sized clr
5) Richard Thorne(a beautiful Ann Boudreau wallpaper) is Richard Armitage at the 2009 (?) BAFTAs compositied with a background image was found at https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=758146694259413&set=gm.780809025300673&type=1&theater
6) Pachobel’s Canon in D major – Violin (eXquisite verison) in a 2009 video by swaysie2 found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUZui0ojYCs;”Canon in D” by Jean-Francois Paillard, Kanon Orchestre de Chambre)
7) Richard Thorne image is Richard Armitage as Paul in Between the Sheets tv show founda t http://twitter.com/LadyJuliet6/status/549775790850965504
8) Information about the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom may be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presidential_Medal_of_Freedom