[From time to time, I will illustrate my story characters with: Richard Armitage as Sam Wakeforest, Marcia Gay Harden as Sam’s older sister Tessa Wakeforest Shoop Delaney, and Emily Deschanel as Tessa’s sister-in-law Olivia Delaney Wakeforest, Viola Davis as Pauletta Perkins, Cicely Tyson as Nellie Newton, Anna Sophia Robb as Alice Trent, Kevin Spacey as Roger Delaney, Sam Heughan as Todd Wakeforest, Idris Elba as Dominic Perkins, the late Polly Holliday as the Waitress Madge, Donald Sutherland as Aldus Warren, Teri Polo as Lillian Warren, and Ewan McGregor as David Warren, and others as noted.]
Authors Content Note: “Love in the Great Pine Woods” is a mature love story with dramatic themes of love and relationships. It will mostly be at the PG and PG-13 movie levels. Specific chapters or passages may have a further rating of: L for language, D for dramatic emotions, and S for sensual themes. And I will rate the chapters accordingly. If you are unable or unwilling to attend a movie with the ratings that I provide for a chapter, then please do not read that chapter. This is my disclaimer. And as is my habit, I will summarize the previous chapter’s events at the beginning of the next chapter.
Authors Recap from the Previous Chapter: Olivia Wakeforest is delighted with her baby’s nursery room designer Lillian Warren. There is just one problem—that Lillian did not realize until the very end of their consultation, already after she agreed to take on the Wakeforest project. The problem is that Olivia’s husband Sam had once been involved with Lillian “Lola”. And revealing that connection will prove to be very awkward.
“Love in the Great Pine Woods”, Ch. 29 (PG-13, D): Lola Revealed
After realizing that her new interior design client is Olivia Delaney Wakeforest—her long ago former lover Sam Wakeforest’s new wife—Lillian “Lola” Campbell Warren is beside herself with worry the more she thinks about it. So later in the day—long after Olivia Wakeforest and Tessa Delaney leave Warren Furniture Store–Lillian changes and puts on her power leather jacket and walks downstairs to her husband David Warren in his furniture making shop in the back of their Warren Furniture Store building to talk it over with him. They have always been honest with each other and David knows that his wife Lillian had a former relationship before they met and married three years ago—as did he.
Lillian Warren [(2 right] waits somewhat patiently at the door to her husband David’s furniture workshop. He is in the midst of using a power tool—which one, she hasn’t the faintest idea. When David builds furniture, he wears an old flannel shirt with a leather apron in front to protect himself from flying wood splinters and such.
But he is also wearing a face helmut shield to protect his face and eyes as he moves a long piece of wood around a metal ribbon cutting fine detailing scrollwork for a Regency period desk apron. So she doesn’t want to distract him–lest he might be injured. After a few moments, David spies his wife out of the corner of his eye and he shuts down the band saw, and closes the safety covering over the saw blade, even as he lifts up his clear safety face helmut and removes it, his leather apron, and his work gloves.
David: “Darling! What brings you down here to my workshop?” He smiles broadly and lovingly at his beloved wife, opening his arms wide and she walks over to him and they embrace.
Lillian Warren: “I have a problem with a design client that I need to talk over with you, Sweetheart.” Lillian lowers her eyes and focuses her attention upon the base of his throat, which she strokes absentmindedly. The more she has thought about it—Sam Wakeforest—the more unsettled she has become.
David Warren: Walking her over to his drafting desk, he sits down at his desk chair and brings her to sit across his lap.
David Warren: “Tell me all about it.”
In a rush and gush of words, Lillian blurts out her dilemma.
Lillian Warren: “Somehow, I’m designing Sam Wakeforest’s expectant new wife’s baby nursery.” Lillian looks up at him in disbelief and worry.
David: At first, David thinks that his wife is kidding him and he frowns with amusement. “Nah! Nice try! But there is no way that you would put yourself in such an awkward position.”
Lillian: “I didn’t, actually. Papa did, when he asked me personally to see to his favorite client Tessa Delany—whose sister-in-law from her marriage is now married to her brother, whom I later found out is Sam Wakeforest.”
David notices his wife Lillian’s serious demeanor. Usually when she is having fun with him, she has a little tell with her eye brow rising in mirth. However, now, in his furniture making shop, David’s wife Lillian has lowered eyebrows—both of them–and her demeanor is the furthest thing from mirth that David can think of.
Lillian: “Unfortunately.” Lillian nods and sighs. This predicament is never one that she could ever have conjured in her wildest imaginings.
David: “Does Sam Wakeforest’s wife …” He can’t remember her name.
Lillian: “Olivia.” She supplies again.
David: “Olivia. Does she know who you are?”
Lillian: “No! Or I feel certain that she would not engage me as her baby’s nursery room designer. I couldn’t blame her in the least. I would never seek to design her husband’s future baby’s nursery room.”
David: “Can’t you get out of the Wakeforest design project and assign it to another designer?” David winces.
Lillian: “I tried–saying that I didn’t like to go out of town for projects since our baby son Duster is so young.”
David: “But she insisted?”
Lillian: “Not insisted, per se. She just likes really my designs when I showed her my portfolio and brochures.”
David: “And you felt flattered.” Lillian nods sheepishly. David wonders if Lillian feels a little triumphant at winning the approval of the lady—Olivia Wakeforest—who claimed the man for her own husband who didn’t want Lillian as his wife. “Well there you have it.” David rolls his eyes.
Lillian: “What?” Lillian asks her husband quizzically.
David: “You’re so good a designer, even your ex lover’s current wife wants to hire you.” Then he smiles minxishly–trying to puncture his wife’s somber mood.
Lillian: Swatting her husband’s shoulder, she pouts. “Oh you! What am I going to do? I don’t want to see the man ever again.” She shivers. “He was such an arrogant, self-centered man. And Olivia Wakeforest seems like a very sweet lady. I like her. I can’t believe that she is his wife.”
David: “Maybe he’s changed over time.”
Lillian: “Honey, you met the man years ago when you used to buy their fine woods for furniture projects.”
David: “True! He was rather undeniably arrogant.”
Lillian: “I’ll say!” Lillian rolls her eyes.
Lillian: “So right!”
David: “Too confident for his own good.”
Lillian: “And handsome as sin, my girlfriends and I used to say.” Lillian nods. Then suddenly, a mental picture of she and Sam Wakeforest from ten years ago after he came back from the war a hero, unexpectedly pops into her mind [(4) right]. And she scrunches her eyes to extinguish the memory. Sam was very handsome—then as now. And the then naive thirty year old Lillian known then as Lola Campbell, thought that she was in love with Sam Wakeforest when they began their love affair ten years ago.
Heck! She and Sam dated for five years—until he said that he couldn’t see her anymore, which she didn’t realize was because his sister, Tessa whom Lillian just met today, came to live with him after she was widowed five years ago. Sam felt that he couldn’t explain his weekday overnight absences to his inquisitive sister. So he stopped seeing Lola. Of course, Sam had another option—of marrying Lola/Lillian. But that thought never entered his mind. Lola wasn’t the one. And as it turns out, Lillian knows now that Sam wasn’t the one for her either—now that she is blessed with the love of her husband David Warren, and the lovely little family they have made with their baby son Duster.
David: “And Wakeforest was probably able to woo the ladies with his charm …” David sneers. “… since he had the good taste to date you.” David teases, trying to improve his wife’s spirits.
Lillian: “We didn’t date. We were … I don’t know what we were. What do you call a non-publicly acknowledged relationship where the other person controls their comings and goings without regard to your feelings?”
David: “Ah. I’m sorry, Darling.” David realizes again the very real emotional damage such a one sided relationship had upon his wife Lillian. It took her two years to get over Sam, before she met David and they fell in love. Well, that is, after an awkward and unsatisfying one night stand reunion of sorts between Sam and Lola/Lillian three and a half years ago, that cemented for Lillian that Sam was in not in her future.
Lillian: “I mean, he would not show up for weeks, and then he would turn up out of the blue one day and expect me to drop everything—school, work, my friends–to tend to his needs.” She shakes her head and scowls in frustration.
David: “Okay Darling, let’s leave Wakeforest’s needs out of this. I get it, you were hurt by the shabby way he treated you. It was unforgivable and he was no gentleman.”
Lillian: “And I was, obviously, no lady.” She whimpers meekly—her eyes watering and on the verge of tears.
David: “Hey, hey.” David whispers pulling her closer to him. “You are my lady.” David kisses her cheek and temple and forehead and nose, and chin, and finally her lips in a sweetly gentle and endearing way.
Lillian: Feeling cherished by her husband, Lillian nestles into him further. “And you are my gentleman. Thank you for loving me.”
David: “Thank you for loving me.” They kiss sweetly for several minutes as David gently strokes his wife’s back to soothe her.
Lillian sniffles a bit as she relaxes. Then David hands her a facial tissue [(5)] from the box on his desk. The only reason that he has the tissue box in the first place is because she makes certain that she replaces it with a new one when he is out—just a little example of husband pampering on Lillian’s part.
Lillian: “Thank you, David. I feel better now. But what do I do?”
David: “What do you want to do? I’ll support you whatever you decide.”
Lillian: “I think that Olivia Wakeforest has to be told who I am–in relation to her husband. And then she must decide if she wants to keep me as her baby’s nursery room designer. But even if she does want me as her designer, I do not want to have to see her husband at all.” Lillian won’t even say Sam’s name.
David: “And if Olivia Wakeforest decides not to keep you as her designer?”
Lillian: “I won’t take it personally. Actually, I’ll probably be relieved. I just hate for the store to lose a sale because of … well, of my past.”
David: “Now now, no talk like that. We all have things in our past that we regret. But they are part of who we are. And Sam Wakeforest’s stupidity in not making you his wife is my absolute benefit—since I was lucky enough to have you fall in love with me.”
Lillian: “I was lucky, to have you fall in love with me.”
David and Lillian Warren kiss sweetly again. Their tenderness and caring with each other is the foundation of their loving and harmonious marriage. Neither Lillian nor David takes the other for granted.
And it is much later that evening after more discussions with her husband David, that Lillian decides how best to approach this awkward situation. And as with all things in their loving and supportive marriage, her husband David will help her out.
Three days later, David Warren decides to visit the Wakeforest Lumber Mill on Thursday, May 5th, 1956. David is a master furniture craftsmen and he makes custom furniture designs and reproductions, as well as, repairing furniture that needs mending—like when your dog chews on the grooved leg of your Duncan Pfyfe [(6)] dining room table. David uses only the finest woods for his one of a kind furniture pieces and repairs. In his early years, that meant traveling farther for the best woods—and he often ended up at the Wakeforest Family Lumber Mill an hour away from Valley View to make his fine wood purchases. Though pine trees are the predominant tree found on Wakeforest Mountain, he does have a fine selection of Walnut and oak trees in separate groves at lower elevations.
However, with meeting and marrying his wife Lillian—and knowing of her history with Lumber Mill owner Sam Wakeforest—David Warren thereafter sourced his fine wood elsewhere, for purely personal reasons. Yet now his wife Lillian is on the verge of having to meet with her former lover Sam Wakeforest again because she is designing Sam and Olivia Wakeforest’s baby nursery room. And David is not keen about his dear wife Lillian feeling unsettled and on edge. So David Warren decides to go back to the Wakeforest Lumber Mill with the ruse of purchasing wood supplies on Thursday. David resolves to have a man to man talk with Sam Wakeforest—however awkward and unpleasant a task that might be.
It has been three years since David Warren has been to the Wakeforest Family Lumber Mill, but he finds that it looks much the same. The well organized and large lumber mill is primarily an outsourcing business—and where it gains its great wealth as the Wakeforest Mountain’s abundant pine trees are harvested conservatively and with an eye to the future. But the lumber mill also has a small sales office for local builders and wood workers like himself from which to purchase their lumber and fine woods.
And as it happens when David Warren drives into the parking lot, he doesn’t have to look far to find Sam Wakeforest who is overseeing the loading of a shipment of pine lumber for an East coast client. The heavily warm black shearling coat wearing Sam [(7) right] has a clip board in his hand with invoices on it, a scowl on his face due to his missing gloves giving him frostbite, and a tape measure hanging from his belt.
David Warren parks his car away from the wood shipment loading activity and then walks over to Sam.
David Warren: “Hello there. I’m looking to purchase some wood for a furniture project I’m working on.”
Sam turns his head and assesses the tall man with reddish blond hair in front of him. Sam thinkgs that the man looks to be a bit younger than himself—though they are of a similar age. But Sam sees that the man has the calloused hands of a man who works for a living—which Sam respects.
Sam: “Certainly, Sir. I’m Sam Wakeforest, the owner.” The two men shake hands—with a bit of extra firm squeezing as men do. So childish. “If you go in that door, you’ll find our sales floor with the wood samples. Then one of my brothers can help you select the wood that you need. I’m going to be tied up here for another 30 minutes.”
David Warren: “Thank you. I’m David Warren, I make fine custom furniture. I used to come here years ago for my wood.” He hopes that having a prior business relationship with the Lumber Mill will serve him in good stead.
Sam: “Oh! Of course. I thought you looked familiar.” Sam acknowledges politely, but not effusively. Sam is not generally a charming and personable fellow—except with his wife. But his seemingly gruff exterior does not usually offend the men who might purchase their lumber from him. Lots of men are taciturn, like Sam Wakeforest. And Sam off handedly wonders why this David Warren stopped coming to their lumber mill years ago.
David Warren: “Yes, and my wife Lillian Warren has just been hired to design your and your wife’s baby’s nursery room.”
Sam: “Oh! So you’re that Warren.” Sam says nonplussed—marveling at the coincidence.
David Warren: “Guilty.” David smiles cautiously. “Say, I would really like to catch up with you. So if you don’t mind, I’ll wait around to talk with you after I peruse the wood samples in the showroom.”
Sam: “Alright.” Sam nods—quizzical as to why a former customer wants to catch up. Then Sam goes back to his shipment loading checkoff list responsibility. David is dismissed.
David watches Sam Wakeforest turn away from him. And David Warren’s smile fades [(8) right] as he looks at the prickly man’s back. Sam Wakeforest seems like he ever was to David Warren, and as described to him by his wife Lillian—Sam Wakeforest appears to be overly confident, arrogant, and lacking a few social niceties. Frankly, David wonders whatever his wife Lillian ever saw in Sam Wakeforest. But then, David’s own premarital relationship choices are also suspect, now that he thinks about it. David feels that he and Lillian are the perfect couple together, and they complement each other well—as well as, them being completely in love with each other.
After David Warren spends forty-five minutes of perusing the wood sample displays at the Wakeforest Family Lumber Mill’s show room and making some initial selections, Sam Wakeforest comes striding into the Lumber Mill Showroom—barking orders to his brother.
Sam: “Kevin! The East coast shipment is loaded, but the metal straps on one of the 500 pound wood bundles slipped off and it had to be restrapped. That shouldn’t happen! Talk to the guys about being more careful in preparing the lumber for shipment. Today, their error cost me fifteen minutes. But if that metal strap had failed in route or upon delivery, the whole load could have shifted and caused a problem–that could make our client rethink their business relationship with us at best, or injured someone at worst. Safety is paramount.”
Kevin: “Sure Sam, I’ll remind the guys to be more careful.”
Sam: “You do that! And in the meantime, oversee their work on the next shipment. I don’t want the mistake repeated.”
Kevin: “Right, Sam.” Kevin nods and goes to relay Sam’s message to their employees—albeit in a more mentoring way.
Sam turns to David Warren.
Sam: “My apologies for the delay, but as you overheard, there was a problem in loading our shipment.”
David Warren: “Of course. Don’t worry about it. Things happen.”
Sam: “Have you made your wood selections?” Sam thinks that surely the man has had plenty of time to transact his business.
David Warren: “I have. Your brother has my order. But I wondered if you had an office where we might talk privately.”
Sam: “Oh? Does this have to do with your wife designing our baby’s nursery room?”
David Warren: “It does, actually.” David tilts his head.
Sam Wakeforest raises his eyebrow at what he considers to be an odd request. Decorating is for women. Why would the husbands need to get involved? Then Sam turns and gestures with a tilted head for David Warren to follow him back into his Lumber Mill office. And David follows as ordered. David wasn’t sure what he would find in Sam Wakeforest’s office, but he is pleasantly surprised to find it neat and tidy and the walls paneled in a rich dark walnut. It would be an impressive office for a banker, yet Sam Wakeforest’s plaid shirt keeping him warm in the still cool Spring seems appropriate. David, himself, is wearing a blue jeans jacket over a navy blue turtle neck–nothing fancy, but warm.
Sam: Sam sits behind his desk. “Please sit, Mr. Warren.”
David Warren: “It’s just David, Please.”
Sam: “David. What can I do for you?” Sam is always direct.
David: “I just thought that some variables regarding the design of your baby’s nursery by my wife Lillian should be made known.”
Sam: His eye brow raised, he asks. “Such as?” And Sam wonders if these variables are expensive.
David: “I mentioned that my wife Lillian is your baby’s nursery room designer. Lillian and I were married three years ago and have a one year old son. She only works part time in the mornings so that she can be home with our son in the afternoons. My mother tends to our son in the mornings.”
Sam: “That seems like a workable solution. My wife and I will be discussing our forthcoming child’s care arrangements should she wish to continue her teaching career after our baby is born.” Of course Sam is thinking about getting a nanny for the baby—not that he would care for the infant. Sam feels that he would not know the first thing about child care. So he hopes to wait until his child and/or future children become more interesting and talking before he tries to do much child care. However Sam will soon find out that his wife Olivia will have distinct views about his participation in caring for their children—which are non-negotiable. “However, I don’t see how your wife’s child care arrangements affect me or my wife Oliva? Unless, of course, your wife will only be available for design consultations in the mornings?”
David: “That is one aspect of the situation.” David smiles wryly—him thinking that this Sam Wakeforest is rather irascible and arrogant—as predicted. “And your wife, Mrs. Wakeforest has agreed for Lillian’s first on site visit to your home to take measurements this coming Monday around 9:30am. Lillian will also bring Mrs. Wakeforest some small spaces baby rooms furniture ideas that she will have gathered.”
Sam: “That seems reasonable.” Sam nods, a bit impatient to find out what the problem is. “I still don’t see why any of this should concern myself, let alone, you. Do you always talk to the husbands of your clients for your wife?” Sam glares at the man, wondering what he is about.
David: “No.” David winces. “But in this instance it is warranted. My wife Lillian did not recognize that she was to design your baby’s nursery room until after their consultation had concluded and Mrs. Wakeforest gave her the design deposit check. Lillian had only been introduced to your wife by her first name of Olivia.”
Sam: “Is there some reason that your wife does not want to design my baby’s room.” Sam asks indignantly.
David: “Not at all. She will be happy to assist Mrs. Wakeforest. It is just that my wife Lillian feels that both you and Mrs. Wakeforest should be … ah … fully informed.”
Sam: “That sounds reasonable.” Then Sam thinks a moment. “Informed about what?” Sam scowls.
David: “Hhhh! Well, my wife’s full name is Lillian Campbell Warren. Her maiden name is Campbell and she used to go by her family’s nickname of …”
Sam: “Lola Campbell.” Sam’s face goes pale in shock as he slumps in his desk chair and stares at the annoyingly calm man David Warren before him. Sam thinks that if Olivia had had a past lover and Sam had met that man that he would punch him. Though Sam can’t picture his sweet Olivia punching Lola—or Lillian as she now calls herself. But of course, there is always Tessa to do the punching for Olivia.
David: “Exactly. And my wife Lillian is not comfortable with working for your wife under false pretenses. She feels that your wife should be told who she is, so that if Mrs. Wakeforest wishes to engage another designer at Warren’s—or even work with another firm—my wife will completely understand. Though we ask for your discretion in telling my father why you are choosing another firm—if that ends up being your choice. Lillian feels were Mrs. Wakeforest to find out after the fact that her designer had a prior relationship with you, that it would cast a pall over what should be a happy time in your lives.”
Sam: Sam searches for the right words of response—an even tempered response. “Thank you. I appreciate your wife’s sentiments. It sounds like her. She was always a kind person.” Sam nods. Sam is unused to conferring compliments—even to past lovers. But in this instance, Sam feels that he is being both accurate and fair when he compliments Lola—or Lillian to her husband David sitting before him. And this scenario—of Sam meeting the husband of one of his former lovers—never crossed his mind as being even a remote possibility.
David: “I think so. My wife Lillian is the dearest lady in the world.” And David uses the word lady on purpose. Because he feels that Sam Wakeforest used his wife Lillian to satisfy his own base needs—however much she insists that was not the case. Though David might like to punch Sam right now, he knows that his wife would not appreciate it. So for her sake, David is reigning in his gut reaction to the arrogant Sam Wakeforest sitting before him. “And my wife is concerned that her presence might cause Mrs. Wakeforest to become distressed—due to you and Lillian having a … prior history with each other.” David has reiterated the situation because due to Sam Wakeforest’s almost stuporous demeanor, David is not certain that Sam Wakeforest is grasping that the situation needs immediate and decisive action.
Sam: “I will think about what you have said and then my wife Olivia and I will get back to Lo…, Mrs. Warren.” Sam corrects himself.
David: “Thank you.” David stands to close this awkward but ultimately productive meeting. “And one more thing.” Sam looks up at David Warren with a questioning raised eyebrow. “Even if my wife’s sentiments on this matter did not mirror my own, I must insist that you abide by my wishes and make no attempt to see or interact with my wife Lillian.”
David’s eyes narrow as he stares down a sitting Sam Wakeforest. Sam shrugs his shoulders and nods in assent. Sam wasn’t planning on seeing Lola—Lillian—anyway. Though Sam doesn’t take well to being ordered to do anything. Such a request/order is almost certainly going to get Sam’s hackles up—such that he might not actually accede to the request/order. Such is the nature of Sam Wakeforest’s self determining nature.
The two men do not shake hands again when David Warren leaves Sam Wakeforest’s office. No need to tempt fate with that hand squeezing degrading into a test of relative strengths.
Sam Wakeforest sits behind his large desk pondering what David Warren has just said to him. And Sam is clearly stunned that his former lover Lola Campbell is his and Olivia’s baby’s nursery room designer—at the moment—the now named Lillian Warren that Olivia has been gushing about being so wonderful. This is not going to be an easy conversation for Sam to have with his wife Olivia. And Sam realizes that he only has until Monday—when the designer is due to come to their house to take measurements–to figure out how to tell Olivia that she can’t have the baby’s nursery room designer that she wants, Lillian Campbell. Sam is not sure how Olivia will react. And he is worried that Olivia might have a panic attack in learning that Lillian is Lola. So Sam feels that he will need reinforcements to broach this topic with Olivia. He will and for an unexpected reason.
To be continued with Chapter 30
References for Ch. 29 by Gratiana Lovelace, March 24, 2016 (Post #890)
1) The “Love in the Great Pine Woods” story cover is a composite of two images manipped by Grati:
a) the Richard Armitage portrait is from the 2011 Project Magazine photo shoot and article interview, that was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/Richard/Promos/ProjectMagJuly2011/album/slides/ProjectMag-05.html;
b) the snowy Pine forest vertical image was found on Pinterest at https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/62/fa/ff/62faff1253d55f571eb3659cc7661e73.jpg
2) Lillian Warren image is that of Teri Polo as Pamela Byrnes in Meet the Parents, found at http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2014/04/22/article-2610567-1D44DF7300000578-533_634x467.jpg
3) David Warren looking astonished is Ewan McGregor found on Pinterest at https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/e1/a8/44/e1a844279d48f28875722a28b5a7b57e.jpg
4) Sam Wakeforest ten years ago in his mid thirties is an image of a thirty year old Richard Armitage as Dr. Craig Parker in the 2001 British tv show Casualty found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/Casualty/album/slides/Casualty-53.html
5) The use of facial tissues is centuries old according to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Facial_tissue
6) For information about the 17th – 18th century furniture designer Duncan Phyfe, please visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duncan_Phyfe
7) Sam Wakeforest image is of Richard Armitage in a 2011 Project Magazine portrait (pix 15) by Matt Holyoak found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/Richard/Promos/ProjectMagJuly2011/album/slides/MattHolyoak-15.html
8) David Warren image is that of Ewan McGregor found at celebsoapbox-blog-tumblr at http://www2.pictures.zimbio.com/bg/Ewan+McGregor+Jack+Giant+Slayer+Photocall+o0leKyl5JhCl.jpg
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