May 13, 2006 at 3:32 pm #2007SilasHughesParticipant
Reverend StJohn frowned at the short note in his hand. Evelyn wouldn?t be happy about this. He was sorry for her; after he forbade her to visit the Athenaem Coffee House she had spent most of her off-work hours in the library of the rectory. He was sure from her glowing reports that the shelves of the coffee house were better stocked and had more recent titles than his.
She had ceased speaking to him, except when necessary. It made for long walks when he escorted her to the Nook on the Corner, the bookshop in which she worked. He had the sneaking suspicion she had even appealed to Bishop Southwell to speak with him; after all, the bishop held a membership to the restricted area of the coffee house.
He frowned again and sighed. He had heard rumours of the bishop?s — proclivities –, but there had never been any proof that he had seen. Besides, the man was after all, a bishop , and Rev. StJohn?s superior in the Church; it wasn?t his job to question the man. Evelyn had been enamoured of the bishop from the first time she?d seen him at the age of 13. Octavius hadn?t been the bishop then, but a quick-rising young star in the church. Evelyn had gone all starry-eyed and breathless when introduced to the young priest, and he had bowed over her hand in a courtly gesture.
Evelyn hadn?t had any long-term relationships in all these years, and when she spoke of meeting the bishop again at the coffee house her eyes had gotten that *look*; StJohn was sure there was more that had happened between the two, but as the bishop had not attempted to contact Evelyn in the month since, he was sure that it had been a harmless flirtation on the bishop?s part.
Evelyn, however?. StJohn pondered the best way to break the news to her. Not knowing the extent of her devotion to the bishop made this a tricky subject. But perhaps it was best to just tell her, and then deal with her reaction, not only as her Father, but also her father?
She raised her head at the uncertain note in her father?s voice. They hadn?t spoken in days, other than the general pleasantries one traded with a stranger, so this was a surprise.
?What is it, Father?? Even so, her voice still held a trace of the ice that had grown between them.
?Darling, I?ve just had a letter from St. Paul?s?? his voice trailed off? She immediately sat up in the window seat where she had been curled up, taking advantage of the afternoon sun, reading one of Bronte?s novels. She caught her breath; surely Octavius had responded to her plea of a few weeks ago!
StJohn crossed the library and joined her on the cushioned bench. ?It?s about the bishop; he?s, well?? he handed the elegantly scripted announcement to her, unable to bring himself to voice the words.
?The Office of the Bishop of London, and the Cathedral of St. Paul is pleased to announce the Marriage of the Right Reverend and Right Honourable Octavius Southwell to Egeria Fellows, a spinster of this Diocese.
The couple were wed quietly in a simple church ceremony and will reside in the bishop?s residence by St. Paul?s Cathedral. They request that no gifts be sent; instead that donations be made to the poor box at your local church, and a prayer said for the poor, sick and homeless of London.?
She didn?t realize she was weeping until a tear splashed onto the paper, causing the ink to run. She couldn?t bear to face her father; she?d made such a fool of herself, mooning over a man she barely knew. She dropped the announcement and ran from the room, ignoring her father?s outstretched hand, and gathering up her skirts ran to her room.
Taking care to lock the door behind her, she threw herself on the bed. He probably hadn?t even thought about her *once* since that night at the Athenaeum! Her letter had surely been skimmed, then thrown into the trash, or even the fire. No wonder Octavius ? the Bishop, she reminded herself bitterly ? hadn?t answered her plea. He?d been too busy wooing the fair Egeria! For surely the bishop wouldn?t marry anyone who wasn?t as lovely as himself!
She wondered who this woman was, and pinked as she thought that maybe this Egeria Fellows had been at the Athenaeum the night she?d swooned and awakened in the bishop?s arms. How right it had felt to have his arms around her, how much a gentleman he?d proven himself to be, no matter what the gossips had said! Her tears redoubled as she realized what a fool she had been? mooning over an older man as if she were still the gawky thirteen-year-old.
She cried until she had no more tears to shed and relaxed into the soft cover on her bed as she fell asleep?May 13, 2006 at 9:04 pm #2590Jeff CrowleyParticipant
Poor dear. A very nice post though…::whispers:: but the rumors are prolly all true.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.