Thursday, August 15, 2013
The Fake Marriage of Olivia Laurent
Steam pushed out from underneath the train and pushed up along the sides of the car my husband and I were sitting in. I was adjusting my hat for the hundredth time hoping that I wouldn’t look too English when my husband suddenly stood. He was looking out the side window hiding his face from view. With a heavy sigh I stood, smoothed my hand down the length of my skirts, and found myself more nervous than I expected. A sigh escaped my lips again, this time gaining my husband’s attention.
“Darling what is it?” he asked with a tilt of his head.
I shook my head and darted my eyes to the foggy window. My body shook with a chill despite me standing in the warm train car. My husband tenderly laid his warm hands upon my shoulders.
“Put your cloak on.”
Before I could turn around, he draped my thick cloak lined with fur around my shoulders. His long fingers fastened the button at my throat. His touch never made me nervous, nor his hands running down the length of my arms.
“You’re shaking.” He observed. His attempts at generating heat were not unwelcomed.
“It looks so much colder then England.” I said.
He leaned against me with his chest against my back and nodded. “You will grow accustom to the weather.”
Just then the doorman opened the door. His face almost splitting in two and his cheeks were bright red.
“You’re luggage has been loaded onto the carriage Mr. Laurent.” He tipped his hat. My husband placed his hat atop his head then flicked a gold coin piece to the doorman.
“My wife will need a warm fur blanket.” He took my hand to help me out of the car first. The first wave of cold crisp air hit me so hard I thought my skin was going to peel off. My lovely husband placed his arms around my shoulders after pulling the hood of my cloak over my head. His warmth helped my small body better than my cloak.
“Husband.” I hissed looking around to see if anyone was watching.
“Darling we are in France, affection among married people is not frowned upon.” He kissed the side of my cheek for good measure. “Ah oncle Alain!” he bellowed at some poor man with a shiny head and a curly beard.
The two men patted each other’s back, while grabbing each other by the elbow. I smiled once the shiny headed man made eye contact with me.
“Ma reine.” He said with a tip of his hat now back on his head.
“This oncle, is ma femme.” The look on my husband’s face would convince any man this was a happy marriage.
I smiled and held my hand out for Alain to take. His soft lips lingered against the back of my hand a little too long for my tastes. After he let go of me I placed my offended hand into the crook of my husband’s arm.
“Madam Laurent I am so very glad to finally meet you. Mon neveu has written many letters, I’m only sorry I had not been there for the wedding.”
I nodded as my heart began to stall in my chest. Vampires could sense changes in human bodies. I swallowed hard in a fruitless attempt at hiding my feelings.
“Please do not be nervous mon amie, my uncle is not the same as Robert. He is not so concerned with the nature of our relationship.” He kissed the side of my head then turned to his uncle. “I hope my father is doing well?”
“Qui, and your maman is looking forward to meeting the future mother of her grandchild.”
I chose to ignore the rest of their conversation after that. Having children was more scary for me then riding a train about to collide with another. A vampire child was not something I was particularly excited about either. My husband had been very tight lipped as to the details of what a vampire birth entailed. This was one of the many reasons my husband and I had yet to consummate our marriage.
Using my husband’s hand for support I stepped up into our awaiting carriage, where I happily covered myself up in a fur blanket. Gabriel lurked outside the carriage with the door wide open while talking to his uncle. I cared not to listen, after all eavesdropping only lead to problems. I bit my lip as I leaned to my left in order to hear well.
“I told you mon neveu there is nothing you or your wife need to worry about. Your manan is ok with this match as is your pere. It is only your oncle Robert who wants proof you have mated.”
I didn’t understand the semantics of mating, but I am pretty sure it is not anything like the instructions my mother gave me the night I married Gabriel.
A moment later my husband took his place beside me and tapped the top of the carriage. His gloved hand slowly crept under the blanket where it latched on to mine. Since leaving England he had been more inclined to hold my hand. I decided it wasn’t necessary for me to remind him we didn’t need to pretend when no one was around. Besides, it was comforting to have his hand entwined with mine.
He kept his face towards the window during the duration of our journey. His jaw seemed to be twitching more often, and he seemed more alert. I pressed my lips together to keep from asking him what he was thinking. From what he had told me of his family while we were in England only raised more questions for me. I tried getting answers from my cryptic husband, though he was more interested in educating me on the proper way to greet his parents.
We arrived at a chateau nestled near a gentle streaming brook. Rocks surrounded the water in a protective manner; Gabriel explained the brook held a certain fish his mother enjoyed. Tall trees provided shade; flowers lead the way to the red front door. Tiny rocks crunched underneath my feet with every step I took, while each one of Gabriel’s quietly patted the gravel. Next to him my footsteps sounded as though soldiers were marching through. It was show time and I was about to put on the show of my life. I had to forget how afraid I was, going into a house full of vampires. Now was not the time to be frightened, that part, I was sure, would come later.