Floo Network

šŸŽ„Christmas 69
[Belgravia] Lose your dreams and you will lose your mind

Started by Declan O'Dwyer, June 15, 2021, 06:06:40 pm

Farren Abercrombie

There it all was. He was clear and direct. There was no doubt left in her mind of where they were headed though just how they would get here remained somewhat of a mystery. He could stand here and say their families could piss off as much as he wanted but she knew her family and very likely his would not be so easily swept aside in this process. Whether he admitted it or not Declan was the prize catch in Ireland and undoubtedly his family would not be extremely enthusiastic about a widowed English heiress quickly approaching her late 20s. It seemed almost naive to her for him to think he would be able to fully control these things but perhaps things would be different in 1970 than they had been in 1965 when she last courted a man.

"I think you're underestimating the power of meddling mothers," she said simply her head tilting slightly in skepticism. But if he was convinced that no one would stop them from getting what they wanted on their way to happiness that was enough for her, for now. She smirked, "I hate to break it to you Mr. O'Dwyer but your money and connections don't impress me that much, I have plenty of my own," she teased. Endeared to him she reached up to gently stroke a strand of hair behind his ear her smile soft. "Are you sure you won't regret telling me to take what I want? I can be quite bossy and demanding." Deep down she knew he liked this very much, he'd always liked her for it, no one pushed her around at school and she took orders from no one, even as a junior student. She'd never counted on this ending up as a regular dynamic in their lives though.

He kissed her again and at first she was unsure why he was being so tender. But she quickly caught on and pulled him closer to her kissing him deeply. Heart hammering in her chest she held onto him as tightly as seemed possible. Again the feelings that rushed over her were overwhelming, again she felt light headed and dazed, but she had no doubt at least what it all meant.

Pulling away from him slowly she smiled. "Not to detract from this," her cheeks were a little flushed now, "but I'm very curious what is in this box that was so worth coming here at 2 o'clock." Taking his hands in hers she walked backwards the few steps to the sofa, watching him as she pulled him along with her. Collapsing into the sofa she gently pulled him forward urging him to sit with her. With a lazy flick of the wrist she summoned the box to her lap.

"And what even happens now? Do we tell our families? Do we put out an announcement? Do we go to lovely places with no annoucement and let people guess. This is what I meant, I don't know how these things work outside of the old ways. I'm not opposed to anything because I just don't even know what we're supposed to be doing. If this was like my other courtship we'd have chaperones and planned outings and planned meetings. Absent all that.....I don't know....we just...do what we want? Whenever we want?"

Declan O'Dwyer

He melted into their kiss and the moment Farren allowed herself to be a little assertive with him, he was right there matching her intensity. He loved how natural this felt, that he didn't have to fake a different personality to be wanted. This was all new. He gasped into their kiss, feeling overwhelmed by the sensations of longing she stirred in him. His hands travelled her body and the thoughts in his mind blurred into vague colours and shapes. He just wanted this moment to last forever.

She pulled back as she ran out of breath and Declan gave her a soft smile.

Farren still had her worries and insecurities and so did he. Instinct told him that for now he needed to take the lead on that and be the confident one. He'd broken the rules more often than she had, been less of a perfect pureblood.

"We just unapologetically take what we want."

He knew she would demand more detail than that so he was ready to give it.

"No announcement until I've formally asked for your hand in marriage. This is not just a business transaction. I want some time to settle into this and plan our lives together. As soon as we say anything our every move will be scrutinised. I'd like some dates, some fun, some time to find a place we'd want to live at. I'd like to see you without half the country second guessing my fashion choices and your taste in men. Though, don't get me wrong, I do enjoy making those silly middle aged ladies in their loveless marriages bristle with jealousy."

"I'd like to tell my family, but I'm not sure if that's the right first step. Between the two of us you're the one living in the public eye and I know very little about that. My family, well you know, we mostly avoid the press, unless it's my father. Anyway, what I am trying to say is, let's think about this carefully and make sure we move in a way that doesn't damage your reputation or get in the way of your professional ambitions. I don't want to change your life in a way that curtails your freedom and makes you dependent on me. And I can take some family criticism if that's where we're at."

He looked at her searchingly. "I suppose the truth is that your family won't like me. I can see how I wouldn't fit with their political roadmap. As uncomfortable as doing so might be, we should tell them first. And then we can tell my family. I think my lot will be less difficult."

His gaze fell back on the box in her lap. "Well, it's not grand enough to justify the 2am trip. At least not in the light of what just happened. I didn't quite know it was going to be a gift for my future wife." He pulled a bit of a face. "Better give it back, or you might find yourself disappointed." He was just teasing, but he doubted that candied violets and a very simple and understated pearl bracelet would impress her much. He'd picked it because the pearls had a natural not quite pink, not quite lavender colour that had reminded him of her. It had seemed fine on the day, but it was hardly a 'we just agreed to get married' kind of present.

Farren Abercrombie

Farren still felt overwhelmed. She was out of her depths at this point. Life thus far for the English heiress had followed a track she'd known she would follow her whole life. School, familial obligations, social rank and standing, marriage, so forth and so on. It had all been laid out for her from birth and up until recently she'd plodded along with minimal resistance or deviation from the grand plan. It could be much worse of course. Declan was just as pureblooded as she. His family were just as rich and just as respected. Declan himself was a minor deviation from the pre-laid track. This courtship on their own terms though, it was rather like jumping the rails.

"Ok," she said nodding, her uncertainty evident on her pretty little face, brow heavy with indescribable doubt. For a moment she looked at the little box unsure of how to respond to all his grand plans. A small noise escaped her when she heard him say 'future wife' something between a contented coo and a scoff. It still seemed like things had changed so quickly it was almost a joke of some kind. "Future wife..." she parroted softly a faint smile on her lips. "Is it not odd that we were hardly speaking and now suddenly are talking about being wed? I never imagined it being like this. I thought I would be forced down the aisle at wandpoint, after being forced to choose from a room of suitors at wandpoint." She tugged slowly at the bow on the box glancing over at him from the corner of her eye. "When you first came here in the summer I wanted to kiss you then. I can't imagine what it will be like to be wed to someone who actually wants to kiss me. Dare I assume -- more than kiss me. Often. I can't even imagine what it will be like to look forward to falling asleep in the arms of my husband. Happy, exhausted, cared for."

Lifting the lid of the box she pulled away the wrappings anxious about what was inside and what was unfolding between them too. Candied violets were a unique choice. A simple enough confection her limited knowledge she thought violets were meant to represent everlasting love. He was the expert on such things so perhaps that is exactly why he'd picked them or maybe it was nothing so serious. "Am I to take these violets at face value?" she asked as she carefully sat them on the table before them. "Isn't a violet a flower of love?" She smirked, her brow arched slightly,"I thought you weren't planning on making me your wife when you came here?"

Tucked into the package was a little bracelet. It was simple and dainty but pretty, the pearls had a unique undertone to them. "It's lovely," she said with a smile. Handing the bracelet to him she held out her wrist for him to clasp it around her. In the back of her mind she mulled over how this would now be a routine thing in their lives. Declan, by her side, tenderly taking the fine jewels and ornaments she nonchalantly handed him and dutifully, carefully, fastening them onto her. "Thank you," she said softly letting herself lean in the cushion closer to him.

"I didn't get you a gift," she said with a bit of a frown. "I hope though that allowing you into my private chambers and allowing you to see me in such a state is gift enough?" she was being almost as vulgar as she had been before even if her tone was light. "Certainly very few have received such a gift, you should be eternally grateful," her hand slid along his arm, up and down lazily knowing her touch was suggestive enough.

"So now what do we do? Plan dates? Where does one go on dates when you don't want either the public nor your family to see you yet? This place is hardly private now. London is out of the question entirely I'm afraid. Unless....well muggle London is there," she laughed at even the thought of them venturing into muggle London. Looking up at him she sighed lightly. It was the most odd evening she'd ever experienced and yet the happiest. "I feel entirely out of my depth with this. I'm afraid you're going to have to come up with much of the ideas on dates. I'll manage the publicity when it comes to it of course. But I can't quite think about anything straight at the moment. Just that I know I don't want to be parted from you again, ever."

Declan O'Dwyer

"Oh Farren," he sighed. "Our pureblood world is a strange one, isn't it? We've known each other for so long and have been so close and yet we're expected to be unaffected by that. Marriages are decided in our father's studies by comparing financial statements and spheres of influence. I think it's how they keep us in line. They make sure our marriages are loveless and miserable, so our loyalties remain forever undivided and with our family only. And then if you dare break the rules, even just a little, were made to believe that we're unreasonable. I'm not surprised we're going from not talking to talking marriage. It's all or nothing for us, isn't it? We never had any other options to choose from, did we?"

He put his arm around her and pulled her a little closer. "It's just an extremely fortunate thing that I want absolutely everything with you. So much more than polite kisses. It's just a bit of a leap to make, isn't it just? I just talked myself into believing you wouldn't want me. I don't even know why." Well, maybe he had an inkling or two about why, but now was not the time to inundate her with his long-held insecurities and idiosyncrasies. She probably knew anyway. There were a few places where the faƧade he presented to the public was paper thin and his confidence was near enough non-existent. Occupational pureblood hazard, in his opinion. It was hard to have a positive self-image when absolute perfection was demanded as a bare minimum.

Declan smiled as she unpacked her little present. "I wasn't expecting a gift," he reassured her. "As for the violets, they usually stand for all the virtues you embody, innocence, humility and modesty. I am afraid I wasn't consulting the flower language dictionary when I picked them out.  They are, however, quite pretty, and delicious. And looking at your impossibly narrow waistline, you can't possibly treat yourself to anything nice very often. So, here's a little bit of temptation."

He smiled and leaned in to steal a light peck from the corner of her lips. "As for the dates, I might have an idea or two. Leave it to me. I know a lot of places where very few questions are asked, and no pictures are ever taken. Perks of being an O'Dwyer. You know how much my family avoids the spotlight, well, minus my father anyway. He doesn't count."

"I thought, perhaps, you might fancy seeing a bit of Ireland. I have a suspicion you might come to spend a fair bit of your time there. Might as well get you familiarised. But aside from that, I think we should see the opera in St Peterburg and visit Sweden in summer. There a half a dozen beautiful European destinations that I think would be all the more fun if I had somebody to share them with. We might as well enjoy life for a little bit. And I think, you've still not even seen my house." He laughed at the realisation. "Oh Merlin's beard! How did we manage that? We're talking marriage and the only part you've seen of where I live is my potions workspace. That needs fixing. Soon."

Farren Abercrombie

Farren knew he was trying to make her feel better, perhaps he was even trying to make himself feel better, reassured about the crazy thing they'd just done. Even though she was reposed against him on her sofa her heart was still hammering in her chest. She was not unsure and yet she was entirely sure they were insane. He knew how it was supposed to be. Fathers and grandmothers combing over lists of suitors, pedigrees compared, vaults evaluated, country estates tallied, and then from the top few there would be introductions. The least repulsive of the lot would be crowned the winner. Of course she had thought about it, striking out on her own, but somehow she'd found herself rather content doing what she was doing now, on her own.

It was madness, the two of them, such eligible singletons, decided to blow off tradition and do what they wanted. She knew what he was saying was right but logically she still struggled and suspected she would for awhile. "I'm just scared a little," she confessed as he placed a sweet peck on her cheek. "I may live on my own, have a job, and do all manner of things my Grandmother finds horrifically modern but....marriage is so serious." She watched as he fastened the little bracelet on her wrist and she thought to herself perhaps she would wear it everyday until he replaced it with a ring. The press would catch on quickly if she wore the same bracelet day in and day out but she wasn't sure she even cared.

He was talking about date ideas, he had plans in mind, European destinations? Was it even possible to go galavanting around Europe - before marriage? Unchaperoned? She'd never dreamed of such a thing. Even when she and Clive had traveled her Lady's Maid accompanied her. She smiled, trying to push her hesitations to the back of her mind, "Alright," she said softly and looking thoughtful for a moment she let her head fall onto his shoulder as he pulled her closer. Her eyes fell closed for a moment and she inhaled deeply. "Declan, just, please be patient with me, I'm not much of a rebel. My first marriage was more nightmare than fairy tale, and I'm not even sure I've ever been in love - truly, before. I tried to love him. I wanted to. But I was so......lonely." Sighing she opened her eyes, "I am certain this is the right choice but I am scared of my families. I'm a little scared of your family. I'm scared once we spend more time together perhaps we realize that maybe best friends is all we are -- I don't feel that way, but you never know, people end up unhappy all the time. When they least expect it. I did before."

Swallowing a lump in her throat she turned her face to look up at him. "I do want you. I want a life with someone who cares about me, who values my opinions, who isn't worried about my money and land and social standing before who I am as a person. I feel safest when I am with you, like I can be my whole self, you're the only person outside the family I have ever really felt that way with. I know that in the long run that is what creates deep and lasting love. I think....if we are kind and patient with each other we can create that. It's what I want for us at least."

Offering a little smile she reached over and smoothed his hair with her hand, just wanting to touch him. "Given the chance, the chance we have decided to take, I think we could make each other very happy. I promise to try." Tilting her head a little she considered him for a moment, her hand still in his hair, not wanting to break any contact points between them. "So it sounds like I'm coming to Ireland - tomorrow or rather, today." She glanced at the clock on the mantle. It was well after 3 o'clock in the morning. Everyone in the house knew he was here, including the spy. He had to leave - in a bit of a show too. "You have to leave," she said softly the tone of her voice made it clear she didn't like the idea of it, "We can't start our relationship on a scandal. Every living thing in this house knows you were here and if you don't make a bit of a show about leaving...well it's been a long time since I tested possible leaks in my staff. I pay them very well but you never know these days do you?"

She knew he would understand and that he would not want to start their courtship, engagement, on a scandal that plagued her. "Take the Floo in the foyer. Or at least apparate from the foyer. That way the elves and the spy and the butler will see you leave. I can get some rest and come to you in the late morning. I'll tell the office I'm not coming in - it won't be odd, I often do my tasks here."

For a moment she considered him. She knew he was suppressing his own fears to support her, to comfort her and that made her affection for him all the more. How badly she wanted to wrap herself up in him. The familiar comfort of Declan, her old friend, who cared for her so deeply, whom she'd never stopped missing when he was gone. For a moment she debated kissing him again, those lips that had plagued her train of thought since they were teens. But she wanted more than that yet, she slid closer to him, practically sliding onto his lap, her leg draped over him so she could envelope him in her arms and hold him. Wrapping him up in her she buried her face against his neck, squeezing him so tightly he could not move away from her in the slightest. "I love you Declan," she said softly.

Declan O'Dwyer

"I'm not that much of a rebel either," he tried to reassure her. Of course, by Abercrombie standards he probably was. He kept forgetting how ridiculously strict Farren's relations were. A lot of purebloods just talked the talk in public and then in private did whatever they felt like. Her family most definitely wasn't like that. They were the real deal. "I want a lot of very traditional things, but I also want a wife I love." He gave her a soft look, worried that she would get lost in her doubts and concerns. She had made a negative experience with her first husband, that much was clear.

"I can promise you that I am certain this is so much more than friendship. You know me. When have I ever done anything without being sure of it? If you can trust me, I am positive we will be very happy. Might not always be easy, but you know better than anybody that people have the wrong idea about me. I might appear soft, but I always win the battles I chose to fight." He might yield on occasion, but he never allowed himself to be broken.   

Declan's eyes moved with hers looking at the clock on the mantle. Was it really that late? She seemed to have the same thought, talking about how to manage his exit. "Of course," he said softly, not bothered by her trying to find a way that would allow her to save face with her staff and family. He agreed that it would be quite unwise to start things with a scandal. Hopefully, it wasn't too late to mitigate such a thing already.

"Just floo in whenever you like and have rested. I'm staying up in Glenbally at the moment at the Old O'Dwyer estate. Or you can apparate there. You've been to one of the rooms before. Might have to gift you one of my vanishing cabinets."

Declan was about to get up when Farren suddenly pinned him down where he was sitting. She shifted into his lap, and he took a deep breath as she leaned closer. His heart felt as if it was about to burst out of his chest. She loved him. He'd not expected to hear these words tonight. It seemed soon and yet it felt quite right. "I love you too, Farren. Always have." It was easy to say these words now, feeling as safe with her as he did.

"Alas, I really should go." He grinned and wrapped his arms around her in return. He stood, lifting her up with apparent ease, spun around his own axis and tried to gently set her down again. "This is the part where you let me go for a little while. It's not that I want to leave, but you know you are right about things." He placed a gentle kiss on her lips and then pulled back.

Okay, make some noise, be seen by the staff. Leave in a visible manner. He could do that.