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Old 02-15-2006, 01:03 PM   #1
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The Linden girl pt2

Thankfully it wasn’t a very long journey before they reached where Edge lived.

And although he had been right that the thatched cottage was not as grand as her childhood home Linden Hall, it still felt like a safe refuge for her as Edge helped her weary body down from the horse.

After leaving the horse in the stables around the back of the cottage, he led her into the cottage. She followed behind him a little warily, feeling she was an intruder who didn’t really belong.

Inside the room with its low ceiling was sparsely furnished with a bench by the big open fireplace that took up most of the rear wall where the cooking pot and utensils stood by the rough hearth. There was also a table and two chairs. And a dresser with lined with various pieces of crockery and a small wooden stool.

Edge’s large form seem to fill the room, his head almost touching the ceiling. He went over to the fire which was mostly a glow of red ash and embers and picked up a few logs to throw on top of it, using the long iron poker to stir the fire back to life so the logs would catch flame.

Then he invited Katrina to sit by the fire and dry of a bit, whilst he tried to get her sorted out. He then walked across and disappeared through a green wooden door at the other side of the room.

Katrina moved as close to the fire as her body would let her, willing the logs to burn quicker so she could feel the heat better. She was too weary, and past caring about what was going to become of her, in a way she was contented to let Edge do all the deciding and worrying for her.

Before her father’s death he had manage to shield her from any concerns or worries, her days had been almost idyllic with just thoughts of any young woman her age of parties and romance and marriage.

Then it had all been suddenly snatched away from her when her father died, and she had found herself in a place she had never been before, totally alone and frightened, her once rosy future gone, and no one to turn to help, or tell her how to cope with the life shattering changes.

She was discovering the world could be a cruel and lonely place to survive without the protection of her father. He had done his utmost to make her life one of ease and comfort after her mother died when she had been only six years old, Katrina had been the apple of his eye,

He thought he had been protecting her by hiding his dire financial situation from her. She understood his motives in that. But instead it had left her in shock, and totally unprepared for what would become of her when he had died suddenly of a stroke, leaving her penniless and losing the beautiful home she grew up in.

But for now she didn’t want to dwell on the whole disaster, she was content to sit by the fire watching the flames flicker and lick around the logs which were starting to burn nicely, leaning back against the rough stone wall behind her she closed her eyes, physically and mentally exhausted she allowed herself relax.

A few moments later the sound of a door creaking open made her start, and open her eyes again. Edge reappeared he had changed out of his wet clothes and in his arm he carried what looked like a dark red dress.

“You will have to get out of those wet clothes, so I found this for you, don’t know how well it fit, it belonged to my wife” he explained as he came towards her

“Oh” Katrina sat up, suddenly looking around, somehow expecting a woman to appear from somewhere “I-I never realised your wife was here”

“She isn’t” Edge replied, his eyes resting on the red dress draped over his arm “She died just over a year ago” he informed her quietly

“Oh,” Katrina responded again, “I am so sorry” she then added with automatic sympathy.

He offered no further explanation about his wife’s death, and instead focused on the dress, handing it to Katrina “I kept some of her stuff in a trunk, this was one of her favourites, if you like you can go through to the room and change”

“Y-yes of course” she replied taking the dress from him, “It will be good to get out of this soaking dress, thank you” she added gratefully with a small smile.

“Whilst you do that I can fix us something to eat, nothing grand mind, just bread and cheese I am afraid” he then told her sounding a little regretful

“I-It sound wonderful.. I have not eaten much, my appetite has been lost to me lately” Katrina replied. She rose to her feet to stand and face him “You have been very kind, I do not know how I will repay you for this hospitality.. it has been a while I felt any one cared about my predicament”

“It’s a sad state of affairs no doubt,” Edge remarked, “But I couldn’t see a young lady like yourself in such distress throw away her life, so you stop fretting and just get out of those wet clothes, then we can try and figure what to do about your future eh?”

Katrina responded by nodding her head and smiling warmly up at him before going over to get changed out of her wet dress. Once more feeling she was in safe hands.

*******************************************

The dress was a few sizes too big, and hung rather loosely on her, but it was still better than shivering in her wet clammy dress, The bosom part was a little low, but thankfully Edge had left out what must have been his wife’s shawl on the bed also, and wrapping herself in it, Katrina manage to hide any indecent flesh that might show.

She felt a little strange being in the bedroom dressing in another woman’s clothes, it made her wonder about Edge’s wife, who she was, how she had died?

She glanced at the bed that filled most of the small room, thinking about how a man and woman had shared this bed. The intimacy she had almost been on the verge of discovering herself in a few months time had not her father died. Another reminder of what she had lost, when her fiancé Lord Gilson’s son Paul, who had discreetly withdrew from their marriage plans under the advisement of his parents, it seemed suddenly she was no longer a good match.

Not wanting to think of the hurt and pain of that rejection from someone she thought cared about her Katrina hurriedly left the bedroom, to find Edge putting another log on the fire, it was burning brightly now and she could feel the heat even across the room.

Her long dark hair was still slightly damp and she looked pale and small in the oversized dress making her look even younger than her nineteen years.

Edge was surveying her now a strange glint in his green eyes She felt her cheeks heat up under his scrutinizing gaze, not sure what was going through his mind. Was the dress reminding him of his dead wife? She suppressed a slight shiver suddenly feeling awkward and very self-conscious and clutched the shawl closer to around her.

“The-The dress was a little big” she finally spoke up to break the silence between them which was making her uneasy, “But it will suffice until my dries out” she assured him

“Here, come and sit by the fire again,” Edge finally spoke up “I am sure when you get a bit of food in you, you will feel a lot better” He went over to the table where he had cut some bread and cheese and put it on a plate for her.

She obeyed and thanked him as he handed her the plate.

Although it was a very simple meal Katrina found it appealing and chewed on the bread hungrily, she had not eaten in the last twelve hours. Edge watched on slightly amused as he sat on the stool across from her with his own plate, eating it in a more leisurely pace

Feeling he had done as much as possible to make her more comfortable and at ease, he knew the next step was to decide what was going to become of her… But first he had to find out her exact situation.

“So,” he spiked a piece of cheese with his knife, looking at it with great interest as he continued, “The only relative you got is this uncle, is it? And I gather you are not too keen on him?” he looked over in her direction

“No” She replied in a subdued voice staring down at her plate, “Actually there is my aunt Mary as well.. that’s his wife and my fathers sister. I have never met either of them until my fathers death, apparently my father disapproved of the man my aunt married and had disowned her, now I understand why” she frowned

“Not a nice man is he?” Edge enquired casually

Katrina shook her head, “No he is not. My aunt being my only living relative after the death of my father showed up last week with her husband, my uncle, they offered to take me under their roof and care for me” Katrina went on to explain,

“I got the feeling though that my aunt was gloating at my misfortune, she was very condescending. Perhaps she never forgive my father for disowning her. She made me feel like she was bestowing a great favour by taking me in, and I should show eternal gratitude to her and her husband”

“I see” Edge replied noncommittally, and let her continue

“I could just about tolerate that, but then when he started to seek me out when my aunt was not about, and make improper suggestions in ways I could show my gratitude, I became more uneasy” Katrina realised it was not only the heat from the fire that made her cheeks flame red, and she found it difficult to look Edge straight in the eye.

“Sounds like a lecherous old devil” Edge then remarked

Y-yes, but my choice was either to be under their care or the poorhouse, neither one I really care for” she confessed

“Understandable” Edge nodded

Katrina shuddered “Then this morning my uncle cornered me, we were suppose to set of for their house this afternoon, he reminded me what kind of favours he expected when we reached his home, and he grabbed me-“
She stopped there looking visibly upset, “I manage to escape and I fled the house.. I will not go back there, I know my aunt will not believe me if I told her of his behaviour, she will take his side and accuse me of being wicked and ungrateful… I just cannot go and live with them, I won’t” she stated vehemently

“Its alright, I am not going to make you go back” Edge reassured her seeing her agitation

“I am sorry for bringing all this trouble and imposing on you” Katrina apologised,“ Once my dress has dried out and I will be on my way. You have been more than kind already-“ she broke of there the tips of her fingers rubbing her temple “I just wish my head didn’t ache so, then I could think better”

“You are in no fit state to go anywhere yet” Edge

replied, “Tonight you can sleep in my bed, get some proper rest. I will make a bed up in here for myself, then in the morning we will decide what to do, no doubt your aunt will be wondering what has happened to you, and they will be searching for you” he realised

“Please don’t let them know I am here” Katrina pleaded looking petrified at the thought

“It will be alright” Edge’s quiet calm voice reassured her again, “I will not let your uncle harm you, I promise”

His words did much to soothe her disquiet spirit, and she calmed down again, feeling a little better

“Thank you” she smiled
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Old 02-15-2006, 02:14 PM   #2
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annj Edge is so kind and giving....I know I am an Adam girl but Welsh 18th century Edge is HOT!

I have a feeling Edge will have to open a can of whip-ass for that perverted uncle of Katrina's!

Cannot wait for pt.3
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Old 02-15-2006, 02:46 PM   #3
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Edge really fits this scenario well! our bravehearted hero ^^ I love yoru writing!
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Old 02-16-2006, 12:25 AM   #4
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Great chapter! I love your writing, annj. Mmmm... hot, hero Edge.
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