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Thicker than Blood

AU. Best friends are forever, but when Elizabeth's best friend disappears, the entire world will never be the same, and forever takes on a whole new meaning. Bella Swan
born in 1881
Died 1899
body never recovered How will the story change??

This was the Challenge by lions_lambs

2. Blossoming Love

Rating 5/5   Word Count 835   Review this Chapter

The road was abandoned as was usual when we got there. Winded and out of breath, we locked arms and strolled at a slow leisurely pace down the dirt road, following the ruts in the road. The lights from the town seemed to create an incandescing glow about the shadows of buildings in the distance. The clock on top of the opera house began to chime out the hour.

We counted along with each echoing chime. “One…two…three…four…five…six….seven.”

“If I do say so my dear Elizabeth, I believe our walk caused us to be late getting home. And if my hide gets tanned, I assure you, that you shall pay for that also.”

“Whatever you say Bella, whatever you say.” She said, waving off my threat.

The usually bustling town was now dead quiet. The silent ghost of a train whistle floated over the candle lit windows of Newberry, South Carolina. People began to bustle around us as the houses sprung up like walls around us. There were men covered in a fine layer of stone dust, wearily walking home or to the local pub after a hard day of work. The gentlemen, who had come to sell their cotton, stroll leisurely down the sidewalks, silver chains hanging their vest pockets.

We stopped outside the large building that seemed to dominate down town, the opera house. The brick giant loomed above, its French Gothic inspired curves and accents made it stand out among the buildings.

“Good Night, Elizabeth.” I say, bidding my friend goodbye. Elizabeth smiles at me.

“I’ll see you tomorrow night, don’t forget.” She winks at me with a laugh, her hair swaying in the slight evening breeze.

“I won’t.”

Not only was the opera house home to our town’s theatre, but it also lain home to the civic center. The mayor’s office was there, and so was the police station. I entered the large oak door, and listen as the sound of my feet echo off the walls. I scurry up to a worn man with a bit of a balding head, sitting at one of the dark stained roll-top desks.

“Good evening, Papa.”

“Good evening, Bella. Aren’t you here a bit late?” he glances down at his brass pocket watch.

“I know, I was busy with Elizabeth, and I forgot to watch the time, and…” I hurried to explain. He held up his hand to stop my river of words.

“Don’t worry about it. How about you help your old father home instead?” He said, standing up slowly.

“I don’t see any old men around, so I guess I’ll have to ask the handsome man here to escort me home.” I spoke teasingly. I hooked my arm through his as he laughed heartily.

“What would I ever do without you?”

The chandelier dimmed its lights over the stage, engulfing the audience in an electrified darkness. I sat at the edge of my velvet chair, my hands resting on the silk skirt of my gown. My white gloves reaching past my wrists and up my arms made me feel like I was aristocracy. Elizabeth sat on one side of me, while that pimple faced Fredrick Stowe sat on my other side. Elizabeth wasn’t paying attention to the characters revealed upon the stage as the burgundy curtain was pulled back showering a glimpse of light upon the audience. Instead I noted that her hand was on top of that of Edward Mason’s. And that his hand was not so properly resting upon her knee.

The play captured my attention, and I was soon consumed by the figures upon the stage. However, there was the constant buzz of whispers from my side. Glimpses of conversations hit my ears as Elizabeth and Edward simply enjoyed each other rather than the show. From what I heard, Edward was explaining to her how he would be receiving a position as a public defender in the newly developed Juvenile courts in Chicago. His father had talked to a family friend by the name of John Marshal had arranged it.

When the show was over and we all had stood in a rousing ovation to the players, we filed out of the opera house and back to the world of dirt and cotton. The glow from the lamp lights that had recently been lit created an atmosphere of wonder along the road.

“May we escort you ladies home?” Edward asked, his eyes sparkling as he met Elizabeth’s.

“You may,” She said.

I sighed as I begrudgingly took Mr. Stowe’s arm, as Elizabeth slipped her own through that of Mr. Mason. For how much I disliked Fredrick, it was worth my discomfort to see Elizabeth so happy. I would not be surprised in the least, if by the time it had come for Edward and Fredrick to return back north, that Elizabeth would be accompanying them as wife to a certain Mr. Mason.