Maegan cantered into the grounds of the Hallows to find Christopher waiting by the front door, fixing her gown, she quickly dismounted handing the horse off to Chase before approaching.
Unable to contain her pleasure at seeing him apparently waiting for her, a broad grin spread across her face.
“Where you waiting for me?” she asked.
“Yes of course who else?”
“How did you know I was coming?”
“I was told a carriage and a lone female rider was approaching” he replied “Your the only woman I know who insists on riding ahead of her carriage”
“You taught me to ride silly, do you really expect me to sit inside that stuff coach on a glorious day like today?”
“I guess not” he smiled back. “Come on lets get you inside, you look as though your about to melt”
oh no, do I look a mess? Maegan wondered panicking as her cheeks began to burn suddenly aware of how damp she was beneath her layers, her hair all a frizz as she nervously tried to tame it. He is never going to find you a suitable wife if you insist on looking so unseemly.
“You look lovely” Christopher smiled apparently, understanding her sudden panic as she straightened her gown.
Taking her hand he gently guided her into the lounge where he ordered the maid to make them both a glass of lemonade. “So how is my father?”
“He’s as well as can be expected” Maegan nodded “Coping.. Matilda is doing well also”
“Are you sad to leave her?”
“Who the baby?”
“Yes” he asked with a strange sort of smile, that gave Maegan the feeling he was starting to wonder if such close proximity to a baby was making her broody.
“Yes I suppose” she replied “It was nice to feel useful”
“Your useful here”
“I don’t know about that” she blushed.
“Your more important than you realise” he smiled, leading her to a chair and sitting down beside her.
She didn’t know why but suddenly she felt very uncomfortable, it was like she could feel his gaze upon her. Well of course he was looking at her, but it felt strangely different she could see the way he looked her up and down as though he’d never seen her before. “thank you” she whispered, unsure as to how to take the compliment.
“You can come closer” he offered patting the space on the chair in-between them.
“Why?” she replied, feeling a sudden panic her cheeks still red, glowed even brighter. She always felt self conscious around him mostly terrified he found her a disappointment. This time however it was different, it was the same sort of panic she’d had with Bailey that first time in the stable, when she first realised she liked him…. oh goodness that was it.. she liked him.
“I just thought you might like to give it a try” Christopher replied with a wide smile, his arm raised on the side of the chair so he could put it around her when she moved.
“Oh.. “ she froze not quite sure what to do, when she’d felt this way for Bailey it had been highly improper, but this was Christopher her husband, surely it was a good thing she felt this way. Move you stupid girl she cursed herself, but her body seemed unwilling instead she just stared.
“It’s aright” he smiled dropping his arm “You don’t have to, I just thought it might be nice”
“Nice.. maybe” she blurted out foolish stupid girl. “Yes it would be”
Christopher raised an eyebrow “Is that a yes or a no?”
“A yes I think” Maegan replied hurriedly, relieved when he yet again raised his arm and motioned for her to come closer.
Smiling nervously she shuffled closer, her heart raced and she felt suddenly faint. Leaning against him ever so gently fearful she would crush him. “You can put your weight against me” he instructed.
Feeling rather stupid and foolish she settled awkwardly in the crook of his arm, letting out a little sigh.
“So how do you like it?” he asked.
“it’s pleasant enough” she replied, as she worried if she smelled ok. It had been several hours since she’d washed and she’d been riding and sweating and .. oh you silly girl. Desperately she tried to think of something constructive to say “I used to sit like this with my father sometimes” she answered “he used to read to me when I was little”
“I remind you of your father?”
“No.. no .. of course not, just the way we are sitting it was sort of like that” you silly silly girl.. of course this is not like your father, he’s your husband and.. oh… her inner voice suddenly going quiet as she noticed he’d caught hold of her hand, cupping it in his he ran his fingers though hers before settling them both down on her lap.
“Do you remember much about him?” he asked.
“Bits.. images mostly.. I remember he was tall”
“Everyone tall when your little” Christopher smiled.
“Is this ok, your not uncomfortable are you” he asked “You can move if you feel want”
“I’m aright” she replied “I’m not too heavy am I?”
“No” he chuckled “Your not too heavy”
“Good, I can be somewhat clumsy I didn’t want to hurt you”
“There’s barely any weight too you” he laughed, “Just know that you can move if you feel awkward or unsettled, I just thought it would be nice to remind ourselves that we are husband and wife, lest we forget and lose all notion of romantic feelings”
“You have romantic feelings for me?” she asked. Stupid girl why did you ask that.. now hes going to answer and what if he says no? What if he says ‘no Maegan I have no feelings for you whatsoever, I with never love you.’ Then you’ll be crushed and it will all be, because you asked a stupid question you had no right to ask. “Don’t answer that” she spurted out suddenly “It was an unreasonable question.
“What was unreasonable about it?”
“Just it wasn’t fair” she replied hurriedly.
“I don’t mind answering”
“No don’t” She squeaked.
“I just think that, we shouldn’t forget we are man and wife, my father once said that the best marriages start as friendships, but I think while we become friends it’s also important to remember we are to be more as well” Maegan nodded, though truthful she wasn’t sure what he meant. “Maegan I need to tell you something” he said suddenly serious “Something bad and I need you to try and understand because I don’t want to keep it from you”