Authors Note: I wanted a challenge, one that didn’t involve what I have seen in modern M&S fics. David isn’t in the picture, and I’ve paired her with another man, for now. I also wanted her to have memories from the past and feel something when she saw the homestead. The story stays mostly in the present, but she dreams into the past briefly. Enjoy.
A Thousand Years
© 2014 by dqmwartist
I sat with William in a local coffee shop, sharing a large couch. We’d known each other in Boston, and he had come to Colorado with me to train with one of the doctors. I wish I knew if I were really in love with him, I thought, staring into my coffee. Life would be so much easier, or perhaps not. Something is missing from my life, and I’m not sure what it is. He was one of my dearest friends, and I knew he loved me, only I...
“You look beautiful today,” William murmured as he brought the warm cup of coffee to his lips, halting my thoughts. I glanced up, seeing his eyes gazing at me with love. At times I was not sure of anything at all, but now I felt as if I might be…
“Thank you, although I don’t feel very feminine after spending so many hours in the studio.”
“No, I suppose not,” he responded, setting his cup down. “All the dust and smells of oil are too much for me.”
“Miriam insisted I take the class to better my doctoring skills. I’m no artist, and I would much rather be cutting open a cadaver than drawing one.”
“Dr. Hanson has me doing his paperwork and dragging me on rounds when he’s tired. I’ve found that spending time with patients is much more rewarding than sitting in a stuffy office.”
Or an art studio, I wanted to add but kept silent as I arose from the couch and stared out the window watching the people walking by. Everyone was smiling, bundled up in his or her winter gear, chatting about one thing or another.
I missed home with the rows of shops and the bustle of tourists with their kids and cameras taking pictures of everything, although I had to admit Colorado had a lot of wide-open spaces and picturesque scenery I had also grown to love. William had been wonderful company for hikes, rides around town, and an occasional movie. Only I felt as if my life were not complete.
“Are you alright?” he asked breaking my thoughts.
“Yes, I’m fine,” I answered turning my attention back to him. “I do want to stop by the bookstore.”
“Sure thing,” he replied. “There is something I want to show you on the way, if you don’t mind.”
We put our wool coats, scarves, and gloves back on. Winters out here were bitterly cold. Having a Boston upbringing helped some although at times the wind in Colorado was horrid.
I followed him to his small car parked right next to a meter. He unlocked the door and opened it for me. A moment later, he was starting the engine and turning up the heat.
“Where are we going?” I asked as the town slowly disappeared behind us.
“Somewhere nice and quiet,” he replied. “You’ll love it.”
“My version of nice and quiet is finding a book in the library and a corner in which to read it, or perhaps the comfort of my room.”
“Just keep an open mind for a bit.”
“I’ll do my best.”
William drove on until there was nothing around us but wilderness. There were no paved roads anymore, just dirt, grass, and endless trees.
“Well, it is quiet,” I remarked as he began to slow down.
“There it is,” he said quietly, looking up at something with awe in his voice.
“All I see around me is trees, grass, and…” I froze as my gaze landed on a striking home. It didn’t look like anything I had seen before, and it appeared to be from another time. The more I stared, the more I could feel a familiar sensation creep over me.
I got out of the car, feeling the pull of the house. It had been well cared for over the years, even the surrounding yard and barn. I wondered for a moment if there were any horses inside. Flash would enjoy the exercise, I thought and then stopped myself. Who is Flash?
“Try the door; it should be open.”
I was puzzled but did as he said. Another wave of mysterious memories flooded over me when I stepped inside. The familiar feeling was stronger now as I tried to get a grip on my emotions. What is going on?
“Isn’t it grand?” he asked proudly right behind me.
I gulped; I wanted to tell him it was breathtaking but at the same time to get me out of here right now. Only I couldn’t move. A force beyond my control seemed to want me here. “It’s…it’s…I can’t find the words,” I stammered, unsure of what to say.
The handsome furniture, the pictures on the walls, the rustic kitchen—everything called to me in its own voice. I reached out to grip the nearest thing I could, his hand, and closed my eyes.
When I opened them it was dark, and I was sitting down in a chair. There was a book in my lap, and I appeared to be in my nightclothes. What happened, and why am I dressed like this? Taking a deep breath, I trained my eyes to the open book.
A medical text, I thought as I breathed a sigh of relief. Thank goodness it isn’t a novel. This might not be so bad after all. I began to read until my eyes became heavy with sleep.
“Michaela,” a soft voice called bringing me out of my slumber.
“Hmm…” I moved with difficulty. As I stretched my legs, the book slid off, landing with a thud on the floor.
“I’ll get that.”
“Did I sleep here all night?” I asked.
“You and the baby both nodded off at the same time.”
I smiled, remembering how hard it had been to put her down. “I’m glad she finally got to sleep.”
“It’s time for you to do the same.”
“I suppose so,” I said reluctantly. I got up and let him lead me. He gently removed my robe, laid me with care on the soft bed, and pulled the covers over me. I felt his warmth a minute later as he took me in his arms and the rhythm of our breathing became one.
In the morning his arms were still around me, and I could hear Katie’s coos coming from her crib. She was awake and happy.
“Should I go get her?”
“Hold me,” I replied with no intention of leaving his embrace. My words stirred something inside of him; delicate kisses touched my shoulder before caressing my lips. I felt my body respond, giving in to the love beating in my heart. “Oh, God,” I breathed.
“I love you.”
“I love you, too.”
His face buried in the comfort of my neck, the scruff of his face scratching and enticing.
“It’s so peaceful in the morning.”
“Sure is,” he murmured into my ear.
Carefully, I rolled over letting him hold me close, feeling the beat of his heart against the heat of my own body. All I wanted was to stay there with his arms around me, the warmth of our bodies blending together.
“Michaela,” a voice called to me through a sleep-induced haze. “Are you alright?”
“I’m fine,” I answered, rubbing my eyes. Looking around I noticed I was still in the house but downstairs. Wherever my dream had taken me, it left me back in the present. William had a concerned look on his face, and my gown and robe had vanished.
“There’s someone I want you to meet,” he added when I had satisfied him I was well.
“Oh, a friend of yours?”
“Yes, a good man. He works on the house, keeping it in good shape.”
“I was wondering why it looked so nice.”
“When I first came here, he was the only one who didn’t look at me sideways when I asked to restore the Sully homestead.”
I remembered weekends when William would take off leaving me alone. What he didn’t know was I called Charlotte to come over and keep me company. Inexplicably, the name Sully made my heart skip a beat….was he the man from my dream?
“He must be a good friend to cave in to your request.”
“Stop it,” he chided knowing how much he was teased for his affection for old things.
On our way outside, I spotted a photo and took a long hard look. It was of a black man standing by the man in my dream in the street. “I know his name, Robert E,” I whispered quietly. “He appears to be acquainted with him.” It was hard to tell what was going on, but the moment I turned my head to look outside I froze.
“Hey, William,” Sully called out, his warmly resonant voice causing my legs to weaken.
“Sully, good to see you again. I’ve brought someone for you to meet.”
I wasn’t sure how, but I soon found myself a few feet away from a stranger I felt I had known forever.
“Sully, this is my friend Michaela. She’s studying pre-med.”
“Hello,” I said softly afraid to break the spell. The blue depths of his eyes captured mine instantly, and I dared not look away.
“Hi,” he replied in a voice that sent shivers down my spine.
I stood there drinking in his handsome features, skin weathered by the sun, wavy brown hair, piercing blue eyes, and a perfectly chiseled body. I noticed a red spot on his arm.
“How did you hurt yourself?” I asked trying to steady my voice.
“It’s nothin’…” he started to say. “Course, it might not hurt to have you look at it.”
I felt desire burn through me as I touched Sully’s arm, turning it over to examine the small burn. It was nothing serious, yet I wanted to make sure it was treated and covered. “We’ll need to put some cold water on it,” I said trying not to meet his eyes.
“Here you are,” William said bringing over a bucket and a small cloth. I reached in, grabbed the cloth, squeezed it, and placed it on his arm. Water dripped down his arm and onto his jeans. A few drops reached the dirt below. I didn’t care that my gaze and attention were riveted on the man beside me.
“Thank you,” he said softly, laying his hand over mine.
“You’re welcome,” I replied in a near whisper. I wanted to say so much but was unable to find the words.
“You seem familiar.”
“So do you.”
“I wonder why that is.”
“I wish I….” I started to say. “This is going to sound silly, but I feel as if I’ve known you forever.”
“It doesn’t,” he replied. “A thousand years couldn’t keep me from finding you.”
I swallowed hard, letting my gaze fall and meet his again. “Or me from you.”
I was not sure of anything after revealing what was in my heart only that I would never let him go. Everything about Sully stirred things inside me I had never felt before; I sensed a bond of two hearts that would live a thousand years.
“I want to be with you,” I whispered, leaving my doubts behind me as his arms embraced me.
“And I want to be with you,” he breathed before capturing me in his arms as the world around us vanished.
Chapter Two (the following isn’t a part of the DQ forum Challenge)