Courtship of a Clockwork Strawberry Fiend

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Ochalla, Sep 7, 2012.

  1. Hubert Stonewall was nervous. Not that he planned to show it on the footsteps of the Hawthornes' front door. He was there like he had promised Anastasia. For a moment he forgot himself and recalled the cool early summer night. It had seemed so very magical and the realm of possibilities seemed endless.

    As the door opened he snapped himself back to the real world. By all outwardly appearances the young man looked like he was there on business. His expression was pleasent but gave no outwardly signs of emotion. His jacket was well tailored to him, not surprisingly considering the fortune he had amassed. A fortune started by his grandfather, but it was Hubert's keen understanding of the changes in the world that now made them the paramount air shipment experts of England, with a reach far past the continent even.

    Taking off his hat he nodded to the man at the door. "Hello, I'm here to call upon Mr. Hawthore if he is available," Hubert said without any fuss. He was really here to see Anastasia of course, but propriety stated he first needed the blessing of her father. He hoped he would be a reasonable man. After all, if not to have men court his daughter, why else would he force her to attend?
  2. The doorman glanced over Hubert a moment with judging eyes. "Master is in his study. Please wait here in the foyer." Hubert was let in to fiddle over his thoughts while his call was being made to Anastasia's father. While he waited Anastasia made herself known as she peered around the corner at Hubert. A grin spread over her face. She wore a dark blue and black dress with a fashionable hat. "Hubert!" she whispered in excitement as she came forward, looking both ways to make sure no one was watching, she embraced him and gave him a kiss on the cheek, "I'm so glad you came!"

    She wasn't able to say much more before the doorman returned, clearing his throat behind Anastasia. She blushed some and stepped aside as the doorman bowed some at the waist and extended his hand, "The master accepts your calling. This way, sir"

    He waited for Hubert to follow his extended hand toward the staircase, straightening and glancing at Anastasia with a raised brow. Anastasia followed them up the stairs, "Don't let my father intimidate you. He's not as bad as he seems. You'll do fine. Just charm him the same way you charmed me" she joked as they neared the study. She took hold of Hubert's hand and gave it a light squeeze before he was ushered into the study and the door was closed separating them. She hoped for the best!

    Anastasia's father stood with his back to the door facing the fireplace, his hands crossed behind his back. William Hawthorn was a middle aged man with slightly greying brown hair, a goatee, and grey-blue eyes similar to Anna's. The fire crackled before him, "So...Mr. Stonewall, what do you think of my humble home?" he turned around slowly with a business like air and extended his hand, "have a seat, son" his eyes studied Hubert intensely.
  3. As Hubert was made to wait at the foyer, his eyes lit up when he caught sight of Anastasia. The embrace was far too short, but the small kiss on his cheek made him feel more confident. "I did promise," he told her, finally able to smile without being nervous. It was only for a moment though, as the doorman reappeared to say that her father had excepted his request. Hubert was unsure of his ability to charm her father as well as she claimed to have done so to her, but he was going to try.

    Upstairs, in Mr. Hawthorne's study, Hubert briefly glanced around before fixing his eyes on the man before him. "The front yard was lovely, and the staircase seemed well crafted," Hubert answered before taking his seat. "Thank you."

    Normally during a business conversation, Hubert would be sitting back in the chair and no matter how much or how little he needed the particular negotiation to go his way, he treated them all much the same, with the air of being in charge. All those tricks and skills were muted, for this was not business of the usual sort. While he did not tremble nor his voice tremble, he did lean forward. "I am sure, sir, you are aware of why I am here. It is in regard to your daughter Anastasia, who I met at the DeWolfe masque. Your daughter is a bright and delightful woman sir, and I would like to request the honor of courting her."

    He did not clinch his hands, but very much his heart was in his throat. Surely her father would not say no! Yet it was obvious the man would have questions for Hubert. He only hoped he would not screw this up.
  4. William stroked his goatee a moment as he nodded his head, "Yes, the DeWolfe Masquerade. She seems quite taken by you." His eyes scanned him over again, "She is quite bright. Anyone who would have my daughter would be quite privileged." He light a cigar and took a long drag, "tell me though why I should allow you to court her? What could you possibly offer her? My daughter is very special, as i'm sure you are aware. I cannot let her be courted by just anyone, you see. So please enlighten me as to why I should let YOU specifically court her?" he leaned back in his chair and folded his hands as he waited for Hubert to answer.
  5. Hubert knew this was coming. A man who lost his wife, who's daughter was nearly lost to him, would be most cautios of any man trying to court his only child. In a sense potentially losing her. It was expected, but it was still a hard question to answer. Hubert never considered himself modest, but he usually had other people exaggerate his strong points. Rarely had he needed to give an account for himself.

    "Well sir," he began. "I would like to believe that I can nearly match your daughter's intelligence. Enough at least that I would not cause her to be bored by a dull wit. I myself can not imagine that we would ever lack in conversation or common interest. There are so few women in this world that I have heard an honest opinion from and that she would give me hers, well, I feel very lucky. I shall always honor her for that, and just the amazing way she sees the world."

    Hubert felt he was going to start to stray. One night and he was completely infatuated. He needed to prove his sincerity to her father, but he was afraid of coming off as obsessive, which might be less the desirable in a young man courting a lady. "I am not without means either," he continued, going onto safer and more familiar ground. "My family has an estate south of here and I am the head of our shipping business." Here he paused. Would Mr. Hawthorne had had time to investigate him and his family. Not likely. That meant he very well didn't know the exact magnitude of the family business. This might be all to the good. As long as the gentleman didn't underestimate him to the point of saying no, that was.
  6. William listened patiently to Hubert as he spoke. His hands were poised with his fingers crossed and his chin resting on the bridge he'd made while he quietly puffed at the cigar, a constant stream of smoke wafting from the light tip. When Hubert stopped speaking there was a moment of silence between the two men as William carefully processed the information given to him. Finally the uneasy silence was broken, "You seem a man of good standing with a well enough head on your shoulders..." Well at least this seemed good, "However--I am still weary to allow my daughter to be courted by one I do not know well. My daughter does seem quite happy with you though. We are both business men. I think we can reach an--agreement. I will allow you to take my daughter on one outing of your choosing, with some supervision. You may choose the date and place and I will have Anastasia meet you there. I think this seems fair yes?" he smiled in a business-like manner at Hubert.

    Meanwhile, outside the door Anastasia stood with her ear against the door trying to hear the conversation going on. It was hard to tell since the door muffled the voices but she picked up on outing and supervision in the conversation. Well at least that meant her father was considering! A smile came to her lips but she startled as a servant appeared behind her, "Miss Hawthorne?" the servant said with a raised brow. Straightening and turning she blushed, "Oh, uh Eliza, hi." she rubbed the back of her head nervously. Eliza, carrying a load of laundry, only smiled, "Master is a generous man. Do not worry, your friend seems nice enough" Anastasia blushed some as she nodded, "Yes, Hubert is very kind."

    "Miss" she said with a slight curtsy as she hurried along to continue her chores. Anastasia let out a sigh as she turned again toward the study doors and waited.
  7. It wasn't all Hubert hoped for, but it was enough for the time being. Mr. Hawthorne was interested in his daughter's happiness and Hubert was willing to try to prove he could provide that. "An outing of my choosing?" He said thoughtfully. He had had a few different ideas in mind depending on how this interview would go. He doubted he could take Anastasia to an opera in London just yet. "My cousin plays polo and there is a game that is to be held next week in the county north of us. It is I'll admit a bit of travel, but if you are inclined to allow it I can recommend a place for her and her companion to lodge. I would not wish to see a lady traveling at night."

    Except for the location, the event was perfect. It was a few days out so Anastasia's father could learn any more gossip about him. It was public, so there could not be any assumption of any less then honorable interaction, and it would be fun! At least he hoped Anastasia would enjoy it. It was a very action packed sport with the horses and their riders and the ball rowing every which way. If she had never been to a game, he might get to introduce how the game worked. He knew anything new would catch her attention.
  8. William listened carefully again to Hubert's proposition, a small smile played on his lips as he waited for him to finish. "Arrangements will be made for Anastasia. I shall arrange for her to arrive with her escorts. You shall have the day and then she will promptly return." standing he extended his hand, "We shall continue with the agreement after that." when the deal was done a small commotion occurred as eyes turned toward the door--

    Anastasia leaned closer against the door trying to hear what was going on. "come on...why did dad have to make these doors so..." click. Anastasia gasped as the door suddenly opened and she fell headfirst into the doorway. She braced herself with her arms as the gears froze some and she face planted anyways. Blinking she got up and brushed off some as she looked between the two men. Rubbing the back of her head, she felt her cheeks burning "Uh...hi daddy" she waved a moment. Her father sighed as he moved forward to help his daughter up, "What have I told you--"

    "I know, but daddy, he's really not all that bad! You don't need to send me with--"

    "I do, and you will both be obedient to my wishes as per our arrangements. now that we're done here, you may escort Mr. Stonewall back to his carriage. i'm sure it awaits him. You are both dismissed, I have work to do. Mr. Stonewall" he gave a polite nod, signaling they were done, and returned to his seat behind the desk.

    Anastasia gave a faint smile as she turned to escort Hubert out as her father wished. "I hope he wasn't too much" she said when they were out of earshot, her arm linked in Hubert's, "So what was the arrangement? I'm guessing father is going to send me with a small hoard of guards." she sighed some, "But he seemed to approve I think. He didn't throw you out right away so that's good" she smiled at the small triumph. By this time they'd reached the doorway, "I'm looking forward to this outing." she said glancing around a moment before seeing no eyes were watching. Smiling she leaned up and gave Hubert a kiss on the cheek. Pulling back she blushed but was grinning ear to ear.