Welcome to Part 9.
Thanks to everyone who read, rated & commented on Part 8.
Thanks to Leomo for his amazing lot, Modern Villa 3. Thank you to the other artists for their cc as well!
Thanks to everyone who read, rated & commented on Part 8.
Thanks to Leomo for his amazing lot, Modern Villa 3. Thank you to the other artists for their cc as well! After a long moment of staring at the two figures, Will recognizes the man standing with Eliza is the one who spoke to him at the book store.
"Come on then, your coming with me!" he hears the man say and watches as he grabs Eliza by her wrist, pulling her towards his car.
"HEY!" Will quickly yells. "What do you think your doing?" Will says aggressively, running up to the them.
"We're just catching up on old times, aren't we sweetheart!" Thornton says trying to grab Eliza again.
"No, we weren't! Get away from me, Thornton!" Eliza snatches her hand back, away from his attempted grasp. There is a struggle and Eliza gets knocked to the ground when Thornton tries to pull a punch on Will. With quick reflex's Will ducks at Thornton's punch and unleashes a quick powerful blow to his stomach. Turning to Eliza who has fallen roughly onto the hard pavement, her blue eyes filled with sadness stare up at him.
Winded for only a few seconds, Thornton regains his composure and jumps onto Will. Eliza stares on as they fight it out in the street. She cringes every few seconds at the sound of punches being thrown and thinks how on earth had she gotten herself, and Will, into this situation. "NOW GET OUTTA HERE!" Will yells standing up and dusting himself off.
Thornton is left lying on the ground, slightly bruised and battered. After about 30 seconds he gets up, cursing under his breath, races over to his car and screams off into the darkness. Will runs to Eliza to comfort her.
"Are you okay? Your knee, it's bleeding, here let me..." Will says leaning down to examine the graze on Eliza's near perfect olive skin. He notices a rip in her skirt and he feels anger starting to rise up in up in his chest.
"It's fine..really, ouch!"
"Sorry, we should put something on that."
"It'll be fine. I'm so sorry, Will. I should have told you about him." Eliza rambles off nervously trying to explain. "I broke it off with him ages ago after I found out he was married, but lately he's been persistent...we were only together for a couple of months..I thought..."
"Ssh, come here" Will pulls her into his arms. He feels her stiff body loosen as he wraps his arms around her slender frame.
Eliza holds on tight and after a few minutes finally asks him if he is alright.
Will chuckles,"Yeah, I'm fine. I went easy on him, he might have a sore jaw tomorrow though but I think mainly a bruised ego." "Are you sure your okay?" Will asks again.
"Yes, I'll be fine."
"Maybe we should post pone our dinner plans?"
"No, no...I'd still like to go but maybe I might change first. I don't think a ripped skirt will be very appropriate at a restaurant."
"Let's go inside then, I'll help you."
Will slides his arm around Eliza helping her inside. Arriving at the Little Corsican Bistro, Eliza stays silent as a waitress seats them at their reserved table. As they take their seats Will glances up at Eliza and notices her mood hasn't changed since they left home.
"Hey there" he says, gently touching chin to lift her head up. Eliza has a look of shame and embarrassment on her face.
As soon as she looks into his eyes though she can't help but smile.
"Will, I'm so sorry. I should have told you about this sooner, I just didn't think he would go to such extreme measures." "Well I don't think he'll be bothering you again. Do you want me to call the police and place a report anyway?"
"No, no, I don't want to cause any trouble."
Will smiles at this, thinking that it would be impossible for Eliza to cause trouble.
"Come on, lets order, once you have some food in your stomach you'll feel better." They waitress returns with a bottle of wine and pours a small amount into their glasses, then takes their order.
Will decides to wait till they've eaten before giving Eliza the gift he bought her.
Eliza puts down her fork and swallows the last mouthful of her meal.
"Your right, I do feel better now. Or maybe it's the wine that has helped me relax?" she laughs.
With that Will gets up from his chair and takes Eliza by the hand. He backs up slowly near the fountain.
"I have something to ask you" he starts nervously. Bending down on one knee, Will declares, once again his love for her.
"Eliza, we have been together for almost a year now and I have enjoyed every minute that I have spent with you. Your beautiful caring nature has helped me in ways that I thought no-one could and I want to thank you for that."
Eliza stands still, blushing. Her heart beats faster the more Will speaks and she has a feeling that her thought about marriage the other day has become a reality, a little sooner than she expected. "Will..what are you doing..what have you got there?" she asks him as he removes something from his pocket. As he opens the box the sparkling diamond ring shines brightly in front of Eliza.
"Ohhh!" she gasps and holds her hands up to her mouth.
Will smiles and is glad to see that she is surprised and didn't know what he had up his sleeve for her tonight. He thought his chance with her might have been blown after seeing Thornton tonight, but knowing that they both trusted each other, he quickly realized that there was nothing to worry about.
He takes a breath before he speaks again.
"Eliza, will you be my soul mate for the rest of eternity?" "Oh my gosh, it's beautiful!" Eliza says, stunned.
Will gently takes her left hand.
"Yes Will. I would love to be your soul mate for the rest of eternity."
The diamond sparkles brightly under the dimly lit street lights as he slides the ring onto her delicate finger. Excited and nervous at the same time Eliza bursts out laughing. Still down on one knee, Will laughs nervously along with her.
After admiring her new diamond ring Eliza throws herself at Will and they embrace in a long and intimate hug. Breaking apart Will cups Eliza's face with his hands.
"Eliza, you are my shining star...I love you so much."
"Oh Will, I love you too" she replies. They embrace in a passionate kiss under the stars, unaware of any onlookers staring. "There's going to be so much to organize.." Eliza starts.
"I want you to know that whatever sort of wedding you have in mind then that is what I want you to have."
"Well, it's our wedding not just mine, so want were you thinking?"
"Maybe we'd better start off with the engagement party first, then our families can get to know one another."
Eliza chuckles, "Yes, that's probably a good idea."
They head home and enjoy the rest of the night as a newly engaged couple. They decide to hold the engagement party at Eliza's home since Will's yacht isn't quite big enough to hold more than a few people.
Eliza was a little nervous about introducing Will to her parents, her mother more so than her father as she had placed expectations on Eliza since a young age to get married and start a family.
Eliza thought she could see a crazy look in her mothers eyes when she introduced her to Will. It was almost like she was planning their kids nursery in her head and estimating how many children they would have. Eliza just tried to shrug it off.
Will and her father on the other hand got on famously, as she thought they would. All they talked about at the party was fishing and business. Will promised Charlie that he'd take him to a few of the fishing hot spots in town to catch some great snapper, charlie added that they could then cook up a smokin' barby at their place. When Will introduced Eliza to his mother and younger sister she was greeted with friendly hugs and air kisses. She thought Barbara was a very gracious woman, but knowing about the past of what happened to Will's father, Eliza felt a little sad for her.
As for his younger sister Susannah, well it was as if they had been been friends all along.
"Where have you been hiding this lovely lady, Will!" Susannah squealed, putting her arm around Eliza. With all the introductions out of the way, the sun had almost set and it was time for dinner.
They dined during twilight on roast turkey and autumn salad with a glass of red wine. Classical music played in the background and everybody chatted happily to each other. The oldies enjoyed a dance while Eliza, Will and Susannah cleared the table. Will and Susannah playfully fought it out over who cleaned up the last of the plates and Susannah mentioned her fondness for Eliza to Will.
"She is gorgeous, Will. I love her! Where ever did you find her?"
Will smiles, "We met at the town hall. It's a long story but when I saw her I just couldn't take my eyes off her."
"Aww..my big brother is in love."
He gives Susannah a playful punch on the arm.
"Hey! Easy! I bruise, you know."
"I'm really happy for you, Will. You must bring her over to our place for lunch before the wedding."
"I'll see what I can do" Will takes the plate off Susannah and takes them up stairs. Eliza feels a sigh of relief as she enters the kitchen. She is surprised that her mother hasn't asked tonight 'when they will be having children'.
Maybe dad told her not to say anything, she thinks as she flicks the kettle on to prepare tea and coffee for everyone. Will walks up behind Eliza and wraps his arms around her.
"Hi, I was just making tea and coffee for everyone."
Eliza turns around and they have a private, but quick, moment together. The kettle boils and they break apart after a seconds.
"Come on, we'd better get these down to our guests" she says struggling to release herself from Wills warm embrace. Grabbing their tea and coffee, they find a seat and chat amongst themselves. Charlie Evans takes a seat next to Will. "So when is the big day then?" he asks.
"We were thinking a couple of weeks from today. Eliza has such a busy schedule with work now that we have to find time to fit the wedding in."
Charlie laughs. "I remember those days. She has done well, my baby girl. I'm so proud of her."
"Yeah, she's amazing. I've never met anyone like her. She talks a lot about you, you know?"
Charlie smiles upon hearing hearing this. There is a brief silence between the two of them as they watch the ladies chat to each other.
"I hope that your not disheartened by my wife's intentions towards Eliza. She has only ever wanted her to be happy as well, but sometimes she has a difficult time in showing it. Her upbringing was very different to ours and she really does mean well."
Will doesn't know what to say to this. Since he doesn't know Eliza's parents that well he has chosen not to judge them on how they have raised there daughter.
"I'm sure she always had Eliza's best intentions at heart" he adds. Midnight had come closer than they all expected. There were hugs and kisses all round when it was time to leave. Waving goodbye as the last of their guests drive off, Will and Eliza walk inside hand in hand, happy that their party was a success.
But will their wedding go according to plan as well?
The Drifter - Part 9
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