Candy and Terry Valentine Fic
"Candy, I’ve loved you since we’ve first met."
"Terry, I love you more than anyone else."
England’s reputation for storms had not dimmed since the last time Candy set foot on the Isles. It had been almost five years ago since she had left Saint-Paul and the memories that came back to her were melancholy to say the least. The country house stood just over the river, a piece of the elaborate collection of Grandchester real estate that dotted England, as the remains of a rainstorm receded in the distance. Sitting with her feet tucked near her body and her medical bag next to her, Candice White, removed the red crossed cap and closed her eyes. The wind was warm for February, and after the long freeze of winter, it was welcomed. Thoughts of her journey to England, and even the months before flickered in her mind. The letter from Eleanor… tickets to Hamlet… the engagement announcement and Susanna Marlowe’s subsequent death two years later… and finally the world- weary letter from Terry that ignited her to follow him. After a harrowing few months in the States, she joined the Red Cross and followed her heart and job to England where he had retired to and gained fame on the European stages. American newspapers had proclaimed that Terrence G. Grandchester left the United States, heartbroken after the death of his fiancée, but Candy read well beyond the headlines. She knew his suffering had started long before that and now, he only wished for peace.
The door to the house opened and the young man’s footsteps came up behind her. With a gentle brush of his fingers against her golden hair, he sat down on the step and rubbed his hands together in the face of the lingering chill. Candy smiled at him and he brushed the tip of her nose. Terry was in his early twenties, but older than his face would have suggested. The careless mischief of his adolescence had vanished and left in its place, a serious demeanor, conscious of the world around him. It was becoming on his handsome face and dark features. As she had told him once before, he had grown up.
“Did your mother get my telegram?”
Kurin squeaked and rubbed past Terry’s legs. He scratched the animal’s ears before it settled comfortably in Candy’s lap.
The young woman’s face brightened and she laid her head on her clasped hands over her knee, smiling widely. “I’m glad she did. She was so kind to inquire about my traveling here alone.”
“Did anyone accompany you?”
“Albert saw me through to Southampton. He sails for Africa again tomorrow.”
“Good.” Terry said, nodding.
He was pleased that Albert had not given up on his adventurous side. Only now, he was able to use his public Ardley name to bring more awareness to his heart’s causes on the mysterious continent. Terry admired Albert. He worked his sense of self into his life responsibilities almost effortlessly and his friendship with Candy reassured Terry that she would always have his friendship to rely on.
“When is Eleanor’s movie shooting?” Candy asked.
“The first week in March”
“Near here, in Wales.”
Terry paused then spoke again.
“She wants me to read the script for the next one she has signed on to do. Her co-worker Lillian Gish apparently saw me on stage and…”
“Terry!” Candy’s face lit up, with unsullied childlike enthusiasm. “Lillian Gish! Will you act with her?”
“Easy Freckled lady,” Terry replied, rolling his eyes in amusement before somberly turning to Candy and stroking his bottom lip with his thumb. “I only now have my peace back. Let me enjoy it.”
“I’ll have my mother introduce you two.”
Silence again. The wind down the riverbanks was gentle and carried a scent of lavender with it.
“You still love your acting?” Candy asked, gently. Despite Terry’s celebrity and religious underlining of his Shakespeare texts, there had been a distinct change in his personality lately.
“But there are few things in life I want more than anything,” Terry said, blue eyes fixed on the horizon. “I was never aware of them much and especially was not as a child. But now, I see them. The first has eluded me my entire life, only to have recently come back.”
“What is it?”
“Peace.” Candy repeated.
“And with you here as my wife...I believe I shall have it.” The mischievous look was back, along with a smile. Until it completely sunk in, Candy stared at him, green eyes wide. Then her heart skipped a quiet beat.
“Freckles, that was my proposal,” Terry said, blue eyes teasing. “Shall I rephrase more romantically or do you get my general question?”
The woman’s eyes regarded the face of her lover tenderly. Nothing could have dragged her from his side at that moment.
“Yes.” And yes, a thousand times.Terry pulled her face to his and kissed her, his passion uncovered. Tipping her head backward, he pushed his lips against her neck, murmuring into her hot skin
"My mercy...freckled angel."