End of Summer
End of summer, Scotland 1913
Candy was waiting by the lake with Alistair, Patty and Annie. Terry had agreed to an afternoon with the gang even if at first he had vehemently refused not wanting to have anything to do with Candy’s friends and cousins. But looking at Candy’s pouting expression and hearing her out about feeling like the third wheel every time she went out with both couples, he had gave in. Just to see the smile on her face made every apprehension he had quite futile.
Still, he was late and Candy was starting to feel like she had been stood up. Every time she tried to make Terry look good in front of her friends, he always had to do a stupid thing to make her regret trusting him. He was so unpredictable, so stubborn and a total lout…But she couldn’t help being captivated by him and there was nobody in the world that she wanted most to be with at this moment. A quick look at Patty, completely enthralled by Stear, a quick look at the worried face of Annie because Archie was late too and Candy decided to go fetch Terry herself even if she had to bring him by the lake at gunpoint. She wanted a boat ride with the boy she loved or hell would freeze over!!!! The boy she loved…. Just at the thought, Candy’s face became bright red and without looking back at her friends, she screamed, waving her hand that she was going to see what was holding up Terry.
She ran as fast as she could, mumbling her way up the hill to the Grandchester estate, mentally preparing a speech that would straighten up any thought that Terry would have about playing with her feelings like that. But as she ran, she heard two people screaming, fighting was more like it and the sound of metal clicks brought back images of a not so long a go dispute between Terry and Archie… Candy got closer to the scene and had a déja-vu moment… They were at it again; sword fighting and insulting each other with so much foul words it made Candy’s head spin… Or maybe it was just the excruciating heat, or the fact that she had ran the whole way or just the fact that she clearly knew, they would actually be able to kill each other. Her first instinct was to run back to get the others, maybe Alistair could do something but she remembered how little their intervention did the last time. No; she would have to interfere herself but how…. She screamed at the top of her lungs…”STOP!!!!” Both guys didn’t even flinch an inch… They were so caught up in their name calling, aiming their swords at one another, a destructive look in their eyes that made Candy’s legs suddenly weak. Why were they fighting like this…What would be the cause of so much hatred between these two. She just didn’t understand. She was about to fall to her knees crying but the nonsense of the situation made her so helpless and so angry, she was crying with rage, clenching her fists so hard, her nails got into her skin. She had to do something, she wouldn’t be able to live with herself if any of them were hurt and she just couldn’t stand the fighting and the bad mouthing anymore…
She studied the way they were swinging at each other and when they were both catching their breaths, further aside, she courageously stood between them, facing Terry, her back at Archie. Both arms rose on her sides, she screamed repeatedly: “STOP IT, JUST STOP IT PLEASE!!!!”
Terry: Go away Candy, let us deal with this.
Archie: Come on Candy move out of the way, you’re going to get hurt.
She couldn’t believe her ears; they were not listening to her. Both stubborn and to proud to act civil. Archie probably wanted revenge after losing the first fight to Terry and english boy here couldn’t be happier…They were so vain and she was so helpless…
Candy: You will both drop your swords and make up.
Archie: Are you kidding Candy? Please leave, this fight as nothing to do with you.
Terry: You’re kidding right Dandy boy? It‘s written all over your face, you love…
Archie: SHUT UP!!
Terry: Make me, tight ass…
Archie: Just get your face over here daddy’s boy…
Terry: You son of a b…
Candy: STOP BOTH OF YOU!!!!
Candy understood that the fights and the animosity between the two of them were because of her. Even though she tried to forget about it, Archie at one time had been clear about his feelings… She just chose to forget about it, for Annie’s sake. Instead of being clear with Archie about his feeling not being reciprocal, she just made him swear to take care of Annie, thinking that it would make it go away. Make that sense of guilt go away. But right now, that feeling was right back. And it was choking her.
She decided to use those feelings against Archie and maybe to fight Terry at his own game.
Candy: For the love of me, both of you please, drop your swords and stop fighting… please…
Her last word was just a murmur. She was devastated, completely drained; tears running down her face. Archie was the first to drop the sword, his face blanched and shamed. She acknowledged his feelings, he was beyond himself. He got closer to her; she still had her back to him and didn’t look at him. It was better that way; he wouldn’t be able to stand her glance anyways.
He gently put his hands on her
shoulder so that she would put her arms down and he felt her shaking. He slowly
ran his hands down her back, trying to calm her but instead made her shiver. Her
perfume was intoxicating, she smelled just like those white roses Anthony grew
in his garden. It brought back so many memories to Archie and completely calmed
him down. He didn’t want to hurt her, he just wanted to be near her, smell her
and touch her, He rested his hands on her hips and brought her closer to him. He
buried his face in her hair, breathing her in and rested his lips on the side of
her neck, tasting her wet skin. Candy couldn’t help but gasp at the sensation,
opening her eyes wide, looking at Terry.
Terry dropped his swords, grinding his teeth with pure jealousy. He couldn’t let that be, no he couldn’t let Dandy boy touch her. He wanted to kill him. He wanted to put his hands around Archie’s throat and just choke him or ran his sword right through his heart for even thinking he could lay a hand on his girl. But he couldn’t help but be envious of Archie in a way. He was able to show his feeling for her in a soft and tender way; Terry remembered how unable he had been to express his affection to Candy at the May festival. How he was rude and violent when it came to sharing his heart’s desire. No, he had to remain calm and focus. He had to win this fight with no swords this time.
Candy saw the change in Terry’s eyes as he got closer to her. She was paralyzed by Archie sweet surrender but so scared that Terry would lose his temper once again. She felt Archie’s lips moved from her neck to her jaw line to her right ear lobe, hearing soft sobs and feeling Archie’s grip on her hips tightened. He wasn’t letting go and Terry’s was getting closer. But to Candy’s surprise, Terry got close to her, put his hand right behind her left ear, plunging his fingers in her hair and put his lips on her forehead in a soft kiss. She closed her eyes, completely lost between them as they both got even closer to her as if it was possible. She put her right hand on Archie’s hand giving it as small squeeze and but her left arm around Terry’s waist. In Candy's mind this was a peace offering, not more fighting, not more calling names. Just peace and quiet but for the boys it was something else. She slowly opened her eyes and saw Terry ready to take her lips but she didn’t want that, not now… A soft
“Terry” she breathed… And instantly, Archie let go of her… She was so ashamed that she just ran away… Her heart had spoken and she couldn’t face Archibald. Terry didn’t try to run after her, he had won the fight once again but the victory was bitter sweet. He saw how she cared for her cousin and understood that hurting Archie was like hurting Candy and vowed to never do it again.
Archie sat on the ground, he knew he never had a chance with her, she just gave him a few second of pure bliss and he’d have to make peace with that. He looked up at Terry. God damned that despicable so called aristocrat; he would never be friends with him but the war was over, for good. He just hoped that Terry would not mess up the chance he had with her.
Archie: She loves you… But I guess you know that don’t you?
Terry: And how would you know?
Archie: She looks at you like she looked at Anthony…
Archie: Go after her… and tell her how you feel… It’s so obvious… you wouldn’t make a great actor you know…But you’re pure hell with a sword…
Terry: Don’t you have a girlfriend to go too?
Archie: I guess I do… Just making myself clear here… You hurt her and I WILL kill you….
Terry: You touch her again and I’LL kill you…
Archie: Yeah right, we’re just two idiots here, threatening to kill each other while there’s a crying girl in need of comforting, unless you’re too chicken to go to her or maybe you just don’t love her…
Terry: I LOVE HER!!!
Archie: there, there… Was it so hard to say?
In a second, Terry had fled the scene leaving an Archie full of regrets and sorrow in the dust. Straightening his shirt and pants, he was mumbling about having to invent some story to tell the girls and his brother about Candy and Terry not being able to come to the lake with them and enjoy this so beautiful afternoon by the lake.