The sequel to Lynn D. Dick's Eyes of Amethyst
A LOVE THAT SPANNED A CENTURY
It was 1927 and Dora Ashby was living hard and fast All that changed when her great aunt Alexandra gave her a silver, heart shaped pendant that she claimed was magical. Amongst other startling revelations, Alexandra also told her of the Thorne legacy.
Dora starts wearing the pendant and travels back in time to 1832 where she meets Katherine, her great, great, grandmother and also meets Alexander Sylvanus. They fall in love and want to be together. While all the time danger looms that could cost them their lives.
Late spring 1832
Katherine Jarrett, nee Thorne, sat at her dressing table, hunched and miserable, her eyes brim full of tears, distorting the image of her face in the mirror. She wept in silence. She had done a lot of crying in her richly appointed room since her marriage two years ago.
"Why must they both be so cruel to me?" Katherine asked herself yet again. "I do everything I can to please them, but no, they contrive to make me as unhappy as they can." She knew in her heart that the main cause of her troubles was her mother in law. She had come for a 'visit' when Katherine had related the news to her husband, Oliver, that she was expecting their child. That was sixteen months ago and the old battle axe had stayed ever since. She had been quite spiteful right from the beginning and Katherine often wondered if it was 'Mother Gertrude,' as she had insisted on being called, that had caused her miscarriage. Heaven knows there had been no comfort from her during that awful time, only blame and censure which carried on to this day.
Oliver joined in the petty cruelties inflicted on her, taking his cue from his mother. Nowadays she could not be in his company without him making some comment on her shortcomings, belittling her and wounding her feelings.
Katherine sighed as another tear trickled down her cheek, it dropped onto the pink watered silk of her evening dress, and the lace flounces already had a few wet spots on them.
Perhaps it wasn't all Oliver's fault for she had come to him as a very unwilling bride. However, she knew there was no love for her in his heart when he had offered for her. She was a necessary accessory to ensure his family line, no more than that. The money from her dowry had been welcomed, as she had not.
"I was parceled off to be his broodmare," Katherine thought and shuddered, "not that you would know of it." For their coupling had been very infrequent right from the beginning, swift and unpleasant. No one was more surprised that herself when she discovered she was pregnant. Oliver had gone about the task of bedding her as if it was some tiresome duty and when she told him of her impending motherhood, he had not been intimate with her since. That was something else that continued to this day. Not that she wanted him in her bed, but she did want a child, some one to love and cherish. On the rare occasions that she had broached the subject of maybe trying to conceive another child, Oliver had rebuffed her. It was almost as if her body and her person disgusted him.
Katherine wiped away the tears and took a long look at her in the mirror. Her face had not changed. She had been called the beauty of the county. Her luxuriant dark brown hair and her amethyst colored eyes had been looked on with favor by many.
She knew she was beautiful, that was why Oliver had wanted her as his wife.
"Perhaps it is my body that displeases him? I now have a woman's one," Katherine thought as she ran her hands over her chest. She knew that she had been rather thin, almost boyish in shape when she had been married, but her pregnancy had given her more rounded hips and bigger breasts, not the smallish nubbins she had previously. She was secretly pleased with how her body was now.
"Still, Tommy loved me how I was then," Katherine said quietly as her hand molded over one of her now shapely breasts. She remembered how he had played with the previously small ones she had, kissing and caressing them with passion.
"Surely our loving wasn't so wicked for me to deserve the punishment of being married to Oliver?" Katherine asked herself, but she knew to others, her stepfather mostly, that her love affair with Thomas Oxton, the ground keeper's son was looked on with abhorrence. Katherine had never thought of Tommy as her social inferior, they had been childhood friends and grew up together.
They had not given any though to the future or the consequences when they had found their friendship developing into love. They had both succumbed to their physical desire for each other and delighted in their lovemaking. When her stepfather had caught them in the act, all hell had broken loose. Tommy had been dismissed after a horsewhipping and she, heartbroken and numb had been hastily married to Oliver, who never knew that he had obtained his bride as 'damaged goods' and a fear that there may all ready be a child on the way.
It wasn't that her stepfather was cruel or vindictive, he had a strict outlook and a rigid moral code that Katherine had transgressed, marriage was the only solution he could see that would put things right. Over her mothers' half hearted protests and her Aunt Leticia's vehement objections, he had prevailed and Katherine was given in marriage to Oliver Jarrett.
A bleak smile briefly appeared on her face as Katherine thought of her Aunt Leticia. She had been the only visitor she had had since her parents had gone to live in Barbados. Her Aunt had given her comfort and pleasure for the short time she had stayed. She had also given Katherine silver, heart shaped, and pendant and told her an astonishing story of it being magical.