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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
JenEllen Fiction: Shenandoah and Beaver! (106* d) RE: Fiction: Shenandoah and Beaver! 06 Mar 06

After the trio had put away more steak and potatoes than they would have thought was humanly possible, Jack uncorked the whiskey bottle with his teeth and poured three glasses. If this was going to be their last night in the presence of ol'Katey-girl , then he was set to make the most of it. He downed his whiskey in a single shot, and Katherine wasn't far behind him. She was matching him nearly glass for glass, while Bill looked on with a casual amusement. Jack noticed that Bill's glass was near-to-full and remain untouched, then his reason drifted off in a fog of whiskey fumes.

Katherine was certainly holding her own, but was in no way immune to the drink. Jack vaguely remembered thinking that perhaps she could just stay in St. Louis and become a showgirl. She could have feathers. Lots of feathers. Then her forehead clunked solidly on the table and Katherine McInnis was done for the night.

Jack stood quickly, albeit clumsily, and reached to help her. Bill growled slightly and waved his hand away. "Sit down. The only thing worse than the blind leading the blind, is the drunk leading the drunk." Bill grabbed Katherine roughly by the hair and the shoulder of her dress and somehow managed to hoist her over his shoulder. She was still humming a hiccupping 'too-rah-loo-rah' when he reached her room. The door was open, but Bill had his hands full and didn't notice. Jack was tripping up the hall behind him and leaned against the doorjamb for support while he watched Bill flop Katherine face-down across her bed.

Katherine was asleep before she hit the bed, so she didn't feel it when the letter hit her back. Bill started and quickly grabbed the paper and slid it back into his pocket. Jack remained oblivious to the entire incident, standing (leaning) sentry solely to make sure that Bill wasn't doing anything that he himself desperately wished to do. Bill quietly turned to his friend and said, "Time we were both off to our beds. Morning comes awful early."

Bill had seen the inebriated Jack off to his room before returning to his own. The entire incident was too close for comfort, and once he reached his room and closed the door behind him, he leaned against it and took the first full breath he'd had all night.

Seeing her come downstairs on Jack's arm sent a sharp pain through his belly. He cursed under his breath that it didn't have to be like this, but he knew it did. Then, seeing her smile and laugh at Jack's stupid stories. You'd think that would have been the final straw, but that came later. About a fifth of whiskey later. When he'd carried her up the stairs, warm and smelling of lavender water. He wanted nothing more that to stay in that room with her, to unpin her hair and cut the heart from anyone who tried to come in the door.

What happened instead was that Bill left her. The letter falling out of his pocket onto her back was like a bucket of cold water poured on top of any amorous fires his heart might contain. Jack might have thought that Bill's face was red from the exertion of carrying the woman's dead weight up the stairs, but Bill was red-faced from shame. It was all he could do to collect himself and leave.

Now in his room, with Jack tucked away for the night, Bill retrieved the letter from his pocket. He unfolded it and read it as he sat on the edge of his bed. Eventually, his head dropped and his shoulders bobbed rhythmically with what any man will tell you is NOT crying. If someone had been reading over his shoulder, they might have been able to make out the words "under no circumstances" and "at all costs" before Bill raised his head, blew out the lantern and fell back on his bed.

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