Gretna Green - A Victorian Novella (Gretna Green, Scotland - July 21st, 1832, page 1 of 1)

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Gretna Green, Scotland - July 21st, 1832

Amelia celebrated her eighteenth birthday, and her wedding day, at Gretna Green. Patrick had offered her St. George's and a Paris honeymoon, but as she'd told him time and time again, only Scotland would do.

They joined bare hands over the giant anvil, inside the smithy and under the gaze of the smith and sometime parson Theodore McCready. Amelia couldn't have recalled afterward how it looked, if its surface was pitted or smooth or even precisely its size. She didn't remember anything but her reflection mirrored in Patrick's eyes. He kissed the bride before McCready's hammer struck the anvil and clanged them into man and wife.

They had breakfast at a rickety wooden table nestled inside the bakery, and took up their old suite at Mrs. Gaveston's inn, where she greeted them with nothing but cheer. She had a letter waiting for them at the counter, from Mister Lochner, reassuring them that he had established an ironclad trust for their new fortune, though it didn't seem in danger from Lord William Field, now exiled by debt to his estates in Jamaica.

In the late afternoons, when the day had lost some fury, Patrick borrowed a gig and drove them out to a green lake kissed silver at its crests by the sun. They talked about anything and everything, and sometimes, she laid her head in his lap and they were silent in their joy.

At the end of their week, when it was time to go, Patrick saw their things out to the stage, all but her small valise, which she'd asked him to leave behind. Alone in the room, Amelia slipped her beloved copy of A Patient Heart from her bag and set it just so on the round table. Bidding it goodbye with a smile, she left it for someone else, so they might start their own adventure. Then, she slipped out and closed the door and went downstairs to her hero.

- The End -

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