Jennifer loves her time in the past.
|Jane was curious about Jennifer and the fact that she was smoking. Jane slowly edged her way downstairs and went out the door. She went to the barn where Jennifer was smoking. Jennifer was somewhat surprised.
"So, this is smoking. Father calls it the devil's weed." Jane blushed but smiled.
"Smoking relaxes me. I know your father wouldn't approve. That is why I snuck out and I thought everyone was in bed." Jennifer enjoyed her cigarette.
"I am glad you and Megan are here. I love my parents and Cassandra. My brother Henry gets my books published for me but I feel so alone. Father is strict. You two make me think that women have other purposes besides marrying and raising chidren. I write to escape and to have a happier life." Jane looked sad.
"I agree. I like being dangerous. Life isn't about being stuck with a husband and children."
"Why are you seeing Mr. Kentsworth? You like his company?"
"He is handsome but I don't want a husband now. I like going out a man and having a relationship. I like working in nursing and I do a little writing. I hope you don't think I am a bad influence." Jennifer took another puff of her cigarette.
"May I try it? Jane asked.
"Jane, you don't want to smoke. It is bad for you. I am not the perfect lady. I am a woman of the world."
"Jennifer, I may never another chance. I will just try it. I promise I won't do it all the time."
"Are you sure? It will make you cough at first. Jane, you are a lady. I don't want to make you bad. Someday, the world will love you and your writing in years to come."
"What do you mean? No one knows the future. Yes, I want to smoke. I am ready."
Jennifer handed Jane the cigarette and poor Jane started to cough.
"Are you alright, Jane?"
Jane nodded her head. She took another puff. This time, she didn't choke. Jane smiled. She would never have this chance again.
"About my writing and people loving me, what did you mean?"
Jennifer sighed. "In London, women are a little more daring. They love to read books and they will love what you write. Their daughters would appreciate your writing, too. The world is changing. Women will play a big part in the world someday. You can be a role model."
Jane loved Jennifer's way of thinking. God Bless Her.
It was getting late. Jennifer and Jane decided it was time for bed. They hugged and Jane was thankful for Jennifer. Smoking. Jane was glad her life wasn't boring all the time.
The next morning, Jennifer and Megan woke up. Jennifer told Megan about Jane smoking.
"You let Jane smoke?" Megan was shocked.
"Yes but I didn't want her, too. Jane isn't happy. One cigarette won't hurt her."
"No but this is Jane Austen after all. Too bad we can't take Jane back with us."
"I know but we can't. I am not ready to go, yet. I want to get know Bradley."
"If you fall in love with him?"
"I will cross that bridge when I come to it." Jenifer like to live in the monment.
Megan and Jennifer went downstairs and Mr. Austen was reading the paper. "Good Morning, Ladies."
The women greeted him back.
There was always enough food to go around. After breakfast, Mr. Austen went to his study. Jane came down for breakfast and smiled like the cat that had swallowed the canary.
Angel and Gretchen came over. Jane was playing the piano and Cassandra was drawing. Mrs. Austen was working on a quilt.
Megan told Angel and Gretchen about Jane smoking. They kept their voices down.
"Poor Jane. She will come down in history as being the naughty female author. Angel giggled.
"Women need to be more expressive. They are too uptight in this century." Gretchen chimed in.
"How are we going to get home? I miss Phillip and my kitty." Angel looked sad.
"I am still reading those books we got from Vicki. You know, we need to find a band of gypsies. Maybe they can help us." Megan's eyes looked hopeful.
"You can find Captain Jack Sparrow and maybe we get home on his pirate ship." Jennifer liked teasing Megan.
Gretchen started singing:"What do you do with a drunken sailor?"
Just then Mr. Austen walked in. "Ladies," He knew these ladies were trouble but he did like them. They made Jane smile. He let them hang around.
The women always spoke to Mr. Austen. He was stern but he was a nice man. He didn't throw them out of his house. Most men of this time period would have thrown them out weeks ago.
Megan, Jennifer, Angel and Gretchen decided to help Mrs. Austen with the quilt she was working on. Jennifer kept watching the clock. She had a date tonight.
Mrs. Austen talked about a new pie recipe and Jane decided to help with the quilt and Angel and Cassandra painted scenery on tea pots.
Jennifer went to put on a light pink dress with pearls and a sash. She looked real pretty and Megan asked her if she was going to wear a pink hat.
"Not in this life time! I feel like a dork in a hat! I wish I was wearing jeans."
"Men don't like women wearing pants in this centurt. Like any time era, they prefer us without clothes." Megan shrugged.
Mr. Kentsworth may get that wish later." Jennifer was in a good mood.
"You wouldn't! You vixen!" Megan wasn't sure what Jennifer's intentions were.
"We are from 2010. Anything goes. I don't think my new friend wouldn't turn it down."
"My virgin ears!" Megan loved to use that expression.
"You wish!" Jennifer looked in the mirror. "This is not me but I haven't been me in weeks."
Just then the women heard a carriage pull up.
"Show time." Jennifer was prancing around.
"Please be careful and behave, Jennifer. I care about you."
"I love you, too. He isn't some serial killer or Jack The Ripper."
"I hope not. Mr. Austen said he was from a respectable family. He approves." Megan was glad about that.
Megan and Jennifer went down stairs. Mr. Austen had let Bradley Kentsworh in. Bradley approached Jennifer and kissed her hand and bowed. "You look lovely, Miss Ritchie."
Jennifer smiled. "Thank you."
"Shall we be going?" Bradley extended his hand to Jennifer. He said to Mr. Austen. "We may be late."
Mr. Austen nodded."We will leave the door unlocked."
Megan waved to Jennifer and Jane winked. Bradley and Jennifer walked out the door and got in the carriage.
Megan prayed Jennifer would behave like a lady. Like Megan had behaved like a lady in the past twenty years.
Megan and Jane decided to work on the quilt. Jane asked Megan if she smoked.
"Not in thirty years." Megan always felt Jane was a celebrity.
"Jennifer thinks my writing will do well in the future. If only I could get credit for my work."
"You will. Times are changing, Jane. Someday, we wil be equal to men."
Mr. Austen was on his way to the study when he heard that. He didn't like that comment. He liked Megan so he pretended that he didn't hear it. As long as the ladies didn't cause any problem, he wouldn't ask them to leave.
Jennifer and Bradley had dinner. She put the napkin in her lap and behaved likie a lady. The restaurant was nothing like the ones in 2010. She wished her date was wearing jeans but he did look handsome in his suit. He was polite. Jennifer drank tea. She was getting used to tea.
"Where are you from?" Bradley asked Jennifer.
Jennifer wanted to say the future. "London."
"You are a city woman?"
"Yes." Jennifer was from a small town in Indiana in America but she couldn't tell her date that. He wouldn't understand.
Bradley was from Liverpool but was living in Bath. He asked Jennifer if he would like to see his estate. Bradley's parents were away in Europe and the servants would be home but wouldn't bother them. Jennifer looked forward to it.
After dinner, Bradley had his driver take Jennifer to his estate. The house was three stories, brown chateau designed, two big barns surrounded by tobacco fields and a pond. The hills near by were green and Jennifer felt like she was in Paradise.
The driver took the carriage and horses to one of the barns and Bradley helped Jennifer out of the carriage and they entered the parlor of the house. There was a castle picture on the wall, red winged felt back chairs, a love seat with blue birds with big red flowers on it. A brown mahogney desk, a brown wood coffee table with a ming vase and red roses and a nice big window over looking the pond. Jennifer thought this was Heaven. Bradley had Jennifer sit down on the love seat and poured her a glass of wine. Jennifer accepted and Bradley sit down beside her. He offered her a cigarette and she accepted.
"What do you do in London?"
"I work in nursing and I write fantasy stories. I like to write about vampires, dragons, romance and dark natured items."
"I have never met a woman like you before. You sound like a woman of adventure. Vampires and dragons. You must read a lot. Mention vampires to others around here and they get nervous even though they aren't real. If we court long enough, maybe you could be my wife."
Jennifer coughed. "Bradley, we just met. I would like for us to court but I will be returning to London someday. As for vampires, they give life interesting even though they aren't real. "
"London isn't so far away. I could visit you there."
The poor man had no idea how far away she lived. Marriage? No that wasn't in her plans. She wished she could take him to the future with him. She would enjoy him for now. Bradley grabbed Jennifer in his arms and kissed her passionately. She thought maybe she should stay in the past with him. Bradley liked a woman of mystery. She liked to smoke and drink and that was alright with him. Would Jennifer and Bradley have a future?
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