A/N: ok, hi everyone!!! this one-shot is the closest i think i will ever get any time soon to a lemon, but don't worry, it's not. i'm too much of a chicken. So anyway, please please please tell me what you think of this one because i really want to know. it was most definitely not planned at all, it just came to me and i had to write about it. so please Read~Enjoy~Review :D

I'm not happy. I'm sitting here in my house that my father built years and years before I was born for him and my mother, and I'm not happy. Wilson is here. Wilson Wright. He's apparently courting me. Has been since I turned 18. But the thing is, HE'S FLIPPING 30!!! I mean sure, I want a husband who's older than me, but he was 12 years old when I was born! He's a little too old for me, even in the 1800's.

"So I already have our house read for us when we get married. No need for you to work anymore either, Annabel. We'll have people to do the chores, and the only thing you really need to worry about now is what you'd like to do during the day," Wilson says as he smiles at me. That's all that he's been going on about lately. Married this. . . house that . . . together blah blah blah! I don't want to marry him, I can't really . . .

"Annabel will be very happy being with you after the wedding," my Aunt Rosalie goes on. Her and her husband, Uncle Grey, became my guardians after my parents died a while ago. Also, Wilson had known my parents when I was born. I still don't really get why I'm marrying him. Morgan should be home soon . . .

"Isn't that right Annabel?" Uncle Grey asks me.

"Oh, I'm sorry. I missed the question. I was just thinking about what the house will look like," I say sweetly. I don't want my aunt and uncle to think that I really don't like getting married as much as I do. I've been a burden to them since I started living here. Their son, James, and my seven year old cousin; is physically disabled from falling in a pond during winter. Ever since then, he's been so sick that he can barely walk.

"We can go and see it now, if you'd like, Annabel," Wilson says to me. I nod, making my bonnet shake forward and back. I'm not allowing anyone who's not family see my hair until I'm married. It just seemed like a good tribute to my mom because we had the exact same hair, color, shape, and all.

"All right, go along now. It'll be good for you two to spend some time with each other before the wedding," croons Aunt Rosalie. Both Wilson and I stand together and walk out of the door. He takes my hand once we're out of sight from the house. His hands are warm, and it brings me closer to him.

I study his face for the first time up close. His Roman nose is turned slightly up, not enough to make him look odd, but enough to soften his features. His high cheek bones remind me of a child's in the way that they are always adding a smile-like feature to his face. The eyes that have watched over me for the past few months are actually a very light sky blue. And his hair is like nothing I've ever seen before, with its light, almost baby blondeness to it and the way it curls into springs in some places. Lips, always smiling when he looks at me. I wonder if he's really actually happy to be marrying me.

"This is the hallway, which leads to the living room, and over to the right as you face the fireplace is the kitchen and dining room. And there are the stairs which lead up to four bedrooms upstairs, but behind the stairs is the receiving room. I hope we have enough rooms for the kids to have one to themselves," Wilson continued, but I just stared at him in shock, not listening anymore. More than one kid? What ?!?!?! I thought to myself.

"Oh, but only when we're both ready, of course," he said, trying to cover up how happy he actually looked while thinking about a family in the future. That was it.

"Put me down. I can walk by myself," I said coldly. I didn't like the idea of having to grow up just yet and having a family of my own. And besides, I had been saving myself for someone special . . .

"You'll probably want to get to bed, I presume. I'll sleep down here tonight, just to make you feel better. Good night, . . . Mrs. Wright," Wilson teased as I went up the stairs. I didn't reply. I didn't know how to reply to that. I didn't want to have that as my name, but I guess I just had to live with it.

Once I got into the room I immediately started changing out of my day clothes and into my pajamas. Only, I didn't have my truck upstairs yet. Great, now I have to walk back down there and get them. I hope Aunt Rosalie didn't pack any surprises for me in my wedding trunk.

"I think you'll be needing these to sleep in, correct?" Wilson jibes as he shakes around the newly made, silk pajama top and small bottoms. Obviously made for a whore or married woman and yet these are what my aunt packs me to send me on my way with my 12-years-older-than-me husband. I grab them in haste and try to pull them out of his grasp. But he has a vise like grip around them, and I have to relent to his power. With my hand still on the fine cloth, I look up at him and into his face. It's no longer teasing, or joking; but serious. He looks down at me with his cloudy-with-remembrance eyes and says, "Have I ever told you how you were betrothed to me?" The question hangs in the air as my hand slips from the white silk and I shake my head no. My eyes at the same time fall to the floor in hope to find some spare clothing to cover myself for this conversation. No such luck, so I'm stuck with wearing only my underclothes and corset while my new husband tells me of how I ended up here, alone, in a house with him, and a ring on my finger.

"When I was 12, I remember going over to your parents' house many times a week for dinners. Our parents were best of friends, had been since they grew up all living in the town together. Our fathers were like brothers, so they made a pact to always stay together. But when my father mentioned that when their children got married they wouldn't be able to spend time with one another because they'd have to be with their children's families. So they promised us to one another. But I remember one night when the adults were talking and your mother said she had no luck of getting pregnant any time soon. She was heartbroken; she didn't want to hurt your father like that. But when they got news of you they were so happy. Everyone was! They could still be together forever if you were a girl, which they were hoping for so badly. And then I remember the day you were born. My mother had gone over to your house early to help with you before the night's supper. And when my father brought me over, he told me, 'Now I know you don't want to think about this now, but this little girl, Annabel, is going to be your wife some day. So watch over her, even if your mom and I are gone, and especially if William and Hayley aren't around anymore either.' And ever since then, I've watched over you like I was told to. And on the day you become of marrying age, I made it apparent that I had been watching over you," Wilson said, starring off into the living room, like he was watching something happen right before him at that moment.

He turned back to me and the familiar smile returned to his face as he made my pajamas dance once again in front of me. But this time, when I didn't laugh or smile, and instead just put my hands back on the clothing, he just let them slip through his fingers. I went back up into my room, changed, and jumped into bed, hoping to get the sheets warm so I could sleep in a little warm cave tonight. As the temperature of the sheets touching me warmed up, I slowly lulled off into sleep's sweet abyss.

As he was tossing and turning downstairs, Wilson thought about what it had been like to first lay eyes on the little baby Annabel. What am I doing?, he thought. She's so much younger than me, and she doesn't even seem to be warming up to me at all after the past few months. His troubling thoughts kept him from sleeping, so he late awake starring up at the ceiling of his home. And then he heard a small, but apparent whimper.

At first he thought it an animal outside unhappy with the fall weather. But then he heard it again, louder this time, and seeming to be coming from inside the house. Quietly, he lit a candle and walked up the stairs in just his bottom pajamas. When he reached what was normally his room's door, he could hear gentle sobbing. He pushed the door open and bathed completely in moonlight, he saw his slim and attractive wife sprawled across the covers of what was usually his bed. Her hair, which he had never seen before, was haphazardly thrown over her in all of its long, curled glory. The color was a mix of blonde an brown tinted red. His eyes returned to her crème colored face that glowed in the moonlight. Again, a sobbing noise came from her pink lips.

He blew out his candle before entering, so as not to wake her, and for having no need of it anymore. Placing each foot carefully on the quieter parts of the wood floor, he crossed the room rapidly and set the candle and it's holder in the nightstand next to the bed. Gently, he eased himself into the bed, under the covers, and took her tall but small form into his arms. She moaned and just barely opened her eyes.

"It's all right. I'm right here with you, you're not alone. You'll never be alone again because I'll never leave you, Annabel. You're safe with me," he cooed softly, willing her to fall back into sleep and to just let him enjoy this moment of holding her body so close to his without her squirming. But she did not abide by his wishes. Because just before she slipped back into her deep sleep, she reached up with one hand and brought his face closer to hers and whispered, "Don't leave me, ever, Wilson." And then, softly, almost like butterfly wings, she kissed him.

Annabel, not knowing what she had actually done, thinking it all a dream, sank deeper into his hold and back into sleep. At first he thought it never happened, but the burning tingle on his lips proved him wrong. Forever more, he promised himself, he will cherish this night like it was the most precious glass gift handed to him in the middle of a war. Because I love her, he thought as he smiled in the moon lit night, snuggled in close with his wife.

The first morning I woke up in my new home was different. I didn't remember much from the night before, but I did remember going to bed alone and not with Wilson. His large form generated so much heat though, that in the middle of the cold night, I probably move over looking for more heat. These darn pajamas were like wearing underwear in the snow! But still, Wilson was so warm and welcoming, even when he was sleeping.

At the moment I was held close to his half naked form by his muscular arms that had found their way about my waist and shouldered. My face was so close to his that whenever he exhaled, his warm breath on my neck sent shivers down my spine. His eyes were closed, looking peaceful and his face had no lines what so ever, making him look 20 instead of 30. Wilson's lips, just slightly parted, were too hard to resist, so gently, hoping not to wake him, I kissed those beautiful lips in the light of the morning sun in our bed.

Of course, his eyes opened the second my lips touched his. They fluttered for a moment and then registered what they were looking at. At that point, they became large, showing how shocked he was, and I ripped my mouth away from his as fast as I could. His eyes became normal size again, and as he was moving one of his hands to touch his mouth, he blushed, realizing that he was the one holding me to him. I grinned, enjoying the sight of this silly man in place of the smiling, yet calculating person I had married.

"I'm sorry," I said, "I just, you looked, and I didn't mean to. . ." but he cut me off with a, "No, it was my fault." This time I smiled, and he smiled back at me. And just as I started to lift my hand to cup his face, I started laughing, realizing that Wilson's arms were still around me. He laughed too, apologized again, and unwound his arms. Again, I moved my hand to cup his face, while his hand covered mine. He smiled at me, hopeful, and I kissed him. His kisses were amazing! They sent shivers through me, like be electrified with life. Once again, his arms came around me, crushing me to him this time, and I enjoyed it. Those kisses were so passionate, so giving, and full of such heat that I couldn't resist. I pulled away and moaned.

He didn't stop. His mouth just went from mine, to my neck, kissing away at the white, virgin skin there. The locks of hair that were in his way had been brushed aside like leaves in fall as his kissed up and down my neck, to my collarbone, and all the way up to my jaw. When he finally felt my shivers, he smiled a seductive smile and then continued to kiss my lips again. This time though, his tongue parted my lips and easily we slipped into a more expert kissing technique. Once again, I moaned out in pure joy, but this time he didn't just take it as a compliment, he took it as a sign to move forward.

Instead of laying next to each other, he had flipped us and he was now on top of me. My silk pajamas were the only thing standing in his way. I starred up at him, his hands just above the cloth, that close to ripping them off of me. Wilson's gaze went straight to my eyes, begging, pleading with me to say yes, to give him the ok to go on. I wanted him to, I wanted him to so badly, to take me there and make me his like a husband should his wife, but then I remembered Morgan. And my eyes told how uncertain I was to Wilson, like they were little children telling on another child to a parent. Not telling all of the truth, but enough to get the message across.

Wilson thought he understood, bowed his head down to mine, and kissed me slowly, showing me that he could wait until I was ready. He was ready to wait for me. A tear, conceived out of love and confusion, ran down my cheek and he kissed it away lightly before getting off of me and helping me out of bed and down the stairs.

He was silent with thought that morning, most likely mulling over what had gone wrong, if he had gone too far too soon. But it wasn't that, it wasn't any of that. It was the fact that I had promised myself to another, someone I had loved before Wilson: Morgan. My best friend, who I now realized I didn't actually truly love as my other half, but as a brother or someone I was closely related to. And I had to tell him that the second I saw him.

She looked worried as she set out today. Like she had something on her mind. Maybe she really had not wanted me to suggest . . . But it had looked like she wanted it just seconds before she changed her mind. But none the less, she had changed her mind in the end. And I was left alone as she half-mindedly went out for a morning walk, most likely to clear her head.

I didn't want her to go though. I wanted her to stay here, with me holding her, helping her through whatever she had to cope with. I didn't want her to be alone. Annabel had been alone for so long, with her parents both dying of the common cold when she was just 3. She most likely only knew about most of them from stories other people had told her about them. Her pain is my pain, I thought. Annabel, I love you so much, please listen to me this once, I mentally shouted, hoping by some connection that she got the message.

Love you, a voice echoed in my head. It made me stop dead in my tracks right in the middle of crossing the thankfully not-so-busy street. It wasn't just the words that made me stop, it was this sudden buoyant feeling, like I would just fly away if the wind blew too strong. It's love, I heard another voice say to me, different from the first one. Someone loves me. And that's when I saw Morgan leisurely strolling down the street toward me with a friend of his.

They were talking but I wasn't able to hear what they were saying, because by the time they got to me, they had already said goodbye and departed from each other. When Morgan looked at me full on, he smiled that warm but playful smile that always made me laugh when we were little. This time though, it only made me sad. Morgan reached me in time to see me push away the gloom and smile at him. He gave me a funny look, to me by the wrist, and lead me to the little alleyway in between the Courthouse and the Church.

He pinned me against the wall, with his body as my cage. Morgan, beautiful, care-free Morgan. With his pale white skin, green emerald eyes, and black hair, he was the spitting image of an Irish immigrant. Which he was, but from far back. This Morgan, the one stressing over me when I'm in a bad mood, only days after he got back from sailing for a year, is my best friend, who I will always love as I would family. His concerning eyes flashed up to me as he said, "Annabel, what's wrong? And don't try lying, I know when you do. Come on, be happy! I just got back, we can get married now! I'm sorry I missed your birthday, but we had some trouble at sea."

"It's ok, all we did around here was stop working for a few hours to have some cornbread and talk about the years past. I got a new bonnet with indigo coloring and my own seeds to startmyowngardeninmyownhouse," I rushed at the last part, making the sentence all into one word. Morgan again looked at me quizzically and asked, "What was that last part?"

" I . . . I . . . I got some seeds of my own to help me start me own garden in my own house," I said with hopefully what came off as confidence. He watched me to see if it was a joke, but it wasn't, not this time Morgan.

"While you were away, Morgan, there was a man who came courting. His name is Wilson Wright. I was betrothed to him when I was born by my parents, it would be like disrespecting them if I didn't follow their last wishes. But I've come to realize, Morgan, that you and I," but I was cut off by Morgan's mouth closing over mine. He kissed me roughly, pushing me back up against the brick wall of the Courthouse. It hurt to be kissed by him. I didn't like it, it wasn't like how Wilson kissed me this morning.

I pushed him away and said angrily, "Let me finish, Morgan. And don't do that, I'm a married woman now." At this his jaw dropped open and he asked, "A woman? Already you're a woman, Annabel?" he looked scarred, and then it donned on me what he was asking me.

"Oh, no, not yet, jeez Morgan. What do you think I am, a local whore? I would never, not so soon. But Morgan, I don't think I love you as a married couple should love each other. I love you as a brother I never had. I think you should find a nice girl who truly loves you, not like me. I'll always love you platonically," I said, slipping through his cage of arms and stopped. Wilson stood right at the edge of the alleyway Morgan had taken me to. The look on his face was of hurt, sadness, and a little envy.

But who did he have to envy? Of course not Morgan, I didn't love Morgan like I did Wilson. But . . . the kiss! Wilson had seen the kiss Morgan and I had shared, but he wasn't able to hear what I had said since he was too far away and we spoke softly.

"Wilson, let me explain," I started to walk over to him, begging him not to run.

"No, I understand why now. It's because you had someone else before me. Why didn't you just tell me, Annabel? I'm not an awful person, I would have not married you had I known you loved someone else," Wilson said with steel in his voice. But he couldn't hide from me that one little emotion that had worked its way into his voice: sadness and longing. He was hurt, I please Wilson, please don't be sad. Be angry, be violent, be whatever you want, just don't be sad.

"No, Wilson. . .," I cried to hi retreating back. I can't lose him, ever. I've lost sight of his form now, I have to run in order to keep up with him. But I had completely forgotten about Morgan, who caught my arm and said, "Look, he doesn't want you, he's left you. Stay with me Annabel, and we can get married and have children together just like we planned ten years ago."

I turn to him, completely serious, wanting him to let go of me so I can go console the person I love with all of my heart, and say, "Plans change, Morgan. Let go of me so I can go find my husband." I don't know what happened, but Morgan let go of me like I had suddenly caught on fire. Without a backward glance, I ran to search for Wilson, who could be anywhere by now, thinking that I didn't care to be married to him. But that wasn't true, and I was going to prove that to him.

I had searched all over town before I went home. I was so afraid to think that maybe he had walked upstate to one of the bigger cities in Massachusetts. But when I got home, I saw Wilson's large frame make a shadow against the door from the fireplace he was sitting in front of. I breathed a sigh of relief which alerted him that I was there, causing him to glance at me a minute before turning back to the fire and watching it's colors dance.

"I understand that you need to come back to get your things, but I just don't want to look at you right now," he said in a calm voice. How was I going to tell him how I felt?

"Wilson, let me explain. You ran off before I was able to tell you why I did what I did," I paused when he turned around and stood, making his shadow grow to two times its previous height.

"You mean why you kissed that boy. Why you let him kiss you, in public like that, with your wedding ring on. How could you do that?" his voice got louder, more emotion flooded his words.

"I thought that life was hard for you because you didn't have your parents, but you are tough, Annabel. And I thought that hard life didn't beat the feelings out of you, but I guess it did, and I'm sorry to ever expect more from you," he went on. Now I was mad.

"I do have feelings, Wilson! I do. You want proof? Right now, I'm feeling angry at you, but at the same time frustrated because I don't want to be angry with the one person I love with my entire heart. I. Told. Morgan. That. I. Didn't. Love. Him. Like. I Love. You. And. That. Our. Promise. Was. Off," I said haltingly, just to make sure he understood what I was saying. I wasn't able to see his face because of his shadow, but I could hear his voice crack just a little when he said, "You said it. Annabel, you said that you love me! Is it true, do you really love me, or is this just some sick game to you? Because I LOVE YOU ANNABEL DAWSON WRIGHT AND I WILL DO ANYTHING IN MY POWER TO KEEP YOU AS MY WIFE!" for a while I just stood there, looking at this large man who had just poured his heart out to me, not even half-knowing if I returned the same feelings. He was brave, courageous, strong, and most importantly- loving.

"At first, Wilson, I didn't love you. But back then, I didn't know you. I wasn't opening myself to you because I thought I had Morgan. But last night, I had this dream about you. I was crying and sobbing in the dark, yet eerie light. One minute I was alone, and the next you were there, holding me and telling me that I'd be ok and that I would never be alone anymore. And you're right, up until know I have been alone with no one to share my burden with. But when you were there in my dream, I felt safe and whole again. And I can't ever feel like that if you aren't with me, ever, Wilson. So yes, Wilson. Yes, I love you with all of my heart," I said finally. He still stood in front of the fireplace, but now he walked over to me, allowing me to see his face.

It was happy, and I think I saw a few tear streaks on his nicely tanned face, but mostly it was relieved. His arms slowly went around my waist as he cautiously lifted me into his arms. Bridal style, he carried me up the stairs to our bedroom. After softly placing me on the bed, with his forehead touching mine, he said, "I love you too, Annabel." And that night we proved to each other that we would always love the other, no matter what happened because we were just ment to be together. Albeit we didn't know in the beginning and we'd just gone along to please our dead parents, but in the end they had matched us perfectly.

A/N: so . . . ? what did everyone think? if you liked it, please tell me what you liked about it. if you didn't like it, tell me why. and if you feel the need to tell me to correct something i'd very much appreciate it. and you know, if anyone ever wants to just leave and encouraging review, those are always welcome!!! so please review and i'd just like to thank my very supportive and understanding best friends: Tony the Tigress and fromthehear101. you guys are awesome and great and i love you both for being there for me while i was trying to get over this problem!!!!

luvz to all my lovely readers,

~Aruka Ten