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The Beauty And The Tragedy Part Eight
Chapter Eight: March 23, 1857

Eli Kenward had been thinking about Eva for the past two weeks but after that morning, she hadn’t returned. He didn’t really feel that he should be worried about her. She lived a busy life and probably didn’t have time to come visit him. That was why he didn’t want to become attached to her in the first place. When he had first seen her, he knew she was a beautiful woman. And it wasn’t just those sparkling brown eyes that looked straight into his whenever he spoke to her, like she was actually listening and was genuinely interested in what he was saying. And it wasn’t the way every dress she wore highlighted every curve on her body. He tried to avoid that feature, for he didn’t want to think impure thoughts but his mind did go there for a brief moment and he chastised himself for it. But her beauty was also on the inside. Even though she had everything she could ever want in her life, she still went to every shop in town and said hello to everyone she could and she had even brought him something to drink on a cold day without asking for anything in return. When she had mentioned wanting to marry a man just like him, it had made him nervous. He enjoyed her company but he knew in his heart that they could never be and so he panicked and went back into his shop before he could waste more time on her. But later on in the day, he had seen Eva’s step-brother, Benjamin Weston walking with Claire Baldwin, one of Joseph Hayward’s girls. Eli knew most of the girls (only because everyone in town knows each other) but he liked Claire the best because she always stopped by and said hi whenever she took a trip to the grocer and the butcher. Most of the girls didn’t do that. But today, he needed Claire to do him a favor. So after he closed the shop that evening, he walked nervously to Joseph Hayward’s brothel. Though he respected these women, for they were just trying to earn money just like everyone else, he didn’t want anyone thinking he was going into the brothel to sleep with one of these girls. Though he believed there were no real rules to marriage and that as a husband he would not “own” his wife’s body, he still preferred to wait until his wedding night to take a woman to his bed.

Luckily, Claire was in the parlor with a few other girls and he didn’t have to search a very long time. Claire was sitting on the floor with Joseph’s b*****d son, Christopher. She looked up when she heard Eli’s heavy footsteps and she shooed the other girls out of the room, “Eli, what brings you here this evening?”

“It-it’s not what you think!” Eli exclaimed, getting a little nervous. Claire giggled and shook her head, “Relax Eli. I know you’re not here for that. Sit and tell me what troubles you.”

“Oh, nothing troubles me,” Eli said as he sat down, taking his cloth cap off his head and balling it up in his hands, “You’re friendly with Benjamin Weston aren’t you?”

Claire suddenly got uncomfortable and she looked down at Christopher, “Not in the way you might think but yes. But I haven’t seen him lately because he and his family left for Germany for a little leisure time. Apparently Benjamin’s father was working himself too hard so they left. They should be back any day now.”

“Oh good!” Eli dug around his coat pocket and pulled out a folded piece of parchment paper, “I was wondering if you could give this to Mr. Weston the next time you saw him. And when you give it to him, tell him to give it to his sister.”

“So this note goes to Eva?” Claire took the paper and tucked it into her apron pocket, “If it goes to her, I could just give it to her herself the next time I see her. It won’t be too long before I see her again.”

“Thank you very much Claire,” Eli said. Claire picked up Christopher and got onto her feet, “It’s no trouble at all Eli. I was unaware you had spoken to Eva.”

“We were talking a few weeks ago before you and Mr. Weston came by,” he said, “She’s a very interesting woman to talk to.”

Claire smiled like she knew a secret and nodded, “I’m sure she is Eli. I must be putting Christopher to bed now and hopefully go to bed myself before a client can come in here demanding me. And you should leave too before Mr. Hayward sees you. He’ll try to offer one of us to you and if he sees us talking he’ll practically force you to stay the night with me. Neither of us want that do we?”

Eli blushed and pulled his cloth cap over his face, “You’re right my friend. I couldn’t do that to you anyway. You’re lovely and all but you’re not my wife. I could not.”

“I wish I was allowed to have the same morals as you,” Claire mumbled, adjusting a sleeping Christopher on her arm. Eli took Claire’s free hand and kissed it. Claire smiled warmly and quickly kissed his cheek, “I’ll see you soon my friend. And I’ll be sure Eva gets this.”

“Thank you Claire,” he said as he backed out of the doorway, “I’ll repay you for this.”

“Unnecessary Eli,” she said, “I’m not too comfortable with that word anymore…anything with the word ‘pay’ sends chills down my spine. Just give me your friendship and I will consider us even.”

So, this a short little filler. I decided to switch it up and just have a moment with Eli wink next chapter all your favorite (and least favorite I suppose LOL) will return next chapter. I just wanted to post something and I feel pretty good about it even though it's a filler and those are never any good! Haha! Also, I really wanted to skip a few weeks because I was tired of going one day at a time lol!

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