Chapter Nineteen

It's the night of the charity ball when both Jack and Cameron comes down in their tuxes to meet Rose at the door. Rose couldn't help but notice that Jack wasn't actually smiling. She was curious about what was going on.
"Jack?" Rose asked, glancing sideways at Cameron.
"Uh Rose...Cameron's going to be joining us and so is James. You see, one of the important clients flew in tonight and wants to talk business and I was needed to be there. I told him that I had already make plans I just couldn't break, so he decided just to have us meet at the ball."
"Jack!" Rose exclaimed angrily. Her and Jack hadn't been out by themselves in ages and she was looking forward to tonight.
"I know Rose and I tried to get out of it. But he wouldn't budge," Jack quickly explained. "Please understand. Besides, it shouldn't take too long and we'll have the rest of the night to ourselves. I promise."
"But..." Rose begins to protest but sighs in defeat. This was better than nothing she supposed and she will at least have some of the night to be alone with Jack. "Ok. Fine. But I'm only giving you two hours at the most. The rest of the night better just be the two of us."
"That's a deal sweetie," Jack grinned, holding out his arm for her to take.
"Ok. Let's go," Rose accepts his arm, they leave, followed by James and Cameron.
The ball was well underway when they arrived. Dozens of pictures were set up for guests to look at while they strolled around the room.
"This is great," Jack takes in his surroundings with wide blue eyes. Rose couldn't remember when he last wore that look. She thinks it was from the first time he saw the first class saloon aboard Titanic.
"I know. The paintings are extrodinary," Rose gasped.
"I think I see Mr. Reynolds over there now Jack," Cameron nods to a balding man wearing a tuxedo. "Come on Jack, let's go get this meeting started," Cameron grabs his cousin's arm and pulls him away from Rose.
"I'll be right back," Jack reassures Rose as he follows his cousin.
James stays behind for a minute with Rose, who's staring in Jack's direction, longing in her eyes. He felt deeply sorry for his cousin in law. He knew this night had meant a lot to both Jack and Rose...especially Jack. He's been bending over backwards these pasat few weeks to make sure he had time for his family and now this happens. "I'm sorry Rose. I wish there was a way out of this meeting."
"Don't be sorry James. It's not your fault," Rose forces a smile. "So I won't have Jack all night, but I'll at least have him for the rest of the night once the meeting is over with."
"James!" Cameron calls over to his cousin.
"Coming!" James calls back. "Well I'm being paged."
Rose watches him leave and begins walking around looking at the paintings. Each one was beautiful and seemed to be drawn from a different dimension of beauty. It's too bad that her and Jack wasn't poor anymore. He could've shown off some of his best drawings in this gala. She's so caught up in her daydreams that she didn't hear Cameron come up behind her.
"Hi there," He smiled. "Lovely paintings I must say."
"They are," Rose nods. "Where's Jack?"
"Still in the meeting. He sent me over to make sure you were ok," Cameron tilts his head and crosses his arm. "It doesn't look like it's going to be over anytime soon."
"Oh," Rose's face fell. "But maybe you're wrong. I'm going to wait."
Cameron laughs. "You're determined to spend the night with Jack aren't you?"
"What can I say besides I love my husband. He's everything to me," Rose smiled.
"I can tell."
"Well you better get back over there," Rose looks over at the small group. "I think you're being missed."
"I guess I am," Cameron nods, leaving for the meeting.
Two hours later the ball is almost over and still Jack was in that meeting.
"So much for tonight being about us," Rose sighed in bitter disappointment.
"Rose," Cameron comes up behind Rose. "Jack said to escort you home. He won't be getting out of that meeting in time after all."
"Oh no," Rose's head falls in disappointment. "Oh well at least he tried. Right?"
"Right. Come on. I'll take you home," Cameron takes her arm and leads her out of the building.
Jack has just closed the meeting and turns around to find Rose, but doesn't see her anywhere.
"Have you see Rose?" He turns to James.
"Cameron said something about the meeting lasting longer than expected and taking her home," James answered.
"Oh man, she's going to kill me," Jack shakes his head. It was supposed to be just the two of us tonight."
"Come on Jack," James smiled. "Let's make our donation and get out of here while the night is still young. Maybe you can still make it up to her."
"Maybe," Jack sighed, following his cousin.

Rose sighs as she enters the quiet mansion. Sylvia had the night off and had agreed to take the children for the night since the adults were going to be out. It was just her and Cameron.
"I love it when it's like this," Cameron grinned. "Peace and quiet."
"Yeah," Rose snorts, hanging up her coat.
"I must say Rose, tonight wasn't a total waste. I got to spend more time with you," Cameron smiled flirtatiously, causing warning bells to go off in Rose's head for some strange reason.
"I better go upstairs now. It's been a long night," Rose backs up towards the stairs, but Cameron quickly moves to block her way.
"But the night's still young Rose. We have plenty of time to ourselves. How about I go in the kitchen and get some champaign and crackers and cheese. Have ourselves a little picnic," Cameron suggests.
"I don't think so Cameron," Rose shakes her head.
"Why not Rose. I mean...what's a little champaign between friends? Huh?"
"Will you please move?" Rose asks angrily. She can see that Cameron had quickly slipped back in jerkk mode again and she wanted to get as far away from him as possible.
He grabs her shoulders and forces her into the living room. He couldn't control his desire anymore. He wanted her and he wanted her now. "Well then let's forget about champaign and food. Let's get down to what we both basically want."
"And what's that?"
"Oh come off it Rose You know perfectly well what I'm talking about. I've wanted you from the moment I first saw you and I knew you felt the same about me," Cameron laughs.
"What?! I wanted no such thing! I'm your cousin's wife for goodness sake!"
"So? People have affairs every day," Cameron shruggs. Why should we let the fact that you're married to my cousin stand in the way of how we feel?"
"Number one I don't feel that way about you. In fact I hate you. Your touch makes my skin crawl! And another thing, I'd never cheat on Jack! Especially with pod scum like you!" Rose struggles to get free with no avail. Cameronw was too strong. She shivers as his lust quickly turns to rage.

"Ok Rose, that's the way you want it, that's the way you'll get it," Cameron takes his fist and punches her, causing her to not only see stars but to also fall back onto the couch. "I'll just have to take what I want."
He grabs Rose again and pushes her down on the couch. He slaps her harder and harder everytime she struggles to get away. He has his pants down now and is ready to make his move when she brings her knee up and kicks him. He howls in pain as he lets her go. Quickly Rose gets off the couch and dashes out the door, running away into the dark night. She doesn't stop running until she's in the seedier side of town. She couldn't believe she had forced herself to run this far. Looking around, everything was unfamilar. She's about to walk on when she spots a familiar building. Sobbing uncontrollably now she enters the building. Silence falls once again as she enters.
"Mrs. Rose?" A familiar black man comes up to her, his eyes widen as he sees the bruises on her face and arms. He wondered what happened to her.
"Help me," She sobs, collapsing into the man's arms.
"Shhh shhh now. It's ok. You're safe here now. No one's gonna hurt you," The man strokes her hair and leads her to a back room, where there's a bed she could lay on to rest. Looking back he hollers, "Go on with the music! There's nuthin to see here!"
The band leader nods and goes on with the music.
Wishbone Jenkins takes the sobbing girl into the room and has her set on the bed. "Good lord child, what happened to you? Where's Jack?"
Rose looks up at the kind man and just shakes her head. She wasn't ready to go into what happened.
"Shall I call the mansion and have someone come get you?"
"No! Please don't. Not yet. I'll call later...when I'm sure Jack's home," Rose wipes away her tears and winces when her hand brushes against a bruise.
"Let me go get some medicine for ya. Get yourself cleaned up some," Wishbone heads to the restroom, where he keeps his medicine cabinet.
Rose leans back against the bed and wonders what she was going to do. What was she going to tell Jack? How would Jack react when he found out what Cameron had tried to do to her? Would he blame her rather than blame his cousin? Would he think she was a whore or a slut? After all, she had slept with him after knowing him for only a few days, why should now be any different? At the last thought she began to cry, soon afterwards she falls into a troubled sleep.

The next morning after a sleepless night of worrying about his wife's whereabouts, Jack gets up and just stares out the window. He had come home last night to find Rose gone. He had asked Cameron where she was, but all he said was that after they got home, she went to her room and she went to his. He hadn't seen her for the rest of the night. He called Sylvia, thinking that maybe she went to get the children, but Sylvia said she hadn't shown up there either. Jack had asked Sylvia not to come in for the next couple of days and to keep the children with her until he found out where his wife was. But he had no clue where to start looking.
He jumps when the phone rings, he quickly picks it up. "Rose?"
Silence at first then a familiar voice comes over the phone. "Jack, this is Wishbone Jenkins. I have your wife here. She's sleeping right now. But I thought I should call ya and let ya know she's safe."
"Thank you Wishbone. Is she ok? I mean, I came home last night and she was gone...I don't know what happened."
" the way she looked last night when she showed up at the joint, she looked as if she was roughed up some. I asked her if she wanted me to call the mansion, but she said not until she was sure you were home. Then she fell asleep and been asleep ever since."
"Oh my God. Ok. Thanks Wishbone. I'll be right over there in a minute. Don't let her leave. Just keep her there."
"Ok Jack," Wishbone nods, hanging up the phone. He turns to see Rose looking at him.
"Was that Jack?" Rose asked.
"Yeah. He was worried about you Rose. Didn't know what happened or where you got off to."
"Is he coming alone?" Rose asked.
"I guess," Wishbone shruggs. "Mrs. Rose. Why don't ya tell me what happened to ya last night. Why you run away like that and who beat ya like that?"
"I-I can't talk about it right now," Rose turns away from him.
" know Jack's gonna want to know who marred his pretty wife's face like that."
"I know," Rose nods, fear in her eyes at how Jack would react when she told him.
"I'll go make ya some breakfast. You must be starving," Wishbone smiled at her. "Just you relax and don't worry about a thing.
Rose just smiled and did as he directed. She drifted off into another nightmare. This time she couldn't get away from Cameron and Cal was standing over them calling her a slut and a whore.
She pleaded with them to stop but they wouldn't. Then Cameron after he's done steps aside and let's Cal have his way.
"No!" Rose screamed and sat up bolt right to see Jack talking to Wishbone. Both look over at her in surprise. Jack is immediately at her side.
"Rose, what happened?" He hugs her closly. He pulls away and looks at her bruised face and arms. "Oh my God. Who did this to you?"
"She wouldn't tell me anything," Wishbone shrugs.
" can tell me anything. You know that. Who did this?" Jack asked, his voice gentle.
Rose opens her mouth to speak when suddenly Cameron comes in the room and stands behind Jack. She loses her voice as he glares down at her.
"Is everything alright now?" Cameron asked.
"Rose was just about to tell me who did this to her," Jack turns to Cameron and back to Rose. He immediately spots the fear in her eyes as she looks up at Cameron and immediately knew the truth. "You did this didn't you?"
"I didn't do anything that she didn't ask for," Cameron crosses his arms, smirking down at Rose. She said she liked it rough. It's not my fault she's a little slut now is it?"
"You son of a bitch," Jack gets up and punches Cameron in the nose, knocking him back into James.
"What's going on here?" James asked as Cameron wipes blood away from his nose.
"Cameron raped Rose," Jack growled, advancing towards Cameron, but James gets between the two men.
"What do you mean Cameron raped Rose?" James asked confused, then he sees Rose's bruises. He gasped. He knew his cousin had a crush on her, but he never thought he was capable of this. "Cameron how could you?"
"She was begging for it. I wasn't going to resist," Cameron shrugs.
"And I guess those bruises got there by themselves?" James asked.
"Something's not right here," Jack turns to Rose, who was facing away from him. He takes her hands and gently turns her head to look at him. "Rose, tell me what really happened. Don't worry, I won't be mad. I know whateverhappened was his fault. Not yours."
Rose bursts into tears. "He tried to rape me. He forced me into the setting room then threw me down on the couch. He punched and slapped me. I finally got a chance to kneww him in his groin and I ran away when he fell back in pain. I just ran, not knowing where I was going. I found myself here and Mr. Jenkins took me in."

Jack just nods and turns to Cameron. "If I ever catch you anywhere near my wife again, I will kill you and next James won't be able to stop me."
"You should know by now that threats don't work," Cameron laughed. "Rose wanted it as much as I did. She just chickened out. That's all."
"Get out!" Jack points to the door.
"Gladly," Cameron turns on his heels and leaves.
"Jack, I'm sorry. It's my fault. He told me you told him to take me home, that the meeting would last for the rest of the night," Rose cried. "Or I would never have left with him."
"Shhh Rose. It's okay. I understand," Jack takes her in his arms and hugs her tightly. It's okay now Rose. You're safe and he'll never touch you again. I promise. I guess it's a good thing that I told Sylvia to keep the kids at her house for a couple of days."
"What are we going to do now Jack?" Rose asked, knowing that they couldn't go back to the mansion.
"Well, I'm going to rent us a apartment for now. Then once I get things settled here...we'll move out of Boston. Maybe we'll go to New York . I can open up that gallery grandfather left me. We can make our living that way," Jack smiles as the ideas come to him. "It's going to be great Rose...just like it was before we ever came to Boston."
Rose smiles happily at her husband and relieved that he believed her and didn't hate her for what had happened.
"Just give me a few more weeks Rose. a few more weeks and we'll be on our way."
Within two weeks, Jack had turned most of his shares in the Dawson family business over to James and now he was ready to move his family back to New York...where he and Rose had just started when they got off the Carpathia.