Jake Matthews stands at the
door of the huge Dawson mansion and looks up at it's structure.
This must be where the Angel he ran into the day before
lived...the angel that had left her handbag setting on the bench
when he had gone back to pick up his lucky pencil he had left.
"Jake what are you doing?" He asked himself. "You should have just left the handbag at the police station and left it at that. Who knew what the people of the house was going to think of a homeless struggling writer returning the purse of a first class girl. They'll probably think you stole it."
Taking a deep breath he rang the bell. It's the girl's companion that opens the door. Her beauty was breathtaking, but she wasn't the one that he was hoping to see.
"Oh it's you," the girl smiled, surprise shining in her green eyes.
"Your friend left this in the park the other day," Jake holds out the handbag.
"Why don't you come in. I'll get Kathy."
"Oh that's not necessary. I just stopped by to give her the handbag she left," Jake smiled back.
"I'll go get Kath," Rose smiled already heading up the stairs. Two minutes later Rose returns with Kathy at her side.
"It's you," Kathy's astonished. She had never expected to see the handsome stranger who had helped her yesterday again.
"You left your handbag on the bench yesterday," Jake holds the bag out to her.
"Thank-you," Kathy smiled, accepting the purse. "I never expected to see you again."
"Sorry to disappoint you," Jake looks down at the fancy carpet.
"That's not what I meant."
"I wanted to see you again...but I didn't know how I'd be able to since I don't know where you live or anything."
"Jake, why don't you stay for dinner," Rose asked. "It's the least we could do since you made the trip over here to return that bag. In fact, you can borrow one of Jack's suits. He won't mind."
"Uh...that won't be necessary," Jake shakes his head, backing up for the door, but Rose grabs his arm before he could get away.
"Oh sure it is. Come on up. We'll fit you in a suit before you can say tuxedo," Rose giggled, pulling Jake up the stairs to the room she shares with Jack.
"I'll be back," Rose disappears into the walk-in closet.
Jake walks around the room eyeing everything. He spots a picture and picks it up to see a picture of Rose sitting on top of a horse with both legs on each side, a man with shaggy blond hair sets behind her. He must be her husband. Then he catches sight of a portfolio setting on the bed. Picking it up he sees tons of magnificent drawings. All of them of Rose or the children he saw her with yesterday. There was one of Rose on top of the horse by herself. Looking at the cover he reads the inscription addressed to a man named Jack. It sounded like she loved him an awful lot.
"Here you go. Try this on," Rose holds out the suit.
"Your husband is quite an artist," Jake makes conversation.
"You saw his portfolio?"
"Yeah. He seems to capture the very essence of things," Jake calls back in.
"I know. I think it was his art that captured my attention when we first met," Rose smiled, remembering the look on Jack's face when she told him he had a talent and he said he saw her.
"I like writing myself. You can say I'm a self-proclaimed poet. I'm hoping to make it big someday," Jake comes out with the suit on. It fitted him perfectly. Kathy was going to be pleased.
"You look great," Rose nods with approval. "Almost better than my husband looks in that suit."
"Rose Jack's back," Kathy appears in the door way. She stops in midstride when she sees Jake. "You look great."
Jake just smiled at the compliment.
"I better go down and greet my husband. I'll leave you two alone," Rose bounds down the stairs to see Jack and James deep in conversation. Cameron is setting in the big leather chair reading the newspaper.
"Hello Jack," Rose runs up to her husband and leans closer so only he could hear her. "Kathy has company. I let him borrow one of your suits. I hope you don't mind."
"Is it that Jake fella? Those two are still trying to figure out who he is if you can believe that."
Rose just nods. "You don't think they'll be rude do you?"
"James won't but I don't know about Cameron. He really wants Kathy to marry that Humphrey guy. He even invited him to dinner tonight."
"Tonight? Oh no," Rose buries her head in Jack's shoulder.
"What do you mean oh no," Jack asked. "What's wrong?"
"I invited Jake to stay for dinner tonight. I thought it'd give them a chance to get to know one another," Rose explained. "Oh Jack, what are we going to do?"
"We're going to do nothing. We'll just let Kathy know about Mitchell coming to dinner and let her deal with it on her own. We're staying out of it this time Rose."
Rose simply nods and lays her head on Jack's shoulder when there's a knock at the door.
"That must be Mitchell," Cameron grinned, getting up to answer the door. Just as Kathy came down with Jake.
"Is that Jake?" Jack looks at the stairs.
Rose just nods and squeezes her husband's hand. "Come on. I want you to meet him," Rose pulls him to the stairs. "Jake hi. This is my husband Jack."
"Nice to meet ya too. Kathy here told me a lot about you and Rose," Jake smiled. "I also saw your drawings. You have an exceptional talent."
"Kathy Mitchell is here," Cameron comes to the stairs with Mitchell by his side when he sees Jake. "Who's this?"
"That's the guy I was telling you about Cam. That's Jake," Mitchell glares at the man. "But he's dressed a lot better than he was yesterday."
"Oh really? And what are you doing here Jake and dressed in my cousin's suit," Cameron smirked.
"I came to see kathy," Jake squirms under Cameron's glare.
"And that's not my suit," Jack turns to Cameron.
"Funny, I could have sworn that's the suit grandfather brought you last July," Cameron crosses his arm. And turns back to Jake. "How long are you going to be here?"
"He's staying for dinner, which I think is ready. It's six o'clock already," Rose takes Jack's hand and pulls him down the stairs.
"Just as long as it's clear that Katherine's setting between Mitchell and myself," Cameron glares at Jake. If this stranger thought he was going to be a candidate to court his cousin he had another thing coming.
Dinner was quite an event. Jake sat between Rose and James and couldn't keep his eyes off Katherine.
"He's as bad as you were on Titanic," Rose giggled to Jack.
"Shhh," Jack smiled to his wife. "Don't make him nervous."
"Did you two say Titanic?" Mitchell asked. "you two met on the Titanic didn't you?"
"Yes. It was love at first sight," Jack smiled. "For me anyway."
"Tell us about it," James smiled, settling back in his seat. "I"m sure it's quite a story."
Jack looks at Rose, concern in his eyes. He wasn't sure if she wanted to go through it again or not.
"It's okay Jack. I've made my peace with it," Rose nods.
"Well...at the time I wasn't rich like I am now. I lived on the streets with my best friend Fabrizio. We won our third class ticket on Titanic in a game of poker and Rose here was a first class passenger engaged to this jerk. I saved her from jumping off the back of the ship and we fell in love after that. Then the third night we knew each other, the ship sank and we ended up in the freezing water. I made Rose promise to go on with her life, because we had no way of knowing what was to happen next. But a lifeboat did return and we got married, right there on Carpathia," Jack finished.
"Wow. Rose you must really have loved Jack in order to leave the rich life behind. I mean you probably didn't know he was from a rich family," Jake turned to Rose. "I mean...that's a magnificent story."
"You should hear the longer version," Kathy smiled. "You'd be in tears if you knew the real lengths they went through to be together. And now here they are married with three beautiful children. I mean...Rose went back through that ship for Jack when he was framed for stealing a necklace and freed him with an ax, then she jumps off a lifeboat to be with him."
"Really?" Jake's voice is full of awe. He had no idea that the beautiful society girl setting next to him had so much courage and heart as to go through all that for the man she loves...a man that she had only known for three days. "That's truly amazing. Whatever happened to your fiancee though?"
"Living a life of regret," Rose shrugged. "He even had the nerve to name his first-born son after Jack."
"You're one of the bravest women I know Rose," Kathy nods. "I don't know if I'd be able to do all that for someone I hardly knew."
"Well Kathy, when it's true love...it's easy. Besides, Jack had it worse. He stayed in those freezing waters just so I could be safe. He would've died if the lifeboat hadn't come back when it did," Rose squeezed Jack's hand at the thought of not having him with her today.
"I always believed that true love conquers all things...including death," Jake nods.
"Where are you from Mr. Matthews. We don't know a thing about you except you were seen in the park wearing ragged clothing," Cameron changes the subject. He didn't want to hear anymore about that ship that had disgraced the upper class.
"Well...I'm from Mississippi, but I came up here to Boston for a change of scenery," Jake grinned. "But right now I'm staying at Mercy Shelter and after that I'm on God's good humor."
"So you're homeless," Mitchell glares.
"If that's what you want to call it," Jake shruggs.
"And you let your cousin be courted by this vagrant?" Mitchell turns to Cameron.
"He has no say in who courts me Mr. Humphrey. That's my decision," Kathy turns on Mitchell.
"Of course not. This is the first I've even heard of this fellow," Cameron denies, ignoring Kathy's statement. Then turns to Jake, his voice condescending. "And you find that sort of rootless existence appealing?"
Jake thinks on the question before he answers. "Yes I do. I have all I need right here with me. I got a pen in my pocket. A couple of blank sheets of paper and air in my lungs. What else can I ask for? Money only makes it complicated and ties you down to one spot. You miss out a lot on life that way."
Rose stares at Jake in shock. Those were almost Jack's words at the first class dinner. "That sounds familar."
Jack just smiled at the memory. At the time he had the same philosophy. But he now knew that Jake was wrong about one thing. There was one more thing he needed in his life to be complete...true love. And Jack had found that in Rose, even if it meant settling down.
"So Mr. Matthews. My cousin's wife here tells me you're an artist," James changes the subject.
"Well actually no. I'm a poet. I like writing stories, poems, sonnets...you name it....I write it," Jake grinned.
"Funny. Mrs. Dawson you said he wanted to draw your pictures...that's why he was talking with Katherine," Mitchell turns to Rose.
"I suggest you drop the subject," Jack glares at Mitchell. "And if you don't mind, I suggest you take that tone out of your voice when addressing my wife."
"Jack it's okay," Rose places a restraining hand on Jack's arm. "I just wanted Cameron to stop yelling at Kathy. That's why I said that."
"Just watch yourself when talking to Rose Mr. Humphrey," Jack glares openly at the other man.
I have to agree with my cousin
here Mitchell. Watch your tone with the ladies in this
house," Cameron nods.
"Well Katherine...how would you like to take a little walk around the grounds. Show me how you rich folk live," Jake goes ahead and asks.
"I..." Katerine begins.
"Absolutely not!" Cameron stands from his chair. "Not without a chaperone and I refuse to do it!"
"Me and Rose will go," Jack speaks up, noticing the look in Katherine's eyes when she looks at Jake. He had seen that look once before and it was in Rose's eyes directed towards him at that infamous first class dinner aboard Titanic. At that time he had only Molly in his corner. But Jake is going to have too...maybe even three if you can count James.
"Oh Jack will you?" Katherine glances at her cousin with hope in her eyes.
"Sure. We were going to take a walk after dinner anyway," Jack shrugged, standing up and pulling Rose's chair out so she could stand.
Katherine smiles gratefully at her cousin. She knew Jack would understand. That's why he was her favorite cousin.
"Well let us be off," Jake grins, holind out his arm for Kathy.
"Don't be out too late," James grabs Jack's arm. "I hope you know what you're doing. Cameron's already staring daggers at you."
"I'm not scared of him. I've seen worse," Jack shrugged. "I'll see you later."
The three men watch the two couples leave, only two of them are steaming mad.
Jake and Kathy are walking behind Jack and Rose as they walk around the grounds of the Dawson mansion. Jake couldn't believe his good luck. Here he was with one of the most beautiful women in Boston walking along the grounds of one of the richest families in Boston.
"Your cousin Jack is nice. I've never met a swell like him before," Jake smiles down at Kathy as he tries to make conversation.
"A swell?" Katherine laughs. "Jack's a lot of things, but believe me, a swell is not one of them. You see, Jack's father was the outcast of the family for falling in love and marrying a maid. They moved to Chippewa Falls and only written once to say they had a son...Jack. He came to Santa Monica to stay with me and my mother for awhile after his parents died in a fire, and then took off for the horizon. It's been just recently he decided to come back into the family fold. I think it was mainly because of Rose and the twins. If it wasn't for them, he'd still be out there somewhere doing who knows what. But let me tell you one thing. for someone who's had such a hard life, he's the most optimistic person I've ever met. It could be raining but he'll always find the silver lining on a cloudy day."
"It sounds like you love him a lot," Jake smiles.
"I do. He's my favorite cousin. Everytime I think of how close I came to losing him on Titanic...I just shiver. I'm so glad he's here with us now."
"They're both brave people for going through all that for each other. Especially Rose. She was giving up everything for a poor steerage passenger she didn't even know. A lot of women wouldn't do that...especially society women."
"I would," Kathy stops and turns to Jake. "If I loved someone as much as Rose loves Jack...I'd move heaven and Earth for them. I'd give up my most precious possessions for them if that's what it took."
"Oh really?" Jake asked unconvinced.
"Hey you guys!" Jack runs up to them, dragging Rose behind him.
"Yes Jack?" Kathy turns to her cousin.
"Let's blow this place. I know this nice joint just outside town. It'll be fun," Jack grinned.
"What joint is this?" Jake asked, wondering if he'd know what Jack was talking about.
"It's called the Cats Cradle. It plays a lot of ragtime music and this new style known as Rhythm and Blues," Jack smiled.
"You mean the colored joint?" Jake asked.
Jack simply nods. "How 'bout it?"
"Jack I don't know. If Cameron finds out...there'll be big trouble," Katherine looks back at the big mansion as if expecting her oldest cousin to come roaring out right then.
"Oh come on Kat. You're not afraid of Cameron are ya? Besides, there's no way he'd find out. You know how he is," Jack laughed off her apprehension. "Come on. Rose's already agreed."
"Okay. Fine. We'll go to the Cat's Cradle," Kathy relents, pushing back the bad feeling that had risen up in her throat.