Chapter Eighteen

Rose shivers against the cold air as she stepped out into the cold night air to walk home. Her mind is on the meeting with her mother. She couldn't believe that they had called a truce, that her mother now accepted the fact that she wasn't going to marry Cal and that she was now married to Jack and was going to have his child.
"Penny for your thoughts," a voice speaks from behind her.
Rose whirls around expecting to see Caledon Hockley ready to drag her back to Philadelphia to face Jack instead, his blue eyes filled with love and concern. He can't help being concerned about Rose's condition and how she was working, and when he sees the look in her eyes, he comes to the conclusion that it was time to insist that Rose gave up the job. "Rose...what happened? How hard did they work you today?"
"My mother's here," was Rose's simple answer, her voice flat.
"Your mother? You mean the one from Titanic?"
"That's the only mother I've got Jack."
"Well...what did she want?"
"Another chance. She wants me to give her another chance to be my mother."
Jack is speechless. He doesn't know what to say to Rose. A part of him wanted to tell her to forget about the meeting with Ruth. That they could go on with their lives and pretend that it never happened. But another part of him, the logical part, the one that always mad the hard decisions wanted to tell Rose to give her mother another chance. That the woman couldn't do anything to harm them or their child, that perhaps she really had changed and wanted to be with the only family she had left. "What do you want to do?"
"What I want to do is go back to the way it was before she showed up here. I don't want to have to think of her at Molly's waiting for me to get in touch with her. I wish....I wish that she was a real mother to me in the first place so there would be nothing to think about now...I wouldn't have to forgive her," Rose finally bursts into tears, falling into Jack's waiting arms. "Oh Jack, what am I doing? What am I going to do?"
"Well...first you're going to go home with me and go to bed and get some sleep. No more thinking about the situation with your mother tonight. You can think about that in the morning." Jack stroked her hair gently. "Rose...everything will be okay. I promise."
Rose just clings to her husband. Even when they walk home, she doesn't let go of his hand. When she falls asleep that night, Jack slips out of the house and silently sets on the chair that he and Rose had set out on the porch when they wanted to look at the stars.
What was he going to do? Everything seemed to be piling on top of his marriage. First there was discovering Eliza and Rose had become friends and getting Eliza to agree to keep quiet about their past relationship and now it was Rose's mother showing up in Chippewa Falls. He knew he was encouraging Rose to work things out with her mother, but he didn't think Ruth would be back in their lives this soon. She must have freaked out when she saw Rose not only pregnant, but also working as somebody's maid. She probably couldn't waid to send for Cal to come and take Rose and his unborn child away.

"Hello Mr. Dawson," A familiar proper voice speaks up from beside him. He turns his head and is surprised to see Ruth. She hadn't changed a bit from the last time he saw her. She still had that arrogant proud stance to her. "I'm sorry to disturb you, but I had to beg Molly to bring me here so I could see how Rose was living. She'd kill me if she knew I was here."
You got that right lady, Jack thought to himself. What did Ruth Dewitt Bukater want with them at this time of night, besides seeing how Rose was living? And did she approve? He can tell nothing by the expression on the woman's face.
"She'd be surprised," was Jack's answer. He couldn't help but be civil to her. She was of course his elder and his mother always bore it into his head to respect his elders. "So Mrs. Dewitt Bukater...what do you think? Do you think I'm doing right by your daughter?"
"A house by the woods in a quaint little town like this...I say it's not bad. It's far better than how I pictured. I was certain that you two were living on the street if not in a run down shack with no water."
Jack smiled. "That's what I thought you were thinking."
"Mr. Dawson...that's not the only reason I came here. I also came here to talk to apologize for my behavior aboard Titanic. You see...I was desparate. Rose must have told you about her father's debts taking all our money and why that was the reason I wanted her to marry Cal."
Jack nods. Rose told him everything the night she posed for him. He knew she was worried about how her decision to be with him would affect her mother, but he was glad that a larger part of her didn't care. She was done being responsible for her mother's problems. "She told me everything. And I understand where you were coming from. You were scared and were willing to do anything to remain secure. But I hope you now see that Cal wasn't right for Rose and that I truly love her."
"I do see now that Cal wasn't right for her. But Jack, is this life right for her too? I mean...she's working as a maid for goodness sake, and in her condition..."
"I tried to get her to quit Mrs. Dewitt Bukater," Jack stands up, pushing down the anger that was now rising in his voice. "But you know your daughter. She refuses to listen. And as for this being the life for her...this is the one she chose."
"But you're her husband. She has to obey..."
"We're not about that Mrs. Dewitt Bukater. I'm not about that. I'm not here to make Rose's decisions for her. I'm here to love and support her in her decisions. I'm here to share her life, not to control it," Jack said, his voice firm. "I'm sorry if you don't agree with that, but that's the way it is and the way it always will be."
"And my grandchild?"
"Will be fine, just like your daughter is fine. Trust me Mrs. Dewitt Bukater. I love Rose and I would never harm her or allow harm to come to her."
"For some reason Mr. Dawson...I do trust you and believe you when you say you would never harm her. Mr. Dawson...Jack...I'd like to accept you on both myself and my husband's behalf...welcome to the family," Ruth then does something totally unexpected then, she gives Jack a quick hug. "My husband would have liked you Jack. In fact, you two are quite alike. Boh of you are free spirits and I'm thankful Rose has found you to share her life with."
Jack felt tears of happiness come in his eyes. He knew this development would make Rose so happy. Her mother had finally accepted him.
Rose watches the scene from her window and can't help but smile. She can feel her heart begin to soften towards her mother. This scene between her mother and Jack was evidence in itself that Ruth Dewitt Bukater was indeed trying to change.