Dinner was over. Jack, Rose,
Eliza, and Maxwell were all standing up from the table, full from
the delicious meal Rose had prepared.
"Wow Rose. I have to say you cook for good for a girl who wasn't aloud near a stove until recently," Jack laughed.
"It was all the practice she had at mother's," Eliza nods. "She had no choice but to learn."
"Cut it out you two. In fact, I learned to cook this dish when I was fourteen when my father was still alive. I remember it perfectly. It was thanksgiving and he woke me up and dragged me downstairs to the kitchen where our cook Mrs. Worthingsmith was waiting to teach me how to prepare the perfect dinner. He said that he wanted his daughter to know how to cook at least one big meal for the holidays," Rose reminisced. "Mother had a cow when she found out."
"I bet she did," Jack had to smile at the story.
"But anyway Rose, the dinner was delicious and I'd like to thank you for inviting me," Maxwell takes her hand. "It's been a long time since I had a home cooked meal such as that one."
"Thank-you Dr. Calvert," Rose smiled, her eyes falling on Eliza who's just standing beside Jack, her hands behind her back. That was when she remembered her whole reason for inviting Eliza to dinner, and she had the perfect place.
"Oh Jack,I just had a idea. Why don't the four of us take a walk down by lake Wissota?"
"Lake Wissota?" Jack asked confused. "Why there?"
"Well...believe it or not, I haven't had the chance to go down since I've been here...and I've heard so much about it. I just have to see it," Rose pleads with her eyes. She was determined not to take no for an answer.
"But Rose...I'm sure Maxwell and Eliza would rather stay here and relax after that big meal you fixed."
"Well actually Jack, I think a walk by the lake is the perfect idea," Maxwell sided with Rose. "I mean, it's beautiful outside now. Just think how much more beautiful it is down there by the lake. I think your beautiful wife deserves to experience the view after the delicious meal she made."
"...Eliza?" Jack turns to the girl who's glaring daggers at Rose.
"...I have no arguements," Eliza shruged, not daring to look at Maxwell. She instantly knew what Rose was up to and she didn't really appreciateit. She wasn't ready to be alone with Maxwell again just yet.
"Ok then. Fine. We'll walk down by Lake Wissota," Jack shrugs, grabbing both his and Rose's sweaters. "Here Rose. It gets pretty chilly down there. This should keep you warm."
Once outside, they break off into pairs. Jack and Rose, who walk in front and Maxwell and Eliza, who walk behind them.
"So...what does my little Rose have up her sleeves?" Jack asks once they're out of earshot of Maxwell and Eliza.
"What do you mean by that?"
"Oh come on Rose. I know you...especially when you're up to something," Jack laughed. "This walk by the lake is something you've come up with and I want to know why."
"Rose. Tell me what you are up to and what does it have to do with Eliza and Maxwell Calvert?"
Rose looked into his penetrating blue eyes and knew she had to tell the truth. She couldn't lie to him when he had those eyes on her. "They're attracted to each other and I'm just giving them a little push."
"They're attracted to each other? Where did you get that idea?" Jack asked.
"Eliza told me before you came home. Her and Maxwell had a connection."
"Rose...I don't know. I mean, you're treading on dangerous territory here. Lee Conway isn't to be be fooled with," Jack is immediately concerned. He knew that he could handle Lee Conway. He grew up handling that jerk. But Rose...he wasn't so sure. He didn't want Lee getting any ideas that Rose was behind a breakup between him and Eliza.
"Jack...you're forgetting that I was once engaged to a man just like Lee Conway. In fact, you can say that Lee Conway is Chippewa Fall's version of Cal. I can handle him...just like I handled Cal."
"One difference Rose. Cal at least had some feelings of protectiveness towards you...Lee doesn't. Like you said earlier, he's worse than Cal. Rose, what I'm saying is don't get too involved with Eliza getting involved with another man. If she's meant to be with Maxwell...it will happen. It did with us."
"I know, and that's why I want this Jack. I want Eliza to experience what we have. I want her to be completely in love with her husband and feel secure in the knowledge that he'd never harm her. That's something she doesn't have with Lee but something she could have with Dr. Calvert. Do you see what I'm saying?"
"Yes Rose I do. But that doesn't stop me from worrying about you. I love you and this baby. I don't want anything happening to you. I mean, you've just escaped a dangerous man...I don't want you to put yourself in a situation where you're in contact with another. And trust me, Lee is dangerous."
"...But you're not afraid of him Jack..."
"Well you know me. I'm not afraid of anything. If I survived being shot at by your ex-fiancee...well I say I can survive anything...even confrontations with Lee Conway."
"My husband the hero," Rose giggled, snuggling closer to Jack as they walked, tryig to stay warm as the chill in the air intensified. Jack just pulls her closer and enjoys the silence of the woods. He didn't want to think about Lee Conway anymore that night. The rest of the evening was going to be dedicated to his wife.
Eliza walks beside Maxwell Calvert in silence, not knowing what to say or do. This is the first time they've been alone together tonight and she could kill Rose for sitting this up.
"You're awfully quiet tonight Eliza," Maxwell replied, his eyes examing her face.
"What do you expect me to say?"
"Anything. Just talk to me," Maxwell laughed. "Let me know that you're still breathing."
"...That was a delicious dinner Rose made. Don't you agree?" Eliza asked, trying to avoid the subject of last night.
"I agree. She outdid herself. Jack's a lucky man to have married such a good cook," Maxwell is now serious and stares straight ahead. "But that's not really what I wanted to talk to you about Eliza. I wanted to talk about what happened yesterday."
"Maxwell...nothing happened. We just talked about your practice and that's all," Eliza lied, not daring to look into his eyes out of fear that he'd know that she was lying.
"Eliza, you know good and well that that's not all that happened," Maxwell stops and grabs her by the shoulders and turns her to face him. "Something more happened. We connected."
"I don't know what you're talking about," Eliza stammered, still avoiding his eyes.
"Eliza! Of course you do. We connected somehow. For some reason I can't get you out of my mind. You're all I've been thinking about since yesterday when you left me. I could tell you felt the same way...I saw it in your eyes yesterday and I see it again n ow. This is something neither of us can deny."
"Maxwell...please...I can't do this," Eliza jerks out of his grip. "I'm engaged to Lee Conway. We're going to be married soon"
"Do you love him?"
"What kind of questions is that?" She immediately gets defensive. Why was he interrogating her like this?
"A simple one. Do you love him?"
"I don't want to talk about this anymore. I suggest we catch up with Jack and Rose and forget that yesterday ever happened."
"Eliza..." Maxwell sighed as she walked away from him. He had to admit it to himself...he was in love with Eliza Hathaway, whether she was engaged or not, and he was going to find a way to have her. No matter what may happen.
"Here we are. Lake Wissota," Jack announced as he and Rose stepped in front of a body of water.
Rose stares att he water that's now black from the darkness of night. She shivers as she's suddenly transported back in time into the North Atlantic Ocean. All the screams...the cries for help. And the utter helplessness she feels at being unable to help all the dying people. She can even see their bodies floating in the water staring at her with dead eyes. She closes her eyes and wills the images away, but when she opens them, not only are the images still there, there's one body bobbing among the others. She steps closer to the water and finds herself staring into Jack's dead and accusing blue eyes.
"Jack no!!!" Rose screams and takes off back into the woods, trying to get away from the awful scene before her, hot tears streaming from her eyes.
"Rose!" Jack calls after his fleeing wife. He had no idea what had just gotten into her. One minute she's nice and calm staring out at the water and the next thing he knows, she suddenly turns pale, screams his name in utter horror mixed with heartbreak and runs away like her very life depended on it.
"Jack! What happened?" Eliza runs up to him, staring after her fleeing friend.
"I don't know. I don't know what just happened here. One minute she's just staring out at the water and the next she's running away," Jack explained. "I better go after her."
"Wait for us!" Eliza called, running after Jack who's taken off after his wife. They find her not too far away, laying in the fetal position sobbing.
"Jack...I'm sorry. I'm so sorry," Rose sobs uncontrollably.
"Rose. Rose what's wrong? What are you soryy about?" Jack kneels down next to his wife and takes her into his arms, hugging her close to him.
"Rose? What's wrong?" Eliza asked, starind down at her friend, who's now clinging to her husband, not showing any signs of stop crying.
"I'm sorry Jack. I'm sorry I couldn't help you...all of you," Rose continued to sob.
"Rose...what are you talking about? Help me do what? Maxwell...what's wrong with her?" Jack turned to the doctor, who's silently standing beside Eliza watching the scene.
"I don't know. But I suggest we get her back to the house and up to bed. This can't be good for the baby," Maxwell sighed.
"I gave her a mild sedative. It won't hurt the baby, but it'll relax her and help her get some sleep. But Jack, one thing confuses me. She keeps saying it's so cold. What's that all about?" Maxwell asks as he comes out of Rose's room.
"We were on the titanic when we met...and we ended up in the freezing waters when it sank," Jack sighed. Then the connection his him. The lake...the ocean...at night they looked exactly the same. "Do you think her freakiing out like that has something to do with our experience on Titanic?"
"I think it does. Jack...it may be none of my business...but I think it'd be a good idea if she talked to a professional about this," Maxwell hesitated.
"You mean she needs a head-shrinker...right?"
Maxwell just nods. He hated suggesting such a thing, but obviously Rose has issues she needs to sort out and she'll need qualified help to do so. "Listen, I have a friend over in Eau Claire. He'll be glad to see Rose. Here's his phone number and address." Maxwell hands Jack a card. "Don't worry Jack. She'll be fine. She just needs help healing from such a horrible experience."
"Thanks Maxwell," Jack sighed, staring at the card with mixed emotions. He hated the idea of sending Rose to a shrink, but he wanted her to be happy and healthy again. For all their sakes. He couldn't allow Titanic to haunt her any longer. "I'll check this out."
"Is Rose ok?" Eliza appears at the top of the stairs.
"Yes. She's sleeping peacefully right now. She'll be fine by morning," Maxwell smiled reassuringly. "So Eliza...shall I walk you home?"
Before she could answer, there's loud banging at the door. "Eliza! I know you're in there! You might as well come out and face the music!" Lee's angry voice called up.
"Oh no. It's Lee," Eliza groaned, unsuccessfully trying to hide the fear in her eyes. "I better go before he wakes Rose up."
"Eliza..." Jack tries to stop her. "You don't have to go with him. He doesn't own you. I don't care if you've been engaged since....you were babies."
"Jack please...let me go."
"Eliza!" Lee calls again.
"He's right Eliza," Maxwell sides with Jack. "Don't let him control you like this."
"I don't want to hear this. Especially from you Dr. Calvert. I'm leaving and that's that," Eliza heads back down the stairs and out the door, leaving both Jack and Maxwell staring after her.
"You love her don't you?" Jack turned to the doctor. "Rose was right."
"I can't help myself Jack," Maxwell sighed. "She's an amazing woman. That jerk doesn't deserve her."
"I know how you feel. I felt the same way about Rose. But be careful Maxwell. Lee Conway is a dangerous man. He's very protective of his posesssions and he considers Eliza his most precious possession."
Maxwell nods at Jack's warning. He knew very well how dangerous the Conway's were and he did consider the consequences of tangling with them. But once he had Eliza in his arms forever, they could leave Chippewa Falls and live elsewhere. Perhaps California would be nice. Eliza would lover the ocean and the Californian sunsets.
"I'll be going now Jack. I'll be back tomorrow morning to check up on Rose's condition. Take good care of her," Maxwell begins for the stairs.
"I will. Thank-you Maxwell. We appreciate this," Jack escorts his friend to the door and watches him leave. He wishes Dr. Calvert the best. He deserves the same happiness that he now shares with Rose and so does Eliza. He hopes that they both find their way to each other safely...without any problems from Lee Conway and Eliza's mother. But that was unlikely. It was a safe bet to say that Maxwell and Eliza was going to be another Jack and Rose without the sinking ship.