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Misunderstanding

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Mac was a funny man, and that was the way that Rose liked him. At least that was how she usually liked him, anyway. However, there were times that her own vanity cursed his forward thinking behaviors and views – not as often as she appreciated them, mind – but still, she sometimes had cause to regret his ways. More specifically: she disliked that he seemed to refuse to want to move their relationship forward at more than a slow crawl of a pace. Even now that they had been officially seeing each other romantically for a while, Rose felt that his affections were somehow… lacking. Her recent privet lady-talk with Phebe about how their respective relationships was progressing had left Rose pink in the cheeks and perhaps more than a little bit green in the eye – because she had come out of their conversation envious at the quick pace at which things were moving between Phebe and Archie and embarrassed at what seemed like her own ineptitude to prompt Mac to ‘take control, but in a good way’ as Phebe had said wistfully while they sat together at needlework.

Apparently Phebe and Archie had ‘become fully enraptured’ (another saying from Miss Phebe) for the first time just over a week prior, a fact that Rose was almost sure would make some of the Elder Campbell’s much abashed to have known, as they had not yet married. As Rose was Rose however, she simply was filled with giddy delight for her two pet love-birds. Yet under the current of her high-spirited happiness, she still felt a tug of disquiet about the fact that she and Mac seemed to be far behind – they had yet to share more than kisses and light petting.

On her way back home that night, Rose had made up her mind that she would find a way to bring Mac to her way of thinking – after all, Rose was a strong-willed woman and firmly believed that she could simply take what she wanted if she worked at it some. Yet, as she set out on her self-appointed task she never did count on Mac’s level of adamant resolve.

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Her first attempt was a simple and straight forward one. One afternoon they found alone time together in her quarters and they had begun to kiss. She had reached down slowly while he still seemed concentrated solely on her lips and began to untuck his shirt, with the intent to caress his skin. However he suddenly made a sound of alarm and pulled back from her. She was about to ask what was wrong when Uncle Alec called up the stair for them both to come down for some lunch. Mac had hastily righted himself and exited the room, leaving her in a befuddlement.

The next time she went to try Rose had convinced herself that her first failure had been due to man’s predatory nature – which he as a man would want to hunt her. So, over the course of a week and a half, she put herself in positions to entice Mac, such as dropping a handkerchief and bending to pick it up sensually – in a way that she made accentuate her feminine curves, or frisking her walk a bit while she was sure he was watching her. And though she was sure as she covertly watched him watching her that he was quite interested in her movements, he never once acted on out his obvious lust at the actions or even made passing remarks about her sudden new attitude.

By now, Rose was quite frustrated. She had no idea how to get him to acknowledge what she thought be by now her obvious want to begin the next stage of their relationship and become lovers. Finally she decided to go ask her Phebe for help. Although the conversation was a difficult and embarrass one for her to have she didn’t know where else to turn for such advice, and she knew that Phebe would keep her words in the utmost confidence and never laugh at her. And of course Phebe was truly wise, as Rose knew she would be. So she took her advice and made plans to implement it.

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Mac had been planning the picnic up the hill for about a month as the honeysuckle flowers had just started to bloom and blackberries had just started to ripen. They packed a basket full of goodies and where on their way just before noon. Rose spent a while simply enjoying his company and perhaps putting off the conversation she knew she would have to have with him – but as the food was almost gone and their laughs turned softer and began to doze into contentment, she knew she could hold back no longer.

“Mac?” She said cautiously.

He looked up at her sharply from where he lay on the checkered blanket they had brought, his brow furrowed at her tone. “Yes, Rose?”

“Do you want to make love to me, Mac? Or are you not interested in me enough to be serious?” She tumbled the question out quickly, a pink blush shredding over her face. She knew now that the only way to know was to ask and talk about it.

Mac’s eyes widened in surprise, and he blinked several times. “I… Rose. Of course I want to make love to you. But it’s because I’m so serious that I want us to wait. Because I want to marry you first, Rose.”

Rose was utterly shocked, and her mouth hung open for a moment. Then she quickly pressed her hand to her mouth as she laughed. “Oh, Mac!”

He would have looked properly abashed if not for the smile pulling at his own lips. “I didn’t think I was that bad of a catch that you’d laugh in my face, Rose.”

“Here I’ve been worrying that you didn’t want me! Then you go and say something like you just did! Mac, I feel so silly. I’ve been trying everything to get you to notice me.” Her giggles were still tickling away.

This time he did actually look chagrined. “I’m sorry, Rose. I didn’t mean to make you feel that way. And I did notice you – I always do. I’ve been working harder than ever to earn money to get you a ring. I wanted to do it proper – because you are a proper lady. But since I’ve already gone and asked, what do you think? I’ll still get you the ring when I can afford it.”

Mac’s eyes were so earnest and his face so honest, that Rose’s laughter immediately stopped as a lump came to her throat, and tears of joy pricked at her eyes. She leaned down and whispered softly “Yes.” and sealed their promise with a kiss.