Chapter 18: Jamestown
Everybody needs a place to rest,
Everybody wants to have a home,
Don’t make no difference what nobody says,
Ain’t nobody like to be alone.
Everybody has a hungry heart,
--Hungry Heart, Bruce Springsteen
After school on Friday Daniel was waiting for me at my locker, his face breaking into a smile when he saw me walking towards him. He didn’t say anything as I grabbed my bookbag and everything else I needed for the weekend. Even as we walked out of the school together he didn’t say anything, it was a comfortable silence though.
“Elisabeth, I was wondering if you would like to go on an outing with me tomorrow?” He finally said as we got to my bus. “The weather is supposed to be nice so I thought we could do something together.” He ran his hand through his hair and it almost looked like he was blushing. I raised my eye brows up at him.
“And what were thinking of doing for our ‘outing’?” I asked quoting him with a smirk. Who called a date an outing?
“Ah, that part is a surprise,” He grinned. “I can tell you that it would be outside and that you should wear comfortable shoes.” He said.
“Hmm,” I tapped my chin and stared up at the sky pretending to take my time. One thing I had noticed about Daniel was that he tended to be impatient, sometimes it was fun to test that patience.
“Well, Elisabeth?” He glowered at me.
“I guess so.” I smirked at him and his frown turned into a smile of relief. “What time should I be over?”
“Do you enjoy toying with me, Elisabeth?” I shrugged and he rolled his eyes at me. “Perhaps around 10, does that work for you?” I nodded in agreement. “Excellent. Then I will see you tomorrow morning.” Daniel bent down and planted a chaste kiss on my cheek before bounding away towards Oak Street. I reached up and touched where his lips had just been, there was a cool spot left on my cheek and my stomach was doing flips again. I shook my head to break the spell and got on my bus to go home for the weekend.
I immediately started working on my homework for the weekend when I got home, I wanted to get at least half of it done tonight so I didn’t have to worry about it on Sunday. Thankfully I didn’t have too much homework to begin with. I had to do a theme analysis of The Awakening for AP Lit, some vocab for German and write a report on the lab we had done in Biology that day.
I started off with German, opening up my workbook and taking out the vocab sheet for the week. This shouldn’t take too long.
I was just finishing up my German homework and about to switch over to Biology when my Messenger app on my laptop chimed signaling that I had an IM from Gigi.
*Gigi1340 is Online*
Gigi1340: What’s up girl?
I quickly stuffed my German workbook back into my binder and tossed it into my bookbag.
*Elisabest is Online*
Elisabest: Just finished my German homework, how about you?
Gigi1340: Waiting on Kev to get here, we’re going on a date tonight. :)
Elisabest: Oh yeah? Where are you guys going?
Gigi1340: We’re going to that new Italian restaurant that just opened over in Williamsburg, it looks really tasty.
Elisabest: Mmm, Italian food does sound good. Lol. Oh, speaking of dates, Daniel asked if I wanted to go on an ‘outing’ with him tomorrow.
Gigi1340: An outing, really?
Elisabest: Lol, I know. He’s so old fashioned sometimes. I have no idea what we’re doing though. He told me to meet him at his house at 10 and to wear comfortable shoes because we’ll be outside.
Gigi1340: Mysterious. Well I hope you have a good time. You’ll have to let me know how it goes tomorrow. ;)
Elisabest: Get your mind out of the gutter! :P
Gigi1340: Lol, I can’t help it. Thanks to band my mind lives in the gutter now. Haha.
Elisabest: Bank geek. Lol
Gigi1340: Yeah, yeah. :P Oh! Kevin is here! I’ll ttyl. Keep me up to date on your outing, lol. ;)
Elisabest: Oh stop. Have fun!
*Gigi1340 is offline*
I smiled to myself and then jumped back into my homework until it was time for dinner later that night.
The next morning I woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed at 8 O’ clock. I felt like I was in a really good mood, like today was going to be a good day. I quickly ate breakfast, showered, and got dressed for the today.
“You’re up early,” Dad said when I came back downstairs.
“Yeah, Gigi and I are hanging out today.” I didn’t want to tell them that I was going out with Daniel, they still weren’t thrilled that Todd and I had broken up, they had liked Todd.
“What are you girls getting into today?” Mom asked taking a sip of her coffee. Oh, what were we doing today?
“I think we’re just going to go down to the river and take a walk. Is it okay if I eat dinner there?” I asked.
“Of course,” They said together.
“Thanks,” I ran upstairs to put on a little bit of makeup before heading out and then pulled on my running shoes. I was out the door and on my way to Daniel’s 10 minutes later.
The weather was really nice today, it would have been a nice walk to Daniel’s if I hadn’t driven. The sun was peeking out from behind clouds warming everything up. He was waiting outside on the porch when I got there.
“Good morning, Elisabeth.” He greeted me when I walked up the steps. Daniel was dressed kind of strange today. His hair was pulled back into a ponytail and held in place with a black ribbon and he was wearing long grey coat over a navy waistcoat with khaki breeches and white stockings with black shoes on his feet.
“Good morning,” I said a little confused. “Why are you dressed like that? What are we doing today?” Daniel held open the door for me and ushered me inside. He then led me up the stairs, down the hall, and into his room. Not going to lie, I was starting to get a little nervous, the last time I had been in his room the house was empty, but now he was there. Didn’t boys usually start to expect things when you were in their room with them?
But no, when I stepped through his door there was an olive green colonial style gown, along with a white petticoat, white apron and white stockings laid out on his bed; my eyes doubled in size. The whole ensemble looked old, and authentic.
“You want me to wear that?” I asked with disbelief. Daniel nodded, his lips cracking into a smile. “What, are you kidding? I’m not wearing that!” I backed away but Daniel stood behind me and caught my shoulders.
“What’s the matter, Elisabeth? Didn’t you say you had always wondered what it was like in Jamestown in the 1600’s?” He whispered in my ear, his breath cool and sweet. Heat rose up in my cheeks at his close contact and I pulled out of his grasp.
“Well, yes, but those were just daydreams!” I was getting flustered. “Vampires can’t go back in time can they?” My face going blank. Daniel simply burst into laughter.
“What? Of course not, Elisabeth!” I had never seen Daniel laugh so hard or so much.
“What?” I puffed my cheeks out at him and frowned. “I don’t know!” I crossed my arms across my chest in defiance.
“Oh, Goddess, that was a good one.” Daniel wiped a tear away from the corner of his eye and then composed himself. “No, we cannot go back in time, but we can go to Jamestown where they are doing a re-enactment.” He said. Oh, that made a lot more sense. Duh. “Did you still want to go?” I mean, I kind of did. I wasn’t sure how I felt about wearing those clothes though.
“Yeah, we can still go.” I said with a sigh. Daniel grinned and retrieved the gown, holding it out to me.
“Do you need help getting dressed?” My face turned super red at the thought of Daniel seeing me in my underwear and I shook my head no vigorously. Danial rolled his eyes at me.
“If you need help then let me know, okay?” He stepped outside of the room closing the door behind him. “I will be right out here waiting for you.” I turned and faced his bed and the rest of the outfit.
I guess I should start with the stockings. I thought. I stripped down to my bra and underwear, feeling giddy at the fact that I was undressing in his room. I pulled the stockings up to above my knees and then the petticoat. I stepped into the olive gown last. Unlike the dress that Daniel had got me for Christmas this gown was slightly loose, but comfortable. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get the zipper all the way up no matter what angle I tried from, it was stuck halfway up my back. “Um, Daniel? I need help with the zipper.” I mumbled. The door clicked open softly and he walked up to my back.
“Nothing to be embarrassed about, most women need help with the zipper.” He said softly. He zipped me up the rest of the way and then turned me towards him. “You are starting to look the part of a Jamestown Settler.” He smiled and reached behind me to grab the apron and tied it around my waist. “Do you have any hair ties with you?” I nodded and dug through my purse until I found one. “Good, all that’s left is to braid your hair.”
“Okay,” I walked across the hall and into the bathroom and quickly braided my hair then returned to his room.
“You look lovely,” He said. “This outfit belonged to my grandmother.” His grandmother? How old was she exactly?
“Your grandmother?” He nodded. “How old was she?” My eyebrows knit together in confusion.
“I believe she was born in the year 1537.” He mused. Holy shit. “Of course, she is no longer with us, she passed away at the turn of the century.” He made it sound like being 463 years old was perfectly normal, maybe for vampires that was normal. “She lived here in America when the colonies were still being established back in the mid 1600’s, at that age she still looked like a young woman.” Was I still going to look like a young woman when I was 70?
“Well, shall we go?” I nodded and slipped my shoes back on. Daniel held his elbow out to me and I linked my arm with his.
“Oh, are we taking my car? I kind of figured that we were since you don’t have one here.” I said. We walked over to the car together, Daniel opening my door for me and closing it behind me. Such a gentleman, as always.
It was such a beautiful day out for late February. The year seemed to be flying by, soon Gigi and I would start track together. Daniel and I walked arm in arm together to the Historic Jamestown settlement where a lot of the re-enactors were just getting there as well. First, we had to find the director and be assigned to an area.
“Names?” The director asked not even glancing up from his clipboard.
“Daniel Florescu and Elisabeth Hayes,” Daniel answered.
“I am 18 and Elisabeth is 17,”
“Ah, some young folks,” The director finally looked up at us from his clipboard and smiled. “You two will make the perfect young couple.” He nodded to himself. “Have either of you ever participated in a re-enactment before?
“No, sir.” Daniel answered.
“First timers as well! We’re going to set you up in one of the cottages then. Inside you’ll find a basic house get up. I assume the two of you are familiar with colonial era Jamestown?”
“Yes sir,” We said together and chuckled at our timing.
“Excellent,” The director turned and dug around in a box for a few seconds handing Daniel an ax and belt to hold a bayonet blade, he gave me flint and steel and a small piece of cloth. “To start the fire in the house.” He said when he saw my confused look. “You’ll spend most your day in the cottage, my dear. You’ll find some milk and a butter churn already in the cottage also a table for sewing. And you, Daniel, will be outside chopping wood for the fire and helping on the farm plot.” The director pointed us in the direction of our cottage for the day, I had a feeling this was going to be very different from my daydreams.
“So, what do you think?” Daniel asked when we reached the small cottage. He reached up and brushed my bangs out of my face, tucking them behind my ear.
“I’m not entirely sure what to think yet.” I said with a small laugh. “Honestly my first thought was, I have no idea how to start a fire with this stuff. Then my second thought was, wow, housework, how typical.” Daniel chuckled.
“I know it is different from what is expected of women in the modern age, but this is supposed to be the 1600’s, things were very different back then.” The inside of the cottage was very small, studio apartment in New York City small. The fireplace was located on the western wall and there was a small table in the corner with clothing and fabric, as well as a sewing needle and thread. Inside the fireplace was a small bunch of brush that I assumed was for starting the fire. “I guess I will start by chopping some wood,” Daniel leaned down and quickly kissed my forehead before ducking back outside. I trailed after him and stopped at the threshold. There was a large stump with a bunch of logs to the front and side of the house where Daniel was setting up to chop the logs into firewood.
He cleaved through the logs easily, he didn’t even look like he was breaking a sweat. A smile spread across his lips and he glanced over at me, catching me in my staring. Embarassed, I quickly ducked back inside and walked over to the fireplace. I seriously had no idea how to start a fire with this stuff, what was I supposed to do? Daniel came in a few minutes later and set some firewood next to the fire place.
“Were you enjoying the view?” He teased. I frowned at him but moved to the table to grab the flint and steel. “Do you know how to start a fire with that?” I shook my head no. “I can show you how to.” Daniel gently removed the flint, steel and cloth from my hands and knelt down in front of fire. He made a teepee like structure with the firewood and then started striking the steel against the flint with the cloth on it. After a few strikes the steel and flint sparked causing the cloth to smolder a little. He put the cloth in the brush and gently blew on it until the brush lit up into a small fire under the firewood teepee.
“There we go, hopefully that stays lit.” He said smiling at me. “I am going to tend to the tobacco plot now, I will be back in a little while, okay?”
“Okay,” I said. Daniel lifted my hand to his lips and then sauntered out the door. I let out a sigh and made my way over to the table grabbing the jug of milk and dumping it into the butter churn. This, at least, I did know how to do. I pulled up a chair and sat behind the churner and got to work.
An hour or so later Daniel returned to the cottage, his hands covered in a layer of dirt and a sheen of sweat on his forehead. I was also getting hot, churning this butter was taking forever. There was a family with a little girl peeking into the cottage from outside, watching us as we did our chores. Daniel walked over and tossed another piece of wood onto the fire and then came over behind me, wrapping his arms around my shoulders and kissing my neck.
“Daniel!” I was both surprised and a little embarrassed that the family had seen. The little girl giggled and the family moved on to a different area of the settlement. “You startled me, I wasn’t expecting that.” He smirked at me then kissed the hollow of my throat again.
“I am sorry,” He wasn’t sorry. I swatted him away and tried to focus on finishing the butter. “We only have another two hours left, are you having a good time?” I blew a stray piece of hair out of my face.
“I was kind of hoping we would get to spend more time together. I wanted to ask more questions…”
“Do not worry, we are going to get dinner after this.” He said. “After we get cleaned up at least.” Daniel headed back outside and I didn’t seem him again until the re-enactment was done for the day. But hey, eventually I did get that butter churned! I spent the rest of the time patching the garments that were on the table. A few families poked their heads in the cottage and watched me as I worked, but since it was still early in the year, Jamestown wasn’t super busy.
“Good job today guys.” The director said as we handed our equipment back to him. “Feel free to come back next time if you’re interested. Have a good rest of your weekend.” My arms were going to be so sore tomorrow, I could feel it.
Back at Oak Street, Daniel led me back up to his room and promptly started taking his clothes off.
“Wait, what are you doing?” I said backing up towards the door.
“I am changing clothes so that we can eat dinner.” He said it like him getting naked in front of me was no big deal. But you know what? It was a big deal, to me. His coat and waistcoat were already off and tossed on the bed, leaving him shirtless and reaching down towards his breeches. I ran into the room next to his and desperately tried to calm myself down. “Elisabeth?” I swallowed hard as he poked his head into the room. “What’s wrong?”
“You can’t just get naked in front of me!” I said exasperated. Daniel smirked and came fully into the room with me, still shirtless, and now without his stockings. That only left his breeches. Although I was painfully aware of how strong my curiosity was to see him without the breeches on as well.
“You shouldn’t be so nervous, Elisabeth, after all there will come a time when you see me this way every day.” Daniel took my hand and pulled me into his chest, stroking my hair. He was talking about us being betrothed again, and eventually getting married. His eyes locked with mine and my breath caught in my throat, his eyes looked like fire as they had last Saturday down at the river.
We kissed then, one of his hands cupping my jaw and the other arm holding me tight to him. After a minute Daniel deepened the kiss and I started to feel my resolve weakening.
“Daniel,” I breathed pulling out of the kiss. “Do you even like me?” I asked softly. “Or are you just doing all of this so that I’ll want go through with the marriage…”
“Elisabeth,” He tried to distract me by kissing me again but I backed out of his grasp.
“Daniel, please. I’ve been falling for you for a while now, but I want you to want me in the same way. I don’t want to be with you if all of this is just for the contract still.”
“Elisabeth I do like you, but, love is not a major concern in the vampire world. Desire, power and lust is usually what drives our relationships.” Daniel said softly.
“What about that photo of my parents that you gave me… They looked in love.” My voice dropping to a whisper. Daniel reached out for me and brought me into his chest again.
“Elisabeth, I do feel for you, I do.” His lips moved against my hair. “And not because of the betrothal. I have feelings for you because you are you, I promise. I told you that you did not have to worry about the arranged marriage anymore, remember? I would not still be pursuing you if I only cared about that.”
“Okay…” I tilted my head up to him and our lips met once more, softer this time. As we kissed Daniel slowly began to unzip the dress to halfway down my back and untied the apron from around my waist, letting it drop to the floor. I let out a groan of pleasure and his kisses intensified and he unzipped the dress the rest of the way, which pooling on the floor at my feet. Our bodies pressed tight against each other, his cool skin against my warm skin; Daniel released my hair from the braid and knotted his fingers through it. The kisses were fierce at this point and I could feel myself losing control. I almost wanted him to take me to bed with him.
Suddenly, Daniel growled and pulled away from me abruptly. “Daniel?” I asked hurt and confused. Had he read my thoughts or feel what I wanted?
“We should finish getting changed and go eat—before I eat you.” Oh, he wanted to bite me... “Go back to my room and finish changing.” He said turning away from me and covering his nose and mouth with his hands.
“Okay,” I said slowly. “I’m sorry,” I scampered over to his room and quickly pulled on my jeans and t-shirt then went into the bathroom and ran my fingers through my now knotted hair. The door to his room was shut when I came out so I went down stairs and sat on the couch to wait for him.
About five minutes later Daniel came down stairs and joined me on the couch. He let out a sigh and put his arm around my shoulders.
“I am sorry, Elisabeth, I did not mean for that to happen. And I am sorry if I upset you.” He buried his face in my hair and inhaled. “Come, let’s make dinner.” Daniel stood in a flash and then swept me up into his arms.
“Oh,” I let out a squeak in surprise. He carried me over to the kitchen where he set me back on my feet. Daniel walked over to the refrigerator and started pulling ingredients out: steaks, cream, shallots, butter, garlic, mushrooms fresh tarragon, and spätzle from a cupboard. “Are you cooking?” I asked. The thought of Daniel preparing dinner really made me swoon. He nodded and grabbed one last thing out of the fridge, blood. Oh.
“Do not worry, both of us will be eating steak tonight, however I am having a glass with dinner.” Because having a glass of blood with dinner was nonchalant for Daniel. He grabbed two wineglasses from the hutch in the kitchen, filling one of the glasses with blood and the other with sparkling water. “For you,” I took a sip of the water tentatively, I hadn’t seen him drink blood since after Homecoming, at least at school it was in a thermos so you couldn’t actually see it.
Daniel took a small sip from his glass and let out a sigh. I guess if he couldn’t have me then that was the next best thing. He then grabbed pots and pans and began cooking. I asked if he needed any help but he insisted that he was fine, so I just hovered nearby and we had some small talk, mainly about school. Whatever he was cooking smelled delicious, I couldn’t wait to try it.
“For dinner, we have a seared filet mignon with mushroom cream sauce and tarragon with buttered spätzle.” Daniel said setting a beautiful plate of food in front of me. He topped off my glass of sparkling water and his own glass of blood before sitting down across from me. “I do hope you like it.” He smiled.
“Daniel, this food looks, and smells, amazing.” I grinned over at him. “Where did you learn to cook?” I asked suspiciously.
“I spent a year in France, I learned quite a lot there. Even though I do not normally eat food I figured learning to cook would benefit me in the future.” I took a bite of my steak and felt like my eyes were going to pop out of their sockets. This steak was delicious! Daniel smiled at my facial expression. “It must be good,”
“This is great!” I dug in, dropping my mannerly façade.
“You mentioned earlier that you have more questions?” Daniel asked after a few minutes.
“Oh, yes. Will it hurt when you bite me?” I took another bite of my steak, relishing every single bite.
“No, or at least it should not. Our saliva has numbing properties in it, that helps to ease the pain.”
“Can you, uh, can you run fast?” I asked feeling silly. There was that one time he had beaten Todd and I to my house so I kind of felt like that maybe he could.
“Yes, we can also track things very well, and are very strong and durable.” He took another sip from his glass. “The only thing that can kill a vampire is a stake through the heart and being burned to ashes immediately after.” A shiver went up my spine, I didn’t want to think about anyone staking Daniel, or me for that matter.
“What about age? How long do vampires live?”
“Usually between 400 and 500 years. Contrary to popular belief we are not immortal, however we do age very slowly. Vampires are not considered adults until they reach 100 years of age. In the grand scheme of things you and I are still children.”
“But we look like teenagers,” I pointed out.
“Vampires age similarly to humans until we turn 25, then our aging process slows down. Of course, that is only if you are bitten by then.” Daniel said softly. “Otherwise you will continue to age as a human does, maybe living into your 100’s if you are lucky.” We sat in silence for a few minutes as we finished the rest of our meal. It will probably always be one of the best meals I’ve ever had.
“Are you finished?” Daniel stood from the table and took my plate from me.
“Let me help you with the dishes.” I followed him over to the sink and grabbed a towel to dry them with. He flashed me a smile and we did the dishes together, bumping into each other every once in a while.
Daniel walked me outside to my car after dinner, part of me didn’t even want to leave.
“I had a good time today,” I looked up at him and blushed. “It was a nice outing.” Daniel rolled his eyes and then wrapped his arms around me.
“I am glad that you had a nice time, I look forward to when we can do it again.” Daniel tilted my head up to his and kissed me softly. “Get home safely, Elisabeth.” With one last kiss he opened my car door for me and I headed home.