New York City,
August 20, 1780
“This is quite possibly the best thing I have ever seen!” Cameron’s blue eyes were alight with pleasure and wonder. “You say you have two others on here?”
“Yes. There are actually six movies in all, but we will not be watching the prequels. I will not subject you to the torture of Jar-Jar Binks. I save that only for my worst enemies.”
Annie and Cameron were huddled on her bed watching Star Wars Episode IV on her tablet. They each had an ear bud in their ear so the rest of the house would not wonder what was going on in her room. Annie had cuddled up to Cameron during their two hour nap. His warmth felt wonderful against the damp cold. Once they awoke Cameron brought up lunch for them. After they ate and the dishes were cleared Annie had introduced him to the magic that was Star Wars. They were nearly done with the first movie. Annie promised that they could watch all three today. Although she was not back at one-hundred percent, she was feeling better. She was recovering faster than she thought she would. The ibuprofen she had taken after they woke up from their nap had made her fever disappear.
“I would give up everything I own for a light saber,” Cameron exclaimed.
“Shh...We don’t want anyone to hear us.”
Annie was honestly more absorbed in Cameron’s reaction to the movie than the movie itself. He really did have a lovely smile. His laughter was deep and contagious. Annie couldn’t help but laugh every time he did. It felt good to laugh, to genuinely laugh that is. It had been too long since she had done that. Throughout the movie Annie had told him little tid-bits about how the movie affected her life. He had let out a booming round of laughter when she told him about the birthday card she had given her dad for his 50th birthday that played the main theme from the movie. Despite the bullet hole in her arm and the resulting weakness, Annie had never been happier in her life. These were the days memories were made of.
Annie’s thoughts were interrupted by the end credits of the film. “Are you ready for the next one or do you need a break?”
“No, I’m ready. Are you? You look tired. Do you need a nap?” His face was soft, concerned. Despite that, she could still see the laughter in his eyes.
“No, I’m fine. It’s not like watching a movie takes that much energy. Besides, I’ve seen these countless times. If I fall asleep I won’t be missing anything.”
“Very well. Let’s watch the next one,” he said excitedly.
Annie pulled up the second movie and pressed play then cuddled up closer to Cameron. He wrapped his arm around her without breaking his gaze from the movie. This felt so natural to Annie. They watched the rest of the movie that way. Cameron was shocked at the end of the film when Han Solo was encased in carbonite.
“NO!” His voice was a shocked whisper. “He cannot be gone! He is by far my favorite character, other than R2-D2.”
“Don’t worry Cam. He’s not dead, just cryogenically frozen,” Annie assured him. A look of relief swept across his face, even though he had no idea what ‘cryogenically frozen’ meant, Annie was sure of that. They were about to start the final movie when a knock sounded on the door. Annie quickly turned off the tablet and shoved it, along with the ear buds under her pillow.
“I’ll get it. Stay here,” Cameron said then went to the door. “Who is it?”
“Mary. I brought you some dinner. I thought you might be hungry.”
Cameron opened the door and allowed Mary in. “You look much better Annie. The color is returning to your face,” Mary said as she set the tray on the desk.
“Thank you. I feel much better.” She gave a tender look to Cameron, “Cameron has been taking good care of me.”
“I have no doubt that he has.” Mary noticed the tender look in her eyes. Cameron returned her look with the same amount of tenderness. A knowing smile flitted across her face. Despite the seriousness of their cause, Mary could not help but be overjoyed that Cameron was finding happiness. He was a good man and Mary was fond of Annie. She had come to consider her as a sister. She was kind and helped out around the house when she was not occupied with her real reason for being here. Perhaps there was happiness in the future for the two of them. “Well, here, eat then you can rest some more. You need to be fully recovered by the time Major Andre returns.”
“Oh, I will be,” Annie assured her.
“I’ll return the tray as soon as we are done,” Cameron assured her.
“Thank you,” Mary replied then left the room.
“I wonder what she was smiling about,” Annie stated as Cameron made her a plate of chicken, vegetables, and biscuits then gave it to Annie. Once she was eating he made a plate for himself.
“I have no idea.” They ate in relative silence. Both of them were in a hurry to finish their food so they could watch the final Star Wars movie. Once they were done, Cameron gathered the dishes and took them downstairs. He was back a few minutes later.
Annie retrieved the tablet and headphones from under her pillow. “Are you ready?”
“Absolutely.” Cameron plopped down on the bed and put an ear bud in his ear. He extended his arm behind Annie and pulled her close.
Annie snuggled into his warmth and pressed play. “You’re going to love Jabba the Hut.” With that assurance they cuddled close together and watched the movie.
Catherine climbed out of the hidey-hole. The first thing she noticed was the relative darkness of the room. Either the light bulb had gone out or she had traveled back in time. She crept out of the cubby and stepped into the darkened room. It was the same attic, but the contents had changed. The chest she had searched through was no longer there. Period clothing hung on a rack along the walls of the room. Sounds of activity filtered through the house into the attic. Catherine had definitely traveled to some other time. She hoped that it was the same time that Annie had traveled to. Catherine peaked through the window. The day was dismal. Rain fell steadily on the window panes. The sky was getting darker. Soon there would be no light to see. She decided she would wait until the house fell silent to make her escape. Before then she needed to come up with an effective disguise. She pulled a dress and some undergarments from one of the clothing racks and put them on. She shook her hair from its loose ponytail and quickly French braided it. Then she grabbed her clothes and stuck them and her phone into a leather satchel she found. Once that was accomplished she huddled down into a corner and waited for the house to go quiet.
The house fell silent a few hours later. The night was pitch black. Catherine determined her escape plan. She would go out the back door and head towards the woods. By now, if Annie was actually Agent 355, she would no doubt be in New York City. During the hours of waiting Catherine had come up with a convincing cover story. She would claim that her home had been destroyed by a patriot raid. She knew from her reading that New York was a loyalist strong hold so the safest route to take would be to pretend to be one of them. Once in New York she would find a sympathetic family that would take her in. She would give them a false last name. No one could know she was related to Annie. She settled on Watson. It was a common enough English name, a name that several people could have but not be related to each other. From there she would find Annie and dispense of her, then come back here and return home. It was not a perfect plan. It relied too much on others, but it was the only plan she had. She had no money and knew no one. Still, Catherine felt everything would work out.
Quietly she removed her shoes and left the attic. She made it to the back door without incident. She put on her shoes and stepped out of the back door, then made her way across the deserted back lawn and into the forest. She walked for several hours, passing small towns along the way. The sun was just beginning its ascent when she reached New York City.