Forging Forever

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Chapter 39

White Plains, New York

October 6, 2015

Katelyn walked into Annie’s childhood home. Ever since she had returned from Africa all she had done was run into one brick wall after another. She did not believe the lame excuse that Mr. and Mrs. Johnson had given her regarding Annie’s inability to contact her.

Katelyn knew that the Johnson’s had never really liked her, mostly because she had no qualms about calling out Catherine on her actions towards her sister. In her opinion, Annie was far to kind to her sister. Several times she had wanted to smack that smug grin off of Catherine’s face. She was a spoiled brat. She had received everything she had ever asked for, regardless of whether she earned it or not. Still Catherine had always complained about “living in Annie’s shadow” as she called it. Personally she found it to be utter crap. Their parents viewed them both equally.

The house was quiet, not that she was surprised. Annie’s family were still at the house in Nissequogue. Katelyn began her search for information downstairs. She looked through the study and found nothing of interest. Next she moved into the master bedroom. She was surprised to see Annie’s laptop sitting on top of her parents’ dresser. The fact that her laptop was here caused major warning bells to ring in her head. Without hesitation, Katelyn picked up the laptop and left the house. She climbed into her car and made the short drive to her parents’ house. They were out of town, as usual, so she did not have to worry about them bugging her. Once she was at the house she went up to her room and shut the door. She turned on the laptop, typed in Annie’s password, and connected to the internet. Once she opened the browser she looked up Annie’s search history.

The history showed that the last time Annie had used the computer was during the early morning hours of July 24th. She had looked up several academic articles regarding an Agent 355 and a man named Cameron Michael Evans. The man’s name was unfamiliar to her, but Agent 355 did sound familiar. She couldn’t remember the details, but she knew it had something to do with the American Revolution. Prepared for a long night, Katelyn clicked on the first article and began to read.

New York City

October 6, 1780

Annie walked out of the jewelry shop and headed towards Cameron’s office. She had reluctantly hidden her ring in the pocket of her dress. As much as she wanted to scream to the world that she and Cameron would be getting married, now was not the right time. As far as most people knew, she was still mourning the loss of Major Andre. People would be suspicious if she all of a sudden declared her love for another man. Still, that did not mean that she couldn’t privately show Cameron how much she cared.

It was just after noon when she reached Cameron’s office. She hoped that she hadn’t missed him. Oh well, if she had then she would just wait for him to get back. She turned the handle and entered the shop. A young man around Cameron’s age greeted her.

“Good afternoon miss. Is there something I can help you with?” Annie looked over the man who she assumed was Cameron’s assistant. She had seen him before, but only for a fleeting moment. She had not taken a good look at him or asked his name. Now, seeing him close up she noticed something shockingly familiar to her. She took in his coloring, which was incredibly similar to her own. He had the same hazel eyes, brown hair, and small ears that were common among her family. Realization dawned on her.

“Yes. Mr...”

“Locke, James Locke,” he replied with a smile. “It is a pleasure to see you again Ms. Johnson.”

Annie nodded, “Mr. Locke,” that confirmed it. This man was her great-great-great-great grandfather. “I’m actually looking for Cameron. Is he still here?”

“He stepped out for lunch just a bit ago. He should be back shortly if you do not mind waiting.”

“I don’t mind. I don’t have anything else to do today.”

“Splendid. I know he would love to see you. He speaks of you often,” James said cheerfully.

Annie smiled. “Hopefully nothing too horrible.”

“Nonsense my dear. Just saying your name always gives him a smile.”

“Well I’m glad to hear that,” she replied earnestly.

“Here, follow me. I’ll show you to his office. You can wait for him there.”

“Oh no, I wouldn’t want to impose on his personal space. I’ll wait here.”

“It would be no imposition, I promise,” James said then lowered his voice. “Besides, you shouldn’t stay out in the open for too long, especially if you’re here to see another man. Remember, the world still thinks you are mourning Major Andre.”

Annie nodded. “You’re right. Lead the way Mr. Locke.” They made their way to the back of the building. James opened a door to a spacious yet cozy office. Mahogany furnishings were placed tastefully throughout the room.

“Make yourself comfortable. I’ll send him back when he gets here. In the meantime, is there anything I can offer you while you wait?”

“No thank you. I’ll be just fine. Thank you for your kindness Mr. Locke.”

“It is my pleasure, and please, call me James.”

“Very well. Thank you James.”

James nodded then closed the office door. Annie sat down in one of the leather chairs across from the desk and inspected the room. Technically this was the second time she had been in Cameron’s office, but her first visit had been rushed so she had not had time to properly inspect her surroundings. The office was cozy but not small. Two leather armchairs sat across from a mahogany desk. There were a few matching bookcases along the wall that held an assortment of texts. All in all it was a perfect reflection of Cameron: simple and warm.

Excitedly, she removed her purchase from her purse and looked at it. It was the watch that she had found in the attic so many months ago. It was a perfect gift for Cameron. She had traded the diamond encrusted combs that Major Andre had given her a couple of months ago. She had no desire to keep them. She lovingly caressed the engraving:

To C.

No arrangement of words

can express my feelings for you.

I will remain yours

through all time.

All my love. A.

She was still gazing at the gleaming new watch when she heard footsteps come down the hall. Quickly, she put the watch back in its case then stuffed it in her purse. Next she pulled her ring from her pocket and placed it on her finger. Moments later Cameron entered his office.

“Annie,” he smiled. “Well this certainly is a pleasant surprise.”

“I hope I’m not interrupting your day.”

“Of course not. I had all my meetings this morning. All I have left to do is sign some documents then I’ll be done for the day.” Cameron walked over to where she was sitting, picked her up, then sat down and placed her on his lap. “So, to what do I owe this visit?”

“Well, I slept so soundly last night and had so much energy when I woke up that I decided it would be wonderful to get out for a bit. Besides, you gave me such a lovely gift yesterday,” Annie said then twirled her ring around her finger, “I figured it was only fair that I return the favor.”

“Annie, you saying yes is the only gift I need,” he replied.

“Well, I appreciate that amazing compliment, the fact remains that I bought you a present,” Annie smiled then pulled out the case.

Cameron took the case and opened it. He smiled at the silver pocket watch. “This is lovely Annie. Thank you.”

“Look inside.”

“Inside?”

“Yes.”

Cameron did as Annie asked then read the engraving aloud:

To C.

No arrangement of words

can express my feelings for you.

I will remain yours

through all time.

All my love. A.

Cameron gave Annie a long kiss. “This is the best gift anyone has ever given me.”

“I’m glad you like it. See, now I’ll be with you even if I’m not physically there.”

“Yes, you will be.” He kissed her once again. “How are you feeling today? Did you eat?”

“I’m fine and yes I ate just before I left. And before you ask, I promise to eat when I get back.”

Cameron chuckled, “Am I that obvious?”

“Only to me. Speaking of, you didn’t happen to get me any strawberries did you?”

“As a matter of fact I did on my way to work this morning. Would you like some now?”

“Oh my goodness yes! I’ve been craving them since I woke up.”

“Okay,” he said then stood up and placed Annie back in the chair, “wait here. They’re over by my desk.” Cameron walked over to his desk and pulled out a large box containing deliciously red strawberries. “These should last you through tomorrow,” he chuckled, then placed the box on her lap.

Annie laughed. “Yes, they should.” Annie ate half a dozen of the juicy strawberries. By the time she was done her lips and fingertips were stained red. “These are the most delicious strawberries I have ever eaten. Where did you get them?”

“At the usual fruit vendor. The trick is to get there early in the morning before any of the other shoppers come. That’s when you find the best fruit,” he said then licked the juice from her fingertips. Annie shuddered at the contact.

“I will remember that.”

“You needn’t worry. I’ll always get them for you,” he whispered then kissed her. It was a long, slow, deep kiss. Eventually they broke apart.

“I’d best let you get back to work.”

“Okay,” he replied, reluctant to let her go. “Would you like to take the carriage home? I can walk.”

“I don’t mind walking,” she replied.

“No, I insist Annie. You’ve had a busy day. Besides, those strawberries are heavy. Please, take the carriage. I’ll be home in a few hours.”

“Okay.” Annie took off her ring and put it in her pocket. “I hate having to do that. It’s such a beautiful ring.”

“I know. I hate seeing you take it off. But the time is not right. Trust me, soon you’ll be able to show it to everyone,” he whispered.

“I know.”

“Here, I’ll walk you out.” Cameron picked up the box of strawberries and walked Annie out the front door and called for his carriage. It came around a few minutes later. He assisted Annie in. “I’ll see you soon. Go take a nap love,” he whispered. Annie nodded then he closed the door. The carriage ride home did not take long. When she arrived, Annie went straight up to her room, taking her box of strawberries with her. By the time she entered her room she was exhausted. She removed her shoes then climbed into bed, hugging Cameron’s pillow close to her.

White Plains, New York

October 6, 2015

Katelyn could not believe what she had just read. The tale was fantastical to say the least. Try as she might, she could not wrap her head around the concept of time travel. Scientifically it was impossible. Yet, despite all that, the evidence from the her research pointed to Annie being in 1780. Needless to say there was something odd going on here, and Katelyn had the feeling that Annie’s parents’ were covering something up.

Katelyn yawned. It was only ten o’clock, but she was exhausted. She decided, albeit reluctantly, to go to bed. She could get a few hours rest then determine what she was going to do tomorrow. She knew, no matter what her plan ended up being that she had to go to Nissequogue and get into that house.

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