Never Tear Us Apart
by Jackie Pena
Two days later.
Morgan and Archie entered St. Malachi Church early in the morning. The bright sunshine made the day even more beautiful that they thought it would be.
Morgan wore her best dress, an empire moss colored silk gown she had worn the night he proposed to her. She coiled her hair in a high bun, with a braid around it and fastened hair combs in opposing angles. The same mahogany combs with little green leaves painted on them Archie had given her as a gift for cleaning his tea stained clothes. She knew that he would be sure to notice and be pleased that she had thought to wear them.
Archie looked as equally as handsome. He wore a double breasted dark blue waistcoat with a vest and a white stand collar shirt underneath and black trousers.
"Such a beautiful little church Archie." Morgan whispered to him softly.
"Yes it is."
A short aging man with spectacles wearing a ceremonial robe them.
"Good morning Father Duncan."
"Morning my son, this must be the lovely young lady you want to marry."
"Yes Father. May I present my betrothed, Morgan O'Connor." Archie answered with gleam in his eyes.
"Hello Father." She shyly said.
He nodded at Morgan with a warm grin. "Well my children, do you have two witnesses? It is required."
Archie and Morgan looked at each other in disappointment.
"It is alright if you don't. My housekeeper and her husband can stand in as your witnesses. No worries."
Archie and Morgan looked relieved.
"Let's start shall we?" Father Duncan asked.
Archie and Morgan did not take their eyes off each other during the ceremony. Not even for a second.
They took their vows promising to love on another, honor, and part only in death. Archie slipped a simple gold band on Morgan's finger. Father Duncan pronounced them man and wife.
Archie gave Morgan a soft kiss on her lips. It felt so magical.
Afterwards, Morgan knelt at a nearby pew to say a prayer while Archie spoke to Father Duncan.
He handed the Priest money. "Please take it Father. I know it is not much, but I would like to make a donation to the church."
"Father Duncan gratefully took the money. "No worries. Every little bit helps. God bless you my son and may you and your wife be blessed with happiness and many beautiful and healthy children."
"Thank you Father."
Morgan finished her prayer and walked over to Archie.
If you will both excuse me, I must prepare for a baptism. God bless you both."
Archie and Morgan bided him goodbye and thanked the witnesses for standing in."
They exited the church.
"Where would you like to go my darling?" Archie asked.
"Well since we are now newlyweds, shall we go back to the tavern for lunch, and enjoy the rest of our wedding day in our room?" She said with a seductive look in her eyes.
Archie slyly smiled. "Sounds like a good plan my dear wife!"
After their meal, Archie and Morgan went upstairs to their room. Before entering, he swooped her in his arms and carried her through the threshold.
They made love and afterwards he held her in his arms.
"How do you feel Mrs. Kennedy?" He asked while nuzzling her hair.
She looked up at him and smiled. "Happy. So happy."
"I had your ring engraved." He said.
"Yes, here, take it off and look yourself. I will put it back on for you."
She slipped the ring off and sat up to take a look at the inside of it.
"To my Morgan love forever, A."
Her eyes welled u with tears while he was slipping the ring back on her finger.
"Oh Archie!" She threw her arms around him.
"You are mine forever Morgan."
"As you are mine." She said, as tears of joy ran down her cheeks.
Their lips met for a kiss, and they continued their wedded bliss.
The weather finally became kind enough for Archie and Morgan to sail back to London.
That night, the newlyweds were in their cabin sleeping under the warm covers. Archie turned on his side to face Morgan and lightly caressed her soft cheek which made her open her eyes and smile at her beloved husband.
"You're even beautiful when you sleep." He whispered to her.
Morgan giggled. "Thank you husband." She whispered and kissed him. "Are you having trouble sleeping my love?" She asked with concern.
He played with a lock of her hair. "Just a little. No worries though, it happens once in a while."
She wrapped her arms around him and pulled herself closer to his body. "Perhaps I have a remedy." She purred. "Passionate lovemaking. It works wonders."
He laughed and rolled onto her. "Let's test your theory, shall we?"
A day later Archie and Morgan were in a carriage headed to the Carrington home. They were so anxious to tell Charles and Rebecca about their wedding and Archie had to gather what belongings he had to Morgan's home, which is now also his.
"You did what?" Asked a shocked Rebecca. "Married? Don't misunderstand me, but all of the guests have received their invitations, and" her eyes filling with tears.
Morgan interrupted and placed her hand on Rebecca's. "Don't worry dear Becca, Archie and I want to marry again. You have done so much with preparations and all. We just needed to get away for a little bit by ourselves. You understand, don't you, dearest?"
Rebecca put her hand over her mouth and giggled with relief. "I am so sorry for acting silly, I blame it on my condition."
"Condition?" Asked Morgan. "Are you unwell?"
"No quite the opposite," her face brightened with joy. "I am going to have a child!"
"Oh Becca!" Morgan hugged her.
Archie gave his dear friend a peck on the cheek and shook Charles' hand.
"I am so happy for you both." Archie said. "Truly, I couldn't be more pleased."
Rebecca reached out to hold her husband's hand. "Charles and I have been trying for so long."
"Lots of trying." He husband said slyly. She poked him in the ribs and they all laughed.
"Charles and I would like you both to be the Godparents. We could not think of better choices."
Archie and Morgan smiled. "We would be honored." He said.
"Morgan, would you like to see the nursery? I need an opinion on choosing colors for the walls."
"I would love to Becca."
The women headed upstairs.
Charles looked at this friend, noting the look on his face. "What worries your brow Archie?"
"I pity her Charles. I have nothing to give her. My Father disowned me and I've no job nor money."
"I think the only thing Morgan wants, she already has." Charles said.
"How do you mean?"
Archie grinned. "I know she says that, and I suppose that I believe her, but I still want to give her what any woman wants, a home of her own and a feeling of security and safety."
"Would you consider working for me? With Becca expecting, I would like to be home more. I am worried for her since we've tried so long for a child, and with the shipping business being successful as ever, I need someone, an assistant, I can rely and trust to oversee things and do dealings with clients, and handle paperwork and such, how about it?"
"Is this something you have given thought, or it came to mind all of the sudden?"
"I tell the truth regarding Becca. You know how stubborn she can be. I do have the choice to give the help strict instructions to make sure she does not lift one finger for anything, but you know how she is, she will convince them otherwise and will do things for herself as always. She is till not comfortable with being waited on."
"Yes, I know how she is, but would you not want your brother to help you run the business?"
Charles' face became red with anger. "Are you mad man? Let Andrew help me and let him ruin what I have worked so hard for? He is a selfish cad who only looks out for himself and gains at the expense of others and you know that Archie."
"You're right, forgive me Charles. I did not mean to make you angry. Both you and Becca have done so much for Morgan and I." Archie extended his hand to Charles. "I accept your offer my friend. You know I will do my best for you. You know that I'll work hard."
They shook hands. Charles smiled with relief. "Thank you Archie. This calls for a toast!"
Charles filled two goblets with brandy.
A female voice said. "Drinking already? Lunch hasn't been served yet!" It was Rebecca with her hands on her hips.
Charles chuckled at his wife. "We are celebrating dear. Archie is joining the business."
Rebecca and Morgan smiled and walked near their husbands.
"I am glad." Rebecca said and sat down near Charles. "You have a shrewd mind Archie along with the wit and charm that is needed to make business deals."
"Thank you Becca. I wasn't sure any of you had noticed!"
Archie and Morgan stayed for lunch and dinner at Rebecca's insistence. Both couples enjoyed chatting with one another over a game of cards, they did not realize how late it had gotten.
"Oh dear, it's past ten!" Morgan said. "Darling, I think we should head home, I am sure Charles and Becca want to retire for the night."
"Why don't you spend the night?" Rebecca said. "It is quite foggy and very cold out there."
"Becca, we don't want to inconvenience you anymore." Morgan said.
"Inconvenience me? Never! You are both to stay the night, I damn well insist."
"Alright Becca, we will so please put your whip away." Archie said jokingly.
Archie and Morgan readied for bed. Archie was watching her and admiring Morgan's beauty while she brushed her shiny auburn locks in front of the vanity.
She put the brush down and went toward the bed to join her husband.
"I am so happy for Becca and Charles. They will make wonderful parents." Morgan said.
"Yes they will."
Morgan blew out the bedside candle and kissed Archie goodnight.
Archie turned on his side to face his wife. "Morgan, now that I am employed, you no longer have to work. I will be making enough to support us."
Morgan sat up in bed and faced him. "But darling, I want to work, Mr. Cummings has done so much for me and you know that. I cannot let him run the bookstore all by himself. He is not a young man Archie, he is near sixty years of age. Please my love, I do want to disobey you, but, please understand."
He caressed the curve of her cheek. "I do understand darling." He sat up. "How about working a few hours per week? Just to help him when books arrive, running errands and such?"
"Yes, I do believe I can do that and I will ask him not to pay me anymore whether he likes it or not. I will be strictly his volunteer."
"Do you think that he'll agree to such a thing after all the years that you've worked for him?
"I think that I can get him to agree after a brief argument. Thank you darling to being an understanding husband."
"Whatever makes you happy, makes me happy, my Irish princess."
"I love you." She said.
"And I you. Let me show you how much by making love to you."
Several weeks later..
She was as nervous as she had been the first time they had married. Laughing to herself, she tried to calm down just enough to get through the day.
She stood in front of the vanity to put her hair up and was becoming flustered to the point of tears.
"Here let me." Becca said.
"Why today of all days, my hair decides to bloody not cooperate!"
"Why are you so nervous Morgan? You've already married Archie once."
"I don't know. Maybe it is because this time we will marry in front of a crowd of people in a big church, what if I accidentally repeat my vows the wrong way, or forget Archie's full name, Archibald Edward Richard Phillip Connor Kennedy? Oh dear, I will die of embarrassment if I do something like that!"
"Quite a mouthful, but you will do fine Morgan, do not let it bother you. You should have seen me when I married Charles. Nerves got the best of me and I couldn't stop giggling though the ceremony!"
Morgan laughed. "Thank you for being such a good friend Becca. Archie and I owe both you and Charles so much."
Rebecca continued to help Morgan with her hair. "Think nothing of it, that is what friends are for."
A proud Mr. Cummings walked Morgan down the aisle. He looked like a happy father for as he loves Morgan like a daughter.
Rebecca served as matron of honor and Charles as best man. Archie's face lit up with joy when he saw his beloved wife. She looked like a princess in the pale pink empire silk gown she made in Mrs. Harris' dress shop.
When Mr. Cummings handed Morgan over to Archie, he whispered into his wife's ear. "You look so lovely my angel. I'd marry you every day if I could, dearest."
The reception was held in the Carrington home. The guests enjoyed themselves with fine spirits and delicious foods. Archie's friends had set out a groaning table, sparing no expense for their friends.
Archie was having conversation across the dining room with Charles from Morgan and Rebecca, and looked over at his lovely bride and winked at her making her blush. .
"Everything looks so lovely Becca. You've done so much. I am forever in your debt." Morgan said.
Rebecca looked at her friend and grinned. "I was an only child and I always wanted a sister, and we've become close friends and all" Her eyes welled up with tears.
"Oh Becca," Morgan became teary eyes. "I've always wanted a sister also, but I do think I have one now, in you."
They embraced. One's tears wetting the cheeks of the other.
The reception ended in the late afternoon. After the guests left, Morgan offered to help the servants clean up and was shooed away by Rebecca.
"But Becca, I must do something for all the trouble you have gone through."
"Don't be silly, we have an army of servants for that. You goit's your wedding night, you knowagain! You can do something by going home dearest. Now off you go, and I will see you both tomorrow for dinner."
"As you wish dear sister." Morgan replied smiling.
Archie and Morgan headed home in a carriage.
"Darling, this isn't the way home, where are we going?' Morgan asked.
"I want to show you something."
They arrived in a quiet street, just blocks from the Carringtons.
He handed her down from the passenger compartment.
They stood in front of a lovely little townhouse. Archie looked at Morgan and smiled.
"What do you think of it?"
"This home you mean?"
"It is very lovely. Do you know someone who lives in it?"
"Darling, enough of the guessing. Tell me!"
"It's us silly! This is our new home, I bought it only yesterday as a wedding gift to you."
"For me? Oh Archieyou're, uh, I, oh dear, I don't know what to say I am speechless! However shall we afford such a place?" She embraced her husband and started to weep tears of joy.
"You're not to trouble yourself on that score, darling. It's well paid for, I assure you." Archie gently pulled away from her. "Come, let's go inside." He reached into his pocket and pulled out the key and took her by the hand and let her to the door.
He opened the door, and as Morgan was going to step in, he stopped her. "Wait!" He swooped her in his arms and carried her through the doorway making her giggle.
He put her down once they were inside. "Archie it is so spacious!," she gasped "there's a parlor," she walked to the adjoining room. "and a study," she continued to walk through the house, with Archie following her, his face lighting up with a bright smile. "a dining room, and the kitchen is lovely!" She continued her journey through their new home, going back to the foyer. "An upstairs!" She ran up them. "Three bedrooms!"
Archie led her into one of them. "Yes three of them, this one being ours and as you see, our things have already been moved out of our old home to here." He kissed her.
"Archie this is too much my love, it must have been expensive!"
"No it wasn't. Charles is acquainted with the former owner and we made a negotiable offer to him. If it were expensive, I wouldn't care when it comes to you. You deserve everything my love, I would give you the world if it were possible."
Morgan's tears flowed once more. "Oh darling!" She threw her arms around him. "I love you so much, but you do not need to shower me with such gifts, I just want you!"
"And I want to spoil you like you've never been before. I shall take pleasure in it. You have me my princess, besides, we do need a larger home as this for when you start having my children. I want dozens."
Morgan laughed. "Dozens? You're mad!"
As the new servants weren't expected until the morning, the couple decided to change from their wedding finery into something more practical and head to a nice tavern for a bite to eat.
"It is so lovely and relaxing in here. This establishment has always been my favorite." Morgan said.
"I know, that is why I wanted to bring you here tonight."
Morgan smiled and said to him, "I love you."
Archie and Morgan fell asleep in each others arms after making love.
Archie began to restlessly toss and turn in the middle of the night unbeknownst to Morgan who in a deep sleep had turned over on her other side.
"No please, please don't hurt me, " he said in his sleep. "please, NO NO NO!"
He sat upright in a cold sweat, startling Morgan out of her sleep..
"Archie, darling, what is it?" She caressed his cheek and brushed his sweat dampened hair from his face. "Are you alright? I'll get you a cup of water."
Archie still heaving, looked around the room in fear, then looked at Morgan.
She handed him the cup. "Thank you." His hand shook while trying to drink.
Morgan took the cup from him. "Would you like to talk about it my love? It may make you feel better."
"I think not. It was just a silly dream that is all."
She lit the bedside candle. "You're pale as a ghost! Please talk to me my love."
He took a deep breath. "It was graphic Morgan, I do not want to frighten you."
"It is alright my love. It will not bother me at all. I can't bear to see you suffer so."
Archie pulled his knees to his chest and wrapped his arms around them. "I do not know where to start."
"From the beginning no matter how long it is, we've all night."
"The dream was something that happened to me a long time ago when I was a midshipman in the Navy on a ship called Justinian. There was another midshipman much older than myself by the name of Jack Simpson. He made my life a living hell. Archie closed his eyes tight as if in some sort of pain.
"He did things to me, and made me do things to him. If I did not do them, I would get beaten severely. I was only three and ten years when he first raped me. I was in so much pain and bled afterwards that I was in sick berth for a few days."
Morgan put her hand over her mouth and gasped in shock. "Oh dear God, did anyone know?"
"Yes, but they turned a blind eye in fear of him. He was an evil man, the worst I've ever known or ever hope to."
"Oh God." Tears ran down her face.
"I took his abuse for four years until I was transferred to Indefatigable and he was not."
"What ever happened to him?"
"Well, one day we rescued crewman from a sinking ship. One of the men was Simpson."
"Oh my God."
"He wouldn't lay one hand on me though. He was not on Justinian anymore, and the Indy was a better ship. Such things weren't tolerated, but he did manage to punish me somehow."
"What did he do?"
"Remember when I told you of my imprisonment in a Spanish prison for three years?"
"He was the cause. He cut the rope to the rowboat I was on. We were about to attack a French ship during the night and I became very nervous that I ended up having a fit. Horatio had to knock me unconscious to quiet me from enemy ears. When Jack had the opportunity, he cut and I drifted off into enemy hands."
"And this Simpson, is he still in the Navy?"
"No. He was killed during a duel against Horatio. Horatio decided not to shoot him, and as soon as Horatio turned his back, Jack tried to run after him with a knife, fortunately Captain Sir Edward Pellew was there and shot him dead."
"Good riddance. I hope he is burning in hell for all eternity."
He reached over and grabbed a lock of Morgan's hair, twirling it with his fingers." I am sorry for not telling you before, but I was so ashamed and was afraid you would be repulsed towards me, that you couldn't bear to have me near you or to touch you."
Morgan threw her arms around Archie and started to weep. "Archie I would never feel that way about you. I love you. You are my life."
Archie returned the loving embrace and softly caressed her hair. He also started to weep.
"God, this has been eating at me for so long and now if feels as though a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders."
Morgan gently pulled away from him and caressed his cheek. "Don't feel ashamed for what happened. It was not your fault. You were a young boy who was terrorized by a monster and you did what you had to do to survive."
"I love you so much Morgan." He started to kiss her. "I want you."
"And I you." She answered. "I am yours."
The lovemaking was passionate and continued through the night.
To be continued..