May 12, 1602
2: 22 am
The darkness could not conceal the screams of a woman in labor. 12 hours and counting; no one knew how much longer it would be, but most of them- especially Marie- wanted this goddamned thing out of her. Candles were spread throughout the tiny house, and gave off enough light to see the baby that had finally been passed through the mother’s body. It was a tiny pink baby girl that wailed louder than her four brothers that had come before her. The noise was such a happy sound- one of relief, happiness, and pure exuberance.
Her father stood at the side of the bed, and watched as his daughter suckle her mother’s breast.
The midwives began getting water for the girl’s bath. Her siblings sat at a table, smiling. At each other, at their parents, and at their baby sister. Marie rocked the baby as she drank her mother’s milk. It was sight no one would forget. Jameson leaned down and kissed his wife’s forehead, tears rolled down his cheeks. For a
moment they looked into each other’s eyes.
“I love you.” Marie whispered tears now coming for her own eyes.
Jameson brought Marie into his chest and hugged her close. The hearth crackled and hissed as it heated water for the bath. The master bed had been brought out from the room to the kitchen area. It was the easiest place for a birth, and had the most in the house. For a while everything was still until the girl was
full, and a midwife came to wash off the baby.
Jameson spoke quietly, “You must rest, Marie. You’ll be needing your strength.” He wiped away the sweat from her brow.
“Oh, Jamie you worry too much. I know what I need, and no one will tell me other wise.” Marie exclaimed, laughing.
“Yes, Marie,” he replied, “but I don’t want you to get sick on me. We’ll need all the help we can get in these weeks to come.”
“Yes, Jameson. Now what shall we name her?”
It was change of subject, and one that everyone welcomed. The boys gave up, and said good night. They had been up for over a day, and if they were going to get up, and work in the hours to come they needed some sleep. Vincent was the oldest, at 17, then came Daniel, at 17, next was Allan, at 16 ½, and finally Jonathan, at 15. They were a close family that spent days working in the fields, and nights talking over a hot supper. They were all glad to finally have a girl in the family. Everyone knew that Marie had wanted a girl, and after the fourth boy she had given up hope of having something she really wanted. But as they say good things come in small packages. And it was true; right after Jonathan had turned 15, Marie had found she was with child. Out loud she doubted that the baby would be a girl, but in the furthest deepest corner of her mind she hoped that her 5th child would be a girl. Nine months later her baby girl was born.
The midwife splashed water over the girl’s face, and she began to scream. She chided the crying girl, and continued washing her off. The other midwife prepared a dress for the baby, and when she was finished she walked over to the night stand and got the bible. She took a seat on the end of the bed, and stuck her pen in
the ink well.
“What shall ya’ be namin’ her, miss?” she asked
Marie looked to Jameson. He shrugged at her then replied, “She’s our only daughter- I think you should name her.”
Marie beamed to her husband. Fresh tears welled up in her eyes, and finally spilled over down to her chin. She wiped away the tears, and calmed herself. A name was a sensitive thing. It had to be the perfect thing, something that made her stand out. Something unique, special, and different. Was there a name like that? Then Marie knew.
“I know what we will name her.” she announced
Jamie reached for her hand, and gently squeezed it, “I’m sure whatever you decide it will be perfect.”
The midwife walked over with the baby curled up in her dress and a blanket. She slept peacefully and quietly. She was already a good baby. The woman handed her to her mother. Marie gazed down at her precious daughter then looked up to her husband and smiled.
“We will name her, Cassidy.”
October 1618, 16 years later…
Cassidy stood alone. Her shawl was wrapped tightly around her shoulders, and a bonnet sat on her head. Even with all her clothes it did little to block the icy winds and snow that blew over her. Why had it been her turn for market day? She hated this, she truly hated this. It was bitter cold outside, and her parents were inside sitting by the fire.
Nice and warm, she thought angrily as she walked towards the market. Very few people had ventured out into the cold for supplies, but once things got low enough they would just wind up coming out anyway. Cassidy passed a few carts, and went straight for the vegetable cart. Her mother needed carrots, peas, potatoes, parsley, and few other things for her stew tonight. But she still couldn’t figure out why she had to have someone else had to do it. She plucked a few things from the cart deciding if they were ripe enough or good enough for her mother. The wind was really starting to pick up now. I’d better hurry up, Cassidy thought quietly. She’d hate to be outside when a blizzard hit this far from home.
Most of the vendors where in the barn keeping warm, but there was one boy outside. He was sitting in his springtime clothes, and he didn’t look the least bit cold. As Cassidy went along getting the things her parents wanted she could feel his gaze follow her every move. He rocked the chair back so that it was only one 2 legs.
Finally after a minute of looking at each other Cassidy went over to him. His dark blonde hair had pieces of ice in it, and snow was frozen to his fingers. His skin was pale, it was as white as the snow that swirled around them, but what was the strangest thing about him were his eyes.
His eyes were black.
His clothes seemed old and worn. Dirt streaked his shirt and pants. Mud covered his boots. He was so beautiful. He had this aura about him; he seemed to glow with confidence. Or some other thing that made Cassidy want to know everything about him. She wanted to know every mark on his body, and everything he had ever seen. She wanted to everything there was to know out this strange boy that had come to town who sat in the winds without caring about his health.
He looked up as she stood before him. She was an angel from God. Her rich brown hair fell to her shoulders and her deep blue eyes transfixed him. He was hooked from the moment he had seen her. He stood up quickly.
“Can I help you with something?” he yelled over the roar of the wind.
Cassidy shouted back, “No! I was just wondering why you were out here with no coat! Aren’t you cold!”
He smiled. She was curious to know things about him. He could tell, her thoughts were racing about him; with questions she wanted to ask. He smiled again before answering.
“I’m used to the cold!”
“Yes, but I can tell you’re cold!”
He took a step closer to her. They were now just inches from each other. “You’re cold” he placed a finger on her lips, “your lips are blue.”
He leaned in closer to her mouth. His eyes meet with hers’. Somehow, Cassidy lost all control of her mind, and her hand linked with his. Her mind screamed at her, What are you doing! Stop! Stop it!
But she couldn’t. Everything just felt so right. Like nothing could get better then this moment. Right now.
She felt his hand slip to the small of her back. He dipped her back with his weight. Cassidy let herself be seduced to the ways of this stranger. His mouth trailed down her throat and down her chest, stopping above her breasts. It was like fire, it burned and made her skin crawl, but it made her melt away. Cassidy’s heavy eyelids shut softly, and the last thing she remembered before falling asleep was a sharp blistering pain in the
left side of her neck.
4 and half hours later…
Cassidy’s heavy eyes opened. Her vision was blurry as if she hadn’t slept soundly. She could make out a fire, a table, and at the table were four men. She couldn’t tell who they were, and she didn’t know where she was. Pushing herself away from the hay that lay around, Cassidy was able to sit up right. Though, she stilled the assistance of her hands. She wanted so badly to speak, but she opened her mouth her hurt too much to form words. Finally, Cassidy gave a little whimper to alert those at the table, but it had been useless; for one man was up and already at her side.
He slid down next to her on his knees. Automatically, his hands cupped her face. He lifted her chin, and looked into her eyes. He wanted her to be his.
“Cassidy,” his voice was velvet, “how are you feeling?”
She was shocked, how had he known her name? She couldn’t remember giving her name to anyone. She stammered, “How-ho…ow do you know my name?” it still hurt to talk, but at this moment she didn’t even notice the pain.
Tears filled her eyes, unwillingly. She had no idea what would happen. What would these men do to her? Suddenly, Cassidy’s fears were pushed from her mind, and all she could focus on was the man in front of her. Her skin tingled from his touch, and she felt utterly and indescribably safe with him so close.
“Don’t you remember?” he cooed
“It was right before you collapsed….I asked you your name and you told me. Cassidy, do you remember?” he searched her eyes. He knew she didn’t remember because it had never happened. After he seduced her and she was unconscious he had sifted through her mind and found her name. Then he had tasted her blood. Her blood was sweet and soft. One of the best; he had to admit that the French tasted much better then anywhere else had been.
“Who are you?” Cassidy’s soft voice pierced the silence. Her hands pinched his face, as if she was trying to make sure he was real. She then turned her pinching fingers on herself to make sure she was real, or at least not dreaming. She wasn’t.
“Cassidy, you can relax. I wouldn’t dare hurt you.” He smiled
“Who are you.” She demanded
“My name is Jeremiah. You were outside at the market, and I was sitting there. You came over and we talked for a few minutes, but then you fainted. It was really stran-”
Cassidy interrupted, “I want to go home- now! Let me go. I need to get home, my parents…” she was
hysterical. Jeremiah gripped her arms, and looked into her eyes. She immediately fell calm.
“I’m sorry…it’s just, my parents are very protective of me. I’m their only daughter-”
“That’s alright. I understand,” he stood up and brushed the hay form his trousers, “come, are you hungry? We have food.” He looked down at her. She seemed weary of his motives, but made up her mind and took his hand. Jeremiah pulled Cassidy to her feet.
They walked over to table where Jeremiah’s associates waited. They were laughing and drinking and playing cards. They all looked up to the two. Jeremiah gestured a hand to Cassidy as he spoke.
“Everyone, this is Cassidy. Cassidy that’s,” he pointed to a man whose back was towards to the fire, “Eric,” his hand moved to the right, “that’s Thorn and this is Carlos.” They all said hello, and Jeremiah pulled over a chair for Cassidy to sit in.
“Oh, no I can’t stay. I really need to get home, but thank you anyway, Jeremiah. Good night gentlemen it was very nice to meet you all.” She turned and began to walk to the door, but hand on her arm stopped her.
“Cassidy, please. At least stay and eat something.” He said
Cassidy gave him a doubtful look, “Jeremiah, I really can’t stay-”
“Please, you must be hungry.” He smiled wryly
Cassidy looked around at the men at table then back to Jeremiah. She sighed before answering, “Alright, but only for a little while. My parents will kill me if I’m not home soon.”
“Yes, thank you Cassidy.” Jeremiah brought her into him and kissed her lightly on the cheek.
Cassidy’s face turned red. Had he really just done that? She couldn’t believe it. Jeremiah walked her back to the table, and severed her a dish of food. They talked, laughed, and Cassidy lost track of time.
Cassidy immediately stopped laughing. She had lost track of time, and now her parents surely would be worried about her. The storm should have lessened by now, and Cassidy was sure she would never be allowed out by herself again. The expression dropped off her face, and soon they boys noticed. Jeremiah was the first to ask.
Still laughing he asked, “Cassidy what is it? Are you not having a good time?”
Cassidy voice was cold and emotionless, “No, I’m not. I need to go home now.” she seemed dazed and confused and very unsure of herself. She stood up and gathered her things, tripping over nothing. Jeremiah
grasped her arm.
“Let go of me.” she said forcefully
“Cassidy at least let me walk you home. It's dangerous for a young woman such as yourself to be out at such an hour.” He said kindly
Finally calming down Cassidy agreed to let Jeremiah walk her home. Again she said good-bye, and this time the only thing that was different was that she actually left. Jeremiah had no coat, or anything to protect him form the cold. Cassidy thought this was very strange; he once again didn’t seem to be the least bit cold. For a while neither of them spoke, but that wouldn’t last long.
Jeremiah broke the silence, “Do you really think your parents will kill you for being outside when a storm hit?”
“No, but they won’t be happy with me coming home this late. They’ll wonder why I hadn’t come earlier.”
“So, you can’t just tell them that you fell unconscious from being trapped in the cold, and that someone found you and you stayed with them until you felt better?”
“Yes, I suppose I could, but I’ve never lied to them. They would know I was lying.”
“Not if I help you. All you need to do is busy yourself while you explain what happened to them. Only look into their eyes to reassure them, and keep calm. If your voice cracks then they will know you’re lying.”
“That’s all I have to do?”
“Yes, and I guarantee that it will work.”
“Thank you, Jeremiah. This is my house.”
Jeremiah moved in closer to her body and put a hand on her shoulder. Sparks went throughout Cassidy’s body. She shivered.
“Your welcome, but if you really want to thank me you’ll let me do this.”
“What do you want me…” Jeremiah placed his lips lightly on hers. Her lips were soft and smooth. Her skin was warm and tender. God, how nice it was to feel warm.
Jeremiah pulled away, and looked into her eyes. Her face was exuberant and shining, she was the most beautiful creature he had ever laid eyes on. He smiled.
“Can I see you again?” he whispered
“Jeremiah, I-I don’t know what to say.”
“Say yes. Please say yes. I think I’m not the only who felt something tonight. I want to know everything there is to know about you, Cassidy. Please give more time to find out.”
“Okay… yes.” She whispered quietly
He smiled at her quickly then took off into the night. Cassidy watched him go until the cold finally forced to go inside. It was warm and smelled of sugar. Cassidy’s smile fell from her face when she saw her parents at the table.
“Cassidy,” her mother jumped up and hugged her tightly, “we were so worried. Where have you been?”
“I’m fine, Mama.” Cassidy let go of her mother and went over to her father.
“What happened to you?” her mother asked
Cassidy remembered what Jeremiah told her. She began taking off her shawl as she answered. “I was at the market when the storm hit.” She went over to the rack and hung up her bonnet and shawl, she glanced quickly at her mother then to her father knowing he was the one she needed to convince, “There was nowhere for me to go, and it was so cold. I passed out, and this boy found me,” she placed the items from her basket on the table, “he put me in the barn and gave me something to eat.”
“Well, thank God you’re alright. We were so worried. I thought somethin’ had happened to you.” Marie went over and hugged Cassidy, “Are ya’ hungry? We have got plenty to eat.”
“No, Mama I’m not hungry. I just want to go to sleep. I’ll see you in the morning, Mama.”
She kissed her mother on the forehead, and went over to her father, “Night, daddy.” She hugged him and smiled quickly as she left to her room. But before Cassidy was in her room her father stopped her. He was suspicious. It shouldn’t have been that long. The storm had passed quickly.
“Cassidy.” He said
“You’re sure that’s what happened?”
Cassidy looked her father straight in the eyes, and without second-guessing herself she answered.