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SECOND SUMMER A Candy Candy Fanfic Second Summer, a fanfic by Lady Gato (Ana Luisa Aldana). Copyright 2004-2005 Lady Gato and Candy Candy Nation. Candy Candy characters copyright Mizuki and Igarishi, worldwide. Fiction for entertainment purposes only.

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SECOND SUMMER

A Candy Candy Fanfic

Conceived and Written by: Lady Gato

Webmistress, Candy Candy Nation

Candy Candy Nation, 2004-2005Candy Candy Characters and Story Kyoko Mizuki and Yumiko Igarishi

Table of Contents

What Once Was and What Now Is

- Terrys Story

- Candys Story

- A Moment in Time

Lakewood, Spring of 1934

Bundling and Unbundling

A Weekend Amongst Family

Passages

Scotland, Summer of 1934

- Scottish Lochs and Hidden Locks -

The Master

The Muses Home

A Hearth from the Past

By Royal Command

Two Princesses and a Play

Le Bal dEt

The Shooting Star

The Second Afternoon

- Return to Innocence

- The End of the Second Summer

What Once Was and What Now Is

- Terrys Story

The tall, masculine figure turned away from the ancestral mausoleum located on the grounds of the private family chapel of Grantchester House, in Grantchester, Cambridgeshire. He was only 33, but felt twice his age.

My life is one long Shakespearean play he thought, not amused. Too bad the Bard wasnt around to chronicle it.

Born a bastard of one the highest ranking members of the English Aristocracy. Torn away from his mother, left in an elite, cold English boarding school devoid of any warmth and camaraderie and kept from any filial love, albeit not unlike his peers. Engaging in behavior that was rapidly cementing his angry, morose and lonely existence. Meeting the only true love he had known and that finally redeemed him, which was then cruelly taken away from, with the same game of fate he had once pledged he would not emulate. Falling so deep into despair and self destruction, only to be redeemed by one single, deeply haunting gaze from his true love. Returning to the fate he was avoiding to fulfill, though on his terms.

Yes, from that moment he had tried to live life on his terms. If his destiny was stopping and curtailing him from what he truly desired, then he would strike an unholy bargain.

Yes, he would marry Suzanne, be kind and gentle to her, but no more. She could not ask what was not his to give, for his true love owned his heart and soul. And that he was not willing to ask back.

Yes, he would come back and claim his artbut only because this was the only way he could honor his true love and the deep feeling they had once shared. She was the only Muse he had ever had; she was the only one he acted foreven if he knew she would never witness his impassioned soliloquies, his earnest deaths, his heartfelt speeches. As it had been his right as a leading actor, he always reserved and kept empty the best seat in the house. It was there where his Muse sat, and where he delivered his lines to. Once, when he had been at the lowest point, the most desperate point in his life, her eyes had shone at him, shone the light on him that he so desperately wanted to keep forever by his side. He had then hoped to see them again, but they never came back. Ephemeral, she wasjust a moment in time of his lifeand he had come to accept that. But on his terms.

Success and fame werent a substitute for what he had lost it brought him wealth, prestige and a public profile that he was always uneasy with. But he had always been a master of presenting himself differently to the world than whom he really wasonly she, the Muse, had ever seen the true Terrence Graeme Grantchester, and no one else would ever see him again thus. Those walls and masks he used were there for a sole purpose, and that was to protect him from attacks, disappointments, hurts and the entire world at large. Not even the woman he married knew who he really was. Her version of Terrence Grantchester wasnt much different than the one she had come to know when they were acting colleagues, other than he was a bit more friendly to her.

Not even his mother, whom he had finally had a rapprochement with, could crack that shell; although they had a relationship of sorts. He always felt that she wanted more but he was not willing to give it to her. They did become friendly and cordialover the years she was a bit of mentor, much the same way Robert Hathaway, his director at the Stratford Theatre, had become for him.

He was described as maddeningly handsome, gifted and charismatic; but phlegmatic, aloof and ill-tempered. He was baptized with the moniker Greatest Shakespearean Actor of Our Times; lauded as a genius. All his plays were sold out successes. But there was only one role that he dearly wanted to play and one sobriquet he desperately cherished, and that was never to bethe one of Her Husband. No, not hers, not the one he married. Noonly hers, his one true lovethe Muse.

((((((

His wife died after 15 years of marriage. She had never been strong of either spirit or body, and perhaps it was strangely poetic that she had started to die the day she lost her leg, when she lost a part of her body in order to save him; binding him to her by duty. A long term, debilitating physical illness with no cure had finally claimed her. He buried herhe was sad, but not inconsolable. He had always been lonely, even by her side. He mourned the loss of a human life, but not of his believed lifemateno, someone else had that honor, even if he would never be together with her. Anybody who really knew how he really felt would perhaps call him cynical or a hypocritebut of course, no one ever knew what really lay in him. Oh yes, he appeared to all to be sad, but that was just another acting job for him, one all too easy to call up from his repertoire. Only his mother suspected something else; but as it was between them, she never dared to ask. So he now carried the name of widowerimagine that he would think bemused, a widower in his early thirties. He should have had a full head of gray hair and a few wrinklesthat was the stereotype of a widowerhe looked 25, according to what was being printed of him. Still in the strength of his adulthood, he was young enough to have the vitality and the vigor of a young spirited tiger, and old enough to have the experience and some hard earned wisdom of an old, wizened and battle-scarred lion.

But another title was thrown unto and onto him, a title he had turned his back on when he left St. Pauls in order to save his true lovewhere, in looking back, that separation had the been the beginning of the end of their doomed, star-crossed relationship.

There had been a terrible accident, and the entire family diedthat family that never wanted or loved himthat family and all their responsibilities and duties he had tried to evade and escape, now.he was now the new Duke of Grantchester, with all the entitlements and privileges that it carried. He now was at a crossroadswhat to do? Had he had enough of the theatre, even if it was the only altar he prayed to the Muse to? Or should he retire from Broadway and make a second career elsewhere, elsewhere where once he had been truly blissful, elsewhere where he had dared to dream and give his heart and soul to the Muse? Wasnt he being called the master of his craft? Perhaps now he could return the gift bestowed at birth unto him and do it in the place where he had once known true happiness and love with the Musethat Summer in Scotlandso long ago

He owed nobody and no one anything or any explanations. Only to herthe Muse. But she had been physically long gone out of his life, and that had been by his own foolish and stupid lapse in judgment made in an overwhelming split second. He could only silently love and honor her in his mind, in his heart, in his soul and in his art. Therefore, it did not matter that he would leave the United States and return to his ancestral homethe home that he had dearly wished she would stay in, forevershe would be no closer or no farther than she had been, since that cold, unexpected winter day in late 1914. That day that he had let her go, against his full wits and his most fervent wishes.but in the end, who was to blame? Had he let her down, let her go without even trying, flying in the face of his own bravado and determination? Or had she impetuously decided to leave, turning her back on him forever? And what about that time, six months later, in a rundown traveling theatrehad that been a mirage? Had the tearful, sad beacon of her emerald eyes that begged him to take hold of his life again been real or not? Where was the courage to find out if that episode had been a figment of imagination or the Muse in real flesh and blood? Who was to blame? Or was either of them to blame? Was there an invisible, capricious author who toyed unmercifully with their liveswas life and destiny to blame? Had life let them down, forcing them to let each other goand if that was so, why? Why??

((((((

He got into the waiting car that would take him to his new life. The chauffer spoke to him, but sounds of his voice seemed farawayhe was lost in thought. He absently replied, his mind elsewhere

A sparkling loch, a fine, warm breezea sweet, nubile kissA lovely summer, long ago, with my Musethe only time in my life when I had been completely fulfilled, corresponded and happily in love with the woman I adored

Your Grace I am called now he smiled wistfully. Duke of Grantchester.Your Grace. A title by which I had called my father, and not in the best of ways over the yearsthe yearshow the years have revealed many things to me.how much I continue to ache and long for herhow much I deeply and truly love herto love her until the end of my days and thereon, to wherever it is we go to when we passhow many things I knew when I was a young man with great certainty are still true

No Father, in the end, I did not love the way you didat least I somehow managed to keep my love for her alive and eternal, inside of me. I never once spoke ill of her, the way you did of my mother. That is how I came to know that you did not truly love Eleanor Baker. Even if I too had to choose duty over my true love, I at least never spoke ill of my true loveno, everything that was good in me, everything that was best of me, was because of herit was because of her and what she inspired in me that I endured and kept going onThat is how I came to understand that I did not love the way you did, even if I spent the better part of my life up until then believing so. Nothing tormented me more than the thought of having abandoned my true love because of duty, the same way you didI did not want to become you!!

No, I did not love the way you did. I loved and still love her, in the quiet recesses of my awake and conscious mind, and more so in the world of my dreams and subconsciousthe only world I am truly happy and free in now. There, I am hers, she is mine, and we live our lives as surely it had been intended to.

Yes, perhaps I had been happy, in the way I promised herbut only truly happy when she and I are together in my dream world and we are free to love each other with abandon

Those were and still are my terms

- Candys Story

Little girls grow up listening to stores about princesses, brave and valiant prince charmings and gallant, romantic knights on white horsesat some point, we are led to believe, they come together and live happily ever after. Correct?

Nothing had been farther from the truth for Candice White Andrew.

Abandoned as a baby at Ponys Home, yearning for a family of her own. Meeting her first prince at the age of 6 in a strange, dream like eventthe Prince of the Hill, he was. Taken in as ladys companion six years later, only to be relegated as the most menial of servants. Living a life so pitiful and awful, save for the friendship of three gentlemen and the love of a second prince, her Prince of Roses. Adopted by the second princes family, yet never fully accepted. Witnessing the horrible death of the Prince of Roses. Sent to a cold and foreboding elite boarding school in a far away land, where she met her Knight of Cups, complete with white horse and Shakespearean quotes. Finding a love so pure, so deep and so passionate with him that she never knew it existed in her. Being separated from her Knight in a heartbreaking way. Finding her way back to her homeland, becoming a nurse. Encountering her Knight again, only to be separated from him in the most cruel and final of ways and with the biggest sacrifice she had ever made in her life. A big part of her died that night, and was finished off the night she saw her fallen Knight in a place where he did not belong, drowning himself in a pit of despair. Somehow her eyes had made contact with the Knight, and as far as she knew, he had pulled himself out of the deep mire he had fallen intoshe had willed him to do so. Later she had heard he had returned to the rightful place that was his to claim and conquer and to the broken woman she had given him up for.

She thought that love was not for herevery man she harbored feelings for had been taken away from her. Her Prince of Roses, Her Knight of Cups, and her beloved cousin, the Inventor. Only Archibald, her dear cousin, whom she only gazed at with sisterly eyes, and Albert, whom she saw as her older brother, remained.

But after she found out who Albert really was and that he was her Prince of Hill, she viewed him differently. He also viewed her differently after he revealed himself. And after a couple of years, she had accepted his invitation to go traveling. There, traveling together, it was as if an unacknowledged, hidden restraint on his behalf had finally given way to something elseHad he not always been there for her, in the worst of times? Had he not comforted her, cared for her, given her a safe haven? Wasnt he uncomplicated, close to nature, an even keel where her Knight had not been? Never an angry word, never a jealous remark, never unpredictable, never moody or glum. Yes, Albert was her true Prince. He did not have to ask her if she loved him, because she knew she did and she told him so. Perhaps not in the same, deep and unabiding way she loved her Knight, but she did care for the Prince. Perhaps she had to love and lose her Knight so that her eyes could be opened to the love that had been awaiting her all her life. Yes, that had to be it. Butwhat was this gnawing feeling in her, that was questioning her, never laying the doubt to rest. Was her Prince her soul mate? Yes, she did love him, and her capacity for love could possibly harbor love for himbut was it her one true love? Or was her lost Knight her one true love and soul mate? Why did he come back to her in dreams, pleading to her, playing with her, arguing with herloving her in full and fully? If the Prince was her true love, why werent the memories and the feelings she still harbored for the Knight obliterated and obfuscated? Why did sometimes in her blank stares did he appear with those deep, soulful and passionate sapphire eyes of his and her heart ached with so much pain that it prompted wistful tears from her eyes? No!! The Knight was gone! Unavailable to her!!Her Prince was her love nowshe would say, as she shook her head. Her Prince was her life and love now

So she married her Prince, who quickly made her his Princess. At the altar, speaking her vows, she buried deep in her heart, her soul and her mind the Knight. He had to be gone, cast away, like the maidenhood she was about to leave. The Prince was an endearing, tender lover; nothing was enough for him if it was for his Princess. They grew closer together and reveled in their union. Yet sometimes, in the stillness of the night, when she lay awake after their intimate games she would unconsciously think about the Knightwhat was he doing? Was he happy? Was heyearning for her the way she sometimes yearned for him? Would the Knight think about her when he was loving his wife, the way she would think about him when she was being loved by her Prince? Wouldwould being intimate with the Knight be just as nice and pleasant as it was with her Princeorwould it be deeper, more fulfilling, more passionate and more complete? But soon enough, the Knight was finally pushed away with another all encompassing thoughta childa child of love, conceived from the Prince and his Princess. Yes, her fairly tale had been fractured, but now she could say her happiness was complete and that she would live with her family happily ever afterthe little nuclear family she so long craved and waited for.

But she had briefly forgotten how cruel and merciless life had been with her, and that it still was going to exact her with a few more trials.

A few weeks before the birth of the baby, she and the Prince were delivered with terrible news.

For some time, since returning from their travels, the Prince had been ill. He was brave and go lightly, but one day he collapsed without warning. Tests were run, many top doctors and specialists consultedno money or effort were sparedno one could tell them what was wrongthenthe final conclusion came in from a specialist in rare diseasesa terrible viral infection, possibly caught when he had been in Africa, a few years ago. No cure and entirely fatal.

So, while she was giving birth to the baby that would become the new Prince of the family, the elder Prince lay dying. One life about to start, another about to end.

Despite her exhaustion, the princess went to show the new prince to his father who smiled on his deathbed.

I leave you now, sweetheart, but he will take care of you and be your comfortpleasebe happy againyou are always more lovelier when you smile than when you cryand he gasped for air.

And? she asked, tears streaming down her face.

I always knew you loved him more, because I knew he was your soul matehe was your one true lovebut you still made me happyI tried to make you happyso pleasenownow that I leave youplease be happyI will always look out for you when I am gone

And so, the Prince of the Hill passed from this world to the next.

The Princess was despondent. Why was life so mean to her, when all she had ever done was to be kind, loving and gentle to those around her? When she thanked the heavens for being alive and was grateful for everything? All the men she had corresponded their love for her had been taken away from her. To be happy? How? When she felt there was a proof of some sort of curseany man she loved she could never have to a happy conclusion! The only one that still lived, the Knight, would never be hers. She finished his memory off, forgetting him.she feared that if she even deigned to think of him and recall their memories together, the curse would continue to plague him, as it had when Suzanne had forced herself into their relationship with the accidentand that something more terrible would happen to him, and that thought she could not bear. No, it was better to forget him entirely. For his own sake, and for her own sanity.

Whoever Candice White Andrew had been, was no more as of that day. No more Princes, no more Knightnoand life, if it had been so ruthless to her, despite her best efforts, then she would turn her back onto it. That strength of spirit she had once had and called up innumerable times morphed into a detached hardness and sharp sullenness, meant to shield her from any further hurt. She was tired of being beaten down by life and stupidly putting on a happy face, when inside she was broken hearted and mournful. Only one person merited her whole selflittle William Albert Anthony Andrew. Only he would see glimpses of who she really was and what she had been. She retired from life to devote herself to raising her son, and she was going to do it in the only place that was truly her home all those years.

Happiness? That was for stupid, fanciful stories told to unsuspecting little girls, like she once had been. Nothing could be a bigger lie than happy ever after

- A Moment in Time

William Albert Anthony Andrew ran up the hill, his childs legs not going as fast as his mindwhen he was older, he wouldnt have this problem he thought. He had managed to finish his chores and his mum had let him go out to play, in solitude. Sometimes he just wanted to be alone to commune with nature. His mother always understood and indulged him. Your father was the same way, Williamso sensitive to the world and to those around him she would sigh, with a hint of sadness. Mummys eyes always seemed sad. There were a beautiful shade of dark green, but they rarely sparkled or shonethey only did so if he did something that pleased her. Other than that, they were usually somber and quiet. One time he had heard Auntie Annie whisper to Uncle Archie, She was always the happy, gay onewhat happened to her? Only little William lights her face up He didnt know what that meant. What happened to Mummy and when? He so loved his Mummy. She was a hard worker, and perhaps she rarely smiled, but he was so adored by her and taken so well care of that he didnt know any better. As far as he knew, his Mummy was the most wonderful person in the world. She said he was the exact copy of his Father, save for the scattering of freckles across his nose and the green eyes that she said were hers. But one thing was different. His eyes were bright and shining, hers were not so. But maybe that was what happened when you were grown uphe didnt want to grow upnot yet.

He reached the hill, a bit out of breath, and was surprised to see someone else there. Someone strange. He stopped. His Mummy had always told him not to talk to strangers. Quietly, he turned around and started to backtrack when a deep, masculine voice, with an accent he had never heard of, said, Who goes there? You need not be afraid, young man

The voice sounded kind so he stopped and turned to see who was addressing him.

He was a very tall, handsome man with eyes the color of deep blue sapphires. There was a strange twinkle to them; a mixture of arrogance like he had seen in his Auntie Elizas eyes once, gentleness like he had seen in Auntie Annies eyes , nobleness like he had seen in Uncle Archies eyes andthe same thing he had seen in his mothers eyessadness. A deep sadness.

He knelt and said, I wont hurt you, young mancome here His voice was warm and magnetic.

William somehow knew he could trust this stranger. So he went.

The man looked at him languidly, as if searching to find someone else in him. He gently touched the childs face with his large masculine hand. His hands were manly with long, fine, and impeccably manicured fingersthe skin of his hands was soft.

What are you doing here, on my hill? William finally asked.

The gentleman laughed, deep and heartily. Your hill, eh? Well, can I tell you a secret?

Yes

Ive only been here one other time, but I think of it as my hill as wellbecause it is my true loves hill he said, looking deep into the boys eyes.

Your true love? William asked, perplexed. He did not understand.

A lady most dear and special to me the man said, comprehending that the youngsters mind didnt think the same as an adult.

Oh, I see! And where is she? Can I meet her? Is she pretty? William smiled.

Yes, very pretty and no, son you cant meet heryou see, she had to let me goand I havent seen her sincethat was a long time ago

Why would anybody do that? the boy asked.

Because when you really care deeply for somebody, sometimes you have to do what hurts you the most

Hmmmmm. The boy pondered. This stranger was really odd. He noticed he was still looking at him.

Mister, why do you look at me that way?

Oh, please excuse meI apologizeit is as if you are somebody I knew a long time agobutyou live at Ponys Home? he inquired.

Yes, I dothere are a whole lot of us This stranger seemed to know a lothow did he know the name of the home he lived in?

The gentleman took one last look around and said, I have to go nowthis is a special place, young man, you should feel blessedI dont think I will ever come back, so I wanted to etch it in my mind forever

This man made less and less sense to him. But he was sofascinating! He seemed like someone he could have a lot of fun with.

The stranger looked at him one last time and said, Godspeed, young manyou have a wonderful smile, dont ever lose it

Mister! Where are you going? William asked. He felt comfortable with the man and didnt want him to gohe missed not having a fathermaybe if he was nice enough this man could stay and be a father to him.

Oh, to where my destiny carried me to he tousled the boys curly blonde hair. His half smile was wistful.

It wasnt until the gentleman had left that he noticed something. It was a handkerchief. It seemed to be a little wet in the center. It had some lettering that he could not understand, after all, he was only 4 and did not know how to read yet. Why was the handkerchief wet? William shrugged and pocketed it. Someday, Im going to be as tall, elegant and handsome as that strange, mysterious gentleman! he thought.

Lakewood, Spring of 1934 Bundling and Unbundling

William Albert Anthony Andrew was arranging the personal effects he was going to take with him to St. Andrews, Scotland. Despite his mummys protestations and arguments to the contrary, he was dead set on studying there. It was one of the most hallowed and oldest universities in Europe. He had decided to study a double major; economics and business management, as well as minoring in art. He figured if he was going to have to run the familys empire and have to acquire the skills to do so, he might as well do something that interested him, and that was art. Doing a double major was going to be a welcome challenge for him. Young William was a bit of a genius, with a quick intellect and capacity for learning that went beyond normal.

But his Mummy wasnt so happy.

Scotland, of all places? Why cant you go to Princeton, Yale, Columbia or Harvard, WilliamHarvard was your fathers alma mater! she sighed as she watched him, voicing the same complaint she had made when he was applying for admission.

Yes mum, but Scotland is our ancestral homeI want to go there he said, intent on his packing. Even though they had several servants at their disposal, William had always been very hands on with household work. He had always professed an interest for all things Scottish. Uncle Archie was amazed at his ability in playing the bagpipes, he had learned from a very early age and was a gifted player, learning difficult reels and skirls. He had also become the family genealogist and historian. He alone was able to piece together, from various sources, the long and illustrious history of the Andrew Family in America and the United Kingdom. They descended from the ancient and grand Marquis of Cumberland, the most northwest of the English counties and which included some territories in the Scottish lowlands. It had been one of the most powerful and oldest titles in Englanddating back to William the Conqueror. Around the reign of James the 1st, (he who succeeded Queen Elizabeth the First) a William Andrew, backed by the family fortune, had made his way into America and started the branch that became the Andrews of America. At some point, the English based Andrews were lost, and the corresponding titles and lands were transferred to the then head of the American Andrewsbut curiously enough, never exercised. Later however, the contact with the Northern Territories and Scotland was resurfacedhence the interest in all things Scottish, and the purchase of the Andrew House in Scotland during the reign of Queen Victoria by Williams great-great grandfather.

When Candy had asked William why such the deep and unabiding curiosity over the Andrew ancestry, he had responded, To know what ones destiny is, mum, sometimes you have to look into your past

The pastthe past, always trying to resurface and disturb meI have been tormented enough by it!

Candy continued complaining out loud as she watched over Williams busy packing, George, hes impossible and stubbornwhere did he get it fromhis father never was like this she carped to George Johnson, their faithful consigliere. He had become a father of sorts to William after William Alberts death. He had also skillfully managed the Andrew empire with Archie. Even though the country was in the throes of the worst economic depression in fifty years, the familys wealth remained steady, if not increasing. Their legendary philanthropy was helping hundreds of families survive. Diversification of the Andrew wealth in the earlier part of the century had helped buffer them from the stock market crash of 1929.

Mum, I understand from the other family members that you are the stubborn oneso...

William! she scolded. Who had dared to say that? She wondered.

You had to be stubbornyou basically locked us up in Ponys Home after fathers death up until recently, when you finally turned it over to the Foundation After many years, Candice had finally created a Foundation that took charge of the running and maintenance of Ponys Home. It now had a new building, complete with the latest facilities, a school, and a clinic that served the children in the home and the people who lived around it, for free or a small sum, depending on the type of service. She couldnt keep herself and William there forever, although she loathed leaving it. Miss Pony and Sister Lane had passed away a couple of years ago, within a year of each other, and with her two mothers gone, some of the places original pull had been lost. She realized it was time to leave that sheltering nest, for Williams sake. She could have remained a virtual hermit, but she knew it would be clipping Williams wings if she did soand she could not be as selfish as that.

However, whenever he brought up the years at Ponys Home, she always felt defensive, even if that was never his thought. Are you criticizing me, young man? she snapped.

No Mum, of course notI was happy in Ponys Home with youbutwhy couldnt we go anywhere else, with the huge Andrew fortune at our disposal? Now, that I am of age, I want to see the worldthere is so much to see, far away from here he said, going through his treasure chest. There, he kept his most cherished childhood toys, rocks, books and other things he had collected over the years. He found his old Pooh Bear, which he had always called Pooh-peh, a name he had heard once from his Mummyshe had recalled the name of a pet his Father once had. Pooh-peh was well worn out in some spots. Pooh-peh would come to Scotland with him, he decided. He didnt care if he was setting himself up to being teasedunless it came from a pretty girl

Just like Sir William... George smiled.

Very well, I cant argue with you, William Candice said. She sighed. Why did she feel so old at 36? Old, weary and tired. Truth was, she feared the day when William was leavingshe would truly be all alone then. What would she do without him?

Mum, I know this has to do with leaving you here after I departlike I said, why dont you come live at Andrew House while I am at St. Andrews? That way I can come home on the weekends and we can still be together.

I dont want to go to Scotland, William... she said, curtly.

So you would prefer to stay here, all alone in America? Whos stubborn now?

William, I will not allow you to speak to me that way! And I wont be alone, I have Archie and Annie to keep me company

Mum, you see them once every few months, at bestdont kid yourself he continued.

William Albert Anthony Andrewwhat disrespect for your elders is this! she chastised.

Shes right, Madame, if I may George said. He could not remain on the sidelines, watching, any longer.

Candice turned and looked at him, her eyes flat. George! The last thing he needs is encouragement!

But it is true, Madame

Candice sighed and sat down. She had to think this one out.

ScotlandScotland.Scotlandonce I had a glimpse of true love there in Scotlandonce I had been truly happy the Knight once stole a kiss from my young, nubile lips in Scotlandthe Knightthe only one I have ever truly lov

No! she reprimanded herself. It was the older, cheated Candice talking to the younger, enthusiastic Candice. The one she had buried deep within her, a long time ago.

Why should I go back to Scotland? The older one mentally asked herself. She helped smooth Williams fine, monogrammed shirts.

What are you afraid of, your past coming back to haunt you? came the taunting reply from the younger one.

The pastit should stay there where it belongsshe blurted out, angrily.

Mum? William asked, surprised. His mum was a strange creature sometimes. She sometimes would stare off into space, and even if one spoke to her, it didnt register. Then some curious things would come out of her mouth, things that made absolutely no sense to him. It is what it is would be one of them, I am not lifes fool anymore.. was another and this one she just emoted.

George had told him many times over the years, that his mother had been the happiest, full of life person he had ever met. Nothing could hold her down, so great was her zest and ebullience. She captivated many with her dazzling smile and bright, shining eyes. But that all changed when you father diedIt was as if someone turned off the light in your mothers eyes and erased the smile from her lips forevershe never was the same againI hold your mother in the highest esteem; she still is one fantastic ladybut I miss the girl who somehow was lost to us all and to her own self George had said, sadly.

Ah, Father must have been Mummys true love William came to realize a couple of years ago, when he was old enough to finally understand what that stranger had said to him so many years ago. He had never forgotten that conversation or that gentleman. Who had that fascinating man been? He missed him, even though their meeting had been so brief.

He moved out a set of books from his chest, works of Shakespeare and Robert Frost that he wanted to take with him, when a square piece of fine linen fluttered down. It had yellowed a bit with the passage of time.

Whats this? his mother asked, intrigued that his son had such a garment amongst all his toys and books and what not. She picked it up.

Oh! GoodnessI forget I had thatI havent seen it in years William said, fondly reminiscing. I found that on Ponys Hill when I was about 4 and he stopped when he heard his mothers abrupt gasp.

WillWilliamwhwhere did.where did you say you found this? she asked, her voice barely a whisper.

On Ponys Hill, mum.a gentleman I ran into there must have dropped it because right after he left, I found itare you alright? His Mummy had paled considerably.

Candice couldnt believe it. Oh, there was the possibility the same combination existed in countless other monograms, but staring at her from the corner were the initials TGG.

Had HE gone to Ponys Hill? When? Why? And had he seen William?

A familiar aroma seemed to waft from it and strike a chord in her sensesnothat was just not possible! It was not possible that this handkerchief had been HIS!!

She shuddered at the thought of even asking William if they had spoken to each other. A flood of emotions were about to rush out of her, but she hardened her face and threw the handkerchief down. The emotions were held in check. She was their mistress, not the other way around!

William looked at herhis mum could be so odd sometimes.

Very well, WilliamI will go to Scotland with you she said, using the voice that William knew well. It was the voice of her unwavering, stubborn determination, devoid of any fear.

A Weekend Amongst Family

The Cornwells were spending the weekend before Candices and Williams scheduled departure to Scotland at the Lakewood Mansion. Archie and Annie had married in 1917, while Archie was in his junior year at Northwestern University in downtown Chicago. Their only child, a daughter named Beatrice Anne, was born one year later. Candy by then had recently widowed and had already retreated to the only known refuge she had all her life, Ponys Home. Despite this, she and Annie were still very close, as the sisters they had always been, managing to see each other at least once every two months. Annie would sometimes stay at Ponys with young Beatrice for a weekend; sometimes she came along with Archie. As a result of Alberts untimely passing, the young man automatically became the regent of the family until William Albert was old enough to take his place as the head of the family. Luckily for all, Archie was an astute, natural businessman, and George Johnson breathed a sigh of relief. He had been worried that somehow Sarah Leegan, despite Alberts airtight and intrigue-proof will, would initiate a power play that somehow would convince Elroy, the defacto doyenne of the family, that Neil was better suited for the task, even if that was the farthest from the truth. In fact, Archibald Cornwell, whom as stated in the will, was to be the caretaker in the case of his childs underage until such child reach majority of age, had turned out to be a better businessman than Albert been. He had the right amount of focus with no distractions, other than his overarching concern for his little family, which extended to Candy and William Albert. He too understood Candy well and never questioned her desire to retire from the public and to be given the peace needed to raise her son.

However, he realized the boy was to have a father figure in his life, and he gladly took it upon himself to be that father, especially in those tender years. As much as a tomboy that Candy remained, despite her drastic character change, it was from Archie that William Albert learned gentlemanly codes, the vast history of the Andrews and the family traditions that bound them to the British Isles, including playing bagpipes. Archie had realized early on that young William Albert was extremely intelligent and quick minded. He was a very nice combination of the best Candy and Albert had been: he was gentle yet strong, friendly yet introspective, involved yet observant. He loved humanity and all of Gods creation and had a natural inclination to the arts that went beyond cursory. He also displayed good business skills, even from a young ageArchie knew that this came from his wonder at how things are ordered in the universe, and whether they be animal, mineral or industrial, life was composed of a series of interdependent systems. There was no doubt in Archibald Cornwells mind that William Albert was a most worthy and deserved heir, one that would steward the Andrews fortune and heritage for many generations to come once he was ready to assume the title.

As the public figurehead for the Andrews, Archibalds social life was doubly occupied, a role that he and Annie enjoyed very much. In the years after Alberts death, The Leegans had been quietly neutered from having any power in the family. That had started with Neils ill-advised friendships with shady characters belonging to the Chicago Mafia, and that had landed him in several life sentences in jail during the Prohibition, after being caught in a money laundering scandal. Eliza, who had charmed the pants off (literally) from a mysterious, darkly handsome newcomer had found herself a sheltered bride of a Bolivian Tin Emperor, and had been whisked away to La Paz so quickly after the wedding (of course, an extravagant event that had been called the Society Wedding of the Year in the United States) that the family didnt realize what had happened until it was too lateEliza was rarely seen or heard from again, only scant letters and photographs from her domineering husband, Don Francisco Gonzalo Raymundo del Solar y Uribe told the family that they were happy with myriad children. Elroy died of a broken heart, truth be told, after the family realized what fate had befallen Eliza. Archie didnt care; he felt that Eliza finally got what had been coming to herand as now the administrator of the family, he took the public role expected of the Andrews on the local and national scene. In fact, many people mistakenly thought that he and Annie were the Andrew heirs, and it was much to these misinformeds surprise when told that wasnt so. Still, Candice never resented thisin fact, she was more than glad to have them be the public face of the family. Even if over the years she had become adept at moving gracefully in high society, she would rather have Archie and Annie go to the endless balls, ftes, dinners and charity fundraisers that the Andrews were expected to attend. Annie, who had been groomed to live a life as a society wife by her mother, blossomedonce she married Archie and gave birth to Beatrice, she had found a new sense of confidence that made the raven haired beauty more enchanting. It was that confidence that allowed her to be a comfort to her beloved Candy, and to understand why Candys personality had changed over the years.

((((((

Annie had been as surprised as many when Candys attitude had changed after Alberts sudden ailment and quick death, but in her womans heart she knew why this had been soin fact, when she was younger she marveled at how her sister took the terrible hardships in her life without too much complaintit was just not natural, Annie thought many timeswhen the cumulative weight of her personal trials, heartbreaks and disasters had finally caught up with her, Annie just saw this change in Candy as a natural reactionstillshe knew her sister enough that she had no doubt that one day the old Candice, tempered with lifes experiences; yes, but the old, sunny and cheerful Candice would one day come back to them. How and when that was going to happen, she didnt know. From their shared weekends at Ponys home, she saw quick glimpses of the youthful Candice, and every time that was triggered by some interaction with William. Sometimes, Annie would see it when interacting with her little Beatrice.

Beatrice Anne Cornwell had turned out to be an interesting mix of Annie and Archie. She had Annies coloring but Archibalds fine features, and in terms of personality, she seemed to be more Cornwell. Like both her parents, she displayed a natural proclivity towards piano and fashionhowever, enough exposure to Auntie Candy had given her a refreshing dash of tomboyishnessCandy taught her to climb trees, Candy allowed her to wear pants while at Ponys home and Auntie Candy encouraged Beatrice to go nature exploring with William Andrew during their weekend stays. They would be gone for hours and sometimes return all muddied up with frogs, snakes or other critters that would send the too-ladylike-for-her-own-good Annie screeching and would get a rare smile from Candy.

((((((

Annie remembered with great fondness one rare episode, when Candy had been her usual self. The children were about 7 years old. As it was usual, Candy had allowed Beatrice to go out in the woods with William Albert, exploring, in a pair of wellies and boys clothes. She had even done Beatrices dark black hair as she used to do hers, in side pony tails. They had been gone for a while, and Annie was helping Candy out with some chores, when there was sudden noise at the door of the home.

Look at what I caught, Auntie Candy!!! Beatrice yelled as she proudly thrust the frog into Candys face while Annie screamed and recoiled in horror.

Me too, mummy!! William chimed in, thrusting another bewildered, muddy frog into his mothers face.

Candy laughed heartily with a merry twinkle in her eye as she took both of the frogs. Annie couldnt help but notice it had been years, YEARS since she had seen her like thatnot since St. Pauls, if she so recalled.

Ribbit ribbit!! Ribbit ribbit!! The bactracians slid out of her hands onto the wood floor and started making a half hearted attempt to flee. Ribbit ribbit!! Ribbit ribbit!!

Candy giggled, Lets have a frog race! The other children in Ponys home, alerted by the hubbub of William and Beatrice were now all pressed around them, eager and excited.

Candy, what in heavens Sister Lanes sharp voice was heard over chaos. Oh, by St. Francis! she exclaimed, What now? She had to shake her head. Candy, despite her sorrows, was still a ringleader, even if she didnt want to admit it. Even if in her aged strictness Sister Lane didnt approve; because of Candys now rare, exuberant outbursts, she wouldnt say a thing. She whispered to Miss Pony what was going on as the rapidly aging matroness of the orphanage also came to see what the commotion was all about.

A frog race! A frog race! the children all chanted, delighted.

Come on, William and Beatriceyou have to race your frogsyou have to become frog wranglers! Candy ordered. You have to get behind them and make them jump!

How mummyhow? William asked, excited. He loved it when his mother was like this.

Like so! Candy dropped on all fours and hit a spot behind Williams frog, which was a bit larger than Beatrices. Startled, the frog jumped forward.

Beatrice, as quick as William was sharp, started doing the same. Her frog was a bit smaller.

There was such a ruckus after thatAnnie, once she got over her initial scare, had to laugh. William was winning from sheer skill and encouragement, but Beatrice was tenaciousshe willed that little frog to beat its long legged compadre.

I won!! I won!!! she shouted, picking up then kissing the frog.

Oh, my word! Annie cried, disgusted, but Candy didnt blink an eye. Well done, Beatrice!! she cheered. Just dont expect it to turn into a Prince she warned, the melancholy that now was a part of her coming back.

((((((

It was in those very scarce and so few vignettes that Annie saw the old Candy shine through. She wished that the old Candy would come back for good. But ever since Candy had returned from that trip to New York in the fall of 1914, Candy had never been quite the samethat event had been the start of the slow cessation of the Candice White she knewand Annie knew it was completely buried the day Alberts body was laid to rest in the Andrew mausoleum.

Why, Anniewhy? What great karmic debt does my soul have that I am destined to lose the men I love in my life? she had whimpered, exhausted from Alberts funeral and burial as well as the exertion of her babys delivery. They were in little William Alberts nursery. Candy was rocking back and forth, holding the sleeping child, who was barely a few days old.

Oh, Candy Annie said, as usual, crying more copiously than her steadfast friend, who suddenly looked so emotionally fragile to her for the first time in her life. Annie was also a few months pregnant, and the raging pregnancy related hormones in her body didnt help.

Im tired Annieso tiredIm tired of being brave, unswerving, cheerfulfor once perhaps I should to what everyone else does when in my situation. she muttered, in a voice Annie had never heard from her.

What is that, Candy? Annie tried to hide her anxiousness.

Get angrycry a rivercomplain acrimoniouslybewail my fateshake my fist at God her voice was bitterly heated.

OhCandy!

Im fed up, Anniethe only thing worthy in my life is my sonbut further from thatI could care less about lifeit has nothing in it for me but heartache, abandonment and disappointment

CandyCandy, youre frightening me Annie couldnt believe what she was hearingher lifelong touchstone, rock, pillarthe one who always said that life was a blessing, that there was no greater gift than to be alive and to spread joy

Dont be, Anniethere is nothing to be afraid ofIm notIve made up my mindI am going to go live at Ponys Home

But

What am I going to stay here for? To hear Aunt Elroy blaming me for Alberts death? I already overheard her tell Sarah Leegan as much. They are plotting against methey may even try to pull that stunt they tried a few years back, trying to marry me to Neiland ElizaI can just hear her now: Cant keep hold of a man, can you, Candice? You are a black widow in a sugar coating, arent you!

CandyGeorge Johnson and Archie wont let them hurt you

Annie Candy tenderly put William Albert in his crib, her eyes watering with the knowledge that her husband was dead and wouldnt live to see his son grow up. George is only seen as a highly paid servant by all of them, even if he was William Andrew Sr.s protg and is the family consiglierewhen Albert was alive, he was Alberts voice and he carried out his wishesAlbert considered him like a brotherjust like Candy couldnt even mention the Knights name now, and changed the intention, just like I see him as a trusted, close family memberbut nowhe has no one to back himand Archieif Archie doesnt lose out in the bid for power that I am sure the Leegans are going to go for, even if it defies Alberts will and last testament, Archie needs to still prove himself and solidify himself as the leader of the family until little William is old enoughuntil thenI just dont want to be around hereI have to remove myself from hereI just want to be awayaway from this world that has given me nothing but pain and sorrows

Candy Annie had tried to dissuade her, but one thing Annie knewand that was when Candy had made her mind up, that was final. There was never any looking back.

((((((

Annie always wondered how life would have turned out for Candy had she stayed in New York and married TerryWhen Annie later found out what had happened, she could only admire in wonder what Candy did, that honor sacrifice at the expense of her own happiness, and of Terrys, for a woman she didnt know and who perhaps didnt grasp the enormity of the gesture Candy had gifted her with. Yes, maybe if Candy had thought a little more of herself then, she would have spared herself from so much sadnessperhaps Candy was a little right to be angry, with the pointless knowledge hindsight gives.

At the time Candy had left to go back to Ponys Home, neither Annie nor Archie thought it would be for more than a couple of yearsthe same thing she had done in the wake of her breakup with Terry, her job loss and in discovering who Mr. Albert really wasbut two years turned into four turned into eightturned into sixteenit was then that they finally got the news that they were reincorporating themselves back into the family, in a wayCandy had announced that William was applying to colleges and that one of them was St. Andrews in Scotland. They were all glad that the self-imposed exile had come to an end, although the sadness was still there in her eyes and the old Candy didnt show signs of ever coming back.

Annie was sad that Candy was leaving, yet in her secret heart she knew that perhaps the change of ambience would help her dear sister and closest friend. Perhaps this trip would succeed in what the passage of time had not, so far: to return the old Candy back to herself and to her loved ones.

((((((

Archie stepped out into the rose garden, in search of her. The air was starting to carry warmness in it and the rose blooms perfumed the air deliciously. He shuddered with a memory, first of Rosemary Andrew Brown, lovingly watching him, Anthony and Stear play in the gardenthen of the three of them playing in the gardenthen of the four of them, Candy being a welcome addition to the triothen of the three of them again, this time Uncle William being the third, then of the two of them, shortly after Uncle William Alberts death. He sighed sadly. He heard some activity in the corner where the Sweet Candy bushes were, and walked over. There, dressed in jeans and one of his Uncle Williams old monogrammed shirts, was the woman he still carried a torch for, deep in his heart. Even though he had grown to love and adore his wife, a part of him never gave up the unrequited love he had for Candice Whiteeven when that girl had become lost to them under the weight of her personal tragedies, to Archie it only added another layer of complexity in her wondrous personality. Archie was sensible enough to channel that love into brotherly devotion and protection, but every so often he would look at her fondly, admiring her beauty, which grew lovelier as the birthdays went by. He was never unfaithful ever to his dear Annie in either body or mind, and when it came to Candice, it was a fine line that he took care never to cross.

Candy was so focused on her chore that she didnt hear him behind her. It seemed to him she was pulling out a couple of young bushes of Sweet Candy and was placing them in small cloth sacks.

Candy didnt look like a woman in her mid thirtiesshe looked still in her early twenties. Her figure was more womanlike, as it would be having borne a child, but she maintained her good physical shape very well. While she wasnt a slave to fashion and trends like he and Annie were (Annie had adopted the short bob and flapper dresses very early on, whereas Candy never did) she by no means dressed out of style. It was just her own particular wayin fact, she seemed to wear pants and tailored mens shirts more often than naught, paired with a satuoir of pearls. It was very fetching and forward, Archie thought. Also, very boldthe only other persons he could think of who espoused this manner of dress was Marlene Dietrich and Kate Hepburn. But to him, it made senseCandy, all woman as she was, was still a bit of a tomboy, even in this period of her life. He could see where she would rather dress this way. It nicely summed up her stubborn independent self.

Candy he murmured gentlyhe started to feel his mind wander where he didnt dare go, so he held himself in check.

She turned and looked at him, her eyes warmly receiving of him. Archie was still spryly handsome and impeccably dressed to a fault, as usual. But the shouldering of the Andrew empire had started to manifest itself in the slight graying of his temples and sideburns. ArchieI wish I was better dressedIve always been such a slouch when it comes to clothes she apologized, standing up and shaking the dirt off her blue jeans.

I see you are working with the Sweet Candy he said, embracing her. When he was a youth, this very action would have sent his heart racing and his palms would have gone moist with anxiousness at having her so near, but now it was a warm, fraternal exchange.

Her gardening hat fell onto her shoulders. Anthony was around long enough to show me how to garden... she said, somewhat sadly. Im surprised the Rose Garden didnt go by the way side after all these yearsit has not been very well tended to

Roses are hardy plants, from what I understand Archie said.

Yes, they arethey seem delicate but they are resilientand the particular Sweet Candy variety seems hardier that most of the ones here in the Garden she said, melancholy. But we shall put them to the testwe shall see how they fare in Scotland she announced, proudly.

So, Scotland it is, eh? You will love the house Archie said, restating her decision. Annie, Beatrice and he had spent many happy summers there.

It will be strange, to return there, as the mistress of the houseI wonder if things have changed much over there she murmured.

How so? he asked, not sure what she meant.

Candy had a far away look. Archie felt his heart twinge. The last time that had happenedwas when Grantchester was the man in her life and he had been insanely jealous of the comely, haughty aristocrat turned actor that had captured his beloved Candices heartand ended up breaking it, just as he had predicted, tragic circumstances notwithstanding.

Maybe the only thing that has changed is meI am not a young girl anymoreI am a cheated, bitter widow, whos only joy in her life is her son

Oh, and we are nothing then? Archie said lightlyhe knew where this conversation was heading and wanted to steer her away from there.

She sadly smiled. Oh..Archieyou, Annie and Beatrice are my only family, after WilliamI am sorry, I didnt mean it that wayI will stop moping aboutand start thinking about enjoying these dear moments this weekend with all of youyou will come to Scotland soon, I hope? her mood improved a bit.

Certainlyit will be fun for all of us to be thereI just wish I didnt have so much work right nowwe could all go over togetherI gather William Albert would like to have Beatrice with him for a whilethose two are a pairwe can surely plan for next summer

Yes she replied. Her gaze was sad again. She sighed quietly.

Candywhat is it? he took her by the shoulders.

Sometimes I wonderwhat could have beenwhat could have been if Anthony were aliveif Stear were aliveif Albert were alive she murmured. Archie knew there was one name missing, but he was not going to say it. Besides, Grantchester was alive and well, as far as he knew.

Perhaps you would be Mrs. Brown and not Mrs. Andrew he said, not knowing what else to say.

You knowsometimes I feel that Albert was a lot like Anthony, and not just physically speakingthey were almost like twinstheir temperaments were almost the same, their personalities were about the sameI guess Anthony was into his garden in the same manner Albert was into his travels and his animals

Do you think you loved them the same way? he was curious now and felt this was going to be his only chance to ever ask her this question.

A slight breeze went through the garden, and some of the petals released themselves into the wind.

NoI loved them differentlyI loved all of them differently she whispered.

Archie had the feeling that somehow that statement included his brother and that damned Englishman. But then he said in sincerity, You have a gift Candicea wonderful gift of giving people what they need the most and how they need ityour heart is so big that you can care and love deeplyand you were loved in return

But one loveone love was above all of themone love that was never to bemy true lovethe one love that I knew was different from all the restthe one love that I had to give up, not because he died, but because of duty and honor

Tears welled up in her eyes. Oh Archiethat was whom I used to beI am not that person anymore Yes, she had a big heart, and that heart paid dearly in the end for its altruistic generosity.

Dont crymy beloved, sweet Candythat is not trueyou had to face life as you best saw fit to do, but I know the person I just described is still thereyou knowsometimes you have to make a voyage to find who you areor who you were... he said, taking his handkerchief and tenderly wiping her eyes. Maybe you are coming back from that voyage or about to embark on one, literally

She appreciated the gesture, took his hand and pressed it against her cheek. You sounded just like Albert she said gently. Isnt it sad he didnt live to be our age?

He would have been a Confucius by then Archie laughed a little bit. His uncle had been wise beyond his years, a result of a lonely upbringing in the wake of his sisters death coupled with his natural sensitivity to the world around him. He was the most spiritual man he had ever met. Where Candys spirituality was more evident in her gestalt, Alberts was a quiet storm. Both equally inspiring and elevating.

Candy had to smile at that. He taught me so many things and encouraged mehe was my centering force.he was taken away from me too soon

But he made you happy during that time, did he not?

Yesvery much so Her eyes seemed to glow prettily at the memory.

They started to walk toward the greenhouse. Archie helped Candy with one of the sacks.

You know whats odd, as well? William Albert is very much like his fatherhes got some wisdom beyond his years that is astounding to me Candy mused.

He seems to have a bit of the traveling bug as wellit certainly is being manifested now Archie observed.

She accommodated the Sweet Candy in the green house. As they walked back towards the main house she asked, Archieare we doing the right thingby going all the way to Scotland?

Why yes, by all meansit will be good for him, and good for youin fact, I think, rather I feel, that somehow this will be a very good change for youand now Andrew House will finally have some Sweet Candy of its own he winked.

((((((

Two youngsters were by the Lakewood Mansions access to the lake. They were snickering smugly like thieves who were marveling at not being caught. As far as the adults were concerned, they had gone out for a nice walk along the lake. But they had other plans. William and Beatrice, lifelong accomplices, were up to a secret caper.

William, Im telling youthis isnt going to work?! Beatrice scolded, good naturedly.

Beatricelets just give it a tryIve been working on it all week! William retorted, in equal tone.

Oh, and that was enough to fix this hunk of junk? Beatrice, despite being ladylike, was always quite direct. This should have gone to the scrap heap ages ago!!

The mechanical swan boat creaked tiredly as Beatrice jumped in, while William gave it another shove from shore and then jumped in as well. Its an ugly duckling now, but no reason it cannot be a swan againand even in junk there is beauty and a rhyme and a reason he continued, joining her.

If you say soyou sound as dogged as the famous Uncle Alistear with your mechanical confidence! she said, playfully punching him.

Id be honored to be half the man he was, if what Ive been told about him has been unembellished he declared proudly, looking at Beatrice directly in the eyes.

The two youths looked at each other, then suddenly, they both adverted each others eyes.

The mid afternoon sun gave a special light to everything around them. The water was like a mirror in its stillness. They floated placidly, just enjoying each others company, and the tranquil sounds of nature around them. As it was with them, there was a most serene communion between them.

I wish you werent leaving she finally said. I feel like you were finally coming back to us, instead of being away at Ponys Homeand nownow her voice quivered.

William steered the boat, looking at Beatrice intently. Beatrice I never thought this would upset you so he said.

She wiped the tear with the back of her hand and smiled prettily, Oh, Im being horribly selfishmaybe because I am an only child as well and she was going to say you are my brother but somehow that sounded funny to her now, so she continued, and besides, Ive been to Scotland many times and you have notit is only fair you get to goI just wish her smile curved downwards again giving her mouth the slightest hint of a delicious pout.

Sowhy dont you come? Lets both go to St. Andrewsit is just as good a school as any here he invited.

Well, you seem to forget that I am not in the same year you are, Wills she called him by the pet name she had given him, since they were children. He called her Trixie. Besides, I am not as smart as you areI dont think I can go into some fancy universitymother is even horrified to hear me talk about going to university

Oh, come now, Trixie William huffed gently, those days of not allowing ladies to go to college are long goneso Victorian close-minded The boat started creaking in a funny way and he cocked his ear.

You forget who my mother is Beatrice reminded him.

Sowhat does Uncle Archibald say? William asked, interested.

Daddy is more pragmatiche says I can do anything I wantto take a cue from Auntie Candy and what she did with her lifeuntil Beatrice stopped. She knew was going to tread in an area she knew a lot about, but that was kept from William. Partly because it was not relevant to him, and partly because she had eavesdropped and she knew that she was not supposed to

What are you saying, Anniethat she would have been better off marrying thatthatTerrence Grantchester! Archie was heatedly talking to Annie. An eleven year old Beatrice had come down to the first floor; it was midnightshe had felt the urge for a glass of warm milk and some gingersnap cookies and could not resistand instead of ringing for her maid, she decided to go down herself.. Her parents had just come in from another charity ball and were still dressed to the nines. They were in the parlor, having a secret nightcap. Federal law notwithstanding, the wine cellar at the Andrew Mansion was well stocked well before Prohibition.

Terrence Grantchesterthe famous Broadway actor? She murmured to herselflike her mother and father, she kept up with the society pages, local and nationalwhy was he a subject of conversation between her parents? Lured by this tidbit, she hid herself, her ears pounding with anticipation.

Yesin fact they would have married when she went to New York

How do you know that? They didnt obviously! her father spat.

You never knew what drew them apart, did you? Candy gave Terry up because of Suzanne Marlowe!

Beatrice gasped.as far as she knew, Uncle William Albert, whom had passed away before she was born, had been Auntie Candys only loveand Suzanne Grantchester, ne Marlowewhat was going on here?

He made her unhappy, thats all I know! Candice was better off without himeverything around that bastard was drama, arrogance.complications! He didnt care an ounce for her if he made her suffer! She was better off without himshe had a career and the undying love of my uncle!

A career that Neil stalled and a love widowhood finished offreally Archiewhy do you think she went and buried herself in Ponys Home after Uncle Williams untimely death! To get away from this family that had hurt her, were it not for you, Stear, Anthony and William! She wasnt going to allow William Albert to grow up in this environment

What about us?

She knew you were going to have too much on your handsCandy doesnt like to put people in that positionthat is why she left Terry! Because Suzanne Marlowe, whom apparently had a horrible, uncorresponded and unwanted crush on Terry, had intervened in an accident that would have surely killed him, lost her leg in the process and then she tried to commit suicide because she knew Terry loved Candythis all happened right before she went to see himTerry was terribly caught up in all of thishe didnt know what to doso Candy made the decision! I dont know how she did it, ArchibaldI dont know how she called up the incredible courage and integrity to do it!!! To give up the man she loved and was surely going to marry for a woman who had plunged herself in the middle of them!!

There was strange silence. Archibald, astonished, looking at his wifeafter so many years, he had finally learned the truthAnnie, not believing she had finally told the story she had inadvertently overheard from Miss Pony and Sister Lane one night at Ponys Home, when the two mothers were up worrying sick over Candyand Beatrice, stunned and feeling her own heart twisting funnily at hearing such a sad tale.

She no longer wanted the milkshe ran quietly back up to her room and cried herself to sleepit was so unfair! Yet, what a story!! She admired her Auntie Candy even more from that dayshe somehow understood her now.

Until what, Trixie? William Albert had been perplexed at seeing the far away gaze in her eyes.

Suddenly, she screamed, Wills!! The boat is sinking!!

Water was seeping through at a fast rateher feet were already covered.

Uh oh! The boat was going down fast. He grabbed Beatrices hand and said, Wellwe will just have to take the plunge together!

They both jumped off, and laughing, swam to shore. She was an expert swimmer, having learned with him. The water felt refreshing on their skins.

I am going to have to sneak in to change now she gasped between her peals of laughter, at the absurdity of what just happened. Mother will be horrified if she found outthat all her attempts at making a lady have failed

Mummy would have us jump in again, just to vicariously watch the whole thing over againand I would love to make her laugh William winked.

Unconsciously, Beatrice shivered.

Instinctively, William drew her in an embrace Herelet me warm you he said.

Warm me? Youre also soaked to the bone, Wills! her pretty, deep eyes made fun of him. I dont need wet upon wet, I need some warm, yummy cashmere!

They started at each other, somehow, with a new understanding.

Time seemed to suspend itself.

Bewildered, she continued to look at him. Whatever she was feeling at the moment, she knew one thing was trueshe liked the way he made her feel. As confused as she felt about what had just transpired, the emotion was unmistakable.

Lets go home she murmured, taking his hand. Before we catch a chillI cant have you arrive in Scotland all snotty!

They could hear each others step swishing on the new grass.

BeatriceI will write he said.

As will I she replied.

BeatriceI he started, but she interrupted, softly placing her hand on his lips. I will come next summerand then we can make other plans she said, looking at him, fetchingly.

((((((

Candice was getting ready to retire for the night. It had been a lovely weekend with the Cornwellsthere was no immediate sadness, just a lot of gaiety and well wishes. She also thought she picked up on something newsomething between William and Beatricewas it possible?

Ahto be that age again and to be in she started, then stopped. There was no use in revisiting that time in her life.

There was a knock on her door and she replied, Enter Annie, in her own dressing gown and ready for the night, smiled sheepishly at Candy.

WhyAnnie... she said, pleased at seeing her best friend and sister. Somehow she felt six years old again.

I just had to come say goodbyetomorrow I think I will be too rushedmay I brush your hair? Annie asked, shyly, despite her age and relationship.

Candice, touched by the consideration, nodded. I know what you meanin all this whirling about, I forgot to mention that I had a very nice phone call with Patricia

Oh? Annie asked, her eyes brightening. She was using tender strokes as she brushed Candices beautiful, golden curly hair. It was shoulder length, but still full and luxurious.

Shes doing quite wellher little school is doing quite wellshes a lot better in her career than I ever was Candice sighed.

Oh Candicedont say thatyou are wonderfulas you have always been Annie encouraged.

I should have been the nun, not hershes been spared a world of pain, other than Stears death Candice mused.

Patricia, who had never gotten over Alistears death, had studied to become a teacher, and then, after a few years, had joined the order of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, who were dedicated to education. She was based out of St. Petersberg, Florida, having inherited her Grandmother Marthas estate.

Annie didnt want Candy to go down that path, so she reminisced, Remember how we all had fun in Scotland that school holiday! Stear was so funny!

Yes Candice murmured. Stop, Anniestop

Looking back, it was the most carefree, lovely time Annie

continued, her eyes starry. She was recalling how handsome Archie looked.

Why did we have to grow upwhywhy couldnt things stay the way they were in Scotland? Candy muttered, under her breath.

Eh? Annie said.

Oh, dont listen to this old hen Candice chastised herself, cracking a faint smile.

Annie put the Tiffany sterling silver brush down. She gave Candys hair one last smooth with her hand.

CandyI know we didnt get to see or be each other much as we would have liked to over the yearsyet, I will miss not having you in the same area.Scotland is so far away. Annie murmured, her tears welling up.

Come now, Annie! You will all come over next summerand who knows, we may bore each other to tears spending so much time together!!

Bored, with you, Candynever Annie said, taking her dearest friend in her arms.

You taught me everything I needed to know about how to be brave and strongand happyyou taught me how to live

I should have saved up some for myself then, AnnieI wish I could say that about myself now

Annies eyes looked at her, shining. CandyI dont know if this sounds foolish or notbutIve come to trust my female intuitionI have a good feeling about this trip for youI cant say what it is, but it will be all good, in the end

God willing, then. Candice replied, wishing it were true.

Passages

In 1934, the Grand Old Lady of ocean liners, the Mauretania, was in the sunset of its illustrious, fabled service. Once the largest, fastest and one of the more luxurious ocean liners ever built, it had symbolized everything that had been grand and good of the now long gone Edwardian eraan era whose codes, mores and ideologies had come to a rude awakening, starting with the unfortunate sinking and loss of the hubristic Titanic and further cemented into oblivion by the horrors of World War I. Unwilling to die along with her peers and with the era she had once embodied, she survived her service as a hospital and troop ship during the Great War and a fire in 1921, shortly after resuming passenger service. That fire had been a blessing of sorts, allowing for her interiors to be lavishly redone with more modern accoutrements. She was converted to an oil burning ship, a more efficient technology than the boiler-based one she had originally been conceived as. She had been given a second life.

Passage of time notwithstanding, she was still the fastest ship afloat until 1929, when the Bremen captured the speed record.her core competency, speed, was no longer hersand since the great waves of immigration that had swelled early in the century had greatly diminished by the 1930s, she was now seen as a way to cross the ocean for leisure, not for urgency. She was even painted white to add a holiday, tropical dash to her appearance. But the Great Depression hit the world economy hard, and leisure passengers became few and far between. Cunard, the Mauretanias owner, had now merged with one time rival White Star and was forced to make changes, in order to confront the dire situation at hand. It had to reduce the supply which was now was much greater than passenger demand, and complete the orders for the newer, more modern ships being built for themsuch as the brilliant newcomer, the Queen Mary. With a heavy heart, the liner that had been the Queen of Speed for over 20 years was slated for retirement in September, 1934.

Candy shuddered as she boarded Maury. the friendly moniker the Mauretania was known asthis ship was inexorably tied to her own personal history that she could not help but feel she was revisiting with an old friend. Even though she had lavishly been redone in 1921, everything about the Mauretania was still very familiar. She some how felt she was going to have an out of body experience at any minute.she was going to see a slip of a girl, tizzy with champagne, run into a despondent, voluble and handsome aristocrat on the fog shrouded promenade at any minute.

((((((

The regal suite, one of two on the Maury, seemed pretty much the same as it had in the winter of 1912. It was a self contained flat of sorts, with two bedrooms, a sitting room, a dining room and private bath and lavatoryone did not have to leave the suite at all, if that was the inclination. The regal suite commanded the utmost levels of first class service and pampering the Cunard-White Star line prided itself in, the times notwithstanding. It had the feel of an English country home, much like the one Candy and William were now going to be based out of. They settled in comfortably for the five day Atlantic crossing.

William Albert was entirely enthralled with the Maruetania, and even Candy felt a bit like her old self: unjaded, wide-eyed and taking everything in. She actually felt a little guilty, seeing first hand what a sheltered life they had live since his birth. Then again, he never complained or recriminated her; he took everything in stride, taking great delight in pointing things out to her and enthusing over small details, like the great meals with the captain, and the fact that they had to dress for dinner.

Mummythis is so excitingI feel like I am living a dream come true.

Candice would smile and pat his cheek maternally.

He reminded her so much of whom she used to be, yet at the same time, he was the carbon copy of his father. A quiet, dependable strength that many times could be taken for an old soulso much like her Alberther Mr. Albert

((((((

Candy could not exactly pinpoint when exactly she had looked at Mr. Albert with other eyes. But it had happened shortly after she agreed to travel with him, early 1916. She was still living at Ponys Home and had not seen him in over a year. She had found herself looking forward to the trip and was very excited to finally see him again, after so many months.

Mr. Albert had always been very nice looking, but in his first year as William Albert Andrew, he suddenly took on a patrician, formal air that was incongruent yet not entirely at odds with the free spirited Mr. Albert. He was very tall, well over 6 feet, of thin yet well proportioned build, and his golden, wavy hair was very fair. His eyes were light blue and still sparkled merrily. He had come with George, his eternal confidant and second hand manmore like an uncle to him than an employee; which considering that Alberts father had adopted him, made sense.

Well, little oneare you ready for an adventure? he winked. He seemed to look at her a bit differently than he had in the past.

For the first time, she had blushed shyly in his presence. I am ready to go with you, Mr. AlbertWilliamI mean

Candyyou need not be so formal he smiled gently.

Im sorrysometimes I get confused as to who you are to me

Dont entangle yourself socall me whatever you feel most comfortable withafter all, you know me best he guided.

Albert, then she settled.

Albert it is. he agreed.

Candy said goodbye to Miss Pony, Sister Lane and the children. She couldnt tell them how long she would be goneshe only knew she wanted to be with Albert and see the world through his eyes. To her, it finally felt like a new chapter in her life; a new phase.

((((((

They headed out to the southwest, to New Mexico. Albert had said that he wanted to work with the Indian Pueblos theretheir plight, as a result of the reservation system tugged at his benevolent heart. He felt that a living culture was being denied the dignity of a free life and of the basic services they as humans neededelemental things like running water, medical care and access to schools. He had set up a foundation to help a few of these pueblos and was eager to start the programs himself. Of course, people would think he was the regular Joe coming to do the work, and he preferred it that way. He would rather interact with people at their level, not at the echelon that being known as one of the worlds richest men would immediately remove him too. Candy, with her skills would provide an added level of help, especially with setting up the clinics.

The soft, rolling waves of the Midwestern plains gave way to a landscape Candy had never dreamed existed in the United States.desert, scrub, mesas and canyons.the sky had never looked so large in her entire lifeeven the animals were different: huge golden and bald eagles with angry, swift talons; skittish long eared and legged jackrabbits; scaly and mysterious rattlesnakes, comical coyotes that yapped and yowled in the night; curious, strange armadillos with clever armor and the quick, darting roadrunner. Out in New Mexico, it was hard to believe it was the United States...the primary language was Spanish, and the majority of its inhabitants were either of Spanish descent or American Indian. No wonder the Indian pueblos had Spanish names, like Santa Clarita. She was exposed to new foods like tortillas, enchiladas and sopapillas. Albert even gave her a taste of red chile once; the fiery jolting heat she disliked immediately but evoked a hearty laugh from Albert.

They camped within the reservations, which Candy found great fun. Albert, having done it so many times was quite expertand, as it was when they had shared the apartment, he was in charge of the cooking. Not that they wanted for much. The pueblos, grateful to have them with them gave of their hearts and hearths. It was like a dreama wonderful, magical dreamand she was so glad of being with Albert in it. The Great War that was still raging in Europe and had finally started to drag the United States into it. It seemed so far away, so far removedit was as if this charming, sunny and primitive state was another worldtheir own world.

((((((

One chilly night, as they sat by the campfire, Candy thought the stars had never looked so bright in the vast, inky heavens. As she had done in the past, she snuggled close to him and he received her warmly and pulled the Navajo blanket around them tighter.

Yet, this time there was something else in the caresses he was giving hersomething that she had experienced once from a lovers handthe Knights.

Candice he murmured.

Yes, Albert?

He took her hand, and kissed it gently. Candice, I love you.

I love you too, Albert she said, as she had done so many times in the past.

He turned her face to his. I meant, I really love youI love you the way a man loves a womanand you have blossomed into a beautiful womanand I want to love you he confessed.

Her heart beat uncontrollablypart of her couldnt believe what she was hearing! Yet at the same time, Alberts earnest gentleness eased her mind of any anxieties.

I she stammered.

Candysweetheartmay I kiss you? she had never heard his voice so tender and gentlemanly. The voice of a lover, not of a brother or a friend.

Candy, slightly bewildered, but curious, just nodded.

She remembered his gentle lips taking hers, parting hers, tasting hersit felt pleasant enoughshe recalled thinking in her mind that she had been kissed once, by the impetuous, passionate Knightand what that kiss that awoken and stirred in her. It had been a roaring, ardent, fathomless ocean in comparison to the deep pool of tranquility she was now dipping herself in.

The following days were a blur to her. The relationship between them had changed, and she felt happy and blissful for the first time in many months.

Companionship, warmth, gentlenessher Prince was everything and more. He truly was the most perfect of men. Even though they slept together in the same tent, next to each other, he never did anything inappropriate. But the cozy closeness was most gratifying to her, and to him. They truly seemed to be a married couple, except that they werent.

They continued their long journey through the state, visiting several Indian Pueblos that Albert wanted to work with. Candys nursing experience was very helpful, and she once again felt fulfilled by her calling.

By the time they had reached Santa Fe, New Mexico, Albert had said, CandicesweetheartI wish nothing more than to travel like this foreverbut I cantI will have to go back to Chicago and back to my reality

Candys heart froze at thatwith all that had transpired between them, now what? If the family had heaped scorn on her before, she could only imagine their deepened wrath when they found out how she and Albert were secret beaus.

I dont want to go back, Albertnot nownot now that you and I she blurted, unable to finish the sentenceshe was frightened of the future.

I cannot live without you by my side, Candyyou are the light in my lifecome back as my wife to Chicago

Youyou want to marry me? she murmured.

That is what people in love tend to do, sweetheartbesides, it is what I have always wanted to doI have wanted to since the day I met you on Ponys HillI waited patiently for you, to allow you to grow up He did not tell her how deeply afraid he had been once Terrence Grantchester had entered their lives. Albert had recognized then, even if they had not, what the true nature of their relationship wasand he knew that in comparison, he would paleand he had told himself that he would not step in; after all, Candy was free to love whom she wantedbut life had tipped the scales towards him, and once the disastrous New York visit had transpired, he knew that all he had to do was wait a little longerhis little girl would be his woman.

He continued, I just believe it will be easier for us to come back as man and wifethey will be scandalized, but farther than that, there is little they will be able to do I am William Albert Andrew, and no harm will come to youbesides, you and I are adults now

Candy shyly nodded and accepted. Finally, she would truly have a home and a life partner. Perhaps now, all the drama of her life would be a thing of the past.to finally live happily ever after with her Prince.

So, in the private chapel of the Bishop of Santa Fe, with only George Johnson as their witness, they pledged their love to each other, and took the vows of husband and wife. Perhaps to some it was not the fabulously opulent and elegant society wedding many would have expected, but in the simplicity of their dress and the earnestness of their vows, no ceremony was better suited to their temperaments.

((((((

Sometimes what is simple is what is the most complicatedand what appears to be complicated is in reality what is the most simple Candy had acknowledged to herself, much later. Life never had a simple answer or solution; each situation required its own approach. Perhaps if Candy had not been impulsive during the Suzanne Marlowe dilemma, she would have married her Knight and lived a tranquil, wholly fulfilling life of love and family with him.

Perhaps if Albert had never gone to Africa, he would have never contracted the disease that claimed him so young, and they would be enjoying the little family life they had created.

Perhaps if she would have not shut herself out of the world, she would have overcome her deep grief and disappointment in life sooner.

.Then again, it is hard to know the exact outcome of a what if unless one made the conscious effort to set it in motion

Perhaps now, returning to Scotland, I may be able to set aside what has consumed me for so many years now

Then again, perhaps it was just better to leave things the way they are, and to continue onI had to do what I felt I had to do

Maybe we are all just passengers on the great ship of life on the great sea of the unknown

Or perhaps, we each are all captains of our own destiny, and in our life are the results of the actions or inactions we take

Scotland, Summer of 1934 - Scottish Lochs and Hidden Locks -

Scotland was in glorious form when Candy and William arrived. Andrew House was eager to receive them and the summer had just started in the Highlands. Andrew House was located in the vicinity of Loch Leven, near the town of Kinross, in Kinross-shire, Scotland. Kinross-shire lies west of St. Andrews and north of Edinburgh. Kinross-shire County measures 15 miles from west to east 9 miles from north to south and is ringed with hills; the Lomonds to the east, the Ochils to the west and Benarty Hill to the south. The central feature of Kinross-Shire, of course, was Loch Leven, one of the most beautiful Lochs in Scotland, and one of the most famous, for its castle in the middle of the Loch where Mary Queen of Scots was once imprisoned.

Both Candy and William felt like little children, exploring the house and claiming it as their own. It was the first time William had seen his mummy so happy and giddyever. They had timed their arrival so that they could at least spend a couple of weeks together before William went to St. Andrews, and they made the most of it. There were long walks around the trails near the Loch Leven, fishing for salmon and a side trip to both Edinburgh and Stirling Castle. Unfortunately for Candy, time passed so quickly and the day came when William left for the start of his summer term at St. Andrews. There was going to be a few days of orientation and social activities before classes actually started.

I will be home on the weekends, mummydont you despair now! he said, as he readied his new Jaguar to drive East, to St. Andrews.

Of course not, sonjust be careful Candy said. She realized now with the full weight that she was truly separating himself for the first