Titanic: Beautiful Eyes


Cheyanne Darling, 16, joined the Titanic crew to get a fresh start. Albert Ervine, 18, joined the Titanic crew so that his family could afford their home in Belfast. They're both scarred, broken; a little rough around the edges. But they have one thing in common. They are survivors.


4. Talk and Turn-down

His lips had been on mine for a good thirty seconds before I finally came to my senses and my eyes flew open.

"God all mighty," I gasped in shock, shoving him away. Did I really just do that? I took a step away for good measure. I'd overstepped my boundaries.

He held a hand out to me as if I were a wounded animal, "I didn't mean for that to happen." he murmured, "I don't know what happened. I just -"

"No, it wasn't you," I choked, attempting to catch my own breath, "I just - um - I need to leave. Thank you for..." Thank you for what, "Good night, Mr. Ervine." I leapt to my feet and fled to the door.

"You have to go so quickly?" he asked, following after me, "My apologies, Cheyanne. I didn't mean any disrespect. I hope I didn't scare you."

"No. You didn't. But this is inappropriate. I shouldn't be here with you."

"How is it so inappropriate? That was a mistake. It won't happen again."

I couldn't help but let out a small laugh of desperation. He genuinely thought I was mad at him. But how could I be? He'd been nothing but kind the entire time I'd known him. He was calm, cool, and disinterested. Which is why I had to tell him the truth, "I'm engaged, Mr. Ervine. Which is why this is so inappropriate. I shouldn't be having feelings for anyone but my fiance. That's all their is to it. A woman shouldn't lay eyes on another man."

"Somehow, I have to think, if you really did fancy that fiance of yours, you wouldn't be here," he offered, "And I have to think you don't plan on leaving anytime soon."

"You said you wouldn't try any funny business." I reminded, backing away slowly. I didn't want to back away, but I had to protect what little integrity I had left.

"I'm not going to make you do anything you don't want to do. I do have the feeling that you'll stay though. Of your own accord. Because I fancy you."

"Well, you certainly aren't bashful, Mr. Ervine." I admonish, realizing the absolute closeness of the situation. My chest was practically heaving against his. Too close for any lady to accept. I guess that just means I'm not a lady, then. Because I liked it, "I just... need to go. I have to leave." I pulled away reluctantly.

"If you go, you'll be held up in your cabin with your fiance. I'm sure he'll be back by now. The boiler rooms switched shifts about twenty minutes ago. And I know you wouldn't want that. I'm telling you, I'm not going to try to rape you or anything. Just stay."

"What are you doing to me?" I sighed, pushing him further from me and going to sit on the edge of his bed once more, "Why?"

"I'm giving you a way out. Because you're in misery. And I know what it feels like. I wouldn't wish the misery I've felt on anybody. Especially someone with so much life in them. And like I said, I like you. And I know it's inappropriate, so I'm not going to act on it, but I do." he extended a hand to me and I finally took it.

For some foreign reason, I didn't feel nearly as awkward as I thought I would. He sat beside me and I inched closer, feeling my skirts twist and lock around his knees as he pulled me closer. I was practically in the man's lap. His chin rested atop my head and he pulled me down until I was resting entirely on his chest, my fingers intertwined with his. And it wasn't scandalous. It wasn't wrong. It was... friendly.

Being here with him - like this - it made me think of all the things I wouldn't have with Daniel. Never would I ever be able to lay with him like this without it being taken a step too far. Daniel had never so much as offered me a shred of comfort, or even a hint as to his past. I feel like I'd learned more about the elusive Mr. Ervine in the six hours I'd known him than I had about Daniel in our entire six month engagement period. And it scared me.

"I don't want this to happen," I murmured, my eyes beginning to swell up with tears, "I don't want to go to America. I don't want to marry Daniel. I don't want to be a housewife. I don't want to have children. I don't want this life." I was in full blown hysteria by that point. I was clinging to his shirt, leaving massive tear-stains, "I'm sorry." I choked.

"You know, you don't have to go with him. You don't have to marry him. You could go home." he offered, stroking my hair comfortingly.

"I don't have a home anymore, Albert. We auctioned it off when Daniel decided we could have a better life in America. He wouldn't listen to me of course. I have absolutely no desire to live in America."

"Well, there could be plenty of good waiting for you in America. You could become one of the richest people this side of the Altantic."

"For Christ's sake! I don't want money! I want to be an achitect. Do you know where he wants to live? Indiana. Indiana, Albert. Do you know what's in Indiana? Cow pastures. And corn. That's it." I cried.

"I suppose you've only got one choice, then." he offered and that peaked my interest. I turned my eyes to him, hopeful, "You'll just have to come back to Ireland with me, won't you?"

I could've choked if I'd been drinking, "Mr. Ervine, I couldn't possibly -"

"You're miserable. I don't want to let you off this boat in a week knowing that you're going to be miserable for the rest of your life. Come back to North Ireland and stay with me and my mam. I'm sure she'd be more than happy to take you in. She's always wanted a girl."

"But Daniel -"

"- has managed without you for this long. Believe me, he just wants a woman to clean, cook, and bed. He can find another one. You, on the other hand, may never have an opportunity like this again."

"Mr. Ervine, I've known you for all of six hours and you're offering me a home?" I asked in awe. I couldn't believe it. I couldn't believe how lucky I'd just gotten.

"Like I said, Darlin', there's just something about your. You have a sort of - fire - about you - that's very intriguing. And I think you have better things waiting for you back in Ireland. After this depression, you could be a pioneer. A completely new generation of women. Self-confident, mature, ingenious women." he seemed hopeful, "Frankly, I'm sick of men parading their wives around like livestock."

I couldn't have possibly agreed more. Not that I was about to say that. It just wasn't ladilike. That's the way things had been for hundreds of years. Who was he to think that one person was going to change that? Especially me? The epitome of third class beggars.

"You show so much promise. I just want to be the first one to see what you choose to do with it."

"You seem so hopeful." I chuckled, letting my chin rest atop hist fully-clothed chest.

"When you see the worst of people for the better part of your life you learn to appreciate little things. Like this right now." he contemplated, running his fingertips up my arm.

"I like this. It's so peaceful. I don't have to worry about anything. Except for the hours I'm going to have to make up in the next few days. I've been on this ship for almost a full day and I've honestly only worked about four hours that whole time."

"Well, if I'm correct, which I usually am, you'll be missing plenty of hours in the next week."

"And if I'm correct, which I usually am, I'm sure I'll be taking a massive pay cut for hiding out in here rather than tending to my duties. So, I really should be going." I realized, glancing up at his clock, noticing that we'd spent the last two hours in his room chatting and learning about each other, "I'm sure they'll send somebody looking for me after a while."

"I wish you didn't have to go." he said, sitting up and freeing me from his hold.

"Well, I'm sure if you just hid me in your nifty little suitcase here," I joked, lelaning over and grabbing his massy trunk of clothing and little whatnots from back home, "they'd never be able to find me again. This thing is huge!" I exclaimed, quickly becoming aware of his rich laughter, the crinkling of his eyes as his entire face lit up in humor.

"I'm sure they'll be about ready to throw me overboard when I return to my boiler room. I had some man by the name of Corcoran manning my post. I'm sure they've noticed by now. No telling how much trouble I'll be in. Anyway, when do you get off?" he asked, as he retied his trainers and pulled his cap back onto his head.

"My shift is over at ten thirty."

"So's mine Why don't you stay here tonight? We could meet under the stairs again."

Taking all the common sense I had left, I threw it to the side and nodded eagerly, "Absolutely. So, ten thirty. Under the stairs."

"Under the stairs." he agreed, "Why don't you go first?" he beckoned, opening the door for me.

"Why can't we just go at the same time?" I asked confusedly.

"Because the good Lord knows we'll be spotted by some First Class gossip. Then just like that, news that the engineer and the maid are having an affair will be all across the ship." he had a joking glint, but I could see how there could be some logic to his thinking.

"Good call," I said, turning and giving him a kiss on the cheek before turning and fleeing down the hall toward the first class cabin, where I was due approximately an hour and a half ago.

"How'd it go, Darlin'?" a familiar, brassy voice asked, as Molly Brown came barreling up beside me.

"I'm sorry, Mrs. Brown. Is there something I can help you with?" I asked politely, now in full business mode, "Does your bed need a turn down?"

"I can turn down my own sheets, thanks." she snapped, "I want to know how it went with you and Ervine. I saw you two runnin' from the dining room like someone had lit a fire under you. Now, tell me."

"I don't have the slightest idea what you're talking about." I lied smoothly, as we passed a group of gossips and I navigated my maid's cart around them narrowly, "But I will tell you that I won't be seeing him tongiht after my shift's out."

If she wasn't a respectable first class lady, Mrs. Molly Brown would've jumped up and down with glee, "Oh, he's a good man, Cheyanne."

"Yes, my fiance is a good man, too." Oh! Yes. Those words had really just come out of my mouth, "Oh, Mrs. Brown. I didn't mean -"

"Happens to the best of us, Dear. No doubt you'll make the right decision." she said, giving me a pat on the back, "Why don't I take you up on that turn down?" That was definitely code for something. I was about to get a talking-to for sure.

"I know this looks bad, Madame, but I'm going to straighten this whole thing out, I assure you." I swore.

"I'm not going to tell you how to go about this, Dear. But I am going to tell you - you only have one week on this ship. Then you two go your separate ways. That's the way it works. I don't want to see Ervine getting his heart broken. He's a good boy. Just try not to get too attached." she seemed to be pleading. It was a bit odd. I really wasn't used to people pleading with me for anything.

"I don't plan on taking it any seriously than it needs to be. Nothing will happen, Mrs. Brown, but I appreciate your protectiveness over him. From what I can tell, he's kind of been thrown out on his own."

"Let's just say he hasn't had the experiences when it comes to women." she said and by her tone I could tell that she wanted me to leave it at that. I wasn't about to challenge that. Molly Brown seemed like the kind of person who could've been incredibly intimidating if she wanted to be. So I left it at that.

"Ma'am, in the short time that I've known him, I've become very fond of him."

"Don't tell me you're going to make a move. Because heads are going to roll, Darlin.'"

"No, ma'am. Actually, he's offered me a way out of my engagement. He's offered me a place to stay back in Ireland."

"Well, then he's a smart man, honey. Either way, I can tell that he's a lucky man. And you're a very lucky woman. He'd be very good to you."

"I should imagine so." I agreed, "Thank you for your concern, ma'am, but I have to go tend to the rest of my cabins." I gave a small curtsy before making my way out of her suite.

I could only imagine what had happened to Albert to make Molly Brown of all people concerned for his well-being.
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