The words stuck in his head. Repeating over and over like a broken record. Reminding him of the possibility that something more could be happening, something more than a close friendship could be possible. From that moment the royals left the household and he confessed how foolish he had been, the moment she told him otherwise...Told him that he knew how much she meant it...Could there be something more? Could their relationship really dare take the next step?
Mosley couldn't place his finger on the moment he had fallen for Miss Baxter but he suspected it had happened some time before the ordeal with Coyle, her confidence in him made him feel as if he was the most wanted man on the planet. The way she smiled to him, the way her words somehow changed and altered the view he had on himself, he felt important. It made him think that his own daft and clumsy self was wanted.
And she was to thank for all of it.
The words of courage she gave him made their friendship grow and although he kept his feelings hidden it was all to clear to see how fond of the woman he was, everyone in the downstairs Downton family could see it, they could see the way he looked to her, the way he spoke to her and the way he admired every single thing about her. Because he did. He admired that woman not only for her words but for her strength, for her ability to fight through the grasps of her past and push through the hold that Thomas once had on her.
The woman was certainly once of a kind in his eyes and although he would never ask for anymore than a friendship it didn't stop him from wishing that one day, sometime in the future she would be beside him. Not just as a companion but as a partner. The dream was too good to come true and he knew that his experience with things as important as this were rather lacking, he was not a confident man and he certainly wasn't enough of a smart man to realise that his feelings needed to be confronted sooner or later.
He was always late.
And he knew he would be late for her too.
Before the royal visit he thought he was, believing that a close friendship was where they're relationship was going to stay but then she told him those words as they walked back to the servants hall, words that suggested prehaps she too harboured feelings for him. Could he dare to think she did? Could he even dare to dream that prehaps they might be more than they were? He was asking for a lot but for the first time in years he felt that it was justified.
With the royal visit over he was soon to depart from the Downton residence, he would go back to teaching and she would continue serving and visiting him when the opportunity arose. The promise was kept when they agreed not to lose touch, he would walk to her and she would often visit him when the day allowed it and if they couldn't see each other then they certainly made an effort to write to each other. It was clear that the two were close, not as close and Thomas was with Miss Baxter but close enough to know each other well.
Mosley stared blankly into his packed case, he would depart tomorrow, leave this wonderful place behind to go back to teaching. Not that he was complaining. Teaching had become a passion for him and as excited as he was to return he still couldn't help but feel dismayed at the departure, he felt as if something was incomplete, like the job he had done in the abbey was unfinished. And he knew the reasoning why he felt this way. The same reasoning he was so hesitant to be close to Miss Baxter.
It felt as if a great cloud had come over his mind, his vision was blurred and his head felt weightless, it had been years and years since he had crushed on a woman and this feeling he was feeling indicated that this was more than a silly crush. This was real and very much there. The feeling scared him at first but eventually he learned to live with it, unknowing what to do or what to say, he couldn't ruin this perfect relationship but yet he wanted to dare and take that leap...A push was all he needed...
Closing the case the man turned and began to head out to go to dinner, he the last dinner he would have before he went back to living in his cottage, visiting his father when he could and living the life he had before. It wasn't completely undesired, it was just needing a change, that change being Miss Baxter. As much as he hoped he knew that the possibility of them coming together was very, very low. He was unworthy of her, he didn't deserve a woman like her.
Stepping into the servants hall Mosley took a moment to reminisce about the times he had here, the times he spent with the small family down here and the times he spent with Miss Baxter. It was still vivid in his memory, all those times she confided in him when Thomas became to much, or the times her past memories hurt her the most. To think she trusted him so much gave him a small boost of confidence, he smiled a little and stepped into the small dining area, quickly taking his seat by the woman in question.
Baxter smiled softly to him before standing quickly as Carson entered the room and took his seat after congratulating the staff, they all took their seats once more and began to dig into their well earned tea. Mosley couldn't help but occasionally switch his gaze to Miss Baxter, his thoughts drifting off into the realm of wonder, wondering if she thought of him as much as he thought of her.
"Are you excited to return to school Mr Mosley?"
Snapping form his thoughts the man nodded. "Very, I love it here I can't deny that. But the school has its priorities."
Baxter smiled softly. "I'm glad you're getting on well there."
"Oh I-I am yes." Mosley smiled. "The children are wonderful once you get to know them, a-and there not that hard to teach."
Gently picking up her cup the woman beside him lifted it to her lips. "You certainly have a talent Mr Mosley."
The man smiled a little and looked down to his plate, beginning to eat the food that lay before him, all the while glancing to Miss Baxter who tucked into her own food happily. It made him wonder. Seeing her that is. If confessing his love was really the best option. The man was in his fifties, he was no longer the young twenty year old he used to be and finding love had become so much more harder for him. Miss Baxter was the first woman in a long, long while who had made him feel like he was on top of the universe.
The first woman to appreciate him as much as he appreciated her.
Confessing himself could ruin that...It would certainly put a strain on their relationship.
Staring blankly at his food the man let out a small quiet sigh, it was a dilemma, that was for certain. Pondering over it seemed to be the only option, he could talk about it to his father and try at least to talk to Thomas about what he should do but he already knew the answer...It was just the fear that was holding him back now. The fear of loosing a friendship like this. A friendship that had not only made him think better of himself but also think more about other people. A friendship that came at a time he needed it the most.
He was so thankful for that.
He was so thankful for her.
"You seem distracted Mr Mosley, are you alright?" Miss Baxter asked softly, looking to him with a soft inquisitive look.
Mosley snapped his head to her. "Oh, do I?"
The woman only raised a brow. "You've been staring at you're plate for the past few minuets."
"Sorry. I suppose the visit knocked out all the air in me." The man replied with a small smile.
Miss Baxter nodded and turned back to her meal, finishing off what ever was on her plate, he turned back to his own food and waited as the time passed agonisingly so. He wasn't as hungry as he thought he was. The meal before him was tempting enough but with this lingering thought echoing in his mind it seemed his appetite has been depleted for the time being. Maybe telling her would ease this, or maybe it would ruin their bond. Luck was never on his side and with something as treasured as this he knew luck would never bless him.
After what felt like forever, Carson stood, he bid the servants a final farewell and nodded respectfully to Thomas who would assume his duty as butler once again after Carson departed for his cottage. Leaving the table with Mrs Hughes in tow the two left to grab their coats and depart Downtown. The servants sat back down to resume their meal but rather than join them Mr Mosley left the room, deciding to go and make sure his things were packed, despite knowing he had put everything in their rightful cases. He just needed an excuse to leave.
Miss Baxter watched after him, knotting her brows toward Thomas who eyed them curiously from opposite the table, a small smirk forming on his lips as he looked down to his half eaten meal and continued to eat. The woman looked back out to the hall and then turned her head down to her empty plate, she wondered, prehaps it was the leaving that was distressing him? He did love Downton, being here was a place of sanctuary a place where he could see his friends, a place where he could see her.
Baxter felt her cheeks quickly heat up, she immediately brushed the thought aside and stiffened herself up, she was not going to indulge herself in thoughts like that anymore. There was something there, she wouldn't deny it. But her reluctance was something she couldn't get away from. Mr Mosley had made her see the value in herself, he helped her realise that there was more to life than being bullied and being the victim, for once in her life she felt like she was strong, she felt like she could face anything and he was always there. Always ready to help her should she come across another difficult situation.
But no matter how much she valued herself, no matter how much she felt for him. There was always that lingering thought behind her.
Mr Mosley was a good and noble man, he was wise and kind and somehow she managed to convince herself that she didn't deserve him, she didn't deserve this kindness. Chasing the thought of romance was something odd to think of, especially after Coyle. Not that she was comparing the two men, she knew their differences and she knew there was no way on gods green earth Mosley would ever hurt her like Coyle did. There was just that little nagging voice in her head, telling her not to do it, telling her to stay away.
Most times she ignored it, tried to hint toward the man that she liked him more than a friend...
But other times she couldn't ignore it.
Just as she built herself up, she pushed herself down. Hiding away in her friendly facade in hopes to keep Mosley near. It was mean and it was confusing on his part but she really couldn't help herself, she couldn't stop the anxiety from setting in. When at last she thought she had gotten over her past, it comes creeping back, echoing in her brain...Reminding her that she was no good, no good for Joseph, no good for anyone.
Baxter shook her head and quickly excused herself from the table, deciding that work might distract her already racing mind, she headed out of the room and began her ascend up to the servants rooms. No doubt her ladyship would like to be dressed for bed soon, she had time to grab her sewing box before hand. Once she was off for the evening the better, she wanted nothing more than to sit by the fire and work until her mind was clear.
Then maybe, she could get to the bottom of what was disturbing poor Mr Mosley.