The night finally came night that would be the first step into something that most people within the servants quarters had expected to have happened already. Baxter stood in her mirror, a slight tremble in her hand as she fixed a broach to her high collar blue dress, to be nervous was normal for anyone but to her it felt so childish, so odd to be nervous for something she should be used to. But that was the thing. She was not used to dates, or for that matter love.
Coyle was really the only other man that she had let into her life, intimately that is, romance was not in his heart. True he had wild ideas of romance but he never acted upon them until he saw fit. That's why this was so frightening, she was being treated as she should, she was going about love as she felt was right and with someone like Mr Mosley it felt more than right. But there was still that fear, that hesitant little thought that nagged in her mind. Tormenting her.
an outing that signalled the end of a friendship and beginning of a courtship.
Baxter closed her eyes and let out a shaky breath, it would be fine, the poor man was probably just as nervous as she was, for all she knew he was a trembling mess by now. Opening her eyes she finished with her tidying and pulled on her large coat complete with hat, then walked out after grabbing her purse. Whatever was to happen she hoped would happen for the better, it was high time the relationship between her and Mosley changed.
This was the change.
Heading to the servants hall she was pleasantly surprised to find Mosley and Thomas talking in a rather civil manor to each other, she raised a brow but smiled to them as their attention turned on her when she approached them. Thomas bowed himself from the room and walked past, whispering a good luck in her ear as he did. Baxter only shook her head and warmly smiled to Joseph who stared at her in astonishment, his eyes twinkling in the lamp light.
"Ready Miss Baxter?" He asked softly.
Miss Baxter slipped her arm into his. "I believe I am Mr Mosley." She nodded.
With that they both headed out of the room and out to the exit.
"I do hope Mr Barrow wasn't bullying you back there." Miss Baxter spoke as they walked down the pathway that led to the village, the night was beginning to show with the sky mixing into a beautiful pink and orange tint, above the north star could be seen, shining bright in the sky, directing lost wanderers. Winter was around the corner once again.
Mr Mosley shook his head. "No he was rather nice actually. He wanted me to make sure you got home safe" He replied.
Baxter smiled a little and looked down to the ground. "And i'm sure you will." She spoke. "At least he was kind."
"I-I'm surprised, he's changed a lot." Joseph mumbled. "You have a good effect on people Miss Baxter."
Phyllis felt her cheeks heat up a little. "I'm glad you think so Mr Mosley." She replied.
The two fell silent and Mr Mosley felt his face suddenly and unexpectedly heat up, he glanced down to see her smiling, biting her bottom lip as she did. God he would faint if he weren't so alert and alive in this moment. Looking to the approaching village the man felt her hand twitch slightly on his arm, he glanced her way once more to see a faint blush on her cheeks, she was still smiling although this time it seemed more out of nerve, she seemed to be thinking the same thing as he. But eventually one person would have to mention it.
"I-I was hoping we could have a talk Miss Baxter." Mr Mosley suddenly piped up. "About us that is.."
Baxter looked up to him. "I was rather hoping we would talk about it too Mr Mosley."
The man felt a sudden twang in his chest, like his heart were about to explode, he didn't want to ruin this, yet there was no going back. "I-I hope I-im not...Being to f-forward you know..." He sputtered. "But..The truth is Miss Baxter I find myself being fond of you...That is...In Love..If I dare call it that."
A calm smile came upon the woman's face. "I'm fond of you to Mr Mosley. Very fond."
"Do you think we could try it then?" He quickly asked as their walk suddenly slowed. "C-courting I mean."
Baxter looked up to see his face had changed from its usual palette, turning instead to a deep shade of red as he spilled his emotions before her. The woman stopped and turned to him, her eyes soft and her hand moving from his arm. "I think we both know the answer to that Mr Mosley. " Her voice was low and a soft smile came to her face.
Usually it was a this point Mr Mosley would begin to panic, wondering if she was agreeing or disagreeing but yet, after knowing this woman for the time he had, he had come to understand her expressions, her mannerisms and most importantly if she was agreeing or not. By the look on her face and the tint in her cheek indicated that she was very much happy. So he assumed.
"I-Is that a yes?" Joseph asked, unsure of his prior predictions.
A short laugh escaped Miss Baxter mouth and with a nod she took his hand. "It's a yes Mr Mosley."
Immediately the mans face relaxed into that of a glee, his eyes glittered brightly, looking to the woman before him he raised her hand and pressed a gentle kiss to her knuckle. Baxter smiled warmly once he had let her go and linked her arm with his once more, continuing their walk to the village.
As they emerged from the rather sweet and entertaining movie the new couple strolled leisurely toward the pub across the road, it was bright and alive with patrons, most were already drunk and others seemed to be catching up. On the outside it looked rowdy and rather dangerous but inside was rather warm and cosy with nothing more than simple chatter as the atmosphere as Mr Mosley and Miss Baxter would soon find out.
"Well, I rather enjoyed that movie." Miss Baxter spoke as they stepped through the bar doors. "Didn't you?"
Mr Mosley took her coat as she shrugged it elegantly from her shoulders. "I did actually. Romance has been a guilty pleasure of mine if you don't mind me saying." He replied taking her hat from her hands.
Baxter grinned softly. "I don't."
With a small smile the man pulled out a chair for her and hung her coat on the rack behind, he then moved to the bar to order their drinks, his cheeks hot with happiness and glee. The bartender took the order and after sliding over the money Mr Mosley took this small moment to revel in the happiness he had been granted. It felt so wonderfully dream like, everything felt fake as if he would open his eyes at any moment and awaken in his small cottage, alone.
Walking back to the table the man took his seat. "You look very beautiful tonight Miss Baxter. If you don't mind me saying."
Baxter bit her lip and smiled. "Please, call me Phyllis Mr Mosley." She replied a heat forming within her cheeks. "And no, I dont."
"Phyllis" Mosley repeated before letting out a breathy chuckle. "Y-you know I never thought I'd ever be here with you. A-as we are I mean."
"Well, you're here." Baxter replied softly. "And I'm not going anywhere."
The two stared at each other softly, their gaze soon broke as the trey of tea they ordered was placed before them. Mosley thanked the man and took their saucers from the trey, setting them out neatly. Phyllis bowed her head with a tender expression. Her heart had grown three times it's size, compressing on her chest, she felt breathless and terrified at the same time. It was a big leap but she was expecting it and quite honestly she was happy for it, very happy.
Slowness was needed with the both of them and they seemed to both understand that, she was grateful for his patience and his heart, he understood her so well and even through the mess with Coyle he stuck by her side. Patient as ever, even when she lost her temper. It took time before she had even accepted his fondness and when she did she found herself becoming more fond of him, her love growing by the days, he was there for her when it felt like no one else was.
He made her strong.
And now, finally they had begun that step toward something special.
Miss Baxter looked up to her new partner softly then took a sip of her tea.
The evening progressed slowly, talking took up the rest of their time out until eventually they had to leave before Barrow locked Miss Baxter out, not that he would do that but they weren't taking any chances. So after finishing their drinks they strolled back to the abbey, arm in arm down the long winding pathway that led to the great towering building, they're way lit by nothing but the dull lamp light and glowing moon in the sky. Both were smiling, with flushed cheeks.
"I have to thank you Mr Mosley." Baxter began as they began to approach the Abbey.
The lady's maid nodded stopped just before they came by the drive, she turned to him. "You've succeeded in making me very happy." She mumbled softly. "Even if we are testing waters as they say, im happy, about us."
Mosley smiled a little and bowed his head.
Baxter took a tentative step forward. "Thank you for this evening." The woman leaned up and gently place a soft kiss on his cheek.
Immediately the mans heart sped up, hammering against his ribs like no other, his breath caught in his throat at the sudden action and all he could do was stare as she retreated back across the drive of the abbey and headed to the servants entrance. The kiss lingering on his cheek as he watched the door close and the vision he had of her vanish completely. Slowly he turned around and with a great big beam, followed by a rather gleeful laugh he kicked his heels together.
The man then realised where he was and his rather over excited actions as well the consequences of such actions at his age. Quickly the man composed himself, preying that no one within the abbey caught his little hop of glee. With any luck everyone was still asleep. After checking each window for anyone that could be watching he stiffened himself up and made his way back to go to his cottage, the memory of his workday tomorrow making him eager to go home and rest. Maybe next time he would save the celebration for when he gets home.
Walking down the pathway the teacher felt the smile on his face stretch further, this was it, this was finally it. After all this time he was convinced that they would remain friends, a good friendship may he add but now..Now he was finally given the chance at something better. Companionship. Something he had longed all of his life but due to his naturally unfortunate way, never seemed to get. Now his wishes had been heard and he couldn't be more happier.
After what felt like an incredibly unfortunate life, Mr Mosley was finally getting what he deserved.