Felicity's Perfect Beau
It had been wonderful at first to have two young men pining over her affection. It had made her feel special, made her feel wanted. The truth was sixteen year old Felicity King was insecure and felt ordinary. That was why she acted so judgemental and superior to those around her. It made her feel as though she stood out and was noticed by those around her. Having both Gus and Arthur competing for her affection had seemed like a harmless way to increase her self-worth, but as she stood pressed against the wall in the Pettibone's parlour as Arthur caressed her face and arms she realized how dangerous of a predicament she was in.
"You're so beautiful Felicity." Arthur growled like a feral dog as he stroked her hair.
"Arthur I appreciate the compliment. Really I do but this is improper," Felicity's voice wavered as she tried to disguise the fear in her voice.
"Why should we heed to the rules of previous generations? You and I are both forward thinkers. Why not do as we want?"
"I do not want this Arthur Pettibone," Felicity said in a firm voice.
"You would be wise not to resist. After all I am much more of a gentleman than Gus Pike."
Felicity had to laugh despite the current situation. "Gus Pike's foot is much more of a gentleman than you are Arthur Pettibone." Felicity's sarcasm angered Arthur and his hand grabbed her mouth and squeezed. His fingers squeezed her cheeks and jaw and Felicity made a noise of pain.
"How dare you speak to your future husband in such a disrespectful manner." Arthurs grip tightened and Felicity felt tears of pain start to trickle down her face.
"Let Her Go!"
The distinct accent told Felicity right away who the voice belonged to. It was Gus. Arthurs gripped loosened and she took in a gulp of air. Felicity suddenly drifted from reality as her thoughts went to Gus.
Gus who had been her first kiss. Gus who had always made her smile. Gus who made her heart swell when he spoke sweet words to her. Gus who had searched for her in the middle of the snow storm, who had brought her to safety when the fire broke out at the school. Gus who would never force himself upon her. Gus who's enormous heart was filled with love for her.
She was pulled from her thoughts when she felt a pair of strong calloused hands on her shoulders and for a brief second she feared it was Arthur. A glance up however brought her a huge sense of relief that washed over her the way the waves washed over the beach. It was Gus. He helped her to the door and stuck right by her side.
Arthur Pettibone was laying on the floor, holding his bleeding nose.
"If ya ever come near her again I'll break both ya hands." Gus yelled as he guided her out of the house.
"Felicity are ya alright?" Gus asked her once they were off the Pettibone property.
"Oh Gus I'm so sorry…I don't know…I don't know what I was thinking. We-I only went over to help him with the laundry and he invited me for tea and then-." Felicity's voice wavered off as she broke into sobs.
She didn't care they were in the middle of the street and the Clara Potts and Eulalie Bugle were watching her no doubt thinking up some juicy gossip story to share at the next quilting circle.
Gus wrapped his arm around her. The warmth from his body enveloped her and she felt safe. "Shh you got nothin to be sorry for Felicity. Let's get ya home."
Felicity sniffled and nodded. She allowed Gus to guide them back to the King Farm, a few tears rolled down her cheeks. She held on tightly to Gus's arm as if it were a life preserver.
She was shaken, she was scared, but she knew she was safe. Gus Pike was by her side.
"The gall of that Arthur Pettibone. Why he ought to be hanged for this!" Hetty King exclaimed, waiving her hands about as she paced back and forth on the floor of the parlour.
Janet King rolled her eyes and let out an exasperated sigh as she wiped her daughters red face with a cloth. "Really Hetty not now."
"You cannot be suggesting we do nothing Janet."
"Oh of course not but right now I am more concerned about Felicity."
"Really mother I am fine…shaken but fine. Thanks to Gus." Felicity stated from the couch were she was resting. She looked over at Gus who was seated in one of the chairs and smiled at him. He blushed.
"Thank providence that you got there when you did Gus." Janet smiled at the young man as she rose from the couch.
"Yes a fine young man you are Gus Pike. Unlike that brute Arthur Pettibone. Now come Janet we must go and speak with Clive Pettibone."
"Now? But Hetty shouldn't we wait for Alec to get back from his trip?" Janet asked, covering Felicity with a blanket.
By the look of Hetty's face a person unaware of all the facts would have assumed Janet had suggested they assassinate a member of the royal family.
"We not need wait for Alec. We are King women and King women are very capable of dealing with this sort of matter on their own. Now hurry along Janet."
"Mother?" Felicity asked from the couch. "Would it be alright if Gus were to remain here until you and aunt Hetty return?" she looked over at Gus, "If you don't mind Gus?"
"I don't mind."
Janet looked back and forth between Felicity and Gus. Under normal circumstances it would be highly improper for them to be left alone especially since Felicity had changed into a night gown and robe, but after what had occurred today she was confident that Gus Pike would not do anything to harm her daughter, nor would he take advantage of the current situation.
"I think that would be quite alright. Daniel is napping so do mind him when he makes up. Dinner is in the oven. We shall be back as soon as we can." Before Hetty could even protest the idea of leaving Gus and Felicity by themselves Janet was all but pushing Hetty out the door.
Hearing the door close Felicity directed her attention to Gus.
"Gus I owe you an apology."
"Felicity I told ya what happened today aint your fault."
"It's more than that Gus," she let out a sigh. "Gus you have always treated me like a young lady. You have been so patient and kind and I know I am not always the easiest person to be around. I've been so foolish Gus. Having you and Arthur fight over my affection made me feel as though I was some princess having to choose between two brave suitors. I did go over to Arthurs to help him with the laundry but I was also trying to get to know him better. There was this stupid article about finding the 'perfect beau' and I got so caught up searching for him that I failed to see that my perfect beau was right here all along."
Gus blushed, "I aint even close to perfect Felicity."
"Neither of us is perfect Gus, but when I think of what sort of man I want to marry and raise a family with I think of you. You are the perfect man for me. You are generous, brave, smart, hardworking, loving and attentive. I love you Gus Pike."
The smile on Gus Pike's face was as bright as the sun. He rose from the chair and walked towards Felicity. He held out his hand she accepted, rising to her feet.
"You're a grand girl Felicity King and I love you."
They kissed, smiling against each other's lips. It wasn't their first kiss but it very far from their last.
"Felicity can I ask ya a favor?"
She nodded, smiling at him.
"Could ya help me get caught up in school?"
She let out a giggle, "Of course I will Gus Pike. Let me grab my books."
Janet King smiled as she lay a quilt over the sleeping pair. She and Hetty had returned home to find Gus and Felicity sitting side by side on the couch, holding hands as they slept. Felicity's head rested on Gus's shoulder. Books lay open on their laps.
Hetty had gasped in shock and Janet knew that Alec would have blown his top. She had no intentions of letting this become a habit but Janet couldn't bring herself to wake them. The young pair looked so peaceful and happy and it hadn't taken her long to figure out why when she saw their hands clasped together. She would wake them in a bit for dinner.
"You know something Janet? One day that Gus Pike is going to make a fine addition to the King Family."
"Hetty I couldn't agree with you more."
Gus Pike fought hard to hide the smile forming on his lips. He had stirred not long after Hetty and Janet returned but hadn't said anything. For the first time Gus Pike had the things he always believed his life would be void off. He had true love and had gained a family. Just as he was Felicity's perfect beau she was his perfect girl.