As they walked along the seashore, side by side, their fingers repeatedly brushed against each other. Every time they touched, Elsie felt a shiver run up her arm. They walked through the shallow water, enjoyed the feel of the waves lapping at their feet. Charles rolled his trousers up to keep them dry. He looks adorable, Elsie thought, as she grinned up at him. She was delighted to be spending time with the real Charles rather than the proper and disciplined Mr Carson. They walked along in companionable silence, feeling at peace in each other’s company.
"Mrs Hughes, do you ever want a man?" Charles asked, then panicked as he realised how terrible those words sounded.
"Oh my… I am sorry Mrs Hughes… that sounded awful… I did not mean it in that way at all… when I said… want a man… I didn’t mean want as in … well … I simply meant … do you ever get lonely … do you ever think it would be nice to have a companion … oh dear … I am so sorry,” Charles spluttered.
Elsie was highly amused by this outburst, if not a little flabbergasted by his initial question. She looked at Charles sweetly, stifling a giggle at his blushing and flustered complexion.
"In answer to your first question, Mr Carson, I do sometimes want a man … although that’s not quite the way I would put it …” she said teasingly and then continued, ” … rather that I sometimes think it would be nice to have a man at my side, to have his companionship and love,” Elsie explained.
"Yes, yes, of course …" Charles added. He then decided to continue, realising he really could not say anything much worse,
"… and if you did decide that you … … wanted a man …” Charles said, having given up trying to find a better way of putting it, “… would a humble Butler stand a chance?” he asked, gazing with much apprehension, and hope, at Elsie.
Elsie looked at Charles, surprised but overjoyed by this question. She reached up to caress his face softly, stroking his cheek with her thumb,
"He would have a very good chance indeed," she said.
The Beach by GeordieLass