Jun 14, 2021 2:55 PM
James's mate considers herself sufficiently wooed
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It's remarkably easy, to date James.

He brings a certain amount of necessary spontaneity to her life - not (yet) upending it entirely, but definitely brightening it. Adding more spice, persuading her to be braver and bolder and sillier and less... less. She keeps working, but cuts the number of days she works to something a bit more reasonable. Six days a week of ten hours of work is... kind of a lot. A lot, a lot. There wasn't enough for her, let alone anyone else, before. Now she wants time enough for herself, and for someone else in particular. She spends her newfound free time gardening, or reading, or visiting interesting places that are suddenly so easily within reach, or socializing, or reconnecting with friends she hadn't quite realized she'd drifted away from, or organizing her poor hopeless boyfriend's dentistry paperwork and records to something a bit less of a nightmare, really James, how can you think in that mess?

Yvette's not quite sure where or when she falls in love. There is no big, sweeping moment where she looks at him and goes, 'Ah, yes, this is the person I'd like to spend my forever with.' There's just James showing up in the middle of her shift with an offering of coffee for her (and her fellow nurses, because he is a gentleman). There's just a section of her home's neglected siding that was starting to rot that is mysteriously fixed while she's at work, a love note playfully tucked between the boards for her for when she inevitably notices and investigates. There are the set of research papers on modern chemistry that find their way to her father, that cause him to start muttering expletives under his breath about talentless hacks not properly citing sources and being wrong, look, he'll prove it, sorry about the mess in the living room, he needs the space for the equations and this experiment because he does not think any of this was done properly. There are the letters from her brother, teasingly amused at how, yes, Yvette is being very careful and meticulous and isn't even a little bit swept up by the romance of it all, mhm. There are the afternoons James pops by as a surprise, with flowers and a kiss just because he can. There are the evenings he cooks dinner and listens to her ramble about horrendously rude patients and how the entire medical system just needs to be overhauled. There are casual touches of affection and his familiar comforting chill at her side, and relaxing because he's there. There are the nights that he does nothing but nestle next to her in her bed and hold her while she sleeps, because while yes she would like to wait for marriage for certain things, he makes her feel safe, and no one's going to worry about him sleeping at her house if they aren't aware that he does it.

After five weeks, she informs him that she loves him. After twelve more, she stops nervously dancing around the topic and drags him (willingly, playfully) off to go give him her taste in rings.

She favors delicate artistry more than impressively large or numerous diamonds, and is very practically minded. Nothing that will easily snag, certainly, nor anything likely to lose its gemstones. Large rings are showier and more cumbersome than they need to be, and the two of them have nothing to prove to anyone in particular. The current modern style of rings are nice on the whole, but floral patterns are better than geometric ones, and she favors organic curves over stocky straight lines.

But most of all, she'd just like it to be from him. That'll be enough. Along with forever.

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Forever has been all he's wanted.

And one day he knows he can ask for it.

On that day they're having dinner with her father again, when James clears his throat. "Mr. Lowell?"

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He looks up from the dinner he'd been focusing on. "Yes?"

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"I," he clears his throat again, "love your daughter more than anything in this life, and wish to be with her forever." He turns to look at said daughter and smile fondly. "And despite all my flaws and mistakes, she seems to love me back."

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Yvette smiles to the table bashfully, and reaches out to gently hold his hand.

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Mr. Lowell squints just a little, off balance by the statement. That's not a question, so he doesn't need to answer, but he's being looked at and needs to reply in some sort of way in order for James to.... keep stating the obvious?

"... Yes?" he agrees, for lack of a better idea.

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James's smile turns into a slight grin, and he lightly squeezes her hand. "And... there is nothing that would make me happier than having her hand in marriage. And I would ask you for your blessing."

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"Oh!" Now the statement makes sense!

"Yes, absolutely, you have it," he agrees, with a firm nod.

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Never change, Mr. Lowell.

The grin widens more broadly than than one could think possible and he turns again to look at Yvette, reaching inside a pocket to grab a gorgeous white gold ring with an intricate floral pattern and subtle diamonds around it that from a distance give it an understated but very pretty sparkle. "Yvette Lowell, will you do me the honor of becoming my wife?"

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Yvette sporfles, then says, "Yes," followed by, "and how did you get that today, you haven't even had twenty-four hours yet, James this is absurd!"

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James might under different circumstances have answered this, but right now what he does instead is stand up, pick Yvette up from her chair like it's nothing, and spin her around then kiss her passionately.

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Squeak!!!!

She melts into his arms, giggling into the kiss.

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And after he sets her down he can get on one knee and gingerly put the ring on the appropriate finger.

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She beams at him and huffs a little delighted laugh once the ring is on.

"It's perfect," she informs him, admiring it. "But seriously how."

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"I have a friend at that one shop."

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"Well, good job to you and to him, it fits perfectly. I love you."

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"I love you too."

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Wedding planning is straightforward enough. If she were inclined to make more of an event of it, it'd be more complicated, but her plan is to flee the country with her shiny new husband to go become a vampire, so really, it's ultimately very simple. It'd be setting the wrong tone for her to put a lot of work (and money) into being a socialite and throwing a massive party just to disappear off the planet in six months. It'd be nice and sentimental, but there are other ways to get that. Small gatherings, visits with friends, giving away possessions that her father doesn't need and that couldn't come with her. Private goodbyes instead of a large, public one. The theme of the wedding will be tasteful and thrifty, not large and opulent. Catering will be handled by potluck, venue will be this modest church, dress will be this lovely gown that she found at a secondhand store and tailored to fit by a friend she's ruthlessly bribed with a quarter of her book collection, and so on.

She makes sure to impress upon everyone that James thinks his dentistry prospects will be better back in America; he was fine living cheaply when he was a bachelor, but now he's going to have a wife, and clearly he'd like to spoil and take care of her. This plays nicely with quietly getting rid of all of the things she can't keep as a vampire. Money's easier to take with you than a whole lot of furniture, for both humans and vampires. Some things she plans to keep - portraits, heirlooms, and other things that are properly irreplaceable. Everything else is efficiently attacked with the air of 'If I won't want it in a hundred years, and won't need it in the next ten, I don't want it now.' She'd joked about moving to Greenland, but it's actually simpler to have her real plans match her fake ones. Portland, Maine resembles civilization enough for her purposes. It's close enough to empty wilderness, without being some little nowhere town that no one would plausibly move to in order to make more money. James is informed that he has family there, which shores the story up nicely enough.

The engagement is planned to be short. There will probably be rumors about her already being with child to explain the fast engagement. These incorrect (and somewhat insulting) rumors are useful as explanation, so she doesn't go out of her way to discredit them, but they do annoy her a little. She resolutely ignores them in favor of the narrative of how they are very in love and impatient. ... Which they are, admittedly.

Her fiancé is in charge of the honeymoon. This is mostly because he'll enjoy it immensely, but also because he's just more suited to it than she is. She's happy to pretend to have caught her brother's wanderlust and want to do some sightseeing before settling down. No long boat rides, and no being near people for a little while, because she is going to be so sick of them by the time they're actually married. Look, even not being a socialite involves quite a lot of socializing, when one is saying one's final goodbyes before leaving the country, and this is a lot of work to do in a short period of time, and aughhhhhhh why can't she just disappear into the night with her soon-to-be-husband without so much as a goodbye without everyone kicking up some kind of fuss.

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Yvette frets a little bit about Blair's lack of response to the letter announcing her engagement and plans, but a mysterious vampire shows up in town about a week and a half before the planned date of the wedding. His eyes have had time to fade from newborn red to gold.

"Hey, so, would you be mad if my wedding present is a house?" calls Blair, from outside James's house, in the middle of the night.

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James zips to the window, laughs, looks around, then hops through it down to the ground. Then he zips to Blair to bear hug him.

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Hug!!!!

"Taking that as a no! Hi! Congratulations!"

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"Thank you! You insane man, how did you even get a house, where - Yvette is very worried you know!"

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"In the uninhabited wilderness in easy running distance near Portland, Maine," sniffs Blair. "Is she? Aw, I'm sorry, I didn't want to get her hopes up in case I couldn't pull off actually finding you a house. And I'm faster than the post, so once I was sure it seemed better to just come myself."

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"Well, she will want to see you in the morning, certainly - if you, ah, can?" He gestures vaguely in the direction of his own eyes.

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"Yep! Not around open wounds without warning, but people are fine. I can breathe and have conversations and everything."

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He grins. "Then she'll definitely want to see you. You staying anywhere here?"

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