Other Characters by this Player
There's nothing here yet
James opened his mouth intending to repeat his earlier statement about how he would not let the marshal down but he caught himself a bare second before ding so. “The map sir?” He asked, eyes lit with curiosity, since he had always loved drawing. "I do have a fair hand with drawing. I assume that there is someone who can describe the terrain to me." This seemed a way he could use his skill in a practical way. Which was something he'd always been told would never amount to anything worthwhile. “Honestly Marshall, I'm not looking for excitement. I merely wish to earn a fair wage so I can survive out here.” He said, with a little shrug. The mention of bonuses was certainly a welcome one and his eyes brightened at the notion
James smiled back at Ada, though if he’d known what she was thinking he’d likely have laughed and corrected her since he’s never really been much of a runner. Not even as a young lad, but he’d certainly walk the documents anywhere they needed to go.
Since she was dragging in out of the room and away from the disapproving Caroline, James went along readily enough. But his steps stowed as he realized where exactly she was leading him.
“Really don’t need to put yourself out on my account Miss Arabella.” He tried to tug his hand free without causing her harm, but his polite manners towards a lady meant that he was stuck, trailing along in Arabella’s wake. His attempts to speak and to free himself were lost beneath her rapid fire chatter, about whores? James’ flushed again, shocked by her knowledge of and reference to such matters. She was so young and while he knew that there were women who sold their bodies he was much older than she. “That’s…. Good.” He said faintly, his cheeks hot with embarrassed blood. “I should love to hear you play Miss Arabella.” That was true, but the idea of so young a lady setting foot in a saloon did not sit well with him.
Still caught firmly in Arabella’s grasp, James gave an awkward nod in response to her shouted introduction, the ear nearest his young captor ringing slightly. He hadn’t expected her to do that and was surprised by the volume she managed to produce from so slight a frame.
James’ eyes widened at Arabella’s offer to buy him a drink, “No need to trouble yourself with that my good man.” He told the burly bearded man standing behind the heavy wooden bar.
He turned to Arabella, “While I do appreciate the offer Miss Arabella. It’s really not necessary.” He smiled gently at her, lifting their joined hands, twisting so he could lift her knuckles to his lips, pressing a kiss to the back of her hand. “No gentleman could ever accept payment for helping a lady as I did for you.”
Wishing that he were anywhere but here, James missed the quick glance that Ralph sent his way, the bulk of his attention was on the young girl who still had a death grip on his arm, “It’s alright.” He whispered, intending his words to only reach Arabella’s ears. "I'm not much of a drinker anyway."
“I like to think that I am.” James said with a shy little smile for the older woman, “Thank you.” He took a breath, squaring his shoulders when she said that he could learn the tasks without any trouble. “Today sounds perfect Ma’am.” He hurriedly assured her with a nod. "Where shall I start?" He asked.
James had worked out what he needed to earn to survive in Kalispell and the wage that the Marshall gave him seemed adequate to keep him fed and housed in relative comfort if not close to the standard he’d been born into. But you’re not a lord here. He thought a trifle wryly. “Yes sir.” He said, offering his hand in case the Marshal wanted to shake on the deal.
Unlike many men, James had no issue with the fact that a woman made more than he did. After all, she’d been doing it for quite some time. He was just starting today and had to learn what Miss Fetterman already knew, and learn quickly since he’d claimed to be a fast learner. James was in the deep end now and it was sink or swim time for the young Brit.
There was some validity to Caroline’s musings about him needing Arabella to defend him, not because he’d done anything wrong, or had the slightest intention of doing anything wrong. James simply wasn’t the type to stand up for himself. The few times he’d tried hadn’t ended up very well for him.
While it was new for James to be threatened by a woman, he’d been threatened plenty in his life and as was usual for him, he flinched away from the source, in this case, Caroline defensively. Fighting back was not in James’ make-up, she would wipe the floor with him, even if he’d been willing to fight a lady. “All I want is to get my trousers mended so I can be on my way.” He stammered striving for dignity though he failed pretty miserably, his cheeks going pale, his hands trembled visibly before he yanked them out of sight, clasping them behind his back.
So much blood rushed to James’ face that they looked magenta and literally gave off heat as he nodded awkwardly. Not that he was looking to lose his virginity here with either Arabella or Caroline.
“Saloon?” He choked out, as she dragged his unresistant body towards the door of the room she shared with Caroline. James kept a wary eye on the older of the two young women, He didn’t think she’d hit him from behind especially since he was leaving, But given he’d been hit and shoved by bullies growing up, he was understandably anxious. He followed Arabella meekly down the stairs, desperately thinking of some way to extricate himself without giving offence before she dragged him into a saloon.
James didn’t know what to say to that so he wisely kept his mouth shut, merely smiled though it was a touch uncertain. “Glad to hear that. My teachers always said I was full of questions.”
James drew in a shaky breath, his eyes dropping from the other man’s to the offered hand. He’d never been a Godsend to anyone before. Most of his life he’d been the spare to his older brother Henry, the heir. Ignored by his father, tormented by his brother and his classmates throughout his years at school. “When shall I start? And…” He flushed slightly never having to have asked such a thing but if he was to feed and clothe himself he needed to know. “What is the compensation?” He was staying at the boarding house for the time being, but he was feeling a stifled there and hoped to rent a small house for himself, even if it meant he would have to prepare his own meals.
“Thank you.” James said with a brief smile for the older of the two young ladies. He’d caught the coldness in Caroline’s manner towards him and it made him very uncomfortable. He had his own issues due to the way he’d been treated by his older brother Henry and by his classmates who’d tormented him throughout his school years.
At her withering look, James flushed, shifting his weight from one stockinged foot to the other, staring down at his bared legs. But when Arabella mentioned giving him the ‘Kiss of Life’ his gaze jerked upwards, first to Arabella then over at Caroline, horror draining all the color from his cheeks.
James’ jaw dropped and he swiftly went crimson again before he sputtered out, “It’s not like that a’tall. I… err would never frequent such a place. Nor would I take advantage of a young lady.” What he said was nothing less than the truth, since he had steadfastly refused to join Arabella on her bed. “If not for the rip in my trousers I would not be standing here now. I am not the sort of man who would risk a lady’s reputation.” He said doing his best to be reassuring. He had no issue with Caroline since she was only looking out for her friend.
James accepted his trousers from Arabella with a nod of thanks, then hurriedly slipped them back on, fastening the buttons at his waist with a sigh of relief. When the younger girl claimed that she was a lost cause, he immediately shook his head. “I’m sure that’s not true Miss Arabella.” He blurted out, heedless of incurring Caroline’s wrath. “That’d be like me saying I wasn’t a man because I’ve never… err…” Here words failed him, since he might not have ever lain with a woman, it didn't mean he was crass enough to say so to not one but two young ladies.
“Yes Ma’am.” James said with such a brisk nod of his head that a lock of his unruly hair dropped into his eyes. He brushed his fingers through his hair, pushing it back out of his way, fighting the urge to blush. “I did study law back in England.” He clarified, offering her a tiny smile. “So I’m certain it won’t take me any time a’tall to become familiar with the local laws.” There were many things James didn’t fully understand about the world that he now found himself in, but the law was at least somewhat familiar ground. Not that he had a great passion for it, but he did for learning so that at least had held his interest.
James squared his shoulders, giving a firm nod to the marshal and Ada both. “I won’t let you down. I give you my word.” James said fervently, meaning every word since this was the first place to have given him the slightest encouragement. His money wasn’t quite gone, but he was lower than he’d like and needed to find a job to survive out here. He didn't want to sound desperate, even if he was beginning to feel that way.
James merely blinked at her, since she was right in certain respects, after all, he had been born into the aristocracy Which, he supposed lent a certain amount of truth to her statement that he wasn’t a simple man. Though he wasn’t in that world anymore, doing his best to thrive in the world he now found himself in. Uncomfortable with the idea of joining her on her bed, James stayed on his feet, though he did move to the side so as to not block the light from the window.
The sound of her cheerful humming did much to relieve the tension in James, though not even her melodious voice could banish it entirely as she began to sing. He enjoyed music, but would have gently refused since singing was not one of James’ strengths. His artistic abilities lay in a very different direction.
Once again, James gave a tug to the hem of his shirt as the door opened and another woman entered the room. Her arrival cause the blood to rush upwards, staining his cheeks bright red.
Under the weight of her glare, James swallowed, then offered Caroline a shaky smile, “I err… Miss Arabella is doing me the courtesy of repairing my trousers.” He didn’t say how he’d come to rip his pants, believing to reveal her attempt to take her life would be ungentlemanly.
At Arabella’s inaccurate introduction, James closed his eyes briefly, “James.” He said clearly, though the tone of his voice was a trifle bewildered since he’d never told Arabella his name as anything but James. “My name is James Vaughn, not Jim.” He started to offer her his hand, but caught himself since it seemed the height of idiocracy given his current lack of trousers. Why does she keep calling me Jim? He wondered, It's not my name.
Letting out a long slow breath, James resisted the sudden urge to press himself even further back into the corner, his thin hands trying to tug the hem of his shirt down lower, wishing that he had on his pants, even with the rips. That would be much less embarrassing.
James’ gaze shifted between the man and woman before him doing his best to hide his nervousness from them both, knowing revealing just how badly he needed work would do him no favors with potential employers. He knew of Princeton of course, and when he learned that she had studied there, James would be surprised and ever so slightly envious.
“Yes, of course.” James replied quickly when asked if he had a name. “James. My name is James Vaughn.” Luckily he’d finally stopped instinctively using his title. The hesitation used to make it seem he was lying and had caused him difficulty in the months since he arrived in America from England. He sent Ada a boyish smile, inkling his head slightly at her, “A pleasure madam.” He hadn’t been given leave to use her first name and was clearly trying to be respectful towards the older woman. “Marshall.” James nodded again, listening to the pair intently.
The tip of his tongue snaked out to wet his lips as Ada told him a little about the work. “Just to be clear, I’ve never done anything of the sort before.” He told them honestly before continuing to speak, “But as I said before I did study law, and I’m a fast learner. Willing to work hard.” He closed his mouth and swallowed hard, his hazel eyes flickering between them both.
James let out a nervous chuckle, “I didn’t think you did.” he hastened to assure her, since he truly didn’t believe that she would bite him. Nor was he exactly comfortable with sitting down beside her on her bed. More for propriety’s sake than because he was afraid of her or anything like that. “I’m fine standing.” he murmured, rubbing his hand over his chin, his eyes not quite meeting hers when he passed over his ripped pants. James tugged at the hem of his shirt, caught himself and forced his arms back down to his sides.
His lips curved when she started humming before reading off the name of the store where his pants had come from. “Definitely not.” James said quietly but firmly, the tiny smile that had begun in response to her humming faded as he thought about the life he’d left behind. “I… My clothing did come from London, but I’m just a…. Simple man. No kidnapping of fair maidens for me.” He managed a slight smile, clearly trying to but her at ease.
“Your virtue is safe with me, I assure you Miss Arabella.” James said with as much dignity as a man without any pants on could muster. In his case it wasn’t really that much. Her giggling comment about chinks in his armor had his face falling. “Another?” He choked out in dismay, looking down at himself trying to see what she was referring to this time.