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Mrs. Rochester

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    Jane ignored the rustling next to her for a few seconds, sleep still holding her eyes shut even as she listened to the stirring of the sheets. Shifting her own weight against the bed, she opened her eyes, half-way, the dark of the night barely chased by the sun in the window.

    “Very sorry to disturb you, Mrs. Rochester.” A whisper tickled against her lips, and Jane opened her eyes fully. With a kiss pressed softly against her cheek, Edward whispered, “Truthfully, I’m surprised you out-slept me, Jane.”

    Leaning his one good arm against the bed, Mr. Rochester tentatively leaned forward into his wife’s sleepy frame, sharing her warmth and softness like he could claim it for himself.

    “You haven’t disturbed me, yet, sir.” Shutting one eye, leaving the other open in a prolonged wink, Jane made a show of yawning. “Perhaps I shall sleep all day, never leave this bed; that’ll teach you to keep me up all night, talking and…” Both of her eyes flashed open in an attempt at a guilty wince; married or not, Jane still felt shame sometimes, at her husband’s touch. Letting her eyes close again, Jane promised herself she was still good, just a new bride, and most importantly, still sleepy.

    “Talking? If I recall, I wasn’t the one asking the questions I was keeping you awake answering.” He pressed his lips to her chin, “And we did more than talk; me and my new little wife.”

    When her husband’s tone of voice turned that low and dark, Jane knew it really was time to stop teasing him, or he’d truly have her in bed all day. Eyes still closed, fingers feeling their way up to his face, over his lips, tracing his dark brows, Jane opened her eyes to his grey ones open to her.

    “Well, we must do more than talk today too, sir. I fear there’s all manner of things to do.” Bracing herself for trading the shared warmth of her marital bed, for the colder air of the external world, Jane couldn’t bring herself to move just yet.

    “Does my wife tease me? So early in our marriage?” Holding her cheek to his lips again, Mr. Rochester heard her laugh wriggle from her lips. She laughs since she came back to him, it’s one of the only things about her truly changed.

    “I teased you a great deal before we were married, sir.” Finally pushing the covers back off her chest, Jane brought her fingers over her husband’s brow, again. “But I mean we must go to town and post the letters to Adele, sir. She’ll be desperate to hear all about our marriage and the happy times I mean to torment you through.”

    He saw only shadows, but he pictured her smile, teasing him. Clumsily, his thumb traced her lips, and her grin. Certainly teasing.

    “And you mean me to walk to town, I suppose? This is what you mean by more-than-talking? Has anyone told you that your husband’s a handicapped, hindered fellow, Mrs. Rochester? That perhaps he slows you down, holds you back, keeps you from promptly returning your correspondences.” Nestled against the pillows of their bed, his face fell a little, uncontrollably.

    “Only my husband tells me so, sir; and I fear I don’t listen to him about a great deal of things, including that subject. Come, let’s take breakfast before our walk, I’ll send for Pilot and we’ll all go.” Snapping up out of bed at last, Jane Rochester, formerly Jane Eyre, started her fifth day as a married woman.

    “We are well-off enough to keep a horse, dear.” He chided, regretting her loss of heat once she left him.

    “But then I should have to learn to ride, sir, and I’ve seen horses throw their riders- I don’t wish to experience it first-hand. After all, a beast you couldn’t tame is a thought that truly frightens, sir.” Leaning back to bed, she reached for his hand and kissed it.

   Following her tugging, he sputtered,  “Couldn’t tame… You had me thrown from my horse, little Jane, you and your elf ilk, had me knocked from it and sent reeling to your rescue and mercy. I should have relented then, and had the lesson stick.”

    “Well, yes, I suppose so, sir. Does that mean you’ll relent today, Mr. Rochester?” Steadying his hand to her shoulder, Jane drew him to the breakfast table before he could get her back into bed.

    “Probably not, Mrs. Rochester,” He liked the sound of it; Mrs. Rochester. A wife he could love, who loved him.