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Too Perfect

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Too Perfect
by Princessilsa

     

Basic info: This story starts in 1948. That's when I calculated the time to be when Katherine would be about 15, Alistair around 23, and Rachel around 18. If I am off, then I am off - for my story this is how it will work. Also I have no clue how things really were among the extremely wealthy in the late 40's - again, this is just my version, no basis in truth.

CHAPTER ONE

Harmony Yacht Race
July 1948

Rachel Barrett laughed as her hair, which was rapidly coming out of its loose bun, whipped around in the wind.

"Just hold it steady Rache!" Jonathan McArthur shouted over the wind as he began to fiddle with the small boat's sail. Seeing him, she stopped laughing.

"Don't touch it!" she screamed. "Why tamper with perfection?" He obediently stepped back from the sails. "Tampering with perfection is ASKING for trouble," she continued to shout, but she was smiling. The finish line had come in to sight, and the closest competition was a solid 15 yards behind them.

"Who told you that?" Jonathan teased, looking pointedly at her somewhat large engagement ring. "Alistair Crane?"

"No," she shook her head, suddenly serious. "I tell myself every day!"

The finish line was looming ever closer. "Is he here?" Jonathan asked.

She grinned. "Yes. Yes, I think so."

Jonathan rolled his eyes. "I thought he had to work?"

She shrugged, turning the wheel slightly to the left. "He did."

He laughed. "I'll bet."

She smiled good-naturedly. "Well, it WOULD have been rude of him not to come. I mean, especially when he INSISTED I participate in this race."

John laughed again. "And I'm sure you had no problem telling him that. Oh well, at least it's no mystery why he wanted you to compete - of course he wants the town to know his fiancée."

She turned to him, excited. "We're about to win, you know."

He nodded. "I know."

"Well try to look a little more enthused about it," she encouraged.

People were lined up on the shores and docks, many of them cheering. Her heart skipped a small beat as she realized that one of them was probably Alistair. With her still scanning the crowd, the boat sliced past the light blue ribbon cleanly. For a moment Rachel seemed not to understand. Then she laughed joyfully and threw herself into Jonathan's arms.

"Woah! Rache!" he laughed too.

She loved to win.



Alistair looked on as Rachel's small boat pulled across the finish line, clearly far ahead of the competition. He clapped for her and smiled at the look of happiness on her face. She loved to win. And he loved her for it.

She threw herself on top of John then, and all of a sudden Alistair wasn't so very happy any more. Much as he hated to admit it, even to himself, he was jealous.

He knew Rachel's boat would be docking a few piers away. So that was where he headed. Rachel's sister, Katherine who was standing with him, gave a start and followed him. He sighed. She was a good kid and everything, he knew, but she annoyed him to NO end. And it always seemed to him like she was freakishly thin - in any case she was much thinner than her sister, and Rachel was thinner than most people he knew.

As he grew loser to the boat, he was amused to see how Rachel's dark blonde hair was in a typical state of disarray. He wondered why she'd even bothered to try to put it up - it looked so much better to him loose and free. To his chagrin Rachel was hugging Jonathan again. He increased his speed.


Rachel was just finishing tying down her end of the boat when John tapped her and she looked up - straight at Alistair standing on the docks. Still over-elated from winning and very excited to see him, Rachel did something even she would not normally have done in such a public setting. Before anyone could comprehend what was happening she stepped off the boat and ran toward Alistair. When she reached him she jumped up kicking her feet carelessly back as her head fell over his shoulder. She giggled, pushing back a little bit while still off the ground.

"Wasn't it fabulous?"

"Fabulous," he echoed, grinning at her enthusiasm. She smiled - then slowly bit her lip and pushed against him and down. Taking a step back she timidly smiled. "I guess I got carried away."

He laughed as Katherine glared at Rachel, not that either her or Alistair noticed. He was too busy taking in her clothing - black pants cut short at the calf and a simple white shirt. VERY informal for a woman of their class, even at an event like this. It was still HIGHLY unusual for a girl to even PARTICIPATE, much less win. But somehow Rachel still managed to scream 'class' even in the simple attire. He reached back to yank what remained of the clips she'd put in out of her hair.

"Perfect" he smiled down at her. She smiled right back.

"Oh! I'm sorry! How rude of me!" She exclaimed suddenly. "Katherine, how good of you to come." However even as she said it she was turning back to Alistair. "Why are you wearing a suit?" She questioned lightly. "It looks ridiculous!"

He shrugged. "Didn't you realize yet it's the only type of clothing I own?"

She rolled her eyes. "How typical," she grinned. "I guess we'll have to work on that." She lowered her voice. "Did you manipulate anyone yet today?" she teased.

"No." he answered at once.

She narrowed her eyes, searching his face, then laughed. "Liar."

"Rachel!" Katherine exclaimed. "How APALLINGLY rude! He looks perfectly sincere to me-"

"It's frightening, isn't it?" Rachel asked. "Don't worry," she smiled up at him as she talked to Katherine, "I'm breaking him of his bad habits."

"If I have so many bad habits why did you agree to marry me?" he asked, pretending to be hurt.

"Well, because," she smiled, "SOMEONE had to stop you from getting any worse didn't they?"

They laughed just because, and they lightly kissed. It was at that moment that Jonathan broke a bottle of champagne over their heads.

Rachel began to laugh again at once, even harder when she saw the look on Alistair's face. He reached into his pocked for a handkerchief, but she grabbed it out of his hand and let it float down. It landed with the neatly monogrammed A.C facing up.

"Don't," she protested, giggling. "You look so - so - oh Alistair!"

"This is going to look SO bad in the society pages tomorrow" he muttered.

She shrugged calmly. "So? The next day it will be someone else. You worry too much. Besides wasn't it you're father who told me that 'NO publicity is bad publicity?'"

Alistair laughed in spite of himself at her dead on impersonation of his father. "Probably," he admitted.

'So why worry?" she smiled. As Katherine looked on she reached up and kissed him again.

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