By Wit & Whitby
[Complete] Throw Caution Off The Pier - Printable Version

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Throw Caution Off The Pier - Persephone Blythe - 05-26-2020

Persephone was in a tight spot. There were a lot of things happening in her personal life that were weighing on her heart and causing her much stress- so today, to clear her mind, she left her new seaside home, refusing any servants' accompaniment, and walked all the way down to the eastern pier. It wasn't very busy today, as the ice on the bay made it difficult for larger ships to dock in Whitby this time of year, and most dockhands just mulled about by makeshift trash-barrel fires and passed around mugs of some dark liquid that could have been anything from coffee to liquor to tar, Persephone couldn't really tell. Either way, her goal today was to examine the houses and other structures built right on the beach to see how the architects designed them to withstand flooding, abnormally high tides, or storm-driven 10-foot-plus waves. 

To get a better view of one of the buildings, a slightly-lopsided tavern half-built into a sand-covered hill, Persephone (glad she'd worn boots today) climbed up the site of one of the tall lampposts, then leaped on top of a rickety wagon about six feet above the ground. As she waved her arms to keep her balance, the tottering planks of wood on top started to slide about, and a few of the dockhands whistled and cheered. Apparently, this was their greatest amusement today. Persephone ignored them and focused on peering at the angle at which the tavern was built, but when she took a step forward, forgetting where she was she was so focused on judging the measurements, she stepped right off the wagon and started to fall toward the ground.

RE: Throw Caution Off The Pier - Donald S Witaker - 05-26-2020

It was serendipity that the good doctor had gone for a walk to get to know his new home. He was new in town and wanted very much to see the sights and such of what Witby had to offer. The decision to just up and move was for the best... London had too many memories. His wife's agonized screaming would haunt him till the end of his days, but it would be better if he wasn't surrounded by the things that constantly reminded. Living away from London made him feel better.

He happened to be there as a lovely young woman climbed atop a wagon that looked like it shouldn't be used anymore. His heart went into his throat and he lunged, his arms outreached as she fell. Assuming he caught her, he would look down at her face and give pause. Lord, she was pretty. He remembered his manners and set the woman aright. "Are you alright?" he asked with a bass voice.

RE: Throw Caution Off The Pier - Persephone Blythe - 05-26-2020

Persephone's breath caught in her throat as she felt someone catch her, and she instinctly held on to the person where she found her arms at the moment- around their shoulders, it seemed. She opened her eyes from where she'd squeezed them shut as she fell and saw a pleasant-faced gentleman holding her with a worried expression. After a moment of surprise between them both, he set her back upright and she brushed down her dress as he asked if she was alright. His deep voice was just as agreeable as his face, she mused, and replied, blushing slightly at her silly mistake atop the wagon, "Yes, I- I do not know what I was thinking." After a beat, she added (might as well), "In truth, I meant to get a better view of the structural integrity of that tavern- the slanted one, there -but I misjudged my distance." She tilted her head. "I suppose I did know what I was thinking, then- I rescind my previous statement."

RE: Throw Caution Off The Pier - Donald S Witaker - 05-27-2020

She was a talkative miss, he thought as he regarded her with growing curiosity. "You were very lucky I happened upon you, miss. If you would have gotten hurt, I would have helped you then too." He took a little bit of a step back and said, "I am Doctor Witaker, at your service." He offered a calloused hand and a smile that could light up an entire room full of people. "You do look sound to me. Nice and healthy, yes?" he bumbled.

He gave her a once-over in that professional way that bespoke of good bedside manner and a caring doctor in general. Laugh lines crinkled the corners of his eyes and a warmth in those green eyes of his that said he was concerned for her.

RE: Throw Caution Off The Pier - Persephone Blythe - 05-27-2020

Persephone dusted off a bit of sawdust on her arm after shaking the good doctor's hand. "Nice and healthy, indeed. I've felt the most alive I ever have since coming to Whitby, despite how I miss my sister." Persephone was very close to Harriet, her younger sister by thirteen years, and she did, indeed, miss her dearly. Harriet was still in London, and Persephone felt her heart sink as she remembered the whole reason her parents sent her to Whitby: to find a suitor and marry before the year was up or lose contact completely with the family and, most importantly, with her sister. The only thing was... Persephone didn't want to marry. Every single man she'd known who might want to court her had been the type to take away whatever liberty she had if they were married, and Persephone was not about to accept that. If only there was another way, another type of man who would allow her her independence and maybe even help her pursue her dream of becoming an architect.

"Persephone Blythe," she added after a moment lost in her own thoughts, "I'm rather new in town."

RE: Throw Caution Off The Pier - Donald S Witaker - 05-27-2020

"I am glad that this place seems to be doing you some good, then," said the doctor. He gave her a smile and squeezed her hand before she began to dust herself off more. She really was a lovely young woman and Dr. Witaker wasn't even sure she was aware of such. When she spoke of being rather new in town, he said, "I've only just arrived, myself." He had come by train to this town and after checking to see if his belongings arrived at home, he had set off for the adventure of discovering what Witby had to offer. He liked it so far, even liked having caught Persephone. "And what a beautiful name you have."

RE: Throw Caution Off The Pier - Persephone Blythe - 05-27-2020

Persephone's cheeks turned a little pink, but then inwardly scolded herself. What was she doing, blushing at a man's compliments? Then she reevaluated that thought and realized how silly it was. A compliment was a compliment, and she should be grateful for it. "Thank you," she said with a small smile and added, for lack of a better reply, "A pleasure to meet you, Doctor. What brings you to the pier this morning?" Persephone could feel a slight twinge in her ankle and cursed the fact that all the boots she owned had heels. Impractical and difficult, they were, but her parents hadn't allowed her to purchase any heel-lacking boots and because they were her only source of wealth (which Persephone didn't like much), she was stuck with these. She'd probably jolted it when she leaped on top of the wagon from the lamppost, but just hadn't noticed it until now. It was a faint ache, though, and so she ignored it, hoping it would go away soon.

RE: Throw Caution Off The Pier - Donald S Witaker - 05-27-2020

"I wanted to take in the sights of my new home," he said with a smile. "It is different from London, that is for certain." He did not notice that she was hurt slightly, she hadn't really made a face or anything to indicate the twinge she was feeling, so he went on as one would when unaware. "I should get back soon, however, for I have a lot of unpacking to do." He was sorry that he had to go, he wanted to ask the girl more questions but he was making an excuse not to for the sake of propriety. He had already felt like he went beyond boundaries by catching her and holding onto her for a little longer than he had meant to... even if she hadn't said anything about it.

RE: Throw Caution Off The Pier - Persephone Blythe - 05-27-2020

Persephone smiled at Dr. Witaker. He was a pleasant sort of fellow, wasn't he? "You're new in Whitby as well?" she asked, although he'd already stated so, her words more of an affirmative that they were in similar positions here. "Where do you live?" The pink on her cheeks turned into crimson as she realized how unbelievably forward that must have sounded. "Er- I don't mean to-" She glanced down in embarrassment for just a moment, collected her thoughts, and said, still blushing deeply, "My dream is to be an architect, and I mean to study the buildings in Whitby while I reside here. There was a hotel I passed, a fascinating piece of work, with many folks coming-and-going- I wondered if you are staying there, and I meant no offense by my question." She hoped that explanation sufficed and stood there, mentally forcing the red on her pale cheeks to fade.

RE: Throw Caution Off The Pier - Donald S Witaker - 05-27-2020

She was a talkative thing, explaining needlessly why she asked him where he lived. He chuckled softly and shook his head, "I don't live there, no. I just purchased a house close to the beach where I intend to set up my practice. I have heard there are a lot of healing qualities to salt water and want to research it for myself." She was a smart young lady if her vocabulary had anything to say about that. "I think it is a wonderful idea you have... to study architecture, that is. You should keep doing it, especially if you enjoy it as much as you say. I feel the same way about helping people."