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Up the Old Oak

Novel By: ladyjulianac

Alexia or Alex as she prefers, has always been an unruly tom boy, however much her sisters tried to stop her. It didn’t help that her older brother had encouraged her when they were younger. Now he is serious and married and she is left to adventure on her own. Climbing up the old oak to see the view of her life long home that she loves, Alex startles a passing friend of Jonnie’s who thinks she is stuck and tries to rescue her. He scolds her when they get down for climbing it in the first place, but she just laughs. This begins a fiery relationship between two strong minded people with very forthright views on what they should be allowed to do. Can love come from the flames or will it be burned to a cinder? View table of contents...


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Submitted:Aug 10, 2010    Reads: 196    Comments: 11    Likes: 1   

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Up the Old Oak

Prologue (16 years ago)

Two small satin slippers lay hidden in the grass at the bottom of the giant oak tree. They were a pretty creamy champagne colour, in part, but the soft satin was marred with dark green grass stains and smudged with brown dirt. Their owner was no-where in sight.

"Alex! Alex!" a young boy called from the bottom of the hill, running through the long grass and up the hill. Leaves rustled at the upmost branch of the old oak and a small brown face peered down through the branches.

"Jonnie! Come and join me," she called down to him.

"I'm coming little sis, don't get huffy!" she laughed gleefully as he scrambled up to sit with her. He climbed slowly and carefully and alexia waited impatiently.

"Escaped your tutor again then?" she asked him with a grin. He grinned cheekily back.

"No I got sent to find you by mother. She got shown a lock of your hair by the maid. She's worried you have done something rash and I can see you have." He tugged a lock of her now short hair and laughed.

"Well I like it," she objected fingering her elfin hair cut. It was slightly wavy now it was short and framed her heart shaped face. But she didn't look boyish despite her slim child's figure that had not yet started to develop into a woman's. At four years her senior her brother was starting to grow into a man and starting to tower over her. He pulled her towards him with ease and pointed downwards sternly. Alex stuck her tongue out like the child she was and scrambled down ahead of him.

"Guess what papa brought me home today with him from London?" Jonnie called down to her from just above. He didn't wait for her response. "A new horse! He's a giant and as black as night. Great lines and a good jumper."

"That's not fair," Alex grumbled below him. "Mama has already banned me from riding and now you have a new horse." Jonnie just laughed as they dropped to the floor simultaneously. Alex slapped at him agitatedly, catching him sharply on his lower, bare arm. He yelped not expecting it and reached out for her but smaller and quicker she ducked his grip and ran, scooping up her muddied shoes as she went. Her small dainty feet flew over the ground as she ran, regardless of the long grass that whipped at her legs and the stones underfoot. Behind her Jonnie whooped excitedly as he ran to catch her.

Then suddenly he went silent and Alex looked up just as she ran directly into their fathers legs.

"Oomph!" she cried as she fell back to the ground, buried under the mountainous skirts she was forced to wear. The giant of a man who stood there laughed and scooped her up; straightening his favourite daughter's skirts so her muddied petticoats weren't on show to all and her head was uncovered.

"Alexia May Butler what have you done to your hair!" he chided her, placing her back on the floor. Alexia cast her eyes down meekly. "You look like a pixie May." And that was all he said. She giggled and threw herself at him hugging him tightly.

"I love you Daddy, I missed you." She whispered in his ear, letting the hair of his beard tickle her cheek.

"I love you too Pixie May." And they laughed together. Jonnie watched them silently from a short distance and then ran on.

Prologue 2 (4 years ago)

The sun shone down hotly on the family dressed in black. It was ironic really to have a funeral on such a beautiful day when everyone was sad. Bu at the same time it was the kind of day the Richard Butler had loved. Five women and one man cast their blood red roses down on the freshly covered grave. The oldest burst into a flurry of new tears and was led away by her oldest and youngest daughters who tired to comfort her through their own tears.

At twenty two and twenty one the middle sisters were very close. They stood together, wiping away their tears and clasping the others hand tightly. Alexia, the older of the two lent in close to her sister Bianca and whispered something to her. Bianca nodded in agreement and dropped her sister's hand and walked away silently.

This left Alexia alone with the single man in attendance. Jonnie looked at her intently his eyes bright with unshed tears. She stepped closer and hugged him tightly.

"What do I do Alex?" he whispered into her short hair.

"What you always have done Jonnie, make dad proud. You run a successful horse business and we have a close knit family, we'll be fine."

Jonnie's expression turned fierce and he pulled away abruptly, gripping her shoulders tightly and giving her a shake.

"Really Alex? Really? He was proud of me? He trusted me? When had he ever said that? Never! You were his favourite; he told you things, he praised you, gave you gifts. I'm his son, his only son and the most he ever did was buy me a horse, because he thought it was a good investment not because it was for me. It's not fair Alex he loved you more and you never cared; never did anything to deserve it. I hate you Alex!" he was shouting now and shaking her with each word. Tears streamed down her face as she tried to get away.

"Jonnie, you're hurting me!" she tried to tell him. He dropped his now raised hand and ran away from her, his long black coat streaming out behind him. Alex sunk to the floor feeling exhausted, tears streaming down her face. She never usually cried but now she didn't know what else to do.

He avoided ever speaking to her after that and Alex lost her closest sibling and her favourite playmate as well as her much loved Father. Now there was no-one at all to call her Pixie May.


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