This is the story of a powerful family and its unusual customs and rituals. Once a daughter finds the love of her life she must go though a ritual called the Ceremony of the Unveiling. This story is built on the two chapters of “Shaping A Proper Young Lady.” It can be read stand-alone. However, there is a lot of character development in the two chapters of Shaping a Proper Young Lady that you might enjoy and should enhance the reading of this one.
The Family: Ceremony of Unveiling
“And now, it gives me great pleasure to announce to The Family the engagement of my daughter, Heather Evers, to the man of her dreams, Jason Van Eckels.” Robert Evers paused and allowed the applause to run its course before offering the microphone to Jason and Heather.
As their daughter and future son-in-law spoke some well rehearsed words of their own, Robert and Meg Evers stood together holding hands and allowed the events of the evening to drift through their thoughts.
Meg and her daughter were easily the most beautiful women there. Both were stunning blondes, tall and lithe. At 39, Meg had more womanly curves than Heather and a more worldly mature look. Heather, who was only 21 years old, slightly thinner and a couple inches taller, carried more innocence with her and it showed in the way she dressed.
They looked out over the gathering comprised of over two hundred of New Salem’s first family; of which the Evers were an important piece. For this event, the men were in black tie and the women in evening gowns.
If they were at least sixteen, Meg Evers’s nieces and nephews were here; all sitting in the tables toward the back of the banquet room. Some were attending their first engagement party. But most were Heather’s age or a few years older and they were all very busy showing off their nubile figures and young, firm curves as they flirted with their equally young and virile cousins; all of them exhibiting youthful energy and good looks.
Meg’s brothers and sister, and her many cousins, were in the section of tables in front of the young adults. These were the men and women of Meg and Robert’s age. All were married and all were successful. The men were doctors and lawyers and bankers; strong, handsome and experienced. The women were busy in New Salem’s social scene; beautiful and confident, dressed in the finest clothes, wearing the finest jewels, and also ever watchful of their young adult children.
Her aunts and uncles, some with gray hair and some not, but all sophisticated, sat at the tables closest to the front, indicative of their place in The Family.
Regardless of their relationship to the Evers or their age, an attendee at this gala was beautiful or handsome. When it came to the finest family of New Salem, an unattractive woman or unappealing man could not be found.
The announcement of a family member’s engagement to marry was an important event in New Salem. And now, after almost 20 years of marriage, the Evers had the special privilege of presenting their daughter and her future husband. One year from tonight, they would become Mr. and Mrs. Jason Van Eckels.
During their drive home they talked of how proud they were of their daughter and her fiance. “Heather has chosen well. He has come so far in a short period of time,” Meg said.
“Jason’s shown himself to be the man we all hoped for, Meg. Six weeks ago we hardly knew him.” Robert added, reaching across the console to hold her hand.
“I didn’t think he was going to survive Heather’s unveiling,” Meg joked and both of them laughed out loud.
They reminisced over the years before Heather left for the University of Georgetown. Those were the years before they moved home to New Salem.
They had met Heather fifteen years ago; the first afternoon in their new home, the first home they had purchased after their marriage. She was the little seven year old tomboy with pigtails flying, riding back and forth on the sidewalk across the front of their yard, watching the movers slowly empty the contents of the truck into the house that was six houses down the street from her own.
For Heather it was a fantasy at her first sighting of this young married couple with its tall, strong husband and beautiful blonde wife that seemed just the right age to have a seven year old daughter. She didn’t know it but the fantasy would soon be shared by the Evers.
You see, Heather’s home was a shell. Not a shell in the physical sense, but a shell all the same. It was a shell that held a family made up of one sweet little girl and a drunk father. How can something good come from that situation? Well, Heather seemed to know how and she dreamed that one day her mommy and daddy would be the Evers.
It wasn’t long before Meg and Heather’s relationship began to grow. It was the natural development that comes from a young married woman that cannot have biological children and a motherless child that shouldn’t have to experience the loneliness and isolation of being raised etimesgut escort by a father haunted by his own demons.
Robert Evers was a polar opposite of Heather’s biological dad and quickly took to Heather. The happiness the Evers experienced of having her in their lives grew right along with Heather; from little kid to adolescent to young adult. Meg took Heather under her wing and eagerly taught her everything a mom teaches a daughter.
Once Heather turned eighteen, the Evers convinced her drunken father to allow Meg to provide her with the finishing worthy of a proper young lady. The two spent long hours after school studying and the long sessions turned into sessions lasting beyond the dinner hour and soon Heather was staying over on a few weekend nights.
The weekend night stays turned into all weekend stays and before long the Evers had furnished a bedroom for their young protégé. Once she graduated from high school she continued her educational finishing with Meg. In fact, her lessons increased in complexity and the time Meg devoted to Heather increased substantially and it wasn’t long at all before Heather was spending more nights at the Evers house than she was at her own.
“It’s so nice to hear the voice of a young lady wafting through our home,” Meg often told Robert. He agreed, of course.
“Yes and when she is in a tender moment and she calls us mom and dad…” A lump grew in his throat as he spoke and he bit his lip to collect himself.
Meg reached out and grabbed his forearm for comfort. “She’s so special. Robert, we’re a family. We truly are and she couldn’t be more a part of us than if she were made of our ribs,” Meg said.
By the end of the summer Heather’s biological father had agreed to allow them to finance her education at Georgetown. They didn’t see it as a big commitment. Instead, they saw it as the right thing to do. The Evers were very well off. Much more so than any of their neighbors knew. They could afford a much more expansive home in New Salem, but had stayed in this neighborhood these many years because of Heather.
Her drunken father hated them for their offer but wasn’t about to tell them no; given that his responsibility for her effectively ended with their commitment to her future. He wasn’t prone to looking a gift horse in the mouth and even through a lense of constant drunkenness he could see that the Evers were a couple with an impeccable lineage.
He had been inside their home and he had seen how they dress and carry themselves. He could sense they were money. “Old money,” he would say to himself as he pulled hard on a cigarette or threw down two fingers of rum. He didn’t turn them down because he wanted a larger payday than just taking care of his daughter. He wanted much more than that.
To Heather, she was scared to dream of more than what the summer had brought her. The Evers had freed her. She was free of the empty shell of her childhood. She was free to dance the dance of a proper young lady and she was free to enjoy all that comes from a loving family.
“How could it ever get any better than this,” she often told herself as she settled into life at Georgetown and weekends back home with Robert and Meg. She was safe. She was secure emotionally. She was leaving behind all the emotional baggage of her father’s drunkenness. Her future was very bright; the Evers had seen to that. She told herself to not be selfish by wanting more. But, she did want more. She longed to be their daughter.
Life back home meant life with the Evers’s extended family in New Salem instead of life back in the old neighborhood. She took to it quickly, loving the town that was both quaint and metropolitan at the same time, and enjoying the status that came with being so special to the Evers.
It didn’t bother her at all that she often went weeks without being back in her old house with her drunken father. She hated him for his ways and his treatment of her and she loved the Evers for theirs.
Finally, in the spring break of her first year in college Heather’s dream came true when she was handed an elegant envelope with a wax seal displaying The Family crest.
“We hope you approve,” Robert told her with Meg at his side.
Heather’s jaw dropped and tears welled up in her eyes as she read the introductory letter inside. She looked up at Meg and Robert; her face glowing and full of emotion as she said, “Thank you. It’s what I’ve dreamed of.”
The envelope contained adoption papers. Heather was now legally Robert and Meg’s daughter and a part of the family. The drunk’s asking price was high, but the Evers loved Heather and nothing was going to get in the way of her becoming their daughter. Certainly not a no-good drunk of a father that cared nothing for her. Robert had sized him up, negotiated his price, and bought him off.
A warning followed the transfer of money. “If The Family hears from you again it will be the last words you speak,” Robert etimesgut escort bayan warned.
If a drunkard can have an easy life, the money would buy it for him. Robert didn’t have much to fear. If he showed up unexpected, he would be taken care of. A cursory police investigation would confirm an accidental death of an unknown John Doe. Heather would never know.
The Evers finally had the daughter they loved but could never, until now, truly claim as their own. And, New Salem’s first family had the most desirable and available young lady in many years. Heather was a tall, lithe young blonde possessing the most beautiful looks and adoring charm of all The Family’s young debutantes.
She was courted by the most eligible of the young men at Georgetown, but none met her expectations. She wanted a man like Robert. Meg had taught her to have discriminating tastes and high expectations. It was The Family way and Heather didn’t disappoint her. She was raised by the Evers to be a proper young lady and she trusted them to help her find the man of her dreams. A man that would fit into The Family the way Robert did when he married Meg.
Heather turned down many offers to date her first year in college. Robert wouldn’t permit it. Even after he gave permission, she dated infrequently and remained chaste. She felt that the men in college were too immature and their future was not secure enough to interest her. Dutifully, she accepted a few offers and after each date she would call Meg and tell her all about the young man; his age, his look, how he treated her and how he presented himself.
None measured up to her expectations or Meg’s. But, she kept her hopes up and on the weekends when she came home Meg would encourage her daughter and buoy her spirits. Heather was by nature a positive young lady and she wasn’t in a gloom about not finding a man to share her life. She was, after all, only in her second year of college.
But, all young people, especially those in their second collegiate year, have their emotional ups and downs. And, when Heather felt emotional she turned to Robert. He was the head of the Evers family and he was Heather and Meg’s friendly port in the storm. When either lady needed a steady hand, Robert was always there.
He knew how to talk through any issue and how to focus them on what truly mattered. Robert was the benevolent king of his castle and they both trusted his every decision. His decisions were always sound, based on what’s best for them, consistent in their application and final.
Heather eagerly sought his counsel, just as Meg did with her father. Whatever her problem or worry was, he made her feel better. And, when Heather was feeling particularly sad or low in spirit Robert would allow her to share their bed.
His ways were the ways of the first family of New Salem. They were tried and true and had been proven over time. The ways produced proper young ladies and fine young men. They provided stable, productive marriages and strong family units. The ways of The Family built captains of industry, presidents of academia, high court judges, five-star generals and directors of prestigious law firms and brokerages. The one area they did not aspire to was politics. Family members did not become politicians. Instead, they controlled politicians.
The Family was powerful, and all of that power started and ended with the ways of each individual family within the larger family.
At the start of Heather’s third year at Georgetown she met Jason Van Eckles. He was mature and handsome. At thirty-one years of age he was ten years older than Heather and a junior partner in a major east coast law firm. He was very good-looking, kind and a gentleman and Heather fell for him on their first date.
Heather was everything he had been seeking. She was beautiful, smart, athletic, sweet and charming. She came from a good family. And, most importantly, she was chaste and pure. That was important to Jason and he often found himself thinking of how lucky he was to have found a woman as beautiful as Heather that was still a virgin at twenty-one.
Robert and Meg were speeding down the interstate when they heard the news of this new man in their daughter’s life.
Meg excitedly patted Robert’s thigh. “It’s Heather,” she said as she flipped open the phone and pushed it under the long thick mane of blonde hair.
“Hi mom,” Heather said to her excitedly.
“Heather, we didn’t expect to hear from you. Aren’t you on the way to Aspen? The snow’s waiting for you,” she responded.
“I’m coming home this weekend instead of going skiing,” she said and paused awkwardly before finishing her sentence. “And, I’m bringing a friend.”
Meg held her hand to the phone’s mic and quickly told Robert that Heather would be home this weekend after all, and he nodded and grinned as he replied, “That’s wonderful news.”
Meg assumed it was one of her girlfriends. “She can stay in the guest escort etimesgut suite honey. Next to your bedroom,” she replied.
Heather paused again. “Mom, my friend is a man,” she said. “The man I told you about last week, Jason Van Eckles.”
It was Meg’s turn to pause before she replied, “Oh.” She thought back to the conversation she and Heather had about her new suitor named Jason and smiled.
Before Meg could continue, Heather jumped in. “Mom, I think he’s the one for me,” she said with a lump in her throat.
Once she got that important bit of information out she ran off a string of comments in the rapid fire fashion she always used when she was nervous, anxious and unsure of her parents reply. “Mom he’s so wonderful and his name is Jason but you already know that and he’s such a gentleman and he’s so interesting and he treats me like a lady and…and…and…Oh, Mom! I think I love him!”
Meg always smiled when Heather spoke in this fashion. It reminded her of the days when Heather would rush home from school and be out of breath when she bounded onto Meg’s front porch and excitedly tell her about the day’s events as Meg listened intently to every word.
Meg knew this was a big step. The weekend would be an important one and she needed to have a conversation with Robert concerning the news. “Heather, that’s wonderful news! Tell Jason he’s very welcome. He can stay in the guest cottage. We’ll have such great fun this weekend,” she told her.
She asked to talk to Robert.
“Daddy?” she asked after she heard him on the phone.
“Yes, Heather,” he said while glancing at Meg.
“I’m so nervous about telling you,” she admitted.
“Honey, we love you and we trust you. This is wonderful news. Tell me all about him,” he replied.
Heather talked hesitantly and nervously, telling her father about the man she was falling in love with and seeking his advice on how to proceed from here. She already knew the answers. Meg had schooled her on the ways of The Family concerning marriage and proposals of marriage. But, she wanted to hear Robert’s reassuring voice and she wanted to hear him tell her that everything was going to be fine because the ways of The Family would be followed and they never failed.
“I love you, daddy,” Heather said as the conversation ended.
“I love you to, honey,” he replied. “We’ll see you tomorrow evening.”
The Evers lovingly held hands and talked at length about their daughter as they sped towards their Thursday afternoon appointment. Heather was one of the most eligible young women at Georgetown. She had turned down offers from many suitors and now that she had accepted one, they had many emotions to work through and many questions about the young man.
“Jason must be an impressive young man,” Meg said.
“I am certain he is, Meg. Heather’s taste is impeccable,” Robert replied.
“Will we go about this the same way my parents did when you and I fell in love?”
He turned to her, smiled and squeezed her hand. She leaned into him and they kissed briefly, but tenderly. She didn’t need to hear his answer. She already knew they would.
Friday came quickly. Robert worked into the late afternoon while Meg met Jason Van Eckles for the first time and set him up in the guest cottage. It was a modest, one bedroom little house with a bath, living area and small kitchen. But, it was decorated well and was more than enough for visitors and it served its purpose of giving everyone a modicum of privacy at night.
He gave her a very good first impression. At thirty-one years of age he was only eight years younger than her, but the age difference seemed much larger. Perhaps it was due to situation. After all, he was courting her daughter.
Meg was similar to all the wives of The Family; more stable and mature than other women and men their age. All of them married men many years older than themselves. Meg had experienced life as few women her age had. At thirty-nine, she had already travelled the world and raised a child into a proper young lady.
Meg and Heather left Jason to prepare for the evening. Dinner was scheduled for seven o’clock and Heather knew cocktails would be served prior to dinner. She had already briefed him to arrive at the main house promptly at six-thirty.
She was nervous about the evening and her stomach had butterflies as the butler opened the front door and introduced their young guest. She, Robert and Meg greeted Jason warmly.
Jason Van Eckles was tall, strong and handsome. His handshake was firm, but not overly so. He greeted Robert with dark blue eyes; as blue as Heather’s and his thick blonde hair matched her mane. He spoke with Robert confidently and appropriately, showing the proper respect deserving of Robert’s position as head of the family.
Meg wore a cream colored, silk cocktail dress. The bodice clung to the swells of her breasts and showed an ample, but appropriate amount of cleavage. It fit snug on her hips and the hemline lay modestly above the top of her knees.
Jason was tempted to run his gaze down Meg’s beautiful figure but resisted, and kept his eyes from wandering. Meg and Robert knew that out of curiosity he would want to check her out and were impressed that he was able to control his behavior.