Literary Lovers Mash-Up: John Willoughby & Jane Eyre


Today, we have a new story from our Literary Lovers Mash-Up Writing Contest entries. We asked you to write about two literary lovers meeting OR falling in love for the first time in about 500 words.

Today’s entry comes from Lillie Hill, who stuck with the classics — writing a meeting between John Willoughby from Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen and Jane Eyre from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.

Jane’s Heart

Jane stepped off the doorstep of her sister’s home. A gusty wind blew from behind, almost knocking Jane off of her feet. She tucked a few wayward strands of inky hair beneath her cap. She held a basket in one hand, and used the other to smooth down her rustling skirt. She tried to quell the anxious feeling that had risen in her chest.

Jane walked down the lane toward her brother-in-law’s workshop. As a farrier, Samuel Lapp had been doing a brisk business lately, and had decided to hire an assistant. Last week, when Jane had brought a basket for lunch, she had been introduced to John Willoughby. The man’s dark eyes had seemed to bore into her very soul. She had been unable to look away from his direct gaze, even though normally she would have lowered her eyes. Then, Willoughby had winked at her. Winked! A warm feeling snaked down Jane’s spine at the memory.

Now, she was headed back to the workshop. Rebecca, Jane’s sister, had packed a simple meatloaf and apple pie lunch for the men. How could Jane refuse the request to deliver the food? Especially when Rebecca, at seven months pregnant, looked exhausted from her time in the kitchen. No, she had to go. But, she would not linger in the man’s presence. She was unnerved by his actions. She didn’t like feeling this way about an Outsider.

Arriving at the door to the workshop, Jane took a deep breath, then walked inside. She saw Samuel speaking to a neighbor. John stood with the two men, but his eyes sought her out immediately. He moved away from the men. His long stride ate up the distance between the two. Jane looked down, her fingers fumbling with the handle of the basket. She knew when he stood in front of her; his musky scent filled her nose.

“Jane.” John spoke her name with familiarity, while his warm hand settled on top of hers and squeezed. She was compelled to look up. His face held a tender expression, and she softened, giving him a tiny smile.

“Let’s go sit outside.” He slipped the basket from her unresisting fingers.

“This is lunch for you and Samuel.”

“I’m sure that your sister made plenty. We’ll be sure to save him some.” He held the door open for her. Jane followed him, her heart leading the way.

See all of the Literary Lovers Mash-Up entries.

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