Letters
Michelle Perry


Dear James,

How are you? This is Corina Jacobs from the airplane. It’s been quite some time since we exchanged information, but I hope you still remember me. I also hope you are doing well after our harrowing experience. How is your arm? For myself, I have almost beat the nightmares, but I haven’t been near an airport since I returned home.

Needless to say, I am eternally grateful for your help. I’m certain I would have died if it hadn’t been for you. I meant to ask after our rescue - where did you learn all those survival techniques?

I won’t keep you any longer. Thank you again for everything, and feel free to contact me if you have the time.

Best regards,

Corina


Hello Corina,

How could I forget such a charming woman? I’m afraid I can’t give you much advice for getting rid of nightmares. On the rare occasions when dreams bother me, I usually manage mine with a double shot of some strong liquor as a nightcap. You may have qualms about a remedy like that.

I learned most of my survival skills from my training in the Royal Navy. However, without your help, they wouldn’t have been much use to us, gashed as my arm was. It’s fully healed and in top shape thanks to your marvelous first aid skills. The doctors told me that without the firm bandage, well-wrapped as it was - I would almost certainly have got a serious infection that could have turned into gangrene. So, you see, it’s really I who should be thanking you.

It was very pleasant to receive a correspondence that was not work related. I look forward to hearing from you again.

Cheers,

James

P.S. Unfortunately, due to the nature of my work, this letter may be long in reaching you. I hope that won’t keep you from writing.

- JB


Dear James,

What a flatterer you are! It’s you who’s charming, and I hardly consider a rudimentary knowledge of first aide worthy of the term “invaluable”. However, if you insist on sharing credit with me for our survival, I won’t argue the point further.

I should have known you were a military man. You were too calm in the face of such a disaster to be anything but. Well, I suppose you could also have been a superhero in disguise. But perhaps the idea of you having a secret identity is too fanciful. Tell me, are you still with the Navy? Are you stationed in England?

I certainly won’t hold it against you if your letters are long in coming. I wouldn’t want to hold your profession against you. I hope you won’t hold mine against me. I work in rare book restoration. I’m sure you can imagine this leaves me plenty of time to myself. As a result, my letters may grow longer the more I come to know you. Please don’t feel obligated to respond in kind. If you don’t have time to write novel-length letters, I won’t hold that against you, either.

Do tell me more about yourself. What else can you add to my virginal knowledge of you besides strong, level headed, intelligent and charmingly modest? What might you like to know about me?

Best Regards,

Corina


Hello Corina,

All right, now who’s flattering someone? If I didn’t know better, I would think you were trying to force a blush from me. I’ll have you know that I have an excellent poker face. As pleased as your words have made me, not the slightest flush has risen to my cheek. I will admit to allowing myself a grin.

I have absolutely no problem reading long letters. Please feel free to write as much as you like. As a Commander, I carry out different assignments than most other Navymen. My headquarters are in London, but I spend much of my time traveling. Long flights afford me some leisure time for reading and writing.

I was amused by your mention of superheros. I hope I don’t disappoint you by admitting that I am just an ordinary man. At your request, I will tell you a little about myself. I hope you will forgive me if I begin to sound something like a personals advertisement. (For your convenience, I will translate any figures into the American measurement system.)

Height: 6'0"
Weight: 175lbs
Smokes: yes
Drinks: yes (though not to excess)
Interests: Sports cars, electronics, gourmet cuisine, travel, foreign languages

I have recently taken an interest in book binding and restoration. I’ll allow you to guess why. I’ve learned a little more about what you do, and I must say I respect your dedication to such a specialized field. The ritualistic nature of the process intrigues me. I would love to see you at work. Perhaps you can show me your methods one day. I’ll have to let you know the next time I take an American Holiday.

Alas, I’m off to work again. I look forward to your next letter.

- JB


Dear James,

You certainly do not disappoint me by not being a superhero. What you consider “ordinary” manhood is quite amazing enough for me. I would be happy to show you my book-binding techniques the next time you’re in America.

I decided to follow your lead and provide you with a similar description of myself. Please forgive me for being lazy and not translating my statistics into metrics.
Height: 5'4"
Weight: 145lbs
Smokes: no
Drinks: yes (not to excess, either)
Interests: rare books, document origins, swimming, music, history

After your descriptions in the hospital, I am certainly beginning to develop an interest in gourmet cuisine. I can’t wait until we have an opportunity to meet again. Perhaps you can introduce me to some of your favorite dishes. I’ve been researching (through cookbooks, of course) some of the standard specialties served around various European countries, but pictures are nothing close to tasting the real thing.

I hope your current assignment is going well, and I look forward to receiving your next letter.

Best Regards,

Corina


Dear Corina,

I will be in America within the next week. I believe I can arrange for some time to meet with you if you are available. Let me know, and I will make time to visit you. You may call the number on the card I’ve enclosed, and leave a short message with the receptionist who answers - just “yes” or “no”. The office will see to it that I receive your message in time.

Cheers,

JB


Dear James,

I can hardly contain myself! I tried to wait, but I couldn’t make myself settle down. This letter is being written about thirty minutes after you left my house. I don’t think I have ever enjoyed a visit so much as I enjoyed yours. Thank you again for a most wonderful time.

I hope you had a pleasant trip to your conference, and that the negotiations went well. The next few months will be rather hectic for me, as well. A large collection will be coming in and the entire department will be swamped with the restorations. I’m not sure how productive I will be, though. I have a feeling that most of my time will be spent thinking of you and looking forward to your next visit.

James, you must tell me if I’m putting too much pressure on you. I hope my eagerness isn’t cloying to you. All you have to do is tell me, and I’ll promise not to be hurt, and I’ll tone it down. I don’t want to alienate you or irritate you in any way.

Yours Always,

Corina


Dearest Corina,

Please never feel that you have to worry about being too eager to hear from me. I’ve never liked a slavish woman, but I would be lying if I said that being missed and wanted by someone as lovely as you didn’t bring me quite a bit of happiness. I am looking forward to the day I can get back to America again to see you. I had an excellent time as well.

I was pleased to hear how much you enjoyed yourself. I didn’t know that a few dinners and a few trips to the cinema could be so much fun. In fact I was afraid that I might be boring you with my choices. Good to know you didn’t mind.

The conference went as well as could be expected under the circumstances. I’m still smarting from the proverbial bruises of the battle, but I “won the war” as the saying goes.

It sounds like you will have your hands full for some time! I regret missing the chance to see you work while I was with you. The end results that you showed me looked wonderful. One day, I must visit you at your office so that I can watch you work.

We are nearing my station. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

James


Dear James,

I think you must be the most wonderful man I have ever met. Every word you write only serves to make me want you more. Not only heroic and handsome, but charming and kind as well. I feel truly fortunate to have met you. Even though I nearly died three times over, I would go through that plane wreck again without hesitation if avoiding it meant never meeting you.

Trust me, James, you could never bore me. I love the movies and dinner out most of all with good company. Besides, you can’t pretend not to know that the most enjoyable hours I spent were those spent at home, wrapped in your arms. I feel the need to reiterate that I have never experienced anyone quite like you before. You have spoiled me for anyone else. Congratulations on the success of your mission. Hopefully your superiors will allow you a little leisure time soon. I have been saving my nickels and dimes so that I can visit you at home. It isn’t fair to make you come to the States every time I want to see you. You must tell me the next time you have a few days to yourself, so that I can make arrangements. I’m longing to see you again!

Yours Always,

Corina


Dear James,

I haven’t heard from you in a while. I hope you are all right. Please contact me as soon as you can. I hope I haven’t scared you off.

Yours,

Corina


To: Ms. Corina Jacobs

Fr: Lt. John Villiers, Special Assistant, Royal Navy

CMMDR BOND SENDS APOLOGIES STOP UNABLE TO RECEIVE OUTSIDE CONTACT STOP WILL WRITE WHEN ABLE STOP


Hello Corina,

I apologize for the long delay between letters. I hope you haven’t given up on me. The sentiments in your letters warmed my heart, and I will be devastated if you hate me now for leaving you without word these past few months. I hope Villiers’ message reached you.

Please forgive me for being so remiss. In my defense, I had a particularly harrowing series of assignments, and I was unable to send or receive any correspondence that was not directly from my head office. Things have settled down now, and (as you predicted) my superiors have given me several weeks of leave. I would be pleased if you would join me here. If you’re willing to come, I will wire you enough money to spend a pleasant flight here, and I will meet you at your terminal. I refuse to let you use any of your money for the trip. It’s the least I can do to make amends for my absence.

Please let me know if you would like to come.

Yours,

James


Dear James,

I’m so glad to know that you are safe! That telegram nearly caused a meltdown. I was afraid you might have been taken prisoner by some kind of radical political group.

All’s forgiven. In fact, you needn’t have worried at all. My feelings for you have only grown stronger with every passing day. I missed you terribly. I’m so glad you’re okay, and that you haven’t forgotten me.

Love,

Corina

P.S. I’m already packed, and I await your instructions. I’ve enclosed my phone number in case you think it would be more convenient to call.


To Whom It May Concern:

This letter is to inform you that I have applied for permanent residence in England. My accountant, Jeremy H. Wyatt, has full authority to settle any accounts outstanding with your establishment. I appreciate your patience and cooperation with Mr. Wyatt in his efforts to set my accounts in order. I may be contacted directly at the number provided below with any questions or concerns that cannot be handled by Mr. Wyatt.

Sincerely,

Corina L. Jacobs

cc: Carolyn Davis (Property Manager), George Crain (President, Historical Society - Antique Records Division), Lead Manager: One-Stop Storage


Good morning,

Last night was beautiful, as always. I’ve been called away, but, as we discussed, I will contact you as often as possible, and you can leave messages for me at the office. Best of luck with your interview. There’s coffee and toast in the kitchen for you.

Cheers,

J

P.S. I love you.

Fin


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