Well, she opened her eyes to light, and to a ‘crash’ that came from below. Charlie’s aristocratic voice (even if he was a common rag) gave a, “Tsk” and a “Tough luck, mate.” While Ben huffed and hollered, “Bloody fairies!”

-Isabel by E. L. Schoeman

2015-06-01 15.08.24

Hashtags can be a powerful thing, and making your own can be a lot of fun. Take #LoveBenandCharlie for example. A hashtag created by yours truly to tag moments with two of my favourite characters. Haven’t read the story? Here’s a few scenes I love them in!

#LoveBenAndCharlie = Best Ben and Charlie Moments!

Charlie kept his head in his hands as Ben’s voice travelled from the stall beside him, their rooms side by side. “You lied to her,” Ben said, leaning against the wall, his head down. “That was the first ungentlemanly thing I’ve ever heard you say. You wanted her to stay. You don’t want her to change.”

“Selfishness,” Charlie explained, lifting his head from his hands, blinking his tired eyes, “will undo a gentleman.” He took a steadying breath. “What I want is unnecessary to her. My foolish wishing will only hold her back.”

“Your fooling wishing?”

“That she will stay our Isabel forever.”

Ben inhaled long and easy, his arms flexing with the remembrance of having her fragile body there, wrapped in the shield of them. He spoke softly, Charlie barely able to hear the never-before admitted words. “I have the same foolish wish.”

-Isabel by E. L. Schoeman

“Benjamin,” Charlie ordered. His gentlemanly voice only raised enough for them to hear it, effectively making Ben stop and look back at his best friend. “Put her down. This is not gentlemanly conduct.”

Charlie’s expression was considerate but firm while Ben glared, deciding what was best to do. Slowly, he placed Isabel back on her feet, following Charlie’s orders. She staggered back, and Ben moved to steady her. His temper lowered to nothing, but she bolted away from him, rushing to rid herself of the crazed boys she considered her brothers.’

-Isabel by E. L. Schoeman

“Love.” Ben tasted the word, his eyes dropping with the mild discomfort of the sticky word.

“Ben, I know you are a sentimentalist,” Charlie braved such unspeakable words, telling him that he knew his unspeakable secret, and Ben merely rolled his eyes. “But you don’t have to worry,” Charlie promised. “Like always, I’ll keep your secrets.”

-Isabel by E. L. Schoeman

“What the hell is going on here?”

“We seem to have found ourselves in a brawl, Benjamin,” Charlie explained as Ben carefully helped him up off the floor, taking a second to gently wipe the blood from his best friend’s face. All the while Charlie watched Ben’s natural rage begin to tempest. “There’s no reason for you to get involved, mate, the bloke’s already outnumbered. Not that you’re going to listen to me anyway.”

-Isabel by E. L. Schoeman

“Come now, Benjamin,” Charlie sought to calm him.

As they exited the ring, Mathew silently pointed out to William his attackers, who were waiting outside the arena for him. They would not dare attack with William around. “He’s riding my horse . . .” Ben complained under his breath to Charlie before complaining more fiercely to William.

-Isabel by E. L. Schoeman

“Probably made with an assortment of herbs. I wouldn’t be surprised if you found it insulting when, in his own way, I suppose we could call it considerate. As it is, he made you something that would attract pixies instead of destroying them. I’d take a guess and say he made it even sweeter for you: encouraging whom he considers fairyblooded. Not that I blame him. I’ve been concerned as well. Though, I didn’t expect him to be the one to intervene.”

-Isabel by E. L. Schoeman

Ben watched Charlie tuck the drawing he had of Lilly away in his pocket. “She’s lucky to have found a gentleman like you,” he said, wondering how Charlie had gotten such a thing.

Charlie hesitated and then began to unhook the cart horses since he’d already unsaddled the one he was riding. “I wish I were. She deserves a gentleman: someone who can give her castles and riches, like the heroes in my tales to Isabel. A life with me: her yellow hair loose and dancing behind her as she sits in a grassy field, lambs and foals and butterflies about her as she waits for me to ride home from tournament or war—”

“So we’re knights in this daydream?” Ben cut in, frowning at the way Charlie was speaking.

“Working hard, giving up too much, suffering needless suffering—”

What was he talking about? “You’d never let that happen, Charlie. And she looks like the kind of girl who would hit you if you didn’t let her pull her own weight. Sitting in grassy fields with lambs and foals and butterflies is a thought she’d probably rejoice in.”

“And then what if I’m like him?”


“What if I hit her and beat my son and do everything—”

“You’ve got kids in this dream?” But he knew what he was talking about.

“—a man isn’t supposed to do,” Charlie finished.

What could he say to him? He’d seen him and Lilly under the star filled sky promising things to each other that Ben didn’t need to hear along with promising they’d write each other. He’d been shocked the girl knew how to write, but Charlie wasn’t. Maybe she was a little like their Isabel after all . . . “Could you ever strike Isabel?”

“Excuse me?”

“Do you ever want to just punch her?”

“Of course not.”

“Really? Even when she’s being annoying—”

“Ben, if you—”

“Charlie, Lilly will be your Isabel. Just love her like you love her. Trust yourself a little more. You’re not your father.”


“You don’t have to pretend to be a gentleman.” Ben pulled Goliath’s saddle off and started toward the tack room, hoping that Charlie would no longer think of throwing his Lilly’s picture away. “You are a gentleman.”

Unlike me . . . Ben thought, glancing back at the house where Isabel was surely discussing whatever was hammering down on her shoulders. He didn’t know what she was planning, but he knew that no matter what it was, they’d be there to protect her. She’d never have to worry about that.

-Isabel by E. L. Schoeman


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