Sophie stared in bewilderment at the scene before her.
“Close the door,” Jane hissed from a corner of the room. “Someone might see you.”
“I suspect the only one who can see me is you,” Sophie said. She closed the door behind her and sank onto a small stool. “I’m your invention.” She sighed and looked up at the author. “Why are you here? And what is this place?”
“It’s a bathroom.”
Sophie looked around. “I see no place where you can bathe. And what are those?” She gestured to a series of metal cupboards at the far side of the room.
Jane rolled her eyes. “I don’t have time to explain plumbing from the future to you. You need to get back there–get the man and finish the story. My publisher wants it in two days.
Two days! I’m never going to finish. Especially if you refuse to stay in your own time period.” She glared at Sophie.
“It’s not my fault. I only seem to show up in your time when you are having a problem. What is it now?”
“The story is moving too slowly — you need to get the man.”
Sophie pondered the statement. “In my day, the man had to be equally willing. Has that changed–” She gestured toward the cupboards. “As well as the plumbing?”
Jane shook her head. “I’m totally out of my element. I write women’s fiction. You know–stories with lofty ideals. This…this…romance stuff has too many rules!”
Sophie shook her head. “It’s quite simple, really. A man and woman meet. They are attracted to each other, like Jonathan and I are. But there’s a problem or two. In this case, it’s my aunt and Jonathan’s sister, Mary. We work together and overcome the problems. And live happily ever after. See…easy.”
Jane groaned and buried her face in her hands.
Sophie continued. “But I do think Jonathan needs more of a spine. He bows too much to his mother and sister. And he’s scared to death of the ton.”
“It’s too late.” Jane’s voice was muffled. “The story is due. You’re going to have develop spine enough for both of you. “Now, get back to your own era, take the bull by the horns and live happily ever after.”
Sophie cocked her head. “I’m not sure why we need a bull. They’re nasty creatures. But I’ll get Jonathan if that’s what you want.”
Sophie stood. “Could you at least show me how modern plumbing works before I leave?”
Jane groaned again.