At the entrance of Duke
The carriage ride to the duke's townhouse was pointless. The
butler informed Eliza and her escorts about the duke's sudden
departure to France. Eliza's father was furious and so was
Viscount Dubrey. The earl's jaw was set and his eyes flared
angrily. Eliza did not dare to look at him. She knew part of his
anger was targeted at her.
"Well Rawthorne is a day's ride from here." Dubrey said out loud
to whoever wants to hear. "Are you up for another journey?" he
straightened his coat and aimed this at the earl. Richard Matthew
Lisburn was a handsome fellow with chestnut hair and blue eyes.
He was a little under six feet but still lean and tall. Eliza
heard from her father that viscount Dubrey is five years younger
than his cousins (Treymayne and Aidan).He was still a bachelor
and somewhat of an errand boy to the Duke of Valentia (he and
Aidan cover up a lot of Treymayne's tasks). Montrose raised his
eyebrows and turned away from the townhouse entrance.
"I won't have him shame me any longer. I've tolerated his
scandals and escapades but I will not let him do this to me!" The
earl's face was still red and Eliza thought he would pass out.
But he was stern and tough as he looks, so he won't.
"You," Montrose pointed his finger at Eliza. "Get in the
Eliza did as she was told. Quickly shutting herself inside the
carriage; she inched toward the window to look at the two men.
There is no point in hesitation or having second thoughts when
dealing with a mad Montrose. Whatever the earl demands, he gets
it. Montrose then turned to Dubrey, "Where is the Hensley
townhouse?" he asked.
"A forty minute ride south from here," Dubrey replied casually.
He was surprised that the earl thought of Aiden at a time like
this. "What do you have in mind Lord Montrose?" He asked the
older man. The earl was grim, "I'm sending my daughter to stay
with them until I fish out that foolish arse from France."
"Oh ho!" Dubrey raised an amused eyebrow. "So you're going to
drag him back here? What a fierce father-in-law! You'll be a
match for Valentia!" But the earl did not seem to share the
"We leave right now to Hensley." He said sternly and they
Meanwhile…..near Cornwall, Asthorne estate…..
Going to France was another one of Trey's enormous pack of lies.
He decided instead to stay at his Ashthorne manor which was the
smallest of all his other estates. He had no intention of telling
anyone what he was up to. He did not want to see this duchess.
She might be a plain mouse like her many relatives. There is no
other reason why old dog Montrose would send his daughter away
like she was a plague. Trey heard that this daughter had been
kept secret until recently. He wondered what was wrong with her.
But in the end he thought that no suitors would take her. The
Wintons have a lot of plain females. The previous Winton girl who
was supposed to wed him was too nervous and stuttered herself
into a stupor. Too bad she caught an illness and passed on. When
Trey heard of her unexpected death; he finally thought he would
be free from the betrothal. Unfortunately his dead rotting father
had completely manipulated the will to make Trey marry no one
other than a Winton female. As much as he want to change his
father's will; it was useless. A wife was useless, unless an heir
is needed, and there are plenty of women for that. To him, women
were all the same. A wife is no different from a mistress,
concubine, or whore. Speaking of women, Trey downed another glass
of brandy. He had to get ready for tonight's meeting for the Hell
Eros Club. Tonight there will be plenty of wenches there to
At the Hensley Townhouse Eliza was literally dropped on the
doorstep of the duke's brother's townhouse. Her father left
without even saying good bye. He was too angry to speak and
wanted to dive into the hunt of the Duke Valentia. Viscount
Lisburn stood by her side and escorted her inside the Hensley
"Don't worry your grace. Hensley and his wife will be kind to
you. Aidan is as kind as he is pretty…even though he denies
it….besides they are your family now too." Lisburn said trying to
brighten up her face. The chit was still gloomy and pale as death
since he met her. She was so young. And insanely beautiful,
Lisburn thought. Trey was a fool to let this one go. The duke has
been known to be around the most beautiful women, and this is by
far one of the loveliest redheads Lisburn had seen. He didn't
want to dwell on the thoughts for too long. So he escorted Eliza
inside the building. They were waited on by Hensley's butler,
Simmons. They waited in the parlor while the butler went to
inform Earl Hensley of his unexpected guests.
Eliza sat in a soft armchair near the fireplace. Her legs were
still cramped from the carriage ride. A maid appeared and set out
a tray of tea and snacks on the table for her and Lisburn.
Studying the viscount from the corner of her eye; Eliza noticed
that he was quite at ease in the earl's townhouse. Did he visit
here often? The appearance of the earl made Eliza's heart almost
turn. He was indeed unreal and handsome. Eliza had seen pale
blonde hair on girls before but never on a man. The earl's hair
was almost a white blonde. It ended at his nape and the side
swept bangs complimented his unreal looks. His pale blue eyes
glanced at her in question and then at Lisburn.
"This is a surprise Rich, you visiting at this hour. I thought
you were standing in for Trey's wedding?" Aidan finally spoke.
His gaze once more fell on Eliza again.
Lisburn sighed. "Well Hensley, we have a bit of a problem. The
young lady to my left is the Duchess of Valentia." He introduced
Eliza to the surprised Earl Hensley. The earl was silent for a
moment. Lisburn added another shock.
"Montrose and I escorted the duchess to Trey's townhouse only to
find out he fled to France."
"Damn," Aidan cursed and swiftly apologized to Eliza. "Pardon me
your grace, apparently my dear brother always manages to bring
out my temper."
Eliza only shrugged. She didn't know what to say about
"I understand that you have gone through a long and tiring ordeal
today." Aidan continued, "I must apologize for all my twin's
"Hensley, Montrose won't take her back, so he suggested the
duchess should stay with you and the countess." Lisburn directed
The earl sort of frowned at this. He knew Montrose was a hard man
but to leave his daughter like this is very uncaring. Abandoning
her off to her husband's estranged relatives…the girl must be
scared to death.
"I request the countess's presence at this moment." Aidan said to
the butler standing near the doorway.
"Tell her our new sister is here." Bowing, the butler left at the
given command. Turning back to his new sister-in-law, Aidan tried
to make her feel welcome. It wasn't her fault that Trey ran off;
Aidan knew it was something else.
"Your grace, have some tea. It will calm you." Aidan said to
Eliza. "T-thank you." Eliza nodded. Holding the cup of tea, her
eyes were directed to the floor while the two men talk about her
missing husband and other matters.
"Welcome your grace," a soft gentle voice entered the room
moments later. "I am your sister-in-law, Mischa Rawthorne,
Countess Hensley." Eliza turned to gaze at a beautiful sable
haired woman with lavender eyes. Her belly was round with child
but she looked so radiant and beautiful that Eliza was awed by
her presence. She and the earl looked perfect together. Mischa
was a little apprehensive about meeting the new duchess, afraid
that it was another snobby woman of Treymayne's taste. But upon
seeing the lost little lamb sitting in the parlor room; Mischa
realized that the new duchess was just a young and scared girl.
The young duchess reminded her of how she used to be like that.
Scared. Afraid of what is to come. And Mischa wanted to help
"And this is her grace Elizabeth Anne Winton Rathorne, Duchess of
Valentia." Aidan introduced Eliza to his wife. "P-please, call me
Eliza." Eliza replied. "I am honored to meet you Lady Hensley.
Thank you." She blush a little because she was a little
embarrassed by her shabby appearance and lack of speech at the
moment. The countess looked so pretty in her sea green day dress
and Eliza's outfit was all rumpled. She felt so out of place.
Mischa gave a radiant smile in return, "Your welcome, you can
call me Mischa, we are sisters now. You must be tire, come with
me." The countess replied.
She turned to the earl and viscount, "I will escort Eliza to a
guest room if that is alright with you." Mischa said.
Both men agreed and so the countess led Eliza by the hand and
gave her a tour of the Hensley townhouse.
"I'm certain he's not in France." Aidan said after his wife and
sister-in-law's departure. Richard raised an eye brow and
"I thought the same thing."
"I know him more than anyone else, his liaisons, estates, and
even the man himself," Aidan got right to the point. "I heard
that the Hell Eros Club is gathering together again and that is
where Trey went."
Aidan was disgusted by his brother's membership with the club. It
was illegal and immoral. The club was formed by bored and
debauched aristocrats and it soon grew dangerous over the years.
The things they do were disgusting and unspeakable. But Aidan
knew his brother enjoyed it. Trey had always liked to tread in
danger and sin. But unlike other rakes and debauchers, Trey is
cold and ruthless in what he does. He treats his women like dogs
and scares the ton with his escapades and scandals. His friends
pale in comparison; at least they like to laugh at a little joke
here and there. Trey, however is like an ice prince. He rules
over everything with an iron fist. His emotions are unstable. He
can be cynical and rude when he wants to be, and murderous,
cruel, malicious, and arrogant the next. Truth be told, Trey is
almost worse than a devil, he is really hell itself in human
form. Aidan and Lisburn continued their conversation of finding
the duke's whereabouts. They were also worried about how the new
duchess will fare against the hellish duke.
"There's a spreading rumor that you left your wife at the altar
this morning." Draco Darcy, Earl Kendwell smirked towards his
longtime rival, Valentia. Trey frowned at him and said nothing.
Draco Darcy owns the neighboring estate and lands next to Trey's.
Trey was busy saddling his own horse in the stable when Kendwell
paid him a visit. "Tell me; was she horse-faced with rot on her
teeth? Is she fat? I know how you like your women." Kendwell
lazily teased the duke. "Get out of my stable Kendwell. You have
one and a half minute." Trey warned him. "I'll shoot you after
that if you're still lingering here." Draco gave him a grin.
"Murder me and the law is upon you Valentia. I only came here to
inform you that your beloved father-in-law is looking madly for
you. He really thinks you're in France…well should I meet him and
tell him that you're actually here?" A bullet whizzed past
Draco's head nearly grazing his hat. The horse beneath him was
startled but did not lose control. Trey had actually shot him
with a loaded pistol. The duke purposely missed to scare
Kendwell. "I suggest you should stop sticking your nose into
people's business. Return to your territory Kendwell. Your
presence is a disease here." Trey informed with a bored
expression. Kendwell gave a heated glare. "This place is already
diseased with your debauchery Valentia." And with that, the earl
rode off before Trey could say another word. And truthfully, Trey
didn't want to say more. He return to his horse to retreat a
black cape and mask from the saddle bag and donned them on. He
was late for the meeting of the Hell Eros Club, which is another
five mile ride away from here. To Be Continued……..