Book by: Zefyr
I made my way home drenched in the rain and without a maid. That's what I deserved for having fancied myself in love with my dance master.
How incredulous he had been when I had declared my undying love for him. Then the last straw had been when he announced his love for my maid. My maid!
For godsakes I thought I was going to die of embarrassment. I had hastily gotten up from the bench and fired the woman along with him.
I sighed as I stared down the street. No one was about obviously, the rain had started moments after I left them. Which had then reminded me that I had no coach which to go home in.
I should've listened to my brother. Oh how I wanted to be in his arms, crying shamefully for the childish way I had acted.
He had said I was too young, that I should wait to find love when I started my season. It was months away, it felt like an eternity. I was foolish and now I had to face the Viscount of Alamein, my brother.
I pulled my petticoat tighter around me, turning as I heard a carriage. I decided to ignore it but it did not ignore me. Upon hitting a pothole beside me I was splashed with cold dirty water.
Ill mannered words stuck to my throat as I looked down at my now stained lavender dress.
The carriage stopped abruptly as the driver got down. "I'm sorry my lady. I tried to stop the horses."
"Why in damnation did you stop!" A loud stern voice came out of the carriage, followed with the door opening. A man cloaked in black stepped out, furious features marred his face.
"I accidently splashed the lady, your grace." The driver bowed his head slightly looking away from the abominal man.
The man or rather duke, by the way his driver had addressed him, stared at me. "Get in." He snarled.
I took a step back then decided to put my hands on my hips and defy him. I wasn't about to show fear. "I am not getting in that carriage. I don't know you."
"What are you? Some child who's been told not to talk or get in carriages with strangers? I seriously doubt that since you are out and about without a maid in this weather."
I glanced hautedly away. My chin set high.
"I will get you in this carriage by force if you don't do it this second."
"Your grace..." The driver started to say but the man cut him off with a glare.
"Why I never..." I narrowed my eyes at him. "You wouldn't dare."
He gave me a curt nod, stomped over and quickly lifted me up throwing me over his shoulder. I yelled out in surprise. The breath taken out of me.
He let me go safely inside the carriage. I scampered to the farthest corner, crossing my arms and setting my lips in a thin line.
The carriage started on it's way at a slow pace. The driver would probably keep it that way until he let him know where to go.
"Where do you live?"
I answered with silence.
"I need to let my driver know. I don't think you want my horses to tire out or to stay out in the rain for long."
I sighed then looked up at him. The most enticing dark blue eyes stared into my lavender ones. "I don't think you know where the Viscount of Alemain lives, do you?"
"I don't but my driver probably does." He called out to his driver to where we would be going. It seemed he indeed did know where to.
He sat back down and stared out the window.
I kept glancing at him whenever I could without him noticing. I didn't want to admit that he was attractive but it was undeniable. With his rustic dark looks and those piercing cobalt eyes he was a sin waiting to happen.
I shivered involuntarily. I was chilled to the bone. A warm bath would heal me and prevent me from getting a fever. At least I hoped.
I knew I shouldn't openly ignore his grace, he was a duke after all but I couldn't help it. He hadn't been a gentleman, not that I had been a lady but still, the man should show some manners at least. He had thrown me over his shoulder like I wasn't a lady.
I was startled when a coat was put over me, looking up I noticed just how close his face was. Swallowing I continued to stare into his enchanting stern eyes.
"You were shivering. I couldn't exactly leave you like that." He murmured softly. His hands tightened the coat around me.
"Thank you...your grace."
The side of his mouth tilted up. "You are a lady indeed."
I frowned at him. "Of course I am. Just because I'm sitting here now soaked to the bone in a carriage with a stranger doesn't mean I wasn't. There were certain circumstances that made this situation."
"May you enlighten me?"
"It is of no concern of yours, only my brother's, the viscount."
"Your brother then. I thought you might be his betrothed."
I gave an unladylike snort, then covered my mouth embarrassed. "Oh no, I'm much to young to have a betrothed yet."
He furrowed his brow. "How old are you?"
"I'm seventeen, soon to be eighteen and about to have my first season."
He sat back surprised.
"I know I should be home with a tutor or something but this was all unplanned." I waved my hand in the air hoping he would understand.
The carriage stopped before he could ask anything else.
"Thank you your grace for the ride home." I stood up intent on getting out as fast as I could.
He grabbed my arm stilling me from escaping. "I am going with you inside. It is only proper for me to introduce myself to your brother and assure him that I did nothing to you."
I turned red. "Oh no, you don't have to do that."
I wasn't sure in what humor Sebastian would be in after having read my letter of departure. He could be fuming mad and I didn't want further embarrassment in front of the duke.
"I insist." He pushed me to sit back down, leaving no room to keep arguing and got out of the carriage.
He helped me out and I made my way stiffly to the door. It was opened before I even knocked by the steward. "Lady Belle you are quite in trouble. Where is your bag and Lucille?" The steward looked around. Spotting the duke his eyes widened in surprise he bowed slightly opening the door wider.
I stepped inside hesitantly. The duke close at my heels.
My nursemaid came bustling out of the study room. "Lady Belle you are going to catch your death. Come quickly dear and let's get you out of those clothes."
"Nana!" I exclaimed looking back at the duke. How improper this whole afternoon had been.
"My lord!" Her nana bowed. "I am sorry that I did not notice you. It was a grave error from my part."
"It's actually your grace." I whispered to her.
"Your grace, please forgive me." She took my hand. "Peter please let Sebastian know about your grace's presence. I'm going to take care of Lady Belle."
I was whisked away before I could give my thanks once again to the duke.
© Copyright 2017 Zefyr. All rights reserved.