It was Reinette,I slowly breathed a sigh of relief.
‘Hello stranger.’she smiled.
‘I’m sorry my dear,did I frighten you?’
‘I thought that you were…oh no matter.’
A maid servant filled up my champagne flute once more.
‘Are you sure you’re ok?’
‘You just look distracted that’s all?’
‘I’m just a little on edge,forgive me Reinette.Oliver and I….had a slight disagreement,I’m a tad emotional…slightly got to me.I’ll be fine.’
‘I saw Oliver with Esme and Ava earlier? Ava looks the picture of her father?’
‘You really think so?’
‘There’s no denying she’s Oliver’s daughter.’
‘I’ll take that as a compliment shall I?’
‘How long are you planning on staying in London for? Tom said that he would like to join us on a hunt.’
‘Tom and hunting? I don’t think I’ve ever heard those two words together.’
She looked at me. ‘Oh gosh,I’m so sorry.I wasn’t thinking straight.’
‘No,I know how you adored that horse.’
‘Reinette,please stop apologising.’
‘It was very sensitive of me.’
Lord Rickman is indeed right I need to move on,I am clinging onto the past for dear life.I fear that if I keep doing this it’ll destroy our marriage forever,and for the sake of my children I can not afford to hold onto the ghosts of my past.’
‘It’s time to move on.’ I smiled.
‘So has her ladyship graced you with her presence yet?’
‘No,I think that she is trying to avoid me like the plague,after what happened last time?’
‘You were only young then…Tom filled me in on the details,I do hope that I’m not speaking out of term as we’ve only just become friends.But isn’t it about time someone stood up towards the acid tongued woman.You Lady Rickman deserve some credit..’
Reinette smiled. ‘I mean it.’
‘It’s nice to see some has the same opinion,Mama is so blind to her,she paints a picture that she is such a wonderful noble Lady of society.I beg to differ,I’m glad you’re on the same page.I was afraid the witch enchanted the whole of society.’
‘Oh you know me Gisele,Tom says that this is one of my faults.I never miss a trick.I like to speak my mind.’
‘Remind me never to get on the wrong side of you then?’ I laughed.
‘I like you Gisele,we’re two of a kind.’
‘Yes kindred spirits,when Tom and I first got married,let’s just say when I was summoned to her manor.I received a rather icy reception.We had afternoon tea there,it was such a horrid experience.She barely spoke two words to me.’
‘Now that I can believe.’
‘Tom may have all the success and thrive in the properties of London.But to her,that’s nothing.Yes Tom works hard for his money,unlike her sitting around doing nothing but give orders.She’s certainly Queen Bee for sure,because Tom and I don’t have a title,he’s nothing in her eyes.Can you believe it?’
‘Yes I can.’
‘It breaks my heart Gisele.I’m so proud of everything that Tom’s accomplished,building a successful business from nothing.It’s remarkable how he can turn a piece of land into something quite remarkable.’ She cleared her throat. ‘Now less talk of this this frightful woman.’
‘Quite right too,I refuse to waste anymore oxygen on discussing her.’
‘You Lady Rickman are quite the fascinating creature.’
‘Indulge me what I don’t understand is how did you charm the dark and mysterious Lord Rickman.’
‘It was nothing.’
‘Oh come on don’t be so modest,I’ve heard so many tales?’
‘Of how he is repulsed by woman kind? Yes at first he may appear to be all dark moody.Didn’t Lady Isabelle tell you I’m a dark and mysterious nymph who inflicted a spell upon him? With one look of my bewitching powers? She’s resented me from day one,due to the fact that he chose me to marry.She convinced herself that he’d marry her frightful daughter Lady Rosaline.It may appear to be a perfect love story so to speak to outsiders.But Oliver and I didn’t have the best of starts.’
‘The infamous proposal?’
‘Yes,you see on first impressions,you’d think that Oliver,would quite happily put his pride before his feelings and taking a chance on love.It took a while to get to know the real Lord Rickman.When my sister Lucille tragically lost her life,Oliver was so sweet,and slowly and surely from that moment on I fell in love with him.’
The door bell rang,we were all making our way to the grand hall,we’re the dinner was going to take place.Oliver pulled me back.’
‘We must get to our places.’
‘I’m sorry.’ he whispered.’You’re so right.’
‘Where are the children?’
‘Lady Isabelle insisted that I should take her to the nursery.’
‘Did she know?’
‘She insisted a dinner hall is not a place for children,it’s a place for adult conversation.
I bit my lip.’I should be the one that should be apologising,I behaved out of order towards you.I should never have champagne on an empty stomach,it goes straight to my little head.’
‘I don’t want Evangaline,I don’t think I could handle her,my naughty french nymph is enough for me to handle.’ he laughed.
He kissed my nose.
‘I behaved so out of character,I know you love me Olly,you tell me that every day.I’m so sorry,I was so lost and desperate….I shouldn’t be making excuses,but I was so frustrated.I felt that you weren’t listening to a single word that I was saying.Childish I realise that know,it’s just that when I feel frustrated I lash out at the ones I love the most.I act like I don’t normally do.Oliver you’re so right,I can’t believe I didn’t see it till now.I’m holding back…it’s just that when everything is going so perfect,that we will hit stormy water….Paranoia got the better of me.Because of what I did,I fear that you will do the same to me,stray from my side.I may act and appear all confident on the outside,inside I just can’t help feeling so insecure.’ I took a deep breath.’This is me…..so is your sweet pea forgiven?’
He kissed me.’Of course you’re forgiven…’
‘We must get to dinner.’
‘I wonder if peas are on the menu? I’m in the mood for flicking peas at her grace.’
‘Stop that.’ I laughed.
We had gathered around the dinner table,I was extremely put out as Oliver was placed at the opposite table.I was sat beside Evangaline and Lord Benjamin Henry,how on earth did he manage to get an invite? I think that this was her idea of playing petty little mind games with me.Let’s see how long it will last for Gisele to crack under pressure,and lead the handsome stranger upstairs for one night of meaningless passion.I took no notice whatso ever.
‘Surprised to see you here Lady Gisele?’
‘Like wise.’I smiled. ‘Lord Rickman is a close acquaintance of her ladyship.You?’
‘Oh she has strong connections in Versailles,she has the idea in her head that because I’m in higher places,that I will gain her passage inro the palace of Versailles.’
‘The cheek of it.’I laughed.’You’re place in Versailles is a truly remarkable place,simply breath taking.’
‘Quite something….puts our pathetic little chateu in Marsailles to shame.’
‘On the contrary.’
‘I beg to differ….I’m surprised that you’re not sitting next to Louisa?’
‘Same with you.’
‘Oh well what you don’t know about Lady Isabelle and I is that we don’t get along with one another?’
Louisa was sat alongside Oliver,in sheer disgust on her face,she began to eat her soup.
‘Do you have something that you would like to share with me Louisa?’
‘Lord Henry and your wife,they seem extremely thick with one another tonight? You wouldn’t think that they’ve only just met?’
‘What jealous are we?’
‘I’m thinking of yout best interests Oliver.’
‘I trust her.’
‘More fool you.’
I looked at Lord Benjamin,he looked so beautiful.But I shall resist temptation,if I was a girl of Evangaline’s age,and had no attachment or children,and that he wasn’t already involved with Louisa.I would quite happily allow him to take him to dinner and get to know him more intimately.
‘Yes you see,I have a quite colourful past.’
He rest his arm upon the table. ‘I’m intrigued to learn more?’smiled Lord Benjamin.
‘So indulge me,pardon if I am acting out of term? But why are you so perfect?’
‘Well Lord Benjamin….I hate to disappoint you,but I haven’t always been the model perfect,loving and devoted wife.I was the good girl gone bad so to speak,there are things I did that would make you blush?’
‘Gisele,I’m a grown man I’m sure nothing you say will faze me?’
‘You never give up do you?’
‘No.’ he laughed.
‘There were times when I would stray from the maritial bed. I did things that I’m not proud of.’
‘Now that is absurd,I can not believe a single word of that.’ he smiled.’A charming creature such as yourself,could do such a thing.’
‘I’m sorry to shatter your illusions but it’s the truth…..Forgive me,Lord Benjamin as flattered as I am by your undivided attention tonight,and ever so charming words that in some ways.Your act of seduction has failed,I only have eyes for Lord Rickman.If I was younger,and in another position,I would quite happily allow you to…’
‘Can I stop you right there Lady Gisele….I wouldn’t dream of coming between a beautiful pair such as you two.If you weren’t attached…and I wasn’t in love with your sister-in-law I would quite happily take you to bed.’
I laughed.. ‘So early in the conversation?’
‘No not at all,I like that.’
‘You’re not disappointed?’
I looked over at Lord Benjamin,I admire his confidence,I breathed a sigh of relief.He found me beautiful,but not in a feelings kind of way.That’s were Carl and I went wrong,we were romantically involved and that put strain and pressure on our relationshio.I know I am partially to blame,I should never have led him on under false pretences.Lord Benjamin is the close friendship that I crave for once again.I have felt isolated from my friends in London.’
‘No no at all my Lord,I think that you and I are going to be firm friends.’ I smiled.
I looked over at Louisa. ‘Do I detect the touch of the green eyed monster?’ I laughed.
Louisa looked at Oliver.’You can not believe that you approve of the way she’s behaving?’
‘They are just talking Louisa.’
‘A leopard never changes her spots,once a cheat,always a cheat.’
Holly was deep in conversation with Daniel. ‘So tell me Daniel,do you think that you had a lucky escape not marrying Gisele?’
‘I’d say she’s did pretty well for herself.’
‘And no Sophia tonight?
‘Nicole had a slight fever.’
‘Pity.You know Daniel,if you have get bored of Sophia and crave a younger wife than I’m your lady.’
Daniel spat out his soup.I will bare that in mind shall I?’
‘Holly,where are your manners,dear child.Stop terrorising poor Daniel.’
‘I’m only having a bit of fun Mama,there’s nothing wrong with that.’
‘Indeed,but there is a time and a place for that.’
Evangaline kicked me under the table.
‘It was meant to.’she sighed.
‘I’m sorry have I missed something?’
‘You have been talking to Lord Benjamin all evening?’
‘I’m merely trying to be polite Evangaline?’
‘But you promised that when you returned to London,we would spend some quality time together.’
‘I hardly call a dinner party,quality time.
‘I promise I’ll make it up to you.’ I smiled.
‘Pinky Delessop promise?’
‘Pinky Delessop promise,my word is my bond.’
‘I’m frightfully bored.’
‘I thought that you were excited you know you’re opportunity to find a suitable match?’
‘All of the handsome men,are spoken for.I can’t believe that I have been parted from Holly.’
‘I think that is a good thing Evan…We don’t want any more pea mishaps?’ I laughed.
‘And what is with this cold soup?’
‘It’s meant to be served that way,you have so much to learn.’
‘What’s Lord Benjamin’s story?’
‘How do you mean?’
‘Is he still available?’
‘That’s the gentlemen that Louisa has connections with,you know the gentlemen from the masquarade?’
‘Pity.’she smiled. ‘He is extremely beautiful.’
‘Isn’t he just?’ I whispered.’But please I beg of you,don’t tell Oliver.He might get a tad jealous.’
‘I wouldn’t dream of such a thing.’
Poor Reinette was placed next to Mama and Lady Isabelle,what had she done in life to deserve such a punishment? I looked across saw how Daniel revelled at being head of the table,hanging onto every word of Lady Isabelle.I miss my children,I can’t get over what Oliver said,how dare her ladyship insist that they are placed in the nursery to be looked after by the frightful maidservant of hers called Leona,I hate to be parted from them.
‘What do you think of the soup Lady Gisele?’ piped up Lady Antoinette. ‘I do hope it’s to your satisfaction?’
I know what I’d like to do with the soup,I’d quite gladly tip it all over your head.
‘Yes it’s lovely thank you.’
I looked across at Lord Oliver,he smiled at me.Oh there dinners are so frightfully dull,it won’t end there,it will be brandies and poker in the drawing room for the gentlemen and tea and polite conversation for the women.I imagined that Oliver was a beautiful stranger that I had met only for the first time tonight,Ok so far so good,I think that is all she had to say to me in polite company,then I detect that Oliver is perfectly right.I’m glad he talked me into coming here.’
‘Holly I wish you would stop slouching.’said Lady Antoinette under her breathe.
I saw Tom look over with a polite smile,I missed him so.
‘How many courses is there?’ asked Evangaline.
‘I have no idea Evangaline why do you ask?’
‘I wish that they would hurry up and skip to the brandies in the drawing room.’
‘I’m sorry Evangaline but the cigarettes and brandies is only for the gentlemen….We are to take tea in the library and exchance stories with….’
‘How frightfully unfair that the men get to have all of the fun.’
‘Indeed.’ I sighed.
‘How did Lucille get away with playing poker?’
‘We just let her get on with it,Lucille was her own worst enemy.’
‘Sometimes when I’m asleep I dream about her you know….back to when we were children or sometimes I can imagine that she is still there in my room,I hear her voice I turn around and she isnt there? Am I going insane Gis? Please tell me that I’m not?’
‘No you’re not going insane,it’s sweet that you remember her in that way….I still think of her too you know.’
‘I miss you.’
‘I miss you too.’
‘Well come home, back to London.
‘You know why,there are too many bad memories…I no longer see London as my home now.Marsailles is my home now.’
I thought that it was too good to be too,she was like a cat waiting to pounce on an innocent mouse,oh how she liked to toy with me.
‘How are you and Lord Benjamin getting along?’
‘Very well thank you Lady Isabelle.’I smiled.
‘I do hope you’re keeping a close leesh on your wife,Lord Rickman? You know make sure that she isn’t up to her usual antics?’
‘I trust her.’ said Oliver.
‘Well more fool you…honestly when will you learn? She will prove to be the common little harlot…it’ll end all end in tears again.’
‘Forgive me Mama,may I have permission to speak?’
‘If you wish my child.’ smiled Lady Antoinette.
‘Thank you,Lady Isabelle I have known you for years,had the displeasure,of dining in your company for many of occasions,and I watched from afar and you are only bitter and twisted because you’re sour faced daughter Lady Rosaline,didn’t marry him.Oh how I pity you.Forgive me but I think that you have a cork so carefully inserted up your bottom.Did you forget to take it that? If you excuse me?’
I left the room,I ran up the stairs,I wanted to be with my children,a hand stopped me in my tracks.It was Lord Benjamin.
‘My that was a bold thing to do?’ he laughed.
‘Don’t you apologise.’
‘I promised myself that I wouldn’t let her get to me…’
‘She’s only like that because she envies you?’
‘That is very kind of you to say,but I don’t think that is the case?’I smiled.
‘Don’t be so absurd.’
‘I think she envies your natural french beauty,she is so thick skinned and portly?’
‘Don’t let her hear you say that?’ I laughed.
‘You are beautiful Gisele.’
‘After having two children,I beg to differ….Though I am quite flattered for you to say those kind words to me.’
He walked in to the light,he brushed my hair away from my face and instantly kissed me.
‘What are you doing?’
‘I’m so sorry….I thought that?’
‘No.’ I wiped my mouth.’You said that you were in love with Louisa? I believed you,as I thought you were sincere spoke from the heart?’
‘I like you.’
‘I’m a married woman?’
‘What’s a kiss amongst friends?’
He kissed me again,I was caught up in the moment,he led me upstairs,I was powerless,we fell onto the bed,his touch was amazing.
‘If we’ve only got these few stolen seconds?’ he whispered.
I closed my eyes.
A little while later,I looked at him. ‘Forgive me…I’ve got to go.’
I couldn’t look at him,I snuck out of the room,what have I done? No stupid Gisele you played straight into his hands.I proved Lady Isabelle’s theory right,five minutes I could have just hung on to five minutes and then the dinner would be over and I would go back to my perfect little family life.Oliver found me on the stair way.I tried to wipe away every trace of Lord Benjamin from me.
‘There you are darling,I’ve been looking all over for you.’
‘I’m fine darling,I just wish that you wouldn’t make such a fuss sometimes?’
‘It’s only because I care….The children are fine,and no you’re not….’
‘Just leave it.’
‘The way that you stood up to Lady Antoinette in there,I am so proud of you.’
He went to kiss me.
‘Whatever is it?’
‘I’m so sorry.’
‘What is my petit Gisele going to be sorry for? You stood by your principles and I love you for that.’
‘I have did something unforgivable.’
‘I’m sure Lady Isabelle will get over you referring to her bottom in that way.’he laughed. ‘In there you reminded me of the old fiery Gisele.I thought that there’s my wife…she stood up for what she believes in.’
‘I don’t deserve you.’
‘Gisele can you please stop this talk!…. I love you…’
‘No Oliver,I hate myself….Lord Benjamin he…..’
‘Yes he’s a charming gentleman,he was singing your praises in there,you were right he’s a fine match for Louisa.’
‘Somethings happend between us…I was upset by what had happend.’
‘I knew that I should have come after you? I abandoned you,when I swore I wouldn’t…Benjamin and I we have been together,but it was only one moment of endless pleausure.I felt nothing for him.I think that it’s time that you walked away from me?’
I went to pass him my wedding ring.
‘Goodbye my friend.’
I began to walk away,this is the second chance for him.He can marry again,find someone who will make him happy.
‘Please don’t do this to yourself.’
‘This is not the end?’
‘But how can you just stand there.I’ve been unfaithful to you.’
‘What? No? I love you so much.’
‘You cant,I’m your wife and I broke my promises to you after everything I said to you.I went against my word…I do think that you need to forget about me.’
‘Olly,I’m damaged goods,you can’t keep forgiving me?’
‘I will not let you do this to me Gisele.’ he cried.
‘I love you too Olly,I…it’s just that London it’s no good to me.We should never have returned here.’
‘We can go back to France.’
‘No,I will,you can remain in London.’
‘We can get past this,I know we can.’
‘Really?’ I cried.
He embraced me ‘I know you’re imperfection is not being able to resist a handsome stranger?’
‘She mustn’t know the truth.You and Benjamin shall remain friends.’
‘I don’t deserve you?’
‘I really do love you,I know that wasn’t the perfect way of showing you that I do.’
‘We have got to remain strong for the sake of the children.’
Mama walked in unannounced.
‘So this is where you’ve been hiding?’
‘I went to see how the children were.’ I lied.
The children,I felt a pang of guilt,how could I be so selfish.Ever since Esme and Ava arrived,I’ve had to put my life on hold.Have the label of wife and mother,I longed to be me again,I lost my identity.Benjamin gave me that opportunity and like the fool I was I grabbed it with both hands,I surrendered to his touch.
‘Well don’t just stand there?’
‘Cat got your tongue child?’
‘For once in my life girl,I am so proud of you.’
‘Thank you Mama.’
‘Normally you take it upon your chin,you let walk people walk all over you.I brought you up well.’
‘I thought that you would be ashamed of my actions?’
‘Shocked Gisele,not ashamed.There’s a big difference.,it’s about time that woman got a taste of her own medicine and was taken down a peg or two.’
‘You are a true Delessop my child.’ she smiled.
All of my life I have been waiting for that moment,I couldn’t take it.After what I did to Oliver I didn’t deserve her kindness.
‘Of course,now go back in there.’
‘I can’t face them all again?
Your worth a thousand times more than her,hold your head up high.You have nothing to be ashamed of….Well what are you waiting for?’
I looked at Oliver,my eyes filled with tears,I hate pretending that everything was perfect between us again.I can not believe I could be so stupid,to fall into the arms of Lord Benjamin,but I meant what I said it meant nothing to do in the slightest,I felt no connection what so ever.
‘Mama,could you please leave us alone for five minutes?’
‘Don’t be long.’ she insisted.
Lady Antoinette walked away.
‘You meant what you said Oliver?’
‘When you walked away first time around,a part of me died inside.’
‘I’m so sorry.’
‘I’m sorry too,I’m going to let you kill me once.’
‘You had a lucky escape,you dodged a bullet when I left? I know you’ll forgive and forget and you want me back?’
‘I can see the good in you Gis,that’s why I want you so bad? You’re like a drug.Promise never to hurt me again?’
‘This is the last time I’ll screw up again.’
‘That’s all the words that I need to hear.I never want you take your vows too lightly again.’
‘Good,because one more slip up and that is it,the end of us.You truly want to bring Ava and Esme up in a broken home?’
‘No,don’t shut me out again.’
‘I never want intended to shut you out Oliver.’
‘Well good because I dont know how I’d be able to cope without you G,you’re my soul mate.I need you now.’
I walked into the room with Oliver,I listened to what Mama said,I kept my head up high.I had nothing to hide from,apart from my pride and guilt.I had spoken out on behalf of all the women that Lady Isabelle had upset in the past.I noticed Lord Benjamin standing alone in the corner,Louisa wasn’t in sight.He didn’t look any different since our previous encounter so dark and brooding and ever more appealing than the last time.He smiled,but I could barely look at him.I close myself off from the room and from love.I had a flash back,Benjamin and I just couldn’t get enough of one another,hands all over one another,his kiss was so tender,gentle.Different to Olivers.But enough I could not go back there again,I tasted the forbidden fruit,it didn’t taste sweet.All I had left was a bittersweet taste.For the sake of my children,I wasn’t going to venture there again.I was parted from Oliver,as he was to have brandies in the drawing room.
I went to join the other ladies in the library,Benjamin stopped me in my tracks.
‘What are you doing?’
‘I’m so sorry.’
‘So am I,I wish I never met you? I’ve told him.’
‘Because I’m married to him,and married people don’t keep secrets from one another.’
‘If he knows the truth then why don’t you have a mark on your body.’
‘Oliver doesn’t hit women.’
‘And why am I still standing?’
‘Like I said Oliver isn’t a violent person,he’s a proud family man.He’s forgiven me.’
‘How can he?…’
‘He’s taken me back for the sake of the children.He said that you and I can remain friends,heaven knows whatever possessed him to say such a thing.’
‘Go back to Louisa.’
I walked away from Benjamin.
A shadow overcast the dinner party,why did life have to seem so complicated? Things were starting to unravel in france,we were finally happy.Oliver adored me,he proved that by moving to the ends of the earth to prove his love to me.He gave up his life,his home in London to embark on a new life in France.How did I repay him? Oh I cannot bare it,As well as living with the fear of Jack,I have to live with the guilt that things may never be the same again.
Before I went to face the music once more,I went upstairs into the nursery room,Esme and Ava were sleeping ever so peacefully.I wanted to wake up,I longed for a warm embrace from my two little cherubs.I sat there for some time and watched them sleeping.How did I nearly throw my life with the lights of my life away? I chose a moment of lust over my two little angels and I swore never to do that ever again.If I was ever parted from them,then I would simply die,there would be nothing left on earth worth living for.
I quietly made my way downstairs,and walked inthe the library were all of the other ladies were gathered.In my abscence,it was as if the world stopped,everything was frozen in time.I refused a glass of champagne.I was sick to the stomach at the thought of sipping another glass.I sat down in the corner,I just wanted to be alone with my thoughts.That was too much to ask,as it was very short lived,when I was accompanied by Evangaline and Holly.
‘What kept you?’ sighed Evangaline.
‘I had to check up on Esme and Ava…remember I have two children who need my attention in case you haven’t forgotten? Where’s Letitia and Marianna?’
‘There frightened to be associated with me,Letitia is quietly reading and Marianna is with Reinette.’
‘Mama is driving me insane.’sighed Holly. ‘She’s trying to reaquaint me with an Earl from Italy…He looks like a frog.’
‘I’m sorry to break it to you,but you have to kiss a lot of frogs,before you find your prince.You’re one and only true love.’
‘And in your case get stabbed in the process.’ scoffed Holly.
‘Holly,that was harsh? Even for you? Take that back.’ I shouted.
‘I’m sorry,it won’t happen again.’
‘What have I missed?’
‘Rosaline making a fool of herself,she was trying to gain the attention of Lord Benjamin.’ laughed Evangaline.
‘I suppose that will be my fault?’ I sighed.
‘He was having none of it,it appears that you were right Gisele.’said Evangaline. ‘He only has eyes for Louisa.’
‘Yes,it appears so.’
‘Whatever is it? asked Evangaline.
‘I’m not with you?’
‘Ever since you had that disagreement with Lady Isabelle,you’ve appeared to be in a world of your own?’
‘Honestly,I’m fine,I’m just tired.Longing for the french air again.’
‘I’m surprised Earl Merrells hasn’t graced us with his prescence tonight?’asked Holly.
‘Maybe,he finally saw sense and thought that it was best to stay away?’
‘You know Serenity Estate is still unoccupied?’
‘That’s sweet of you to consider us Evangaline,But I’m afrraid there’s only so much of London that I can take.’
‘But London was your home for so long?’
‘Maybe it’s because Evan,because I’ve quite simply grown out of love with the place.In my heart of hearts. I wasn’t existing in London,it was an effort to even breathe.I thought is that it? What I was really living for? I’m sorry,but Oliver and I said that we would be heading back to France.I’m so lost since I came back here,and I need to find a way back.
I embraced my sisters,I hope that they don’t hate me,but I don’t belong here anymore.I pray that they will find it in to hearts to forgive me?
I found Mama speaking to Lord Benjamin in the hall way.
‘Louisa is a fine young woman,I think you have found a fine match with her.’
He bowed his head I’m happy to receive Lady Antoinette’s approval?’
‘Lord Benjamin,Mama isn’t royalty you know.’ I blushed a little.
I couldn’t give him eye contact.
‘Gisele,I heard that you were leaving for France?’
‘I’m afraid so Mama.’
‘I know you would like to keep me here forever Mama,but my home is in france now.’
Mama embraced me.’ Maybe you could come and visit us?’
‘I don’t think that is a good idea my child.’
‘Why ever not?’
‘You know what I’m like with travelling?’
‘I shall bid farewell to my grandchildren,heaven knows when I shall see them next?’
Lady Antoinette walked away.
‘Your Mama is such a charming lady,has if you forgive me,a way with words?’
‘I hope you’re not leaving at my expence?’
‘Oh how you flatter yourself? The truth is I grew frightfully bored of the company.You on the other hand was there at the right time,giving me the attention that I needed.You and I was just a little bit of meaningless fun.End of conversation.’
Louisa found us two together.
‘When you’ve said you’re goodbyes,we’re leaving Louisa.’
She nodded her head,I walked away and took one last look.
‘You will come and visit won’t you? asked Louisa.
‘Like I would dream of staying away from you.’ smiled Lord Benjamin.
After bidding farewell to my sisters,I finally caught up with Oliver.
‘Gisele? The coach has arrived? Are you ready?’
‘Yes darling,before we leave London,we need to collect a few things at Mama’s house and…there’s something that I would like to do,say goodbye to Lucille.’
A while later
‘Oliver,I would like to do this alone? If that’s ok with you?’
He walked away,I could still hear his footsteps in the distance.
‘My beautiful sweet sister,I’m sorry I didn’t come to see you sooner,I saw father when I arrived here,I’ve been so busy,but I never forgot you.I vowed I’d see you before I left for france.What an interesting visit is all I can say? I had the misfortune of crossing the wrath of Lady Isabelle,she is still a monster.I thought that she might have softened in her old age? How wrong was I? There was a charming gentleman,you would have liked him.He was so perfect in every single way,and of course stupid Gisele,just couldn’t keep her hands off him.Oliver knows,and I’m so ashamed of myself.Mari and the others aren’t aware of this,and I shall keep it that way.For the sake of my family,I shall carry my sordid little secret to my grave.Farewell my love,I don’t know when I shall see you again?’