Chapter 19

Chapter 19
‘If you truly love me Oliver?’
‘You know I do.’
‘There is something that I would like you to do for me?’
‘Emotional blackmail between the sheets? I like the sound of that?’
‘No,it’s nothing like that.Honestly Lord Rickman you have a one track mind.’
I took a deep breathe,how is he going to take this…I need to allow him in,I miss him so badly that it’s hurting.I long to hold my son but as I am cruelly deprived of this priviledge then the next best thing is to swallow my pride and visit his grave.
‘I long to visit William’s grave.’
‘What now?’
‘Some time today,you see I have a teddy bear that I long to give to him.Care to join me if you so desire?’
‘I’m sorry Sweet Pea.’
‘Why don’t I like the tone of your voice? I need you there by my side,I’m not strong enough to do it alone.’
‘ I wish I could.’
‘You were William’s father surely that means something to you?’
‘It does…’
‘I’m sorry my love,I have business to attend to.’
‘It always about business with you.’
‘The truth is we’re in a bit of a pickle,we’re losing money by the second!’
‘Another thing you’re keeping from me?!’
‘You have been pretty pre-occupied lately? I’m sorry Sweet pea,I should have told you.’
‘You’re beyond help Oliver.’
‘In order to keep our heads above water I need some time alone in my study…I’m up to my eyeballs.’
‘My family always comes first,I stated that on the first day we met?’
‘Quite the fiery one you were back then?’
‘I was eighteen,just ran away from marrying Duke Matthew.’
‘You don’t owe William a thing.’
‘How can you say that? I need to see him to keep my bond with him.’
‘I feel that you are clinging to much to your past,constantly weighed down by your personal tragedy and past failings?’
‘You know I’m the religious type and how I need to cleanse my sins…’
‘Only when it suits you?’
‘How dare you!’
‘I’m only speaking the truth Gisele,you’ve been unfaithful to me but I’ve forgiven you,you dont need to be at the foot of the bed night after night.Begging for mercy and forgiveness.How can we move on in our marriage if you can’t let go? He’s gone for heaven’s sake!’
‘He has a name William!’
‘Why can’t you get it through that shallow blonde head of yours?’
‘It always comes down to the man being the far superior race than the women? Lord Oliver has to appear subservient to his poor little wifey Gisele.So I’m shallow now am I? I think I’ve heard quite enough now.’
‘I didn’t intend to sound that way?’
‘Maybe you should have married someone that is equal minded as yours truly for instance Lady Rosaline or Countess Tatiana.’
‘Is wish you would let it go? She means nothing to me!’
‘Shall I pack your bags now? Save you the hassle! After all you can’t see your reputation in society slipping,you should have listened to Lady Isabelle in the first place? I can hear her words now,I told you so,I said that she wasn’t the perfect woman for you.Not high on your intellect as yours truly? You can deny it all you like Oliver?’
‘No,I love you.’
‘Save your breath Oliver,it was a complete and utter mistake reuniting.Our marriage was tainted from day one.Like the Titanic,Marianna warned me about the icy atmosphere and offered me away out.I was kidding myself thing we were unsinkable! It’s awfully nice of you to put your dumb little french wifey first before your business.It’s always been this way,I should have grown accustomed to this lifestyle.I’m the other woman to your beloved work! Now if you excuse me,Mama is awaiting me. I promise that wouldn’t be late for breakfast.’
And on that note I left his side.
I sat in complete silence at the breakfast table,just casually sipping my tea remaining calm and composed.I simply can not get my around what Oliver had to say? He is fully aware of how strong my family values are.I stated that the very first day our eyes met across a crowded ballroom.He may not admit it right now,but in the early stages of our engagement.He admitted that was the main reason I captured his heart aside from the other girls? Why did it have to go all sour again? We were happy for a time,then I threw it all away when I lost my heart to a complete stranger.I invited him in mind soul and body.No matter what the future may hold? I am not going to take it lying down for I am a strong independent Delessop woman.I will fight my corner and win my girls and fight my corner.To the death if that’s what it takes.I have nothing to prove to my husband.I have survived before Lord Rickman before and I shall again.

I was eighteen years of age,when I first met Lord Rickman.It was certainly no fairytale ending.No eyes meeting across a crowded room.It was quite the opposite in fact.Judging on first impressions,he was simply breathtaking.Those dark brooding eyes were inviting.But in another breath,he was a pompous fool,so sure of himself and the world around him.Barely mixing with London society.I was sat alongside my beautiful sister Letitia,she was wearing her hair in pretty silk ribbons.I always looked up to her,asking for her advice.Even now,I was wearing a rather revealing golden gown.I liked to stand out from the crowd,one of a kind.My hair was tied in a loose plait.
‘I do detect Lord Rickman is making eyes at you?’
I casually glanced over to where he was standing I felt his eyes fixed upon me,I looked away bashfully.Why is he looking over at me I am no special to the beautiful ladies that Mama has invited to her ball.
‘I don’t know why Mama insisted on inviting Lord Rickman?’
‘He would make a fine match?’
‘Isn’t he a tad old for me?’ I laughed.
‘It’s never stopped you before?’
‘How absurd Letty.’ I casually fanned myself with my gold and pink fan.
‘He is man of wealth and property.’
‘Money isn’t everything.What of love tell me that?’
‘He hasn’t taken your eyes off you all evening?’
‘Gisele,Gisele.You have a lot to learn.’
‘I’m still fragile from my near miss.’
‘Duke Matthew is a thing of the past.’
‘I should rather talk to Carl.’
‘Stop mooning over Carl,you had your chance with him?’
‘Mama put pay to that.’
‘Approach him go and talk to him?’
‘I should like a kindly gentleman to sweep me off my feet,to woo me with hearts and flowers.Write sweet love letters and sonnets like in Shakespeare,for him to get him to fall in love with me.Not the other way around.’
‘If you’re not careful the only gentleman fit enough to marry will be Daniel and you don’t want that do you?’
‘That wouldn’t be all bad would it?’
‘You could do so much better than Daniel.’
‘Hark at you with your moral high ground?’
‘Let me give you some advice Gisele?’
‘I should like some more french champagne.’
‘I think you’ve had quite enough thank you very much.’
‘You’re so boring.’
‘I don’t want the job to carry you to bed…You know how you get when you indulge in too much champagne.You go all giggly and feminine it’s embarassing to watch.’
‘Oh live a little for once.’ I scoffed.
‘If you don’t make your move on Lord Rickman tonight then I fear someone else will.’
‘I’m not remotely interested.’
‘Like he would look at me the way he wants to me.I’m playing the long game Letty.’
‘You’re a bright beautiful and intelligent young woman.With dreams a plenty and you’re whole life ahead of you.He would be lucky to have you on his arm?’
‘I’m not some precious vase that’s to be bought at auction.’
‘Oh there’s Sophia.’
With that I was left on my own,this trick has happend so many times before.Her sly little way of finding a potential gentleman.Lord Rickman boldly approached me,I must admit I was a little wary of gentlemen.As I was a little bruised and delicate from escaping the wrath that is Duke Matthew.
‘It’s frightfully dull in here is it not.’
‘I have you know this is my Mama’s gala.’ I tutted.
I looked away from him casually fanning myself.
‘I’m awfully sorry my Lady.’
‘No one disrespects my family.For I have strong family values,that’s the Delessop’s code.’
‘Can we start again?’
‘If you must?’
‘Why must you act like a closed book?’
‘I think you’re the one that is making all of the judgements?’
‘Lord Rickman.’
‘Lady Delessop.’
I reluctantly shook his hand.
‘Care to dance?’
‘Shall I spell it out to you more clearly? Talk slowly if you prefer that? I would never go near you if you were the last gentleman on earth?’
‘Suit yourself.’
And with that Lord Rickman walked away.
‘Ever the defeatest?’ I laughed to myself.

I was drawn in by his brooding features,I can not believe how child like I used to behave.Indulging on champagne until I was weak at the knees,I’ve lost count of the occasions Letitia or Marianna carried me upstairs to bed.No wonder Lucille turned out the way she was,god rest her soul.I was hardly a role model to look up to.That night I may have appeared to be rude,but I do like to keep my emotions close guarded.Maybe that explains his icy display when I encountered him again.But he never gave up,he was more insistant on a dance on my twenty first birthday gala,I admire him for that.
I was brought back to reality with an almighty crash.I was no longer the Goddess that was enraptured with beauty.I had suddenly become the Wife that caused utter disappointment to him.I looked around me,Benjamin and Louisa were a different scene to yesterday fondly feeding one another with french toast and caviar? He playfully nuzzled her nose,she giggled with sheer delight.Seems they have they’re marriage back on track,after the scene the night before we’re he held me touched my hair and never let me go.I felt so used and abused.I looked at my nails and addressed Marianna.
‘Do you think I should paint my nails? I think pink should do? And I would very much like to get my hair cut in a bob!’
‘Your hair is beautiful.’
‘The shine has gone out of it,dull like my marriage.Am I dull Mari?
‘Have I missed something?’
‘Oliver said that I was.’
‘In what context?’
‘Oliver and I had one of our rows,I thought that we were making progress…I innocently asked Oliver,that I should like to visit my son’s grave.He brushed it off,saying that he has business to attend to.I kept pushing him,asking him how that could possibly be more important? He’s not the only one that can be deceitful.He’s been lying to me,we’re running out of money.’
‘But all of those business trips?’
‘Just a cover up,he then called me shallow and how I aught to let go of the past.’
‘Oliver said that?’
‘Why would I lie about a thing like that?’
‘Thats quite an extreme thing to ask of you to forget about your son?’
‘I carried William Tristan for nine months in my womb protected him from the world and harm.I did everything by the book?’
‘I know you did darling.’
‘Only to hold him in my arms for a few precious days.Those stolen moments are all I have left of my beloved son.’ I wailed.
Marianna reassuringly touched my arm.
‘Back then,I was fondly recalling the time I first my Olly.’
‘I hardly call it fondly? You were quite the minx back then?’
‘I’m so embarrassed,was I really giggly and over friendly after too many bubbles? I’m so ashamed.’
‘We all have our imperfections Gis.Tell the truth this isn’t about Oliver and what he said is it?’
‘I’m remonising about my husband.’
‘You’re not telling the truth,because you’re wrinkling your nose.’
‘I have no idea of what you’re referring to?’
‘The two love birds over there? You’re still in love with him aren’t you?’
I didn’t have a chance to answer,as Holly flounced in unannounced.Followed by a dreamy Evangaline.
‘Good morning.’ scowled Lady Antoinette.
‘Please don’t shout Mama.’ whispered Holly.She cradled her head in her hands.
‘Oh why is the room spinning? Has someone moved the table?’
‘That’s because you’ve had far too much champagne.’ said Evangaline.
‘Naughty Holly.’
As she said this she didn’t look up from her parchment.
‘It’s a love letter from Lord Arthur.’ mocked Holly.
‘I told you that in confidence?’ said Evangaline.
‘Our little Evangaline is now a fine young woman of society.’ smiled Letitia fondly.
‘Shh Letty,it’s getting to the interesting part.’
‘Oh? What does my lothario of a brother have to say for himself?’ said Benjamin,raising his eyebrows.
‘So all of the Henry gentlemen likes to indulge in woman kind?’

My beloved Evangaline,
How I miss your smile and sheer beauty
I could quote shakespeare but you’d probably find
that frightfully dull?
And I suspect Holly would have a sly little remark
at this point?

‘That’s not fair!’ said Holly.

…I do wish Versailles wasn’t so far away?
I miss your infectious life that lights up a
crowded room.
Maybe you could stop by when the newly
weds return? I can not bare to be parted from you.
‘Isn’t he the sweetest?’
‘I detect little Evangaline is a tad smitten?’ teased Marianna.

….I long to kiss those sweet lips once more.
To hold you in your arms
For now I enclose a pressing of you’re favourite flower
of a white rose.

‘He remembered?’ Gasped Evangaline.

….this is a token of my feelings for you.
Yours Lord Arthur.

‘I detect wedding bells for my darling Evangaline I’m so happy!’ gushed Lady Antoinette. ‘It’s a pity that you’re Papa couldn’t witness this.’
‘I hardly call my brother the marrying type.’
‘Something you both have in common?’ I said under my breath.
‘A dead flower?’
‘Do you have something to say Holly? And for your information it’s a pressed flower.’
‘I wish Lucille was here now! She would know exactly what I’m thinking? I’m so glad that I’m not with Lord Arthur now?’ Giggled Holly. ‘To think how jealous I was of your new found love? My love for you reminds me of a dead flower?’
‘My brother was never the romantic type?’
‘You wouldn’t be saying that if it was you Holly? I would be happy for you,it’s a shame you can’t act like a grown up and do the same?’
‘For once I agree with Evangaline.’
‘Thanks Letty.’ smiled Evangaline looking rather smugly in Holly’s direction.
I didn’t realise that Oliver had joined us at the table.I couldn’t make eye contact.
‘Any way I thought you were feeling like a delicate flower?’ added Letitia.
‘I’m dying! Will someone pass me some water!’ squealed Holly slumping over her chair.
‘You don’t know the meaning of the word? So stop acting the dying swan and eat up.’ said Lady Antoinette.
Mama glanced over towards me,trying her best to ignore Holly.
‘Do you have any plans for today Gisele?’
‘I should like to spend some quality time with Esme and Ava today…and visit William’s grave.It’s been a while since I saw him,and I should like to lay some flowers upon his headstone and I have a teddy from Esme and Ava that I should like to give to him.’
‘Oh that’s lovely,a fitting tribute.’ smiled Lady Antoinette.
‘Thank you Mama,I should like to spend some quiet time with my son away from the madness of every day life,to reflect on certain things.’
‘Is something wrong my Gisele?’
‘Nothing that can’t keep.’ I lied.
‘Is Oliver joining you at all?’
‘Unfortunately not your Ladyship.’ Lord Rickman sat up straight as he adressed my Mama.
‘For I have committments elsewhere.’
‘What Oliver is trying to say is his business is far more important,than his precious son.So I shall be attending alone.
‘Aw that’s such a pity.’ smiled Lady Antoinette.

My Mama is such a hypercrite,I mean how dare she? If that was I announcing that I was unable to see my son.I should have had a public thrashing.I quote Mama addressing me by my full sunday name Lady Gisele Tara Anastacia Rickman,you aught to be ashamed of yourself.What possibly could be more important than your own flesh and blood? He barely got a slap on the wrist,she merely brushed it under the carpet.I can now see how she favours him over her own daughter,he could do no wrong in her eyes.For I am the one who simply strayed from his side,time and time again.Lord Benjamin detected how hurt I was and thought that it was a duty to speak up.
‘I could join the Lady if you like?’ asked Lord Benjamin.
‘I don’t think that’s a good idea.’ I said. ‘I think I should like to attend alone.’
‘Gisele,Lord Henry has kindly offered his services,do not turn it down.’
‘Yes Mama.’
‘That is so sweet of you,my Benjy.Ever the hero.’ Louisa kissed Benjamin.’Always acting the hero in Gisele’s hourly need?’
Louisa if you have something to say I should prefer if you said it to my face,rather than shielding behind your husband.
‘You’re Lord,you are very kind.I hope I’m not intruding on your time?’
‘Not at all Lady Rickman.’
‘Then I shall accept your request and hand of friendship.I thank you.’
‘Not at all,anything to help out a damsel in distress?’ smiled Lord Henry.
Little does Louisa realise that her husband acting heroically by kindly offering his help is pushing Benjamin and I closer together.This doesn’t feel right,it should be Oliver and I sharing this intimate moment with our son.

A little while later,Lord Henry and I were once again alone together sharing this bittersweet moment at William’s gravestone.I approached the gravestone and bent forward,carefully rubbing my hand across William’s name.William Tristan Rickman.
‘It doesn’t feel right?’ I sobbed.
Benjamin clutched onto my hand,I couldn’t stop trembling.
‘He should be here,not down there in the cold,rotten with the worms…’
‘He’s free among the angels.’
‘Why do you always have such beautiful things to say? I can’t do this.’
‘Yes you can.’ He kissed my cheek.
First of all I placed the teddy on to his headstone.
‘Morning William,it’s Mama.I’m so sorry that it’s taken so long to see you again.’
I looked at Benjamin ‘We should have been celebrating his first birthday in a few weeks time? Life’s so cruel….This s a present from Ava and Esme,it’s Ava’s teddy Eddie she would like you to have it.It’s so that you are never alone,they miss you so much.Especially Esme,she feels it that most.I talk about you every single day my angel.Just so you know that your memory still lives on.’
I turned and looked at Benjamin,tears rolled down my cheeks.He encouraged me to continue.
‘This is your blanket,the same one I nursed you in your short life.I hate for you to get cold,it kills me seeing you here all alone.I know you have your Gran Papa and Auntie Luc taking care of you….but I wish you were here with us.Our family is incomplete without you.I’ve tried everything but the truth is,since you’ve been gone.I’ve been struggling to cope.I’m sorry Will,but Daddy couldn’t make it today he’s too busy,so you’ll have to settle for your Uncle Benjy I’m afraid.You would have adored him,I think your Mama likes him more than she should like.Mama and Daddy have fallen out of love,we’re living on borrowed time.Losing you was the final nail in the coffin.Ava and Esme insist that I give you a great big hug and kiss from them.’
I lay a flower down.
‘See you soon,I love you.’
I stood up,Benjamin embraced me.
‘I’m so proud of you,you’re stronger than you think?’
‘Those words from the heart….You really didn’t have to come?’
‘How could you possibly do this alone?’
‘Oh you are so sweet,but I’m a big girl you know.’
‘I’m tired of the games between you and I,you don’t have to pretend to me?’
‘Ben,I buried my Papa alone,without Oliver.Please don’t pity me.Your kindness only makes it worse.I can speak of it now,I disgraced myself.My sister caught Declan and I together…It was such a long time ago.’
‘I’m glad you can talk to me? I wasn’t referring to that? That little confession? William’s death was the final nail in the coffin,you were living on borrowed time?’
‘You weren’t meant to hear that? That was a private moment between Mama and son.’
‘You will not like what I’m about to say to you?’
‘But you’re going to anyway?’
‘Gisele I didn’t like what you referred to at the breakfast table earlier? I quote ‘all of the Henry gentlemen likes to indulge in whole of women kind?’
‘Well I couldn’t exactly say,yes all of the Henry gentlemen have a tendency of sleeping around.Or if you prefer putting it more bluntly? Yes Louisa,your darling Benjy has been unfaithful to you with yours truly.Right under your nose,you aught to keep him on a tighter leesh?’
‘You can’t pick and choose who you fall in love with.Like you for instance you fell out of the sky and into my life.Have you ever been happy with Olly?’
‘Pardon me?’
‘Well have you?’
‘I think you are being very rude,because we have slept together a few times doesn’t mean you should know me inside out?’
‘I think mean more than that? Ever since I’ve known you,Oliver has brought nothing but a lifetime of regret and misery?’
‘There were times when Oliver used to make me smile for instance,when we first escaped to France.He sacrificed his whole life for me.That proved he loved me after all,I pretended for a time that this was all written in the stars.Oliver and I could build a life together,we got the dream life that we talked about.The breath taking chateu,Ive always pictured inside my head,the stables and horses.The children I’ve longed for.But appearances can be deceptive.I could pretend to Mama that Oliver was the man for me whilst I was slowly drowning.Oliver has a good heart,deep down I give him that.I mean he’s always been good with Esme and Ava…For instance how he made a perfect little fairytale snow garden in Marseilles.The first christmas,as the children have never experienced snow.Like you and I have growing up in London the crisp beautiful magical snow.He left a trail in the garden,using his footprints to say Santa had visited,as Ava feared that Santa wouldn’t know we had left Serenity Estate.He was sweet and considerate in those little things.When he would take the time to dress the trees,Oliver always insisted on getting a real tree,for some reason he liked the smell.On Christmas Eve,Oliver always allowed Esme and Ava to place the star upon the top of the christmas tree.

(flashback Christmas Eve)
We where all gathered together,I was making the children christmas toys…A soldier and the sugar plum fairy from the Nutcracker.Esme longed to have a toy soldier.
‘When you’re older Es,I promise to take you to see the ballet.’ I smiled.
‘With real dancers?’
‘Yes Esme.’
Oliver Esme and Ava were busily making preparations in order for jolly old Saint Nick to visit the chateu.
‘We will have some cookies and milk first and then we will have to leave a glass of milk out for Saint Nick.’
‘And a cookie.’ said Esme.
‘Why Milk? He might like Hot Chocolate?’ asked Ava.
‘Explain away Daddy dearest….oh no youre not wriggling out of this one,Ava asked you the question first it’s only fair.’
‘When your Mama was a little girl and I was a little boy,growing up in our own houses.It’s always been a tradition passed down in the Delessop and Rickman households.To leave a cold glass of milk for him to drink on christmas and a yule log to help him on his long journey.’
‘How does he know where here? He could get lost on his way?’
‘Well that’s where you’re wrong.’ said Oliver.’For he has a magic map,so that he can fly around the world.’
‘No,he has magic pixie dust.Just like Tinkerbell.’ says Ava. ‘Then he can fly with his reindeer.’
‘Yes Benjamin,I’m to thank for our children’s wild and wonderful imagination.From a young age I read to the girls,Peter Pan.Esme is convinced she’s the mischievous Tinkerbell attempting to fly down the stairs.Many a times my heart has been in my mouth.Esme shares some of Tinkerbell’s qualities.Silent but deadly like the little pixie.Alas the silent and deadly part she has inherited from her delightful father.’

‘Does Santa have a dog asked Esme.
‘Yes’said Ava. ‘Skye told me that she saw him and he has a polar bear too.’
‘So our daughter can know communicate with the canine kind?’
‘Don’t look at me,she didn’t inherit that gift from her Mama.When Holly was a child she was convinced she could talk to our beautiful black and tan King Charles Spaniel called Lady.We were convinced she was raised by a pack of wolves,I mean she’s always been so whiley and highly strung.How we adored Lady,every Christmas Day underneath the tree,we would dress her up in red silk ribbons.Lucille’s idea.At the dinner table when the turkey dinner had got a tad too much we would allow Lady to indulge in a little treat of her own,concealing it in rolled up napkins and take it in turns and feed our left over scraps to her.I think our kindness killed her in the end.
Oliver clapped his hands,I wish he wouldn’t be so regimental with them,and let them be children.
‘Children gather round,we are finished! Let’s get dressed for bed!’
‘But Daddy were not sleepy!’
After much persuading on my part,Esme and Ava placed their stockings,below their beds and Oliver read to them the Night before Christmas.
They were then all snug in their little beds,we would tiptoe downstairs and recreate the perfect enchanting scene leaving presents at the foot of the tree.Before snuggling alone together,armed with brandy drinking in memory to my dear old Papa.Aside a roaring fire,we rest our weary heads.’
‘Lord William.’
I watched the memory fade to black.
‘So yes my husband can be caring.’
‘Don’t act so defensive it was an innocent enough question?’
‘He adored my Papa.’
‘You must miss Lord William?’
‘Christmas time is the hardest.’
‘I’m sorry to make you feel sad?’
‘I’m fine.’
‘I want to kiss those tears away.’
‘Just leave it Ben,there have been many a times I crave to get our happiness back.’
‘Your marriage is dead Gisele?’
‘We can resurrect it,if we try.It’s worked before.I can do it again?’
‘You can’t keep doing this to yourself,won’t be long that you won’t have any strength left within you.That was before you fell in love with me? Gisele you’re hands are as cold as ice?’
‘Good match for my icy heart.’
‘You have a good heart Gis.’
‘I’ll survive.’
‘I couldn’t possibly allow my perfect swan to catch her death?’
Benjamin draped his coat over my shoulders.
‘Thank you I guess.’
‘You don’t have to be all coy around me.’
‘I can’t help it.’
‘You can be so sweet sometimes?’
‘What are you doing?’
He leant over to me,he pulled me into his waist.
‘You know perfectly well Lady Rickman.’
With that he kissed me.I pulled away from him and cleared my throat. ‘It’s getting late we best be heading back.
We both returned to Mama’s house,both returning to our seperate little worlds,Benjamin to Louisa and I returning to my fortress.Louisa embraced Benjamin,they were lost in their own little worlds.They grasped hold of their own hands and left.One last time Benjamin turned and gazed over his shoulder at me,one last time.
I boldly knocked on the drawing room door.
I slowly closed the door behind me.
‘Ah Gisele.’
‘You’re back so soon?’
‘I think that is time that you and I had a heart of heart?’
‘Sounds intriguing?’
‘I was rather hurt that you didn’t accompany me to our son’s grave today.’
‘I thought that you were ok with Lord Henry joining you?’
‘That’s not the point,you really disappointed me today Olly.’ I sulked.
‘Sweetpea.You perfectly know fair well that we had business to attend to?’
‘I wish you would stop it with the whole sweetpea!’
‘I thought you liked that?’
‘I’ve disliked it from the moment you have started calling me that name.But in order to spare your feelings I remained quiet until now.’
‘I am sorry that you’re hurt but you must understand that the whole world doesn’t revolve around Gisele Delessop? Some times you are so self-centred acting no more than a spoilt little rich girl.’
‘Is that all I am to you? Not your Wife,but a spoilt little rich girl!’
‘Sometimes you can be so infuriating and selfish!’
‘I’m the one who’s being selfish? You chose the love of money…or lack of it over your family? I can not believe you lied to me about it Oliver,I’m your wife,we are meant to share everything?’
‘Like you did when you were secretly seeing Declan behind my back? I mean for heaven’s sake how many other men don’t I know of Gisele?’
‘I can not believe I thought things would be different second time around.’
‘So if you want to know the truth Gisele? I’m tired of pretending Esme she needs to know the truth.’
‘The truth about what?’
‘That I’m not her father!’
‘She’s just a little girl!’
‘She’s old enough to understand that life isn’t just about fairy tale endings.She needs to know the truth about her dear father.’
‘If she knows the truth then everything she’s known will come crashing down on her.If you tell her Olly,then I will never forgive you.’
‘You walk out on me Gis,then you won’t have a penny to your name.I will drag your name through the dirt.’
‘Try and stop me.’
I walked out of the drawing room.

I was alone once more in the nursery playing with Esme and Ava.The heartbreaking scene at the graveyard and my arguement with Oliver was forever a distant memory.
‘Did William like Eddie?’ asked Ava.
‘William adores him.’ I smiled. ‘I’ve missed you too.’
Ava was rocking backwards and forwards on my rocking horse,whilst Ava was innocently playing on the floor.
‘Yes Esme?’
I wasn’t prepared for the earth shattering words that she was about to deliver,words that would tear the whole Rickman dynasty apart.
‘Where’s Daddy?’
‘He’s busy darling,but he promised he would join us later for dinner.’
‘No Mama,she means her real Daddy.’


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