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Chapter 21

The very next morning I wrote a letter to Reinette,how I long to get away for a few days and what a perfect excuse to see baby Lucille Alexandria.
Reinette,
I am so sorry it has taken so long to write to you,
I learnt of your delightful news from Tom,I am so happy
for you and so sweet of you to call your beautiful baby
girl in tribute to my beautiful baby sister.
It’s overwhelming to find that her memory will still live
on through out your precious little gift of life.
I am currently at Mama’s estate,but all of that is about
to change real soon.Oliver has found such a beautiful
estate for us and the children to live in.
It’s called Nightshade Estate,its not ready to live in as
it still has a lot of work to do.But it has great
potential and I’m sure that Tom would think the same.
I know it is a big ask of you,but I was wondering
if Tom would kindly offer his help and advice as I
should like to do my new place some justice.You
never know when the delightful Lady Isabelle will
drop by and give us a visit.
It’s all been a little overwhelming in the Rickman
house lately,the truth is that Oliver and I have been
struggling once more in our marriage.
A lot of hurtful things had been said,nothing we can
take back.Esme found out the truth about her father
Jack.She overheard Oliver and I having one of our
eventful rows.The thought of her knowing breaks
her heart.I can’t look at my daughter the same way
now.
I need to escape from it all,and I wondered if there
is space for petit Gisele to lay her head for a few
nights.
I will completely understand if this isn’t possible?
Hope to see you soon
Gisele xx

I looked down at the promise ring,it is so beautiful.It just proves from the bottom of Lord Henry’s heart he truly and utterly loves and adores me.In time I do long for this to turn into a wedding ring.Extremely sweet and thoughtful of him to bestow this gift of a promise ring upon my finger.I feel all warm and fluffy inside.Lord Henry’s love for me has truly saved me.All right Lady Rickman you are getting a tad ahead of yourself.For one you are still married to the frightful Lord Rickman who is lying in that bed and two Louisa and Benjamin are still Lord and Lady Henry.I can imagine the scandal now,when all of these secrets and lies soon emerge…Lord Rickman will grab him by the scruff of the neck and throw him against the wall.He will call me all of the names under the sun,hurtful names I truly deserve.I never intended any of this to happen,but if Mama never forced me into an unwanted marriage in the first place,then we wouldn’t be here right now.Louisa would feel nothing but shame,her fairytale marriage and dreams have been cruelly snatched away from her whore of a sister in law.She will cry hysterically I should imagine,she would refuse for a divorce and it’s out of the question for it to be annulled as I know they did the deed.She was right all along that I wasn’t to be trusted.

I sealed the letter,Lord Rickman awoke.
‘I’m sorry did I wake you?’ I smiled falsely.
‘Not at all.Please come back to bed.’
‘You know the begging doesn’t work with me Oliver?’ I fluttered my eyelashes towards him. ‘It’s only five thirty in the morning.’
‘Esme disturbed me,she had another bad dream.’
‘I feel so guilty.’
‘We’re both the guilty ones…Besides it is such a beautiful day,the birds are singing.I refuse to waste a second of it.’
‘What has gotten into you?’
I sat down upon the bed to face him.
‘Life is so precious,you aught to live every day as though it’s your last?’
‘You’re very philosophical and deep for this time of the morning?’
‘You never know how long you and I have left together?’
Oliver looked at the ring upon my finger.
‘My wedding ring is become slack,I’m scared that I shall lose it.It didn’t look right…so I thought that I shall put this ring on for the time being.’ I squirmed.
Could that be the biggest black lie I’ve ever told.I should be quite the expert right now I’ve lied and deceived my husband the majority of our marriage.All of the little white lies I have told I have been reduced to I should have left when I had the chance.Gisele you fool you should have said the ring was a farewell gift from his sister Louisa,yes he would have believed that sob story the sap that he is.I do wish I had the courage to say,this is my lover Ben,we are running away from London and leaving you with nothing.
I started to get dressed into my day dress. ‘I think the green dress shall do today.Will you pass me my bonnet?’
‘Where are you going?’
‘I am going for my morning stroll.’
I went to head for the door,he cleared his throat.
‘What is it now?’ I sighed.
‘You forgot about my goodbye kiss?’
‘So I did,I do apologise my Lord….I don’t know where my head is at lately?’
I leant forward and reluctantly gave him a kiss.
‘Now sleep.’ I laughed.
I slipped out of the house and into the grounds,I decided to take Quinn for a ride.It’s been so long since I have been one with nature…I climbed onto her back,and galloped off into the distance.It felt so nice to feel so free,the whole breeze wafting through my hair.Quinn and I connected as though we’ve barely been apart.
‘I missed you Q.’ I whispered.
I went around the grounds.It was a little while later when I returned her to my grounds.I looked on at my childhood home.Bittersweet memories of Cossack,my beautiful sweet girl.I miss her so,I feel that her spirit lives on in my beautiful girl Quinn.
I climbed off Quinn’s back and patted her nose.
‘I’ll bring you your oats soon.’ I smiled.
I trudged back toward the house.
‘I don’t think Mama will be best pleased to see you riding without your riding hat?’
I turned round to be greeted by Lord Benjamin.
‘It was a spare of the moment thing.’
I kissed Quinn’s upon her nose.’I thought I would take off,ride all of the cobwebs away…What’s your excuse about being up so early?’
‘I had to have a walk to clear my head.’
‘I wish I could come with you.’
‘It’ll be all worth it in the end?’ He smiled.
He pulled me close towards him and kissed me so tenderly.
‘Someone might see?’ I giggled.
‘I do not care,for in a few months time I shall be free once more.Just bide your time,it shall all be worth it in the end?’
‘I do hope you’re right?’ I nuzzled his neck.
‘You do trust me don’t you?’
‘Of course,but what if you change your mind? Anything could happen whilst you’re in Versailles.You could fall in love with Louisa in the cold and I will be left with nothing.’
‘Gisele,I love you it’s only been you.You have no reason to be jealous of.’
‘I’m only speaking the truth.’
‘I can say the same about you? You could return to Oliver and I shall end up looking like the fool in all of this.’
‘Why don’t we tell each other about us today? Get it all out in the open,no more hiding.Then we can start a fresh?’
‘I thought I heard voices?’
‘Louisa?’
‘I saw the empty space next to me,I thought you’d left me?’
‘I’d never leave you,youre my wife.I love you.I just needed some much needed fresh air.Isn’t that right Gisele?’
He looked over me begging for me to back up his cover story.
‘That’s the way it is.’
Louisa and Benjamin walked off together.
‘Just think in a few days time, we shall be in Versailles.’
‘Oh Benjy,I can not wait,I’m giddy with excitement…Do you think your Mama and Papa will accept Evangaline?’
‘Oh they will adore her,she’s a sheer delight.Gisele was an angel in their eyes I’m sure they will fall for Evangaline’s charm too.’

A few hours later,I was saying my farewells to Louisa and Evangaline.
‘You will be good won’t you.’ insisted Lady Antoinette. ‘Only speak when you are spoken to.Mind your P’s and Q’s,this is Versailles so this is important that you do not show up the Delessop dynasty.’
‘Mama she is nervous enough as it is.’ said Letitia.
‘And for heaven’s sake do not act unlady like,I know what you are like when you are nervous?’Thats Mama of saying please do not burp.’ added Holly.
Holly embraced her sister.
‘I wish you were coming with me.’ said Evangaline.
‘A little advice to you Evan,if you do encounter some fine gentleman then please do let them know that there is a fine young Lady awaiting patiently in London.’
‘I shall miss you.’ sobbed Holly.
‘It’s only for a few days,I shall be back before you know it.’
‘Take care Evangaline,I know that you will make us proud.’ I smiled.
‘Thank you Gisele,hearing you say that means the world to me.Promise me that you and Oliver will be together on my return? I couldn’t bare to see you apart.’
‘I promise.’ I lied.
I kissed Evangaline upon her cheek and tightly embraced her. ‘Promise me you’ll return?’
‘I’m not as foolish as Lucille is.’ sobbed Evangaline. ‘I miss her every single day.I wish she could see me now,she would be green with envy.I cant believe it,Lord Arthur.Oh he is simply delightful Gisele.’
‘Farewell Louisa.’
‘I shall write to you every day.’
‘You really don’t have to.’
‘I insist,you will visit Versailles soon won’t you?’
‘You have my word.’
I glanced over at Lord Benjamin,trying not to give the game away.
‘Farewell Lord Henry.’
‘Lady Rickman.’
Out of sheer politeness he kissed my hand, he casually slipped a note into the palm of my hand
‘I pray we shall see you again very soon?’ he asked.
‘I am afraid not my Lord,I am going to stay with Reinette and Tom very soon for we have a lot to discuss about the house.’
‘Pity.’
With that the love of my life left my side,I could just crumble onto the ground but I didn’t want Oliver to suspect a thing.I composed myself.
‘What are you all standing around for?’
With that I headed back towards the house.

In the safety of my own room,I opened the handwritten note.

Stay strong my love,
Remember me
B

Oh Benjamin my love,of course I shall remember you,you don’t have to ask me twice,I slumped back onto the bed cradling the note in my arms.My door slightly opened.
‘Whoever is it?’
‘Mama.’
Esme crept around the doorway.
‘Esme?’
She was clutching her blanket.
‘Why aren’t you asleep?’
‘I had a bad dream,daddy was coming to get me.’
I gestured for her to come onto the bed beside me.
‘Come on Esme,snuggle under the covers with your dear Mama.Like we used to?’
We got into the covers just like we used to do in Marseilles,and snuggled together.
‘You’re feet are cold.’ giggled Esme.
‘Esme my darling,It upsets Mama that you are having these bad dreams.Promise me that it will stop?’
‘It wont go away Mama.’
‘Es,you have my word.I promise you this I will never ever let him get to you.’ I Promise you this.
‘Did he kill Uncle Carl?’
‘Have you been listening behind closed doors again?’
Esme nodded her head again.
‘Oh Esme baby.It breaks my heart that you keep doing that.Promise me that you will never do it again.’
‘I promise Mama.’
I kissed her nose. ‘Good girl.’
‘I love you Mama.’
‘And I love you too my little Sugar plum fairy.Don’t you ever forget that.’

(flashback)
All of Esme’s bad dreams,brought back memories to when I was a child it was not nightmares of my crazed father but of monster’s under my bed.It wasn’t Mama that reassured me and kissed my forehead.It was my nanny Carrie,one of my many nanny’s jobs to confort me.
‘There are no monsters under the bed?’ said Camille
‘How do you know? You haven’t checked yet?’
I was a pretty intelligent girl for the tender age of seven,to substitute for my Mama not showing the love and affection that I had craved for.I replaced her nurturing feelings for my passion for reading.If I lost myself in literature.Then I wouldn’t feel so unloved alone and unafraid.Especially at night time.
Camille checked under my bed.’No there’s no monsters under the bed. I Shall sing a song to tell them to stay away from my precious Gisele you like that don’t you? Monster’s monster’s go away,come again another day….Well maybe not another day.’
‘Has it worked yet?’
I had my head concealed below the covers.
‘It’s all safe,you can come out now.’ smiled Camille.
‘I love you Camille.’ I smiled fondly.
‘I love you too petit Gisele,now please sleep for you have a busy day ahead of you.’

A few hours later,Oliver and I were alone at the dinner table.
‘Where is everyone?’
‘We had a negotiation they have all gone out for the morning,so you and I could spend some time together.They sensed we needed it?’
‘Before we consider having more children,we need to think about how damaged our little girl has become?’
‘Esme isn’t damaged.’
‘She’s having bad dreams,she knows that her father murdered Carl.’
‘How could she? We’ve been so careful,chosen our words carefully around her.’
‘She’s been listening around corners again.’
‘How could we have let this happen?’
‘Our beautiful sweet little girl,what have we done to her?’
‘Perhaps you have killed her with all of your kindness?’
‘What are you trying to say?’
‘You have wrapped Esme and Ava in cotton wool for far too long.So the moment they discover some bad news….they are unable to handle the truth.’
‘You are laying the blame on me? How dare you Oliver? You started all of this! So don’t you dare pointing the finger at me.You just simply walk away while I am left to pick up the pieces.’
‘Will you stop playing the martyr!’
‘I’m sorry Olly,I’m tired I was up most of the night with Ava sobbing into her pillow,this whole thing has effected her too.It’s tearing us all apart,why can’t we ever escape Jack? He’s gone and yet he’s inside my head.All of the time,whispering laughing at me….I will not rest until Serenity Estate has burnt to the ground.’
‘You don’t mean that Gis? We have so many fond memories of that place?’
‘That place is tainted,only with the memories of Jack.’
‘You know what our problem is Gisele? We need to get out of your Mama’s house.’
‘This is my childhood home?’
‘Your no longer a child your a grown woman….We’re constantly living in your sister’s pocket.The sooner we move into Nightshade Manor the better.’

The time had come for my visit to see Reinette and Tom.I can not wait to see them once more,forget about my troubles and escape from reality.I can not wait to hold baby Lucille Alexandria in my arms.Or will this only inflict pain and torment upon me.William will be a year old now,he would be attempting to walk I should imagine.Sheer chaos and distruction would have filled the household,as he ran around the house with his sister’s,and when it came to the crunch of them getting into trouble,because he was the only boy in the house I would have a strong feeling that the finger would be automatically be pointed to him,I should know sister’s always stick together.Then William would have looked up at me with his beautiful innocent blue eyes and say ‘It wasn’t me Mama?’
All of these will forever remain a figment of my imagination…I’ve even had the honour of seeing my son on his wedding day.I very much doubt my daughter’s will marry,after all they have witnessed in such a short period of time.
I’m trying to imagine in my head what Lucille looks like,will she have inherited Tom’s eyes and Reinette’s button shaped nose or will it be the reverse? It doesn’t matter.
I boldly walked over their house and rang on the doorbell.Reinette opened the door,she was cradling Lucille Alexandria in her arms.
‘Gisele,it’s so lovely to see you again.’
‘I hope I’m not imposing on you?’
‘Of course not,come on inside at once.It’s freezing cold.’
I followed Reinette inside.
‘Tom is working on some plans for your house?’
‘He’s keen?’
‘The truth is he’s glad of the distraction…work has been rather slow of late.’
‘Tom said business is thriving?’
‘It always slows down this time of year.’
‘Oliver and I shall pay good money.’
‘Tom is doing it out of his own free will,an act of friendship?’
‘We do not expect to get it for free Reinette,come on we insist.’
Reinette led me to the drawing room.
‘Look who’s here?’
I saw Tom,finally at his craftman ship,he had drawing laid across the table.He looked up.
‘Do you ever take a break?’
Tom recognised my voice,and glanced up from his paperwork.
‘Gisele?’
He ran over to me and spun me around.
‘I see someone’s so pleased to see you?’ joked Reinette.
‘Put me down!’ I squealed. ‘Stop spinning me for I am going to throw up!’
‘Put her down Tom,you heard the lady.’said Reinette.
‘If you insist.’ said Tom.
‘Thank you.’ I breathed a sigh of relief.
‘You could never take it when you were younger?’ teased Tom.
‘I haven’t a strong stomache.’ I said struggling to catch my breathe.
‘Gisele? May I introduce you to Lucille Alexandria,Lucille meet your Auntie Gisele.’
I looked at Lucille,I felt so overwhelmed.Sophia passed Lucille onto me.I havent held or encountered a baby since William.Come on Gisele you can do this,act strong.Say hello there’s no harm in that.’
‘Hello little one.’ I smiled at Lucille.’She’s so perfect.’
I touched her hands. ‘Perfect little fingers and perfect little toes.’
‘I think she likes you already?’ smiled Reinette.
‘I think I’ve fallen in love.’ I gushed.
‘Tom stop what you are doing? We have company?’
‘Do not stop on my account? Tom I thank you for doing that?’
‘As soon as Reinette received your letter,In order to get a good impression,vision in my head.I went around to Nightshade Estate.I hope you don’t mind?’
‘Not at all,so what do you think Tom?’
‘I think it has potential.’
‘Needs rescuing more like?’
‘I’m sure you will give it the feminine touch.Work the olde Gisele Rickman magic?’
‘I’m glad I have your seal of approval.’ I smiled.
‘Tom,please can you fix Gisele a drink?’
‘You don’t have to do that?’
‘It’s no trouble at all.Is it Tom?’
‘Not at all,will tea be ok?’
‘Tea will be lovely thanks.’

A little while later,Lucille had been put down for her nap,I sipped my tea in silence.
‘So how are things in the Rickman household? Is all well with Oliver since we had our little chat?’
‘All is well…Apart from something terrible has happend.Esme knows the truth about her real father Jack,through no fault of her own.’
‘Oh Gisele,that is terrible the poor little mite.’
‘So I have a very fragile little girl on my hands.She is waking up every night with nightmares,she has to sleep in our bed.So of course I have barely had little sleep and therefore having an impact on my marriage.Im moody and snappy towards my husband.I have no time for Ava,because I am devoting all of my time to Esme.I have two very little upset and tired little girls on my hands right now.’
‘I am so sorry to hear that.’
‘I was out for a ride on Quinn at five thirty in the morning in order to escape.’
‘No wonder you longed to escape from family life?
‘I’m so sorry to burden you all? Louisa and Benjamin have been amazing,assisting Charlotte and I with Esme and Ava,but alas they left for Versailles this morning.’
‘And I should imagine that you are heartbroken about Benjamin’s departure?’
‘I am no longer remotely interested in Lord Henry Tom…I can finally announce that my feelings for him are no more.’
‘Well thank the Lord!’ said Tom breathing a sigh of relief.
‘Our move to Nightshade Manor is the fresh new start and I truly mean it this time.This is our last chance,make or break time for our marriage.’ I sighed. ‘Between you and I.Oliver and I have considered trying for more children.’
‘Is this what you truly want Sweetie?’ asked Reinette.’Do you possibly think a child is a saviour to your marriage?’
‘Life’s too short to dwell on the past.It’s time to move forward….My marriage to Oliver is stronger than ever.’
‘It will certainly go down in the history books for having the most drama in it?’ teased Tom.
‘Oh ignore him he’s just teasing you.We are so pleased that you are still together.’
‘We have gone through so much together death of loved ones,scandals.But love is a powerful tool,conquer’s all.After everything we have endured as couple it’s stupid to simply just walk away from it all.’
I put on the performance of all life time,Benjamin will be pleased to hear these words.How this is killing me.I hate pretending that I’m still in love with my husband when all I’m thinking about is him and awaiting the day he will return for me.’
‘You shall be pleased to know that Benjamin is thinking the same thing.They are considering having a baby?’
‘I hardly picture Benjamin as a father figure?’
‘Esme and Ava simply adore him.He will make a great father.’ I started to yawn. ‘I’m sorry but I’m feeling a tad tired.Do you mind if I go for a lie down?’
‘Not at all.’ said Reinette. ‘Yours is the guest room.’
‘Thank you.’ I smiled.

I made my way upstairs into the guest room,I sense an unfamiliar pattern is emerging.Last time I recall staying here was when I feared my marriage to Oliver was in trouble.Now I have to pretend that my marriage is stronger than ever.It’s going to be like a prison sentense counting down the days till I’m reunited with my one true love.

Benjamin,
As I write to you,as I should imagine you will
be on your way to Versailles,I do hope my love,that
my sister isn’t too exhausting for you.This is all a new
experience for her,please be gentle with her my love.
I am staying at Tom and Reinette’s house.You will
be pleased to know that I am keeping up with
appearances as you asked me do.Smiling politely,
playing the good girl routine and the perfect little
Wifey.
I hate lying to them though,I’ve asked Benjamin to
do some work on the house.Please don’t be angry
with me Ben,I have to do this so they don’t
suspect a thing.Oh my darling without you I don’t have
the strength without you to stand alone in this world.
I pray that this isn’t a selfish game of yours and you
truly are returning for me.
Every day I will wait in vein for you,I do wish I had
the strength within me to walk away from it all when
you begged me to.I know now that I stayed with Oliver
for all of the wrong reasons.
He is under the impression that I have taken him back and
forgiven him for the revealing of the whole Jack drama.
That is were my Oliver is wrong because I haven’t I am so
angry with him.Hurt and betrayed that he would reveal my
secret,he’s destroyed everything my little girl has believed in
and I shall the same with him.He will not know what has
hit him my love.When he wakes in a few months time,he will
release that he has lost everything and that revenge is as they
say in Shakespeare bitter sweet sorrow.I have you to think for
this.
I can’t wait to see you again.
G x

A part of me felt guilty being apart from my Ava and Esme.I mean after everything they have gone through in their little lives.I feel as though I’m abandoning them in their hour of need.I opened my pocket were I keep my handkerchief in it was initialed with a golden G and had a gold flower embroidered on it,it was a gift from my dear friend Carl.Oh how I miss you,you would tell me what to do? I tied my hair back into a loose pony girl.
There was a knock on my chamber door,I slowly opened it.
‘Tom?’
‘I know you said that you were tired,but would you like to take a walk with me?’
‘Tom I’d love to.’

We walked through the grounds of his house,I felt a tad breatheless.I found it extremely difficult to keep up with him.
‘Wait up Tom!’
‘Keep up Gisele! You slow coach!’ he laughed.
I was finally at his side.
‘How Reinette manages to keep up with you I shall never know?’
‘Where an equal partnership in strength and….’
‘Tom I don’t want to know every little intimate detail.’ I blushed.
‘So what did you think of Lucille?’
‘Aside from Esme and Ava and poor sweet William….I have never experienced true love like this until now.’
‘Don’t let Oliver hear you say that?’
‘A Mother’s love is different to a lovers love for her Wife or Husband….It’s different so serene and calm,when you look in your babies eyes for the very first time the whole earth stops for a split second.There is nothing I woudn’t do for my own two girls.’
‘I didn’t understand what you truly meant by those words.I am so love with Reinette that it hurts so much…She is my whole world there is nothing that I wouldn’t do to make her happy.But the moment I saw Lucille breathe her first breathe….I felt….
‘Overwhelmed?’
‘I can not believe that it has actually happend,it’s sheer madness,like I simply can not get my head around it all.’
‘Like you created this little person out of the love for your husband or wife,and how your son or daughter relies on you for so much.I can be trying sometimes.’
‘Thanks for the warning.’ laughs Tom.’ ‘There is something that I would like to ask of you?’
‘I think you’ve left it a tad to late for proposing to me Tom.’ I joked. ‘Flattered as I am.’
‘It’s nice to have the old Gisele back,the sparkle back in your eyes and your beautiful rosebud cheeks have returned.
‘All of this fresh air is doing me the power of good.’
‘You seem happier?’
‘I am Tom,I’m in love.’
‘Is there another?’
‘No of course not,Oliver is the only one for me.I’m in love with life.’
‘Reinette isn’t around you don’t have to pretend to me anymore?’
‘After what happend to Esme,I wanted to get my sweet revenge on Oliver…I was planning to walk out on him.But after a good talking down to from my dear sister Marianna,I realised that revenge isn’t the answer.My daughter’s life has been ruined already.’
‘And your heart does it still yearn for another?’
‘Like I said back at the house,Benjamin means nothing to me now.He has his whole life ahead of him in Versailles.’
‘And Benjamin’s feelings are they still the same?’
‘Benjamin confided within me the night before…He admitted that once upon a time he was struggling with his feelings for Louisa.He finds it extremely difficult to say what is truly on his heart,Benjamin is convinced that all of his life he has been tainted by terrible things.Merely to do with young women.He hasn’t managed to find his one true love,until he finally met Louisa.’
‘Benjamin now is it?’
‘It was merely a slip of the tongue,false habit of mine.’
Gisele Rickman,I do hope that your’e not lieing to me?’
‘On Oliver’s lifeLord Henry cares for me merely a friend,there’s no hidden agenda behind it.’

I saw a door it wouldn’t open,I struggled as I might to open this mysterious door,the whole door melted and I saw a little girl that had raven hair,she looked exactly like my Esme she was crying I couldn’t reach her,for she was surrounded by flames.I was choked by the flames,all of my determination to rescue her wasn’t good enough.Ava was no where in sight,until I climbed higher and higher,I saw two piercing red eyes,it was Jack he had hold of Ava and he had her over this ravine.He told me to say back.
‘You can do as you wish,but please give me back my little girl!’ I begged.
He gave me the option of drinking from two glasses one had just champagne in,the other was laced with sparkling cyanide.
‘Choose carefully Gisele,if you choose the correct one you shall live and I shall let Ava go,one foot wrong and you will endure a slow enduring death and Esme will be mine!’
I screamed and woke up in a sweat,its alright Gisele.You are fine,you’re safe in Reinette and Tom’s care.Ava and Esme are safe with their father.Ever since I arrived at the house I have endured the same terrifying dream.Jack has been playing tricks with my mind since Esme found out the truth.I can not rest he is still out there torturing me at a distance.I can not sleep easily until he’s six feet under.
I couldn’t breathe,there was a sudden chill in the room.I knew I shouldnt have left my window open at night there is an awful draught in here.My heart was beating faster and faster,the sleeping tablets that Doctor Bryany had previously described are not helping me have a restful night.I noticed a jug of water was standing there on the dressing table.I poured out a glass,for I fear that I am experiencing a panic attack,my lungs getting tighter and tighter.My hand was trembling as I struggle to take sips from the small glass.This is it I am dying,oh please Lord let me live.I can not bare for the children orphaned without their Mama.Deep breathes in and out.It’s still early,but I am frightened to close my eyes as I might revisit my nightmare again and this time I might not be so lucky.I simply can not function I tiptoed to the bathroom and quietly ran a bath.I do not wish to disturb Reinette and Tom.As each particle of water ran,I slowly started to get undressed.
I looked in the mirror,the redness has returned to my cheeks and I’m smiling again but certainly not the fairest of them all? ForI can not escape the scars that is left of my pain and suffering.Where has the innocent Gisele disappered to? She’s been replaced by this woman standing in front of me.A liar and a cheat.
I carefully lowered myself into the bath and attempted to scrub away all of the negativity.I looked at the promise ring once more.It symbolised hope and new beginnings.A new dawn was approaching.I just have to have a little patience and await for my fair Lord Henry’s return. I lay back and allowed the water to waft over my body,I closed my eyes and pictured Benjamin sitting there,his speaking so quietly and calm.
‘Youre so beautiful,it hurts me when you call yourself all of these horrid names.So less of the cheater and whore.You’re a sweet natured,beautiful woman who briefly lost her way.You will find you’re way back into the light.’ I smiled fondly.
I climbed back out of the bath and slipped my pink silk robe,I snuck back into my room.
My mind is more alert and my body is functioning now.I feel that this was the perfect opportunity to write to Evangaline and Benjamin.

Evangaline,
I do hope that you are having a splendid time in
Versailles and that Arthur is attending to you’re attending
needing and treating you,as though you’re a Princess from
a fair off land.I am truly happy that you have found one
another.
I do hope that you have an opportunity to experience one
of Lord Benjamin’s masquerade ball’s at his estate.I
had the honour of attending many,and they are simply
an experience that I shall never forget.Maybe if Oliver
and I manage to get our house looking perfect then we
could have one of our own.
Lucille Alexandria is such a lovely baby,she has
certainly inherited her mother’s beauty.
I do hope to hear from you real soon.
Gisele

Ben,
This lady grows impatient,why haven’t you
replied to my last correspondence? The Lady is
growing slightly impatient.Don’t tell me that
you have changed your mind and decided to
stay with Louisa,because if this is true? Then
I should simply die.
You are probably getting your own back on me
as I made you wait for me for so long.It has taken
us long enough,but I can’t believe that I am
finally going to have the courage to leave Oliver.
I do hope that Esme and Ava will accept you,as
despite everything he was still their father. I do
wonder if you and I will have our very own little
baby.I feel sick of excitement of the prospect of
this.All new experiences,there are so many things
you don’t know about me,and I can not wait to
share them with you.
I am trying to remain positive the promise ringer
was such a lovely gesture.I pray that one day,it
will be replaced by a lovely wedding band or
am I speaking too soon?
If you do bother to write please send my letters
to Reinette and Tom’s house.I do not wish for
my husband to grow suspicious.
I wish you were here to hold me my beloved,the
last three nights since my stay I have been having
a recurring dream it involves my beautiful babies
Jack and poison.You would not understand it,all
I do say is that I am growing frightfully bored of
live with Oliver I am putting off my plans with
the house hence why I am staying on for a few
more days at Reinette and Tom.
Do hurry my love,I fear that I am slowly fading
away without your love.
Forever yours
Lady Rickman

I sealed the letter with a kiss.

The very day,I received a letter from Evangaline.
Gisele,
I do not know why you left France,
I am starting to fall in love with Versailles.
I can see know what you meant by the
Masquerade Balls being out of this world.
I simply couldn’t believe this statement
until I had the chance of experiencing one
at first hand.Arthur is attending to my
every night,he simply adores me.I can
not see how him and Louisa’s husband
are related they are nothing like one another?
Maybe they aren’t related at all? Ooh do imagine
the scandal.
I am so pleased that you have finally met Lucille,
give me a kiss from her Aunt Evangaline.I
received a letter from Holly how she is green with
envy.Arthur is taking me out for a candle lit dinner
tonight and then dancing.Lady Ana is simply a delight
I do not understand why Louisa took a sudden dislike
to her maybe they have an unresolved feud that we do
not know about? Ana thinks that Arthur is going to
ask for my hand in marriage.Although I do say she
is getting a tad ahead of herself.
The Lord Henry and Louisa well I have barely seen
them,the lord simply locks himself away in his
drawing room,whilst Louisa constantly sulks.How
are they possibly going to be parents is beyond me.
Maybe the Lord is simply in love with you? And
Louisa has suddenly realised that she has no hope
left in her marriage.
I do wish to see you soon,I insist you have a ball
once the house is complete for I can not wait to show
Lord Arthur off on my arm.
Take care
Evangaline.

After a week of endless activities.Attending many dinner parties at Sophia and Daniels.Daniel and Sophia are still as strong as ever.Asking for advice of Reinette about what furnishings I should choose for Nightshade Manor as well as finally being introduced to Reinette’s beautiful white horse called Nell and endless cuddles of Lucille Alexandria it was time to return back to Mama’s house and make my future plans with Lord Rickman.
©Sarahcarty2013.wordpress.com

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3 thoughts on “Chapter 21

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