Louisa and I were sat in the library it was right after we had just got engaged.For a moment or two I had escaped the sheer madness of Lady Antoinette.
‘Lady Antoinette has gone into sheer overdrive since my engagement has been announced.She’s developed ideas way above her station.Pressurising into announcing a date.Why can’t I enjoy the moment Louisa?’
‘This is Lady Antoinette’s way of showing how happy and proud she is of her daughter.Do forgive me Gisele,for I can not contain my excitement no longer.I am so happy that you are to marry my dear sweet brother.’
‘I’d hardly refer to him as sweet? Dark and brooding maybe? Once we are married,I do hope he will allow me into his world? His deep thoughts make him a closed book? Of all the women in London? I simply can not contain it all.Imagine Louisa how scared I am,twenty one and about to marry Lord Rickman? He may just be your brother,but to Lady Antoinette he is London’s most eligible bachelor.If I revealed the true Gisele the one who is clumsy and fragile Lord Oliver may no longer love me?’
‘Don’t be silly he adores you.’
‘I have butterflies thinking about it.’
‘Oliver may love you,but do you recrupriate his feelings?
‘You know I do Louisa.’
‘I never say this often,but I have never approved of my brother’s past loves…but you Lady Delessop are so worthy of his love.I do hope I shall follow in your footsteps and marry an incredible gentleman like the fictional heroes you read of in your plays?’
‘Sadly men like that don’t exist Louisa,they’re only the stuff of dreams.Romeo?’
‘No not the troubled Romeo Montague,the gallant young Paris who is fair of love and so misunderstood.’
‘Paris,oh Louisa he’s frightfully dull..I shall die of boredom if I were with a man like he.Don’t you crave for excitement?’
‘Paris may appear to be dull to you Gisele,but he would make me feel safe and loved.Will things change once you’re married?’
‘If you’re suggesting Louisa that once Oliver has placed a ring upon my finger.I will discard you out Louisa? Well you are gravely mistaken? I reguard you as a sister and close confidante.Serenity Estate is much your home as it is ours.’
I was doing my favourite past time sewing.
‘My Mama always said that if you are able to read literature and offer your opinion,play the piano and ride a horse just as good as a gentleman can? Well that’s perfectly acceptable and may be appealing to a potential suitor?’
‘Well if I could ride as good as you Gisele.Then I shall be blissfully happy.’
‘You’re easily pleased Louisa.’
‘May I plait you’re hair?’
‘You may.’I smiled.
The memory vanished,she was so sweet and serene attending to my needs.She once had such beautiful hair,always kept it so well.Now look at it to be cut in such a forbidden bob that Mama would disapprove of.This is Lady Henry’s way of merely rebelling.Now look at her acting the she devil brawling in the ball room.Who is she trying to impress?
Time went on and as the music faded,I feared we had no where to lay our head.Evangaline and Marianna took pity on us and in the dead of the night.Guided only by candle light.Lord Henry,the children and I were lead to the west wing of the house.I see that this part of the house had been greatly neglected,cob webs hung everywhere but who was I to complain? She closed the door behind us.
‘The West Wing?’ I whispered to Lord Henry.
‘I thought the way you spoke of this place,I thought it was forbidden?’
Marianna to face us once more.
‘You may stay here until you make further arrangements.’
‘I don’t know how I shall ever repay you?’ I embraced Marianna,. ‘Thank you Mari.’
‘Don’t say another word Gisele,I’m not doing this for you.It devastated me of the prospect of my two niece’s traipsing the streets at night?’
And with that she left,gently closing the door behind her.
‘Well this is us.’ I sighed.
‘And you thanked her for this?’ asked Lord Henry.
‘Beggers can’t be chosers Ben.’
‘We are not beggars Gis,don’t you understand? We left our perfect world in Italy behind? For what begging for scraps in this god forsaken place!It’s not even fit for the servants to sleep in?’
‘It’s only a few cobwebs Lord Henry.’
I like to see trying to remain positive? What if Mama discovers us in here?’
‘Well that’s the risk I’m prepared to take.Secrets and lies have destroyed this family once too often Gisele.Why don’t you swallow your pride and admit defeat?’
‘Never,I’m not resting until Oliver has what’s coming to him Benjamin.’
‘Revenge has never been a friend of mine Gisele,for it only destroys lives.’
Esme and Ava were running around the room.
‘You can’t catch me Ava!’ squealed Esme.
‘Es you sound like a mouse!’ giggled Ava.
‘Children,do you wish for Gran Mama to find us?’
‘Sorry Mama.’ said Esme.
‘Yes Mama.I don’t want us to sleep with the spiders.’ cried Esme.
‘There’s no spider’s Esme.’ I reassured the children.
‘We can not live like this?’
‘Shh Benjamin,I hear voices.’
He was perfectly within his rights to question this,we have left a perfectly nice house behind for what to live in squalor like a peasant in the west wing? This is no environment to bring my girls up in.I look at them now and I can not believe how much they’ve grown.Ava is almost five years of age and Esme is three.
But I have no choice,I am determined to remain here until I’m reunited once more with my Mama.
Holly and Evangaline were skulking near the door.
‘I can not believe Marianna put Gisele and the children in the west wing.It’s frightfully cold and I shudder at the prospect of the cob webs!’
‘Shh keep your voice down Holly,do you wish for us to get caught.Mari meant well.’said Evangaline.
They tiptoed towards the west wing.
‘Keep the candles still.’whispered Holly.
There was a quiet knock at the door.
‘Keep calm.’ suggested Lord Henry.
‘Who is it?’ I whispered.
‘Its Evangaline and Holly’s with me,please can you open the door?’
I took a deep breath and walked towards the door.
‘You took your time?’ said Holly.
‘Didn’t Mama tell you never to skulk outside bedchambers in the middle of the night?’
‘Gisele’s right,shouldn’t you girl’s be in bed?’
‘Since when did you take on the role of our papa?’ teased Holly.
‘Holly leave poor Benjamin be.Now what brings you here? And this is me you’re talking to?’
‘Holly and I we felt terrible seeing the way Louisa acted towards you.’
‘Thank you for your kindness Evan,although I do deserve the treatment after all I stole what was hers away and claimed him as my own.’
‘As for staying here,it breaks my heart as the prospect of you in the cold and cobwebs everywhere!’ sobbed Holly.
‘I deserved to punished not pitied.How is Oliver?’
‘I may put up my defensives and act the ice maiden,but he is the father of my children.I shall never stop caring for him.’
‘It’s not my place to say.’
‘I’m his wife,maybe in name only but I’m within my rights to know if Lord Rickman is struggling.Be brutally honest if you must?’
‘He’s changed Gisele.’
‘I don’t know if I should tell you?’
‘Come on Evan.I may have left Lord Rickmam but I have a right to know.’
‘Recently Lord Rickman has been behaving completely out of character,drinking heavily
bringing home,a different woman every night to his bed , yes Gisele the maid servants do talk.There perfectly right they say walls are pretty thin in this place..’
I blushed a little,I shudder to think the secrets the maids have kept beyond Serenity Estate,Lady Rickman has once again taken another lover.
‘I refuse to hear you speak ill of my husband?’ I protested.
I know I shouldn’t let it effect me but Lord Rickman does not deserve to get his good name dragged through the dirt.Despite everything,he respected me.Oliver would never take his holy vows lightly.
‘On Papa and Lucille’s life.I am telling you the truth.’ whispered Evangaline.
‘No,he swore blind at Mama’s birthday gala that there was never another?’
‘He probably said those words to spare your feelings.I do not know what has got into your husband? He made a play for the delighful Lady Rosaline?’
‘He detests Rosaline?’
‘Much to the delight of Lady Isabelle,she thought all of her christmas’s came at once?’ giggled Holly.
‘I do not understand he said so himself that the very prospect of her makes his skin crawl?’
‘That’s not all.The Countess Aleksandrov power of seduction,well let’s just say her little plan worked.Lord Oliver’s downfall worked purely in her favour.’
The words rang around my ears? Countess Aleksandrov? No he wouldn’t would he? If he loved me then he knew he would never embark on a passionate affair with the woman his wife loathed? Or had Oliver’s drinking caused him so vulnerable he played into the Countess’s hand.It’s awfully hot in here,I can not breathe I’m a prisoner in my childhood home.An endless torture,I wish I could open my eyes and to find myself in peaceful Italy once more.I should be happy and making preparations for wedding setting a date,not hankering for a seperation off Lord Rickman.My heart is completely broken,it’s finally happened I am jealous of Lord Rickman’s liasions.Come on snap out of it,you were the root cause of your family splitting up.These experiences are only meant to make me feel stronger,I can not help feeling weak and feeble.
‘I can not believe Oliver lied to me? The hypercrite,laying down the law and acting the martyr when all the while he’s cavorting with all and sundry.’
and to find myself in the beautiful Italy once more.
you leaving him so cruely he completely took it heart.He feels unworthy and undeserving of a woman’s love.This is his way of coping with your hurt,acting cold and callice is his mask of shielding his true pain.’ reassured Evangaline.
‘I had no idea he was feeling this way?’
‘He only held onto Serenity and New Dawn Estate,in the hope you would return? Then days,months went on he slowly started to fall apart.As for Louisa,as soon as you left London she started losing her grip on reality outbursts in public.No that wasn’t the first time.Mama simply allowed Lord Rickman into our home and took Louisa under her wing.They were two lost souls,he lost his respect for life and as for your return looking ever so happy with Lord Henry it merely pushed Louisa over the edge.We must go if Mama caught us she’d….’
‘Thank you for caring girls.’
I embraced them both in turn,I can not believe how much Evangaline has grown I’m so used to giving her the wise,when did she become so wise in her ways? They left the west wing,I looked at Lord Henry once more.
‘I can not believe he has deceived me once more first the horses and Skye and now this.’
‘I’m not following?’
‘I’m simply devastated Benjamin he has sold our precious horses and destroyed Skye!’ I whispered.
‘Is this true?’
‘I looked him in the eye and asked him out right…no I demanded for them back.He told me how he sold the horses as they were a constant reminder and destroyed Skye…the truth was Skye died as her health declined,and now this he said that how could he love another? That he could never get over me…I felt awful for being the cause of his downfall.’
‘Tell me honestly Gisele but how does it effect you?’
‘I’m still married to him Lord Henry.’
‘You’re with me? Are you suggesting that you’re still in love with Lord Rickman?’
‘No of course not,I’m with you.I am just finding it extremely difficult hearing those words.My husband isn’t who I first thought he was.I should feel angry,wish ill of him….that he should be lying in a ditch somewhere suffering.But I can’t help but pity him.’
‘You’re not suggesting of returning to him?’
‘After everything we’ve been through ripping our lives apart.Dividing two families,you barely on speaking terms with your parents? Mama forever wishing I was six feet under.’
I took hold of his hand and kissed it to reassure him.
‘We have a beautiful house awaiting us in Italy,although it is still in it’s early stages.I’m not the most patient lady,for I like everything to be perfect and happen instantly as soon as I snap my fingers.I learnt from the very best Lady Antoinette,but I’m trying.With your help I am able to achieve this.I simply can not get my head around how he lied and deceived me about the women and Countess Aleksandrov? I know Benjamin,I’m one to talk and not entirely innocent for I lied throughout the majority of my four year marriage.I can not believe he can still manage to get into my head,and I’m allowing it to happen….how I almost bought this.’
‘Five minutes,five little minutes Gisele.You’ve been in London and already you’re falling for his sob story?’
‘I didn’t mean to.’
‘Don’t tell me you’re falling for him once again?’
‘No…Despite everything they say deep down I still care for him Ben.I’m sorry that you have to hear this.I was married to him for ever so long.But I love you,and respect your feelings.No one is going to come between us.Not even this cold and good forsaken west wing! With every breath of my body I will fight against my feelings for him.I will go to the ends of the earth in order to get my seperation.Don’t you trust me?’
Lord Henry kissed me. ‘I trust you,it’s just I may have won you but Lord Rickman still manages to get under my skin.’
‘You have me my love,that’s all that matters.’
‘Now sleep my precious.’
The next day,Evangaline and Holly were sat silently at the breakfast table.
‘I’m sorry Marianna,but Gisele has played with fire once too often.She sacrificed her love of her family for that man.’
‘I was merely saying Mama.that it was harsh to give Gisele the cold shoulder…she only thought what was best.I mean it must have taken great courage to return to London and inpolite to turn her away in such a fashion?’
‘Marianna are you under mining my opinion?’
‘Hush child.’ snapped Lady Antoinette.
‘I tried.’ Marianna whispered to Letitia,she reassuringly touched my hand.
‘Letitia,do you have anything to say on this matter?’
‘No Mama.’ she smiled politely.
‘Good,Holly for heaven’s sake eat…I don’t want my daughter being all skin and bone.No potential husband will ever take your hand…’
Evangaline looked at Holly. ‘There’s nothing more we can do.’ sighed Evangaline.
‘I can’t bare the thought of her being alone,no food or water.Perhaps we can negotiate with Tabitha and fetch her some bread and cheese?’
‘She’s not a mouse Holly.’ said Evangaline. ‘Besides she’s not alone,she has Benjamin to snuggle up to even though its on a stone cold floor,can’t believe Mama got rid of all the furniture? Mari tried and look what’s happend? Do you wish to have a scolding off Mama too?’
‘Look at what Gisele did for us in the past,she brought us back to the family.I’m not defeated at the first hurdle,she needs us now more than ever.’
The sudden light,awoke me from me from my sleep.I found myself on the stone cold floor,with Lord Henry laying beside me, I was feeling aching and bruised.What I would give for Lord Henry to give me a nice back rub.But not in front of the children,I winced a little,Benjamin sensed my tension and started to massage my shoulders.
‘Not in front of the children.’ I whispered.
This is how servant’s must feel except they have a bed and surrounded by their home comforts.Lord Henry read my mind.
‘Morning my Lord.’ I smiled sweetly.
‘So this is how lowly maid servant’s must feel sleeping in squalor?’
‘Don’t exaggurate Lord Henry,it isn’t all that bad?’ I laughed.
I looked over towards the scene to where Ava and Esme were playing.My heart broke into a thousand pieces,those girls have had a lot to endure. I’m surprised all of the pain and suffering I’ve brought to them.I haven’t completely broken their spirit thank goodness.Despite everything their still my pretty bright young things dreaming of a better future.
‘Look at me on my horse! Watch me go!’ squealed Ava.
‘So what’s the plan?’ whispered Lord Henry.
I humoured him edger closer my tone reduced to a soft whisper. ‘Well Lord Henry,I shall dose the servants who walk back and forth the hall ways with sleeping pills,then return to the gallows,plan firmly in place.We shall here in wait,I’ll have persuaded Holly and Evangaline that in order to have freedom.They need to kill their dragon of a mother,once they have carried out the deadly deed.The plot gets much darker we shall convince Letitia and Marianna that Mama simply took her own life by lacing her drink with cyanide or rat poison…she simply couldn’t bare the thought of life without her petit Gisele,we shall then claim this estate as our own and sell it to wealthy owners returning to Italy happy and fulfilled.’
‘Are you merely humouring me Lady Rickman,sounds awfully Shakespearean doesn’t it?’
‘I despise Mama,but give me some credit I would never do that to her.The truth is Lord Henry I am frightened at what the future may hold? Is Louisa prepared to give up on the one man that I truly love,there’s one thing I know for sure.’
I stood up and started to dance around the room in a circular motion.I refuse to be a prisoner in my childhood home,I aught to sing and shout and dance around. ‘I long to be amongst the stars once more,do you remember that night?’
‘You know I do,it’s of your own free will that we’re in here Gisele.’
‘Maybe I’m scared to finish what I’ve started…I’m not prepared to throw down the gauntlet and surrender to my Mama.She’s made it perfectly clear I’m no daughter of hers.I shall address her as Lady Antoinette state my true intentions that I shall marry you my Lord and I do not need any of the Delessop fortune to achieve any of this.’
Lord Rickman walked down the main stairs and headed towards the drawing room.He slowly twisted the door knob.There he found Louisa lying down on the chair,nursing her head.He threw the curtains open with one swift movement.
‘Oh my eyes!’ Louisa growled.
‘Don’t be such a drama queen Lou.’
‘And a good day to you?’ sighed Louisa.
‘Aw what a beautiful day Louisa,look at the sky,so perfect.A time for walking in the grounds,basking in the sunlight,being one with nature….you should be out there in the fresh air,making the most of it.Not hiding in here? Lady Antoinette called you in for your breakfast over an hour ago?’
‘I can not bare to be seen in public.’
‘More fool you.’
‘Oh Olly,I can not bare to be seen in public…Lady Antoinette last night she was ever so beastly to me.?’ Louisa burst into tears.
‘The puppy dog eyes don’t work with me,.Lady Antoinette she merely took you under her wing,welcomed you into her home.When you were broken and fragile,and this is how you repay her?’
‘It should be Lady Antoinette you should be saving your apologies for,causing such a scene at her birthday ball.Screaming at the top of your lungs like a banshee in polite society? You may shrug you’re shoulders Louisa….’
‘Please stop treating me as though I’m a child!’
‘Well start behaving dear girl and I shall…’
‘I’m not one of your maid servants that will obey at your every commands.Look around you what have you got left? Two empty properties and an empty heart!’
‘You have no ides of the whispers do you? Lady Henry has been driven to sheer madness,no wonder her husband left her.You have simply disgraced yourself.I am so ashamed to reguard you as my sister Lady Henry.’
‘Really Oliver,it should be your wife that you should be angry with? I’m innocent in all of this…I have had my heart broken,and I hate what she’s brought you to? You’re own self-destruction?’
‘I only speak the truth Lord Rickman,more fool you if you don’t believe me.If you excuse me brother dear.I’m retiring to my bed for I’m feeling ever so delicate and I simply can not stomach the conversation.’
A few moments later.
I kissed Lord Henry,I had made my mind up,I’m not prepared to waste my life in the west wing a moment longer.I had prepared myself for a public thrashing from the Dowager and I wasn’t prepared to back down and give in to her demands.
‘I’m so proud of you Lady Rickman.’
‘I’m doing this out of principle Lord Henry.’
‘Are you sure you don’t need me to accompany you for moral support?’
‘Ever so sweet of you my Lord,but I should prefer you to take care of Esme and Ava in case it gets complicated?’
I slowly walked down the familiar staircase,so many ghosts amongst these corridors.I have ventured up and down these stairs so many occasions.Whether it was sheer joy or everlasting heartache.Every step holds an individual story.Before I was about to address Mama,I thought that I aught to see if I looked presentable after all I had been in the west wing over night accidentally left my bags in the carriage.I slipped into the drawing room,I was wearing my olive day dress,my hair worn in a lose ponytail.I recall the view of the grounds look breathtaking in this room,I should like to walk in the grounds with Lord Benjamin,kiss beneath the archway where I had my secret rendevous with Sir Holmes once upon a time.
and not feel ashamed of our engagement.A part of me wish I had taken Benjamin up on his offer to accompany me.He must feel as though I am ashamed of him but its my unique way of protecting him.Like I should have with Carl,if I hadn’t allowed him into my affairs then he would be married by now to that vile Lady Rose Keating or maybe he might have thrown her off and fallen in love with a beautiful young lady.A woman that truly deserves Carl’s love,maybe he might have found the fairytale ending with Louisa,they would have been perfect for one another.Both have a thing in common unrequited love for the wrong person.
I was just about to gaze into the mirror,when out of the corner of my eye.I noticed Lord Rickman’s figure,he had his back towards me.Oliver was too preoccupied admiring the view,completely obvious to his former wive’s prescence in the room.
‘The grounds always looked beautiful this time of year doesn’t it?’
Oliver slowly turned towards me.
‘Ever so sorry did I startle you?’
‘I didn’t realise I had company?’
‘Hello Oliver.’ I smiled.
‘How long have you been standing there for?’
‘Oh not very long five minutes.’
‘What are you doing here?’
‘I have a right to be here Oliver,this is my childhood home after all,I feel closer to my Papa here.’
‘I don’t understand I thought you left under a dark cloud…after your Mama so cruelly cast you out of the ballroom?’
Oliver gave my downtrodden appearance the once over.Maybe my appearance was much to be desired.I squirmed at the thought of Lord Oliver’s fingers running through my hair,I edged away from him.
‘What are you frightened for?’
‘I perfectly understand why you should act like a petrified dormouse? The ill treatment gentlemen have brought to your door? Jack almost killing you,Duke Matthew raping you the images of his grubby hands all over my wife’s body…it plagues me so.But you’d think I would hurt you? Once upon a time I loved you….God you look freezing take my coat.’
‘I’m ok thank you.But I would rather die than take hand outs from you.’
‘Oh I beg to differ,you’ll soon be back begging for my forgiveness?’
‘In your dreams Oliver.’
‘Where have you been staying,you look ghastly?’
‘Mari took pity on me.’
‘I hardly believe it.’
‘I am telling you the truth Oliver?’
‘So the whiter than white daughter’s defying Lady Antoinette.’
‘Believe what you like,I only speak the truth.’
Lord Rickman raised his eye brows.’
‘There have been times when I have deceived you and I am so ashamed but I have paid the price.I no longer have to prove anything to you? Haven’t I suffered enough? I seek refuge in the west wing.’
‘Are my daughter’s here?’
‘In the west wing they remain with Benjamin…I may be a few things Oliver,heart breaker,whore or courtesan wherever you’re from? But I certainly wouldn’t abandon my daughters.’
‘Never stopped you before?’
‘You look different my love,the colour drained from your porcelain cheeks? All skin and bone…Where has my wife gone?’
‘I’m not your wife Oliver.’
He attempted to touch my face.
‘You are still rightfully mine Gisele,don’t you ever forget that?’
‘How can I forget with you constantly breathing down my neck?’
‘I never summoned you in…you came of your own accord? Tell me truthfully Gisele,Why are you here? Did you return to London to seek for my forgiveness or merely to rub my nose in your new found happiness?’
‘I have my reasons,but none of them concern you.’
‘Lord Rickman I am not in the mood for your silly little mind games?’
‘Oh how you break my heart.’
‘You’ll survive,you men always end up coming up smelling of roses…I had an interesting conversation with my dearest Mari.My she painted quite an tragic picture? And to think I almost pitied you? Having to seek solitude in my Mama’s home? And the many women…I never once had my husband down as a filander?’
‘I think it’s my wife with the wandering eye?’
‘You never know what you’re missing until it’s gone…I was ashamed to say it then after our son’s death.’
‘You still think you can tug at my heart strings by using my son’s death? You can still say his name you know?’
‘After William Tristan’s tragic demise I realise now that I aught to have given you the love and affection that that you so craved for.Held you and all the words you longed to hear.That you weren’t to blame,my coldness was a shield to hide my true emotions.’
‘You could have have told me?’
‘I was afraid to cry.’
‘I’m your wife Oliver,I wouldn’t have minded.’
‘You might have thought of me as a coward?’
‘Never.I wouldn’t have judged you?’
‘I was so beastly to you sweet pea…I choked back the tears used the stiff upper lip as I thought it was for the best.’
Why didn’t he say any of this before? But it’s to late,empty words.Finally unearthing the truth.How my husband truly felt over the loss of our son.This revelation has surely opened my eyes,taught me a valuable lesson.Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.He was afraid to cry,he’s always been protective of his sister,bringing her up when his beloved parent’s past away.He was forced to mature as a man quickly.
‘When my parent’s died,I realised my childhood had vanished…I was the heir of my father’s estate.I had to behave like a man.I was all Louisa had.’
Oliver and I were in the drawing room.
‘I have my reasons of why I backed out on you when your Papa died.’
‘Oh my darling…I was so beastly to you.
‘You needed me and I let you down,this I deeply regret.Gisele you seem so distant? I feel as though your slipping through my fingers.’
‘You have me my love.’
I shed a tear at the memory.
I would never have felt less of you my love? I should have known by now that feelings run skin deep where Lord Rickman is concerned.At the time I was so blinded by my own grief,losing Carl at the same time.I thought he only spoke out of anger and resentment,leading me to the blame.The truth was he was lost without hope too.Perhaps if he found his inner courage to open up to his wife,and not leave his deprived wife falling apart at the seams.Then maybe he could have saved us.All of these secrets and lies drove me into the arms of Lord Henry.All of those secret rendevous could have avoided.I took a deep breath,this time I could have been different resisted temptation.I looked into Lord Rickman’s eyes.This I promise you,I did love you once upon a time.But your coldness and lack of passion truly lost me.The intimacy and spark for him is no longer there.
‘Say something my Lady,your silence scares me?’
I swallowed my pride,I have to be honest with him.He can not say all of these words and I will forget of my new life in Italy with Lord Henry.
‘You’ve lost me Oliver,the passion’s faded away.’
‘We can get it back?’
‘The love and intimacy,I once shared with you on our first encounter is dead.I was so desperately in love with you,I’m sadly no longer that girl.You can no longer call me your sweet pea.’
‘You can get down upon your knees and plead for mercy.I’m no longer your petit Gisele.’
‘Those women,they were to mask my true emotions…Show that Lord Rickman hasn’t completely lost his touch.The drink,I can justify my reasons.It was a sweet taste at first.Be not afraid I’m not a danger to you or the children.I would never harm a head on your hair.’
‘You keep saying that?’
‘My greatest fear has finally become my reality.Losing my wife,to whom I’d grown to love…I had no many hopes and ambitions for the future.I could have made you happy,if you allowed me to? Facing up to the fact that I wasn’t the one you truly wanted?’
‘What of Countess Aleksandrov? I need to know.’
‘Countess Alexandra Aleksandrov was lust on both parts.She was lonely as of I she was there at the right time.She meant nothing to me….just another notch on my bedpost if you pardon the expression.’
‘Lord Oliver you disgust me! ‘
‘The times I’ve forgiven you…allowed you back into my heart after Jack and Declan?’
It’s bad enough of hearing of the women,I know I deserve a taste of my own medicine…But what I can’t forgive is you deceived me…There’s many ways you could have hurt me but selling the one and only thing I truly loved Quinn? She was my missing piece after Cossack died…how could you? Tell me when you where sealing the deal did my feelings ever cross your mind?’
‘Despite all of that,I’ve missed you,I’ve written you a letter.’
‘I can’t accept this.’
‘Please as a duty of being my wife.I long for you to accept it.’
‘If I must?’
Avoiding his powerful gaze,I reluctantly took the piece of parchment from my husband’s hand.
‘It says everything I needed to sa,Benjamin may not be able to give you what I can.
My hands were trembling,heart beating faster and faster.Oblivious to the content I was about to read.What does this letter hold that he’s ashamed to say to my face? I opened it.
My darling Gisele,
Seeing you at Lady Antoinette ball after all of this time.
I shall put it bluntly to you,that night I experienced a range of
emotions flowing through my body.
Anger,resentment,heartbreak,betrayal.Shall I continue? You ripped
my heart out Gisele.
I keep playing in my head what if? Maybe If I discovered you
together in a state of undress,it could have perhaps soften the blow?
Perhaps found it in my heart to forgiven you?
I am full of regrets,ever calling that fateful night when you best
friend died in your arms? I heard you declared your love is that
‘You know I loved him Oliver.’
‘So what they speak of is true?’
‘I was ready to leave everything in order for him to love…he needed something to hold on to.Of course I was in love with him.’
…Maybe I should have accompanied you to Lady Chadwick’s?
I was so set in my ways,to think of you all black and blue on
that cold floor?
So many things I can not say to your face,I’m afraid of
confrontation.I admit I felt cheated when my whole dreams
were shattered when my only son and heir to my estate died.
I initially thought you abandoned him? If you could have
perhaps contacted Doctor Bryany,maybe he could have
brought him back to life?
But you had to find him,so broken pleading for mercy.
I had no idea,I’m so sorry my love.It was Mari that told me of
I let you down,and your affair to Lord Henry was your final act
of revenge.Repaying the ill treatment and doubt that filled your
head? Broke my heart once more,by disappearing into the night
with my two daughters.
I had my reasons for selling Quinn and Misty don’t you
understand Gis? They were your heartbeat.
I couldnt bare to have them around,I prayed every day that
you would walk back through that door.Admit that you were
wrong and I would take you back again.
How I longed to hold you once more,kiss your sweet
smelling hair.Your fragance still haunts my soul.Seeing what
Lord Henry truly means to you? Realises what I have lost,you
are the only only exceptional woman I’ve ever known and lost.
I’ve fought to keep you as mine.But I know that if I keep you
against your own free will…it’s crushing your beautiful free
Up until now,I swore to myself I wanted to make you suffer.
But I still love you,always will.
But I have learnt I will never be enough for you?
With deepest regret,I shall agree to a seperation Lady Rickman.
I closed the letter.
‘It’s about time,I set this little song bird free.’
I embraced him one more time.
‘Despite what they say,you’re nothing like the others? You have a good heart.Full of truth and virtue.’
‘Be happy Lady Delessop.’
‘And you my Lord.’