I was finally dressed in my wedding gown,I loved the way it gently swished upon the floor.It felt as though it were a dream,it’s been such a journey transporting myself through Italian magazines trying as a might to conceal them from Lord Henry’s prying eye.To the painstaking dress fittings how I detest these standing for endless hours acting out as a pin cushion.The various measurements and dress fittings I had endured I allowed my seamstress Madeleine to take in the waist,why am I forever watching my waist.Every dinner parties I have attended I’ve resisted the truffles and heavenly desserts that were placed before me.
My wedding gown was the design, only a woman of purity and class would wear.Yes Marianna was correct.I could pass myself off as the virginal bride.It had short sleeves and a round bodice.My corset complimenting my bosom clinging in all of the right places.I do hope I can make my hardest critic my Mama proud.
It were decked with only the finest lace and stitches.Beautiful in detail,accompanied by beautiful white satin gloves.If only Lady Rosaline were here to witness this how she would be envious.I took a brief moment to reflect and collect my thoughts.Paused upon the grand staircase.
‘You look a vision of beauty?’
‘I needed to see you.’
‘Do you have a death wish?’
I slowly walked down the stairs.
‘I crave a word before you become the condemned woman?’
Lord Rickman politely removed his hat when he was about to adress me in a civil manner.
‘Very well,but will you do my dress up please? You are the last person I dream of asking.But there’s noone around you see?’
‘I see you’re charming as ever? Using your coldness to manipulate your former husband into getting what you desire?’
‘Before you suggest anything this isn’t an invitation to win me back.’
Lord Rickman slowly ran his fingers down my shoulder back,down my spine.’
‘My Lord Rickman you’re touch still gives me the tingles.’
‘In a good way I hope?’
‘In the shadows.’ I blushed a little.
‘You’re Ladyship isn’t making any sense?’
‘In the shadows,when you took me as lover.You kissed my lips,not anymore.Now what is it that you wished to speak about?’
‘I erm…Where shall I begin?’
‘Come along Lord Rickman,I haven’t got all day…as for putting on a stammer to make me pity you.I’m sorry it doesn’t work with me.’
‘You can be so hard sometimes?’
‘I was born this way.’
‘The Gisele I met was warm,kind sweet natured.Her hard was pure not made of stone? Allow me to soften your heart once more?’
I walked close to him,as if I could feel his breathe upon my body,our lips an inch from touching one another.I knew what he wanted this was my act of revenge for thinking he could take advantage of my generosity of preventing Lord Henry from killing him.
‘I’m ever so sorry my darling,being married to me made me this way.Oh I’m sorry did you honestly think that because of my generous act of preventing from fiance’ from killing you that night? Gave you the impression that I’d forgiven you? If that helps you sleep at night…you keep telling yourself that.’
Lord Rickman placed his hat upon his head,my so unlike him to admit defeat straightaway.
‘Woman will you allow me to speak for one moment?’
‘I think I’ve been awfully generous in giving you breathing time in the first place? How dare you speak to me in this impertinent manner.’
‘Twas merely trying to apologise god damn it!’
‘Apologise? If that’s an apology then I dread to think how you’d react at my funeral?’
‘Need you ask that question?’
Despite all of our ill feelings what I’d put him through over the years.I have an inkling of how he’d behave at my funeral.For one he’d prevent Esme and Ava from attending his way of protecting them.A funeral is no place for children,it was heartbreaking enough burying Lucille and Papa I couldn’t bare for them to endure such pain.No matter what,we may fight but he still loves me.Anger and bitterness is his way of dealing with letting go.To him they’d be no other.He would try and act all calm keep his feelings locked inside his heart during the service he doesn’t like to cause a public scene.But the time comes to lower my coffin into the ground he would throw himself upon the earth.Colours and memories vivid fragments of happy times enter into his mind.I shall not be buried,a feast for worms….I shall wish to be cremated then my spirit shall be free to roam the earth.I can not bare to reopen old wounds reignite old feelings.Not now,not ever.
‘Is something troubling you Lady Delessop?’
‘Sorry I was in a world of my own Lord Rickman?’
‘Are you upset?’
‘No my Lord.’
‘I’m merely remonsising that is all.’
‘Forgive me but appears that the effect you once had upon me still remains.I never had the chance to apologise fully?’
‘Lord Rickman,you’d said all you’ve had to say.’
‘I know,I see you’ve been avoiding me?’
‘Only because Lord Henry asked me to?’
‘You’re eyes so full of remorse.I believe you,but I can not remain here with you.’
‘We could recapture what we had?’ He cleared his throat. ‘Lord Henry only had you’re best interests at heart.I see that now and I admire that.If Lady Delessop…if I were bold enough to say how I truly felt? The way you glided upon those stairs on our wedding day.How you made me feel ever so nervous.When you stand before me ever so more I feel like a blushing public school boy.If I said the words I loved you more often? Indulged in your words of the bard? Then would you and I still be married.I don’t want to act out of desperation,beg upon my knees Lady Delessop.’
‘I can not it’s forbidden love you only want me because I’m with Lord Henry.’
‘Please stay with me.’
‘No,I can not grant you’re wish Lord Rickman and for this I’m truly sorry.’
Sophia walked into the light,Lord Rickman composed him,immeditely stood up.’
‘Sophia?’ I smiled.’
‘The carriage is ready and awaiting.’
‘Don’t let me keep you Lady Delessop?’
I watched Lord Rickman walk away from me?
‘Sophia I have no idea what you speak of?’
‘You’re starcrossed lover pact with your Lord…I have spoken to Mari and I think that is a terrible thing.’
‘I love him.’
‘Think of your children you selfish girl! You may love him….but I may shake the life out of you.You’re return to London has been no good to you? And seeing you in Lord Rickman’s arms once more confirms this? Are you considering returning to him?’
‘That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard.It’s Oliver that’s doing the pursuing begging me to stay.He’s clinging on to the past and of course I can not love him…Now if you excuse me I have a wedding to attend.’
I made the journey to Foxglove High Manor House,I have visited this estate on a number of occasions for various dinner parties and dances and I instantly fell in love with his sloping landscape,acres of beauty a ballroom of sheer beauty to grant the permission of my first dance to Benjamin and a billiards room that he would be proud of.I can not wait to marry my dear true.Initially I chose to travel in lavish style via an automobile.But the grandeour just wouldn’t do as I imagined the look of disappointment upon my girls faces when they discovered their Mama had deceived them and it isn’t any unicorns that I’d promised them for so long.Lady Antoinette travelled seperately with my sister’s.Sophia and Reinette agreed to accompany Tom and Benjamin.I said it would be best for Louisa to travel with Daniel and I.
Daniel had taken his role rather seriously and insisted on travelling alongside at the front of the carriage with me.He looked ever so nervous,as he silently pondered over his speech.I had my reservations,as he once took a shine to me.No I do believe it ran deeper than that Lord Henry carried far more intense feelings than merely taking a shine to me.We share so much history together,he is my closest friend and he would never have forgiven me if I had chosen Tom over him to give his precious English Rose away.If Carl was alive it would have been wrong after all I was the love of his life.Standing at my side,as I marry Lord Henry would have killed him.Sir King clutched onto my hand.
‘You have nothing to be nervous of.’ I smiled.
‘I only want it to be perfect.’ Daniel replied.
‘And that it shall.’
I briefly turned away from him.
‘You look pretty as a picture.’
‘Thank you kind Sir.’
‘I must say how honoured I am that you chose me to do this.You shall never regret this moment.’
‘I hope not.’
‘Before Lord Henry has a chance to say anything.We had a few stern words.’
‘I was brutally honest with him.’
‘Must you do that with every gentleman that has crossed my path?’
‘I may have appeared a tad over protective.’
‘Sir King? A tad overprotective? I shall not believe it?
‘Tease me all you may like Gisele…’
‘Tease you,my Daniel this is my way of getting my own back on all of the cruel pranks you played upon me. Endless Frogs in the bonnet and in my bed…worms down my petticoat.Need I continue?’
‘Despite it all I look to you as the baby sister I never had.’
‘Awfully sweet of you my darling.’
‘All I speak of is true,to me you’ll always remain the sweet and innocent girl who caught Carl’s eye.Got rest his soul,I recall the sparks that flew amongst you the very first day you met?’
‘He was my Prince and I miss him dearly,but we shall not speak of sadness we shall toast of his memory at the wedding banquet.’
‘Lady Delessop I shall hold you to that…now where we’re we? Ah! Yes Lord Henry,I looked him in the eye and said if you harm my Gisele,well something on those lines.If you break her then he’ll have me to answer to.’
‘I bet you had Lord Henry quaking in his boots?’
‘Lady Delessop,we have been here before? With Lord Rickman,you swore you loved him?’
‘Why didn’t you tell Sophia and I of this? You have indeed deceived both of us?’
‘Why act as though this is all new to you? You were fully aware of my misery I mean why would I have looked elsewhere and strayed into the path of Sir Holmes?’
‘We always thought that Sir Holmes were a passing faze?’
‘Sophia was aware of my loneliness.I felt as though I couldn’t approach you,I love you Daniel but sometimes you’re air of arrogance and pompous is too much to bare.Besides you’re in allegiance with the dark side?’
‘Lady Isabelle and I go along way back,why our ancestory of the pass draw both the Chadwick’s and the King dynasty’s together.’
‘If you think so highly of the Chadwicks,tell me Daniel why didn’t you marry Rosaline?’
‘She’s easily tollerable for a short period of time,but as for marrying her she just wouldn’t do.Too plain for my liking.’
‘Do not allow Lady Isabelle hear you speak so ill of her precious Rosaline.’
‘The way she acted towards you….I am not surprised Lord Rickman’s intentions were drawn towards you.Lady Isabelle wasn’t afraid to state the fact that she had high hopes of her daughter and Lord Rickman joining together in matrimony.’
‘She’s welcome to him as far as I’m concerned.The truth about my darling Oliver,why I only married him to prove a point to my dear Mama that I could survive in the world without the Delessop’s fortune.’
‘I thought the Delessop fortune had gone?’
‘It was all a myth,part of Mama’s wicked scheme allowing to believe that if I married Lord Rickman it would save the family name.She merely wanted to get rid of her wild and fiery daughter.You have got to believe me Daniel,I never intended to get in deep to allow him to fall in love and the children.’
‘You say you regret Esme and Ava?’
‘Never,you’re just putting words into my mouth.I never dreamt I’d break his heart.Through marrying him,I acted so selfishly.I thought I would have grown to love throughout our years together.Not die of boredom…’
‘You could have grown to love him? I know it?’
‘Daniel darling,look at me….honestly do you truly believe for one minute I could have survived living in his world?’
‘You could have if you truly wanted to?’
‘Wanted and needed are two different things.I believed I needed him to replace my Papa.The tenderness to fill the void I was feeling,I was in such a dark place…Needed him out of guilt after betraying him and causing Papa’s death.Oliver and I were both born into two seperate worlds.Lord Oliver was brought up as a public school boy,I wished to be an actress and not of a lady.My marriage was of convenience.He had high expectations and hopes for his new wife.I didn’t like the idea of being kept behind closed doors.I wanted the urge to breathe.’
‘He bought you Cossack,allowed you to breathe?’
‘That was his way of keeping his little wifey sweet,whilst he was off clay pigeon shooting or had urgent business to attend to. He disagreed of my intentions to find my own way amongst the world.Oliver had designs above and beyond.I would remain in Serenity Estate,as the loyal and dutiful wife playing the piano,reading and pressing flowers while he did as he pleased.Roaming the estate playing Lord of the manor.It was perfect until I betrayed him,on my return behind closed doorsI was his property no one else’s…if another gentleman dared look at me.I was the trapped nightingale,his song bird only allowed to live out my dreams of being on stage at the occasional recitals only then I would sing on demand.He refused to believe that he couldn’t change his impossible french courtesan.I wasn’t intended to be rich,how I detest the title of lady.Sometimes I feel I was orphaned as a child,dancing upon the parisian streets a few pennies to get me by.Lady Antoinette stops,takes one look of this pathetic looking child took her as her ward educating this ferral child with her other daughters.’
‘You and your imagination Gisele?’
‘Don’t you understand that is why Lady Antoinette treats me so differently,not afraid to reject me in public.Lord Henry is different,he saw beyond the title and the dresses.He doesn’t care for the balls,and quite honestly neither do I.He was brought into the world unabling to fulfil his parents dreams and wishes.He’s my soul mate,he trusts and respects me.We recognise when one another are struggling.Allows me to freely dance amongst the stars.Not suffocate nor choke me.’
‘The courtesan and the loveable rouge?’
‘The courtesan and the loveable rouge I shall like that very much.’
Daniel painted a beautiful picture the courtesan and the loveable rouge as though it were a beautiful love story.If only this were true how I’d long to shed my title and run off into the night with Benjamin.Surviving on the italian streets,we had our strengths I could use my femine beauty dance upon the streets and Benjamin is ever so talented he could romantically recite sonnet’s to hopeless romantics.Serenade the beautiful ladies with sitar playing.Whilst Ava and Esme could use their butter wouldn’t melt routine allow poor unsuspecting people in and pick pocket them once their back is turned.
No this isn’t right Esme and Ava deserve a future far better than that.Full of honesty they aught to stay with Lord Rickman.He would bring them up to be good and honest and respect gentleman unlike their Mama.It’s a beautiful dream,Mama would never forgive us if we just took off without leave.Then I think of what Marianna said earlier on,she was perfectly right Benjamin and I were destined to be together.Like Romeo and Juliet,Anthony and Cleopatra just hope and prey that our passionate love affair doesn’t end in the heroe’s fate being sealed in such dramatic fashion.
On first impressions High Foxglove Manor,looked so picturesque a lot grander scale than the last time I had visited.Louisa sat in complete silence for full duration of the journey here.She looked longingly out of the window.The carriage reached an abrupt stop.
‘Daniel,I shall need you’re hand?’
‘Where are my manners? Forgive me Lady Delessop.’
Daniel helped me down from the carriage.
‘Ever the gentleman?’
‘So this is High Foxglove Manor?’ exclaimed Louisa.
I shall chose my words wisely,I sense Louisa’s pride is hurting right at this moment.
‘Lady Antoinette will be ever so proud of you?’ gushed Louisa.
‘I do hope so.Where is your brother?’
‘He had to leave,had some urgent business to attend to.’
‘Oliver leave? Esme and Ava will be so heartbroken.’
‘I fear humiliation has got the better of him?’
‘Lord Rickman and his pride,it’s never changes?’
‘He can not possibly bare it seeing you marrying another,he discussed how he begged to take you back,asked you to stay in London.You’re rejection…’
‘You’re brother is a tortured soul?’
‘Lord Rickman loved you deeply.’
I do not understand why leave? When he had promised his children at least one dance with their dear Papa.Es and Ava will be ever so disappointed,although I do not blame his behaviour.I truly believe if I witnessed Oliver marrying Countess Tatiana Aleksandrov…hyperthetically of course.I’d react the same way,consumed with jealously desperately try as I might to cling onto the past.Allowing him to believe I’d change for just one change to reignite the flame we once shared.Throw the gauntlet down,ask for him to stay.Once he had dealt the fatal blow of rejecting my advances I would then head for the hills.Looking back,I should have handled the situation a lot more sensitively.He was extremely within his right to mention how hardened I’d become.Instead of acting merely flattered that he still paid attention to me I mocked him.It was as though I drowned a poor defenceless puppy at birth.
Carefully I placed my veil over my face,masking my eyes.Remaining a lady of mystery.Until I say ‘I do.’ I was in the momeny,visualising the aisle take deep breathes Gisele.A few fairysteps then you’ll be reunited with your Romeo.Today is a fresh start,no more running.You’re a strong vibrant vixen,no longer the lamb ever hiding from the cowardly lion Jack.Who knows when he’ll return to face me for what he did to my Carl.
The masked swan slowly walked up the aisle ready to seal her fate.Lady Antoinette was sat in her pride of place,waiting eagerly to see if her daughter jilts the poor unsuspecting Lord Henry at the alter.Whilst various lords and ladies were lost in their own little world whispering amongst themselves.The endless journey ended,when our eyes finally met at the alter.Lord Henry looked just as delicious and brooding as I imagined.Smiling ever so proudly as he patiently awaits for his bride.
He whispered into my ear. ‘My Lady.’
‘You look delicious enough to eat.’
I looked down bashfully.
‘Has my lady turned a tad crimson colour?’
‘Remarks like that you shall burn in hell Lord Henry.’
Holly and Evangaline were whispering amongst themselves.
‘Doesn’t Gisele look divine!’ gushed Evangaline.
‘The dress looks tolerable I suppose.Why if I we’re the bride then I would have added ostrich and peacock feathers on the bodice.’
‘That would make her look like a show girl dress and Gisele is certainly no lady of the night.’
‘Where did she get those diamonds from?’ asked Holly.
‘An heirloom of Gran’Mama Reinette’s.’
‘There positively sparkling.Why wasn’t I left them?’
‘Maybe because you always tutt tutt the idea of marriage.’
‘Marriage is an institute,it’s a convenience for poor ladies to enter arranged marriages to avoid being cut off from society.’
‘Don’t be such a cynic,if I marry I intend it to be out of love.’
‘Mind you,if I was marrying Lord Henry,it would be a completely different story.
He looks simply dashing in his suit.’ swooned Evangaline.’All rugged and handsome very wild like Heathcliff don’t you think?’
‘Everything always has to come down to literature with you? Cathy and Heathcliff are merely fiction no gentlemen are like him in real life…stop going all cow eyed and dreamy over him.’
‘That going all cow eyed and dreamy over him.’
‘Why not? I am entitled to have my dreams.’
‘You have Colonel Clarkson,yawn yawn.’
‘Do not speak of him.I can look but unable to touch makes it much more exciting don’t you think?’ blushed Evangaline.
‘I wouldn’t mind Lord Henry introducing me to riding,that’s if I’m guaranteed to have a tour of the stables.If Gisele stupidely throws him over,then I’d happily take her place and repair his broken heart.Gisele will remain a distant memory.Rumour,says Lord Henry can be quite the tiger?’
‘Holly! That is your brother in law you’re referring to?’ said Evangaline.
‘Girls! That is quite enough!’ tutted Letitia.
‘We were merely giving our opinions of the groom.’
‘I’d quite kindly like to remind you that this is your sister’s wedding day.As her sister’s you aught to act gracefully and respectful.Do you think she’d appreciate overhearing her sister’s treat Lord Henry as though he’s a piece of meat?’
‘No.’ whispered Holly.
‘Well then I suggest you keep your crude remarks to yourself.’
‘Sorry Letty.’ smirked Evangaline behind Letitia’s back.
‘Welcome back sister dearest,I’ve missed thee.’
Lord Henry and I held hands.I gazed into his eyes,The Reverend cleared his throat.The fallen woman took a deep breathe and was about to take her vows.
‘We are gathered here today to witness the holy matrimony between Benjamin and Gisele.Now Gisele and Benjamin I would like you to face one another and deliver your vows.
‘Gisele Tara Anastacia,my kindred spirit I promise that I will always love and protect you from harm.I was lost but now I see.’
‘My Lord Henry is quoting John Newton? Amazing Grace is such a beautiful song don’t you think?’ added Lady Antoinette.
‘Through laughter and tears,I shall swallow my pride and ever remain by your side.’
‘Love is patient,love is kind,it does not envy it does not boast.You’re all probably thinking why am I quoting from the bible? Well through my dark times I treasured the passage from 1 Corinithians verse four.I was dealt a testing time,told that I aught to remain patient and love will come along.Well I never believed this until now,this gentleman here captured my heart.But he kept me waiting.I mean didn’t anyone teach him it’s rude to keep your lady true waiting.Well my faith remained and you returned.Though I may be boasting,but I’ve finally found the wind beneath my wings,beat of my heart.My loyal,trusting friend,star crossed lover to the very end.’
I slipped the ring upon Lord Henry’s finger with such ease.I sympathised for my Lord as he struggled to do the same.
‘Is this his way of saying Lady Delessop I can not marry you.’ said Evangaline.
‘I shall quite happily step in,honestly Gisele and her sausage fingers.’said Holly.
‘I think Gisele has beautiful artistic fingers.’ added Evangaline.
I looked towards Benjamin trying to put his mind his ease,and then looked down and studied my engagement ring.My wedding ring oh so different in comparison to the emerald ring Lord Henry bestowed to me upon his proposal.My wedding ring was so beautiful,a single gold wedding band.Lady Antoinette disapproved of course. ‘Gisele you must refuse this man.How can he present an engagement ring so beautiful and vast.To a wedding ring with not a single diamond.Lord Henry and I could promise me a world of diamonds and emeralds and I would refuse him it’s about pure love.No jewel’s or money would turn my head.This lady isn’t for sale.
‘You’re trembling my Lord?’ I whispered.
‘It’s all in hand my Lady.’
‘Is this your way of saying you can not marry me?’
‘Most certainly not.’
He slipped the ring upon my dainty finger.
The Reverend breathed a sigh of relief I know pronounce you husband and wife.Lord Henry you may kiss the bride.’
‘It shall be my pleasure Lady Henry.’ he smiled.
Lord Henry kindly removed the veil that concealed my piercing eyes.He took me in to his arms bent forward and greeted me with a beautiful passionate and yet so poetic kiss.It felt so natural we briefly lingered.I didn’t want this moment to end.I briefly closed my eyes.I quickly reopened them to see various guests from both the bride and groom’s side applauding.
‘You kiss by the book?’
It was overwhelming that society who were once upon a time dived upon our courtship were finally demonstrating their seal of approval.For some this reunion brought joy,to others sheer pain.I felt sorry for Louisa,the truth finally upon her that her Benjy belonged to another.I watched as the former Lady Henry casually wiped away a tear with a single white satin handkerchief.The white symbolising her surrendering at long last.I looked at the sea of faces,still no sign of the ever so charming Lord and Lady Henry? I noticed Lady Ana sat next to my Mama.Lady Ana and I had grown extremely close since our romance had become public knowledge.When society turned their back on us,at the time Ana was my only trusted confidante.Why I asked her to be one of my bridesmaids before Louisa and I had made peace.But after the business with Evangaline and Arthur she thought it wouldn’t be fair and sadly turned the offer down.I was deeply hurt at the time,after all I had issues with Arthur for breaking my little sister’s heart and not with Ana.I know Lord Robert and Lady Darcie have made their feelings perfectly clear that they do not approve of my marriage to their son.But punishing him because he broke the rules and fell in love.I for one feel that this is a pety excuse to avoid attending,haven’t they ever live life dangerously?
I looked over at Louisa once more,and could see her pain although she was trying ever so hard to fight it,hide it from view.My heart sank,I let go of Lord Henry’s hand.
‘I’ll just be a minute.’ I kissed him upon his cheek.
I walked over to Louisa.
‘Gisele? Congratulations you must be so happy?’
‘That I am.’
She quickly wiped away her tears.
‘Do not hide your tears away from me sister dear.’
‘You still reguard me as your sister?’
‘Always.I can feel your pain.’
‘Do not think I’m shedding a tear over Lord Henry?’
‘Louisa,do not feel you have to put a front on in front of me.I know how fond you were of him?’
‘I never realised upon our first encounter in Versailles,I was broken for I had just cut my ties with Sir Holmes.On first impressions,he was easy on the eye…tolerable I suppose.But as I grew to know him,his likes and dislikes.I loved that man…I thought this day was hard,the day you asked me to be your bridesmaid I was honoured.But at the same time scared…scared of the unknown.But how I could refuse you,you’ve been too good to me.I didn’t want to let you down.But Oliver said you have nothing to be afraid of,this change will be good for us.I will remain by your life as we both enter the unknown.He endured my pain.Quote ‘Louisa I am so proud of you,you can get through the day,you may not feel this know but one day you will find a gentleman who will acknowledge your existance.But until this time arrives,I will squeeze your hand help you through your river of tears.I never knew it would be so difficult without him?’
‘Oliver,I’m sorry to speak so beastly of your brother.But Oliver has always been full of false promises.Ever the coward,he abandoned me on my Papa’s funeral.’
‘I can not do this.’
‘One thing I know for sure,Oliver is right in saying that it may not be now.But one day you will find a gentleman who will acknowledge your existance.Love you for being the true you.Share a mutual respect,you’re more stronger than you think…I admire you Lady Rickman.I truly do.’
‘I need some air.’
Louisa ran off.
Lord Henry sensed I felt upset over Louisa running out on me in dramatic fashion.After all it was his wife that usually did the running.He affectionately placed his arms around my waist.
‘Is something troubling you my dear wifey?’
‘I shall have never used to that.’I smiled fondly.’Louisa.’
‘What about her?’
‘Louisa,she has taken it to heart Oliver abandoned her.’
‘Isn’t he making a habit of this?’
‘I know Lord Rickman has let me down in his past.But his own sister? Though I can see how this may prove difficult for him.Re-visiting his wedding day,witnessing his wife making promises to another gentleman.Why if I saw him marrying another lady,offering her the world it would kill me.Please do not hate me?’
‘You know I’d never do that?’
‘I don’t care for Oliver.It’s not what troubles me.’
‘Speak your mind my angel?’
‘As for Lord and Lady Henry?’
‘There dead to me.’
‘How can you say that? You know I’d do anything to have my Papa back.Despite everything,I know they disapproved of me….but they should have acted maturely and rose above it.If their your parents they should be here?’
‘You,Ava and Es are all I need in this life time.And maybe our own brood? But now is not the time to discuss this.Come now our peasants awaits us.’
‘I dare you to say to that my Mama’s face.’
‘I wouldn’t dream of it.’
‘Lord Henry you coward.’
He placed my hand in a palm Shakespearean style,as we walked towards our humbled guests.Marianna walked in our direction.Lord Henry bowed towards his new sister in law out of politeness.
‘Lord Benjamin,Gisele may I have a word in private?’
‘Not now Marianna.’
‘Please just one moment of your time….Lord Rickman before he left,he handed me this.Swore me into utmost secrecy.Insisted that I only gave you this aftet you said I do.’
Marianna passed me a scroll.
‘I’ll go and find Esme and Ava.’
‘Benjamin is that necessary?’
‘I long to see them.’
It was a scroll,why did he have to be so old fashioned.I dread to think what it may contain.
‘Gisele,I shall leave you alone to collect your thoughts.’
I briefly composed myself,counted to a silent five.Lord Henry and I promised that they were no longer to be secrets between us.I felt angered and betrayed that he felt the need to abandon me.I opened the scroll carefully.
I can imagine that you have already
married? Well that’s if Marianna has kept to
her side of our agreement and given this after
you’ve said the words I do?
This is my gift to you upon your wedding to Lord
Henry.This contains the truth,apart of you may think
that this is my act of revenge? A taste of your own
medicine perhaps? Inspiration from what you started
all of those years ago?
You may find this hard to believe,I do not hold a
grudge against you….Gisele I shall politely set
the scene for you.Your in your Mama’s house.
After you so cruely rejected me.At this
moment I imagine you will laugh in disgust.
I do believe it was in indeed bad taste.You
standing before me,well forgive me for saying
this looking so beautiful.My princess,your hair
slicked back in all of those pins.Then again
she is extremely lucky having a stunning
piece of canvas to work with.
You may feel insulted for I referring you to
a work of art.I’m sorry it’s my way of
bumbling.It’s always been this way when it
comes to expressing my feelings.My Gisele,as
always standing so proudly upon the stairs.
Prim and proper,a vision of beauty.I was lost
for words.It suddenly dawned on me,the truth
killed me.That I was unable to have you.
You were my wife,and I took our time
together for granted.Knowing the last time I
would smell your sweet perfume vanilla
musk.Upon my pillow as you lay beside me.
Held you so tightly,I would never have let you
go.I’ve said those words several times but
never meant them until now.You used to
call me you Romeo,but I should have known
I was Paris,you’re second best….that I couldn’t
have been enough for you.I treated you
appallingly from the start of our marriage.
Looked at you’re body as merely an object
and not a temple.Abandoned you,I was
blinded by my love for you.
My Sweet Pea,you returned to me once and
like the fool I were,thought history would
indeed repeat itself.As you rejected me,said
you didn’t want me.I couldn’t face society,the
coward that I were took the easy way out.I had
to go away.Not sure for how long,or if I’ll ever
I now see how my jealously and my coldness
broke you and drove you away into the arms of
Lord Henry.I should have learnt fron my mistake.
When you were involved with that man Sir Holmes.
I hope Louisa doesn’t hate me so,I promise I shall
make it up to her and that Esme and Ava don’t miss
their Papa too much.
‘You gave up that title when you abandoned your daughters!’
….I know I’ve said it a thousand times over,I shall keep
saying those words of apology.I acted like a wild
animal towards you.It was unforgivable.As I know
in grave detail,every individual beating you received
from Jack.Heaven knows what you ever saw in that
man? But I shall not judge you,you grew to understood
at that time that your husband was indeed dead…..and
you had urges and needs to be met.I can not forgive how
that man had taken advantage of my beautiful sweet
Gisele.I am not ashamed to say,I shed a few tears
whilst I write this you must have felt so alone.Not
knowing which way to turn society,constantly
You still have the scars,but you always remain strong.
I admire you Gisele,despite it all you were convinced
I were alive? Gisele Tara Anastacia,you have a good
heart my beautiful sweet angel.
I am proud to call you,the mother of my children.
There isn’t a day that goes by I do not remember
William in your absence,I placed a wreath upon
his grave and flowers daily.Roses your
favourite.I watch them bloom and die,but
our son’s memory still remain.
A little while later,we where gathered at the wedding banquet table.Papa should be here by my side,acting the doting father all merry with a smile painted upon his face.Toasting his daughter’s future happiness.I felt guilty over the ever revealing parchment how he went about the past and his emotions in grave detail.He still knows how to get inside my head,tug at my heart strings.He cared for his son after all,how sweet of him to leave a wreath upon his grave.Guilt was getting the better of me,so I took it upon myself to drown my sorrows,no one will give a jot that the bride is drowning in confusion.They are too busy enjoying the ambience.The champagne began to consume me,and cloud my judgement.I saw a faint light,I couldn’t
quite make out the silhouette.
‘No it couldn’t possibly be?’
‘Is it a figment of my imagination?’
‘My petit Gisele,how you’ve grown?’
‘I came to see how you are…never to judge.’
‘How could you possibly ask? Struggling,I miss you so.Mama still remains a hold over me.She resents me for so many things.You’re death changed the course of my life.So many questions.’
‘You look so beautiful.’
‘You should be here?’
‘Please forgive me for marrying Lord Henry.’
‘I understand that Lord Rickman wasn’t for you.’
‘I felt trapped Papa…Is heaven how you imagine it to be? Ava constantly asking and I can not answer about the unknown.Is it all fluffy clouds rainbows angels and harps.Perfect harmony?’
‘You paint such a lovely picture.’
‘Well is it?’
‘You know I can not possibly answer that?’
‘Stop sulking Gisele.’
‘How is Carl? Tell him not to hate me.’
‘He’s waiting to be reunited with you in the great sky.’
‘Even in death,he still waits for his lover.’
‘He’s angry as you speak of taking your life if Lord Henry dies,’
‘He will not understand,it’s how I feel.’
‘I didn’t come to quarrel.I haven’t enough time,just to say how proud I am of you.My darling daughter finally found happiness and two beautiful children.I do not hate you for the death of William,I am watching over him.Promise me do not fail me?’
‘I will not fail you.’
With that he vanished from my sight.