• tainted_halo 10w

    Nine years later ( 1671 )

    Chapter one


    Alexander hardly glanced at those around him as his eyes scaned beyond the manor gates. Robert was late and to make matters worse Lady Laena did not leave her bedchamber to meet her husband. Bile rose in his throat as he regarded the crunch of gravel and the loud hooves of approaching horses. His brother had a temper that would be ignited once he recognized that servants family and friends stood for his return but his wife was not respectable enough to be in attendance. What would people say, did she not know that the servants talk his eyes fell upon the face of his mother Lady Amelia Marianne Carter and he extended his hand to squeeze hers. Her gloved fingers wrapped around his as the carriage door swung open and his brother placed a foot down. He heard the bated breath of everyone as he stepped forward to greet his twin. “Laena?”
    his brother whispered a smirk upon his lips as Alex shrugged, nodding Robert raised his eyes to look at her window. It was dark and not like the girl he had grown fond of over the last three years. His smile widened as he lowered his eyes and turned towards his mother,
    “Oh my baby” ( put in french)
    she squealed attempting to squeeze him in the process but he gently withdrew from her embrace. The marchioness was a woman who was affectionate to all as she was cautious , so Robert knew just how much sleep she had lost over the two years he had been away . Everyone seemed to depart as he took a step forward, Alex fell in step alongside him and they entered the house without speaking. Shrugging out of his tailcoat he switched direction
    “where are you going ? He’s in his study”
    “ when is he not”
    he hissed continuing on his way
    “I’m about to see Lady Laena before that man ruins my mood”

    Alex watched after him before turning to head back there was no reason to stay cooped in the house all day besides he had to call at Viscount Hamden before supper.
    “ George!”
    “yes m’lord”
    “is the carriage brought round”
    “yes m’lord just a second m’lord”
    Alex nodded hardly paying attention to the old man whose bones practically creaked with every bow he made. Pulling his pocket watch he realized he had a little over 2 hours to spend with the sister-in-law of the viscount
    “manor”
    “yes mi’lord, are you to request the company of the lovely lady Victoria“
    Alex decided that there was no use wasting words on an answer so he simply nodded as he watched the passing trees outside. his mind back at the manor and the reason why lady laena did not dare meet his brother. Robert had a history no doubt, he wasnt the gentlest human being, he was also someone who did not know love. Alex’s heart ached for Laena and the paramours Robert had , he could only imagine the turmoil they often faced. the sudden stop of the carriage drew him from his thoughts and he looked to see the day had gotten gloomy, sighing he placed his gloves and hat on as george came around to open the doors.
    “thank you”
    with a bow, his loyal coach man turned on his heels and headed back to perch on the box
    one hour thirty minutes, thats not bad he thought as he glanced at the pocket watch once more, lifted the notch on the door and banged twice. ( couldn’t hold)

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    Deceptive Congress

    Thought about writing a novel have about 21 chapters but they haven’t been edited however I don’t know if I should continue or if it’s good enough so comment your thoughts constructive criticism or just criticism is necessary for growth. Thanks in advance
    ©tainted_halo

    (November 1662)
    Prologue

    “And where do you think you’re going child” Her governess snarled as she hauled her back by the beautiful sapphire gown. Not that it mattered what did was the fact that Victoria was subjected to constantly pricking her fingertips with the hateful embroidery needle located in the dreary parlor. She could feel a headache coming as Mrs Mason pulled her back sputtering words Victoria gladly ignored. The woman was insufferable, “no place for a young lady, you ought to be ashamed of yourself....What would the countess believe if she should get wind of this ... ill mannered, can you not stay still and do your duty for a day girl” Victoria heard as she was plopped into an armchair facing the window. Her heart ached to escape the clutches of Mrs Mason and finally be outdoors, they were in the city after all and no one would pressure a child for having fun besides everyone of importance was busy to pay attention why could no one understand that. A smile graced her features and she moved closer to the stone windowsill for a better view of her brothers and their country friend what was his name. Ahhh Colin,he was James’s brother her best friend and the one person Mrs Mason and her mother Lady Lytton tried to keep her from. Pushing open the heavy windows with a bit of struggle she glanced over her shoulder, Mrs Mason was preoccupied with the babe , regardless the woman was half-deaf and she was too far to hear the squeaking of the hinges. She stumbled back a bit as a blast of cold air wafted through the window, this would not hinder her she thought as she stood on the balls of her toes and pushed her torso through the window.
    “JAMES!” she bellowed as loud as she could causing people around to look up, it was then that she realized how full the streets were, she shrugged as each individual refocused their attention on there tasks.
    “how dreadful” she squeaked as an old lady bent at the hip emptied her chamber pot into the streets, “aye” a coachman called as it’s contents rained down his couch a few splatters landing on some fruits. She was too engrossed in the conflict below to recognize the footsteps behind her in time. The hand on her shoulder gave her just enough time to scream and wake the baby. With a sigh of annoyance Mrs Mason went to the aid of the child giving Victoria ample time to run from the room.
    “Mister Allen ! “ she heard as the bell for the butler rang, she stepped inside the open green parlor and waited with bated breath as Mr Allen rushed pass to the aid of Mrs Mason her lips curved into a small smile as she snuck out pass the kitchen and through the back rooms where the servants chambers were located to a small door into the street. Neither the puddles nor the pungent smell could hinder her from running into the streets she was finally free of the stuffy room. “Vicky, over here”
    her head snapped in the direction of James racing a coach down the road and glanced up at the red faced governess before running off in a fit of giggles. Anyone looking on who did not know Lady Victoria Elizabeth Anne Caesar would have thought her just another ill bred child from the low class families that littered the overpopulated city. They would not believe her to be high born the daughter of the earl and countess of Lytton. Her brothers exhibited characteristics of the perfect gentleman but she was far from a proper young lady , her family feared that even with the best governess the child could not become the duchess they one day wanted her to be.
    “Jump on it James, don’t be a wuss” she screamed as they ran behind a racing four team phaeton. It was a sight twenty-four horses and two carefree children unaware of the impending dangers. A chorus of voices could be heard over the roar of hooves as onlookers reprimanded the children.
    “what the devil” a man called as he along with two others grabbed both children in time as a carriage flew past the bend.
    “let go” Victoria screamed as she started kicking the gentleman who held her from him with his nose upturned.
    “where you from lass” he addressed James who spat on the ground before his foot without answering
    Scowling the man pulled them farther from the race and back where they came from asking as he went along.
    “ Excuse me ... Pardon me... Dear me I am truly sorry ma’am” Victoria heard and wished the earth could swallow her as she saw her mother approaching. Her beautiful kind face illustrating a picture of wrath.
    “Victoria Elizabeth Anne Caesar “ she scolded as she pulled her from the man’s hands with a thanks and a curtsey.
    “Lady Lytton “ the man bowed a confused expression his face.
    “mama can we stay to watch the parade , It would be a delight if you say yes”
    she announced as her mother desperatelytried to skip puddles without getting her gown wet or rubbing on orthers. She didnt answer but instead led the way home where they found both the governess and the butler outside the doors fear masking their features when they realized who accompanied the little mistress back.

    “my Lady I did not...”
    “another time Mrs Mason , get someone to fetch her a bath and discard that ruined dress”
    “yes M’Lady right away”
    Mrs Mason gave a low curtsy and pulled a reluctant Victoria upstairs.
    “and Mrs Mason” her mother called stopping them in their tracks
    “make sure not to whisper a word of this “

    •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••


    The events of the morning long forgotten Victoria once more to resigned to the window within the parlor. There was nothing to see the race was long finished, sighing she made to turn away from the boring streets when a beautiful carriage turned the corner its drapes drawn enough to offer a view within. Victoria could make out a family of four Three handsome young men and a beautiful woman who she couldn’t recognize. The carriage pulled to a stop at the townhouse before them and her breath caught when the last male emerged and planted his gaze at her and offered a smile. He was quite handsome but that was not what startled her. her gaze stayed planted on the lid of the pocket watch he had , or rather its coat of arms. What did she learn about that , Oh how could it slip her now. Was it the duke of Wellington or the duke of Somerset it didn’t matter she knew that coat of arms belonged to a duke but which one. She tore herself away from the window an hour later when the streets were emptying. Its citizens resigning for the night.
    Why were so many peer members in the city she wondered as she made her way to the dining area it was not yet time for parliament.
    “Papa you didn’t tell me why we were in London”
    she said at the table when dinner was well over-way.
    “Pardon”
    “ why did we leave home you have never liked it in the city and I saw a duke move next door earlier and other members this morning when I was out “
    her father froze before glancing at her his eyebrows raised in question, and when he spoke his voice sent chills down her back.
    “what do you mean out , out where and with whom” his steely gaze landed on her mother and her governess after a while before back at her. She gulped , how could she be so stupid as to slip up with papa.
    “watching the race ... with James” she mumbled but he had already heard
    his fist landed on the table and his fury was directed towards her governess
    “Mrs Mason what exactly is your job ? Is it not to rear her in the ways of a proper young lady so she can one day bring honor to her house , or are you getting too old to control a child who is only one and two”
    the governess bowed her head seemingly observing the intricate designs on her cutlery. But she did not answer as she was saved more humiliation by Lady Lytton who excused everyone to speak to her husband.
    “Papa I...”
    the look she received made her quiet on the spot as the governess pulled her with her out the heavy oak doors.