TO LOVE A DUKE Chapter 1
New story here.. But this is a historical kinda story. Like in the olden days. Gerrit? Alright here goes..
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April 1,1880, Birmingham, England.
Elena Clarke stopped pacing as she caught sight of herself in the oval mirror over the fireplace. She was standing across the room, far enough away from the mirror to see almost a full view of herself. Her beautiful eyes glittered, she didn't notice how provocative she looked in her two piece dark-red-taffeta suit trimmed with black velvet.
All she could notice however was that her full hair, which she had spent close to an hour arranging artfully, had fallen into complete disarray because of her furious pacing. She gritted her teeth and stomped across to the large window of her bedroom. She stood looking out, hoping the cold air might help her regain her usual cool composure but it isn't helping.
Her two younger twin sisters Annabelle and Mirabelle, sat on the big bed, watching her work herself up. Knowing that there's nothing they could do to stop her, she's just too stubborn! So they left her alone and watched.. Finally Annabelle couldn't couldn't stand the silence anymore, so she spoke up.
"Elena! It's been half an hour now, aren't you tired of pacing?" She asked sarcastically
Elena turned around sharply and gave her one of her angry looks but she just rolled her eyes at Elena. Anna wasn't afraid of her or her looks, that was her twin Mirabelle. She's always so quiet and reserved..
This time Mirabelle spoke up... "Elena, Anna is right. Please sit down for a bit. Pacing won't solve any problem, please sit and let's talk..!"
Elena sighed and walked over to the the bed to sit with them. She loved them both so much, they're only family she has in the whole world and she would do anything to protect them. Mirabelle is the red haired, beautiful, sweet, kind, generous one among them just like their mother.
While Anna is the complete opposite. So beautiful with blond hair, sassy, a huge flirt and selfish to the CORE! She only cares about herself and sometimes when necessary, she cares for her twin but she always comes first in everything just like their father but Elena loves her regardless.
And she Elena is the different one among them, skin so white and dark raven silky hair that flows down to her waist. She's loving and overprotective, has an awful temper like their late father, stubborn like a mule but she always protects the ones she loves...fiercely!
Ever since their parent's death 2 years ago, she had taken over in everything. Being a mother to her little sisters and taking care of their late father's estate. She's been doing such a good job with the help of their lawyer and everyone in her employ loves and respects her.
Elena is 20 while her sisters are 18. On her 20th birthday party, her parents had given her a surprised gift from the grave. Their lawyer, Mr Tim Berkley, had come over to give her her parents Will! She had known she would get the will at the age of 20 but what she didn't know was what she was expected to do!
Elena had been told by Mr Tim, that her parents had betrothed her to one Lord Damon Blackwell... A Duke! And they were were both expected to get married soon as she's 20, she was made to understand that the Clarks and the Blackwells had been old friends and had agreed to be united as family through marriage between their children.
She had disagreed vehemently with the Will, but she had been made to understand that failure to do as asked, she'll lose her inheritance and that of her sisters to their widowed aunt. Their wicked, bitter aunt! Never..
Ever since the night of her birthday party which was one week ago, Elena hadn't slept a wink. All she does is to toss and turn on her bed till morning comes. She still couldn't believe that her loving father and mother could do such a thing to her but she wasn't that surprised.
She had always said it to whomever cates to listen that she wants to be independent forever and doesn't want to ever get married, so this Will and the clause is her parents way of making sure she gets married! She wishes she can hate them, but she can't cos she loves them too much.
Now the said Damon, who is 30 years old is set to arrive in their home from London any moment from now and it has made Elena mad and curious at the same time. She's mad cos she doesn't want to marry someone she doesn't know but she's also curious to meet this man who she might be spending the rest of her life with..
"So Elena, he will be here any moment. Aren't you going to change into something more feminine and alluring like a gown?" Anna asked..
"No Anna, I won't change anything for that man. If he doesn't like what I'm wearing, that's his problem not mine! I'm not going to go out of my way to do anything to please him!" She vowed vehemently
Mirabelle stepped in again.. "Anna please stop, I beg you. Elena is angry enough as it is, stop making it worse. And what she's wearing is fine!"
Anna rolled her beautiful eyes at her twin sister sister, always the peace maker! "Fine Mir, I've heard you!"
"Thank you!" Mirabelle told her with a smile. She frowned again when she looked at Elena and saw how angry she still looked.
"Elena, it's okay. You never know what will happen, who knows you might end up liking him. I heard he's quite the handsome man and ladies adore him.." Anna Said with a smile, trying to lighten up her sister's mood
Elena lifted up serious eyes at her still and said.. "I really don't care if he looks like Adonis himself, I won't like him and I definitely do not want to marry him..!"
Anna laughed a taunting laugh..
"You have no choice but to marry him cos I don't want to lose my inheritance and be poor forever. I want to live in London and go to balls and parties and find me a handsome Lord to Marry. But none of that will happen if you don't marry that man..!"
Mirabelle gave her sister a surprised look that spoke volumes of how disturbed she is about all the things she just said but Anna returned her gaze with no remorse in her eyes, just shrugged her shoulders and averted her gaze.
"Anna you are Unbelievable! How can you say something like that to your own sister? Don't you have a conscience at all? Sometimes I wonder if we all came out from the same womb cos you are so insensitive and selfish!" Mirabelle screamed at her.
"Mir, it's okay. Just let her be, we both know how selfish and self-centered she is. Nothing she says now will ever shock me, she's our father through and through. I don't blame her though, I blame mother for allowing father put me in this kind of delimma!" Elena said, resigned!
Mirabelle gave her a tight hug and she hugged her back. All the while, Anna looked at them both with eyes devoid of any emotion.
A knock came at the door and Elena asked the person to come on in, it's her maid Ruth.
"I'm sorry for disturbing you My lady, but i just wanted to inform you that the guest has arrived!"
Elena literall jumpes up from the bed.. "The guest? Which guest exactly?"
"My lady the Lord Damon Blackwell, the Duke has arrived..!"
Miranda and Annabelle both jumped down from the bed, excited looks on their faces. Elena however was wringing her hands together, nervously.
"Umm where is he now?" Elena asked again
"He's been shown into the yellow room for guests, my lady!" Ruth replied
"Okay, thank you Ruth. We'll be down shortly..!"
"Yes my lady.." she bowed and left
Mirabelle and Anna rushed to the mirror to check their appearances and Elena screwed her face at them.
"What are you both doing?" She asled them
"Checking how we look of course, we don't want to frighten the duke now, do we?" Anna asked..
"Oh please, who cares what he thinks. Let's go meet him already!" Elena said impatiently
"Okay okay we're done!" And they all exited the room with Elena following the twins, all the while trying to hide how nervous she really is..
Lord Damon Blackwell had never been this eager to meet anyone in his life as he is right now to meet his betrothed. Miss Elena Clarks!
Granted he had been mad and furious when his lawyer told him the terms of his own father's will. He will inherit the title of a Duke by right as his father's only heir but if he wants to get his inheritance, he had to marry the girl, else he won't have any money to his name and he'll be mocked by the ton as the broke Duke! And that is one thing he didn't want.
So he had decided that he'll marry the girl and get his inheritance. He doesn't really care if she's one ugly girl cos she had to be ugly for her father to want to give her away like that. He'll simply get himself a beautiful mistress in London who'll take care of all his "needs".
Now he's in here, in her home looking around the whole room, he was standing, couldn't get himself to sit. He has never been nervous in his life and he wasn't about to admit that he is indeed nervous.
Their estate is really vast and beautiful for a common man. A man with no title to his name.. and he was impressed with what he has seen so far. He was facing a beautiful painting on the wall when the door opened and three women walked in. He turned around slowly to watch them walk in..
The first was a beautiful blonde that had a seductive smile and look in her eyes, she gave him a coy look, the kind he's fond on seeing among the women of the ton. She was followed by a beautiful red haired, she was smiling innocently at him too and he liked her immediately.
The last was the lady in red, she was tall, had black silky hair like a raven, dark beautiful eyes and a sweet sensuous mouth meant for kissing and she wasn't smiling....infact she looked pissed! He laughed inside... that must be my bride!! He mused to himself
They all bowed and introduced themselves, the blonde is Annabelle, the red haired is Mirabelle and the dark haired is Elena! Elena...hmmm i like the sound of her name and she is quite beautiful too.
He bowed and introduced himself too... "I am Lord Damon Blackwell and i am honoured to meet you all!"
Elena had never seen a man as handsome as this man is, he was refined, a gentleman. Yet he had this wild, rough look to him, maybe it's because be isn't wearing a powdered wig like the rest of the ton. Or maybe because he wasn't dressed like the rest of the ton.
He looked really simple in his shinning boots, black pants, a white shirt left unbuttoned at the neck and a black coat to match it all... simple yet he exudes power!!
He walked towards her and gave a perfect bow and said...
"It is my utmost pleasure to finally meet you, Miss Elena Clark, my betrothed..!
Oh puff he has probably said that to a thousand women before, but i won't let him sway me. No, it won't happen.
She didn't smile as she replied.. "Well forgive me if i don't feel same, it's rather not my choice to meet you here, my Lord..!" She replied tartly
Mirabelle jabbed her sharply on her ribs and gave the Duke an apologetic smile and she said.
"Please forgive my sister, my Lord. She gets like this when she's nervous..!" She apologized
He gave her a dazzling smile that made even her Elena to stare in amazement.
"It's alright Miss Clark, i understand!" He said politely
"Oh please call me Mirabelle, my lord. Would you like something to drink?" She asked him
"Yes, Mirabelle i would! And you too should please call me Damon! Enough with the 'my lord' title.." he told her with a teasing smile
Mirabelle smiled at him too and asked him to sit while she rang the bell for a maid to serve their drinks. They all sat down with Annabelle sitting closer to the Duke, Mirabelle at the center and Elena far across the room. She was looking out the window, unconcerned and it was quite rude and she knew it but she wasn't trying to impress anyone.
The duke didn't act like he cared cos he kept chatting with Mir and Anna. They were all talking and laughing like they've known each other forever, she kept staring at them feeling left out and quite jealous. Suddenly he reverted his gaze back at her and asked..
"Are you done sulking?"
Elena looked at him with a shocked gaze.. "Excuse me?"
"I asked, are you done sulking?" He asked again, looking very serious.
She actually stammered as she asked him... "What are you talking about my Lord?"
"Elena, you've been acting all cold and indifferent to me ever since i got here, like its my fault that we both are in this mess right now. Well I am also a victim here and i'm telling you that you need to stop this childish behavior of yours and start acting like an adult. Unless you're ready to be poor and penniless all your life, then you have no choice but to accept this situation like i've done! Grow up!"
He said all these while still looking cool and composed, like he was actually talking to a disobedient child. Elena's anger flared and she got up from her chair and marched so unladylike towards him. He didn't seem perturbed, just sat quite relaxed on his chair watching her come.
She bended close to his face, he could almost smell her perfume, her face contorted with anger and she said jabbing at his chest with her finger..
"We might both be doomed into this "situation" of ours, but don't you dare...ever talk to like that again. Don't you ever call me childish, ever! Good day my lord..!" She mocked and walked out of the room, banging the door in her wake.
"Tsk tsk tsk, not much of a lady is she?" He asked facing her sisters
They juat smiled nervously at him..
"So she's the fiery one huh?" He asked them again with a smile..
"Yes she is!" Annabelle replied with a wicked smile
"Hmmm, then this might just work..!" He said
"What do you my lord..!" Mirabell asked
"Well i might not love her, but at least i know i won't be bored out of my mind with her! I actually like her fire..."
He said with pleasure and a distant look in his eyes... the twins looked at each other and smiled a knowing smile..!"
Seems like Elena has finally met her match!!
To Be Continued..
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