Every Step Taken; Chapter Three
The morning was a dull one, but that would soon change. The stormy weather of the days previous had begun to pass. As time rolled on, the morning cleared, the clouds thinned, and natural light slowly lit the room. I sat up in bed, reading the letters that came the days before. The first was from my brother, the second was from a friend.
Before I could even open the letters, Lady Stewart mad a dramatic entrance into my room. With the sun light beaming through the window, casting a bright glow about the room, She bursts through the door, waving a letter in her hand, wildly exclaiming Get up, are you up? Look what I have!!! Rubbing my eyes, I replied coldly Its barely seven, what on earth are you doing up and fully dressed.How many blood times do I she cut me off, and began quiet, I have news she said, raising her hand dramatically Ive been invited to Versailles! It seems Im well missed and they are dying for my company I looked over and sarcastically exclaimed so you got dressed and will wait for the King to come and escort you himself to Court, in a golden carriage driven by swans? Its amazing to see how many expressions can flicker through a persons face in a moments time. She went from annoyed, to disgust to smirk, and waved it off to ignore the comment. She flounced herself around my room, settling into my chair at the desk, her pale green gown draping over the edges. I took a moment to study her, her hair perfectly curled, down to her collarbone, her gown, was fine silk, with lace trims, and she wore a small emerald necklace. Going to meet someone important? I asked. She turned to me, her bright eyes looking into mine Oh no! But I need to plan what to take, what gowns I must order, We must outshine the French you know, show them that the English are more fashionable and practical and whips out a little box, which she opens and exposes a small pouf. I arched an eyebrow, and got up out of the chair I was sitting in, and moved about the room, my dressing gown flowing behind me. I opened the letter from my friend and began to read:
My dear friend, you have been missed since your departure from Paris, I have decided to leave my seclusion of my country estate, as the king demands, and return to court. You know how the king likes his nobles to be at court.but among the other grandees, gossip, and scandal, I find myself alone. To pass the time, I will be engaging in more social gatherings, nothing too fancy, just dinners and salons, for my friends. My friends and I miss your company, and are interested in learning more about your court and its democratic waysalso if you can, allow me to borrow some of those books you secured. I have tried, but every time I get close to obtaining one, the government either finds it before I do, or takes it from the sellers hand. Its sad when books are not allowed to be read. I welcome and will put up lodging for you, Im aware the King is opening negotiations with Britain, and the Ambassador and his daughter will be present in future seasons. Be Well.
Duchesse de Montausier
I folded my letter and looked to Lady Stewart, who was lost in planning her wardrobe. I turned to look out the window; the sun was touching the lawn, the flowers alive, the sea calm and blue. I mutters I dont think I will be answering the Duchesses Call. Although I did not see, I can feel Lady Stewarts gaze on me, her comment as expected why not!, Its the Court of France, you know how rare that is?? To be invited? I cooly responded I havent the clothing for court, the learning of the etiquette, its a hassle. Before she could say more I remarked I will get dressed then, and head to town, you should go and turned to enter my room. All I could hear was rustle of silks, and the closing of my outer door.
I got dressed quickly, stuffing the envelope from my brother into my coat and headed to town. It was barely eight; the town was still in a stupor from the night before. I enjoyed this quiet setting, freely roaming from the port to the caf. I settled into a chair, overlooking the sea and ordered a coffee. I pulled out my brothers letter and began to read. It was short, crude and disgusting.
I have been talking to father lately, and we think its best, that you return to Britain. Your place belongs with us, with the family, and you should follow my steps, and learn to maintain our home and estates. You lack experience in the matters of home, in politics, and have no idea about finances. I think its best that you are referred to as Lord Rushcliffe, because you dont act, or seemed interested in being the heir to Father. I think you should explain to father than, you want to be free of the burden trusted on you, and you should be free, to do as you like.
My face turned a shade of red, a shade I rarely ever display. In a moment of furry, I ripped the letter into pieces and along with the cup of coffee, flung it out of the open window, hearing the cup shattering on the rocks outside. Who did he think he was? He was no one, exactly, NO ONE!, I screeched, furiously. A crowd had gathered outside, at the sounds, but I whisked passed them, heading to the one person who would understand this, Lady Stewart. I headed straight to her rooms, and pushed my way through the doors, she was sitting on a gilded couch of silver damask, looking up at me, completely startled. Richard, are you ok? she said cautiously. No, Hes pissing me off I said. Who? she saidand I paused, finally saying George. I explained the contents of the letter to her, and she remained motionless, for a moment before finally speaking He wasnt to seize your title, Baron Rushcliffeunder the pretense hes home, hes the elder, and he should be the heir. I nodded, falling into one of the armchairs What if he succeeds? No sooner had the comments left my lips when she responded Oh dont be so stupid, he cant take your title, even your father is not that stupid. I looked at her, lowering my eyes to the floor Hes crafty, he could get it, he is the elder, whose been proclaimed legitimate, and accepted in recent years by most of society. She put her hand over mind, and tried to be soothing, though it had an awkward effect. Lady Steward never really knew what to do in these situations, but she tried. His mother was an actress, and he was born when your father was a bachelorthe hes accepted by many, but has yet to be presented to the King and Queen of England, so hes not welcomed at Court. She was right, his birth and upbringing was scandalous, and illegitimate. Father didnt accept him as a son, until he was 10, two years after his mother had died, and two years after living with us as my fathers god son.Still it bothered me, and I sunk my face into my hands, muttering Im going to stay a while longer in Meloria.