A Kiss To Remember

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A Kiss To Remember

Post by Conleth on Mon Aug 07, 2017 2:25 pm

There was no talk at all for the remainder of the ride back. Her dogs remained still and stayed on her lap. They knew her father also and his foot had a tendency to have at them if they got on his nerves. Thomas rudely left the coach before the women and stormed into the house. They were helped out by the footmen and they nodded to her request for her parcels to be taken to her room.

Emily had to depart to the kitchens to help set up her afternoon meal. Helen helped her out of her coat and set her hat on the empty hat head in her closet. “What’s gotten into him Emma I do not know. Kicking that...man…” she nearly gasped when she said the word man. “Like that. He was so...beautiful,” she said and fanned herself with a white fan she carried. “Did you see the bulge in his pants? And his butt?” she asked without even a blush. “I’d like to see,” she began but Emma shushed her. “Oh, like you weren’t looking...I saw you,” she said smiling. “Not everything is about love and marriage. Sometimes, there is only pleasure mon ami,” she said and his her smile behind her fan.

For lunch her father joined her out on the patio. He asked for whatever she was having and wanted to speak to her about the party. He spoke as he looked at her feeding a dog ruefully. “The day after tomorrow,” he said. “Arrangements have been made, tomorrow we will decorate,” he told her. “This house hasn’t seen a ball in a long time Emma,” he said. "Before the dinner I will call you to my study so the Duke can propose. And, when he proposes your answer will be?" he asked and lifted a hand to his ear suggestively.

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Re: A Kiss To Remember

Post by Conleth on Mon Aug 07, 2017 2:26 pm

ooc_ new thread and I have alot planned for this one. if you want to add anything, just write it in.

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Re: A Kiss To Remember

Post by XslvrstarX on Mon Aug 07, 2017 3:21 pm

The entire ride home Emma could not stop thinking about that man with the blonde hair. She didn't even care that her father had slapped her. She knew that that man was beneath her socially and yet there was something about him that she just couldn't shake. That one glance between them had said so much and for some reason she began to wonder if she would ever see him again.

Once home, Emma began to change for lunch. Helen helped her and she listened as her friend spoke about the mysterious man. The things Helen said made Emma blush, but she could not deny that she had looked and noticed. She simply smiled and changed for lunch. She then walked down to the patio with her dogs and sat down to have a nice lunch. That is until her father arrived. She sighed softly, but said nothing as he joined her. She had her dogs situated on her lap and fed them bits from her plate as she ate. She silently listened as he told her about the plans for the ball. She honestly couldn't have cared less. She enjoyed a good party, but this was going to be a ball for her engagement to the Duke of Cumberland and therefore not a happy occasion for her! As her father went on to mention that the Duke was going to formally propose to her she felt sick to her stomach. She looked at her father, sitting there with his hand to his ear awaiting her answer and made him wait for a moment or two as she worked up the strength to say...

"Yes."

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Re: A Kiss To Remember

Post by Conleth on Mon Aug 07, 2017 4:14 pm

Thomas nodded then leaned back. “You act as if this is some sort of punishment. Can’t a father want his daughter to be cared for?” he asked. They never really talked much anymore. Not since Joaquin was killed.

“I liked Joaquin too Emma. I saw how happy you were with him...I wanted the match, I did but he’s gone now. Our home and estates are your birthright. If we lose them…” he couldn’t even say it. He’d no longer be a Duke in all reality. He had to get this marriage done and their holdings secured. “And I...I won’t be around forever to take care of you,” he added. So much death and yet he was alone in keeping it all running. He had taken a few bad short cuts and it cost them dearly. But he had tried.

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Re: A Kiss To Remember

Post by XslvrstarX on Mon Aug 07, 2017 5:29 pm

Emma looked at her father and slowly her anger faded as she listened to him. She knew that he had liked Joaquin and had approved of their engagement. This past year had not only been hard for her, but she knew it had been difficult for her father as well. He had lost his wife after all and she had never really considered it that way. She sighed softly and put down her tea cup. She then did something he may not have expected. She put her dogs down onto the ground before standing up and walking over to him. She then leaned down and hugged him.

"I know Father and I know that you care about me. I know that I do not say it as often as I should but I love you. We're all we've got and we need to take care of each other."

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Re: A Kiss To Remember

Post by Conleth on Mon Aug 07, 2017 5:37 pm

And then he did something she didn’t expect. He began to cry. “I’m so sorry Emma...for everything,” he said sadly. His bottom lip quivered as he got control of his emotions but he still had tears in his eyes. “You are my beloved,” he said and took her down to sit on his lap. He had called in every favor and used up every ounce of influence he had left for this union to happen. She would overstep him in every way when she wed The Duke. That was part of the arrangement too.

They shared a bitter sweet moment and managed to have a civil meal as they talked about her mother, her brother and Joaquin.

The next day the house was a flurry of activity. Helen came up unbidden with a tray and popped into her room with Emily in toe. They were both all smiles and eager to get her up. “Oh Emma, I can no believe it mon ami! There are flowers everywhere and decorations in gold and silver,” Helen said. “The ballroom...oh it's going to be so lovely...I can’t wait to dance!” Emily said and took a graceful spin around the room and laughed.

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Re: A Kiss To Remember

Post by XslvrstarX on Mon Aug 07, 2017 6:01 pm

The following morning Emma found that she rose early. She had accepted the fact that this wedding was going to take place and she was going to marry the Duke of Cumberland. She would make the best of the situation and even if she didn't love him she would become a Duchess and would be well off. She would be able to buy more dresses, hats, and shoes and perhaps she could teach the Duke some table manners.

Before she could even get out of bed Emily and Helen were in her room with her breakfast and both girls were all giggles and smiles and clearly very excited for the ball. Emma found herself growing more excited. She could not remember the last time a ball had happened at their estate and this one would be held in her honor. She grinned at Emily when she exclaimed that she could not wait to dance.

"With whom? Brandt?"

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Re: A Kiss To Remember

Post by Conleth on Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:06 pm

Emily must have turned different shades of red right then and almost tripped. Brandt was a young officer that came often to deliver messages to Thomas. Only 17 but his like for Emily had been apparent since the moment he saw her. He was good looking, with dark hair and eyes. Not too tall either. “She says he dances like a swan..I can no wait to see that,” Helen said dryly. Emily furled a brow at her and put her hands on her hips. “Whats wrong with dancing like a swan?” She said in defence of him. “Nothing if you like dainty birds, yes?” Helen said and Emily looked about to roll her sleeves up and begin to box her until Emma broke it up.

“You are just jealous Helen...Now that Marcus is gone I suppose you’ll have to find another stablehand to…” When Emma warned them again Emily stopped but it was Helen whose face was red now.

While Emma started to eat the girls began to get her dress and accessories out for her to wear.

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Re: A Kiss To Remember

Post by XslvrstarX on Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:15 pm

Emma couldn't help but smile at Emily as she began to blush hard. She winked at her as she took a sip of her tea. She was teasing of course, but it was clear that Emily and Brandt had a thing for each other. As she began to eat her breakfast she couldn't help but start to think about that handsome stranger again from yesterday. She told herself to stop it, but her mind kept drifting back to that short moment when their eyes met. It made her feel flush again and she had to force herself to think about something else.

After she was finished eating, she put the plate down so her dogs could lick up the scraps and then stood to let Emily and Helen help her to dress.

"I've decided that even though I don't love the Duke, that I will make the best of this situation. I will become a Duchess after all and he is very wealthy. I would never have to worry again."

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Re: A Kiss To Remember

Post by Conleth on Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:48 pm

Both Emily and Helen were surprised by her change in attitude but liked it nonetheless. They eagerly laid out dresses for her to decide on. Shoes, handbags, a hate, an umbrella, it was going to be a sunny day and an array of jewelry for her to wear. Emily had her try a few different hair styles until she had the one Emma wanted and in just over an hour she was dressed and ready for a new day. Emily decided on a pink dress while Helen wore yellow.

"We going to check out the decorating or did you want to be surprised?" Emily asked. Helen hadn't said anything about that but by her look she wanted to check out the decorations. Both women were looking at her now and though they seemed somewhat testy with one another just a moment ago, they seemed like sister now.

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Re: A Kiss To Remember

Post by XslvrstarX on Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:55 pm

Emma ultimately decided on the light blue dress with matching shoes and minimal jewelry. After Emily did her hair, she pinned on her hat and took a look at herself in the full length mirror she had sitting in one of the corners of her room. She smoothed out her dress and looked pleased.

"You two go," Emma replied when Emily asked about seeing the decorations. "I would rather be surprised. I feel like just taking a walk this morning. It's quite a beautiful day out."

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Re: A Kiss To Remember

Post by Conleth on Mon Aug 07, 2017 9:06 pm

And it was a nice day, wonderful in fact. The birds were chirping and the chipmunks were out looking for nuts to store for the winter. Bees were floating atop the large blue, white and velvet blooms and the entire garden just had a certain glow to it.

Her dogs panted in the sun, their tiny tongues going but she knew they'd be alright for a while yet. The swing her mother used to swing in was still there and her father had the wood replaced every year. She used to love to read there and feel the wind on her face as she swung. Several people always said she looked alot like her mother and seeing her picture in the locket she knew it was true. In many ways her life would have been so different if her mother were still alive. She'd have some advice for her for sure.

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Re: A Kiss To Remember

Post by XslvrstarX on Tue Aug 08, 2017 7:51 am

Emma enjoyed the peace being outside in the sunshine brought her. She felt the warmth of the sun on her face and smiled as she listened to the birds chirping. Her two little spaniels stayed by her side, though they did bark at a few squirrels.

Emma had just started walking without a specific place in mind, but when she spotted her mother's swing she knew she had walked there for a reason. She stood there looking at it for a long moment before she slowly walked over and sat down upon it. A few tears filled her eyes as she thought about her mother using this swing, but she smiled too. There were many fond, happy memories of this area. She missed her mother so much her heart ached. She desperately wished she was there so she could talk to her again and ask for her advice. However, because she was not she would have to grow up and make her own decisions. She could no longer be a child. She would have to finally become a woman and accept all of the responsibilities that went along with it.

For half an hour she sat there until she knew her dogs needed to go back in. She the began to walk back towards the house to have lunch and start getting ready for the ball. She paused in her walking and turned and looked back at the swing, not knowing when she would ever see it again.

"Goodbye Mother," she whispered before turning and walking away.

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Re: A Kiss To Remember

Post by Conleth on Tue Aug 08, 2017 8:18 am

For lunch she had gotten word that her father wanted to dine with her out on the patio again. It was a cold, cucumber cream soup and bread that they were served, her mother’s favorite on days like today, she might recall. Obviously her father saw her while out on her walk. It wasn’t Emma’s favorite, too much pepper and besides the bread there was little to feed her dogs. When she did feed them though her father looked as if he didn’t approve but he held his tongue about it. It was a wonderful day.

“Is there...anything I can do for you Emma? Anything at all?” Thomas asked. He wanted her to be happy through all of this. She appeared to be stepping up and his respect for her had increased a great deal recently. He spoke to her less like a daughter now it seemed. Just beyond them Helen and Emily played badminton. The small little white birdie being struck by Emily, with one hand on her dress to raise it up above her heels so it didn’t get stained on the grass. It floated in the air and then was struck by Helen in return. They giggled merrily as they played.

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Re: A Kiss To Remember

Post by XslvrstarX on Tue Aug 08, 2017 8:34 am

Emma did not care for the cucumber soup, but she ate it without protest. Although she knew her father did not approve, she continued to feed her dogs bits of bread as the sat on her lap. She didn't care if her future husband liked her dogs or not, they were going with her to her new home and that was that as far as she was concerned.

She and her father had been sitting in relative silence for a while when her father suddenly broke that silence and asked her if there was anything he could do for her. The question had not been something Emma had expected him to ask her and she took a moment to consider it.

"Well," she finally said as she leaned back in her chair, "I do not know anything about the Duke of Cumberland, besides the fact that he has terrible table manners. What do you know of him?"

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Re: A Kiss To Remember

Post by Conleth on Tue Aug 08, 2017 8:49 am

Thomas did indeed know a great deal of the Duke. For one he had several businesses in France and he conducted alot of trade with France. Mostly shipping in goods and exporting them back out again. France was on uneasy ground with England right then it was true but trade with them was considered ‘legal’ but only just. Spain was in worse shape when it came to such things he added.

The Rise in piracy as well has forced the King to grant English pirates the right to attack foreign ships and conduct acts of piracy against them. Since the war, England’s navy is seriously lacking and it is a boon to use pirates to aid England against her enemies be them declared or not. The Duke is a major detractor of this, he explained. He has mercenaries who hunt pirates and they’ve been fairly effective at protecting his investments but lately his ships have been attacked often.

He has a large family, a brother and 2 sisters, uncles and aunts and it went on and on. He described them as a pack of hyenas who only want power and influence. And dominance over one another. The Duke was above it all though he assured her. Though he needs a strong counterpart when he is away to rule in his stead. Someone who can keep the hyenas at bay.

“He will be relying on you for alot Emma. So don’t think that life will be easy,” he added.

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Re: A Kiss To Remember

Post by XslvrstarX on Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:42 am

After lunch, Emma went upstairs to take a nap. Downstairs, everyone was still getting the house ready for the ball that night. Food was being prepared and plenty of champagne was being chilled. Champagne glasses were placed into a short of tower on one table that was something to behold. Waiters had been hired to carry around trays of food for the guests and they began to arrive to get ready. Everything had to be perfect for that night. Her father would settle for nothing less.

When Emma rose from her nap she bathed and then allowed Helen and Emily to help her get dressed. Her gown was of a red and gold brocade design with sleeves that came down to her elbows. The skirt was full and flowed around her elegantly and the top had a scoop neck that showed the tops of her breasts. Her shoes were gold in color and her hair was elegantly piled atop her head with just a few tendrils hanging down. She wore a ruby pendant necklace that matched the color of the dress and her mother's diamond bracelet. She didn't look like a Duchess...but more like a princess.

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Re: A Kiss To Remember

Post by Conleth on Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:57 am

Helen was dressed in a pink dress, wide at the base with violet bows around the hem. It narrowed as it went up her body, she had a small waist, then expanded out again. Her breasts were as large as Emma’s but there was an abundance of pale flesh ballooned up, not demure at all but that was how Helen liked it. Her hair was curled in strands and set down which made her look even younger than she was. Emily’s dress was dark green, simpler than Helen’s and much more demure in style. Newer though and not as wide at the hem. There was gold embroidery on the hem, waistline and bodice but the neck was cut high and a bit of light green lace covered her cleavage which was not substantial do to her smaller breasts. Together they curtsied to Emma pleased at how she looked.

“Your father requests your presence in his study my lady,” they said almost in unison. Emily looked as she wanted to tear up while Helen only looked excited for her.

The study was decorated too, there were flowers in large, standing gold vases around the room. The book cases were covered with white sheets with silver embroidery and there were several people there, Her father, the Duke, Hamlun, the Duke’s brother, Patricia, his sister and young men and women who she assumed were their children whose names she didn’t know. The men were in the black, gray and red uniforms with medals and honors pinned to their breasts. The women wore dresses of different cuts, styles and colors. It was Patricia that approached her though initially and looked her over. Her eyebrows lifted in surprise at how well put together she was. Without a word though she turned and gave the others her nod of approval then stepped away and around to the side.

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Re: A Kiss To Remember

Post by XslvrstarX on Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:11 am

Emma nodded to Helen and Emily and took one last look in the mirror before heading downstairs to her father's study. She hesitated before entering and took a deep breath to steady her nerves. For a moment her mind went back to watching Joaquin go into her father's study to ask for her hand. She pushed back the tears and knew that she needed to be strong. She was going to be judged, particularly because of her young age and she didn't want to let her father down. This needed to be done for his sake...and hers.

Slowly, she entered the room and was quite surprised by the number of people gathered there. She concluded that they must be his family and she stood tall as his sister visibly looked her over. She showed strength and power and hid her nerves. Finally, the sister nodded in approval and stepped aside. Emma looked at the Duke and curtsied in greeting, knowing that would please her father greatly.

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Re: A Kiss To Remember

Post by Conleth on Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:58 am

The Duke looked altogether regal in his uniform, medals and honors sat as a gleaming cluster on his left breast. He wore a light blue ribbon around his neck that ended in yet another badge of office or honor larger than the others. His eyebrows rose when he saw her and he smiled appreciatively but not with the heat and fire that blue eyed man had looked at her.

“My lady Emma Billingsley, your poise and beauty have no equal. I have come to adore and love you from afar and as I stand before you now I find that I do not wish to be without you,” he said. As proposals went it wasn’t terrible but it sounded...rehearsed, not forced, exactly though his cheeks did bloom with color and she saw he was sweating. He knelt before her and took up her hand. He produced a ring with the largest diamond she had ever seen and held it up to her finger tip poised to draw it onto her finger..

“Emma Billingsley, would you honor me and my family by becoming my wife?” He said and looked up at her. His eyes did like what he saw, that much was obvious. But not what she expected from someone who professed to love her.

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Re: A Kiss To Remember

Post by XslvrstarX on Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:13 am

Emma righted herself and looked directly at the man who was to become her husband. He was well dressed in his uniform and was clearly a well decorated officer. She watched as he looked at her and then smiled, but she could not help but think of the man from yesterday again and the way he looked at her. The way the Duke looked at her was not the same.

She stood quietly as he began to propose. She could tell he was nervous, but his speech sounded somewhat rehearsed. She almost felt...bored and just wanted to get this over with. The diamond ring did, however, catch her attention again. It was large and sparkled with absolute clarity. She watched as he got ready to put it on her finger. She knew that the next thing she said was going to change her life forever.

"Yes, I will."

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Re: A Kiss To Remember

Post by Conleth on Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:32 am

The Duke smiled and kissed her hand as people clapped for them. In the distance music began to play and the voices of men and women resounded down the hall to them from the nearby ballroom. The Duke stood and he was all smiles as he took her hand. “May I, escort you to the ball my lady?” He asked When she nodded her ascent though she caught her father’s face. He looked...unhappy right then and the sense of loss was apparent in his eyes as he dabbed his tears away with a handkerchief.

Just as the double doors opened they were announced for all to hear, he raised her hand up with his and everyone stood and cheered for them. The ballroom looked like something out of a fairy tale. Gold and silver everywhere and flowers of every color in the large gold and silver vases. The ceiling had sheets of gold and silver looped down in between the chandeliers and it all look...wonderful. There was a full symphony there off to the side and they played grandly as they pushed forward into the massive space. Tables were in a line along the left wall and white suited men with silvered trays moved about with food or glasses of champagne. The Duke took one and the waiter waited for her to take one too. She saw Emily and Helen too practically hopping up and down to get a moment with her.

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Re: A Kiss To Remember

Post by XslvrstarX on Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:41 am

Emma forced a smile and tried to force any doubts she had about this arrangement out of her mind. However, she suddenly couldn't help but wonder why the Duke had chosen her? True, he said he had admired her from afar and she was young, but the Duke was extremely wealthy and could have any woman he wanted so why would he chose the daughter of a man who he was now having to support financially?

As she began to leave the study with her husband to be, she caught her father's eye. She couldn't help but notice the unhappiness in his face and she could see tears forming in his eyes. She realized then that with her leaving he would be all alone. That thought broke her heart, but there was nothing to be done. She had agreed to marry the Duke of Cumberland and she would honor her promise...even if she didn't fully understand why he wanted to marry her.

She stepped with the Duke out into the ballroom and everyone cheered at their arrival. She forced another smile and tried to look happy. She was taken aback by how wonderful the ballroom looked. It was stunningly decorated and she could not remember the last time it had looked quite so lavish. She accepted a glass of champagne and clinked her glass with the Duke's when he held his up towards her. She took a sip and smiled over at Emily and Helen.

"Will you excuse me for a moment? There are two who seem quite anxious to talk to me," she said with a little smile.

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Re: A Kiss To Remember

Post by Conleth on Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:58 am

Both Helen and Emily kissed her, one on each cheek though Helen also kissed her on the lips but she was French and it was her way of showing affection for her. They ogled her ring and told her how happy they were. They were like three sisters rejoicing over her good fortune right then. “He is so handsome in that uniform,” Helen said. “I can hardly believe it, you, a Duchess...Oh Emma, you deserve it all,” Emily said. “You’ll be able to travel!” Helen said. “And have as many babies as you want!” Emily said. She wanted children, lots of them but wasn’t certain if she would marry anyone who would allow as many as she wanted. Helen just rolled her eyes. “Your life...every day an adventure,” Helen said and Emily agreed. And then they both looked at her.

“We’ll miss you Emma,” they said together. Their eyes looked sad but it was hard to feel sad when they were so happy for her. Emma may not have considered that she hadn’t made any arrangements for them. It had slipped her mind completely. If she wanted them to continue with her she’d have to say something and soon she knew. And they were so gracious, not asking her at all about it themselves.

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Re: A Kiss To Remember

Post by XslvrstarX on Tue Aug 08, 2017 1:44 pm

Emma wished she could be as happy as they were for her. She smiled and let her admire her ring. Emma wasn't happy, but as long as the Duke wanted to marry her she would and she would make the best of the situation. Everything had happened so quickly that Emma had forgotten to request that Emily and Helen come with her. Of course she wanted them to remain her servants. It would be less lonely with them there.

"I will tell the Duke that I would like you both to come with me. I would prefer to have at least two people I know with me to make things less lonely. That is of course if you both would like to come with me."

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