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Old 10-06-2017, 04:13 PM   #26
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She didn’t react at all to his offer or his words. Instead she turned saying something about going back to the house and leaving him shocked in the field. Again she didn’t wait for him simply leaving the basket with him and taking off as soon as she mounted the horse. His eyes tracked her as she disappeared into the forest and the tensions in his shoulders slowly released as he found himself alone.

He idly thought that maybe he should just let the girl have her freedom. Sure he hated losing but it was becoming more and more clear she didn’t wish to be married. Dealing with her anger and her sharp wit was fun but that wasn’t all it was about. She was sad at the prospect of getting married! To the point where she ran away from it! What sort of life would that make for him? A bride who always wanted to run away! He would have to be worried about her at every turn. Their relationship wouldn’t be one born of any love or desire. She would probably grow to hate him when it was all said and done and would surely see him as the enemy
.
He picked up the basket and moved to the horse. If he let her go he would lose his change of improving his family fortune. He would be back to trying to find a suitable lady and his plans and dreams for his sister would be shot. She was his only chance to make it into the big leagues.

“I’m sorry” He said climbing onto the borrowed horse and pinching his nose “I can’t let you go my dear. Either way this will have to work”

And with that he took off after her to the estate.
………………………………………………………………………

“She is fine” He said watching the girl’s father shoot him a worrisome look.
“I will be continuing to court her” He said folding his arms and ignoring the incredulous look her father sent his way “Please arrange for the wedding to move forward. I would like her to come to my home tomorrow so she can tour the grounds… tell her that if she refuses to come I will come over here and drag her myself!”

He left the father and daughter with that. He went back to his own home just up the road and spent the rest of the night having his small contingent of servants prepare for her arrival. He had no doubt he would have to go get her but for now he pushed that thought away and focused on getting his home ready.
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Old 10-06-2017, 06:13 PM   #27
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After a while it grew quiet downstairs and she felt certain that Clearwater had finally given up on her and left. She breathed a sigh of relief, though somewhere deep inside her was a twinge of disappointment. She shook her head and banished that thought from her head. Tomorrow was the day that she always headed to some of the nearby farms. There were several of the tenants there where they needed some help and she felt it her duty to be of assistance to the less fortunate.

Smiling, she left her bedroom and headed down the stairs to go talk to the cook. At the foot of the stairs was the picnic hamper. She gave a little chuckle as she picked it up to take it into the kitchen.

"Clarissa!" Father's voice called out from his study and he didn't sound happy. Oh well. She stepped into the room, finding her father sitting behind his desk.

"Yes, Father?" She tried looking innocent.

"It didn't work, daughter. Lord Rodan Clearwater is pushing ahead with the wedding. In a fortnight you will become Lady Clearwater, whether you like it or not."

She felt the blood drain from her face as her smile died.

"For too long you have been allowed to have your head, and do what you wished. I have probably spoiled you. I should have given you a spanking years ago. Well, it looks like you now have someone that is not afraid of you. He is expecting you tomorrow to tour his estates. And he says that if you are not there, then he will come and get you."

Her jaw clenched and he recognized her stubborn streak rearing its head.

"Then Lord Clearwater will just have to be disappointed because tomorrow is my day to visit the sick and needy."

She turned on her heels and headed for the kitchen. Suddenly, she didn't know what to think.

*****

The next morning was a beautiful day. She wore not her usual riding outfit but instead a simple dress, not fancy yet still flattering on her. It was dark blue with white accents and for once, her hair was not haphazardly bunched in a roll, but was neatly arranged simply. As she came down the stairs, her Father stood near the door, a frown on his face.

"Clarissa, you know that..."

"Father, I shall be making the rounds. IF that man should come here, tell him that I am busy." She kissed him and headed outside. The trap was ready and waiting, filled with food, medicine and other necessities that had been requested. It was not Thunder pulling the trap but another horse.

She gave him the nudge and off they headed down the drive. She actually was pleased that she had a reasonable reason to not "obey" that man.

Her first stop was with Widow Peek. The woman had lost her husband several months ago and had afterwards become quite sick with pneumonia. But now the woman showed a definite improvement and was smiling when Clarissa arrived with Chicken soup among other things. She told the Widow that one of the men from the manor would be by to chop her some more wood.

After that, she was back in the trap and on to the next family on her list.

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Old 10-08-2017, 06:38 PM   #28
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“That girl!”

He slammed his hand on the table causing it to shake ever so slightly. He caught his sister Eloise out of the corner of his eyes trying to stifle a giggle. He growled at her in response sending the ten year old scattering with an EEEP into the hallway.

“That woman is going to be the death of me” The young lord said slamming his forehead down onto the desk and causing it to shake.

“Perhaps she is running late my lord” His man servant Isaac said glancing up at the clock.

“Two hours late?” Roderick said snorting “You haven’t even met her yet and your already taking her side!”

“Well she is going to be the future lady of the manor” Isaac shot back snorting and sweeping his ice white hair back “I have to get on her good side instead of yours now”

“Traitor” Roderick grumbled shaking his head at his friends antics as he rose out of his chair “I am going to go get her!”

“Are you sure that’s wise” Isaac asked watching as Roderick moved to pull on his riding coat and boots.

“When it comes to her nothing is” He said snorting and pulling on his hat “I’ll be back!”

And with that the Lord of the manor slammed the door shut.
……………………

He went to her home first reaching it just as the stable hands were leaving. He found out from there where she was and got the directions after bribing one of the younger men with a few coins. Once he found out where she was going he took off moving to intercept her.

He found her between houses and brought his stallion to a stop. His eyes watched her for several seconds guarded before he finally climbed off.

“How many houses do we have left?” He asked her not saying anything more on the matter. He took the reins of his horse moving over to the cart and clambering up next to her.
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Old 10-09-2017, 01:58 AM   #29
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She went mentally through her checklist repeating to herself to send one of the boys to Widow Peek. The Holmes' boys were doing good and would certainly benefit if she could convince their father to let the young lads attend school.

Suddenly Lord Clearwater was there, stopping short of the carriage. His features were thunderous as he dismounted and she thoroughly expected him to rant and rave, shout or something to show his irritation at her. Surprise must have shown on her face as he climbed beside her in the carriage, asking, How many houses do we have left?

"Two."

They rode in silence for a bit. It shocked her that he would actually seem to be willing to help her. Or was it all an act? For now, she would ignore him, though it was hard with him sitting shoulder to shoulder with her in the carriage.

The cottage that she pulled up to had seen better days. The door hung a bit askew and should have been fixed. Playing outside in the dirt was five year old Sally Ledbetter. The little girl's dress was dirty and torn and her bare feet were filthy.

"Lady Fernwood! Lady Fernwood! Did you come to see me?"

"Yes I did Sally. And I have something for you."

She stopped the carriage and climbed down, ignoring Lord Clearwater, though Sally seemed quite fascinated with the man and stood there staring at him. Clarissa called from the back of the carriage.

"Sally, sweetie, I have some new shoes for you. But you must take care of them, and wash your feet before wearing them. And I also got you a pretty new dress." She smiled at the little girl and stroked her hair. "Where is your daddy?"

Sally grew quiet. "He drank some stinky water and fell asleep." Clarissa gritted her teeth and knelt down so that she was eye level with the little girl, tweaking Sally's nose.

"Why don't you play out here." She reached inside a pocket hidden in her skirt and pulled out a piece of wrapped candy. "And cause you are such a good girl, here is a piece of candy for you. I need to talk to your daddy, okay?" The little girl nodded as she unwrapped the candy. Clarissa pet the child's cheek. Standing up, she reached into the back of the carriage and picked up the loaf of bread and the hunk of cooked ham before heading into the cottage.

The inside was filthy. In the bedroom, Saul Ledbetter was passed out on the bed. A thin rail of a man, he was sprawled out on top of the bedding, snoring loudly. Besides the bed, a half full jug of some kind of alcohol sat.

Clarissa picked up the jug and sniffed it before jerking her head away from the stench. "And not even the good stuff." She mumbled. She walked to the open window and upended the jug, watching the contents water the ground below. Setting the jug on the dresser, she walked over and rapped Saul's chest with her riding crop. Saul came to around the third rap.

"Saul Ledbetter! How dare you get drunk. You have a child to take care of." The man mumbled something and rolled over, trying to ignore her. She raised her arm and smacked his ass hard, watching as the man bellowed as he jumped up grabbing his buttocks.

"You have a daughter that loves you and depends upon you to take care of her. This place stinks! It's a pigsty! You have things that need mending. What are you looking for, Saul? Your drink? It's gone! I poured it out!" The man turned and raised his hand as if to hit her. "You hit me, Saul Ledbetter, and it will be the last thing that you ever do, I can promise you."

She backed the man into a corner, pointing the whip at his face. "I am making you my special project. Understand? You have two days - TWO DAYS - to get this place cleaned up. When I come back, I want to see improvements. Some repairs done. And Sally will be taken care of or she will be taken away and you will be evicted from the property. I have tried to give you every opportunity to pull yourself together. This is your last chance. Now, get dressed and feed Sally. I have left some ham and bread." She swatted at his legs and didn't wait to watch the man jumping around the bedroom.

Outside, she picked up Sally and looked seriously at the little girl. "Sally, I shall be back in two days. If you need help, can you run to Widow Peek's house?" The little girl nodded. "Remember. Two days." Sally gave her a kiss on her cheek, leaving a trail of chocolate and dirt on Clarissa's cheek. Not knowing she was marked, she climbed back in the trap, waiting for Clearwater to climb in beside her.

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Old 10-10-2017, 09:09 PM   #30
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He didn’t say anything instead simply joining her and having his horse walk beside them. While they moved down the country side he leaned back taking in the view all around him as well as his company. He wasn’t shocked to find out what she was doing. It was such a her thing to do to potentially piss him off in favor of helping out families in need. He couldn’t even find it in him to be angry about it not when the cause was so noble. She was taking care of the people on her family land just like he did on his own property.

He didn’t say anything when they pulled up to the cottage. He noted the girl playing outside and then assessed the run-down cottage. The roof looked like swiss cheese and the door was practically clinging to the frame work. He smiled at the girl as she starred waving at her as she watched him. She reminded him of his sister and he felt a tightening in his gut when she mentioned “stinky water” the revelation that her father was a drunk made a coil of rage tighten in his belly. He moved off of the carriage landing on the hard-packed dirt just as Lady Clarissa disappeared inside.

He decided to trust her for now and instead moved to the carriage. He opened the back and after a quick look inside spotted a set of tools. He paused long enough to pull off his jacket before picking out the tools he needed. He wrapped them in a bundle of leather and walked over to the door and its frame. He put the tools on the wooden deck unrolling the leather and running his big hands over the door.
“What are you doing?”

He heard the girl behind him and cleared his throat before answering.

“Going to repair your door” He said grasping the door itself with his big hands and pulling it off with a quick yank. The door came off easily sagging against his large frame and forcing him to plant his feet on the deck. Once it was off he moved to the right laying it against the house before moving to work on the hinges.
“Why?” The girl asked as he began to fix the hinges.

“Because you’re not safe little one” He explained moving from the first hinge to the second “more needs to be done but until I come back with more supplies this is all I can do”

“I don’t understand” The girl said in confusion “Are you a friend of the lady?”

“I’m her fiancé” He said his voice prideful “I’m here to help her”

“Oh” She said growing quiet. He chuckled and finished the door testing it several times and giving it a few firm yanks. It was only a temporary fix but would hold until he could come out the next day with supplies. There was plenty of supplies back at his manor that would take care of the home.

“There we go” He said turning to her and smiling. She shied away from him in response and he shrugged. He gave her a friendly smile and turned putting the tools back into the leather roll and bringing them back. While his back was turned the door opened and he felt the tension in his shoulders dissipating when he heard her voice. With a start he realized he had been worried about her and was relieved she was back.

He moved back to the front of the cart climbing up and settling in. He turned back to the girl named Sally smiling and waving at her as they started moving again.
“I’m going to come back and fix the house tomorrow” He told her reaching back and grabbing his jacket “I have the supplies to do so on my property. I can check on her and her father then”
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Old 10-11-2017, 02:25 AM   #31
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She had been so angry at Ledbetter that she had not noticed the temporary repair to the cottage door. Just as she was unaware of the chocolate smear that Sally's kiss had left on her cheek, she drove the trap to the next stop.

I’m going to come back and fix the house tomorrow. I have the supplies to do so on my property. I can check on her and her father then.

For a moment, she was touched that he was willing to help those less fortunate that himself. As she mulled it over in her mind, she warned him.

"Saul Ledbetter is a drunk. For years his wife did the work while he lay in his cups. Poor thing was killed in an accident - run away carriage. I have been trying to be understanding. For months I have prodded and cajoled but all the man does is drink and pass out. And little Sally takes the brunt of it. That poor little girl deserves better."

She paused. "I've talked to Widow Peek. She was my first stop today. She has said that if need be, Sally can come live with her. She is a good woman. Getting over pneumonia. I need to send a boy back to chop wood for her. But the woman is good and will give Sally love and care."

They rode a bit in silence. "Thank you. You didn't have to offer to help. But I appreciate it." It was hard for her to say those words. She wanted to hate him, to despise him for forcing an issue that she did not want to face.

"These people are my responsibility. They live on my land." The trap pulled up in front of a small farmstead. She could see the husband and wife, Tom and Wren Woolsey. They were busy clearing the field of weeds and she stopped the trap and climbed down. Tom Woolsey left his wife working in the field while he walked over to her. He eyed Roden as she talked.

"How are things now, Mister Woolsey?"

"Much better, Lady Fernwood. The manure that you supplied us with has helped immensely." He very pointedly stared at Roden and Clarissa felt obliged to introduce the man by her side.

"Lord Clearwater, this is Mister Tom Woolsey. Mister Woolsey, this is Lord Clearwater."

Tom nodded in deference to Clearwater. "Good day, sire. Are you visiting our area?"

She stiffened somewhat at the man's question and her freckled face colored slightly. "No, Lord Clearwater lives not too distant from here." She hoped that that would appease both men.

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Old 10-16-2017, 11:16 AM   #32
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They rode in comfortable silence for a few minutes as they moved onto the next house. Rodan settled against the wooden bench glancing at her with a newfound mixture of respect and interest. He should have known in his dealings with her that she would be the type to care about her people. It was however such a rare thing to find in a noble person that he hadn’t prepared for it! Most nobles were more the type to keep distance from their charges. To let them toil and till the land for them without nothing more than a thank you and the polite Christmas party.


She wasn’t like that and that fact pleased him greatly. The men and woman who lived on his own smaller land would be pleased to see him coming around with a lady. A few minutes later he blushed realizing that despite her attempts to dissuade him he was imagining the two of them together as a married couple. He coughed scratching at his neck as he answered her.

“It was my pleasure” He told her meaning it “Tis nothing. A little girl like that shouldn’t be in a broken house and it is as simple as that. If things become more of an issue and Widow Peak doesn’t work I have an option”

Before he could say anything more on the matter they finally reached their next stop. Rodan nodded at the man who starred him down and let the lady of the land make the introductions. Once she said who he was he slid off dropping down onto the hard-packed dirt and coming over to offer a hand.

“I live in the next borough over” Rodan explained shaking the man’s hand “I am a friend of Lady Clearwater”

He debated saying out right they were engaged but ultimately decided against it. He didn’t want to cause her any undue embarrassment! Not when she still had that strangely adorable chocolate dirt kiss on her pale cheek. He supposed he should say something to her….

But he really didn’t want to.

“A fine land you have here sir” He said releasing the elders man and sweeping his hand across the field.

“If I could steal you from Lady Clearwater I might be tempted to!” He said clapping the man on the back “I don’t think anyone on my land is getting their corn to grow that high! You have to tell me your secrets!”

The farmer gushed stammering a bit before getting into the care and maintenance of the crops. Rodan listened intently as he spoke waving Clearwater off as he toured the lush farm plot and discussed the cons and pros of certain farming methods.
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Old 10-17-2017, 02:40 AM   #33
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And it was as simple as that. A compliment to her tenant and suddenly the man was talking to Rodan as if they had known each other for years rather than minutes. Her thoughts turned to his offer to return on the morrow and repair the Ledbetter place. And an offer for a solution for Sally if Widow Peek didn't work. She unconsciously smiled at the thought of Sally. She was very fond of the little girl, always looking positively at the world.

She was thankful to him for not explaining to Tom Woolsey that he was her fiancé. She still refused to admit it to herself. There had to be a way to stop it. To make him lose interest in her. This was a man that could have some pretty little empty-headed thing that would simper and primp and look pretty on his arm. Instead, she would be the kind of wife that would always be messy and frumpy, with dirt stained clothes and hair that would refuse to stay coiled and hands that would have scratches and calluses on them. The kind of wife with a temper, who spoke her mind.

She walked along on her own, not wishing to disturb the Woolsey's much longer. But she eventually headed over to where Wren Woolsey was busy fighting against the ever present weeds.

"You look tired."

"Oh, I am sorry, my Lady!' Wren stopped and curtsied.

"Please, you don't need to curtsy to me. I'm not royality. But I worry that you and your husband may not be eating enough for all the hard work you do. Come with me."

Wiping her hands on her apron, the woman hurried to follow her. Clarissa headed towards the back of her trap.

"You cannot be as productive as you need to be if you are not eating well. As long as you continue as you have been, I will help. I still expect you to work, but I try not to be an ogre. I am very pleased that you saw a problem and sought to solve it. You will soon be harvesting and if you will plant turnips next, this will benefit your soil plus give you a crop during a time when the land would be fallow."

She threw back a tarp to reveal a small wedge of cheese and a side of bacon.

"These are just a small thank you for the work that you and you husband are doing. And do not expect this on a regular basis. I am very pleased with your work. Please continue."

Wren thanked her profusely, which embarrassed Clarissa.

"You're welcome. Just continue your hard work. It is much appreciated."

The woman gathered the food in her apron and rushed to put them up in the cottage.

Climbing back into the trap, she longed to just leave Clearwater listening to Tom talking. It would frustrate him. And Tom and Wren were her last stop for today. When she got back home, she would send a boy back to Widow Peek.

Still, it would be nice to irritate Clearwater. But she was aware of how this would make her look to her tenants. And though she may not care what her own social equals may think, she cared what these people thought of her. She wished to be held in high esteem with Tom and Wren.

So, at least for the moment, she sat and quietly waited for Clearwater to return to the trap. And pondered.

Just why was she so against getting married. It was not like she was afraid of a wedding night. She had fallen of a horse before. Skinned her knees. Dislocated a shoulder. A little bit of pain losing her virginity had to be less painful than any of those.

But it was losing her freedom. And yet, Roden had promised her that she could continue as she had always. But could he be trusted.
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Old 10-19-2017, 12:48 PM   #34
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“It was a pleasure to meet you my lord!”

Rodan laughed and turned waving at the man once more before going back to the wooden cart. He caught Clarissa staring at him with an unreadable expression on her face and simply smiled back. He was in a good mood after talking to the farm hand and wasn’t prepared to let her ruin it by being sour. If she did start in on him he hoped mentioning her dirt chocolate blemish would be enough to quiet her!

He grabbed the cart and used his powerful arms to lift himself in. He turned waving at the man once more and calling out a thank you as the cart began to move. He continued to wave until they rounded the bend and the farm faded out of sight.

“You have some amazing people on your homestead my lady” He said turning to her and smiling “I look forward to taking you on a tour of my grounds and seeing what you think of my own land”

He settled back and pulled a golden pocket watch out of his lapel. He checked the time frowning as he realized it was close to evening time and rearranging his plans for the day.

“It’s too late for you to come over for that” He remarked as they neared her estate “So we will have to rearrange the plans for tomorrow. Would you like that or will you be busy again? If so when is a day you are free so we can arrange to spend some time together?”
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Old 10-19-2017, 03:04 PM   #35
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His parting from the Woolseys was more like that of old friends than of having just met. Just who was this man? Was his countenance just as at ease with his own tenants, or was this his way of attempting to irritate her even more? She was not sure.

Nevertheless, his mood seemed almost jovial as she headed the horse back home.

You have some amazing people on your homestead my lady. I look forward to taking you on a tour of my grounds and seeing what you think of my own land

She did not know what to say. If she had been the standard young woman, she supposed that by now she would have been in tears. Instead, her lips thinned as she fought not to say what was on her mind. So, she merely gave a curt nod and pretended to be most interested in the handling of the horse. Her father would have known that it was a tactic of hers when she wished to ignore her companion.

Noting his gold watch, she gave a slight smile. She knew it too late in the day to do as he had 'commanded' and visit his home. He would soon learn that she did not do well with commands. After all, this 'command' of her Father's had not been going well. If she was going to be forced to marry him, then he might as well learn just what he was getting married to.

It’s too late for you to come over for that. So we will have to rearrange the plans for tomorrow. Would you like that or will you be busy again? If so when is a day you are free so we can arrange to spend some time together?

She refused to look at him, though her voice was in honey tones, there was a bit of sting still in her words.

"But my Lord, tomorrow morning is when my Father has ordered the seamstress to come out to see what sort of wedding dress can be made in the short period of time that I have. That is, unless you wish me married as I am dressed now. Or we could always cancel the entire wedding. That would solve a whole host of problems."

She glanced at him and attempted to give a coquettish smile, though it fell short and only managed to look like a cat waiting for a mouse.

"You had also promised Sally Ledbetter that you would return tomorrow to do repairs. Unless that was just talk. And the day after tomorrow I had promised Sally that I would return to check on her. I also told her father that if I returned and the house was not clean and he was still drunk, that I would evict him and find a home for Sally. I might could squeeze you in some afternoon."

As they arrived at the house, the boy greeted them and held the horse's head as she climbed down. Handing the reins to the boy, she informed him, "Pete, tell Willie to return to Widow Peek's cottage right now and chop her some firewood."

The boy nodded and gave her a "yes, my Lady" before climbing up in the seat she had recently vacated and riding off towards the stables.

She turned to Clearwater. As usual, she was not the picture of frail gentility. Her freckled face still sported Sally's chocolate dirt kiss on one of her flushed cheeks. Her blonde hair, fine and golden, had managed to have several tendrils work themselves loose and fell down to frame her face. The hem of her dress was dirty and a fine spray of mud decorated a portion of the skirt and her shoes were dirty and muddy.

Yet, she did not hesitate to face Clearwater, tilting her head back to look him squarely in the eyes. She wanted to show no fear, though at that moment, being so close to him, she felt her heart beat faster. He was overwhelming, this man that wanted her. She really had never been this close to him and it unnerved her. This was different from when they had sat side by side in the trap. Her mouth suddenly felt dry and she gave a gentle clearing of her throat before she spoke.

"So, you tell me, Lord Clearwater."
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Old 11-01-2017, 04:41 PM   #36
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He chuckled at her attempts to further get out of time with him. She truly was a master at using words to undercut someone! Luckily he was in a good enough mood not to let it get to him and was even starting to find it strangely cute.

"Yes yes yes I did promise those things" He said snorting and shaking his head "So how about this. I told your man that I would bring men over with supplies for repairs. I will do that and organize a contingent of my workers to enact the repairs. You and I will tour my estate in the morning have lunch together and then we will go check on the repairs and see how its going"

He leaned in kissing her free cheek and bringing up a hankey from his pocket. He reached out cupping the dirt stained cheek with the cloth and rubbing it off. He then brought it back letting her see it as he turned back to his waiting horse.

He clambered aboard and turned to her.

"I will see you tomorrow" He said fixing her with an intense gaze "I shall come to get you in the morning and we can go together"

He smiled at her and turned nudging his horse forward. He took off across the trail and eventually rounded a foresty bend and dissapeared.
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Old 11-01-2017, 10:27 PM   #37
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Yes yes yes I did promise those things. So how about this. I told your man that I would bring men over with supplies for repairs. I will do that and organize a contingent of my workers to enact the repairs. You and I will tour my estate in the morning have lunch together and then we will go check on the repairs and see how its going

Before she could protest, Jake kissed her cheek and her skin tingled at the touch of his lips against her face. She blinked, blushing much to her chagrin, the freckles doing very little to hide her red face. He then wiped the other cheek with his handkerchief showing her the remnants of Sally Ledbetter's kiss. He knew it was there this entire time, had seen it and had left it while she met with her people.

I will see you tomorrow. I shall come to get you in the morning and we can go together

Before she could protest, he was on his horse and gone, his smile echoing in her mind. She was furious! As if his word were law! He would rue the day that he had set his sights on her.

She stood there looking off in the direction he had left. There had to be a reason that he wanted to marry her. She was well aware that she was not a ravishing beauty. Though her eyes were a pretty clear blue, her skin was not that peaches and cream that was desired by English society. Every part of her was covered with freckles. So, what was it that was drawing Clearwater to her. Only one thing could it be. Her inheritance.

She stormed into the house, heading straight for the study where she was sure that she would find her father. In the fading daylight, her father had turned on the desk lamp, pouring over the accounts.

"You do know what Clearwater is doing!"

"And good evening to you, Clarissa. What are you complaining about now." He father looked up from the books.

"You know why Clearwater wants to marry me? He wants our estate, our money."

"Clarissa, you don't think that he could be in love with you? Alright. If you never get married and have children, then who is this estate for?"

"Funny Father, I thought that it was for me." She turned to leave and stopped at the door. Her voice was brittle. "By the way, you may wish to contact the seamstress and tell her that tomorrow morning is not convenient for Lord Clearwater. It will have to be late tomorrow afternoon." Her father flinched and Clarissa felt a small degree of pleasure.

She was not hungry and her father spent the evening meal alone. Instead, Clarissa considered her options and possible plans to thwart Roden's plans.

Last edited by Opensesame54321 : 11-04-2017 at 04:29 PM.
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Old 11-05-2017, 03:04 PM   #38
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THE NEXT MORNING

"Is everything prepared?"

Rodan moved towards the double doors leading out of his estate and turned to his butler Isaac.

"Just like yesterday my lord" Isaac said chuckling and rolling his eyes "Are you sure today is the day she will grace us with her presence?"

"Even if I have to drag her here" Rodan said grabbing his coat and shrugging it on over his simple burgundy colored vest and white shirt.

"That will be a sight to see" Isaac said laughing "Are you sure you want to deal with such a stubborn woman? Sounds like your marrying yourself mate"

"Har har" Rodan growled shaking his head "Just make sure Eloise is ready as well!"

And with that he flung open the door and made his way to his fiance manor.

....................

"Good morning" Rodan said nodding at the family butler as he moved into Fernwood estate.

"Is lady Clarissa ready?" He asked his tone patient even though he was fully prepared for said patience to be tested. He waited for the answer glancing behind the servant and at the staircase as he waited and watched.
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Old 11-05-2017, 08:46 PM   #39
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Good morning. Is lady Clarissa ready?

The family butler, Wilson, looked at Lord Clearwater, confused and a bit worried. Her Ladyship had always been rather headstrong, and as this man appeared to be someone used to getting his way, he had a feeling that there would soon be a blow up between the two.

"Uh, pardon me, Lord Clearwater. But Lady Fernwood is not here." The thunderous look that he gave him frightened him. "But-but she left only minutes ago, your Lordship. Perhaps she is still in the stables?"

Wilson watched the man storm back out the door. The noise must have been heard by Lord Fernwood as the man called from the top of the stairs.

"Who is it, Wilson?"

*****

Clarissa was in a hurry. She wasn't for certain as to just when Roden would arrive but it could be any time. She hoped to be gone before he arrived. Pete was being a bit slow saddling Thunder and she suspected it was because she was there watching him.

"Pete, let me finish. You get his bridle."

In about 5 minutes, Thunder was ready and she was in the saddle and ready to go. She wore her old riding outfit with her hair bunched in a quick roll at the nape of her neck. Already a few tendrils of hair were escaping, giving Clarissa a wild, impish look.

"Thank you Pete!" She called out as she nudged her horse towards the corner of the house. As she rounded the corner to head towards the drive, there barring the way was Clearwater himself. She quickly halted Thunder, the look on Rodan's face told her he was not happy.

"Why, good morning, Lord Clearwater. Did you wish something?" She feigned ignorance and smiled sweetly at him. She knew that she should have gotten up early.
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Old 11-06-2017, 02:24 PM   #40
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He starred at her his mouth agape as he ran through the usual emotions when it came to dealing with his bride to be. his patience which was never known to be great to begin with was practically stretched thin at this point as he starred her down.

"Do I wish something?" He echoed back the vien in his forehead twitching as he starred her down "DO I WISH SOMETHING"

The stable hand and workers to the left began to back away as the Lord screamed out at her. Rodan stomped over to her grabbing her off of her horse and easily lifting her up. He sat her down on the ground and leaned in their lips practically touching as he growled at her.

"I WISH" He said his tone loud "That you would stop being such a stubborn mule of a woman and be polite enough to accept my invitation! I wish you would stop going out of you way to slight me and see that I am trying to make this work! And more importantly I WISH you would cut me a freakin break!"

He leaned in kissing her full on the mouth for several seconds before stepping back and grabbing her hand.

"We're going to my manor now!" He snapped angrily marching her into the manor "and your going to change into something more becoming of a future lady of my estate. My people have spent the last two days preparing the house for you to see and I will NOT have you disrespect them again!"
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Old 11-06-2017, 08:28 PM   #41
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She watched as Clearwater began to get angry and raise his voice to her. The smile on her face grew wider, and she expected any minute for Clearwater to call off the wedding.

Her first surprise was that he lifted her off the horse and set her on the ground. Most men would not have had the height to begin to try, for Thunder was a large horse. But Clearwater was a tall man. Second, if they had the height, they would not have had the strength. But this man was muscular, and apparently strong enough to to lift her up and set her on the ground as if she were an errant child.

With his face mere inches from hers, she found him suddenly an imposing figure. Strange how until this moment she had not really noticed this.

I WISH. That you would stop being such a stubborn mule of a woman and be polite enough to accept my invitation! I wish you would stop going out of you way to slight me and see that I am trying to make this work! And more importantly I WISH you would cut me a freakin break!

Suddenly, he was kissing her, his lips hard on hers. She wasn't expecting that and it totally caught her off guard. Her heart was pounding in her ears. And then the kiss was over and she was left standing before him, stunned. Before she could react, he grabbed her by the hand and dragged her back into the manor. He didn't have to even open the door as her father was apparently waiting and opened it for them.

We're going to my manor now! and your going to change into something more becoming of a future lady of my estate. My people have spent the last two days preparing the house for you to see and I will NOT have you disrespect them again!

As soon as Rodan finished speaking, her father answered his unasked question and told him where her bedroom was.

"Up the stairs and second door on the left."

"Father!" Her father merely shrugged and grinned as Roden dragged her up the stairs, his legs taking two steps at a time. Clarissa ran to keep up with the man, his hand still clutching hers tightly. Still grinning, Lord Fernwood slipped out and told Pete to prepare the trap and then put Thunder back on his stall. He was beginning to think that Clarissa had finally met her match.

Roden headed straight for her bedroom door, opening it and sending her into her bedroom. The door slammed and she was in her bedroom alone. And out of breath. Which she didn't think was totally from the running. She waited a minute and slowly opened the door out to the hall. There stood her fiancé, waiting there as he leaned against the door jam. She quickly closed the door leaned back against it.

Twenty minutes later, she was dressed in one of her better outfits, a simple green dress. She tried to fix her hair but all she could manage was a simple roll. She had never been one for fancy hairstyles and she had thought it frivolous to have a "ladies maid" when her usual outfit was for riding.

Her face still flushed from the kiss he gave her, she took a deep breath and tried to slow her heart to a normal rate. She opened the door to find Clearwater still standing outside her bedroom door.

"Does this meet with your approval?"
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Old 11-15-2017, 02:19 PM   #42
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“It looks much better” He told her as she came out in a nice green dress that accented body her body and her face. He boldly moved forward planting her with another deep kiss that made some of the servant’s blush.

“Now then” He said stepping back and reaching out to intertwine their fingers together “we can go”

Rodan moved down the steps escorting her with a practiced hand. He gave her the ability to move her hand if she wished but even if she did he would keep close to her. He was determined to see this through now more than ever after their kiss! His lips tingled from the memory and a faint blush began to stain his cheeks as he thought about how much more he would like to kiss her.

“I brought my carriage around” Rodan said stepping out and pointing at the iron wrought carriage parked right outside of the steps.

His footman Burke stepped forward tipping his hat at both of them before moving over to the doors. He opened them for the pair and Rodan helped his bride to be inside before clambering in himself. Once he was inside he seated himself opposite from her as the door closed.

“I must say for someone who is against men you’re a very good kisser” He told her as the carriage jostled and moved forward “I wonder… Would you like to kiss some more while we make our journey back to my home?”

He said it partly to tease her but he would be lying if he said he wasn’t interested. It seemed the passion that let her do battle with him also transferred to her lips. Kissing her was like standing slightly to close to a naked flame. Warm and glowing and a little dangerous.
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Old 11-15-2017, 07:14 PM   #43
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It looks much better

Suddenly he kissed her again, very boldly and a bit longer than would or should be expected. It left her quite breathless and perhaps a bit confused, or she would not have let him take her hand and start to lead her down the stairs and out the front door. The look on his face as he spoke irked her. He was just a bit too pleased with himself.

Now then we can go

About halfway down the staircase, she removed her hand from his arm, mainly because he was starting to have an effect on her. She didn't like this at all. As they passed by her father, he stood there with a stupid grin on his face. The look she gave him in the past would have made him blanch and worry about her fury. Instead, he just grinned. He may just manage to get her off his hands after all. He loved his daughter dearly, but it really was time that she marry and have a family of her own. Maybe a child or two would calm down that stubborn streak. He wanted her married before Clearwater realize just what a wildcat he had.

I brought my carriage around

She felt trapped as he led her to his carriage, complete with a footman. All this falderal seemed unnecessary as she sat in the carriage. Thank goodness he didn't sit beside her though facing her was disconcerting. As the carriage moved, he boldly asked, I must say for someone who is against men you’re a very good kisser. I wonder… Would you like to kiss some more while we make our journey back to my home?

Instantly she colored, the freckles failing to hide the blush. Even her exposed décolletage flushed rosy as she looked at him, outraged.

"N...no! What an outrageous suggestion." And yet, her heart was pounding at his words. To herself she could not deny how the feeling of his lips on hers had caused her heart to race, had left her breathless.

In an effort to change the subject she asked, "Exactly how long is this supposed to take? I have more important things that I should be doing." Maybe this would make him forget kissing. Though it would take quite a bit more than that to make her forget his kisses.

Last edited by Opensesame54321 : 11-16-2017 at 05:30 AM.
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Old 11-16-2017, 12:57 PM   #44
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He chuckled at her reaction shaking his head and leaning in to grasp her hand.

"Are you sure its a no?" He said ignoring her question for now as the carriage continued its journey.

"I am paying you a compliment after all" He said his tongue flicking out against his full bottom lip "I am telling you that kissing you is simply divine. Don't you agree? You responded to me not to long ago. My lips against yours, my hand pulling you close. Don't you want to experience that again? Especially now that we are alone?"

He leaned in closer his lips inches from her.

"And this really wont take long. We can have a picnic afterwards if you wish? Don't you like the idea of getting out of that gown and riding your horse?"
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Old 11-16-2017, 06:05 PM   #45
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His touch was warm. His fingers held hers tight - not hurting but not letting go. And as he spoke he leaned in closer and closer, like a slow stalking of his prey till he was mere inches from her face, his lips close enough for her to feel his breath. His words hypnotic.

Are you sure its a no? I am paying you a compliment after all, I am telling you that kissing you is simply divine. Don't you agree? You responded to me not to long ago. My lips against yours, my hand pulling you close. Don't you want to experience that again? Especially now that we are alone? And this really wont take long. We can have a picnic afterwards if you wish? Don't you like the idea of getting out of that gown and riding your horse?

"You are right about one thing, Lord Clearwater, I do like the idea of getting out of here!" English countryside roads contained their fair share of potholes and it didn't require that long of a wait before she was rewarded with exactly what she desired. One of the carriage tires fortunately hit a hole in the road. It wasn't large, but she took advantage of it and pushed hard against him. Her hands met solid muscle and it took all her strength to shove him away from herself. He seemed surprised. What surprised her was that he didn't release his grip on her hand and the effect was that though she had him back in his seat, he now had her pulled to the edge of her seat, her upper body leaning towards him.

"I like the idea of getting away from you. Let me go! Why not admit that this marriage would be a mistake. I know that it is not me that you want. You want my estate. My land. So cut your losses and look for someone more suited for you."

The entire time she spoke, she tried to remove her hand from his. She realized that the way he had her bent over was giving him a rather fortuitous glance at her generous cleavage but at the moment it could not be helped.

Clarissa's figure was neither skinny nor was it overtly full. But she definitely had her fair share of womanly curves. Many a time she had been seen from afar or from the back by many a young man. It would be only when he saw her freckles or caught the sharp edge of her tongue that he would be put off from becoming further acquainted with Clarissa Fay Fernwood.

She was afraid that this was a losing battle but she would fight it nevertheless. Her eyes shot daggers at him as she tried to gain the upper hand in this skirmish. The thought of kissing him made her blush all the more.
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Old 11-16-2017, 07:27 PM   #46
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"Let go" Rodan questioned raising an eyebrow and glancing down at the swell of her breast.

"Why would I ever do that?"

The carriage suddenly felt hot, to hot. It wasn't until they were in such a position that Rodan realized how MUCH he wanted her. Carnally and in his bed and even beyond that. The revelation shocked him the young lord not having realized just how deep his feelings ran.

"My want for you isn't just because of your land my kitten" Rodan purred his voice dripping with sex "My desire for you if you would get off your own high horse stems from thinking you and I are perfect matches for each other. No one cares more for their people than you or I. No one is more thick headed then you and I. We could do great things together working as partners instead of against each other."

He yanked her forward with one strong firm pull. He brought her to her pressing their bodies together and practically laying her on top of him as he reached out and cupped her cheek.

"I also think your beautiful" He told her speaking clearly and locking eyes with her "And I want another kiss"

He pulled her in and planted his lips on her once more. He didn't ask but simply poured his complex feelings for her into the kiss.
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Old 11-17-2017, 12:24 AM   #47
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She could not loosen his grip on her fingers and her heart was beating faster and faster. What worried her was that deep down maybe she didn't want him to let go of her. In that place where she would not yet admit existed, to even herself, she feared that he would release her.

She felt dizzy, light-headed, as he spoke, his words drawing her in.

My want for you isn't just because of your land my kitten. My desire for you if you would get off your own high horse stems from thinking you and I are perfect matches for each other. No one cares more for their people than you or I. No one is more thick headed then you and I. We could do great things together working as partners instead of against each other.

Whether he pulled her to him, or another English countryside pothole played against her, suddenly their bodies were touching. Despite the fact that they were fully clothed, the heat between them seemed to threaten to ignite the fabric. Then his hand touched her cheek and she gave a soft gasp as his eyes held hers captive.

I also think your beautiful. And I want another kiss

Her brain clouded as his lips claimed hers. He thought that she was beautiful? There were those that would argue with him about that. She was confused and couldn't think straight, the world turning upside down. She felt dizzy, his lips pulling her deeper and deeper into a place that made no sense. She didn't know where she was, or who she was with as his strong arms kept her to him, holding her until somehow, she was laying on her back in his lap as he kissed her. She didn't remember getting in that position, nor how her hair had come undone and tumbled through his fingers to spill down. She certainly didn't remember how her arms wound up lightly around his neck.

As he broke the kiss, it was with confusion that her blue eyes looked up at him.
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Old 11-18-2017, 09:34 PM   #48
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He didn't break the kiss not for a good long while. Now that he knew TRULY knew he couldn't get enough of her. His warm hand burned into the small of her back as he kissed her heavily and with all the passion he could muster. His free hand moved claiming as much skin as possible as if he simply COULD not get enough of her. The heat of his body warmed her through her dress and his spicy scent wrapped around them both.

The kiss finally broke just as the driver called out they were there. Disappointment flashed through his features and for a second Rodan looked half tempted to tell the driver to keep going. After what seemed like an eternity he finally released her.

"We should go in" He said gently touching her swollen lips with his own "Or I might not ever stop kissing you."

He gently extracted himself from her and pushed the door of the carriage open. He extracted himself from her stepping out first before extending his hand and helping her out. Once she was out he turned her to face the manor itself.

"What do you think?" He asked her moving and taking her hand. His manor wasnt as big as her own but it had a warm feel to it and an abundance of fresh flowers. There was no one out there to greet them which was by his own order.
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Old 11-18-2017, 11:47 PM   #49
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She vaguely heard the driver call out their arrival to Clearwater's estates. Her mind was still in confusion, her skin seeming to burn everywhere he had touched her. Her nostrils were filled with the scent of him as fingers large and rough brushed against her lips swollen from his kiss.

We should go in. Or I might not ever stop kissing you.

Sitting her back upright in the seat, her hair tumbled down her back. The ribbon was loose on the floor of the carriage along with the scattered hairpins that fell out of her hair. She watched him getting out of the carriage, her mind in a kind of daze. With her hair down around her shoulders, she stepped out with the aid of his hand. As soon as she did that, she kicked herself mentally. She was perfectly capable of stepping down without aid.

He turned her to face his manor. Her future home, unless she could shake him. Though she was really beginning to have her doubts.

What do you think?

He took her hand, not waiting for her answer. It took every bit of willpower not to snatch her hand from his and run across the field. Or jump on the back of one of the horses pulling the carriage and ride away. She pulled lightly against his hand, testing to see if she could run.

He thought she was beautiful? His words kept bouncing around in her brain.
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