A/N: Heh…I am SO sorry for the very, VERY long delay. I know the little thing up there said I updated in April or something, but that was an accident on my behalf as I was correcting and replacing some…chapters. I'm awful I know…but do continue on…
I was hearing things. Was I finally losing my mind? I didn't think so. I was much too young to be dying and hallucinating like my great-great grandfather had…wasn't I?
"Lady? Please wake up."
Hmm, someone was trying to talk to me. Now, who would be polite enough to do that? It was certainly not my mother. And it was neither William nor my father. The voice was too deep, and slightly rough, with an occasional squeak to it.
"My Lady, pray, do awake."
This mysterious voice was starting to get annoying, so I did the only thing I could do and opened my eyes. A pair of grey eyes were staring back at me. Boring grey eyes too, surrounded by pale eyelashes.
Grey eyes meant one thing. Boring grey eyes meant another. Could it possibly mean –?
"Francis! Is that you boy? What could you possibly be doing kneeling on the ground? Get up at once!"
Yes, it certainly was Francis alright. I blinked a couple of times to get my eyes readjusted to the light, and to make sure that it was the Francis that I was looking at.
It sure was. I watched him as he ran his masculine hand through his hair, tousling it a bit. He swivelled his head around to face to the speaker of the voice who was quickly approaching.
A familiar looking lady the speaker was, all round with a most horrendous brown dress that looked expensive and showed that she was all too rich for her own good. Her hair was pinned up to look like, to me, a bird's nest that had gold twigs in it and was an awful mixture of brown and copper. And although her body was most round, her face was certainly not, and was all sullen looking with too much rouge and such. She had hollow cheekbones, and an ungainly long, hooked nose with huge circles for nostrils.
And all this from a fair distance. I was deeply concerned for if I had to look closer.
"Mother, where did you come from? I was sure that you were just speaking to Sir Melvin!" said Sir Francis, to the approaching woman.
Mother? The atrocious lady was his mother? It seemed…
I suppose there was some resemblance if you looked carefully. They had the same face shape, same eyes and…well, that was all the resemblance they shared. Francis must've taken after his father, which is a good thing.
"I was, until I saw you on the ground like some grovelling swine! Get up! You are a gentleman, not some animal on a farm! What, by Jove, are you doing on the ground?" screeched his mother, her arms swaying wildly in front of her. Her hair was going astray, too, but I'm sure she could do without that knowledge.
"Mother, I was being a gentleman and helping this poor lady up! She had just tripped over a rock and fallen into the pond. Was I just supposed to watch her?" replied Francis, his voice incredulous at the thought of leaving me where I initially way. Wasn't he superb? All chivalrous, his words made a whole new group of emotions swell up deep within me…how I must've looked to him was entirely forgotten.
I must have looked HORRIBLE! I could feel it now, strands of wet hair plastered across my face, some in my mouth, my dress drenched; I couldn't even bear to imagine what I must've looked like in Francis' vision. How could I have shamed myself so? This was the worst scenario a girl like me could encounter!
"My Lady, are you alright? You took an awful fall and it seems that you might've hit your head…" Francis' voice trailed off, doing so because of his approaching mother, who looked like she wanted to throttle him.
"Have you lost your mind? Get off the ground at once! This being in front of you is no lady! How could you even consider being near her? She is absolutely filthy! If she were a lady, she would not have fallen in the first place! You are ruining your reputation!" screeched his dearest mother.
Not a lady? His reputation? What was she thinking? All humans were entitled to make mistakes, regardless of whether you were ladies or not! And if anyone's reputation was ruined, it was mine! I agree with her that I look filthy, but that did not put her into any position that allowed her to continuously throw insults at me, one after another! If anything, Francis' reputation was soaring for helping out a dear, poor lady such as me.
It seemed Francis was on the same line of thought as me.
"How terrible of you mother! How could such awful thoughts be flowing through your head? It was learned in etiquette, that gentlemen are to be chivalrous and to help all ladies in need of help, regardless of whether they look filthy or not! You can not ask me to disregard all that I have learnt in the past 8 years! Look at her; she needs assistance, not your constant squabbling about who she is, and who she isn't!"
He was my saviour! We were meant to be! He was my knight in shining armour!
His mother stared at him for a very long time, her eyes murderous, before staring down at me. I think she realized that she was causing a commotion so she left in a huff, with her nose upturned, grabbing her skirts and strutting back to wherever she had come from.
The bystanders, who had been watching with interest, now turned all their backs on us, understanding that their source of entertainment had just left, leaving an awful lady and an equally as awful, yet chivalrous man by her side, notably, her son.
But I was alone with Francis once more!
"I hope you are not offended by my mother's words, my Lady, she can be incredibly rash when she wished to be. I am sorry on her behalf," he said solemnly, his eyes full of seriousness.
"Oh, definitely not Sir Frances, her words had not affected me in the least!" I replied, the lie flowing out of my mouth, much like saliva would.
"You know my name? Ah, of course, my mother. But it is certainly unjust if you know my name, and I know not yours."
…He didn't know who I was? I couldn't believe it…he had forgotten me. Forgotten, ME! My heart was shattering…but wait! Perhaps he did not know who I was because of my frightening appearance! I'm sure that I would have had the ability to scare even my mother! In that case, it seemed a better idea for him to not recognize me, for if he did, he may from then on refer to me as duck pond girl, and that would be absolutely devastating.
"It is unchaste of a Lady to reveal her name to a man she hardly knows, without given any proper titles, and I am in no means in a current state of a proper introduction! I am awfully sorry, but I must leave now. However, I am incredibly grateful for your assistance, and for defending me against your own mother." I had lied about the first part, I had no idea if it was chaste or unchaste, by Jove, and I barely understood what the word meant! But, to me, it sounded entirely proper and Francis seemed to believe what I had said.
I stood up, still dripping from head to toe and ignoring the looks of all the other ladies and gentlemen, grabbed my skirts and headed off to search for my mother, giving a final word of gratitude to Francis. He stood there, my words processing through his brain before he finally understood what I had said, but by then, I had disappeared from his line of sight, so he was left to ponder his thoughts by himself.
Leaving a trail of wet grass, I headed off throughout the throng of people without much difficulty, for they separated amongst themselves so as to not come into contact with me. I'm quite certain that I would've done the same if I were in their position but honestly; did they have to be so obvious with those awful sneers on their faces? Aristocracy was sometimes one of the worst things. Despite the fact that my family had always tried to consider themselves as aristocrats (this feat sometimes succeeding), it was entirely disrespectful when one couldn't even be subtle when looking down at others.
Ignoring their sneers, I proceeded onwards in desperate search for my mother. As a mother figure, she would know what to do in the situation that I had gotten into and would with no doubt rescue me from suffering more humiliation than I already had. A mother was grand.
Fantastic. My mother, in all her radiating beauty was currently solitary under a tree. As if sensing my undivided attention towards her, she turned her head so that she was looking my way, and when she did see me, she put her hand to her forehead, sighed, and darted her eyes to and fro. Now, why would she do that?
"Mother!" I hissed, when I was within hearing range of her. "What do I do?"
"Celeste dear, why must you always put yourself in such awful situations?" My mother could not expect me to answer this, so it was obviously a rhetorical question. Just because I had made a fool out of myself for various reasons more than once, did not mean that she could act as if I was one of the many mistakes of her life! I was her precious daughter, her sole and living heir. Her flesh and bone!
After realizing that I had realized that she had asked a rhetorical question, my mother urged me towards our carriage where I assumed she would…repair me? I had honestly no idea what my mother intended to do in help of this dire situation so I followed without a sound.
Well, with the exceptions of a few grunts here and there, associated with my frequent stumbling, then making awful sounds when my mother held me by the wrist too tightly, I was utterly silent. An amazing feat.
"You are to stay in here until the party ends, do you understand?" and without an explanation, or allowing me to reply, mother shoved me into the carriage, and locked the door.
Was she out of her mind? What was she thinking? I was her sole daughter and she actually had the courage to lock me in our carriage for the rest of the day?
By Jove…she really didn't love me as much as I had thought…
And here I was…thinking she could save me. If I didn't know better, I'd say that right now; she's telling everyone that she never had a daughter.
"Daughter? Who on earth are you talking about? I've never had a daughter!"
…see? My mother's wonderful voice was loud and clear, deliberately so, for her intentions were clear. I was not to make a ruckus in order to get out. She didn't need to remind me.
What was I meant to do? I was soaked from head to toe, an odious odour was coming from me and I was all alone. Maybe there were books in our carriage…oh, look. There on the floor. How incredibly convenient. It was a thick, old fashioned thing. Amazingly thick…titled "Aeneid" and I think it was by someone called Virgil. What a strange name.
I suppose if that's all there is, then I guess it must be done. I flipped open to a page.
tum vero exarsit iuveni dolor ossibus ingens
nec lacrimis caruere genae, segnemque Menoeten
oblitus decorisque sui sociumque salutis
Maybe another page?
'o lux Dardaniae, spes o fidissima Teucrum,
quae tantae tenuere morae? quibus Hector ab oris
exspectate uenis? ut te post multa tuorum
funera, post uarios hominumque urbisque labores
defessi aspicimus! quae causa indigna serenos
foedauit uultus? aut cur haec uulnera cerno?'
Of course. As hard as I tried, this book was obviously not for me. What was it doing in our carriage? In all honesty, there was no possible way that my mother could read this. As far as I was concerned, she could only read English.
Oh well, my mother's complex and forbidden past was not something that I was going to bother with…not that I think she had one in the first place.
Perhaps this was one of the awful things that grandmother had forced upon mother dear?
Back to my present state, I was thoroughly bored. The book had provided absolute nought, I was feeling highly uncomfortable and I was all alone. My mother had left me in the stupid carriage with absolutely nothing to do! And she was going on about never having me!
I hate my mother. I never, ever want to speak to her again, see her, look at her, hear her, touch her…I will never again acknowledge her and respect her like the loving daughter I once was.
No, from this day on, I was my own woman. Lady. Girl. Person….
I sat upright and proud, my eyes focused on the chair in front of me.
There was something black on the cushion…moving across it at a lazy speed…numerous black, line things that supported it…eight to be exact…it was almost as large as my palm….
I'm going to die.
A/N: well..hum. there you have it folks. Was it ok? Probably wasn't very satisfying, especially for the long wait and I know I haven't really gotten round to…further introducing many other characters but we'll get there….eventually.
But hey! Lookie here…reviewer responses!
wittenreality: thanks for your review. And look! I updated. Umm..not the pond falling…but it was the screaming bit that I was referring to…our very own yoomin…but thanks again "dearest". Mwa!
Salt and Vinegar Pringles: Des that quench your interest? Were your suspicions confirmed? Thanks so much for your review and I hope you enjoyed it, mwa!
ice flyer: thanks for the review and thanks for pointing out the mistake! i'm very stubborn so one I think the "wronged" bit is fine and two I can't be bothered fixing up the pain is beauty thing. But don't mind me, I'm being snarky and I really do appreciate your review! But my pride and refusal to accept that I'm wrong is just overtaking me but hey, you still rock!
kAIT REDFERN: am very grateful for your review! And no..not the actual POND falling..but the scream. It was very minor and all but it was a similar scenario…just that she fell flat onto the floor. Mwa!
Infinite Abyss: thanks for the review and compliment. Hope you enjoy this one…mwa!
merely me: thanks for your reviews! The first one was extra extra long so thanks a bunch! Glad you like celeste..and omg. Extra thankyou to you for pointing out that ridiculous mistake I made about her age. Truly, I love you. I was so shocked when I read over the chapter to see that you were right. So embarrassed. But you saved the day. I corrected it so she's now…I honestly don't remember…gag me but she's certainly NOT 35. am forever grateful. Hope you enjoyed this chapter, your constructive criticism was much welcomed – mwa!
layby-cougar: thanks so much for your review..and I'm sorry to disappoint! about the guy..that is. And aww..you showered me with compliments! The only Sydneysider? There are others! I assure you – like my friends! But yes, I hope you can update halloway legacy yourself! Mwa!
Sleeping Angel: thanks for the review! Glad you like will! Hope you enjoyed this chapter – mwa!
Individual-9086: ahhh! I love you! Ahh! Thanks for your review. Please update the last of the ancients! But yes….cheerios – mwa!
XxDragon Princess NikkixX: much love to you for the review! Glad your liking the story. So…what's happening with your story? hmm? Hah! Enjoy the chapter – mwa!
yOomin ?: thanks for the review, friend. I must object to your so called "e-mail". HMMPH! But hah, love you heaps – mwa!
funky peaches: oh you, yes you. Aren't you proud? I know this story is trailing off more and more..but hey, my story my rules. Kekeke. But yah, thanks much for the review, you know I …"love" you! P enjoy – mwa mwa!
Many thanks to these people as well!
andalie anh kaika switched the one and only… CraziCoconutz Foodiholic me ekyec Sourpops
ahhh! I love you all so much. An if any of you were wondering…the little foreign bit was latin. Not sure if it really is from the Aenied..but I think it is. It was for my latin speaking, that's how I obtained it. but yes. I would love you all even more if that's possible if you reviewed so..go!