|Billion Dollar Ladies
Author: BeggarsCan'tBeChoosers PM
It's the late 19th century, and Mathilde Jones, heiress, is engaged to be married to Lord Kirkland, a reclusive English aristocrat who she's never met before. Her twin brother, Alfred, disapproves. AU, contains genderbends. USUK FrUK & PruCan among othersRated: Fiction M - English - Family/Romance - America & England/Britain - Chapters: 27 - Words: 28,917 - Reviews: 113 - Favs: 70 - Follows: 127 - Updated: 10-01-11 - Published: 10-11-10 - id: 6391468
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"Gilbert." Mathilde called the moment she saw the Prussian at the end of the corridor. He turned almost eagerly at the sound of her voice, but, upon catching sight of her, almost immediately turned away again.
"M-My lady Mathilde!" He stuttered, cheeks pink. "W-where is your dress?" Mathilde looked down, eyes going wide as she realised she was wearing nothing but her flimsy petticoats.
"O-oh!" She exclaimed, blushing deeply and bringing her teddy back in front of herself. Gilbert quickly stripped out of his long, heavy coat and held it out to her; embarrassed beyond belief, the young heiress took it and pulled it on. The sleeves hung far past her small hands; the coat itself skimming her calves. She folded it tightly around herself, covering her modesty.
"Y-you should return to your room, my lady." Gilbert muttered, glancing back at her. He relaxed slightly when he saw she was covered; despite himself he found his eyes wandering over her slender form, smiling at the sight of her, near-drowned in his too-big work coat. She peered up at him, face still flushed, expression almost pouty. "I will send for Schwester to assist you in getting dressed again." He mumbled, flushing himself as he realised he'd been caught staring.
"No." The short answer startled him, and he glanced back, red eyes meeting determined lilac ones. "Gilbert… I…" She looked away, biting her lip; those determined eyes slowly tearing up. "I am… Very fond of you…"She murmured, stepping closer to him. He looked at her, hope flashing through his strange-coloured eyes, but it was soon replaced by a frown.
"But?" He asked, tired and morose. "You still intend to marry Lord Kirkland, despite his tastes?"
"I can't allow him to be stripped of his inheritance simply due to my own selfishness." She mumbled in response, the tears by now sliding down her cheeks. She offered Gilbert the wilting rose; trying to hold back her sobs.
"… Nein." Gilbert refused it. "I love you." He confessed, staring at her earnestly. "I have had women… Many women, it is true. But I haven't been in love, not like this. Even with Elizabeta, it wasn't like this." There was a quiver, a break, in his voice, and he reached out, grabbing Mathilde and pulling her into a tight embrace. "Nein, Mathilde. I will not let you leave me." He muttered, determined. He slid one arm around her waist, keeping her pinned in place against him, and moved the other up to cradle the back of her head, tilting it up for a kiss, far less chaste than the previous one. Mathilde whimpered slightly, her own hands moving to press against his chest; Gilbert refused to release her, slowly moving her back to press against the wall, still kissing her deeply.
"G-Gilbert!" She managed to gasp out after a moment, turning her head. "G-Gilbert, this is inappropriate!"
"I don't care." He growled, the hand behind her head moving; he slid it down her neck, across her shoulder, bared as his coat slipped off her, and down her arm, skimming along the lace and linen of her petticoat, before he took her left hand, raising it to his lips and kissing it lightly, before retrieving a box from his pocket. He fumbled with it lightly, removing the contents, and finally held up an ornate golden ring, the diamonds and rubies flashing in the light. "Marry me, Mathilde. Please… Bitte…" His eyes were pleading, almost desperate, showing the depth of his emotion more clearly than any expression, and Mathilde flushed beneath their adoring gaze.
"I…" She hesitated; half raised a hand to touch his pale cheek. She stared at him, taking in the flush of emotion, the pleading gaze, the pale, pale hair and skin, and the strangely coloured eyes. "Yes." She whispered, but then her face fell. "But how can we…?"
"I will speak with your father the moment he arrives. The Beilschmidt fortune is larger even than that of the Kirklands, there is no doubt that you will be cared for…"
"Father has more than enough money." Mathilde leant forward, resting her head on Gilbert's shoulder. "It is not for money that I am to wed Lord Kirkland… It is his father's will that demands a union between our families…" Something flashed through her eyes as she turned her head back up to lock eyes with Gilbert; some kind of hard determination. "Come with me." Frowning in confusion, Gilbert obediently moved back, letting her away from the wall; she took his hand and smiled shyly, leading him back in the direction of her room.
"My lady-" Gilbert began, frown deepening, his cheeks tinged with pink as he recognised the path they were taking through the warren of corridors.
"Mathilde will suffice now, Gilbert." She smiled up at him, flushing slightly. "My fiancé should not have to use a title to refer to me." Gilbert couldn't help but grin at her words; excitedly, he leant down to kiss her again. They both paused as she leant up, wrapping her arms around his neck in order to kiss him back. When they broke apart, she slid her hand back down, interlacing their fingers and continuing to lead them back to her room, Gilbert's protests and questions forgotten.
[A/N: I told you there was another chapter coming C:
Let's see if I can get at least one more out this weekend, neh?]