"You seem to have found my weakness, Madam." He sighed in defeat as he sat in the chair she had not chosen before the fire. When he sat, she stood and for a moment he believed her to comply finally. She knelt before him, kissed his knee, and looked up at him without making eye contact. It was gloriously submissive after the confrontation from a few moments ago.

"I realize that I am not what you want, you make that plain enough. Please believe me when I say that I sympathise with you more than you know. Your weakness, you said? I shall assume you mean horses. You see, My Lord Delconclure, when I dreamed of the man I would marry I was not dreaming of titles and money and manors. I wanted my husband to look at me and let me be his weakness. I am sorry for interrupting. My father told me I should learn my place, but Sir, a woman feels and thinksm hopes and dreams... just like any man. Perhaps more so because that is all we have." Her voice was a whisper and he could hear that she was being completely genuine, but he could also hear the shame. She had pride, which was the thing that surprised him most of all. He had never though of any woman as proud. He hadn't considered that they had anything to be proud of.

"I do not blame you, my girl. It is your father's failure that you have have such notions about the world. A woman's body, her mind, her everything is not her own. That is why you do not keep your name when you enter a marriage, you have no identity of your own. Your dreams should be only that mine come true. A woman is not loved the way you describe. Why, if a woman were a man's weakness! Can you imagine? It would be the end of civilization." Her head hung for a few seconds after he spoke. He had finally reached her.

That was a foolish thought, that he had reached her. She did not attack him again, verbally of physically. In fact, if he had not known better from his one brief confrontation with her, he would have thought he had won. Her head snapped up suddenly and one look into her eyes told him he had done something terribly wrong. She stood, curtsied, and made her way to the door.

"If that is how you see us, then, I can see that no amount of argument will reach you. I will be your little wife and I will not disturb you in your sanctuary of brooding again. Congratulations on your successful wedding." And then she was gone. He had no idea what that mind of hers was capable of concoting, but he knew from the look he had seen in her defiant eyes that there was something more to her words.

Keltsy made her way down the hallway and toward what she had discoverd earlier in the day to be the kitchen. She entered the room expecting to see more servants than the four busily working at their dinner. Stepping cautiously, six eyes on her intently and with something she thought could be disgust, she made her way to the cook. The large woman who had not cared to look up at her new mistress was much older than Keltsy would have imagined, but she seemed quite fit and capable.

"Excuse me." The woman looked up and instantly her brows knitted into a great line of disaproval.

"Now what dar ye' think ye doin' in here, missy? We gots work to git to now, go on. A lady of breedin' a shouldn' be trapsing about the servants business. I din care if ye be mistress or not, we knows what we be doin'." Her thick scottish accent made it a bit difficult for Keltsy to follow what she was saying.

"No no, you don't understand. I... I came to see if you could perhaps help me." Keltsy stuttered, embarassed beyond reason.


"I, well you see, I can't seem to manage to get out of these." Her eyes swept over her skirts and the cook let a hearty laugh.

"Ye don't have a maidservant to help ye with that?" Her eyes softened when Keltsy shook her head pathetically. "Oh my... well come on yer way."

Once in Keltsy's room, which was adjoined with Dorian's, the old cook looked at her more sympathetically and seemed to have made up her mind about something, though Keltsy was uncertain as to what that would be.

"Ye don't look like a new bride, missy."

"No, I don't suppose I do."

"Ye don't like yer new home, then?"

"Oh no, it's not that. This place is lovely. It's far more elegant than anywhere I have been. It is the company, I fear, that has me a bit less than giddy. Why is it that men view women as being less human than their dogs or horses? My God, he said horses were his weakness. Horses! And there I am kneeling before him, being as honest and as understanding as I can be, giving him my condolences and asking only that he consider my feelings and he has the nerve to tell me I don't have the right to think anything for myself!"

"He said all that, did he?"

"Yes! Can you believe it? He said it was not my fault that I was so upset at losing everything, it was my father's for allowing me to think I had anything to lose in the first place. How did men ever come to rule the world. It's a wonder we're not all dead. And us women, why I'm surprised they even bother with marriage. Why not just chain us to a wall in some dungeon and only call on one when they need to breed?"

"Well, I'd say his Lordship don't kin what to do with the like of a fiery one such as ye, missy." The cook laughed.

"I don't think his Lordship cares." She scoffed, turning to face the kind woman. "Do you think you could help me? I would very much like to do something and now is the best time as he will not expect it in the least."