In life our trials and tribulations make us who we are, whether from the fight or the flight of them…or occasionally both

Hi D with my semi-summer vacation comes my revival of my long over due work here. Sorry, I hope that anyone who beings reading this and anyone who has followed will still enjoy and review the story.

Enjoy!

(plus I have plenty of twists and turns for many of the characters and a total…well I don't even want to say, because I hope to surprise people D)

………………………………………………………….

"You know we are nearly in Scotland now," Vincent whispered to Rin the dark of the night. Both gazing up at the heavens.

Rin smiled every so slightly as she continued to gaze up, "Yes…"

Looking at her quizzically he asked, "Do you even know what you are looking for?"

Turning to gaze at him, he couldn't tell whether there was anger or confusion written in her eyes. Expecting a bout of anger, he was shocked by her response, smiling she said, "I have no clue…" shrugging her shoulders she went on, "I didn't expect this," gesturing to her family who laid around them sprawled out on the earth under the starry skies. Smiling she said, "But I am glad I am not alone. Would you even understand if I told you?" she asked eyeing him.

Looking up at the heavens and shrugging, he turned back to her, "We'll both never know unless you give me a chance."

"Life…it's so complicated," shaking all over whether from anger, the cold, or something else neither knew as she went on, some annoyance lacing her voice, "You know I don't think other people have these problems."

"Ah, but what of their lives? Whatever this is, I know it bothers and haunts you, but do not compare yourself to the lives of insignificant people…their lives will pass without consequence and will mean nothing once they are gone."

Staring at him she asked, "So you would choose a life of mistakes, lies, and secrets over normalcy?"

Looking her directly in the eye and holding his chin high he whispered, "Absolutely, what's life without a little adventure, and the people who give it love and passion and happiness, those qualities can not exist without the ones you said," Vincent reasoned.

"So you really want to know?" she asked looking up at him through her long lashes.

Smirking he said, "I do believe now that I on this trip to who knows where and what, I do believe it would be nice."

Shrugging and rolling her eyes she began, "Well first I must tell you I am not a Darcy by blood…." And thus began the telling of the story that had led them to this point, with every detail remembered and retold to her and by her.

It was practically dawn, and the first hues of sunrise could be seen in the east. Taking a deep breath from where he lay, with his hands behind his head Vincent said, "Well Rin that is quite a tale…"

Laughing from where she lay next to him, she sat up, propping herself up on her elbow she said, "Now what you must you think of me now?" Her eyes widening and her smile spreading across her delicate face.

But all he could think of was how beautiful she was at that moment, her long dark hair cascading down and falling onto the ground and his arm. Her eyes twinkling with mischief and happiness…and if this was the way he would wake for the rest of his life he could never wish for more.

Removing his one hand from behind his head he gently picked up a lock of her hair and began twirling it, still staring at her face he said, "I think you are absolutely beautiful..." he said trailing off as his hand rose to her cheek, cupping her soft face in his hand.

Rin had never felt anything like this before…nothing. It was the most complete feeling she ever felt, closing her eyes she smiled.

Vincent couldn't believe this, that this moment was happening that everything he wanted in life was here, right here in his arms, so leaning up he caught her lips with his. It began softly, and soon was filled with the passion, as he leant farther, eventually switching their positions.

Suddenly though, someone whistled…a cat call whistle, causing the two quickly break apart, and there was Art, still rubbing the sleep out of his eyes. Smiling devilingly at them he asked, "Now, must I ask your intentions for my cousin, sir?'

Rin's mouth hung agape as she looked at her cousin and then turning her head toward Vincent she was met with a bright smile.

"Do you think she'll have me, Art?" Vincent asked Art both ignoring Rin, who still sat in shock.

"I don't know…" Art said shruggin his shoulders, and looking grim. Then smiling though he added, "But I am sure you'll have the family's consent."

"You do know I am here?" Rin demanded, hitting the dirt where she sat with her hand, whether for emphasis or agitation one can't be sure.

Vincent turned and looked at her as if she'd grown a second head and said in bafflement, "Why of course Rin," and acting like he was turning back to Art he stopped short, "Oh and one quick question?"

Rin nodded, with a knowing smile on her face. Taking a deep breath like just before a plunge he asked, "Rin would you do me the most kind act of fetching the blanket…its closer to you after all."

Art's laughter at Rin's dumbfounded expression caused him to fall back. Though her expression quickly turned to anger as she grabbed the blanket and threw it at him. But before she could fully let go, Vincent grabbed onto it, and tugging quickly, it caused her to fall into his arms. Smiling down as he worked to hold her form, as she tried to get away, he said "One more question…"

Rin interrupted, "The answer is you can take your blanket and go jump off a cliff!"

Laughing he asked, "Do you feel better?" and then not waiting for another response he asked, "Marry me?"

"Well I don't know," Rin said mockingly, shrugging her shoulders, "but on the other hand, I well…I would really like to get up," as she again tried to struggle up.

"Rin!" Vincent said trying not to laugh.

Fighting the urge to smile at him, she looked him in the eye attempting to glare, but her whole form seemed to melt into his arms. And then shrugging her shoulders and rolling her eyes, she said with a wink, "I guess I don't have a choice."

"There finally something we can agree on!" Vincent laugh still holding her tightly.

Raising one eyebrow at Rin said a quite serious tone, "There is but one thing that must be done."

"Anything," Vincent said still smiling, barely able to contain his own joy.

"Well we must be married at Pemberly, or Mrs. Reynolds will have my head! And not to mention Mrs. Merriwether too!" Her face turning quite over dramatic.

"They'll all be thrilled to be rid of that one," Art said from where he lay, to which he received a good knock on the head from Vincent. Cringing he said, "Vinny my man, don't go beating on your greatest supporter. Once we get back to Pemberly you will be so scrutinized by Uncle William…you best not run away with her, if you want his consent."

………………………..

Edward Darcy had left the morning after the disappearance of his siblings and cousin, set off to London by his father to immediately make contact with his father's connection of whom might be of service.

His mother had written to her Aunt to allow Edward to stay with the Gardiners instead of the house in town. This way her Uncle would be there to aid him in his goal, but never …never in a thousand years had he expected to set out to help his family and fall in love along the way.

Her eyes were sea green, and her hair a light brown, that shown like silk, she was Madeline Gardiner, his mother's cousin. She was nineteen, had been born the same year as he. Since the day he arrived she had been there to help, aiding both him and his father, whenever they needed it, going over papers with them, or preparing them tea on the nights when there was no sleep.

She was quite smart, a level-head, and the most fine eyes he had ever seen. And now that they had finally caught wind of his siblings and cousins doing he was set off to leave, and he knew not when he would see her next.

This was to be his last day with her…

Mr. Gardiner had expressed a wish to go to the market, and so the family had set off. Sitting across from her in the open carriage, he couldn't help but note that she wouldn't look at him. Now being the son of Darcy, had led to several common features other than looks and those were misreading emotions, which on occasion his mother was guilty of too. And now seeing that she would not speak nor look at him, he thought it a testament of her lack of regard for him.

Becoming silent and stoic was rare for Edward Darcy, so rare that his Aunt Gardiner took note of it.

Looking between the two she could not help draw the correlations between her niece, Lizzy and Darcy. She had known that there was something from the moment he had come to them at Lambton Inn.

Shaking her head she prepared to exit the carriage after Mr. Gardiner.

………………………

They had stood there, neither saying anything to the other. Both on either side of the book shop that both, Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner had entered.

Clearing his throat he began, "The weather is quite fine today, is not?'

Rolling her eyes and looking up, Maddie responded, "I believe that had been noted early, hence why we took the open carriage."

Cringing at her tone, he tried again, "I miss Derbyshire on days quite like today."

Smiling she said, "I miss the days when we were young and would all visit Longbourne together." Turning to him she said, "I remember how you would all always walk out to Oakham Mount. How I had wished to go."

"Why did you never come?" Edward asked turning toward her questioningly.

"I was afraid," she sighed and then looking over, "I didn't want to fall behind or hold you all back, so…so I decided to never go. And then I believed Rin had formed a poor opinion of me."

Smiling he replied, "I do believe Rin thought you disliked her, so she never spoke to you."

"It seems we were at a cross roads and neither knew what to say," she said more looking and speaking to him them before.

Edward smiled slightly, "Perhaps if only we if knew what thoughts both had, it may have been resolved?"

Her eyes never betraying her emotions looked at him steely, "Perhaps if we had truly been friends, Rin and I, would have been able to read the other, and thus know what to say!"

"Sometimes it is hard to read others, especially those we care about and wish not to offend!" Edward responded in an equal tone.

Opening her mouth to speak, she was cut off by her mother who left the store carrying two large bound books. Smiling at Edward she said, "These are for you and your mother. You must tell your mother and my other nieces that it is time that they composed their story. And the other book, that is for all your siblings and cousins, to tell their tales, the first should begin with your mother, Elizabeth Bennet, and the other with your sister, Catherine…, but she will know what to sign." Handing the books into his arms she then asked, "Mr. Gardiner, is there anywhere else we must stop, for I believe it is time to get Edward home to Pemberly."

…………………………….

They had reached Scotland and were in a small village just south of Gretna Green.

Nan stood by the tree where they had tied their horses, staring off into the moors, and the early morning fog which encompassed the land. Brushing back a strand of her straight hair that had fallen out, she rested against the tree.

"Nan?" asked a questioning voice she knew all too well, and was away here to forget.

Closing her eyes, in resignation, "Yes, Ben?"

Sighing, Ben could not help but stare upon Nan's beauty. He was everything she wanted and everything he was going to give up, and now here standing before her he was to ask her consent.

In the smallest and most depressed of voices Ben began, "I have to tell you something Nan…," he knew he was upsetting her, he could tell by the way she wouldn't look at him, but still he pressed on, "Nan, you must know…"

"Benjamin Fitzwilliam, I know…" and smiling sadly, tears welling up in her eyes she continued with all the strength a broken heart can muster, "I know…you are free. There was never any promises, life's not about that is it?"

Trying to push the vision of her tears out of his mind, he nodded, "I am sorry, Nan…"

Smiling, it was so full of unrequited love and just the fleeting glimpse of resentement, she said in a whisper, "No you aren't."

And with that Ben walked away. Stepped away from his childhood love, the truly the only woman he would ever love. He refused to listen, blocking out the faint sound of her tears, the silent sobs that she thought she was holding back.

Nan crumbled into the earth, devastated by the blow. If ever she resented anyone so much as the way she now did of her most hated sister and beloved beau. She had never thought it would end in such away.

Being as she was, and her mother's daughter, she had resigned herself that should she never find love, she would never marry. Only the ardent and passionate love would be enough for her, and…oh how she had found it in Ben. In their childhood games, they had been thick as thieves, even going as far and to turn against Rin in a childish game, invoking Rin's anger at such a traitorous emotion.

But we must all grow up, and now she would grow old alone, and be Aunt to the very children she had once dreamed would be her own, a visitor in the house she was led to believe would be hers. All of this and more, and never would Angela let her live it down, it would always be smacked in her face, a point at who had won a war that Nan had never knew they were fighting.

……………

Everyone had been off in their own little worlds, so if some of their party "ventured" a little ways off from the rest, none took notice. Well, this was it…with Rin and Vincent planning the best ways to return, and Ben, Nan, and Art all off in their own little worlds it was easy for Jo and Howard to drift off.

To Gretna Green they would go….

At the small church, that many lovers eloped to, Jo and Howard sat in the vestibule waiting the arrival of the local lawyer and priest who would perform the ceremony.

Jo's hands shook nervous as her feet tapped away. To say she was nervous was an understatement. She was fifteen, the youngest of her siblings and nearly of her cousins, and here she was getting married. She loved Howard, but was she ready for this…to be the Viscountess until, his father died and they became the Count and Countess Matlock?

Howard didn't have to look at Jo to know she was nervous. He could hear her feet tapping. He was nervous, but he knew that nothing would stop him from being with Jo and that she was everything he needed. Reaching over and gently placing his hand on her clasped ones, he said, "Breathe."

Turning to him her eyes, wide like saucers, "I don't know what to do, what if I am the worse Countess and wife in the world?"

Chuckling at her frantic attitude, "You wont be and I would take you anyway, because right now I do not believe I have ever been happier. The only moment that may surpass this, is when we are old and watch our children grow."

"What if I can't have children?" She asked and then, "Perhaps I am barren, you need heirs, what if I am not able to?"

"Why must we think of silly notions that won't come true. And god forbid it if they do, but even then with such a multitude of nieces and nephews and we'll figure something out," stroking her hand, "My Jo, if you don't want to marry me, you don't have to."

Turning quickly she looked at him and said, "Only if you have changed your mind?"

Praying that he had not.

"Never," he said reaching up to stroke her face as her drifted close, both savoring the touch of the other.

"Thank god, or else I don't know what I would do," she said tilting her chin up.

By that night they were married, and back on their way to their family. When they arrived it was as if nothing had happened. Nan, still sat below the large tree, Ben and Art both lay in the grass, occasionally contributing to Rin and Vincent's discussion on how to return. The only difference was the small piece of paper, folded and tucked within Howard's jacket.

Rin looked up, her brown eyes showing obvious relief, "We were wondering where the two of you rode off to."

Vincent never moving said, while still looking at Rin, "She means she was frantic without notion of where you to rode off too, we were all quite sure you were or would be fine."

Rin's eyes narrowed at him, as she tried, futilely, to fight off a smile. Then smiling fully, "We have decided that after tonight we should begin to return home, but before that we are to stop in the town ahead and tonight…well there is a small festival there that we will attend."

Both Jo and Howard had dismounted and stood listening to Rin, both hands clasped.

Art smiled stupidly, "Perhaps there shall be some beautiful lass there for me to marry."

Rin rolled her eyes, "Is that all you wish to think about, marriage?"

Art rolled over so he could look at her, and with a mocking indignant tone he replied, "What do you expect, with all my favorite family members marrying, I want into the club too!"

"Boy it isn't a club," Vincent said laughing, "Believe me, I don't know who you will find anyway to put up with you."

"No worries," he said smiling at them all, "I am sure she will be able to rough it with the best of them."

Rin's jaw dropped and she asked, "Do you want a wife or a pet?"

Art glared over at her, "Just you wait Rin, she will give even you a run for your money."

Ben smiled softly as he listened to his cousin's and brother's banter, though haunted by the form of Nan standing by the tree.

………………………………………

Two lithe forms, wandered through the corridor of Pemberly, and in the dim light both could easily pass for sisters, with their blonde hair and eerily blue eyes. Though this beauty was marred by the underlying motives of the girls in question.

From the pocket of her robe, the first pulled a small key, obviously old and worn from her pocket and slipped it into the large oak door of her father's study. The other looking behind, checking to make sure they weren't followed, entered quickly and shut the large door silently.

Placing the lit candle upon the table both began looking for whatever they could find on the whereabouts of their missing family. Though this search was not in the hope that they were found, but for quite selfish reasons, both wanted to know why and what had caused the runaway.

"Mary…" whispered the first, "have you found anything?"

Mary looked up, her features reflected by the candle, from the desk, "No Angela, and you?"

Angela looked at the shelf, she had….it was a small book which had never before been in her father's study, but when turning back to Mary, "No Mary I haven't found anything yet."

Then acting like she was still going through the books she slipped the book into her dressing gown pocket, for later inspection.

After several more minutes Mary looked up at Angela, "I think there isn't anything here and we should leave," heaving a sigh of disappointment.

Turning her catlike blue eyes of steel upon Mary, Angela in a somewhat daze replied, "Yes…yes lets go."

Both exited leaving the study as they had found it save for the missing book on the shelf…

……………………

Rin was excited, she could even explain the beauty to which she was beholding in this simple country town. There were lights and people everywhere, tricks and treats, for the eyes and tastes. Vincent could barely hold onto as he escorted her through.

Rin had never seen a circus before and the fact that here one was in this remote town where they just happened to be was all the more enthralling! Smiling brightly, her eyes shining she looked up at Vincent, "Isn't it wonderful?"

"Would you like something?" Vincent asked gesturing to large mirage of trinkets and gifts.

"They are so wonderful, any would do," Rin said still entranced by the multitude of shining trinkets.

Vincent looked across the objects until his eyes fell on a simple silver chain, that at the end hung a tear drop shape yellow diamond. Leaving Rin's side he walked over paying th amount which the dealer had offered and then re-approached Rin with his hand clasped, lifting it up to her, and then letting the diamond and portion of the chain then dangle from his hands, catching the lights.

"It's beautiful," Rin said staring in delight at the precious gift.

"Then it fits its owner," he stepping behind her and clasping it about her neck. "The first of many gifts, to show you my affection."

Turning in his arms she smiled, "But there is no need of that, I know how you love me."

"Ah, but let me have the pleasure of showering gifts upon you," rolling his eyes he asked, "Do you wish for nothing then?"

"Only for you," she said smiling and reaching up to kiss him, but what she had intended to be a light playful peck, quickly turned into more as Vincent pulled her close against him. Holding her tightly within his arms, and running his hands down her sides and back up.

Regaining her senses, Rin gently pushed away, though still caught in his embrace, smiling up at him, her eyes dancing with the reflected light of the fires, "I can not wait to be married to you," she said with an exasperated sigh.

Laughing he held, her close as they began to walk done the lane.

Ben was a drag, if Art had ever known one. All he did was mope…and to be frank, they were at a festival, with many lovely ladies all around and all Art wished to do…was have some fun, and to this it meant losing his older, stuffy brother.

Glancing over his shoulders, at "mopey", he looked around, looking for some kind of alley or store to get "lost" in. No sooner had he looked then he found exactly what he was looking for. It was a small alley entrance, which he supposed wouldn't be too long, but would get him far enough from Ben to be able to have some fun.

Discretely walking through the opening he began to move down the dark corridor. He could barely see, beginning to grope at the walls for guidance. Well this may have been a tad longer than he had anticipated but no worries, he would be out in no time. Well Art continued telling himself that. That was until he ran into something…or more like someone ran into him.

Losing his balance he began to fall, grasping into the air for anything and grabbing onto the body that knocked into his. Landing with a thud, he opened his eyes slowly and looked into thin hazel green ones that were peering back at him.

Those beautiful eyes though soon, clouded with anger as they became thin slits, pushing herself off of him, causing him to groan in pain as she hit a very delicate area with her foot.

"Fool! Why do you run into me?" the lady demanded.

Regaining his composure Art began to stand, mumbling through gritted teeth, "I wasn't running."

"What are you doing down here anyway?" she went on, her voice rising further.

Looking at her he narrowed his black eyes, and in mockery said, "Well I didn't know this was the way to the Spanish Inquisition!"

"You're English!" she said stepping forward, "And what is your business here to steal land, or to tarnish good names!"

Rolling his eyes, "Do try and catch up with the times," he said then trying to push past her, but failing to because the alley was too thin. "Move, please?"

"No!" she stamping her foot right on top of his, causing him to grab his foot in pain.

"What the devil's wrong with?" he said barely managing to keep his balance.

"You are! Now get out of my way!" she said trying to push past him.

"I can't go back that way," Art said slightly distressed at the thought of going back to Ben.

"Well I can't get by," the lady tried to reason.

Smiling wickedly, "I can fix that." Before a response could come out of her mouth, Art had hoisted her up and over his shoulder, as he began to walk to the other side. "This way I can get out and then…well then you can get on your way."

Growling in frustration, she began to beat on his back, "Put me down!" she said, over and over again her voice rising, with each time and the closer they got toward the end.

"Would you be quiet!" Art practically shouted back.

"Listen, you don't want to take me out this way," she said desperately, "You mustn't, I need to go the other way."

Before he could respond, he came out the other end of the alley. While one could still see the remnants of the festival, this obviously wasn't their main step up. As he began to set her down, a chill went down both their spines at the sound of the menacing voice addressing them.

"Well, well Maura, if I had known you were here your lad, I wouldn't have pushed the others upon thee," the man's evil eyes twinkling with glee.

"Father, this man is of no consequence to me," Maura said glaring at her father.

Shaking his head and laughing, "Tisk, tisk," laughing a sinister way, "I do believe you have compromised my daughter," he said looking into Art's black eyes.

"Sir nothing happened," Art tried to reason.

"That's not the way I sees it. Now….you see, here's how this will be handled," clasping his hands before him like a happy child, "You can marry the girl…or well we duel with swords, and she receives a well deserved punishment."

Art had never the inclination or the need to learn to duel, so which was his sacrifice to be made….enter a forced marriage, or die in Scotland and let her, obviously awful, father enforce, some unknowledgeable, awful punishment upon her. Looking between her green eyes, filled with worry, and unsure if they were fear of her father or him. He clenched his fists at his sides, glaring daggers at whomever he looked at…

Swallowing, mustering all of his courage, he looked at her father, standing straight and to his full height, looking the man straight in the eye, "I will marry her."

The girl's hands immediately clenched in fists at her sides, anger boiling in her veins.

"And you name boy?" the man asked sarcastically, mocking the boy with a false sense of joy.

"Arthur Ftizwilliam, second son of Lord and Lady DeBourgh of Rosings," he said holding his chin high, giving himself a more mature and noble persona, hiding his true childish ways.

"Well, son shall ya marry 'er now or on the marrow?" he asked not bothering to introduce himself back.

Looking between her and her father, he did all he could to think straight. He knew his family's plans were to leave early in the morning, and giving this girl the chance to run, would only delay their plans and aggravate them all. Turning his pitiful look upon her he sighed, and turned back to her father, "Now…as soon as a priest can be found."

"Father please…" the girl begged beginning to reaching up her hands and clutching them to herself, "please…"

She was silences by her father's hand slapping her hands down, causing her to stumble backward, only to be caught by Art's quickly outstretched arm, "Ye will be silent, and obedient…and you'll marry him, wench."

Art could not believe this, never had he seen such abuse by a parent. His family, they were all so happy, granted when he or his cousins acted out there was hell to be paid, but never unjustly like this.

Grabbing her shoulder and sternly looking the man in the face, Art said, "I'd appreciate if you didn't ever again handle my future wife in such a way."

"Don't be tempting me boy to do something I'd rather not," he said eyeing them both nastly, then smiling, "I will be seeing ya both at the church in a half hour…don't get lost."

As soon as he was out of sight, Maura pulled away from Art, growling, "Don't touch me."

Art looked down at her, looking at her sternly he said, "Let's get something straight…" but before he could go on she was marching off toward what he could only guess was the church. Rubbing his eyes, he began to feel, a very strong, headache coming on….How was he going to explain this to Rin, let alone the family….I just picked her up in an alley, literally.

...

They hadn't spoken since the church, not to mention since before that either. He tried to talk, but she wouldn't at all, the most he might get was a glare or a grunt of displeasure. Shaking his head, as he led her back to the camp where they planned to leave from. Her father had given then a rig and a horse, which carried her possession and a sum of dowry money.

The sun was peaking over the horizon. Unfortunately the only one awake happened to be Rin, who he could see staring off into the horizon. While it may have been better she would be first since she would be the hardest of their group, he wasn't ready to cross such a bridge.

Hopping off the rig he offered a hand to Maura who was quick to hop down from the other side. Turning, and ignoring her, he walked up behind Rin, clearing his throat he asked, "Rin?"

Turning to him, she smiled, the slight dimples in her cheeks showing, and Vincent's gift glowing about her neck, "Art, we were wondering what happened to you, after you left poor Ben," she said smiling secretively. But her smile, their shared smile they'd inherited from their mothers, fell away as she looked at his forlorn expression, "What's happened Art?"

"I ran into a spot of trouble last night, Rin," ringing his hands together, "You see, I…I compromised a young lady, but it was all misinterpreted!" He tried to defend himself, but Rin's once warm face began to turn to steel, "I married her, Rin…if I didn't I don't know what awful things would happen to her and I was to duel her father!"

Rin's eyes quickly shifted to the girl beside him, she was probably his age. Something her though, despite this awful situation struck a chord within Rin, obviously she came from an ungentlemanly father, and thus far with no account of a mother. She looked smart, book wise and common sense as well, but under that…it was in her green hazel eyes Rin could see the turmoil the girl was in. It was unfortunate for both, she and Rin, that Rin could draw the parallels between them, but where Rin had found someone to love, this girl had been forced with her cousin.

Standing up, hapharzardly brushing the dust and grass from her habit, she extended her hand, "I am Catherine Darcy, but everyone calls me Rin," smiling at the girl with a welcoming warmth which couldn't help but open the other up.

Maura could hardly believe this lady who stood before her. Here her cousin comes back after compromising a girl, and thus married and she greets her with open arms. Shocked and astonished by the kindness, she smiled, a small one that could easily be missed, and offered hand in return, "Maura…." And of course unfortunately forgetting her married name, she turned to Art for help.

Shrugging as if it was nothing, "Fitzwilliam."

Her smile growing ever so slightly, "Maura Fitzwilliam."

"Well that makes you my cousin, Maura." Laughing she turned to Art, and glared in mock anger, "How will we explain this to your parents let alone the family?"

……………………………………….

They had been going at it for hours…since they had all set off, whatever he said, she wouldn't talk back… Nothing gained a response from the monotone redhead, though there were several glares and smug smiles thrown his way.

How was it that she had gotten to this point, she had almost been free. She would have fled town that morning with the caravan, never to be noticed and thus out of the reach of the father, but no, glaring at the person to whom she bestowed all this anger, he had to come into the stupid alley. He had to do it his way, with no regard to others, the selfish spoiled pig!

She hated him! And now she was stuck with him, for the rest of her life…or until she died, but death wasn't exactly something she wished for…too much life to live, adventures to be had, but not anymore. Huffing aloud, crossing her arms she sulked over her predicament.

Jo and Howard had yet to reveal their news to the rest of the group, and though they stayed often in each other's company, thus far that had not been odd, so nothing was mentioned.

Jo was excessively nervous, though she figured that her father and mother wouldn't be half as upset as her Uncle Richard and Aunt Kitty were going to be with Ben and Art. Reassuring herself of this, she glanced over the girl Maura.

She seemed so angry, obviously not a happy person, so…well the emotion that could be seem in her eyes and steely face was most definitely anger. While Jo hadn't been told the details of this marriage, Rin had simply said they are married and now its time to leave, she suspected that it was most definitely not due to love.

Had this girl trapped her favorite cousin into a loveless marriage? The thought ran through her head, causing her to gasp, her once beloved cousin would now be held down by a fortune hunting woman, who was constantly angry.

Howard had heard her gasp, and turning down to look at her, he could see where she so blatantly stared. Whispering, "Jo it isn't polite to stare."

Jo practically jumped off the horse at the sound of someone addressing her. For all her life she had never been good at shielding her emotions from her eyes, and had often been caught staring, or coming to irrational outcomes of the most fanatical kind. Sighing she asked, "Do you think she's a fortune hunter, who roped poor Art in?"

Howard rolled his eyes at the term of poor being used to describe Art, "I do not believe so, and I highly doubt that poor cousin Art is quite as innocent as you give him credit for."

Jo turned harsh eyes upon her husband, "Art is a good man, and would never do something that would account for this!" she vehemently in Art's defense.

"Listen, Jo, I know not of what has occurred but I can easily see as you must that neither wants to be in the situation," sighing he said solemnly, "We can only suspect what has brought them to this." Both looking over at the two.