Revised October 2011
Disclaimer: DON'T OWN X-MEN, MARVEL PROPERTY!
Btw this is an AU and there are no powers and this is set in the 1700s. (don't worry, it'll be full of action without 'em)
Lord Delmar was not a man of great feeling. On the contrary, apart from anger or disapproval, he was as unfeeling humanly possible. Of course there were some things John Delmar did care about. Unfortunately his wife and children were not listed under that particular category. Ever since his youth, money had been his main and often his only priority. Every cent he lost felt like a blade being inched closer and closer to his throat and with every inch the blade slipped towards him, the more he became aware of his need to delay the final judgement that the invisible knife represented. That was probably why he took in his granddaughter after her parent's deaths. Not out of love or charity, but apprehensive greed.
When his daughter Pricilla had been born, he had immediately known how much she would be worth to him and that was absolutely nothing except a world of trouble. Eighteen years rolled by as did multiple expenses that edged the knife a little too close for comfort. However it wasn't the expenses of having a beautiful and lively daughter that became the main problem. It was when Pricilla first met him.Captain Owen D'ancanto was several years older than her. He was handsome, distinguished and a man of the NewWorldto boot. He wasn't the first charming young man to pursue her but his attempts at wooing his daughter left Lord Delmar disgusted. From the first day he met the man he had hated him. He was American, a Casanova of the new generation and a snake charmer in his eyes that stole Pricilla's heart from day one. Six months passed before Owen decided it was logical to ask him for Pricilla's hand in marriage. It would be polite to say he simply refused but there was no point in dallying in lies. Not only did Lord Delmar turn him down, he forbade him from stepping a foot on his land again and most especially from going anywhere near his daughter.
Weeks passed and Pricilla seemed to be her usual expensive self. Delmar reflected on those months in the years to come with an after taste of revulsion. While he and his wife lay unaware down the hall, Owen snuck into Pricilla's room in the dead of the night and left every morning before dawn. One night however, fate seemed to be in the mood for trickery. The lovers were caught off guard for once. Lord Delmar had been walking about the manor one night, brooding over a bout of financial squander his sons had brought on him, when he happened upon his daughter's doors. Noises muffled by his daughter's bedroom doors caught his ears and fuelled his outrage. As fate watched amusedly, Lord Delmar opened to doors only to catch them in their affair. No one, not even his wife, had ever seen Lord Delmar so furious. He had Owen thrown off of his lands and beat his daughter until her tears streamed with blood. Not too long after that night however, fate seemed to be back on the lovers' side and Owen took Pricilla away from her home and disappeared without a trace. The only news Delmar received was that from a letter sent to his wife from Pricilla. His wife had announced through joyful tears that Pricilla was happily married to Owen but worse still, a child had been born; a daughter. Lord Delmar's only response to the news had been to curse them and their bastard child. Disgraced, he cursed her and her family even after his sons had deserted him and his wife had left him for the next world. Eight years passed before he ever heard of them again. He learned that his son-in-law had died at sea, and that his daughter had been left pregnant and alone to raise an eight year-old daughter. He had smiled that day, smiled and drank to his small victory. Six months later he learned that Pricilla and her prematurely born son had died and that his granddaughter had been left alone in the world. The taste of victory sweetened with the promise of a good investment.
Though he despised her for her very existence, his granddaughter happened to be the daughter of a wealthy Sea Captain. The girl's father had left all his treasures and earthly possessions in her inheritance, making more than just a generous dowry for her and a successful suitor when she married. Lord Delmar saw it as a bountiful addition to his own wealth and so sent for her (and her inheritance) to be brought back to England. It was a week after her arrival that the codicil revealed its ugly head. Along with being stashed away somewhere amongst the D' ancanto estates, the girl's inheritance was untouchable. If he had not shown her off to society as his estranged daughter's only child, perhaps he may have been able to be rid himself of the scrawny ten year-old but the damage was done. There was no means of ridding himself of her. And so in light of this disaster, he took out his frustration and fury on whomever was closest. It was too often that Anna-Marie was at the receiving end of his fury.
But what could be done? She was a thorn in his side, a symbol of his lost opportunities and remained to be so for the ten years to come.