A/N: This is a collabouration between me and my incredible, wonderful and super hot Beta, Kitschisme. I did this chapter, you can tell because I spell like a Brit.
Here's the whole summary because it wouldn't fit.
A collab between Kitschisme and Rosette-Cullen. Isabella Swan has lived as a servant her entire life. She has come to expect cruelty from her masters, but will her luck change when she is purchased by the mysterious, brooding millionaire Edward Cullen? Will Bella forever resent her new master, or will she come to see him as more than an unbearably attractive snob? Read to find out! A ravishing 19th century romance. BxE. OOC. Rated M.
We don't own Twilight of course!
The distant sun was setting ever so slowly. The horizon gave way to the promise of night, but also to the promise of a life anew. Though, I was being much too hopeful. Even the clouds told me that these hopes were of false value. Yet, I still hoped; it was all I had left.
When you've lived like I have, you learn that hope is not always void of reason, just small blessings in disguise. But this was hard to believe when I was standing behind a cargo truck, awaiting my turn to be called upon stage. My legs were shaking, tired from standing for so long. The dress I wore was torn and tattered. The skirt brushed my feet, and the bodice was not something I would have chosen for myself.
Of course, I had no choice in the matter. Whoever decided to trade me away chose what I wore. It was obvious that I was going to be sold on my body image alone, and not for my merit of work. My wrists ached to be unbound; the raw skin was aching and throbbing, but had yet to draw blood. I was one of the lucky few that hadn't been forced to work in the warehouses where the men snapped whips.
Instead, I had worked in the hot, humid, and unbearably dry fields. Although the conditions were horrendous, I would choose the fields over the stale factories. I sent a quick prayer to the heavens hoping for a better life this time around. It was hard to believe that God was hearing my prayers anymore, but I had to believe; it was the only thing I had left.
The sounds of jeering and men's calls surrounded my senses. The heady scent of cologne was seeping through the air. I would prefer the scent of mildew and dust over the scent of stinging perfume any day.
As my eighteenth birthday grew nearer and nearer, I feared for my well-being even more. It was simple to say that many women were beaten and raped, left dead or ill in the fields from their masters. I'd seen many women who had suffered such a fate. I had been fortunate, however. My masters had been kinder, so that I did not fear a hand to my skin if I disobeyed.
"Get going!" a gruff voice called from behind. As soon as his hand came in contact with my back, I fell to the ground. My balance was not the best, and any interference was bound to leave me on the ground. "Clumsy wench!"
I stumbled up the stairs of the stage that was set in the middle of the market where the townspeople were gathered around. Rich looking men with neatly combed hair and tidy suits eagerly awaited the next person up the stage. Each had a wad of cash in his hand, some with cigars in their mouths.
The proctor grabbed my shoulder as I wobbled onto the raised platform. His greasy fingers slid to my neck and I flinched away from his touch. He smiled and pulled me back, his hand holding me firmly in place.
"Next up we have a seventeen-year-old female, Isabella Swan. She's worked in the fields all of her life, but her small hands would be suitable for factory work." I could feel the panic build inside of me. Would I be put to work in some factory?
Men started raising their fists in the air, wads in hand. I looked around, seeing each disgusting mug smiling up at me. I had worked under a female before, but I was no fool; I knew what happened to women my age. I knew all about the men who bought women and did as they pleased with them. I began to struggle in the man's grasp..
"Seven hundred and fifty!"
The man tugged on my hair and I shrieked, tears coming to my eyes. "Come now! Is that all we can fetch for this young lass?"
I began to breathe rapidly as the price climbed higher. I saw men with dirty looks eyeing me greedily and I knew my fate was set. I would be put to work, and even worse, perhaps assaulted.
"Two thousand? Anyone care to bid higher?" the crowd was silent, a low murmur floating through. "Alright then, sold—"
"Five thousand!" The crowd turned in the direction from which the man's voice had come. A tall, lean man was standing by a carriage pulled by two white stallions. He was dressed all in black with a top hat on. He looked up and smiled at me.
I cringed back and the proctor beside me grinned while hitting his gavel on the podium. "Sold, for five thousand!"
A guardsman came up the stairs and grabbed my elbow, pulling me through the crowd. I could feel the painful tears stinging in my eyes. The guard held onto me even tighter, his fingers digging deeper, and most likely leaving purple bruises to form.
Eventually, I gave up struggling as we approached the man who would be my new owner. The guard jostled me and pushed me alongside of the horses. I was thrown into the back of carriage and shut inside. I could hear murmuring outside and assumed it was the transaction.
The deep voices shook me to my core, a spiraling fear set through me and I wrapped my arms around my knees. My back pressed to the wall, my breathing deep. I was being sold again, and though I should have been used to it by now, I was not. I was still as frightened as the first time, even more so now.
I was all alone now. No friends from the fields to comfort me and no family to rely on for support. I'd have to work and care for myself now.
I pressed my forehead to my knees and let the tears streak slowly my cheeks. My eyelids slid shut, and soon enough, I fell into unconsciousness.
The sounds around me were muffled. I felt as though I was floating, but in truth I was in pain. I was thrown forward in a sudden flash, and there was yelling around me. The curtain covering the carriage was parted, and a large man in brown moved it aside.
"Get up!" he yelled. My senses were hazy, but I did as I was told. The man became impatient and grabbed my arm to pull me forward.
"Oh, would you look at her! Someone get her cleaned up and into uniform!" said a voice. I looked around me, terrified by all the sudden noise and abrupt movements. My breath caught in my throat and I looked up toward the… castle… I was being moved to.
It was a stately manor, the likes of which I'd never seen before in my life. The large white house stood proudly in front of well manicured green landscape. Women in white and black dresses scurried throughout the front of the estate, setting tables and flowers here and there. A tall blonde stood sneering at them while she imperiously pointed her finger to and fro for certain plants.
The blonde looked at me and glared, her crystal blue eyes lighting up enough to make me cringe back. Another girl with short black hair and a long white dress walked around arranging certain bouquets along the porch.
"Why are you dragging her around?" she snapped at the man in brown. "Your half-witted brother is the one who bought the girl; he should be the one taking care of her." She moved past me and then shoved me away.
My foot caught on the edge of the grass and I stumbled forward, scraping my knees through the torn fabric of my dress. I bit my lip to keep the tears back and stood up. Surely I was going to hell in a perfectly wrapped hand basket.
"Edward was asked to coordinate the furniture inside. We have only six hours to throw this soirée together."
Edward. Was that him? My new owner? I felt my stomach twist sickeningly.
"My point exactly, Emmett!" she snapped. "And he chooses to go to the market on this of all days!" she threw her arms in the air, nearly hitting the man in brown before he backed up.
"Yes, I know, Rosalie, darling. No one will ruin your event, I promise." She didn't acknowledge him as she stormed off into the house. The short haired girl on the porch whispered to another girl and then pointed to me.
This place was so active and busy. I was disorientated and needed time to adjust, but it seemed I was to be thrown right in.
"Um… excuse me?" I turned my head to the left, and my eyes met with the girl who had been on the porch. "Ms. Alice told me that you need to be situated. If you'll just follow me…" she turned then, walking up the porch.
I followed her without hesitation, dodging the girls with full arms of vases and flowers. She led us up a grandiose staircase, right in the center of the foyer. A large crystal chandelier hung in the middle. The carpets were a crisp, pristine white, just as everything else was. The walls, the trim, the furniture, even the railings were all varying shades of pale.
The girl lead me through long corridors and hallways and until she came to a stop at a large white door. She smiled and opened it up. Inside was white marble and tile, a large white basin in front of a mirror, and a silver tub in the center of the room. My mouth fell open in amazement.
"A bath's been drawn for you. There's a party tonight so maids are to be dressed their finest." She smiled and held out her hand. "I'm Angela, by the way."
"Oh," I managed to close my mouth and stick my hand out at her. Angela took it gently and shook before dropping it. "I'm Isabella."
"It's nice to meet you. I'll bring you a uniform while you get cleaned up." She turned towards the door and looked back at me before leaving.
I let out a heavy sigh when the door closed again. The steam rising from the silver tub was much too good to pass up. My dress slipped from my shoulders easily and I stepped inside the tub in one fluid motion. The heat bubbled against my skin, but I welcomed the dull throb before I submerged myself beneath the surface.
As I felt the grime and sweat being lifted from my skin, I rejoiced in the feeling of my muscles relaxing. My heart held an unsteady rhythm, something I was used to. Silent tears blended with the water around me, and when my lungs began to ache I broke through the surface.
I began to scrub away at the dirt from my skin, and realized this would be my new home. And though it looked pleasant enough, I knew from experience it would be anything but.
A/N: This started off as a one-shot I was working on, but I lost inspiration after the first half. So Brigitte suggested making it a story, and it was a miraculous moment. We'll be switching chapters off and on.
Brigitte did the summary, she did an amazing job. Go to her page and find this story and leave a review! She deserves it for putting up with me. ;)
Don't forget to review!