Title – Love Affair
Setting – England
Mortality – All human
Time Setting – 18th Century
Summary – An 18th century love affair, it began as impossible and improbable. The rules, the customs, everything was against them. A love affair never ends, it never fades and fate takes its course.
Author's Note – This story has been re-released because I wrote it a while ago and the grammar is terrible. The story in itself is not changed, the events are still the same but some things work better if they are done a different way. The plot is not changed by any means, the events will occur the same way but if things have to be tweaked, they will.
Isabella Swan. I am the girl that turns no heads, that attracts no men, none that are successful enough for my mother. It's like I'm their last hope, after my brother died her mission of finding me a husband was more determined. I let her have her way, she refused to listen to the fact that no one would ever look my way, I was a maid for heaven's sake.
This time a year my mother has deluded herself into thinking that if I walk a bit taller, smile a little sweeter that the duke's visitor's will take fancy to me. This is the time of year that they come to stay for a season or two. She's delighted to find out that many of the visitor's include young, wealthy men. I think it's absolutely disgusting, the way she plans to show me off like I'm something to look at.
"Have a wonderful day, Bella." My mother said as she assured me out the door. Ahead of me was a long walk to the Cullen residence. I was a maid. Quite frankly I thought it was a decent employment. I had it a lot easier than most. I was very good friends with the Cullen's daughter. She and I were the same age and she was not ashamed of having friends less fortunate than her.
I walked in the back entrance and the cook was in frenzy.
"Isabella you are late, breakfast will not be ready on time." Lisa, one of the maids said in a hurry. She was indeed in a hurry. I was shocked that the household was this mad, it was never that much of an issue if breakfast was a bit late. "Hurry, off to the kitchen you go. Help the cook. You will serve the family this morning." She threw orders left and right. I needed a minute to process. "Isabella!" she refused to call me Bella when I asked her too, I had given up.
"No apologies needed just hurry." She insisted.
"What is the matter? It shouldn't be so worrisome for the meal to be served with delay, they won't mind."
"The Hale's are visiting this morning. Mr. Hale and his son are in town and Mr. Cullen has ordered for things to go flawless. Mr. Hale has come to handle very important business."
I nodded, obviously this was of great importance. Mr. Cullen would never ask something like this if it wasn't important. I went to the kitchen and followed every order to the best of my ability. I wasn't a very graceful person but I did what I could. It seemed as thought it would never end but with no time to spare breakfast was ready.
"Careful Bella, no accidents." The cook warned.
"Yes of course, I'll be careful." I assured her.
"Mhmm." She was skeptical. "Don't break anything." I nodded and exited the kitchen and walked into the dining room where the Cullen family sat awaiting their breakfast. Along with them was Mr. Hale and his son, I had met them before, they were very good friends with the Cullen's. Although, they often came with two other girls, only six of age, Mr. Hale was a widower with three children.
I served each of them, watching my every step. "What brings you into town?" Mr. Cullen asked Mr. Hale.
"Well, Carlisle my son and I have spoken of finding him a wife."
Mr. Cullen nodded with pleasure. "How has the search treated you?"
"Harshly, the boy cannot be pleased. I begin to regret that promise I made his mother, to find him a wife that he wanted not one that I should choose for him."
"I've only ever had one in mind." His son replied. He stole a glance at Alice, Mr. Cullen daughter. She stared down at her food not reacting at all.
Mr. Cullen nodded curtly. "Is that what brings you all this way, Jasper?"
"Surely it is."
"Well, a grown man you are and I would not falter at granting what you seem to desire but as it seems it is not my decision to make. Esme and I have agreed to have her make the choice, furthermore you are asking the wrong person." Mr. Cullen turned to Alice. "Daughter, Alice, this young man has made you an offer."
"I have not heard it, as it seems he was speaking to you not to me." Alice was indifferent to it all. She never talked about getting married.
Jasper cleared his throat. "You are correct, Miss Cullen, I have not yet asked you to be my wife but be assured I won't delay very long. There is a ball tonight, the Duke's kinsmen arrive to town and I have been cordially invited along with a guest."
"Are you asking me to be that guest?"
"I accept along with the condition that Bella accepts to be my guest." She looked at me and I stood shocked. Not a moment lingered that Jasper looked up at me with the same anticipation.
"That's a grand idea." Mrs. Cullen said with a kind smile. "Bella is Alice's very best friend. I'm sure she would be delighted."
"Well…I'm not sure that it would be a –"
Jasper held up his hand. "It would be a grand idea, I agree. I would never deny the company of two very beautiful women." He was quite genuine, it was shocking. Any other person would object to the company of someone like me. "What do you say Bella?"
"Bella, please, it will be great, your mother will be delighted." Alice insisted.
I would not endure the ordeal to deny them what they asked. "If you insist."
She smiled. "I do."
After breakfast, I cleaned the bottom half of the house. Around midday Alice swept me up to her room. She dressed me up like a doll.
"You look great, Bella. This dress is yours."
"Bella, it's mine to give and your to receive. No objections. It doesn't look nearly as good on me."
"Do you truly want to marry Sir Jasper?"
She smiled. "I don't know. I think he's a fine man, I don't truly know him but I don't think that I will decline his offer. I never have before."
"He has visited many times. We never spent much time together because I was such a girl and he a boy. We never could play with eachother but when we were ten, he told me that he would marry me. That he would ask his dad as soon as he was of age. I told him that I would say yes but that was an old promise. I never thought he would keep his word, I didn't think he remembered."
"It's sweet, Alice."
"It's why I will accept but I have to be sure. I want to know him, we haven't spoke in years. At his mother's funeral, he was so grieve stricken that I didn't dare to approach him. I want to speak to him, to get to know him and I don't want to risk him being terrible company. It's why I suggested you to come. It was also to test his vanity, I was sure he would never object to it but I wanted to know."
"Well he's passed."
"I'm happy, I truly am. I never dreamed that this day would come. One day you will feel this way."
"Not if my mother has a say, no one will be wealthy enough."
She giggled. "Tonight you will turn heads, you will be surprised to find the men you will attract."
"Don't be silly."
"Don't underestimate yourself."
"I'm a maid, a man will hardly notice me walk by." I said solemnly. Perhaps I did want to find a husband but more than that I wanted my parents to be proud. I would never want for them to be anything less that proud of me.
When the sun dropped Jasper arrived at the gate. He took our hands as we descended down the staircase. He was a true gentleman. "You are both lovely." His gaze fell upon Alice who wore a deep red gown.
"Shall we." He gestured his arm for me to take it. Alice took the other. He walked us to the awaiting carriage that took us to the ball. Only a fool would have missed it, people walked in by the dozens. Jasper helped both Alice and I out of the carriage.
Inside everything was simply breathtaking. Everyone wore such elegant things. Alice had lent me an emerald green dress, the jewelry the same color. She curled my hair into long ringlets down my back and put some of it up. I almost blended in with the mass
The initial thing I noticed when I walked in was the group of men sitting with girls surrounding them. The men looked better dressed that others, all together there were four that I didn't recognize. With them was the Duke, the Duchess, they had orcastrated this ball to welcome his brother and cousins to town. I had never even been in the Duke's home, much less have I seen his visitors, I assumed them to be the men around him. I could only see two, the others were blocked by women.
I was so caught up in the moment that I hadn't noticed Jasper had whisked Alice off to dance. I was left in my seat alone but that didn't last.
"May I have this dance?" A man held out his hand before me. I looked up rather confused, I was rarely asked to dance. This was all new to me.
"I am sorry but as it seems I am not very coordinated."
"One can always learn." He insisted.
I got up from my seat and took his hand. "At your own risk."
He smiled. He was a brunette guy, mid twenties, dark blue eyes and a pale complexion. "As it is for every woman, my name William"
"Isabella, I prefer Bella."
"Bella, it's memorable." He pulled me to the dance floor were various couples danced. I had seen many people dance but rarely had I done it myself. He sensed my insecurity. "It's all in the leading."
"Mr. Norrinton, I hope I don't disappoint."
"William, please. I don't believe a pretty woman like yourself could never disappoint. I've never seen you, are you new in town?" I had a disability and that was lying, I couldn't even if I wanted to. I could not tell him I was new in town. I couldn't tell him I was a maid either.
"I….I'm a friend of Alice Cullen." It sounded truthful because in part, it was.
"The girl who is promised to Sir Jasper." News spread quickly in a place like this.
"The offer has been made." I corrected.
"My mistake." We made conversation, he was a charming man. He was likable and sweet.
Once the dance was over he asked me if I wanted a drink. He took one from the waiter's platter and asked to accompany him to his table. That is when I realized he was one of the Duke's Kinsmen. The Duke was truly young, not much older than his company, one of them had to be his brother.
"Actually maybe it isn't a good idea, I wouldn't want to impose."
He didn't free my hand. "No you will come with me. You wouldn't want to displease me, don't be intimidated."
I followed, again I could not refuse his request. "If you insist."
We approached the table and I got a full view of the man I had not seen, he wasn't necessarily a man, he looked only a couple years older than me. William was one of the two I couldn't see when I entered. The other had an almost unnatural reddish brown hair, he carried himself very differently. He exposed his own hair in an unruly fashion. His eyes were a striking green. He most definitely stood out from everyone. He was a very good looking man, something about him held my gaze. He snapped his head up after I stared for a second too long. I immediately looked away.
"Gentlemen I introduce to you Lady Isabella."
"A fine woman you are, perhaps you have something in common with the women that surround us." His voice was ice cold. I was sure his intention was to insult me or perhaps that was his personality. Either way I would have to stand before him and smile as if nothing had gone wrong. "A whore, who's looking for nothing more than to entice an unsuspecting man, am I wrong?"
My face turned a bright red. "I-I assure you those are not my intentions."
"Emmett keep your mouth shut, you know her not, refrain yourself from insulting her in my presence." William replied beside me.
"I apologize." He mocked me. His apology was anything but sincere.
"There is no need." The bronze haired boy merely looked up from his wine glass during this ordeal. It seemed as if this was nor his neither his first nor last glass of the night, he already had one too many.
"You lie, he's a ass and you deserve a sincere apology." The bronzed haired boy said not looking up from his glass.
"Says Edward the ladies man." Emmett replied sarcastically.
I felt out of place, I had already gotten my insult for the night I shall leave while I still have my dignity. "It was nice meeting you. I'll be on my way."
"No stay." Edward murmured. "I would very much enjoy your company."
As you can see, major things will not be changed. If you're rereading, I hope that you'll enjoy it, if this is your first time I hope the same.