A/N: I wrote this story a while ago, so it wasn't really my best work. I'm going to be editing it and adding more. So, for old readers, I hope you like the revised version. For new readers, thanks for reading and feel free to leave your opinion of the story. I just ask that you don't be rude and nasty in your review. Other than that, enjoy the fanfic!
Note: This story was inspired by Catherine Coulter's Rosehaven, which is a beautiful book.
Disclaimer: If by now you haven't figured out that I don't own YuGiOh, then I don't know what to say.
Téa refused to look at her father as he entered her room, turning instead to look out the window at the doves down below in the menagerie. They were flapping their wings, eager to escape their prison.
As she watched them, Téa smiled bitterly as she realized that she was no different. She too was trapped in a cage, a gilded one thrust onto her at birth and maintained by her father. If only she had been born a man, she would have had the freedom to do as she pleased whenever she wished to. Instead, she was bound by society to behave at all times as a lady should.
She heard her father sigh but refused to look at him. She knew that he was there to speak to her about the decision he'd made not too long before. The decision he'd made about her life.
Téa knew that he loved her, but he never made decisions that resulted in her happiness. Rather, he always made the decisions that resulted in the greatest gains for him while still keeping her protected. Now, he'd made the biggest decision of her life and he'd also gained the most from it.
Turning away, she moved towards the door just as he called out, "Téa."
Pausing, she didn't look at him but asked, "how could you? I promised him that I would wait, Papa," as tears rushed to her eyes.
"Téa, my love, I had no choice. Gozaburo approaches our manor while left me no choice. I had to make the decision to save you and protect you, my Téa. I couldn't wait for him to return," he explained to her but she still couldn't look at him.
"But Papa, I do not know this man. How can I offer him my heart and love him when I already promised my heart to another?" Téa asked, her voice barely a whisper.
Her father looked at her and let out an exasperated groan before he bit out, "love? Promise? What is that nonsense, Téa? There is no love! Lord Seto is powerful and he can protect our manor. He can protect you for I will not be able to much longer. Solomon said that he is a warrior and will be able to protect you from Gozaburo. Your safety is my only concern, Téa. I couldn't wait for him to return."
"But, how can I offer myself to a man I do not know? How can I marry him, Papa!?" she yelled as she spun to face her father, who let out a frustrated groan.
"Your mother was also forced to marry me, yet she did not object," her father reminded her.
"She did not object, Papa, because she loved you, just as you loved her," Téa pointed out, folding her arms in defiance. "You married her for love, did you not?"
"Your mother and I did love each other and we did marry for love," her father acknowledged before he sighed and bowed his head, sadly saying, "however, not everyone can be that lucky, Téa. I'm sorry."
Shaking her head, Téa bit out, "I refuse to marry him!" before she opened the door to leave.
As she did, her father looked at her, his eyes blazing with anger, and thundered, "you will marry him, Téa. On the morrow, you two will be wed. It does not matter if you love him or not. All that matters is him protecting you and our home. In return, you will bear him heirs."
"I will never let that devil touch me!" Téa spit before she turned and ran out of her chamber.
"Téa!" her father yelled at her retreating figure before he let out a sigh and turned towards the window.
"My fooli-" he stopped as he stroked his beard and chuckled before looking up at the sky. "Our headstrong daughter."
His headstrong daughter was exactly like her mother. Her determination and her need for freedom was exactly like that of her mother.
He closed his eyes, remembering his wife's fierce determination and her stubbornness. He had never liked her straying too far from him and it had been with a heavy heart that he had let her leave the manor, only for her never to return.
He hoped he would never have to let go of Téa. He watched the sky with sad eyes before he bent over as a fit of coughing overtook him.
"Lord Gardner. I have come just as you have requested me." Lord Gardner looked at the young man bowing in front of him. The man straightened and Lord Gardner smiled in approval.
"Ah, young Seto. You have grown much since I last saw you," Lord Gardner said before he leaned forward as another fit of coughing overtook him.
Lord Seto bowed his head in respect before he straightened and began to look around the great hall. Tapestries hung from the wall, many with scenes of hunts or scenes of nature, as well as weapons. The shield bearing the family crest, which was two lions facing each other and holding a mirror which reflected a harp, a book, and a candle, hung on the wall as well. Seto's eyes continued circling the great hall, which was large enough to accommodate at least 500 people, the usual amount at Lord Gardner's famous feasts.
"But, you have not changed, Lord Gardner," Seto said, earning himself a chuckle from Gardner.
"I have changed more than you may see, child. I am no longer as strong as I use to be. I've become an old man," Lord Gardner said as he stood and walked towards Seto, extending his arms. "I wish to see my future son in law."
"I see your arms are as solid as a rock. Very good and very useful in battle," Lord Gardner smiled as he grasped Seto's arm.
"My strength has come in useful in battle several times in the past," Seto replied, earning a hearty nod from Lord Gardner.
"I hope you are strong enough to protect my daughter from Gozaburo. I will not be able to offer her much protection for much longer." Seto's face became serious at once.
"I will protect her with my life, my Lord," Seto bowed and the man smiled.
"I knew it was wise to form an alliance with you. I feel better already," Lord Gardner said before another fit of coughing began. "Well, somewhat."
"My Lord, where is Gozaburo?" Seto asked. Lord Gardner sighed and turned away.
"I do not know, but he is on his way. It is important that you marry my daughter and bed her tonight. Once you have placed an heir in her, he cannot claim her. If he cannot claim her, he cannot steal my estate from me. However, if you are to marry my daughter, I ask that you take my name as I have no sons, no other heirs to carry on my name. You and my daughter will rule over my subjects, collect my rent, and control all of my estates," Lord Gardner said as he turned to look back at Seto, who immediately nodded.
"I will be sure to bed her, my Lord, and I will take your name." Just as he said it, the doors of the great hall opened, causing both men to turn to see who had disturbed them.
"Ah, Téa. My daughter, come to me," Lord Gardner said to the new arrival. Seto turned towards the woman who would soon be his wife and regarded her with a nonchalant look. She was beautiful, which was something he had not expected at all.
Her night blue dress was in contrast with her creamy white skin. His eyes trailed down her body. She was truly a beauty, a well blossomed flower. She had progressed into womanhood already, he observed as he looked at her chest. Her bosoms were full, pushing the chest of her dress out. Her waist was small, but her hips were wide and looked good for bearing sons.
His eyes trailed up her body towards her face. Her pink full lips were parted, revealing perfect teeth. Her cheeks were rosy and her cheekbones were high. His eyes continued moving up until he found her eyes. Cerulean orbs looked back at him with a mixture of what looked like fear and anger in them. He gave her a nonchalant look before he turned away from her, making his disinterest in her clear.
Téa looked at the man who was to be her husband. Tall and well built, he was dressed entirely in black. He wore a black cloak that seemed to move on its own. His black tunic was loose, but the under tunic clung to him like a second skin, revealing his well chiseled abdomen. His leggings were also black, held against him by black leather cross garter. On his feet, he wore heavy black boots.
Téa was surprised that he wore no armor and carried only a sheathed sword attached to his leather belt and a dagger strapped to his leg. Her eyes finally moved upwards to look at his face.
His chestnut colored hair hung over his deep cobalt eyes, covering them slightly. In his eyes was the knowledge that he was superior to everyone around him.
Instantly, Téa felt a wave of hatred towards him wash over her. He looked as though he were a messenger of Lucifer himself. She looked over and saw her father looking at her. Her eyes were angry, her rage at being married to the black clothed demon evident.
"Téa," her father began. However, she spun around and walked out of the great hall, making Seto well aware of her displeasure at being married to him.
Lord Gardner was left staring at his daughter along with Seto.
"I am very sorry, Lord Seto. She," her father began to say when he let out a groan and crumpled to the floor.
Téa looked down at her father, tears streaming down her face.
"Papa," she whispered as Lord Gardner reached up and wiped his daughter's tears before giving her a weak smile.
"Do not cry, my sweet Téa," he said, shaking his head. Téa grasped his hands and pressed her lips against it.
"I am sorry, Papa," she whispered to him as tears continued to fall. He raised his hands and brushed her hair aside, placing it behind her ears. He tilted her chin up so that her eyes were looking into his own.
"My time has come, my daughter. I must leave now," Lord Gardner breathed as his face twisted in pain. Téa shook her head, the tears coming much faster now.
"Papa, please. Do not go and leave me all alone," she begged but her father merely shook his head.
"No, you will have Seto." The moment he said the words to her, Téa froze before she began vehemently shaking her head.
"I cannot marry him, Papa. Please do not make me," she pleaded with him but her father shook his head.
"You will marry him, my child. He will care for you. He will grow to love you, my Téa." Téa watched as his face twisted in pain before he let out a ragged breath and froze.
Téa looked down at her father, who wasn't moving.
"Papa?" she whispered, her eyes growing wide in fear when he didn't respond. "Papa?"
Again, he didn't respond and she felt terror and sorrow seize her heart.
"Papa!" she yelled, shaking him in hopes that he would awake. However, his eyes remained staring up, completely dull.
"No, Papa! You cannot leave me!" she screamed before burying her face in his chest and sobbing her heart out. The door opened and Solomon, who had helped care for her since she was young, entered the chamber, his heart breaking at the sight of Téa sobbing. He walked over towards her and attempted to pry her fingers from her father's cloak. Téa raised her head and looked at Solomon with a heartbroken look.
"Papa is gone, Solomon," she breathed as she buried her face in his chest and sobbed her heart out. "He's gone! He has left me all alone."
"Shh Téa," Solomon comforted her, his hand stroking her hair.
"And now I must marry that messenger of Lucifer," she continued to sob into his chest.
"Yes, you must. Only he can protect you from Garrett," Solomon replied as he pulled her away and looked down at her tear stained face. Téa pulled away and looked at her father, tears rolling down her cheeks.
"My father has just died. Will I not even be allowed to mourn him?" she asked, looking up at Solomon with doe eyes.
Exhaling, he nodded and said, "you will be able to mourn. I will tell Seto he cannot bed you until a week has passed."
With that, he turned to leave when she ran over towards him and wrapped her arms around him.
"Solomon, I do not want him to bed me. Not tonight or tomorrow night or any other night," Téa pleaded, shaking her head. Solomon sighed and hugged her, replying, "I am sorry, Téa, but he has to. Otherwise Gozaburo will be able to claim you. After Gozaburo has claimed you and after you have borne him an heir, he will kill you."
"What makes you think this demon will not?" Téa demanded as she pulled away from Solomon, who shook his head.
"Because I know him. Seto is honorable. That's why I chose him. He will protect you until his last breath. I promise you that." With those words, he turned and walked towards the door.
"I will speak to him and tell him not to bed you tonight," he assured her before leaving her alone in the room with her dead father.
Téa took a deep breath and tried to accept what was about to happen to her.
She was to be wed to the devil's messenger in two hours. However, for now, she did not care. She was riding Maybelle, her favorite horse. She tossed her head back, allowing the wind to tug at her hair. At the moment, all thoughts of her dead father and becoming Seto's wife left her head.
She smiled as Maybelle galloped faster before she stopped at the cliff. Téa looked down at the sea and felt a sense of peace wash over her upon seeing the waves.
Just then, she heard yelling and turned to see Joseph, Bertha's son, running towards her. She nudged Maybelle in the side and the horse turned so that Téa faced him.
"What is it, Joey?" Joey stopped running and bent over, trying to catch his breath.
"Lord Seto. He is looking for you," he manged before taking another deep breath. "And he seems angry."
"I see. Thank you." Without another word, she nudged Maybelle and headed back towards the manor.
Once in the stable, Téa quickly unsaddled Maybelle before she turned and ran towards the manor.
She arrived at the heavy wooden doors only to be greeted by Seto's cold face. She felt fear rush through her but quickly pushed it aside. He was to be her husband. Why should she fear him?
She looked up at him and smiled, attempting to hide her disgust. He looked down at her, his disgust evident on his face.
"You are Téa, daughter of Lord Gardner?" he asked and Téa quickly nodded before she gave a small bow. Seto was taken aback. She looked nothing like the elegant woman he had seen that day.
"Yes, I am his daughter." She knew he had seen her already, yet he behaved as if he hadn't.
"You are the daughter of a great lord? You look like the daughter of a commoner. You smell of horse, your clothes are filthy, and your hair looks as though it has not been brushed for years," he sneered down at her, watching as her jaw flexed before she gave him a sweet smile.
"It is also a pleasure to meet you, my lord. Perhaps, after we are married, I can teach you the correct way to speak to a lady." Seto looked at her, taken aback by her boldness, before he scoffed.
"When you look like a lady and prove that you are one, then I will speak to you as though you were a lady." Téa looked up at him, her eyes cold as they held his gaze.
"The sight of you does not please me. Go and clean yourself. We are to be wed in two hours," he said as if their marriage was no more than the acquisition of property.
Which is it for him, she thought bitterly. Téa gave him one last hard look before she moved past him to enter the manor. Pausing, she turned back towards him.
"As if the sight of you pleases me," she replied, watching his eyes grow wide in surprise. "Besides, I do not like the color black."
With those words, she slammed the door of the manor, leaving a steaming Seto staring at the door.
Seto resisted the urge to go after her and throttle her as he stood watching the door she had just slammed in his face. The nerve of the little shrew!
Seto looked over at Téa, who was sitting beside him.
She had not looked at him nor had she uttered a word since supper had begun. She had not even bothered to look at him after he had just asked her a question. Feeling his temper begin to flare, he cleared his throat and looked at her.
I asked you a question," he said, an edge in his voice. Téa looked up at him and responded before turning away once again. For the first time since he had met her, she looked compliant. However, she looked at him and asked him a question that surprised him.
"Will you bed me tonight?" Seto looked back at her, the obvious surprise and shock showing in his eyes and on his face. She hadn't failed to surprise him once since they met.
"No, I will not. I promised Solomon that I would give you time to mourn," he replied after raising his wine goblet and taking a sip.
"Do you promise?" she asked, causing him to look at her in surprise once again. Promise? She looked at him as though she were a child.
"What foolishness is that? I said that I will not bed you, so I will not," he scoffed, watching as she gave him a quick smile before she turned away and began to eat her supper.
Téa looked up as the door of her chamber opened, but she didn't bother to turn around.
"Ah, Mary. You may leave the milk on my table and please bring me another bowl for my herbs," she said as she continued crushing the herbs she had picked from her garden.
"I am not Mary." Upon hearing the voice, Téa gasped and spun around, dropping the bowl of herbs she was crushing. The shattering of the bowl echoed in the chamber.
"Why are you here?" Téa asked, moving backwards as Seto took a step forward. Surely he couldn't be there for that reason, not after he had promised he wouldn't.
"I must." At those words, Téa felt her heart nearly leap from her chest and shook her head fiercely.
"No, you said that you would give me time to mourn. You said it will not be tonight!" she yelled, her eyes growing wide as he began to struggle with his belt.
"I know what I said, but I do not have a choice." He continued moving towards her until she was backed up against the bed. Without a word, he swiftly pinned her to the bed.
"Let me be!" she yelled, struggling to release herself from his grasp. Seto ignored her attempts and reached down, trying to undo her shift. He cursed in frustration before he reached down and ripped it off.
"No!" Téa yelled as she attempted to push him away. She managed to pull one hand away and clawed at his face. Seto let out a curse and tried to restrain her, but she continued struggling.
"Goddamn you! Stay still!" he yelled as he squeezed her wrists, causing her to gasp in pain.
"You beast! Will you rape me then?!" Téa demanded, looking up at him in anger. He scoffed and gave her an emotionless look.
"If I need to, then yes," he replied, watching as her eyes grew wide in shock. Taking advantage of her momentary surprise, he managed to pin her legs down and force them open. The moment he did, she let out a scream and began thrashing once again.
"No! Seto, let me be!" she yelled before sudden pain overtook her. Letting out the foulest curses she could think of, she bit back tears and tried to keep herself from slipping into darkness.
"You animal! I hate you! I will never forgive you for this!" Téa screamed after the deed had been completed.
"As if I care. Do not try to cleanse yourself," Seto said as he stood. She growled and pulled her ripped shift over herself, trying to conceal herself as best she could.
"And why not, you brute?!" she yelled as she pulled herself off the bed. As she did, her legs gave out and she felt herself fall. Before she could hit the ground, his arms closed around her and she found herself looking up into his cold cobalt eyes.
"Because Gozaburo is close! We have reports that his men are closer. Must you ask silly questions?!" Seto replied impatiently. Téa's eyes grew wide before she glared up at him in anger and pulled herself from his arms.
"You should have told me instead of forcing yourself on me and raping me!" The moment she said it, he burst out into laughter, further fueling her desire to kill him.
"I did not rape you. I merely marked my property," he replied as he gave her a smug smirk before he turned and left an angry Téa in the bed chamber. Téa watched his retreating back and felt her anger overtake her.
"Lucifer's messenger! You did not mark me!" she screamed after him.
In a fit of rage, she walked over to her water basin and began to cleanse herself. That beast! She would never sire his child!
"She what?" Seto growled, rising from his seat.
"Yes, Lord Seto. Mary entered her chamber and found her water basin full of bloody water," Solomon replied, watching as Seto grabbed his sword.
"That wench!" Seto snarled as he headed towards the doors.
"My Lord, do not scold her or she will retaliate against you," Solomon yelled at his retreating back. Seto paused and turned back towards Solomon.
"No woman has ever retaliated against me and no woman ever shall!" he replied furiously before he demanded, "now, where is Téa?!"
So, reviews! Tell me what you think about the new and improved chapter!