A/N: I wrote this fanfiction years ago, so it wasn't exactly my best work. I'm going to be editing it to make it better. To old readers, I hope you guys enjoy the new updated story. To new readers, thanks for reading and feel free to leave your opinions. I just ask that you don't be nasty or rude in your review. This fanfiction is based off of Catherine Coulter's Rosehaven, which I recommend. And now, onto the fic. Enjoy!
Téa refused to look at her father as he entered her room, instead averting her gaze to the window. She watched the doves outside, trapped in the menagerie, flying around in an attempt to escape.
Watching them, Téa smiled bitterly as she realized she was no different. She didn't live in a cage like them, but rather a gilded prison. If only she had been born a boy. She would have had the freedom to do whatever she desired whenever she wished to do so.
She heard her father sigh and saw him moving out of the corner of her eyes until he stood in front of the window, blocking her sunshine as he always did.
Téa knew that he loved her, but he never made decisions that resulted in her happiness. He made them based on how much he would profit and what was best for her, never taking her feelings into account.
She stood and walked towards the door before she stopped and turned towards him.
"How could you? I promised him I would wait." She looked at him, feeling her eyes begin to grow moist at his lack of a response. Without another word, she turned and was about to leave when he finally spoke.
"Daughter, I had no choice. Garrett is on his way to the manor. I had to make a decision to save you, my dearest. I couldn't wait for him to return." He pleaded with her, but she refused to look at him.
"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 turning away.
"Love? Promise? What is this nonsense, Téa? There is no love! Do not be silly! Lord Seto is powerful and he can protect Featherstone Manor. I will not be able to for much longer. Tibalt said that he is a warrior and will be able to protect you from Garrett. That is my only concern, your safety! I cannot wait for him to return, Téa!" Téa spun around, her eyes filled with anger.
"But, how can I offer myself to a man I do not know? How can I marry him, Father?" She yelled, shaking her head. Her father let out a groan before spinning around to look at her.
"Your mother was also forced to marry me, yet she did not object." Her father said.
"She did not object because she loved you! And you loved her too, Father." Téa said, folding her arms in defiance. "You married her for love, didn't you?"
"Your mother and I did love each other and we did marry for love. However, not everyone can be that lucky, Téa. I'm sorry." Her father said as he bowed his head.
"I refuse to marry him!" Téa growled, turning away and heading towards the door.
"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." He raised his head, his eyes narrowed in anger.
"I will never let that devil touch me!" Téa spit before running out of her chamber.
"Téa!" Her father yelled at her retreating figure before he let out a sigh and turned towards the window.
"My foolish," 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.
"Young Lord 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." 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.
"I hope you are strong enough to protect my daughter from Garrett. I will not be able to offer much protection for much longer." Seto's face became serious at once.
"I will protect her with my life." Seto bowed.
"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 Garrett?" 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. By taking my name, you will become Seto of Oakland, Earl of Featherstone, and Earl of Long Gate. You and my daughter will rule over my subjects, collect my rent, and control all of my estates." He said. Seto nodded.
"I will be sure to bed her 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 entered.
"Ah, Téa. My daughter, come to me." Lord Gardner said. 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. Reflected in them was the knowledge that he was superior to everyone in the estate.
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," He father began. However, she spun around and walked out of the great hall, making everyone well aware of her displeasure at being married to him.
He 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.
"Father," Lord Gardner reached up and wiped his daughter's tears before giving her a weak smile.
"Do not cry, my sweet Tea." He said, shaking his head. Téa grasped his hands and pressed her lips against it.
"I am sorry." She whispered. 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 faster now.
"Father, please. Do not go and leave me all alone." She begged but her father merely shook his head.
"No, you will have Seto." Téa froze before she began vehemently shaking her head.
"I cannot marry him, Father. Please do not make me." She pleaded but her father shook his head.
"You will marry him, my child. He will care for you." Téa watched as his face twisted in pain before he let out a ragged breath and froze.
Téa looked down at her father, unable to move.
"Father?" She whispered, her eyes growing wide in fear when he didn't respond. "Father?"
"Father!" She yelled, shaking him in hopes that he would awake. Her heart sank as she realized he was dead.
"No Father! You cannot leave me!" She screamed before burying her face in his chest and sobbing her heart out. The door opened and Tibalt, 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 Tibalt with a heartbroken look.
"My father is dead. Lord Gardner is dead, Tibalt." Tibalt nodded and she buried her face in his chest, sobbing.
"Shh Téa." He comforted her, his hand stroking her hair.
"Now, I must marry that messenger of Lucifer." She sobbed into his chest. Tibalt pulled her away to look at her and nodded.
"Yes, you must. Only he can protect you from Garrett." Tibalt replied. 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?" She asked, turning towards Tibalt, who nodded.
"You will be able to mourn. I will tell Seto he cannot bed you until a week has passed." He turned to leave when she ran over towards him and wrapped her arms around him.
"Tibalt, I do not want him to bed me. Not next week nor any other night." Téa said, shaking her head. Tibalt sighed and hugged her back.
"I am sorry, Téa, but he has to. Otherwise Garrett will be able to claim you. After Garrett has claimed you and after you have borne him an heir, he will kill you." Tibalt said.
"What makes you think this demon will not?" Téa screamed, pulling away from Tibalt, who shook his head.
"Because I know him. That's why I chose him. He will protect you until his last breath." Suddenly, he turned and walked towards the door.
"I will speak to him and tell him not to bed you tonight." He said 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. For the first time since her father's death, she smiled.
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.
"I see. Thank you." Without another word, she nudged Maybelle and headed back towards Featherstone Manor.
Once in the stable, Téa quickly unsaddled Maybelle and ran out towards the manor.
She arrived at the heavy wooden doors only to be greeted by Seto's cold face. She felt fear 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. She nodded and bowed. 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, 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 an hour." He sneered. 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 Tibalt 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.
"Yes." 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 promised 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 back 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.
"You beast! Will you rape me then?!" Téa screamed, looking up at him in anger. He scoffed and gave her an emotionless look.
"If I need to, then yes." He replied. watching her eyes grow wide in shock. Taking advantage of her momentary surprise, he managed to pin her legs down. 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.
"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.
"And why not, you brute?!" She yelled as she pulled herself off the bed.
"Because Garrett 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 at him in anger.
"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 gave her a superior 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!" 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." Tibalt 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." Tibalt yelled at his retreating back. Seto paused and turned back towards Tibalt.
"No woman has ever retaliated against me and no woman ever will!" He replied furiously. "Now, where is Téa?!"
And that wraps up the first chapter. What do you guys think of the edited version? Like it, love it, hate it? Feedback is greatly appreciated. I just ask that you do not leave any rude comments. Thank you!