Title: The Second Son of a Duke
Summary: Completely alternate universe. No vampires, but lots of Edward and Bella. Lord Edward is the second son of a duke and on one mistaken night, his fate and the fate of a Viscount's daughter is forever intertwined. Set in 19th century London.
Author's Note: It may be that I've been reading too many regency novels or something, but it totally inspired me to write something different. I just want to test how this story would be received. So, you guys will determine if I post more chapters or not. Give it a try and enjoy!
The ton says Lady Sophia Lovejoy's annual soiree is the most sought after party of the year. Of course, there was the usual dancing and mingling like many other soirées, but Lady Lovejoy's is notorious for having one fateful couple leave bound for marriage. Be it by choice or by accident. Which is why it is the most scandalous event of the year.
Everyone with a title attached to their name was preparing for this notorious soiree, although, they were not all going for the same reasons. Some favored the party atmosphere, while most have come to see who the lucky or rather unlucky couple would be this year. Last year, it was Sir Foley and a rather well-known merchant's virginal daughter, Abigail Keller.
They were found in a very compromising position outside on Lady Lovejoy's alcove, and Abigail's father demanded a hasty wedding in order to hush the scandal that it would definitely stir. Being a gentleman, Sir Foley immediately offered for Abigail's hand and the wedding happened a week later. The news is that there could not have been a better match made and they are expecting a bundle of joy soon.
"Lady Bella, your gown is ready," Her maid, Sara, said laying a royal blue dress on the bed. It was made of the finest silk, covered in silvery lace that sparkled in the candlelight of the evening. Only the best for the daughter of a Viscount.
"I think you will look most exquisite this evening," Sara commented twisting Bella's hair up into an elegant pile on her head with curly tendrils framing her face.
"Thank you, Sara. I truly hope Lord Black will think so, too," Bella gave a dreamy sigh.
Sara gave a reassuring smile as she helped Bella into the gown. Her maid was only three years her senior, but when Bella found her digging for scraps from the trash, she begged her father to keep Sara. It took a whole day of convincing, but Bella finally got what she wanted. From that day on, she gained a maid and a companion.
"Lord Black is absolutely smitten with you. Perhaps, you will come back married to him," Sara worked the buttons on the back of the gown.
Bella laughed, "I would want nothing more."
Lord Jacob Black was the son of a Baron, and being the only daughter of a Viscount, she would be marrying below her station. Which is why her parents had fervently rejected acknowledging Lord Black's offer for her hand in marriage. She understood they wanted more for her, but what she wanted most was him. Let's see how much longer they can refuse her marriage to Lord Black if she's ruined by him.
"Bella, dear," A knock sounded on her door. Her mother, the Viscountess Lady Renee Swan, came in looking ready for bed.
"You look lovely," Her mother said cupping her face.
"Thank you, Mother," Bella replied.
Her mother planted herself on the bed, "I would like to express my opinion about Lady Lovejoy's soiree tonight. I really hope you change your mind."
"I am nineteen," Bella complained.
"Which is why you are going to take Madam Fiona with you," Her mother said evenly.
Bella shook her head, "Not that old cow!"
"Excuse me, young lady," Her mother chided.
Madam Fiona was an extremely old governess who loved to slap debutantes with her brass fan whenever they did or say something unfit for a young lady. Being as ancient as she was, everything is unfit for a young lady.
"I only have one daughter," Her mother frowned.
"Which is why you must give father a son," Bella teased.
"Your father loves you best. He's in no hurry," Her mother smiled.
That may be the case, but Bella knew her mother was beyond childbearing years. Even if she wasn't, her mother had told her they tried to have another child after her, but there was never any.
Her mother stood, "Madam Fiona is waiting for you downstairs. I will see you tomorrow morning."
Once her mother left, Bella sneezed and coughed into her hand. She believed she was coming down with something, but tonight was too important to let slip away. When is she going to have another chance to ruin herself in order to become Lord Black's wife? Never, so tonight was the perfect night.
Sure enough, the vile Madam Fiona was waiting in the sitting room to chaperone her to the soiree. In her hand was the dreaded brass fan that Bella has been a victim of before.
Madam Fiona stood when she saw Bella in the foyer and grumbled, "I'm too old for this."
"You're telling me," Bella mumbled too low for the old woman to hear.
Lady Lovejoy's soiree was crowded with guests by the time Bella was announced. Due to Madam Fiona's watchful eye, Bella was forced to mingle with the guests until Lord Black reached her side and requested a dance. Bella was glad to get away from the dreadful woman and into the arms of her lover.
"You look beautiful tonight," Jacob complimented making her blush.
"Thank you, you look rather dashing yourself," Bella replied letting him sweep her along the dance floor with the rest of the guests.
Jacob's spicy scent filled her nostrils as he twirled her on the floor. It was a nice, earthy scent that she had gotten used to. Warm and definitely inviting.
"Bella," He whispered her name softly.
"Yes?" She answered.
"We don't have to do this tonight. We'll find another way to convince your parents," Jacob continued his whisper.
Bella shook her head, "I'm ready to become your wife. Unless…"
"Unless what?" Jacob asked.
"Unless…you don't want me," Bella finished.
Jacob faltered in his step but quickly recovered. He tightened his hold on her and stared down at her.
"Bella, I'll always want you," He swore and she believed him.
The next few steps were sets of continuous swirls that made Bella sick to her stomach. Her dizziness forced them off of the dance floor.
"Bella, what's wrong?" Jacob asked.
"I feel like I've caught a cold," Bella replied rubbing the gooseflesh on her skin away.
Bella glanced at Madam Fiona who was nodding off in her chair, oblivious to the world of the ton around her. And oblivious to her, thank goodness.
"I was caught in the rain a few days ago," Bella explained looking back into Jacob's worried eyes.
"You should rest, then. There's a physician here, I believe," He stated.
"I am fine, Jacob," Bella insisted.
He placed the back of his hand against her forehead, "You are burning up. Come with me."
Jacob led her away from the crowd just as Lord Edward Cullen stepped into the room. Only four and twenty, he was the most eligible bachelor every proud mama wanted to parade their daughter in front of. He was also the second son of the Duke of Volterra, and was dubbed the brooding, arrogant, green-eyed walking Adonis.
"My Lord," A strawberry blond hair girl greeted him boldly.
Lord Cullen inclined his head. She looked familiar; perhaps, he'd seen her before in gaming hells or brothels. Her attire with half of her bosom hanging out told him she was that type of woman. The type that he allowed himself to entangle with in more than one way because they were not complicated. Money in exchange for sinful service and easily brushed aside if one should ever grow tired. Seems like tonight was his lucky night.
The tonic Bella received made her dizzy and disoriented. Jacob had been pulled away from her during her visit with the physician. So, she retired early in one of Lady Lovejoy's guest bedrooms and decided to pen a note to Jacob before she went to sleep.
I am on the second floor, corner room to the left when you retire from the party. Anxiously waiting for you. ~B
Bella flagged down a butler in the hallway.
"Can you please deliver this message to Lord Black, please?" Bella asked.
"Yes, Milady," The butler replied taking the note.
Bella thanked him and stumbled to bed, leaving the door unlocked for Jacob.
The butler turned the corner and nearly bumped into Lady Cullen.
"My pardon," He apologized.
She smiled, "Have you seen my brother, Lord Cullen?"
"I have not, Milady," He answered.
"If you should, please give him this message for me," Lady Cullen extended a note and went on her way.
The two notes looked identical as it was written with the same stationary Lady Lovejoy had in each guest room. The one in his left hand was Lord Black's and the one in his right hand was Lord Cullen's.
'Left, Lord Black. Right, Lord Cullen,' the butler repeated in his head terrified of mixing the two. If only one of them had a name written on the front. Boy, he wished he had a pen.
'Left, Lord Black. Right, Lord Cullen,' the butler repeated the mantra in his head as he made his way back to the party.
BOOM! Clink! Clink! Before the butler could stop the catastrophe, two waiters went stumbling into each other and so did the champagne glasses. In a rush to fix the mess, the butler stuffed the notes in his jacket pocket. They worked to clear the floor of bubbly liquid and tiny shards of glass. Once everything was safely cleared, the butler reached for the messages. Only to forget which one was which.
Was the one in front the left hand or the right hand? And what about the one in the back? Was the left hand one Lord Cullen's or Lord Black's? He was sure the right hand one was on top, so that must be Lord Black's and the left hand one on the bottom was Lord Cullen's. There, everything was fixed.
"Lord Black, a message for you," The butler announced handing over the note.
Then, he found Lord Cullen at the cards table.
"Lord Cullen, a message for you," He said handing over the note.
Lord Cullen excused himself to read the note in private.
I am on the second floor, corner room to the left when you retire from the party. Anxiously waiting for you. ~B
Could it be the strawberry blonde woman who fancied him, and was now inviting him into her bed? Well, if that was the case, he hoped to make it worth her while.
Meanwhile, Lord Black was pondering his message. All it said was, 'Father wishes to speak with you upon your return, Your Sister.' How odd, his sister wasn't even at the soiree. Did she send the note here all the way from home? Thinking about tracking down the butler who handed him this message, Jacob was deterred by another acquaintance who wishes to speak with him.
Bella was sound asleep in her darkened room when the doorknob clicked open. The lock was turned, and soft footsteps made their way over to the bed. Her heart was pounding so hard, she couldn't turn over to see if it was Jacob. Of course it was him! Who else would it be? Sick or not, he had come for her and she would let him make her his tonight. They would be considered married by morning.
She could hear him undressing now. One boot, two…his coat falling to the floor and the swish of his tunic being pulled over his head. Her heart pounded in her ears, her breath quickened, and she peered out from under the blanket. A fuzzy outline of Jacob, but it was him. She would finally belong to the person she loved despite what her parents thought.
The moment he crawled into bed, she smelled a hint of liquor, but warm hands reached out for her. This was her Jacob. So, when his body pressed her against the bed, she did not refuse.
How malleable his courtesan was, this strawberry blonde who had his blood boiling as soon as he reached out for her. She was hot and soft beneath him, driving him to near insanity as he worked her flimsy chemise over her head. He bent down to capture her lips and the sweet, almost innocent taste sent his heart racing. She made his blood boil like no other woman, or maybe it was the alcohol running through his system.
There were no games with her, just yielding surrender to his embrace. The sight of her caused the pit of him to tighten and harden. He wished it wasn't so dark in the room so that he may see her in pleasure, but her moans would have to be enough. He could hardly slip away from her to light a candle now that she was in his arms.
"You're beautiful," He murmured against the hallow of her neck.
His touch sent flickering flames of fire to her core and she writhed beneath him until he could no longer control himself. He eased into her feeling her clamp down around him. As an experienced lover, he should've known something was wrong then, but the alcohol flowing through his system numbed the sensation.
His mouth smothered her as he fully entered her, drowning out what he thought were cries of pleasure. The core of her clenched him so tightly that he thought he might explode at once. It was an unbelievably good feeling, euphoria. Her moans filled his ears; tangible sounds he'd cling to for release. With her supple breast in his mouth, he drove her to the edge with him.
She curled up and fell asleep right after they were spent. Lying there, he felt his heart clench in an aching way to take her again. The way she made love to him was like touching his heart and soul. No woman had ever managed to do that before. He remembered thinking that he would offer to secure her as his mistress before falling asleep.
to be continued…
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