Chapter 1

Letters

It was a crime that she was not married or so said her mother. Who was she you ask, no one worth cataloging really. She was just an ordinary young woman who happened to have one of the most extraordinary things happen to her. She fell in love. There is nothing unordinary about this for people fall in love every day, rather it was who she fell for that makes this story interesting. But I am getting ahead of myself; this is the story of a young girl who saw the man in the monster…a young woman named Amelia. More correctly Lady Amelia Katherine-Edith-Fairchild who at the age of nineteen remained unmarried and dangerously close to becoming a spinster. But that was not the only trouble; she wanted to marry for love. Not so bad right? Wrong. You see being a Lady of society, particularly French society having to be named a spinster was a thing unheard of.

Her father, Kenneth Eduard Harper Fairchild is the Marquise of Brentworth as well as the Viscount of Dunningham and half a dozen other titles too small to be considered noteworthy. A very stern man, he came from London on the hope of finding a nice vacation to which he could return from in a state of peace. Instead do to some bad investments by his solicitor he had lost nearly his whole fortune and his way of getting out. So he was stuck in the middle of Paris with Middleclass lodgings and two sentimental women.

As such, his exacting disposition had worsened over the years and was not at all helped by the dealings of his daughter. She had come to Paris at the age of sixteen and had her head filled with all the romantic fiddle-faddle of the lover's country. His wife was just as bad, Mae Emily-Rose Fairchild was as romantic as her daughter and while Kenneth adored her, her starry-eyed ideas made him sick. He was a sober and quiet man, who liked to keep to himself, hated storytelling of any sort and never read if he could help it. Thus he could not understand his daughter's fascination with them. So he puffed every day at his pipe and swallowed a glass of brandy.

Little did he know that his daughter was about to make the love-match of the century, but not in the way he expected. It all started in the library of her home in the suburbs of Paris when one day, when she was coughing over some dust.

The room was dusty and smelled of leather and aging paper, old books, yellowed with time poked there wizened faces out from the shelves and a young woman stood at the desk in her library reading that morning's edition of the Époque where published in a small column were the words: Erik is dead. She had no notion of whom or what this Erik was; no one had seen this man to begin with. Still, she couldn't help but feel some twinge of sorrow for the man; it was just in her nature. This was something her mother thought to be proud of and her father absolutely abhorred.

"Amelia?" her father shouted at the top of his voice.

"Yes father." She said coming out.

He looked at her seriously, setting down his morning coffee and pulling off his reading glasses. She waited for him to respond. His green eyes lit with mischief as he handed her a letter addressed with a lion's head on it. Amelia sighed and took it knowing who it was from and dreading the contents. Sure enough it was from the De Chagny Boy.

"Pierre De Chagny is coming today." He said softly, "He has some business to discuss with you."

Amelia sighed she already knew that much, the man had written to her the night before saying so. She really did not like the man…no reason honestly it was just Pierre was the kind of foppish young lad she abhorred in books. Her father wanted her to marry him because he was a Chagny. The son of the Comte Philippe de Chagny and the next heir to the wealthiest man and titles in France. Good bloodlines and dandy-like the perfect match for the sentimental little girl. Truth-be-told she thought him boring and possessive though he seemed ardent for her. She sighed, rereading the letter in her head.

My Dearest Lady Amelia

I am coming to visit you tomorrow morning on a matter of some urgency regarding our relationship. The time sharp will be nine o'clock sharp and I will be in your courtyard awaiting you with a pounding heart. Please be on time as I am very busy during the wintertime and do not have much time to spend in the pleasure of your female company. May this message reach you in good health, my lady and may these words excite you as they would my own heart.

I remain yours:

Pierre Françoise Michael De Chagny.

Amelia had rolled her eyes at him then, they had no relationship of which to speak and she did not see him as the object of her affections any time soon if at all. Her parents on the other hand were always pushing them together, setting up dates for them or regular little outings of that sort. Though Amelia couldn't see why, after all the only thing special about him was his name. He had no title, whereas she was the daughter of a very powerful man. He was the son of Philippe De Chagny but the Vicomtedom had gone to his uncle so he was way below her class.

"Well, I am sure whatever Mister De Chagny has to say must be very urgent," Said her mother as she snapped her fan shut.

Amelia doubted that, it was probably just a lot of posturing over how wonderful he was and so on. But when she opened the letter it was to her surprise almost interesting. He did the usual 'I am so wonderful' rigmarole and then revealed his intentions.

My Dearest Lady Amelia

As of now you have probably heard of my Uncle's scandalous betrothal with that opera slut Christine Daaë. There has been no word from him since and we (the Chagnys) have reason to believe that he and that woman have eloped with one another. As you can imagine, we've reporters knocking on our doors and mother has taken ill. It's an utter disgrace! My family and I are dreadfully dismayed by it as you have probably guessed from the tone of this letter.

As you can imagine not long after this, my father the honorable Comte Chagny flew into a rage. A rage might I add that caused me to come into some great fortune , He said some very vulgar things that I being a gentleman of good upbringing shall not write for fear of offending the eyes of the gentler sex. Ah, but how gentle you are, the epitome of womanliness and with such good blood. Oh do not laugh at me Lady Amelia, we shall make handsome heirs. I have nothing but the most honorable intentions towards you my dear and must ask now that you give me the attention that is my due.

I know that in the past I have been no one as my uncle was born long before me and that you, my dear Amelia are a woman of the highest stature. But now, I am pleased to say that my father has willingly given me the title of Vicomte. Uncle had given it up when he married that girl, and now we are both nobility. As such I feel it is the duty of both of us that my father shall soon hope to call you his daughter-by-marriage. Please accept my visitation of you tomorrow and my hand for the sake of my family line.

I remain yours:

Pierre François Michael De Chagny, Vicomte De Chagny

P.S. I will not take 'no' for an answer.

Amelia sighed softly, picking up the letter again. Pierre was not ugly, that was sure, no indeed he was quite beautiful. His father's dark hair and eyes, but the paleness of a handsome statue, his mother's pretty manners and a sense of right and wrong that was as sturdy and rooted as an oak tree. It was just that he was so full of himself that she could hardly have a decent conversation with the man without wanting to hit him.

"He wants to marry me." She said.

Kenneth looked up from his paper and raised two light brown eyebrows with surprise an eager smile curving his lips. Mae let out a girlish squeal and kissed both her daughter's cheeks. Her father smiled, knowing that he had gotten his way and that Amelia would not refuse his own wishes. He lit his pipe, puffed out a few billows of smoke and sucked the wooden reed in thought.

"That's wonderful!" said her mother.

Inwardly Amelia groaned, knowing what was coming next.

"Yes, quite." Said her father tapping his chin in thought, "Amelia, did you not say that Pierre was a great lover of the piano?"

Amelia nodded.

"Well then you shall have a tutor! We must impress him now mustn't we?" Mae said with a smile.

Her daughter would have pointed out that she already knew how to play the piano and that she would not want to impress him at all for that matter. But she knew that would be a waste of breath because her mother would acknowledge it and then point out that she was of only adequate level and would need to be at excellent before she could marry him. Amelia did not see why as Pierre obviously was proposing a marriage of convenience but knew that arguing was useless. Amelia nodded and smiled when her mother turned to her father and told him to go out and find the best man for the job.

Ken on the other hand said he was going to do no such thing and that he had best put an ad in the Époque. Mae playfully punched his arm and called him a lazy oaf, then continued chattering on at him about what a match they had made for their daughter. Leaving Amelia to sit and watch the scene in silent dread.

This is my first attempt at E/OW tell me how I did?