A/N: IMPORTANT! Hey Everyone I'm back! After more than a year and I AM SO SORRY! The worst part is that I don't even have a good excuse, but I hope I won't disappoint...again. Anyway the important part is that I changed the first three chapters so you'll probably want to read them...anyway thanks to all those that haven't given up on me!
Dear Mr. Thornton,
Can you be an angel? Now before you consider me insane, and dispose of this letter let me explain. A short time before Mr. Hale's death I promised him one thing, and that was to protect his only daughter, Miss Hale. As these things seem to go, only days after Mr. Hale's death I found that I too had an expiration date.
My initial plan was to bestow my fortune on Miss Hale, when I realized that money and estates could never fill the void she felt from the loss of all her loved ones. I pondered on this for a mighty long time when a talk with Miss Hale made it clear what needed to be done.
You see, when I told Miss Hale I was to die the girl burst into such saddening tears that I attempted to will myself better (but as we know that was not possible), to comfort her I promised to send her an angel that would watch over her, and take care of her for the rest of her days. This seemed to calm her exceedingly, and as I left her with her London family I immediately knew who that angel should be. You.
Again before you do away with this letter, I beg you to read the rest. Now, Mr. Thornton, no matter what you say, I know you are in love with Miss Hale, and no matter what you think I know she holds you in the highest regard. I am absolutely sure if you were to attempt to gain her affections she would reciprocate them when the time is right. I have compared you two and realized you would make a great match. So that is why I have left all my worldly possessions (that are worth anything) to you. I have always admired you as a business man, and your love for Miss Hale is greater, I think, than that of her relations in London.
Everything should be transferred over to you by this afternoon if I have calculated correctly, and I hope you shall not waste time in going to your "Lady Love". If being joined in matrimony with Miss Hale is not agreeable to you, I must at least ask that you become a constant friend to her, and assist her in finding a proper beau.
Please do not bother to censor and/or thank me, as I should be dead by the time you receive this it would be wise to contact your new lawyer and financial advisor, Mr. Henry Lennox, he is very reputable and skilled in his trade.
John Thornton sat in complete awe, not knowing exactly what to do after receiving such a letter. Either this was Mr. Bell's bad idea of a joke, or the man had lost his bloody mind. John stood up and opened the window in his office hoping the fresh air would help clear his mind. He currently couldn't even think of the money at present, as Mr. Bell's request regarding Miss Hale was at the forefront of his mind.
The first option was to gain Miss Hale's affections. This option could only lead him bitterly to think of when he had tried this very thing before, and failed. This, of course, led him to think of a certain man who had indeed succeeded in gaining her love, and had such a powerful hold on her that she told falsehoods and risked her reputation for his sake. None of the former thoughts were at all agreeable to him, making option one out of the question.
His second option seemed even more disagreeable to him, as the thought of attempting to be only a friend to the irresistible Miss Hale seemed impossible, and he was sure he would rather go to hell than try to find Margaret another man to spend the rest of her life with. Of course he had unconsciously created a third option which would be to do none of the above, and spend the rest of his life rich and dreaming of the only woman he had ever fallen in love with.
John sighed and began to pace the room wearily.
"No," he thought decidedly, "I must face her, if not for myself then for the unstated promise made to Mr. Hale."
John did not know what the visit to Margaret would bring, but he did know such a visit must take place.
"The only thing now is to tell mother the news," he grumbled. That would be a task in and of itself. How might one explain to their mother about an extremely random and vast amount of money bestowed on him, without telling her of his predecessor's poor attempt at
" HA," he laughed aloud thinking of the absurdity of it all, "Me! An angel!...I've never heard anything so insupportable in my life!" Secretly though, he knew he would be anything for his Margaret.