A Forbidden Passion

Synopsis: Winifred (also known as Winnie) Merryweather arrives at Moonacre after her father died in a gambling accident. Her uncle is stern and uptight, and quite odd things start to happen in the manor. To top it off, there is this boy in the forest that looks at her with a forbidden passion—and it scares her.

Disclaimer: I do not own the Secret of Moonacre, nor do I own the Little White Horse. All credits to Elizabeth Gouge! I followed the plot of the movie, so I don't own that either, ha. I kind of followed it bit by bit, too.

Ages: Robin is 18, and Winnie is 16.

Chapter One: An Unpleasant Welcome to Moonacre

Winnie's POV

The girl in the carriage had never seen the country before, and was quite astonished by what her eyes beheld. Trees. There were trees as far as the eye could see, and Winnie swore that there was about a million in there. The carriage lurched forward, sending her sprawling forwards. "Ugh!" Winnie groaned loudly. "The countryside is too full of… the countryside."

Her humble driver slapped the reins on his dapple-gray horse, making the poor animal run faster and harder. Winnie pushed back her thick strawberry blonde curls and smoothed out the wrinkles on her dark violet dress. The poor girl could hardly breathe in her tight corset.

They pulled into the gravelly driveway with ease, and the driver, who she remembered as "Mr. Digweed", jumped off his seat and walked to the great iron gates. He fiddled with the keys momentarily. "Is Uncle Benjamin coming to greet me?" The girl asked the man, and frowned when she had no response. "The man is obviously a half-wit," She mumbled to herself as she stuck body out the window in attempt to call again.

Suddenly, a pair of well-built arms wrapped around her small frame and tried with all their might to tug her from the carriage. She looked up at the person to whom the arms belonged to, and she saw a boy. A boy of about the age of seventeen or eighteen—or maybe even older. His chocolate brown eyes burned with fury and determination to get what he wanted. But why he wanted her so badly, she had no clue.

"Open the door!" He shouted to another of his kind as Winnie struggled in his arms. The boy looked down at the girl, her beautiful face paled and angry. The other boy tugged on the locked door of the carriage with all of his might, but she knew it wouldn't give away.

Atop his luscious brown curls was a black bowler hat. "Let…me…go!" She wrestled those arms ferociously, but he wouldn't let her go. Quickly she thought of the Classical French Needlepoint sewing she'd been doing in the back. She reached back with her free hand and snatched a pin from the pin pillow. Gathering courage, Winnie raked it across his hand.

The boy let her go with a cry of pain, letting the girl wrench herself from his loosened grip. Mr. Digweed apparently had mounted his horse again, for the carriage heaved on forwards through the gates. The boy, being caught with the force of it, toppled off the carriage, but he sprung up again and raced towards the carriage again.

Bur being the smart girl she was, Winnie reached out and tugged on the rope; triggering the gate's closing. "No, no, no!" Both boys screamed as they raced to catch up before the gate shut. But it already had.

Winnie couldn't help but look back at them with satisfaction. The boy who had manhandled her shook the iron bars of the gate violently. When he noticed the little smirk spread across her beautiful features, he screamed in frustration.

She flopped back against the leather seat of the carriage, relieved that she'd made it out alive. Never had she been assaulted like that in her life. Maybe it was because she grew up in the city of London, where all of the men were gentlemen. But the men here were savages, bandits, and plunderers. One the ride stopped, she grabbed her valise and scuttled out of the door.

Towards the great porch she ran, out of breath and afraid that there were more handsome males to batter her. "That'll be Miss Winifred Merryweather," Mr. Digweed said to the man coming down the steps. "I know, Digweed." He replied, a little irritated. When he reached her, he shook her hand roughly. "Sir Benjamin," Her uncle addressed her. "But you may call me Uncle Benjamin." She nodded at him.

Uncle Benjamin's eyes were a deep muddy brown, but still friendly looking. He gave her a sheepish grin. "Welcome to Moonacre," He told her. "Please," She started. "Call me Winnie."

"Well, then. How was your trip, Winnie?" He emphasized the last word loudly. The girl blushed. Absolutely horrid, was what she ached to tell him. But instead she went with, "Wonderful, simply wonderful." Her uncle seemed to notice the lie in her tone.

Uncle Benjamin ordered Mr. Digweed to take her valise and other items from her home up to her room. "When will Mrs. Heliotrope be coming?" She questioned him. Her governess Jane Heliotrope did not ride with her, for she had terrible indigestion problems and utter dislike for carriages on rocky, countryside terrain. "I received a telegram that told me that she'd arrive precisely around seven o' clock." Winnie frowned. She'd have to spend a whole hour with a man that she didn't even know.

And the girl had to be on her best behavior. She looked up at the large house. "This is Moonacre Manor," Uncle Benjamin said to her, following her line of gaze. "It'll be your new home from now on." Winnie gaped in awe. It was so large compared to her little city street house on the corner of Appleton Street.

"Might I see to my room, Uncle?" The polite girl asked her uncle. "Oh yes, of course." He replied to her. He led her down a massive foyer with windows and great maroon drapes and tapestry with white threaded baubles hanging down like snowflakes. Uncle Benjamin guided her up the winding staircase to her room. It was so dark and filled to the brim with shadows. The shadows were like puppets, marionettes, dancing and teasing her on the gray stonewalls. She cringed; one seemed to wave evilly to her.

"Maybe I should have a room where there is more sunlight. How I do love my sweet sunshine—"

"Perhaps you'd like to inspect your room before you turn your nose at it." He grumbled. He almost lost her around another sharp corner, but she could still make out a small outline of him. Finally, there was a light at the end of her darkness, which seemed to her eternal. Little glass lamps hung beside her little white door and three small steps led up to her room. "Thank you, uncle—"

When she turned around, she noticed that her uncle was no longer there anymore. Winnie frowned. "Charmed, I'm sure…" She grumbled. Her eyes caught sight of the wall behind her. She ran two fingers over the marble wall, and cringed at the layer of dust that sat upon her fingers.

"This place could most definitely use a good maid."

She went to open the door of her new room, and her mouth fell agape at the sight. The light baby blue walls had little villages painted on it. Oh, and the bed! The bed had a great marble seashell frame, and the bedside table was an identical seashell. Beside where she stood, there was a comfy looking cream-colored chair resting by a blazing hearth. She went to it, and ran her fingers over the intricate seashell design on that. She grinned.

Winnie had never had anything so close to royalty before. Sure, her family was rich—but that didn't mean her father would give her anything to spend on her own possessions. It was all gambling, and throwing his money around in other people's faces. Beside the hearth was a wooden writing desk and a quill dipped in blue ink. And paper to write stories!

She looked up to the heavens to praise the Lord, but she found that the heavens were much closer to her than she suspected. "Oh my God," She gasped. The dark sky was a blue-ish black with gleaming stars as bright as pearls. Her heart was threatening to fail her. Clouds filled the sky, making the nighttime sight even more magical and majestic looking. But it wasn't the real sky—when she'd been outside only moments ago, the sun was barely setting.

But how could uncle pull off such a stunt as to mount such a painting on a wall that sloped? And it didn't even look painted!

She sat on her bed and gazed at the beauteous sight. Winnie snapped out of her marveling and stood straight up when she heard a knock sound at her door. "Who's there?"

A/N: OK, the end of the first chappie! And more to come, also. Please, please, please, please, please review and review! I promise that the Robin bits will start up soon! Also, to change it up a little bit from the regular stuff, I will make ~romance~ between the two start early… :)

I am excited.

P.S. Breathe Me readers: Epilogue will be posted soon:) Most likely this weekend.