A/N I have just finished the Fallen Series and just couldn't help myself. This is a collection of the past lives of Lucinda. I have researched each story, but apologise in advance if I get anything wrong. They are not necessarily in order, and some dates may clash. I am open to suggestions, so enjoy!
Disclaimer for entire story: I do not own the Fallen Series,
Luzia – 1820, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Her hair swept down her back in long, ebony black waves as she quickly made her way down the eternal staircase that twirled in an irritating but modern fashion. She held her dress up in a very un-ladylike way as she fervently tried to avoid tripping over her own feet in her haste. Her heart beat quickly in her chest, but not for the reasons that she so loved. No, this quickening of her heart was due to the adrenaline that she felt building up without restraint as the seconds went by, not because of the love that she so ached for. She could think of nothing better than to fold into her Daniel's arms and feel the heat of his chest against her pale cheek, nothing more soothing than standing still while he ran his long, strong fingers through her stubborn hair and listening to him murmur sweet nothings into her ear. However, those distractions were not a reality in this moment, and with a great breath of fearful anticipation, she knocked on the wooden doors that she had come to a halt in front of.
"You may enter." A strong voice spoke, his lips curling around the sounds he made in Portuguese. The apprehensive young woman did as he had urged, and pushed the door open slowly.
"Miss Luzia." The man greeted with a slight bow. She returned the gesture out of manner before walking inside with even steps and sitting down on the chair the important man had signalled to wordlessly.
"I am sure that you know who I am." He began, pausing and looking at the perfectly posture woman in front of him. She took it as a permit to speak.
"I do indeed, King Joao VI. I hope you have been in good health." She spoke softly, restraining any fear from showing in her voice.
"Indeed I have, excellent health indeed. Enough with formalities, there is an important reason as to why you find yourself in my company tonight. I have a request of you, one that I know you shall not refuse, and I plan to present it to you in this moment." He paused, seating himself opposite Luzia and meeting her curious gaze with a royal assertion.
"I know all about you, Miss Luzia. Your father is a powerful influence in the manufacturing of gunpowder in many regions of Brazil, and it is for these reasons that you, along with your two sisters, mother and brother, found yourself in a modest house just outside Rio de Janeiro fourteen years ago. Your mother was never needed for physical labour, and I would hazard a guess that your childhoods were very civil and pleasant.
It is also known to me, however, that your mother died just before your thirteenth birthday, as you were becoming a woman. I will not pretend to understand the grief you must have found yourself in. There is therefore no question as to why you chose to come and live in this castle as an assistant to my mother.
Her death put me in an awkward position, one of which I had not expected to be put in. Have you not ever wondered why the other assistants were dismissed after her death and not you?"
It was clear from Luzia's expression that she had, indeed, wondered upon this many times. He took this affirmation as an advantage.
"You see, that I have taken a specific liking to you, Miss Luzia. I fancy the way your hair cascades down your back, along with your perfect manner and family heritage. It is for these reasons that I ask you to return with me in the next year to my home country of Portugal as my wife."
Luzia felt her heart sink with every word he uttered, before finally reaching the end of the seemingly endless pit as he spoke the word 'wife'. Mulher, wife! Oh how she wanted to be a wife, but not to this royalty that sat before her. No, her heart belonged to Daniel, and it was his wife that she fantasised and prayed for each night. Luzia could feel tears brimming at the corners of her light eyes as she thought more into the proposition. Accepting would mean leaving Daniel, leaving her family, her country. Declining would put the people she loved in danger, for refusal of royalty was next to unknown. She was trapped in a corner that had no window in view, cornered into agreeing out of love. Looking up at the King before her, Luzia felt a surge of anger rise in her chest at the sight of him. He looked positively bored, as though this was a normal occurrence in his life! She knew it was her name and picture that lead to the proposal, not personality and that made the truth all the more horrifying and tragic.
"I accept your offer." She spoke clearly, mustering all the courage she could to say the dreaded words. Oh how she longed for a real choice, but the fate of her family was at the forefront of her mind.
The rest of the meeting was not properly processed by Luzia, but she must have acted appropriately as she was soon dismissed with a courteous bow. Luzia elegantly made her way back through the doors and walked a few feet before breaking into a run. She kicked off her shoes in a hurry and shrugged off her outer layer of clothing in order to speed up the pace at which she ran.
The sight to an outsider would have been positively shocking; a young woman, without shoes or outer layer, running through the corridors with tears streaming down her face and no care for the opinions of others. Her reputation amongst those who mattered in the country would have been demolished in that one second had anyone seen her, but the gods were on her side as she remained safe from any people.
Luzia ran through the gardens, not even flinching at the stones that pierced her delicate feet. Her destination was too important for pain to infiltrate her mind, so she flew through the gardens quickly.
It was not until she saw the figure that she so longed for that Luzia slowed. She stumbled the last few feet, coming to a halt right in front of his startled face.
"My Luzia, what is wrong? Are you hurt?" He exclaimed, taking in her figure with dismay. She was certainly dishevelled, but any signs of further distress could not be seen.
Luzia shook her head, sobbing freely, as she eloped herself within his outstretched arms.
"Tell me, Luzia, tell me what makes you cry?" He whispered, running his fingers through her tangled hair.
"Oh Daniel! Its King Joao VI! He bade me marry him! I had no choice, his threat was clear. If I had not agreed he would hurt you and my family! Oh Daniel, he plans to leave in the next year. I can't leave you, I cannot." She rambled into his chest quickly, in between the desperate gasps for air.
"I won't let him, Luzia. We are meant to be together." Daniel said, pain evident in his voice. Luzia looked up at him, meeting his intense gaze.
"I love you, Daniel."
"Eu te amo, Luzia"
And with their last muttered words, Luzia crushed her lips to his for the first time.
Luzia knew utter bliss from the kiss, then sudden pain…then no more.