Characters:

Edward Anthony Masen Cullen (24), The 5th Duke of Washington – Married to Lady Isabella Marie Swan Cullen, The Duchess of Washington (17)

Emmett George Daniel Cullen (21), Earl of Forks – Married to Lady Rosalie Lillian Hale Cullen (18), Countess of Forks (Lord Emmett is Edward's younger brother)

Lady Mary Alice Cullen Whitlock (17) – Married to Jasper Thomas Whitlock (25), 3rd Duke of Seattle. (Lady Alice is Edward's younger sister)

Lady Renee Marie Higginbotham Swan (43) – Is Married to Lord Charles Philip Nicholas Swan, 1st Earl Swan (Isabella's parents)

Lady Angela Weber King (20) – Married to Royce King (30), Irish Politician, later marries Lord Benjamin Jonathan Cheney (25), 4th Earl of Port Angeles.


Prologue

A pen makes a scarping sound as it is used to write down the date on a virgin piece of white paper, 'The fourteenth day of May, Seventeen hundred and seventy four', a document.

The room has the atmosphere of a serious occasion, still and dark, although the sun shines brightly outside and the voices of the woman bleed through.

The Duke is standing by the library window, looking into the garden at Isabella cheering on the young man who is racing. The scene is distorted through the wavy glass window pane, a beautiful and mildly surreal image.

Lady Swan is seated behind the Duke, perched on the edge of a large sofa, with Lord Swan behind her. She tried to ignore the screams of her daughter in the background.

"I trust your Grace still finds Isabella an attractive girl?" she asks cautiously.

The Duke turns around. He is a handsome man, older than Isabella, tall with broad shoulders. His green eyes are hard and he oozes authority and power.

"Of course, Lady Swan." he says in a deep firm voice.

Another of Isabella's shouts can be heard from the garden as she cheers and squeals. Lady Swan starts to pour tea from a silver Samovar in front of her in an effort to drown out the noise.

"She is well-bred and devoted to her duties. She speaks French, Latin and Italian, and is fully versed in horsemanship and dancing-" The Duke suddenly interrupts her, "Yes, I am aware of all that. She is a credit to you."

"I can't think of anything in her that would stand in the way of a singularly happy marriage."

The Duke turns for a brief moment and gives Lady Swan one of his charming crocked smiles. The Solicitor that has been in the room, writing a document cuts to the chase.

"These are not issues that burden the Duke, Lady Swan. It is his Grace's duty to produce an heir. On the other hand, your daughter may expect a handsome reward when that occurs-"

"Thank you Heaton," the Duke interrupts him.

"Your Grace," he says before continuing writing the document that will seal the agreement between the Swan Family and the Cullen family.

The Duke continues staring out the window. He cannot seem to take his eyes away from Isabella. Seeing her happy and so carefree makes him feel things he has never felt before. A feeling he is welcoming with open arms.

Lady Swan throws a brief glance at Lord Swan, who seems disinclined to discuss these matters. She resolutely turns to the duke.

"Your Grace can rest assured. The woman in our family have never forfeited on that account." She smiles to her husband who nods back. Heaton looks to the Duke for confirmation, and then decides to address his comment to no one in particular.

"Well, with that assurance," he turns the document around towards the others for them to look at. The Duke smiles at them, in truth he has made his mind up a long time ago, then turns and fastidiously removes a spot on the window pane.

"So be it then."


A/N: I know what you guys think ;P "Is she going to start another story and not finish it?!" Well yes. I know I have been horrible at updating but right now my life is really hectic, with a new job, just started school and tons of homework and long days. I am trying to find the time to write, I really am.

Anyway, 'The Duchess' have been one of my favourite movies since it came out in 2009, I have always wanted to write about Edward and Bella in the 1700s, I love history and want to explore it more. Let me just make it clear that Edward will be a much kinder and loving duke then in the movie! I hope you guys like my ny ff, please tell me what you think, the fist chapter will soon be posted :)

The lovely mst0180 has agreed to Beta this one as well, she is doing an amazing job to my ff's, thank you so much!

remember to REVIEW!

-Karen