My Lovely Moonlight Bride: Episode 13
Beau had just one plan.
“Do not allow the Duke marry your sister, no matter how hard he tries. Though you have been stripped of gold and silver; I can help you repay the debt that you owe him. I will clear your name on Morglay Street and make sure no one ever hears your secret.”
The Baron wasn’t a fool. He was well aware that most gifts came with a price.
“Why would you clear my debt in gold and silver? What is in it for you?”
Beau had seen an ally in Elan. They both shared a dislike for Aldrich Clairborne. For him, he wanted to kill the Duke and take over the throne. For Elan, the Duke wanted to strip him of what was left. Beau was certain that the baron wouldn’t refuse his offer.
“You will help me become the next Duke of Wandsworth. I shall take Lucy as my wife. And I will give you monthly payment in return. You may not be wealthy, but you are young and vibrant. You can arrange an “invisible and invincible assassin to do the dirty work.
But if you turn down my offer, I will walk out of your castle and tell everyone about Morglay Street. You will not only lose the respect others had for you, but you will be in trouble with the men, whose names you will smear.
No one will know that I had a hand in this. Even if you try to convince them, they will never believe. So, make your choice now.”
Elan was stunned at Beau’s audacity and self confidence. Beau had put him in a very difficult position that he could never come out from. If he rejected the offer, he would be endangering his own life. Beau had access to important information, and information was everything in the society.
Agreed, he didn’t like the Duke very much. But the hatred he felt for Beauregard was greater than any he had felt for anyone, before.
“I will help you ascend the throne of Wandsworth. But you shall not marry my sister. She is deserving of a better man.” The Baron had no choice but to take the offer.
Beau’s lips curled into a smile. He knew from the beginning, that Elan would not refuse his offer.
“Help me become Duke first. We shall deliberate about your sister later.”
Beau left Ox-Dale, feeling accomplished. His next task was to convince Aldrich against marrying Lucy Wesley. This would be a herculean task, but he was prepared to try. Aldrich was very strong willed, but even a wild horse could be broken. Beau was determined to succeed.
Elan watched Beau from the window, until he disappeared into the thick fog that had befallen Ox-Dale.
“I will not be part of this,” Elan murmured. Beau thought himself wise, but he was a big fool.
Once Beau was gone, Lucy rushed out of her room to meet with her brother.
“He is gone,” her eyes settled on the gifts that the Duke had sent her.
“Yes he is.” Elan replied in a soft voice. The troubled expression in his face wasn’t missed by his sister.
“What is wrong Elan?” Lucy moved closer to him.
Elan was burdened by the things Beau had told him. He wasn’t strong enough to fight. He had to figure out a way to get out of this. If the Duke of Wandsworth sensed that his position was being threatened. He would be in trouble.
“Nothing, you must leave Ox-Dale immediately.” Elan commanded.
“What?” Lucy’s brows came together. Why had her brother taken such a hasty decision?
“You heard me. I don’t have time to explain. You just have to leave…”
Lucy rolled her eyes, “You don’t get to order me around. I will only leave this castle if you give me a reason to.” She folded her hands across her chest, and waited to hear him speak.
“I cannot tell you Lucy. It is dangerous. I don’t want to get you into trouble.”
“I insist Elan. I am your sister. If you have gotten yourself into any kind of trouble, you should share it with me first. I may not be able to get you out of the ditch, but I may be able to show you a way to save yourself.”
Though her words were convincing, Elan was not comfortable about sharing his burden. But that was the only way to get his sister out of Ox- Dale. He had no choice. He wanted Lucy far away. So that when the Duke finally discovered Beau’s plot, she would be safe. He couldn’t lift a finger against Aldrich Clairborne. The Duke had done him no harm.
If he couldn’t find a way to play out of Beau’s hands, Beau was going to frame him. The laws were written and sealed. Anyone who tried to usurp a sitting ruler was to be killed, along with his family members. Lucy was the only family he had left. He couldn’t let her die for something he knew nothing about.
“Fine!” The baron threw his hands into the air.
“Beauregard is a dishonest and vile man. He wants to set me against the Duke.”
Lucy’s brows narrowed in confusion, “He wants to frame you for a crime you didn’t commit?” Lucy swallowed at the thought of her brother being framed.
“Yes. He wants me to do something very dirty, but I cannot. And I don’t know how to play out of his hands.”
Calmly, she inhaled and asked, “What does he demand of you?”
Though his body was in Wandsworth, his mind had drifted to a far place. He was thinking about Lucy; the lady that had captured his heart and found a lasting place in his thoughts. Never had he been this attracted to a woman. Well, no one could blame him.
Lucy Wesley wasn’t like any other woman. She didn’t throw herself on him. She wasn’t desperate. And her withdrawn nature made her more attractive. Though she was the baron’s younger sister, she didn’t behave irresponsibly like he did. She seemed to him, a calm and calculative woman. The fire in her spirit, suggested that she was ambitious as well.
Aldrich had been sitting in his throne room, pondering on his meetings with some of the noble men and Lucy, as well. The sound of footsteps propelled him back to reality, and he quickly straightened on the throne. He wondered who had come to disturb his quiet time.
He had come to the throne room to avoid his mother who pestered him about getting married to Ariana Beldon. He wasn’t interested in the Marquees’ daughter. And the earlier his mother realized this, the better for her.
Ariana was no doubt a very suitable wife. But he wasn’t attracted to her. His heart desired Lucy.
The door parted open at once. To his surprise, it was Beau.