My Lovely Moonlight Bride: Episode 16
“My Lord,” Beau bowed before the Duke and moved closer to the throne.
“You return fast.” Aldrich stepped down from the throne. He was excited to see Beauregard. He was eager to know how Lucy fared and how she accepted his gifts.
“My Lord, Ox-Dale and Wandsworth are sister lands.” Beau smiled.
Aldrich noticed slight change in Beauregard’s countenance. He was certain that his cousin had not been happy to go to Ox-Dale. But the Beau standing before him, seemed very excited. And it made the Duke wonder why.
“Lady Lucy and her brother accepted your gifts quite well…”the smile quickly faded from Beau’s eyes. It was time to play his part well. He had to convince Aldrich to forget Lucy. He needed to move on with us life. He had to accept his mother’s choice for him.
Aldrich noticed the change in Beau’s expression.
“Did something bad happen to her?”
Beau swallowed and looked away.
“I cannot tell you. You will have my head.” Beau pulled his eyes away from the Duke, and stared at the floor.
“How could you think of something like that? You are my blood. And everything you think of me is good and not of evil. I order you to speak as your Duke.”
Beau returned his gaze to the Duke’s face.
“Lady Lucy shared an intimate secret with me. Though she accepted your gifts with a joyful heart, she cannot love you the way that you want her to…”
Aldrich didn’t quite understand that.
“I don’t get you. And what secret did she share?”
“Lady Lucy is promised to another man. At first, when she told me of this at her brother’s show, I didn’t believe her. But the Baron confirmed it today. You cannot have her, she belongs to another man. And she loves him very much.”
Aldrich couldn’t believe this. He was stunned out of his ears. The picture that Beau was painting about Lucy didn’t match. She didn’t cross him as a woman that would kiss a stranger, while being engaged to another.
Sadness welled up within his soul, but he was able to control it. He noted that Lucy had kissed him passionately. She liked him. Everything changed when he introduced himself as the Duke of Wandsworth. A deed, he regretted in that moment.
“Thank you for going to Ox-Dale for me. I shall take over from here.”
He knew that kissing another man’s betrothed wasn’t the right thing to do; but he had no idea that Lucy Wesley was engaged to another. Aldrich’s happiness and hopes fled as he imagined what a bleak future he had. The only woman that had caught his attention was the baron’s younger sister. He was lost. Maybe his mother was right. Maybe he should consider Ariana Beldon.
“I will take my leave now,” Beau bowed his head and walked out of the throne room.
On his way out, he almost bumped into the Duchess. He bowed his head.
“Apologies, I was deep in thoughts.”
Elena Clairborne wasn’t a short tempered woman. She forgave her nephew’s carelessness. She had come to the throne room to discuss an important matter with her son. Aldrich had no option in this matter. He had to consider the bride that she was offering.
“You have been away from the palace Beauregard. Where did you go?” She clasped her thick fingers around the little fan that she carried around.
Beau immediately explained that the Duke had sent him on an errand to Ox-Dale. Perhaps this was another chance to poison the Duchess’ heart against Lucy Wesley. This was the only way to keep her for himself.
“Ox- Dale? Nothing good lies there, except the dusty castle of Elan Wesley.” The woman snorted.
Her retort made Beau to laugh, “Your son sent me to the baron.”
“What for?” The woman’s expression changed.
“He intends to marry the lady Wesley, but I handled everything properly.”
Elena’s heart skipped a beat. No nobleman in the society would want anything to do with the Wesleys. Elan’s irresponsible ways weren’t new to the society. Even his finest poems couldn’t make up for it. He was a useless baron. Elena didn’t know much about Lucy Wesley, but the thought of the baron repulsed her.
“You lie; my son would never have business with such a family.” She was sure of this. Aldrich was very wealthy and powerful. There wasn’t any way he would show interest in Lucy.
Beau nodded, “I thought so as well, but he really did cherish her. Luckily, the lady is engaged to be married. And she doesn’t want anything to do with him. He has no choice but to marry Ariana.”
The news of this development pleased Elena. For the first time, she realized that Beau understood what she wanted for her son. Beau was on her side.
“If you convince Aldrich to marry Ariana, or stand by me as I perfect that plan, I shall persuade Aldrich to give you a title; here in Wandsworth.” Elena smiled.
She thought her words would please Beauregard, but they only angered him.
“What a foolish woman she is. So she expects me to play second fiddle to her weakling of a son?” Beau’s thoughts were dark, but the smile on his face was bright.
The woman was pleased with this news.
“I always knew that my son had a love interest, but the woman in question was invisible at the time. I am pleased with this information. I will send a warning to the baron and his miserable sister. They must stay away from my son.” The Duchess eyes flashed raw anger.
At this point, Beau knew that his plans had worked. Elena Clairborne would never sanction the union between Aldrich and Lucy. This left him with the option of having Lucy as his bride. Now that this matter was cleared, he needed to find a way to reach Elan. The assassin had to reach the palace soon.
“Let me speak to Aldrich. If he insists on failing me, I will show him that I am his mother.”
“Very well then, I have other important matters to attend.”
He was enraged by the frustration that he felt. Just when he’d thought the emptiness that had consumed his life was almost over, he was back to the same level where he was.
He had fallen for a woman who wanted nothing to do with him. How could he move on from this kind of pain? How would he rise above it?
“No,” his fingers trembled as he gulped down the sour content. His belly churned at the unpleasant visitation of the stale wine. The Duke was about having another glass, when the door to the throne room opened, and an angry looking Elena Clairborne walked in.
“Aldrich!” She was shocked to see her son drinking again. From the look on his face, he was in deep pain. All the anger she felt fled at once. She felt pity for her son.