My Lovely Moonlight Bride: Episode 4
Before Elan could utter another word, Lucy walked out of the dining hall angrily. Her brother was unrepentant. She had to find a way to save her fortune, before it was too late.
Out in the snow, a carriage awaited her. Lucy climbed in hurriedly and gave the man instructions.
“Islington,” she coughed.
As the carriage proceeded, Lucy pondered on her brother’s words. The last time she met with Ariana, she seemed to do very well. If the Marquees was as broke as Elan suggested, then her friend was in trouble. Unlike her, Ariana was used to living in luxury, but her brother had made sure he had curtailed her spending. Lucy didn’t dress like the noble woman that she was. Her dresses weren’t sophisticated. They were simple. It was only in name, that one would know she was nobility.
The old man that rode the carriage had lived with them in the castle since they were little. His name was George. He had noticed Lucy’s sad face as she stepped into the carriage. He couldn’t help but ask.
“Are you alright Milady?”
Lucy shrugged, George’s deep baritone had broken the silence of the ride.
“We both know that I am not.”
Of course the old man knew what her problem was. He just needed to show concern.
“There could be hope for the Baron after all. You should be patient with him. With time, he will act in the way he is supposed to.”
Lucy sniggered, “Time is of the essence. It waits for no man. Soon, our debtors would override the castle and we would be left with nothing!”
“Your brother is a fine poet. He has earned the respect of the high class. No one would dare do something like that.”
The old man paused and pulled out a dirty brown paper from his pocket. He slipped it into an opening in the carriage, and Lucy grabbed it. She ran her eyes over the words on the paper. It came as a shock to her.
“Elan never told me!”
The Baron’s name was inscribed in bold letters. Her brother was organizing the biggest poetry show. The literate and wealthy would attend. Poetry was a thing of class, and the Baron had mastered it.
“The posters are everywhere. Maybe he wanted to tell you, maybe you were too busy to listen to him. You should go. His poems make everyone happy.”
Lucy chuckled at that. She loved her brother very much, but he was a tough person.
“I may go,” she shrugged. Lucy couldn’t wait to tell Ariana all about it. It had been a long time since the friends went out. She couldn’t wait to see her friend again.
“You should go. He is your brother, no matter what.” The old man advised.
Lucy sighed, “Yes, she is.”
She seldom thought ab0ut their mother, but anytime Elan misbehaved, she remembered the woman. Lucy had been very little when her mother had died. She had carried this pain with her as she grew up. She wished Elan could understand what she passed through, every time he did something untoward. Tears stung her eyes as her mother’s face flashed in her mind.
She quickly wiped a tear that threatened to spill on her cheek. She couldn’t cry now. She had to be strong for herself, and for Elan.
It wasn’t long before they reached Islington. Lucy alighted from the carriage and waved George goodbye. She would be spending a lot of time with her friend.
The guards by the entrance recognized her. They mumbled greetings as she ascended the stairs, towards the main door.
“Thank you,” she nodded and flashed each guard a smile.
Ariana had been expecting her. So, Lucy wasn’t surprised when a pair of slender hands pulled her in for a hug, the moment she’d stepped into the house.
“Come here, you…”
Ariana was thrilled to meet her friend again. She had a lot of things to share, but there had not been anyone for her. With Lucy around, she felt safe. She would tell Lucy everything that had happened in her absence.
“You look splendid in that dress.” Ariana ran her brown eyes over Lucy’s peachy dress.
The dress clung to her slim belly, and a healthy portion of her bosoms were bare. The golden hat matched with her golden eyes. Ariana had always thought Lucy, prettier than her. It was confirmed in this appearance.
“You flatter me. You are the beautiful one.” Lucy smiled.
Ariana was taller than she was. She had a neck like a swan’s; long, slim and glorious. Her eyes were firestones, piercing the heart of any man who dared to look. Her lips were small but sparkling red. She didn’t need any adornment. The Marquees daughter was one of the most beautiful girl in Islington and all the men of noble class wanted her.
“Enough! I missed you Lucy Wesley.” Ariana hugged her friend very tightly.
“I missed you too.” Lucy dropped a chaste peck on Ariana’s right cheek.
“Come now, there is something I must tell you.” Ariana grabbed her hand and led her towards the chamber where she stayed.
“Do you have a suitor?”
“Did you go with your mother to see the King?”
Ariana’s laugher travelled through the castlette.
“You have a way with words. I wonder why you aren’t into poetry.”
“Speaking of poetry, Elan organized a show. We should go. We haven’t stepped out in a long while. I think people missed seeing the attractive pair.” Lucy winked.
Ariana liked the sound of that.
“Thankfully, I have some new dresses and ribbons. We would show them off to Charlotte and Margerette.”
Lucy rolled her eyes. The twins, Charlotte and Margerette were the children of a powerful Earl to the south. They were snobbish. They refused to mingle with the other ladies of their age range.
“I do not care about those pampered brats. They are not worthy of our attention,” Lucy returned.
Soon, they were within Ariana’s chambers. As usual, the massive bed was well dressed and the room was neatly arranged. Some serving girls were dusting the windows when the friends stepped in.
“You may all leave now. Come back later.” Ariana released them from their duty.
“I missed this,” Lucy hopped on the bed and guffawed.
“Same here,” Ariana joined her.
When the laughter had ceased, Ariana heaved a sigh. Her mother had spoken to her very harshly the other day. The Marquees wanted her daughter to prepare herself for marriage, to the Duke of Wandsworth. The truth was that, Ariana was in love with someone else; someone that her mother would never let her marry, but she didn’t care. She’d rather live all her days in this place than be with a man she did not love.
“Elan told me something about the Marquees, is it true?” Lucy held her breath as she asked.
“What did Elan tell you?” Ariana straightened and folded her legs in a sitting position.
Lucy swallowed. She didn’t mean to gossip. She simply was concerned about her friend.
“That the Marquees is losing a lot of money…”
“And relevance in the society.” Ariana completed it for her.