A Victorian Legacy - Chapter 15.3a But I Love You


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The final university chapter for gen four of my Victorian Legacy, which doesn't contain much uni...

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A Victorian Legacy - Chapter 15.3a But I Love You

  1. 1. Hello and welcome back to my Victorian Legacy, and a two parter because I talk too much. As always I suggest to any new readers that they go back and read the previous chapters as far too much has happened for me to do a recap here. As you can probably tell by our cover girl, this chapter is very Alexandra heavy. Don't worry the boys will be about though. In fact let's start with one of the boys visiting his family back in Regalton.
  2. 2. Theodore Harrison stood at the gate to his childhood home with DrSupremeNerd. "I know I am here for my father's birthday, but it is so pleasant to see you Doc. I...miss you when I am away at university.“ "I miss you too." She replied moving closer. He reached out and took her hand. They stood in silence for a while, just enjoying being with each other. "We really should go in Mr Harrison." Said Doc eventually. "I know, it is time for me to introduce you to my family.“ "Yes, we have been stepping out for a year now.“ "Really? A year? I feel as if I have known you all my life Doc." "You do?“ "Yes, and I cannot imagine..." He was interrupted by his grandmother sticking her head out of the front door. "Theodore, there you are. Come on in, everyone else is here." *** DrSupremeNerd writes the amazing Vetinari Dualegacy and won Theo's bachelor challenge.
  3. 3. After greeting his mother Theo turned to his father. He had already seen him that day because he had wanted to discuss something with him. "Father, I would like you to meet someone." He drew back from his father. "This is DrSupremeNerd. Doc, please let me introduce you to my father Frederick Harrison."
  4. 4. "It is a pleasure to meet you Mr Harrison." Smiled Doc. "And you Doctor."
  5. 5. Whilst Doc was talking to Frederick, Thomas had commandeered his grandson. "I knew that you would find someone in Riverblossom Hills Theodore." "Yes Grandpapa, it appears that you were right.“ "And you are happy?"
  6. 6. “Yes Grandpapa, I am very happy." Replied Theo smiling broadly. "And yet there is no ring on her finger Theodore.“ Theo sighed, thinking of the conversation he had had with his father earlier and the small velvet box his mother had slipped into his pocket when she had greeted him. "No Grandpapa, no ring yet.“ Violet bustled into the hall. "Why are you all standing here? Come on into the drawing room."
  7. 7. Violet herded her family into the drawing room, and Frederick looked round at them all and smiled. It was so nice to have everyone together in one place. Enid walked past him. "Do not worry Frederick, I will still love you when you are old and grey.“ "Thank you dearest." He replied wryly.
  8. 8. So with his son, stepmother...
  9. 9. ...brother-in-law, wife's cousin, wife, future daughter-in-law, sister, father and various friends looking on, Frederick spun into elderhood.
  10. 10. They all agreed that he had grown up to be a very distinguished looking gentleman. Enid was heard to remark that she thought her husband to be as handsome as the day they had first met.
  11. 11. Whilst the Harrison household had been preparing for Frederick's party, Beth and Alexandra Legacy had been waiting for a carriage to take them to the village of Bluewater. "I hope you manage to find everything you need darling." Said William giving his wife a kiss on the cheek. "So do I. I fear we may have left getting Alexandra's trousseau a bit late." She replied in an undertone so her daughter wouldn't hear and get into a panic. William was about to reply when the carriage pulled up and a very excited Alexandra bounded up to him to kiss him goodbye. *** A trousseau was the clothes and household linen, a woman would take into her marriage.
  12. 12. Alexandra looked round Amelia's Closet, her eyes shining. She was here to put together what might be the most important wardrobe of her life, and she was looking forward to browsing the fabrics and patterns immensely. Her mother was already looking at one of the new outfits on display.
  13. 13. "Alexandra princess, what you do think about this dress?“ "I like the cut a lot." She reached out and touched the cloth. "The fabric is nice too.“ "I was thinking that it might be nice for you to wear of an evening.“ "Yes." She gestured to the assistant and explained that she would like to see a pattern for this dress made to her measurements.
  14. 14. With her instructions given to the assistant Alexandra continued wandering around the shop, either adding dress patterns to her list or dismissing them. Her list of dresses complete, she switched her focus to her undergarments and nightwear, picking out pretty but still functional chemises, petticoats and drawers.
  15. 15. The lists complete the assistant went into the back room to bring out several dresses Alexandra had already had made up. She would be wearing one of them as her wedding dress. Beth took a seat by the mirror as Alexandra headed to the changing room.
  16. 16. Beth smiled as Alexandra came out in the first dress. "Princess you look lovely." She said.
  17. 17. "Thank you Mama. I am not certain I want to wear it at my wedding though, it just does not feel...perfect." She responded. "Well you have two more dresses to try on." Pointed out Beth. "See what you feel about those."
  18. 18. Alexandra came out in the next dress, an unsure look on her face. "Mama?" She asked.
  19. 19. "I...like it," started Beth, "but I do not think that it is right for your wedding.“ "I agree. I chose the cut because I already have a similar dress, but it is not right for my wedding." She turned and walked back to the changing room to try on the third and final dress. She hoped that this one would be right.
  20. 20. Alexandra practically ran out of the changing room once she had put on the last dress. "Mama I think this is the one." She said excitedly. "Look at it. It fits perfectly, and the colouring and fabric suit me wonderfully."
  21. 21. Beth smiled at her. "Princess you look so beautiful. I think that you have found your wedding dress.“ Alexandra beamed back at her mother and hurried off to get changed.
  22. 22. With her dress sorted it was time for Alexandra to turn her attention to shoes. "Mama, can you ask the assistant if they have these shoes without the fringing at the back?" She asked. They did, and after she had spent half an hour trying on that pair and several others she had finally finished buying all the items she needed for her trousseau.
  23. 23. "Congratulations Miss Legacy." Said Nicole the salesgirl as she rang through the items Alexandra was buying. "Thank you." She smiled, gratified that someone outside the family seemed happy for her.
  24. 24. Alexandra and Beth didn't arrive home until after sunset, and they soon sat down to eat. "I hope that you were successful in your shopping trip." Enquired William as they ate.
  25. 25. "Very, were we not Alexandra?" Replied Beth. Alexandra nodded. "We managed to get Alexandra's entire trousseau sorted out, as well as deciding on her dress for the morrow.“ "That is good news."
  26. 26. He turned to his daughter. "How are you feeling about tomorrow?“ "Nervous, and excited." She replied. "I have been waiting for tomorrow for so long..." She trailed off. "Then I expect that you will be wanting to have an early night in preparation for tomorrow?" He asked. "Actually I was planning on going to see Victoria, Rosemary and Louisa. I want to make sure that they are ready for tomorrow too." She said. "Oh very well. I will call you a carriage when you are ready.“ "Thank you Papa."
  27. 27. True to his word William called a carriage to take Alexandra to the Acadamie, and spent the rest of evening roped into making sure everything was ready for tomorrow by his wife. It was fairly late when he was ready to retire to bed and his daughter hadn't returned home yet. Neither he nor Beth were too concerned, after all the Acadamie was an hour or so away and Alexandra was wont to get very chatty when excited. Allyn however was out haunting and wasn't happy at all about her granddaughter not being at home. "William why is my granddaughter not here? Do you even know where she is?" She managed to say before disappearing.
  28. 28. William stood there for a little while, his heart hammering. "Oh my." He managed once he had got it and his breathing under control.
  29. 29. "What is wrong dear?" Asked Beth who had been oblivious to her mother-in-law's haunting. She had been going through her mental checklist for the wedding, making sure that nothing had been forgotten.
  30. 30. "Mother just appeared asking if I know where Alexandra is." He explained as he joined his wife on their bed. "I would think that she is on her way home by now." "That is my thinking too."
  31. 31. But Alexandra wasn't on her way home. She had asked the carriage driver to take a detour to a small town not far from the city. She was now waiting for someone to answer a door, wishing that she had at least thought to wear a dolman: the night air was colder than she had expected. *** A dolman is a garment, similar to a jacket, that was cut especially to sit over a bustle. They were characterised by the cut of their sleeves, making them appear part cape.
  32. 32. "Alexandra, what are you doing here?" Asked Joe, when he answered the door. "It is considered bad luck for the groom to see the bride before the wedding." He looked back through the front door. His parents had already retired to bed, but he didn't know if they had been disturbed by the door bell.
  33. 33. "I know, but I wanted to see you and tell you how happy I am we are to be wed tomorrow. I cannot wait to start my life as your wife." She smiled at him, her eyes shining with happiness.
  34. 34. He wasn't sure how to respond to that. He was still not sure that he was doing the right thing by marrying this woman. He noticed that she was shivering. "Are you cold?“ "A little bit.“ "Come inside and get warm." He said, holding the front door open for her.
  35. 35. Beth was still laying awake when Alexandra finally arrived home. She was surprised that her daughter had stayed out so long, but decided not to confront her about it. She didn't want to upset her daughter before the morning.
  36. 36. The next morning Alexandra looked into the hall mirror nervously. "How do I look Mama?" She asked, smoothing her hair for the umpteenth time. "Beautiful princess." She said smiling. "Really? You do not think that I should wear my hair differently?" Asked Alexandra, examining her reflection intently. "No princess. I think that we should be getting out to the carriage, otherwise you will miss your wedding." Pointed out Beth. "Oh of course." With one last look at her reflection Alexandra left her childhood home, ready for her new life.
  37. 37. As everyone was being ushered into their seats in the garden of the Grundstrom house, Alexandra was with her parents in the hall of what would soon be her marital home. "Princess you look so beautiful." Said William smiling at his daughter. "Mr Grundstrom is a lucky man to be marrying you today.“ "Thank you Papa." She said. Just then Mrs Grundstrom opened the front door. "Everyone is seated and ready.“ Beth gave her daughter a quick peck on the cheek. "I will take my seat then." The smiling she went outside.
  38. 38. Joe Grundstrom was standing by the wedding arch nervously awaiting his bride. He closed his eyes and wondered how things had got this far. When he had first met Alexandra he had envisioned having some fun and meeting a new person, he had never expected to get a wife out of it. But...she had been persistent and he had realised that she was convenient and would make a good wife. He had pushed aside the fact that he did not love her, focussing on the thought of making a good marriage. But now, as he was about to marry her, his doubts surged to the front of his mind. He opened his eyes and saw William and Alexandra ready to walk down the aisle. He moved to take his position beneath the wedding arch.
  39. 39. Alexandra reached the wedding arch and turned to look at her assembled family. She was so pleased that they were all there to share this happy event with her.
  40. 40. As the ceremony got underway Alexandra was sure that she would remember every second of it for the rest of her life.
  41. 41. Joe on the other hand was going through the ceremony in a daze. He barely registered what Alexandra was saying, and his mouth uttered his vows with no conscious input from his brain. The state persisted until Alexandra went to slip his wedding ring onto his finger.
  42. 42. "No, I cannot!" He exclaimed and pulled his hand from her grasp.
  43. 43. In the congregation Anthony Smith closed his eyes and groaned. He had been dreading this moment. He had hoped against hope that Joe would actually make Alexandra happy, but he had never truly believed it. Now he was witnessing the inevitable heartache he had known was coming. Sitting behind him, Edward scowled and muttered "What does he think he is doing?“ Doc glared at Joe. "I don't suppose there is a cowplant around here?" She muttered.
  44. 44. "I do not understand." Alexandra protested. "I cannot do this Alexandra. I cannot marry you.“ "But...but...I love you." She floundered.
  45. 45. "I am sorry Alexandra but I do not love you. I have never loved you, and I cannot marry you.“ "But...last night...you said..." It came out as a whisper. He just shook his head. "I am sorry." He turned on his heel and ran.
  46. 46. Alexandra just stood for a moment, staring at Joe's wedding ring. She couldn't believe what has just happened. Abigail Harrison sat watching her friend. She had seen this coming, but that didn't make witnessing it any easier.
  47. 47. Joe meanwhile felt like a huge weight had been lifted from his shoulders. For the first time in years he felt truly happy. He may have just hurt Alexandra but he didn't regret what he had done in the slightest.
  48. 48. Back on the other side of the hedge Alexandra had dissolved into tears. As soon as she had done so, Anthony had instinctively run to her side. As he watched the woman he adored with every fibre of his being sobbing her heart out, he felt as if his own heart was breaking.
  49. 49. Edward's reaction was to race after Joe and find out what he thought he was doing. He was so angry that Joe had hurt his sister, and he wanted answers. He was soon followed by Theo and Stanley. Wherever their cousin went, and whatever he did, they would be there too.
  50. 50. Anthony handed Alexandra over to Beth and William. "Oh princess." Said Beth putting her arm around her daughter. "I will go and see if Mr Legacy..." Started Anthony. "Yes. Thank you Mr Smith for rushing to comfort Alexandra." Replied William, never taking his eyes from his distressed daughter.
  51. 51. Anthony met Edward, Theo and Stanley coming back up the road. "You did not manage to catch him." He stated. "No, he hailed a hansom and..." Eddie shrugged. "Maybe it is for the best." Replied Anthony, "If he was here now..." "I know." Replied Eddie. "I think that it would be a good thing if Mr Grundstrom does not cross my path for a while. You obviously feel the same.“ Anthony nodded his agreement.
  52. 52. They made their way back into the garden as Marcus Grundstrom approached William. "Mr Legacy, whilst I am very sorry about what has just happened, I think that it would perhaps be best if you took your daughter home. We can work out the financial arrangements later. You will want the dowry returned I expect."
  53. 53. "That is the least of my worries at the moment Mr Grundstrom." Responded William. He glanced at his wife and daughter. "We will be leaving momentarily."
  54. 54. "Come on princess, it is time for us to go home." Said Beth. "I...thought...that...this...would...be...my...home." Sobbed Alexandra. "I know princess, I know." Beth hugged her daughter tight.
  55. 55. Marcus turned to the guests still milling around. "Ladies and gentlemen, I apologise but there is obviously going to be no wedding today. If you could please make your arrangements to go back to your homes, it would be appreciated."
  56. 56. Less than an hour later William, Beth and their children arrived home. Alexandra had stopped crying in the carriage about ten minutes into the journey and had spent the rest of the time staring out of the window at the passing countryside, ignoring her family and their questions about her well being.
  57. 57. Alexandra ran up the stairs, tearing at her veil. All she wanted at that moment was to get into her childhood bedroom and shut the world out. So many thoughts and emotions were whirling through her mind, fighting to be heard.
  58. 58. When she got to her room she stopped in the middle of the floor panting with rage. How dare he? After all those years? He had told her he loved her; asked her to marry him; promised to look after her and then callously abandoned her at the altar. She should be married by now! She should be happy! She should...
  59. 59. She dissolved once more into tears, and it was in this state that her mother found her when she entered her room. "Oh Alexandra princess, come here." She said drawing her towards her.
  60. 60. Downstairs Edward was talking to his father. "I am going to stay for a while. I do not like the idea of going back to university whilst Alexandra is so distressed."
  61. 61. "I understand." He paused. "Edward I could have prevented this. I had my doubts over his feelings for Alexandra, if I had refused my permission for him to ask her to marry him...“ "Father, you cannot think like that." Eddie replied. "I know Alexandra, as do you. She set her heart on marrying that man as a teenager. If you had refused your blessing, then she would never have forgiven you. You would not want that, especially as she would in all probability have refused to speak to you.“ "That is true." He sighed heavily. "That does not make me feel any better at this moment in time though.“ "I know Father."
  62. 62. Up in Alexandra's room, Beth was doing her best to calm her down. "Why do you not get changed out of this dress, put on your night things and comb out your hair. I will ask Papa to make your favourite vegetable soup. Would you like that princess?“ Alexandra nodded, her sobs starting to abate.
  63. 63. "William?" Beth called down the stairs. "Yes dear?“ "Do you think that you can put on a pot of vegetable soup?“ "Of course dearest." He replied.
  64. 64. William was heading for the kitchen when the front bell rang. He opened the door to find Anthony standing there. "Mr Smith, what can I do for you? As you are aware now is not a good time for us to be receiving visitors,"
  65. 65. "I am well aware of that sir. I merely wanted to enquire as to how Miss Legacy is holding up.“ "She is not too good at the moment Mr Smith.“ "I am not surprised. Can you please inform her that I called?" He asked handing over his card. "Of course.“ "Thank you. Good day sir." Anthony nodded at William and left.
  66. 66. William fought back tears as he put the soup on to cook. He tried to tell himself that it was the onions, but it wasn't. It was the events of the day and the fact that his eldest daughter was so upset.
  67. 67. Alexandra entered the dining room to wait for her soup. She had changed out of her dress and Beth had taken it away to cut into rags. Alexandra has no desire to ever see it again, let alone wear it.
  68. 68. William smiled at her as he entered with his soup. "How are you feeling princess?“ "I have been better Papa. Thank you for making this soup for me.“ "You are more than welcome."
  69. 69. They were soon joined by the rest of their family. For the first time since Alexandra had left for the Acadamie, they sat down for a family meal. Eddie spent some time entertaining them with stories of his time at university, tactfully leaving out Stanley's favourite past-times.
  70. 70. They soon lapsed into companionable silence, which was broken by Alexandra. "I feel like I should apologise, I have been so foolish..." she started to get upset again.
  71. 71. "Alexandra, do not upset yourself. That...man is not worthy of you at all. I should never have given my blessing to him." Alexandra reached out and touched his hand. "Papa, please do not blame yourself. I was most insistent in my feelings for him."
  72. 72. "I think that it is pointless for you two to continue in this vein." Interrupted Victoria. "Alexandra you deserve so much better than him, and you will find someone worthy of you one day. Papa, you acted in what you thought was the best way. You cannot blame yourself for that." Her sister smiled at her. "Thank you Vicky.“ William looked at her. For the first time he realised what a wise young lady his youngest daughter was.
  73. 73. "Alexandra, Vicky and I are going to head back to Sim State and the Acadamie once she has finished eating. I wanted to make sure that you were no longer distressed." Said Edward not long after.
  74. 74. Alexandra reached out and hugged him. "Thank you for being here for me Edward.“ "That is what supportive brothers are for Alexandra. I know you hurt now, but it will lessen and you will find happiness." She hugged him harder in response.
  75. 75. Alexandra decided to clear the table. Carrying out mundane tasks seemed much more appealing to her than moping around, dwelling on the events of the morning.
  76. 76. Beth was on her way to see if Alexandra wanted a hand when she heard an exclamation from Alexandra and the sound of crockery breaking. "Alexandra princess is everything alright? I heard breaking crockery."
  77. 77. "Urm...yes Mama...I...err...dropped a bowl...I am...fine." Stammered Alexandra.
  78. 78. "Would you like me to clear it up for you, whilst you go and sit in the morning room?" Beth called through the door. "NO!“ "Alexandra..." Beth tried the door handle, but to her it felt as if something had been jammed under it, stopping her from opening it. "I am fine Mama." Shrieked Alexandra.
  79. 79. Beth kept trying at the door handle until, with a clatter that sounded like a broom falling over, the door opened. "I am just going to take this out to the bin." Alexandra called as she raced out the back door, leaving Beth staring after her.
  80. 80. Alexandra had ran straight to her room after taking the broken bowl out to the bin and locked the door, so it was with heavy hearts that both Eddie and Vicky had left Regalton. "I genuinely thought that she was doing better at lunch." Sighed Eddie. "So did I, but this had come as a huge shock to her." Replied Vicky. "I think that it has come as a huge shock to us all."
  81. 81. Vicky looked uncertain for a moment then started speaking. "I was not...hugely shocked.“ Eddie looked askance at her. "I do not understand.“ "I...there was always something about how he behaved with Alexandra that I never liked. I always felt as if he...did not care for her." She paused. "Eddie I feel so guilty, I should have said something."
  82. 82. "Vicky, I think that you should take your own advice. You cannot change the past, so stop thinking that you should have done more.“ "You are right.“ Eddie smiled. "I will just say that it might be best that you do not keep such feelings to your self in the future though."
  83. 83. Vicky looked at him. This was an opening that was too good to pass up. She took a deep breath. "Eddie, there is something I would like to talk to you about with regards to Miss Hutchins.“ "Oh?" He replied warily. "I am not...happy about her, and how she...is when she is with you." "Vicky..." Warned Edward, but Vicky had started to warm to her subject and continued on. "She always looks disinterested when you are not around, then makes the effort to look like she enjoys your company when she thinks you are looking..."
  84. 84. "Victoria enough!" Interrupted Eddie. "I do not wish to hear anything you may have to say about Miss Hutchins."
  85. 85. "But Eddie, please just listen to what I have to say."
  86. 86. "No! This is your guilt talking. You feel bad because you did not tell Alexandra that you did not like him so you are seeing something that is not there with Miss Hutchins."
  87. 87. "I...“ "Victoria, surely you can see what I am saying.“ "Yes, but..." Vicky looked at her brother. There was no way that he was going to listen to her at the moment, so she decided to let the matter drop. She sighed. "Perhaps you are correct."
  88. 88. They stayed talking about other subjects for a while, until Vicky pointed out that she should be getting back to the Acadamie. "Are you certain that you do not want me to walk you home or call a carriage?" Asked Eddie. "Yes. It is only a short walk and there are still a few hours of day light left."
  89. 89. "I am sorry I snapped at you earlier Vicky.“ "I know you are. Just...remember what I tried to say.“ "There will be no need for me to do that, but I will anyway." He said, not waning to get into an argument with his sister.
  90. 90. Whilst everyone else had returned to university or finishing school, Theo had decided to take advantage of being back in Regalton by taking Doc out for dinner and dancing. "This is nice. We should do this more often." Said Doc. "We should, yes." Agreed Theo.
  91. 91. "Although next time maybe you could take off your coat." Said Doc with a smile. "I had forgotten I was wearing it." Said Theo with a small laugh. "Just like the day we first met.“ "Oh, yes." Theo thought back to that day over a year ago when he had stood outside his grandfather's childhood home in Riverblossom Hills waiting for seven female guests to join him. He had been resentful of his grandfather interfering in his life, and not looking forward to the week ahead. He hadn't counted on falling head over heels in love with one of those guests.
  92. 92. He released her and dropped to his knees. "Theo what are you doing?" Asked Doc, her heart hammering as she hoped she knew the answer to her own question.
  93. 93. "Doc, I know that we did not exactly see eye to eye the first time we met," he said thinking about their first conversation, "but as I have got to know you, I have realised that I love you, and I cannot bare the thought of not spending the rest of my life with you." He reached into the pocket of his coat.
  94. 94. "DrSupremeNerd Simself, will you do me the honour of agreeing to be my wife?" Doc stood there for a moment, before breaking into a wide grin. "Yes."
  95. 95. She put the diamond ring on her finger and looked at it. "Of course I will marry you my Nummy Theo."
  96. 96. "You will?" He smiled. "I cannot tell you how happy that makes me."
  97. 97. "I'd guess as happy as you have made me by asking." She replied flinging her arms around him.
  98. 98. Back at 1 King's Square, Alexandra Legacy was climbing into bed. She had stayed shut in her room since her siblings had left, refusing to see either of her parents and crying until there were no more tears left to cry. Now, as she pulled her covers up to her chin, one word echoed through her skull. ‘Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid...’
  99. 99. In the morning room her very worried parents were talking. "I can understand her being upset Beth, but she seemed in much better spirits at lunch. Now she is worse than before. At least she would let you see her when we first returned." Said William.
  100. 100. "I know." Replied his wife. "I fear that the reality of what happened has hit her. I will persuade her to make the effort to get dressed tomorrow I think. Perhaps she would like to help me with some of the household chores. They might take her mind off of today's events."
  101. 101. "Good idea my love." He sighed heavily. "I just want our bossy, pushy daughter back, rather than this fragile, vulnerable creature.“ Beth gave a small smile. She had a feeling that somehow this fragile, vulnerable creature had always been hiding behind Alexandra's bossiness.
  102. 102. Less than an hour's drive away, Joe Grundstrom was finally returning home. He had spent the day wandering aimlessly through the city until he had known that he couldn't put off going home any longer. His parents waiting for him in the library heard his key in the lock. "Son, a word."
  103. 103. "What in plumbbob's name happened today?" Asked Marcus furiously. "Did you purposefully set out to make fools of us all?" Screeched Maria. "Dear let me handle this..." Started Marcus. "Then handle it properly and get him to answer you!“ "I will dear. Joseph, what happened?“ "Have you been drinking Joseph?" Interrupted Maria. "A...few." Conceded her son. "Maria, please let the boy speak!" Said Marcus forcefully.
  104. 104. "I...could not go through with it. I do not love her and should never have asked her to marry me..." Started Joe.
  105. 105. "If you knew it was a bad idea, then you should never have done it!" Shrieked Maria. "Instead you have made laughing stocks out of your father and I!"
  106. 106. "Is that the issue here? Your reputations and the good of the family name?" The drinks he had imbibed were making Joe bolder than he normally would be in the presence of his formidable mother. "How dare you!"
  107. 107. Marcus put a calming hand on his wife's arm, before re-addressing his son. "Joseph it seems unlikely that this was a sudden decision of yours. I heard you say to Miss Legacy that you had never loved her. If that is true, why let it get this far?"
  108. 108. "I...I." He thought back to all of Anthony's warnings to him, and how he had pushed on with what he was doing despite of his second thoughts. "I do not know. I got so caught up in thinking that she would make someone a good wife, and there was no reason that person should not be me, that I thought I could ignore the fact that I felt nothing for her."
  109. 109. Maria regarded her son thoughtfully. "Be that as it may, you are a fool. You should never have embarked on such a scheme if you were not going to see it through until the end.“ "Maria..." "It is true!" She countered before laying back into her son. This conversation wasn't going to end anytime soon.
  110. 110. The next morning Beth used her skeleton key to let herself into her daughter's room to wake her up. "Alexandra princess, I think that it is time that you were getting up.“ Alexandra groaned. She had been surprised that she had slept as well as she had, but that was probably down to sheer exhaustion. Now she had to face a new day.
  111. 111. "Now come on sleepy-head, you cannot spend all day in bed. I will go and make you a nice cup of tea, and then bring it up here so that you can drink it whilst I help you dress." She said once she was certain that Alexandra was waking.
  112. 112. Alexandra waited until her mother had left the room before swinging her legs over the side of the bed. If she could perhaps dressed before her mother came back in...
  113. 113. She had managed to put on her chemise and drawers and was just trying to pull the laces to her corset tight when her mother came back into the room. "Alexandra darling, would you like some panc..." She stopped as she noticed Alexandra.
  114. 114. "Oh my plumbbob, you are with child!"
  115. 115. "I know!" wailed Alexandra. Breaking down into tears again. *** This scandalous revelation ends part a of this chapter. Part b is waiting for you below this one in the post.