A love Unconventional
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Sara Adams has always lived a subtle life, away from society. She lost her parents when she was six years old and had to leave with her paternal uncle. When she catches the eye of the Duke of Mayfield, her Family gets her engaged to him without her opinion. Sara tries to escape the alliance but the Duke will do anything to have her. William Heyward is ready to settle down after running his family’s business for a decade. He took his father’s title immediately after his death. Time is running out and he needs a wife to carry his heir. He stumbles across an arrogant eighteen-year-old, who is carefree and has none of the qualities a lady of society should have. He develops an interest in her and asks for her hand in marriage.
William smiled as he ascended his carriage, he had chosen a good day to set out. He was going back to London after two years. His mother had written many letters calling on him to come back home. According to her it was time to settle, time to find a wife who would bear him children.
He agreed to that fact that he had delayed it for too long. At the age of thirty-four, he did not have a wife and most of his friends had settled down long ago.
His mother was getting old, too fragile to continue managing the affairs of the Heyward mansion at Mayfield. She was very prudent and professional but as the lady of the house, she had too many responsibilities that she was not to handle at her age.
“Henry, what time will we get to London?” He asked his steward.
“In an hour, your grace. The roads are marred because of the continuous rains,” He explained.
William smiled, regardless of how slow they were travelling. He enjoyed looking at landscapes and watching people on the road engaging in conversations. He was an excellent painter, he spent most of his free time drawing.
London had changed very much, there were newly built houses and he saw new faces he had never seen.
“Your grace, we have arrived,” Henry announced and opened the carriage door for him to get down.
He looked at Heyward mansion, the home where he was born, the home where all the betrayal began, the place that made him believe there was no reason love should exist.
“How do you do, your grace?” He greeted his mother.
“William, I am happy you listened to me and returned back home. I have written countless letters and you chose to ignore me,” She sounded furious.
William sighed and kissed her cheek.
“Mother, I just arrived, do you not think it is a little too early to nag. I have a lot of business to attend to and I do not want to be disturbed over trivial matters. As for my marriage, any beautiful girl will do. She is just to satisfy my needs and make heir,” He replied and went upstairs.
She looked at him. What happened in her own marriage had affected him greatly.
“Will, just because my marriage with your father was not good, does not mean your own marriage won’t be. I don’t want you to see marriage as a bad thing,” She told him.
William laughed as he went upstairs.
“Most of the girls will only want me for my title and wealth. I have told you want to do, choose any girl and I will marry her. I do not have time to court women,” He told her.
Lady Heyward followed him upstairs.
“As a matter of fact, you do. You are to attend a ball with me at the marquis of Sussex’s place. There will be extraordinary young ladies of good families, you should familiarise yourself with. I am sure they will be excited when they hear the Duke of Mayfield will be choosing a wife this season. George will handle all the matters you need to attend to. Get ready, for we will leave by 8pm,” She spoke.
William never disobeyed his mother. He respected her every word and he hope his future wife was going to be like her. An exemplary and virtuous woman.
Another tedious day in the house. Sara was tired of the numerous parties and balls her uncle kept throwing. Her cousins Eve and Geraldine were twenty and according to society, they were already past the age of marriage.
Their father Lord Gerald kept throwing balls and luxurious parties hopping to catch the eyes of London’s most eligible bachelors.
The twins were already in love but they could not marry below their social classes.
“Aunt Mary, do you not ever get tired of wasting so much money throwing expensive parties, when you can just let the twins marry who they both love?” Sara asked her aunty already knowing the angry curses that were to leave her mouth.
Aunt Mary did not like Sara, she was angry that along with the burden of taking care of her own children, she had to take care of someone else who was only related to her by marriage.
Sara was a difficult child, she refused to take etiquette or dance classes. She refused anything that needed her to be a lady. She took interest in guns, horses and gambling and that was unacceptable for a well breed lady.
She rarely wore dresses unless it was during an important occasions, even then she was forced. She wore breeches and never wore jewelry. Aunt Mary wondered who was going marry such a girl who had no respect for society.
“Don’t you dare bring up such an abominable idea ever again! My girls are going to marry respectable men who have wealth and good positions. You would not know because you do not want to marry. When I have finished finding the twin husbands, you will be next. You are of age and you should also attend this ball today. Good lord, maybe you will find a man, who takes interest in you,” She yelled at the top of her voice.
Sara was about to walk out.
“Rose!” She call Sara’s maid.
“Make sure she is dressed. She will make her first appearance in society today. She has hidden for too long. The sooner I get her out of my house, the easier it will be for me to live a peaceful life,” She ordered.
Sara was upset. Aunt Mary had no right to tell her what to do and she had other plans than to go to a party with no sensible people. Her uncle was always in support of his wife but he made sure she was living comfortably.
“Aunty Mary, I have no intention on marrying,” She was never afraid to say her mind.
“If you do not get married this season, get ready to leave my house. I cannot feed extra mouths especially one who has no regard for society rules. I am sure you know what your uncle will say to this,” She smiled and went upstairs.
Sara went to her room and threw all belongings on the ground. She could not imagine that her aunt was really planning to kick her out.
Her father had misjudged her uncle when he told her to live with him before he died.
“Miss Sara, there is no crime in going to the ball. You are of age and sorry to say, your aunty is right. You need to make your presence in society before you end up with no husbands like the twins. You are by far more beautiful than them and you do not want to end up in their predicament, trust me,” Rose some and picked up the things she had fallen.
Sara sighed and opened her windows strongly protesting. She could not attend the ball. She was not as sociable as the twins and she would make a total mockery of herself if she were called to dance.
“Miss Sarah, which one will you prefer?” Rose held up two gown.
A blue one which matched her light blues eyes and a gold dress which made her eyes look even prettier. Sara was a raw beauty, with golden brown hair, beautiful blue eyes, a petite but curvy body. She was never allowed to leave the house, so many people did not know the Marquis of Sussex, had a niece whose beauty was unmatched.
Aunt Mary was terrified that Sara was going to take away the chances of her two daughters getting married.
“I do not want to do this. I have goose bumps on my skin. I have never been in a social gathering, Rose,” She cried out.
Rose laughed and dropped the blue dress.
“The gold would be prefect. You have to look grand for your first appearance, my lady,” She smiled.
Rose was Sara’s personal maid. She started serving Sara when she arrived in London. She was her only friend.
Sara dressed up unwillingly and wore her jewellery herself.
Beatrice another of Sara’s younger servants entered the room quickly.
“For the love of God! You will have me killed one day,” Rose exclaimed.
“I am sorry for barging in like that, Miss Sara. The guests have arrived and Lady Mary says you be downstairs now,” She spoke.
It was time, there was no turning back. On the bright side maybe she would make friends today, she thought and laughed sarcastically at her predicament.
Sara went down the staircase, beads of sweat falling from her face. Her heart was racing and she could thought anyone standing beside her will definitely hear it. She never knew her home where she spent all her years in was extraordinarily big.
“Grip yourself together, Sara,” Her uncle came from behind and held her hand.
She composed herself, not wanting to embarrass herself and her uncle. She did not even realize she was almost passing out.
Sara stood beside her Uncle and his family. She could feel Aunt Mary’s stares. She could even read her mind, perhaps she was regretting telling her to attend the ball.
Uncle Gerald turned to address the crowd that was in his house, a room full of the most respectable family in London.
Sara could feel the gaze on people’s faces. She even heard them asking each other who she was. She was going to lose it and bail on the ball.
“Thank you all for attending this ball. It was a late invitation and I am grateful to all of you who made it. Without saying more, I would like to introduce you all to my niece, Sara Adams,” He spoke and brought her forward.
Sara was the eye of all the men present. They all wanted her, the left their gathering to have a spot on her dance card.
She smiled as she remembered those lessons Aunt Mary force her to take long ago and declined.
“May I be excused, Aunt Mary?” She sought her aunt’s permission.
An older lady appeared before her and smiled widely.
“You have not introduced us yet, Lady Mary,” The woman smiled.
“This is Sara Adams. My husband’s niece. Sara, greet the Duchess,” She spoke quickly.
Sara curtsied slightly.
“Your grace, lovely to make your acquaintance,” Sara managed a smile.
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