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Fatal Attraction: Ladybird and the Duke

  • Genre: Romance
  • Author: Neemah
  • Chapters: 28
  • Status: Ongoing
  • Age Rating: 18+
  • 👁 5
  • 7.5
  • 💬 0

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Rosalyn Fletcher is the unfavored daughter of her family. Things take a turn when her hand is given away in a marriage of convenience to the wealthy widower, Gareth Ellington. One passionate night with a stranger that started with a kiss under the moonlight. She would never forget the scorching touch of his hand and sinful lips, in places only she has been. Rosalyn knew fate was playing a sick game with her life when the same man happens to be the nephew of her future husband.

Chapter 1 Gifts from a younger sister

Rosalyn Fletcher stood by the door of the fitting room, peeping through the door she had somehow cracked open without their notice. She watched with interest, as Helene fussed over the gown on her daughter’s body.

“It is too loose at the waist. And why is the bust up so high?” Helene asked, turning to look at the dressmaker, Mrs. Baker who observed the fitting on the young lady’s body. When she saw nothing wrong with it, she turned to the lady of the house and said,

“I think the dress looks fine. She will not be able to breathe if I tighten it at the waist. Do you not think it would be scandalous to have the bust any lower than it already is?”

Mrs. Baker was the most sought after dress maker in the whole of Venkins. Every noble lady just like Lillian, dreamed to own at least one dress made by her. Lillian turned to look at her mother, pouting her rosy lips slightly as if in protest.

Helene chuckled with an amiable smile.                         

“I do not think there is any harm with a little adjustment here and there. But if you say it looks fine, then I will not argue with you. After all, you are more experienced than I am when it comes to this”, Helene agreed, gesturing to the gown on Lillian’s body. Mrs. Baker returned her smile.

Helene had put in a lot of effort and money to get the woman, and she did not want to displease her.

Rosalyn drew her brows together. It seemed like they were preparing to attend an important ball. And yet again, she was not invited, not like she minded.

“But mother, I think the color looks a little bit off on me”, Lillian whined, holding up the skirt while looking down at it in satisfaction.

“Oh hush now, this color suits you perfectly. It will make you stand out”, Helene shut her daughter up. Lillian wanted to wear red to the ball, but her mother told her to wear peach, as most young ladies would be wearing flashy colors.

“Your mother is right, Miss Fletcher. You wear the dress well, it looks beautiful on you”, Mrs. Baker complimented with a smile, that had Lillian reconsidering her choices.

Rosalyn could not help but agree with them. Lillian was a stunner, and it was as though the dress was made just for her to wear. It seemed to her that the two were really hoping to find a good match at the ball they were attending.

Rosalyn barely flinched when she felt something wet and coarse lick her feet. She lifted her skirt a bit, looking down. A smile graced her lips, when she saw her cat, Neal. He looked up at her with large blue eyes and then mewed, which had Rosalyn’s eyes widening in panic.

She looked back through the crack of the open door, and just as the feared, her presence had been discovered.

“I thought I shut the door”, Rosalyn said in astonishment, her brows drawing together.

“How long have you been standing there, Rosalyn dear? Come inside”, Helene invited, with a motherly smile.

Rosalyn smiled awkwardly, before pushing the door wide open and then stepping inside. Just before she shut it, she glared at the dark furred cat, who scrambled away, as though he knew he had done something wrong.

“This is my elder daughter, Rosalyn”, Helene introduced, keeping the motherly smile on her face which Rosalyn hated so much because it was so fake.

“It is nice to meet you, Miss Fletcher”, Mrs. Baker said, not so subtly scrutinizing her. Rosalyn was not fazed by her reaction, as she was used to it. The differences in physical features were too obvious to ignore.

“Nice to meet you too. You must be Mrs. Baker, I have heard a lot about you”, Rosalyn said, mustering a polite smile.

“Good things I suppose”, she replied.

“Of course”, Rosalyn agreed.

“It is good that you came in sister. What do you think about my dress?” Lillian asked with a sweet smile, showing off the dress to her.

“It looks magnificent on you”, Rosalyn said, and her smile widened. Rosalyn meant what she said, as she was not one to give false compliments. Lillian was a stunner, she doubted she would look terrible even in rags. The young lady was not crowned the beauty of the neighborhood for nothing. Sought after by many unmarried gentlemen. Even the married ones could not keep their eyes away, sadly.

“Thank you so much”, Lillian said, earning a chuckle from Helene.

“Rosalyn’s opinion matters a lot to our dear Lilly”, Helene said, and the smile on Rosalyn’s face threatened to fall. It was a shame that her acting was not as polished as that of her stepmother and sister. Unlike them, she had not yet mastered the art of pretense.

“I must say, you are a lucky woman, Lady Fletcher. Despite that Rosalyn is adopted, the two of them still managed to share a deep sisterly bond”, Mrs. Baker said with a smile, and Helene laughed softly.

It was no secret among members of the society that the Fletchers had adopted a daughter, even though they already had one. If only they knew the truth, Rosalyn thought.

“Rosalyn is my only sibling and best friend”, Lillian said, tucking a dark strand behind her ears shyly.

Rosalyn thought that it was either Mrs. Baker was too blind to see through their pretense, or she was been awfully sarcastic.

“I would like to get back to what I was doing mother, please excuse me”, Rosalyn said, managing a smile.

“Of course”, Helene said, and Rosalyn nodded towards Mrs. Baker before she took her leave.

As she walked out, the smile on her face slipped off.

“Best friend my arse”, she muttered under her breath, as she walked towards her room.

 

Rosalyn shut the door once she was inside, turning the lock twice. There was a small frown on her face, due to the annoyance she felt.

There was only little difference between Rosalyn’s room and the servant’s quarters. The painting on the walls looked old as it had not been tended to in a long time. The curtains, sheets, and virtually everything in the room were begging to be replaced.

However, as much as it was not very pleasing to the eye, the room was Rosalyn’s sanctuary, where she actually felt like she belonged.

Rosalyn began to sort out the books on her shelf. They were her prized possessions, some of which were hidden under her bed. Helene would be horrified if she knew about them.

Neal jumped in through the window, earning Rosalyn’s attention.

“There you are”, she said with a stern gaze.                                                                       

Neal mewed, half running towards where she stood. Rosalyn smiled fondly and bent down to pet his head. He purred, shutting his eyes.

“Look at you, running back to me now that you are hungry. I think I have spoiled you too much”, Rosalyn said, and Neal responded with another mew, which had her chuckling.

“Let’s get you fed now, shall we?”

 

Later into the afternoon, Rosalyn was sitting at her makeshift study, which consisted of a wooden chair and table, as she sorted out her final manuscript. A smile grazed her lips, as she thought about how much money she would make from the last book in her series, Bloody Rose.

“Do not bother me, Neal. You have been fed”, Rosalyn said, when she felt the cat rubbing his body over her feet. He jumped on her thigh, and she let out a small laugh.

“This is not the time for pets, I have work to attend to”, Rosalyn said, petting him.

Rosalyn flinched slightly, when she heard a knock on her door. Furrowing her brows, she dropped the cat who let out a noise of protest. Rosalyn quickly packed and hid away whatever she was working on.

“Who’s there?” She asked. Neither the servants nor any of the family members ever bothered with her, except Lillian whenever she was bored.

“Open the door Rosy, it’s me Lilly”.

Rosalyn let out a sigh, a small frown settling on her face. Just as she had guessed, it was her lovely little sister.

Rosalyn opened the door with a flat expression on her face.

“What do you want?” She asked, her voice holding an edge of annoyance.

Lillian pouted. “How cold, won’t you even let me in?” She asked, and Rosalyn pursed her lips, moving aside for her to enter, along with the maid who was holding something large, tied up in a cloth. She narrowed her eyes at it.

“What is that?” Rosalyn asked.

“Gifts from your younger sister”, Lillian replied with a smile. “Open it”, she said to the maid.

The maid dropped it on the floor, and untied the knot. When she opened the cloth, it revealed what looked like dresses, and two jewelry boxes.

“What are these for?” Rosalyn asked, even though she had a fair idea of what Lillian was up to.

“A few gowns, and some jewelry”, Lillian replied with a friendly smile.

“If these are for me, then do me a favor and take them away, I do not want them”, Rosalyn said.

“Oh sister, if you are concerned about them not fitting you, then worry not, as I have had them specially adjusted. I know that we are not of the same…” she trailed off, briefly eyeing Rosalyn’s physique which was a bit plump compared to her thin body. “Size”, she completed.

“How considerate of you?” Rosalyn asked, folding her arms.

“Aren’t I kind?” Lillian asked with a sweet smile.

“Get your fairly used things out of my room before I destroy them myself, Lillian”, Rosalyn threatened, her eyes shimmering with annoyance. Lillian frowned at her.

“Why are you being so harsh? I’m only giving them out to you out of concern, besides they are not even that old. Are they not much better than your fading clothes and torn shoes? People would mistake you for a servant, do you know how bad that will reflect on us?” Lillian asked.

It was true, that Rosalyn looked no better than the maid standing with her gaze lowered. Neither Helene nor her father, Anthony ever bothered to buy her new clothes, shoes, or jewelry. All she got were Lillian’s left overs. As much as she could afford expensive things for herself, Rosalyn could not buy them, as it would only raise questions like how she got the money.

“What would the Duke’s family think?” Lillian asked, more to herself.

“The Duke?” Rosalyn asked with furrowed brows.

Chapter 2 Return her back to the streets where she came from

“You might not have heard, but we have been specially invited to a ball that Lady Tamara Ellington is hosting”, Lillian said, her shoulders raising with pride.

Rosalyn’s brows rose in realization. So that was what they were preparing for.

“I do not understand why you have to worry yourself with me, when I will not be accompanying you people”, Rosalyn said.

“I know that. But when I eventually receive a proposal from the Duke, it will not look good on our family”, Lillian said.

Rosalyn looked confused, before her lips pulled up in a smile of amusement. She let out a mocking chuckle.

“What?” Lillian asked with a small frown.

“Aren’t you confident? What makes you think that you will be able to get a proposal from the Duke in just one night?” Rosalyn asked, followed by a small laugh of mockery.

“You underestimate my charm, sister”, Lillian said with confidence, and Rosalyn tilted her head to the side.

“You think your beauty alone can get yo

Heroes

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