Hello Lovely Readers,
Okay I will admit I am kind of cheating on NaNoWriMo as I am using this time to continue work on my story and type up parts I haven't or maybe write scenes I need to get through. I know this chunk of the story will not make sense but this is the scene where I keep getting stuck. I know what I want to happen by the end of this scene... I want Leopold to surprise her by visiting her and then somehow on impulse just kiss her. I want Kelby to catch them and he calls Mattie on it but she admit that she loves Kelby. But I don't know how to transition to it. Please read and if you have any suggestions let me know. I really want to get this scene done (at least mentally) and be able to move on.
The whole dinner was in silence Lord Welford felt no need to ask any of them any questions and without any direct questions Daphne and Mattie had no opportunity to speak. Mattie wondered during the meal if she would be ordered to leave in the middle of the night similar to Catherine Morland had been in Northanger Abbey. If anyone was General Tilney in this narrative it would be Lord Welford, tight, rigid, and border line obsessive. Lord Welford did look down on the Harrington by not being of noble birth or heiresses such as his own wife and he not condone his wife's friendship with that child, that child who bore a marking resemblance to Aurora if Aurora had had the chance to grow into maturity. It pained him to see the same hazel eyes with a sparkle of emerald in them to look at him, and while some would soften with that pain Lord Welford only grew more severe. The matter only grew worse as Parker discussed the many attributes of Miss Daphne, the eldest daughter, and Lord Parker feared his son would make a horrible match with a woman who only had pleasing looks to recommend her.
"I am sorry for my father's rude behavior," Parker softly spoke to Daphne after dinner.
"It is all right Lord Parker. I understand, I am sure it was a shock for him to have us here, we are practically strangers to him."
"Still there is no excuse."
"We will leave tomorrow," Daphne lowered her gaze.
"I wish that wasn't the best option. I know my mother's desire to have your sister be with her, and I swear as soon as he leaves I will welcome you both to this house."
"You are so considerate Lord Parker."
Parker took her hands "I wish you didn't feel the need to be so formal with me."
Daphne stepped back removing her hands from his grip "Please we are not in London. I cannot do this her, what if someone sees us."
"You mean what if he sees us. Don't look at me so puzzled. I know Daphne, I know all about you and Shane Foster. He can give you nothing. My father won't let me dismiss him as his family has served us well for years, but he is a servant none the less. He can give you nothing, I can give you everything."
Daphne would never be sure what triggered her or how she even did it but she suddenly felt her hand slap Parker's face. Then she took off running down the hall. He did not come after her.
Mattie was sitting by the window when Daphne came in still shaken from what she had just done. In a swift movement Mattie crossed the floor seeing Daphne look so ill. Mattie asked if she was all right and Daphne just trembled in answer. Mattie would never know what transpired that evening, nevertheless, she wrapped Daphne into her arms and guided her to the bed. Finally Daphne cried out "We have to leave."
"Yes if we can."
"What happened Daphne? Did Lord Parker say anything?"
Daphne just repeated that they should leave tonight.
After a little while of Daphne crying Mattie got Daphne into bed, still in her dinner gown but trembling far less and her tears had turned into a whimper. Mattie then snuck out to the stable. Kelby was right where he was suppose to be, reading the thickest book had seen besides the family Bible and studying it intensely. He hadn't seen her come in and did not even she was there until she was nearly upon him.
"Miss Mattie, what is it?" He could tell she was distressed.
"Daphne thinks it is best we leave tonight."
He didn't ask her why, he knew if she wanted to say she would have. He simply said "It is not very safe at night. I do not think Lady Welford would be at ease knowing her guest had left in the middle of the night. Come calm yourself with a cup of tea."
"Thank you, no. I have to tend to my sister."
"Is she ill?"
Mattie just shook her head not knowing how to truly respond. Something had happened that night though she didn't know what? She worried that Lord Welford had dismissed them in the night as she feared and Daphne was too kind to say. However, she didn't want to question Daphne as Mattie feared that would only distress Daphne so Mattie didn't know what had happened. Mattie wondered if Daphne had seen Shane since they arrived, it seemed unlikely as she spent most of her time indoors and with Lord Parke around so much she would certainly not seek Shane out. Perhaps she had run into Shane and they had an argument. Mattie didn’t know much about their relationship and how much they had seen of each other and the strain that must be caused by hiding their relationship, and Mattie wondered if this had grown to alter their love. Love is not love with alterations find, no it is an ever fixed mark. Mattie pushed these thoughts out of her mind, Shakespeare was hardly needed now.
"I am sorry we did not get our ride in," she breathed.
"I will always be here waiting."
"Thank you Kelby."
With that she turned and returned to Daphne who had managed to change out of her own dress and into her night gown and was fast asleep. Mattie stayed up waiting staring out the window to watch when Kelby turned out his lantern in the stable.
The girls left Cranston just after breakfast. Lord Welford did not come to see them off. Mattie felt she had done something horrible wrong and worried if she would ever be back at Cranston Court again. Daphne hardly made eye contact with anyone that morning and felt to be holding her breath until they were in the carriage. "Well I am glad we have left, I have never felt a place so altered as Cranston has become," Daphne said stoically but in truth it was just an act in front of Mattie. She would never let her younger sister know what had passed the previous night and how she felt the weight of that press on her chest.
Mattie did not question Daphne's act as she was lost in her own thoughts of why Lord Welford had responded so harshly to her friendship with Lady Adelaide. Last night Parker said it was not for him to understand the thoughts and words, but he must have known something. Mattie had seen him discuss things with Daphne maybe he had told her the reasons Lord Welford had acted the way he did and that made her nervous.
"Thank you Kelby," Mattie said taking his hand as he assisted her from the carriage.
"My pleasure Miss Mathilda."
Daphne was already inside and they held hands a little longer than necessary but both did not want to let go.
"Please write to me if Lady Welford gets worse."
"I will come for you the moment I can."
Mattie shook her head "no don't, I know I am not welcomed while Lord Welford is at Cranston."
Kelby didn't understand what she meant, he let her hand go after that and her walk. It had barely been a week since she returned and already he felt the distance between her.
Two weeks passed before Mattie heard any word from Cranston, it did not come from Kelby or Mrs. Banks as she suspected but from Lord Parker. He wrote briefly to Daphne saying his mother's health was on the mend and Lord Welford continues is residence. It was not much news, Mattie replied when Daphne concluded the not though she was happy to hear that Lord Parker was paying so much care to his mother's health. By the time Lord Parker had written Leopold Brashware had already wrote to Mrs. Harrington and she passed his letter onto Mattie.
How has it only been three weeks since I have seen you, it feels such an age ago. The memories of our brief time in London keep me going as I have to handle business here. I long to see you and talk to you again. I know you must be out of sorts with your dear friend ill, but I have faith she will be well soon. I have only met Lady Welford a handful of times in my time of knowing Parker but I recognized a certain strength in her that tells me she is a fighter. The same strength I see in you, though you try to hide it.
I am promised daily by my father's managers that business should wrap up shortly. I pray for it more than believe their words. Managers are paid whether the work hands show up or not and without the workers they have less stress, so it might be in their best interest to keep the strike going. However, it is not in ours and I can tell the delay in work stresses my father.
I do hope though that work will resume again and I might be so bold as to make a detour to Derbyshire on my way back to London. I will wait for your approval on that notion.
It wasn't overly affectionate, probably because Leopold knew this letter would be read by Mrs. Harrington and all things must remain in check under the rules of propriety. Of course this was good since Mattie only asked for friendship from him. She had been silly in London, to think he could care for her in any such ways, she thought it had been the London air that got to her. Life in London had been quite fast pace almost dizzying. She was certain because of it she had lost focus on any true reality.
She had not replied to his letter until after she heard from Lord Parker. Mattie told him how Lord Parker believed Lady Welford's health was on the mend, although she couldn't confirm or deny it. She stopped herself from reporting to him what had happened in their short stay at Cranston Court. She advised Brashware that a trip at this moment would be fruitless. Even with Lady Welford being on the mend she was hardly healthy enough to have guest. With the news she heard from Kelby about Dr. Gibson believing it was Lady Adelaide's heart and how she should go to a specialist Mattie didn't think Cranston would not likely host anyone for another year. Mattie did not write that part, fearing that if she expressed those words would make them come true, and it pained her to think of Lady Adelaide so ill. Daphne was right Cranston had altered dramatically, Lady Adelaide was the heart and soul of Cranston and Cranston reflected her ill health.
After Mattie sent off her reply to Leopold she thought life could return to normal. Deep down she thought he would forget her, she felt that she had written a clear but respectful letter of rejection. She didn't state that she wanted to see him and paid no mind to his longing to see her. Mattie wrote wishing him the best in business and in life and stated that she did not know when they would see him again. Though she had little familiarity of how to write to a gentleman she felt her knowledge with literature gave her inspiration enough to write her letter of refusal. Though as she wandered back to Southerton from the post office she examined herself and thought she had been too harsh and she didn't want to reject his friendship and maybe he would read her letter and think that. No he must not think that, but if friendship is all he wanted then he would certainly read it that way. She wondered if she should follow up her letter with a note stating that she was thankful for his friendship. Why does mind go to such thoughts? When it came to Leopold Brashware Mattie recognized she questioned herself far more than she did with other people. With others she knew where she stood but with him she felt oddly confused by his words and his actions and as much as she didn't want to admit it, it intrigued her, just a bit.