Chapter Seventeen - The Angel and The Beast

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"Go back to your cell."

"Madman!" Grace cried out at the top of her lungs. 

Tarleton turned away without a backward glance and locked himself in his study. 

"Ma'am -" Captin Wilkins began, offering to escort her upstairs.

"Don't bother." Grace abruptly cut him off as she saw herself back to her room. 


As she shut the door behind her, Grace found herself completely alone with a thousand thoughts swirling around in her mind. She could feel her head beginning to pound as she tried to comprehend what had just happened.

She wanted to cry, let out her anger in a fit of uncontrollable sobs and beat her bedroom door to a pulp in a crazed attempt at escape. Despite her anger and feeling of utter betrayal and failure, however, no tears came. Instead, Grace found herself standing tall and unmoved. Raising a hand to massage her aching temples, her heart suddenly became cool as she muttered aloud to the hearing of no one but herself,

"I'm such an idiot! I should have known!" She hissed, "Villains will always be villains and there is nothing which can be done about that. I was a fool to think such a man as he could possibly be saved."

As soon as she was finished fuming, Grace found that she only half-believed the words she spoke.

No matter. Whatever kind of trust she had once had in Tarleton was completely eradicated. Grace tried to convince herself that she could care less about the Colonel. She decided to hate him.

What would Ben do? She asked herself as she sighed, collapsing onto the soft cushion of her bed.

"I don't bloody know, for all I know he could be dead!" Grace suddenly cried aloud, momentarily surprising herself with the force of her tone before succumbing to sobs. 

Oh, how she had tried to do exactly what she thought her fiance might do were he in her position! She felt like a terrible failure and could feel her heart aching more than ever for the people she loved. She needed to get out of this wretched place that had stolen away all of the happy memories once associated with her childhood home.


"This just came for you, Sir." A breathless young lieutenant came jogging up to his commander with an envelope set securely in his outstretched hand. 

At first glance, Tarleton appeared to be in no mood for disturbances as a mixture of pain and anger contorted his face into a bitter scowl. Noticing this, the young man swiftly related the letter's sender in hopes of avoiding any unpleasantness with the Colonel.

"It's from General Cornwallis, Sir."

Tarleton perked up at the name, out of either pleasure or dread the lieutenant could not tell.

"Thank you, Lieutenant Alexander."

The messenger nodded before letting out a slight sigh of relief as soon as he saw that his commander had departed for the study.

With neat precision, Tarleton slit the envelope's wax seal and drew out its contents from within. As his eyes danced across the page, taking in every word the general had written, he could not help but feel a pang of relief. He needed a change of scenery and the prospect of being able to stay away from Grace Lewis.

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