Chapter XXV

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"Wait," he touched my hand and I recoiled, "what will you do when you leave here?"

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"Wait," he touched my hand and I recoiled, "what will you do when you leave here?"

"I will be tucked away in my grandfather's home until I am presentable enough to be in society."

"And when you are presentable you will marry a young man of good fortune as ladies do?"

"Yes sir."

"And here I thought you would you lie to spare my feelings. But you wish to fill me with jealousy as if I were not wretched enough as it is, you only make me worse off."

"I would not lie for your sake sir, and it should not matter what I do since we have no commitment and never will as you made perfectly clear."

"Alice to marry is one thing while to be committed to love is quite something else. You should count yourself lucky enough to learn this in your youth like I did if you so wish to endure through society."

"Committed to love? Why must you make everything so difficult and complex? You are much too barbaric sir it is no wonder why you must hide behind four walls."

"My, my, how quickly your thoughts change because of your inheritance, I should have known you would be as fickle as all the rest," he raised his head examining me from up there.

"All the rest?" I tried to get away but his strength was unbreakable. "Let go," I asked but he stared as if thinking of what to say next or not knowing what to say and I grew anxious. "Let go sir!"

"Fine then, you may go, you may hide in the country, you may do as your family seems fit but you will never forget me Alice and one day I will get my revenge on you for leaving me alone in this old haunted house," he pressed my body on to his and unhesitatingly placed his lips on mine.

Every second of our kiss I was the most alive I had ever been it was as if life itself was in this and everything else was only a painted background. Then a strong wind came through the wind blowing our kiss apart and I was glad I would never need to be afraid of the creaks and twinges of this house.

"How long until you go back to London?" He had changed after the kiss, his hand trembled touching my cheek and I hated him for rejecting me.

"This afternoon, I must go say goodbye to the staff," I pushed him but he did not budge.

"That is too soon you must stay for the April dinner," he held on to my dress and kissed my neck.

"No sir I must get back."

"Please give me one more week with you Alice," he bowed his head on my chest almost tired from the argument, "one more week is all I ask."

"What good is one more week if I would not go near you again if my life depended on it? Goodbye Mr. Howard," his momentary weakness gave away for me to leave him.

Ah I wanted to scream, to shout, to see if all the feelings would break out of my body and finalize its pain. But I was left with hate, and a hate I could not carry well, for his rejection did not make me angry it saddened me and like my dress I was in mourning for him. In mourning for what could have been between Mr. Howard and I had he not been a loathsome man with his words. I had given my heart to someone who saw fit to stomp on it and there was no coming back from that for once my heart was out there the shame of it only kept reminding of the fool I had been. 

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