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Charlie stared, a thousand different emotions running through her at once. Lady Samara laughed again, draping herself in her late husband's chair. All the warmth and kindness Charlie had seen in her eyes were gone, replaced by glittering malaise.

"why?" Charlie spat out, taking a step forward, or trying to at least. Edmond griped her tighter and pressed the knife in harder. Something warm, wet, and thick slid down into Charlie's bodice. She gulped around the knife and tried to keep a clear head.

Samara's lips curled, "Do you know why I agreed to marry the eldest Wellington boy, Charlie? It was not for love, oh no, but for money. I never loved that idiotic Damon, not once in my life." Something that could pass as softness crossed her face as her eyes rested on Edmond, "It was always the second Wellington boy who held my heart, however, he never got the inheritance and riches of the Wellington title."

Charlie understood in a sickening sense; Samara loved Edmond, but it wasn't right. Their love had been twisted and garbled by both of their ambiances.

"I had been dealing with the French, trading information for money, since the beginning of this damming war. Samara approached me three years ago, handing me all the information I could ever need to trade. We stroke a deal; she gave me the information and allowed me to use her land, while I gladly...disposed of my brother so I could claim the Wellington title."

Both of them were sadist, psychotic, and past the point of no return, Charlie realised.

"All went according to plan," Samara continued, "We staged Damon's death as a riding accident. It was good timing as well, for he was getting suspicious and close to the truth. We had planned on quietly disposing Richard from the equation, but then he slipped through our grasps before we had the time. If it wasn't for him, none of this would have gone wrong."

Charlie was absolutely and utterly disgusted with Samara and Edmond. What woman would kill her own child for a twisted love?

"Now," Samara said, standing and pulling out a loaded pistol, "All that stands in our way is a pesky little girl and damming evidence. You really should not have gotten mixed up in this, Charlie, such a waste of raw beauty."

No. Charlie was completely defensive, no tricks left. All she could hope for was Diana and Colleen going to her brother and father. Her friends were her last hope.

The study door burst open with a bang. Things happened so fast Charlie could see none of it. One moment, Edmond was getting ready to plunge the knife into her heart, the next, Richard was encasing her in a bone-crushing hug.

It was odd, how she had been in a life-threatening situation and suddenly, it was over, just like that. Everything felt surreal and fake. There was shouting and a shot firing with a terrible crack and the noise of a violent scuffle, yet Charlie was somehow detached from it all in Richard's arms.

"It's over," Richard whispered in her ear, "It's all over now, Charlie, I promise." She realised Richard was crying; she could feel the wet tears on her cheek.

That snapped her out of her trace. Charlie wrapped her arms around his neck, knowing that he needed solace as much as she did.

"That's right," She told him, "It's over now and we're together. Remember that."

It must've been harder than imaginable to learn that your mother killed your father, all for the love of his twisted uncle.

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