Chapter XCVII

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"I shall stand here if you are going to ask me to leave because you said yes to him

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"I shall stand here if you are going to ask me to leave because you said yes to him."

"I did not say yes to Sir Holloway, I only thanked him for all he did for me."

"So you did not accept his marriage proposal?"

"I presume Mrs. Hall told you this?"

"She wants what is best for you."

"And what does she think is best for me?"

"Well I was very kindly told by Mrs. Hall it was better I forgot you since your suitor was better qualified than me in title of husband."

"Mrs. Hall doesn't own a dishonest bone in her body does she?"

"Apparently none, no sense of loyalty that one."

"So why are you here? If she said that then..."

"I just had a good reason to come."

"What reason?"

"That I have great reasons why we should never part, in fact more than I can count by myself."

"This is the part where you share them."

"First I love you, second you love me, somehow someway that miracle happened."

"Um hm..."

"Third my entire life can be summed up to you entering my life, fourth the best moments I have lived are because of you, fifth..."

"Enough, be quiet sir," I took his hands off me and turned to regain my posture knowing I was getting off the right track.

"Alice..."

"No, let me talk please this is important," I looked him in the eye, this was the moment of truth, the moment I would know what to do.

"What?"

"I heard your fight with Cynthia before dinner the day I left Stanley Hall."

"So that is the real reason you left early."

"Yes so I must ask you this, did you come running into my arms at the beach because Cynthia betrayed you?"

"What?"

"Was her betrayal the only reason..."

"Wait what? No! No, that is not!" Mr. Howard was completely defensive about the question and I waited for the fight to break out once more.

"Sir I..."

"Alice look at me," his hands held the side of my shoulders to keep me still and I lifted my eyes at him. "I have not been fair to you, I know that, but that night we spent in your chambers together I was still engaged and yet I could not restrain myself from being near you, as if your presence was the life I needed in order to keep breathing, I knew then that even if I was to marry Cynthia were you ever to need or want me I would not hesitate to be your captive forever."

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