Chapter 1

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Sunshine streams in through the many windows of Scarborough house, casting brilliant light along the structure and the inside of the home. The servants are happily busy downstairs, making sure that everything is perfect for their master and mistress.

Gazing out the window, 20-year-old Olivia Radcliffe, Duchess of London, cannot believe that she is able to see what is in front of her. Though the image is not clear, she is able to decipher exactly what it is. Over the course of the last two years, her vision has improved quite a lot. However, it's not focused accurately, and everything around her is blurry. But that doesn't matter to her. The main thing she is proud of is that she is able to see. She is able to distinguish day and night, is able to see colors and shapes, and is able to make out faces.

At the moment, Olivia is examining a small white pigeon that has landed on the windowsill, watching it as it flaps its white wings. She has always been fascinated by birds, watching them as a child when she had complete vision. She smiles with content.

Abruptly, the door to the drawing room opens, causing Olivia to turn around. Her eyes sparkle as she notices her two-year-old daughter, Amelia, standing in the doorway, hazel eyes twinkling.

Olivia opens her arms for her daughter. Hello, my sweet darling.

Amelia runs into her mothers arms. Mama!

Olivia holds her close. What are you doing? She runs her fingers through Amelia's chestnut brown hair.

Amelia hears footsteps behind her, and immediately hides under the skirts of her mothers ivory satin gown.

Olivia. Mia, darling, why are you hiding under there?

Amelia places one finger against her lips. Papa. She giggles.

Smiling, Olivia realizes that her daughter is playing a rousing game of hide and seek. Wanting to play along, she fixes her skirts so that they are covering Amelia. Just as Edwin walks into the room.

23-year-old Edwin Radcliffe, Duke of London, is very handsome. His chestnut brown hair falls to his shoulders, his hazel eyes sparkle with love and adoration for his wife and daughter, and his body is very muscular. He believes that his wife is the most beautiful woman in the world, with her honey blonde hair and blue eyes, pink and cream complexion, and sweet demeanor.

Olivia. Hello, my love. Are you looking for something? She smiles.

Edwin. Hello, my darling. I am actually looking for that little monkey of ours. He chuckles.

Olivia. Who do you mean, Amelia?

Edwin. Yes, you haven't seen her by chance, have you?

Olivia. No, I haven't. She places her hands flatly against her skirts.

His eyes twinkling, Edwin reaches down, raises her skirts, and picks up a squealing Amelia. I found you! He begins peppering her  face with kisses.

Amelia squeals and giggles with happiness. Papa found me!

Edwin. That's right, darling, Papa did find you.

Olivia. You are such a wonderful father, dearest.

Edwin. Thank you, sweetheart. And you are a wonderful mother.

Olivia. Thank you.

Amelia's nursemaid, Mrs. Baxter, comes into the room, smiling sweetly at the family. She is a woman in her late 50s, with salt and pepper brown hair, brown eyes, and a pleasant smile.

Olivia. Hello, Mrs. Baxter.

Cynthia. Hello, your Grace. I was wondering if Miss Amelia would like to go out for a walk? She has been such a good girl today. I was wondering if I could reward her?

Edwin. I don't see why not. She has been stuck in the house for quite a while, what with the rain.

Olivia. You can take her, just be back before sundown.

Cynthia. Of course, your grace. Come, Miss Amelia.

After giving both of her parents a sweet kiss on the cheek, Amelia skips off to be with her nanny.

Edwin sits down beside Olivia, kissing her sweetly on the lips. So, how was that letter coming?

Olivia looks at her work in progress, a letter she is working on for parliament. It's coming along all right. I'm almost finished with it.

Edwin. Splendid.

Olivia. I am just hoping that Mr. Rogers is going to accept it.

Edwin. I'm sure he will, don't worry.

Olivia. Your articles in the London press are doing very well. I'm proud of you.

Edwin. Thank you darling. You don't know how proud I am of you for doing this with me. For being the voice of those who do not have one.

Olivia giggles. You are the eyes and ears to those who do not see.

Edwin. We both are, if you think about it. He brings her against him. I cannot believe we are doing this. Both of us in parliament.

Olivia. I know, it's quite surreal. Overwhelming, if I must be honest. But it's fulfilling.

Edwin. Indeed, it certainly is.

They move from the desk in the drying room to the sofa by the window. Sitting down, they wrap their arms around one another.

Olivia. Can you believe we have been married for two years?

Edwin. I can't believe it. I also cannot believe that my beautiful wife is able to finally see the world around her.

Olivia. I know, I can't believe it either. 10 years of my life has been thrust into darkness.

Edwin. Not anymore.

Olivia. Indeed.

They exchange a sweet kiss, before deciding to go and take a walk outside in the gardens to enjoy the remainder of the day.

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