Chapter 3

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Lord Eric Hartford was not a particularly interesting man. He was pretty to look at from afar, but once you tried to start a conversation with him he would just stare off into the distance and answer everything with a ‘hmph’ before excusing himself for some unknown reason. This was why he had yet to secure a match at the age of 27. His younger brother was 25, married and father of two children. 

Eric didn't mind being single and was extremely flattered at the amount of ambitious girls and mothers that approached him in an attempt to secure a match, but he did not need a wife. The future dukes plan was to spend as much time as a bachelor as he could and then when he was 40 he would marry some poor girl in want of a good match, have an heir and then continue his life as if he were a bachelor. His father however did not like this very clever plan. 

“Eric, we need to be secure of a continuous lineage of dukes in our family, and I want to die happy, knowing that your title is not going to one of your money hungry cousins when you die.”
His father began muttering to himself, cursing the side of the family that apparently wanted a title so bad.

Eric just scoffed.

“Father, have you forgotten all about your other son who has two children already that you love to dote on”

“Yes but they are to inherit your uncles- We are not having this conversation now, you are to have a wife and so that is why by the end of the year you will be married to the Lady Katherine Ainsworth!”

That was three months ago, and he had met his intended bride about four times already. He despised her. She was loud, drank a little too much at parties then ran around giggling and talking too loudly. She was a little girl, and he had told his father this when he got the news, but his father was having none of it.

“She is only nine years your junior, I think that is a decent age gap.”
And the topic was not brought up again.

Now Eric sat in his billiards room, watching his friends play a game as he stared off into the distance with a glass of brandy in his hand.

“Eric did you hear the dreadful news, your poor fiance is on bedrest for a week, she hit her head, and cant remember a thing!”

Exclaimed one of his friends, Sir Gerald Clifton, as he struck a ball with his cue.

“Yes I did, about a week ago.”

Replied Eric, dryly.

Personally he preferred to forget about the girl unless it was absolutely necessary and he was forced to socialise with her.

“What, and you didn't tell us?! Oh that poor girl, and you haven't paid her a visit, given her some flowers?”

His other friends snickered at Geralds mocking tone, and even the melancholy Eric had to crack a smile at his absurd friend.

“Well I'm just hoping if I don't visit her, she’ll remain forgetful and we won't ever have to get married.” They all laughed.

“She's a bit obsessed with you, I've noticed.” piped up one of Eric's other friends.

Eric rolled his eyes and they all laughed.

“I think we have all noticed” chuckled Gerald.

Eric chucked back the last drop of his drink before placing it on the small table and picking up a cue.

“Let's forget about all this nonsense, and talk about how I'm going to beat you.”

He didn't get to beat his friends however as his father came into the room at that moment and took the cue from him.

“Not just yet young man, we have to pay a visit to the young Lady Katherine, and do not worry your mother has already thought to pick out some flowers for her.”

Eric rolled his eyes and groaned as his friends all laughed at his seemingly terrible fate.

***

Kat was finally allowed out of that stuffy bedroom at last. It was nice at first, but she got a glimpse of the garden and knew at once that she had to go walking through it as soon as the doctor allowed her too. Unfortunately everyone decided to visit her as soon as she was deemed well enough and now she had her own mini garden in her bedroom, and no time to herself with all the visitors. 

Most of them would curtsy to her and say to her “Hello Im so and so, do you remember me?” and she would shake her head and that would be the end of it. The lady who called herself her mother would do the rest of the talking. Cat figured that the whole amnesia thing would get her through until she could find her way out of here and back to her own time, but for now she had no clue how to get home.

Finally she had gotten enough time to walk through the garden, and she found herself walking through the multiple flowers and sitting beside the water fountain before her short time in paradise was interrupted by a rude servant telling her she was summoned again for visitors once again. She was brought into the drawing room where three people wait for her. 

They all curtseyed to each other before sitting down as her sister rang for tea. In the time that she had been here, barely two weeks, she had gotten to know her so called sister, and she liked her. She was quiet and compassionate and she taught her how to ride horses, Cat had always wanted to learn.

But now, in front of her was a family of three, two older people, presumably a mother and father, and a handsome young man who did not pay attention to the conversation between the parents and seemed bored. 

“Katherine?”

She blushed as she realised she had been staring at the young man for quite some time, thankfully he had not noticed her or her mother calling her repeatedly.

“These are your future in laws, and your fiance, Lord Eric. Do you recognize them?”

Her mother asked in a high pitched baby voice. This question seemed to grab the young man's attention. Cat could not even tell if there was anyone in her real life that these people reminded her of, so she answered truthfully.

“I'm afraid not.”

This answer seemed to please this Lord Eric Hartfod, and he smirked to himself and had a haughty expression on her face. Kat could tell that he did not like her, or rather Lady Katherine. She decided she did not like him either, no matter how attractive he was so she decided to spite him. She squinted her eyes and tilted her head at him, pretending to analyze him.

“Actually, he is familiar...”

This statement caused him to open his mouth slightly in shock and narrow his eyes. Kat felt a sense of accomplishment at making this horrid man who was her fiance, less proud of himself. 

Two could play at this game.

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