Sometimes it Pours; Annabelle's Story
A small smile reached my lips even though my eyes remained shut. I knew the sun was high in the sky. The sunlight warmed my flesh as it flowed through the window. I enjoyed waking up naturally, not being jolted from slumber. My bedroom was so quiet I could hear the near by birds chirping loudly.
The bed covers were warm from my body heat, inviting me to linger. Stretching the sleep from my muscles I moved to get up. Sitting up right, pulling the covers tightly to my chest even though the room was empty. "A proper lady must be respectful, even when presumed alone." Is what Mother would have said. She had told me many things on what a proper lady should do.
Shrugging into a heavy robe as I rose to cover myself from any prying eyes. Before, moving across the slightly chilled floor boards to the large window. Hurrying to open it wide to allow in the sweet morning air. It was a mixture of rain and freshly cut fields. The English country side could be harsh but today it was beautiful. As I had guessed the sun was high in the sky. The rain clouds had moved on leaving a powdery blue sky in there absence.
I turned to greet Sophia my friend and hand maid.
"Sophia! Is it not wonderful? The rain has finally stopped! Father will surely let us continue with the plans for my ball now?"
My excitement bubbled over as I smiled warmly to my dear friend. She was only slightly my senior but already married with a child of her own. She was a tiny woman with a commanding voice belonging to someone twice her size.
"Yes, Annabelle I would think he might now. He wishes to converse with you now on this matter." She motioned to the changing area as a smile played on her lips. Often she still treated me as one would a child.
After dressing I eagerly made my way to Father's study. A very masculine space filled with many hunting trophies and books. I was not permitted to change the décor in this room as I had to the rest of our home. This was Father's space.
"Father, you sent for me?" I gave him a big smile.
From behind his large mahogany desk he smiled back. He was tall over six feet with broad shoulders. His graying hair sitting atop a now rounded face. For his once lean muscled body had grown rather portly with age.
"Annabelle, come in and join us my child."
I had failed to notice the man occupying one of the two high backed leather chairs in front of his desk. Motioning towards the man in the chair Father spoke again.
"This is my new business partner. Marcus O'Conner. His father was our largest supplier of wool in Ireland. Mr. O'Connor has taken over the family business."
"I am pleased to meet you, Mr. O'Connor."
I smiled in his direction now. His hands clasped the chairs leather arms. Like my father he to was a large man. Unlike Father, his face was more defined with high cheeks bones. He was dressed in the latest fashions and his raven hair was neatly pulled back with a tie. This man was probably in his early thirty's a good ten years my senior. He was certainly striking.
"No, it is my pleasure Miss Sinclair." His words came softer than I suspected they would. He gave a nod in my direction as I sat in the matching chair.
Father broke the silence by saying, "Mr. O'Connor will be attending tonight's dinner as well as your ball next week. His sister will also be in attendance. She is in need of some culture amongst proper women...." He leaned back in his own chair before continuing. "Your mother would be proud of you for this."
Though I was slightly puzzled by his words I nodded and smiled in agreement. My thoughts were already on the ball. So I excused my self and made my exit. My own experiences with balls and dances were limited. After Mother died my Father had became weary of allowing me to leave the safety of the manor. A shame it was because I was nearly twenty-one and not married.
Saturdays like today, I would set the weekly menus then prepare for our weekly social gathering. I really was not a social butterfly in any aspect. I wondered about Miss O'Connor. How old she was? Why was she excluded from other proper social gatherings? Perhaps her parents were overly protective like my father. As Mother would have said, only time will tell.
YOU ARE READING
Sometimes it Pours "on hold"Romance
A collection of interlocking lover stories set in the mid 1800's England. Sometimes men were not gentlemen and not every lady was so proper. In the first story we learn of Annabella's longing for a certain Irishman. In the second half of the story y...