|Building a Mystery
Author: Nyssa Damaskinos PM
In the midst of Regency England, a young woman finds herself taunted and ridiculed due to her lowly birth. Adopted from Portugal by a high-ranking noble family, she struggles to find her place in society, receiving no help from a Dragoon Captain...Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Drama/Romance - Chapters: 17 - Words: 36,342 - Reviews: 96 - Favs: 18 - Follows: 11 - Updated: 03-31-05 - Published: 02-14-05 - id: 1834391
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: Glad to hear so much positive reviewing!!! Hopefully, I've you guys will be liking this chapter as much as the others I've written. Most certainly this will be my favorite that I've written so far!!! It'll be a bit interesting to say the least, lol.
Autumn Faery: I'm so glad to hear you like my story as well! I'm so happy to have a new reviewer, always good to have those! I don't take any of the comments you made to heart, though I was a bit confused as to you saying I did not have a comma where it should be. I checked and saw that there actually was, lol. I guess the type of font that they use on the website might make it a little bit misleading, but I usually catch those types of mistakes on the first reread, lol. I know there are definitely mistakes in the chapter, but I'm just too lazy to make any changes right now. Anyhow, I'm also a bit confused as to how I should 'write' a regency period story? I've read Jane Austen, I've actually read all of her books. You are correct in the historical accuracy, (I am majoring in history in college!) but I am not trying to dwell on that fact, since I'm just trying to write something everyone can enjoy reading. Do you mean that I should write in her style? Just curious…I would love to know!!! Anyway, I would be happy to hear any more suggestions you may have for the story! Every idea is welcome! I greatly appreciate your help!!!!! I'm always happy to clarify any confusion there is with the story!
To all my other reviewers, I see a lot of dissent between Captain Greene and Colonel Almonte, this creates for a bit of tension, I would say. Hehehehehehe……anyway, I don't wanna keep you waiting any longer, here's the latest chapter!
The wind had become just a tiny bit stronger as we traveled along the docks, searching out the ship my parents had arrived on. In the distance, I had found our footmen already taking various pieces of baggage back to the open-air carriage I had brought. They had obviously already found my parents.
And so I took initiative and began to walk in that direction, the colonel following silently beside me. I stole one final look at him beside me, but found no indication that he was angry at me, not even a bit annoyed at having seen me again.
He, on the other hand, kept his gaze fixed upon the waterside, concentrating on the billowing sails and light breeze coming in from the ocean. The hair that I had noticed at first as auburn now seemed almost brown, as if it darkened with his moods. How strange that was. But, rather than try to venture a question, I looked away once again, returning my attention to my men ahead of me.
The whole time after that I kept my gaze tightly clamped upon my men, never once trying to venture a look at the Colonel walking beside me. He did the same, clearing his throat every so often, but never speaking to me. Then, after what seemed like hours of our walking together, he spoke.
"You promised me you would wear gold when I saw you next." He said, never once turning to look in my direction. I furrowed my eyebrows in confusion for several moments, not realizing that he had directed his question to me. Slowly, I turned my gaze on him, and found he was not looking back on me, but was still concentrating on the ships beside us at the dock.
"Gold?" I asked him. "Why in the world would I wear gold today? I hardly expected to see you again." He chuckled quietly to himself bringing his hands up to straighten his coat as we found ourselves finally near the ship where my parents were. I could see them now, happily greeting the footmen and handing bags to them as they looked eagerly at the same time for me.
"True." He answered. "true…" he said nothing else, and taking this as a sign I should continue, I spoke once again, but not until several seconds of silence passed between us. I could feel the awkward feeling slowly dissipating from our bodies, his shoulders relaxing slightly as he realized I was not being cold towards him. It was time for my apology.
"I am sorry if I offended you, if that is why I haven't seen you in so long." I continued. "It was ill advised and bad of me to do so." Colonel Almonte did not say a word to my apology, but rather than accept it, he posed another question.
"Do you mean to say that you have accepted my offer of calling on you?" he asked. It seemed almost hopeful, his tone. We slowed our pace until we finally stopped. I turned to face him.
"I would assume so….yes." I answered him. He laughed quietly to himself in happiness, then turning away from, he noticed several people approaching.
"I am happy to hear it, Gisette. I was beginning to get a bit worried that you would never say yes. I am only here for several weeks longer." He answered. "I am glad that I will be in good company until then, as will my sister. As for my being absent for so long, it was not completely your fault, It was a bit of a combination of embarrassment and work, I'm afraid." I could see his eyes turning from me towards the people approaching. An inquisitive expression appeared on his face as they began to wave. "Do they know you?" he asked.
"My parents." I said as I heard them call out my name eagerly. I turned to smile at them, and Colonel Almonte did the same, but not before whispering another final sentence.
"Tomorrow then?" he asked. I nodded my head, all the while keeping my gaze locked upon my parents.
"Yes." I answered back.
"Gisette!" I heard my father call out, I could see the immense surprise on his face as he recognized me perhaps because of the gown I wore. My mother approached beside him as well, holding her hat tightly to her head, her eyes widening in pleasure and amusement in the gown I wore. "Bright colors!" My father screamed eagerly. "I never thought the day would come!"
My mother was the first to capture me in a tight hug, her small and frail body holding tightly to my own as she gripped me. I could still feel the weakness within her body as she released me. As she pulled away, I noticed her blonde hair pinned tightly upon her head, her face rouged and bright with happiness. When I looked at her, all I could see was my sister.
"I've missed you!" I said, turning to my father and capturing him in a hug. "I'm glad to see you back again so soon!" I slowly released him and noticed his hair had grown slightly lighter from the sun, his blue eyes contrasting completely with it. They were bright and eager.
"I see Clarissa has knocked some sense into you. Didn't I tell you that bright colors suited you?" he asked, patting me gently upon the shoulder. I blushed slightly before remembering that Colonel Almonte had not made his disappearance.
He stood somewhat behind the whole scene, watching with a silent and bemused air. His hands clasped in front of him, he stood as stiffly as an officer could, impassive and calm. He had made no move to introduce himself.
"Ah yes!" I said suddenly, noticing my mother's inquisitive expression as she finally noticed the Colonel standing behind us. "This is Colonel Raul Almonte of the Spanish cavalry unit." I said, stepping away to move beside him. I could see the impressed smile of my father as he beheld him, recognizing the uniform that the Colonel wore.
"A pleasure to meet you both, Sir…Madam." He answered. I could see the surprise written on my mother's face as she finally heard him speak. In her eyes I could read her very thoughts, 'he is Spanish?' My father was the first to speak.
"Ahhh….so you are a dragoon?" he asked. Colonel Almonte chuckled quietly before responding.
"I suppose you could say so, if that is what you like to call your mounted men." He answered. I smiled as my mother began to speak.
"You are Spanish?" she asked him. I could see the slight expression of surprise form on the Colonel's face as he heard the question. He turned his attention towards her, bowing his head slightly in respect before responding.
"Of course, Madam." He answered, his eyes twinkling happily. I could see the pleasure written on my mother's face as she examined every aspect of his person: from the uniform he wore, to the height and color of his hair. "I hail from Seville, a city in Southern Spain." I could see my mother's mouth turn up in a smile.
"A beautiful city." My father said, trying to direct the Colonel's attention back to himself. "Tell me, how did you meet my daughter?" he asked. "She is not usually one to make friends so easily."
Colonel Almonte glanced at me quickly, hoping not see a look of embarrassment written on my face. Finding none, he responded.
"She was quite friendly to me…" he ventured, lifting his eyebrows in confusion. I could tell he was trying to defend my personality.
My father laughed, hearing the Colonel's hesitation. Looking between myself and the Colonel, he turned his attention to his wife.
"Have all the bags been brought to the carriage already?" I asked, feeling his attention begin to wane. My father turned back to me and nodded eagerly.
"I can not wait until I am resting in my own bed tonight!" he said. I could feel the Colonel growing slightly uncomfortable, so I immediately spoke up for him.
"The Colonel was kind enough to accompany me to the dock, but I am afraid he must return to his post." I noticed the Colonel's smile of relief as he began to speak for himself.
"It was truly a pleasure to meet you both, Sir, Madam." He said. "Truly it was, but I must be returning home. I have much work to get done before nightfall." Bowing, he turned to make his exit, but my father stopped him once again. I could almost see his shoulders tense at being called. Twice in one day already….
"Gisette, have you invited him home for dinner tonight?" my father asked, turning his question to me. I shook my head. "Well, Colonel." He continued as Colonel Almonte slowly turned his attention back to my father. "We would be happy to have you, if you would be willing to come, that is." Colonel Almonte looked at me. Noticing my eyes wide, he hesitated for several moments before he answered.
"I would not like to impose on your first dinner with your daughters…." He ventured, hoping to find a sort of exit. "I greatly appreciate the offer, but I do not feel as though it would be right to impose on your family…" My father interrupted him before he could say any more words. Approaching the Colonel, my mother's eyes locked on him the whole time, my father took his arm and began to lead him back towards the carriage.
I stood rooted to the spot, my face red and my body shaking from embarrassment. How had my father found the courage to be as bold as he had become?! I could see my mother's slight gasp of surprise as they passed, the Colonel casting a look of pure confusion and embarrassment as he began to be led away.
"I will not hear of it." He said. "I would be happy to have you as a guest tonight. Gisette would be happy to have you!" the eagerness in his voice was apparent as he spoke. I slowly began to follow them both, my mother beside me. I heard her whisper quietly to me.
"I think he has had a bit to much of the rum on the ship, this morning." She said quietly, shielding her mouth from being heard. I nodded silently in assent and she continued. "It amazes me to no end that the Colonel has been as patient as he has up until this point. I tell you, Gisette, this morning I thought that the Captain himself would have thrown your father overboard! Had it not been for a court marshal, I think he would have…" Hearing her final comment, I could not help but let out a silent laugh. My mother's eyes twinkled in delight at me, before turning forward to look at the Colonel.
"My, he is quite a catch, Gisette." She murmured. I looked forward to see my father stepping into the carriage finally, the Colonel following behind. The redness on his cheek from embarrassment was all but apparent as the sun fully hit his face. He looked at me, and smiled charmingly, before taking his seat opposite my father. "You have changed, Gisette. First we see you wearing bright colors, then you arrive on the arm of a foreign legionnaire!" I hushed her, gently placing my hand at her back as we found ourselves by the carriage.
My father reached an arm out to take her hand as she climbed in, doing the same for me. Taking a seat beside Colonel Almonte, my father immediately called out to the horses. Hearing his animated voice of excitement and his flushed expression, I then finally noticed that my mother had been right, he had had a bit too much rum to drink. But, rather than dwell on that fact, I turned my gaze away towards the ocean.
"Where is Clarissa?" my mother asked me as the carriage began to move once again. She smiled briefly at Colonel Almonte, who sat in perfect silence and confusion. She noticed this, and immediately apologized for my father.
"I am sorry, Colonel. My husband has had nothing but wine to drink on the ship. I am afraid he has not much of a constitution for it." Colonel Almonte smiled weakly, and I struggled to act as if this were not happening.
"No matter." Almonte answered. "This is a welcome diversion. Your husband was being nothing but hospitable." My father laughed, hearing Colonel Almonte's answer.
"Pay my wife no mind." He said to the Colonel. "She seems to think that I have had to much to drink, but I am perfectly alright!" Colonel Almonte laughed weakly, and I said nothing, my heart beating in pure embarrassment.
"Gisette, sweetheart? Did you hear my question?" my mother asked. I slowly turned my gaze away, trying my hardest not to look at the Colonel or my father, so afraid I had become of feeling embarrassment, though I already was.
"Yes?" I asked her.
"Where is your sister?" My mother answered. "I thought she would be here to greet her parents, but apparently not? Is she out gallivanting with her friends again?" I shook my head to my mother's relief. "Where is she?"
"Oh, Clarissa?" she nodded slowly. "She has gone to visit Captain Greene. We have not seen him in several weeks, and she was becoming worried. She wanted to come and see you, but I told her I would look after bringing you both home." I answered. My mother laughed.
"Good, Good. I am glad she has not wreaked havoc about the city. Always a good thing!" she said. "Well, I have not seen the Nathaniel in some time. Tell me, is he fairing well?" I nodded my head.
"Yes, of course, as well as an officer could be doing. As long as war has not been waged, I think he will be perfectly alright." She nodded her head, happy to hear that everyone was indeed alive and well.
"Good, I hope Clarissa comes home soon, so that I can see her. I've brought gifts for the both of you which I am sure you will like, but I will not give them until she has come home."
There was not a need for worry on that account, because, my sister had already come home, in the company of Captain Greene.