Annabelle stood upon the terrace of Dunlap Court, the country seat of the Morey family. An early spring breeze penetrated her silk gown, but she barely noticed; she was much too happy to concern herself with such things.
It was her wedding day. The thought still made her feel slightly giddy. After months of planning with her mother and sister, and stealing moments alone with Adrian, she was finally Lady Annabelle Morey, future Countess of Dunlap.
In the gardens below, half the ton moved about in a crush of wedding attire, and flower petals littered the flagstones. Annabelle smiled contentedly at the sight, leaning against the balustrade.
"'Ello, milady," a familiar cheerful voice greeted.
Smiling, she turned to Jack. "Hello, Jack. How is the cake?"
He grinned back at her. "I'm just a stable lad, milady. I wouldn't dream o' eatin' dat fancy cake o'er there. Belike oversteppin' me bounds."
"Of course." Taking a handkerchief from her pocket, she wiped away the icing on his chin.
His grin widened.
"What's this?" Adrian demanded, coming up behind Annabelle and slipping an arm about her waist. "My newly wedded wife giving her favour to a stable hand?"
"'Tisn't me fault, milord," Jack replied, still grinning. "'Em dames just can't resist me, like."
Adrian mock growled. "Off with you, scallywag, before I call the magistrate to have you hanged."
Laughing, Jack wandered off.
Adrian bent his head and brushed a kiss to Annabelle's cheek. "Perhaps we should do the same," he murmured.
"Wander away from the festivities."
She frowned at him. "Adrian, it's our wedding."
"Very well, then. Plead a headache. Or exhaustion."
"We can't leave the guests," she argued.
"Annabelle, they expect us to leave them. This is a love match, after all."
Her frown deepened as she looked up at him. "What does that have anything to do…?" Realization hit, and she fell silent. "Oh." A blush swept her face as she remembered the rather awkward talk she had had with her mother the night before. Looking out at the sea of guests, she hesitated. "Are you certain it's…acceptable?"
"Of course. The ton loves clucking their tongues at such things."
Not waiting for her to consider further, he took her hand and drew her inside. On the patio, a dowager nudged her friend beside her and nodded towards the disappearing lovers. Putting their heads together, they began to titter.
In a nearby village, a young girl sat in her garden, plucking petals from a flower. "He loves me. He loves me not. He loves me…"
A.N. Well, that was fast, wasn't it? Admittedly, this is a very short epilogue, but it was to kind of tie everything up.
So, Lorraine's story will be making its debut sometime between now and Christmas. I haven't exactly worked out how it's going to go, but here's a hesitant summary of it:
Tentative Title: Ma Mademoiselle Bizarre
Summary: Infamous hoyden, Lorraine Barclay, has sworn never to allow a man to rule her life.After all, there's really no reason she needs to marry; the family finances are perfectly fine and her half brother shall be her father'sheir. However, her father sees things quite differently. So nowshe's bent on making sure that no one would even consider her a suitable prospect for marriage. It really is quite simple. All she has to do is get recognized in a rakehell, and no gentleman will ever have her.
Glen Carlisle has only been in London for a few weeks, but he's sure he's seen the girl, unconvincingly masquerading as a dandy, before. He's completely puzzled by her obvious lack of caution in hiding her identity, and is finally honour bound to rescue her from her own folly. Her gratitude is sparse, however, and he's torn between taking her over his knee and taking her home.
Yeah, that's pretty much all I have so far. I'm also considering adding something about horse races. The whole thing is very vague at the moment. Anyway, hope you enjoyed. Ciao.
QuOtAtA: A hundred and eight roses means 'Will you marry me?' but not any flower in general. I don't know of any floweraside from roses that has meaning in its numbers.