Daniel and Caroline stood in the cemetery before the gravestone that had been erected exactly one year before. The sun shone brightly upon them and the abundance of flowers they had laid at the base of the gravestone. They were both dressed in half-mourning clothes of black, grey and violet. At their wedding the next day, Caroline would wear a gown of grey silk.
"He was sure he would go to Hell because of what he did to you," Daniel said. They had spoken much of Andrew in the past year, but he had never told her of that before.
Caroline looked up at him and took his hand. "I do not think it is our place to speculate on such things."
"No." He took a deep breath. "No, you are right. It isn't."
Caroline hesitated. "Daniel, you realize that… without what Andrew did, we would never have…"
"Yes, I know." He squeezed her hand. "I know."
After a moment, he sighed and turned away, strolling off by himself. Caroline let him go, knowing he needed a moment alone. She knelt beside Andrew's gravestone, and drew a folded piece of paper from her reticule. "You made some very bad choices in your life," she said softly, unfolding the paper, "and you caused your family a great deal of grief. I do not think Daniel was wrong when he said you did me wrong, but…" She placed the drawing in the midst of the floral offerings. "I thank you. You gave me Daniel, though I think we would all rather not have had you pay the price you did." She managed a small, regretful smile. "I know you were sorry in the end, and I forgive you. May you find peace, wherever you are."
She pressed her lips to the gravestone before standing and heading off after Daniel. Behind her, the sheet of paper flapped in the wind, and the two brothers drawn upon it smiled as if they had never quarrelled in their lives.
My next story, For Your Sake, will start next week:
Lord Vincent Cadwaller, Viscount Farley, has ever believed Miss Rosalind Fulton to be a petty, self-centred frivolity of a human being. Her unhealthy obsession with fashion, her disinterest in the betterment of her own self, and, most importantly, her blatant disregard for the feelings of her suitors, have long since earned her his complete disapproval.
Rosalind does not know what to make of Lord Farley. Once, they had been very good friends, but now it seems as if he despises her. Well, no matter what bee is in his bonnet, Rosalind's friend, Christina Gordon, appears to be quite taken with the man, and Rosalind will do whatever it takes to see her friend gets her wish. Now, if only Christina would cooperate, rather than nervously scuttling off and leaving Rosalind to suffer Farley's company.