Chapter 7.

Abigale went about her daily routine. She washed her face and she dressed herself slowly. She was in no hurry to start the day. She still felt shocked by the events of last night. She knew Mr Collier would probably hold a grudge against her since she hadn't offered for him to share her bed last night.

"Good morning Miss Franklin," Mrs Collier smiled at her as she entered the dining room where the family were all seated eating breakfast.

"Good Morning Mrs Collier," Abigale bowed down before her.

"Won't you join us for breakfast dear?" Mrs Collier was very sweet in her offer.

"I was just going to tell the girls to be in the school room in an hour. I'll be eating with my brother this morning, Mrs Collier." Abigale apologized.

"That's fine Miss Franklin, thank you." She nodded her head before she went on eating her breakfast.

As Abigale left them to finish their breakfast, she wondered where Henry was. He was usually present for his family breakfast. Just as she was thinking this she saw him heading towards her. She merely bowed her head before trying to move on.

Henry took hold of her hand and pulled her back to him. "Why do you walk past me as if we are strangers? Would you not rather greet me as if we were friends?"

"Mr Collier I'd prefer to greet you how employee is meant to greet and employer." She told him sharply.

Henry loved how she had no problem speaking her mind to him even though he could take her job away with the snap of his fingers. "Would you not prefer to greet me as a lover?"

Abigale was appalled. "Mr Collier I offered you refuge last night because you sought it. I would appreciate it if you would not make it sound cheap and degrading."

He pulled her by her hand into a small room rarely used by his family. "Don't deny your feelings for me. I could feel it when you kissed me and I can see it in your eyes now."

"My feelings do not matter Mr Collier. Despite what feelings I may or may not have you need to find a wife of your social standing." She was quite insistent.

"Then stay with me. Miss Franklin, your the only woman I could ever love and your going to deny me that?" He questioned.

"Stay and be your mistress? Mr Collier I have much more respect for myself then that." She spat at him.

"Not my mistress if that role those displease you so but as a friend, a companion." He offered, although a mistress was a preferred option to him.

"And when the children grown and it is time for me to leave?" Abigale was prepared for anything he may request of her.

"Then you will be a governess for my children." He was willing to think of an answer for everything.

"Mr Collier if you think I could be a governess to the children of a man I am hopelessly in love with, then you do not know me very well." Tears were falling down her cheeks because the thought of having to live with him and Samantha and attend their children was very troublesome.

"Please Miss Franklin, if I could see you everyday my heart would never beat again." He dramatically placed her hand that he was holding against his chest so she could feel his heart beating.

"And I don't think my heart could beat again if I saw you married to Miss Blackwood." She replied honestly but did not remove her hand.

"Then I shall not marry her." He swore and put his head close to hers.

"You must!" She snapped. "It is the only way to please your family! Marry her!"

"How can I marry her with false pretences! Would it be fair to Miss Blackwood?" He was tugging on her heart strings.

"No but it would not be fair to you if you spent the rest of your life and you never taking a wife." She insisted.

"I will take a wife. You can be my wife." He insisted desperately.

"Mr Collier do not say things you do not mean." She scoffed and tried to pull away from him.

"I do mean it Miss Franklin. I do not think I could love someone more then I love you." Henry was getting despeate. His time was running out.

"Mr Collier I do not have time for your nonsense! Please let me go." She tried to pull away from him again but again had no luck.

"Why are you fighting me Miss Franklin? I would no proclaim such strong feelings if they were not true. Why will you not listen to my pleas?" He was begging. Henry never begged for anything.

"Mr Collier your pleas are falling on deaf ears because I know better then to believe such nonsense." She shook her head infuriated.

Before she could get a chance for escape he pulled her in and placed a chaste kiss on her lips."I'm sorry Miss Franklin, I can not control myself around you. Will you not give me the pleasure of your company?"

"I am not a mistress and I will not tolerate being taken advantage of!" She growled and finally freed herself from his grasp.

Abigale was furious as she stormed off. She showed him some mere kindness and he was taking advantage. He was supposed to be a gentleman, well he was no different to the men who liked to spend their evenings in the company of harlots.

"He's not that bad Miss Franklin." A small voice whispered from behind her.

She spun around a saw Violet standing behind her. "He talks to me as though I am a harlot just because I am lower class."

"He would never force you." She whispered almost inaudibly.

"I do not see how it is any of your concern what happens between Mr Collier and I." I hissed. I sounded as if I thought I was better then her but really I would be gone as soon as the children got older and then there was no guarentee I'd find another place but she was almost guaranteed to die working here.

"I'm sorry that I was so abrupt with you," Abigale replied in a ofter tone of voice.

"Mr Collier is a good man. He'd never say anything he did not mean." Violet told her again.

"Would you tell me even if he did?" I questioned her truthfully.

"What you are asking of me is a requirement of a friend." She replied somewhat sharply.

"You've more of a friendship to Mr Collier?" Abigale was a little hurt.

"No, although I've more loyalty to him." She added but softer when she saw Abigale's expression. Violet meant no harm.

"I've been snapping at you that much is certain but I would like to be friends or at the very least acquaintances." Abigale tried to make amends for her moody behaviour.

"Perhaps that'll be but I still owe loyalty to Mr Collier." Violet insisted.

"Yes, please excuse me. I must go attend to the children." Abigale smiled politely and left the room. As nice as the family were to her the servants were never going to accept her as one of their own. She didn't really fit in anywhere any more.

OoOo

"I'm sorry she didn't believe me Mr Collier." Violet barely whispered when Abigale had disappeared from the room.

"Violet now she is upset, that was never my intention." Henry snapped stepping from behind a curtain.

"I'm sorry sir, I did not mean to upset her. I thought you would be upset with me if I told her I rather be more loyal to her." She shook uncontrolably in terror.

"Violet, there is no need to fear me. You have never spent much time with me I promise you my reputation is not as bad as it is probably being potrayed downstairs. I want you to make you apologize to Miss Franklin." Henry spoke gently but he meant what he said.

"Yes sir, I'm really sorry sir," She bowed and quickly ran from the room.

Henry sighed. The female servants had been told to steer clear of him and they were doing it. He was heading for the staircase when he heard voices coming from his father's office.

"We need to find Henry a wife!" He heard his grandmother's harsh voice.

"What's the rush mother? He's still young." His father replied resonably.

"Do you think the Blackwood's will wait forever? Risking that Miss Samantha might become barren and of no use to any man?" His grandmother was relentless.

"Henry has shown no interest in Miss Blackwood since the summer." His father added.

"Those that matter? He once showed interest so he can again! Just set it in motion!" His grandmother was getting angry now.

"He does not wish to marry her!" His father yelled.

"Why not?" She asked matching his father's anger.

"He does not love her!"

"Who marries for love? Money is key." His grandmother suddenly turned calm.

"Mother I married for love." His father insisted.

"It may be love now my boy, but everyone could see your intentions at the time was only about her money." Henry knew his grandmother was smiling.

"I am ashamed that, that was my only intention and I regret my selfishness." His father mumbled regretfully.

"You must seal an agreement with Mr Blackwood before it's too late." His grandmother finished, knowing she'd won.

Henry walked away shocked. He didn't even get to choose his own bride and all because his father was spineless.


sorry this took so long :)
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