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Realistic or Modern The Bronze Locket

Sub Genres
Adventure, Historical, Romance, Slice of Life

maddymew

Junior Member
Adelaide smiled softly and leaned into his kiss, a little. Hugh settled himself on the bed next to her and she rested her hand atop his. She tilted her head at the questions. "Yes, I wrote that one when I was about twelve, if I remember correctly." She nodded her head. "Charles overheard me singing to myself when I was around that age, and soon after my father fetched me the best tutor he could find." Adelaide laughed a little, a blush rising to her cheeks. "I was in lessons all the way up until I was eighteen. It's rather embarrassing, but I fell in love with my tutor, actually." She looked up at Hugh and gave him a sheepish smile.

"I wrote him a song and everything. Even confessed. My father thought it might be a good match, too, but Mr. Steeles wanted a quiet woman." She snorted "He wouldn't have any talent that outshined his own. I was far too bold in my actions, he said. A woman should be seen and not heard. She should bend to her husband's whims. I'm sure you'll understand when you're older." She puffed out her cheeks and lowered her voice in an imitation of the man, sticking her tongue out once she had finished.

"It broke my heart. I was terribly lovesick afterwards, when he left I didn't sing for months. That's what Lizzy meant last night."
 

BoneBrain

New Member
She spoke of talents and young love lost. He wondered how a man might look right through Adelaide and see nothing appealing. Hugh found the idea quite impossible and yet Mr. Steeles had clearly done a number on her heart. However the fact that she could laugh about it now told him that she was well into the healing process. He laughed when she stuck her tongue out and returned the facial expression, his nose wrinkling.

"I cannot see you as a meek wife." He told her. "You certainly have fire and your husband should match it with his own. I am happy you were able to find your spark and sing again. It is always a shame when beautiful talents are driven away by expectations." He said thoughtfully.

"I'm thankful my mother always encouraged our interests, hence Duncan enjoying his theatrics and music as much as you I feel. When ever she and father had to sail she would bring me back my books of poetry and other fancies." He remembered her smiling face as she happily presented all her gifts to her boys. It was a fond memory of her. He was quiet for a moment and then lifted his hand to brush down her hair. "It seems like we should retire to bed." He said to her standing.

"Thank you, again Adelaide for spending your day with me, and for all the words we shared." He lifted her hand and kissed it lightly, lingering there. He stepped back and moved to the door and bowed slightly before wishing her a restful night.
 

maddymew

Junior Member
Adelaide listened to Hugh fondly recount his mother and her gifts, smiling at the warmth in his voice. He ran his fingers through her loosed hair and she quite thought he was going in for another kiss. When he pulled away, Adelaide blushed scarlet, scolding herself inwardly. Hugh gently brushed his lips over her hand, and stayed for a heartbeat too long. Adelaide smiled. She followed him to the door and gave a small curtsey at his farewell.

"Thank you, again, Hugh. Today was a lovely adventure. I admit I'm quite looking forward to our next one, too." She smiled at him kindly, and tilted her head just so as she looked up. "Goodnight, and sweet dreams." He stepped further back, and it took all of Adelaide's strength to close the door. Once it had, she shed the borrowed dress and collapsed into bed with a dreamy smile on her lips.

Sleep spirited her away soon after, and Adelaide dreamt of a picnic in the glade with Hugh. A secret escape, known only to the two of them. They laughed and talked as the warm breeze blew, and he took her into his arms again. They did not kiss, but simply lay together, listening to their heartbeats intertwined.
 

BoneBrain

New Member
Hugh fell into bed with a regretful sigh. It had taken quite a bit of self control to leave her, but he knew it was the proper thing to do. He fell asleep with the window cracked open, the pitter patter of the rain lulling him into dreams. The summer rain smell filled his room and Hugh woke up in the morning quite invigorated and rested.

***

The following weeks proved to be rather peaceful. Duncan had made his amends where he needed and was back to his old jolly self in no time. Together with Lizzie and Adelaide the two brothers had set their minds together and come up with a rather wonderful party plan. Westwood was to host its first ever ball in a single day from now. Duncan had set the cooks to work and the finest cakes and pastries filled the house with their mouthwatering smell as they baked. Hugh had traveled to town with the women and together they found appropriate paper for invitations and had spoken with the Twisted Rose's owner to procure a barrel or two of wine. A band was selected and soon with a cozy romantic theme in mind it looked like the party would be quite the smashing success.

Hugh had hired a decorator who had taken the entrance hall and the ball room situated in the back of the house and turned it into a lovely scene with greenery and candles. Since the summer air was so warm the ballroom was opened to the night air and the gardens. More torches laid out small paths among the bushes and flowers. Even the greenhouse had been given special attention by the decorator. Overall Hugh found the process quite enjoyable, his father had never been one for the planning stages of things and had left mother to do the brunt of the work.

In the time it had taken to plan everything Hugh was sorry that he had not been able to catch a moment alone with Adelaide. Their first two days of meeting had been such a dream and now he found himself dreaming of her at night. He had not been able to kiss her since the night she had stayed at Westwood. Certainly there were stolen looks and moments of tension between the two of them but now Hugh found himself rather frustrated.

In his frustration Hugh found himself wandering the grounds the day before the ball, heading towards the river that linked their two estates. As he walked along the edge of the river he spotted an easy way across and assumed it was the way Adelaide had taken to Westwood but a month ago. He deftly made his way across and found a trail leading to Adelaide. Choosing to ignore decorum Hugh made his way until he was at the front door and knocking upon it, hoping to see her, hoping she was alone.
 

maddymew

Junior Member
The next month was a blur of activity. Lizzy had always been the socialite between them, so Adelaide found herself rather drained by the process. But Westwood looked fit to host the Queen, and the brothers seemed to burst with joy and pride at the sight. That alone made her repeated trips into town worth it. All the hooded looks and trailing whispers that found here there were stinging, but it seemed that her youth had become somewhat of old news, apparently. Hugh wore a smile she'd never seen before as the party neared, and her heart warmed at the thought.

Through all of the preparations, she and Hugh had barely had time for a glance across the room, much less anything more. The woman found herself now in the parlor more than usual, staring out to the rooftops of Westwood and wondering how Hugh was fairing. What he was doing, or thinking about. Adelaide sighed heavily, turning away from the windows to study her music again. It was the first time since she was young that she'd be singing before a crowd, but she couldn't find it in herself to be nervous. She was too lost in her thoughts of her neighbor.

When the knocking came at the door, she assumed it was one of the gardners with news of her rose plant delivery. Oberon and Tatiana barked excitedly, weaving around her legs as she made her way through the front hall. "I'll get it, Charles." She called idly as she opened the door. Her heart soared upon seeing Hugh there, looking down at her with his blue, blue eyes and a bright smile. "Hugh!" His name left her lips in a thrilled whisper.

Adelaide then realised she was disastrously underdressed. Her face reddened heavily at the thought of her present state. A simple blue dress with short sleeves and a whimsical pattern, no shoes. Her hair thrown into a long side braid upon her shoulder, and her neck laid bare. Adelaide's free had flew to her neck, covering the scar hastily. The dogs pushed past her through the open portal and circled Hugh excitedly, each vying for his attention. "To what do I owe this wonderful surprise?" Even in her state, her smile widened and she had to steady herself to keep from leaping into his arms.
 

BoneBrain

New Member
The door opened and Hugh was overwhelmed by the sight of her, as well as the two dogs that seemed eager for his attention. He smiled widely at her and bowed, as he bent his let his hands down so the dogs may sniff them. When he was deemed acceptable he gave each of them a friendly pet before straightening.

"Miss Lovelocke." Hugh noted she wasn't wearing her usual neck adornment and saw her haste at covering the mark. There was something in him that wanted to grab that hand and hold it tight but he refrained from doing so. "Might I say you look absolutely beautiful today." He told her, opting for a compliment instead closing the distance between them like he wanted to.

"I had too little to do and far too much energy within me, I was hoping that you might like like some company?" He confessed, Hugh suddenly worried now that she might turn him away.
 

maddymew

Junior Member
Adelaide smiled gently, her eyes softening at the sight of him. The dogs circled him happily, wagging their tails. At his compliment, she blushed rosey pink and smiled bashfully. "Why, how kind of you to say so, Mr. Montgomery." She replied. "I do think you look quite dashing yourself this afternoon." Adelaide moved aside and gestured him in, snapping her fingers twice so the dogs returned to the house.

"I would love company!" She told him happily, once he crossed over the portal. "I can have Charles arrange luncheon on the balcony, if you'd like. The gardeners are putting in some new plants today." Adelaide smiled, reaching out and letting her fingers entwine with his for but a moment. The contact sent lightning up her arm and through her heart.

"I was just going over my music again, I could use a break. If you'd be so kind, maybe you could look over the order I have them in? See if tehres anything you'd like to change."
 

BoneBrain

New Member
Hugh entered when she beckoned to him, she touched him gently and his eyes snapped to the place of their contact before he remembered himself.

"Lunch would be absolutely lovely on the balcony." He told her. "I would be happy to look over the order of your music as well. However I'm quite positive you know best in this matter." Hugh chuckled and followed Adelaide into the parlor where the sheets of music lay. The dogs followed them in and Hugh gave them each a few more pets before picking up the paper and glancing at the titles. His brow lifted and he glanced towards her.

"There are some excellent choices in here. The ones I don't recognize are they of your own making?" Hugh moved to stand next to Adelaide and showed her the ones he meant. He caught her scent and found the tight coil of longing for her ease a bit. It was enough to just be with her in this way. She eased him.
 

maddymew

Junior Member
As they moved to the next room, Adelaide motioned to Charles, who had been waiting in the hall for instruction. He vanished to the kitchen to order preparations. She watched Hugh fondly as he interacted with the dogs, and smiled at the happiness on their faces. Hugh browsed through the music, and Adelaide stood by the door, caught up in the vision before her.

Hugh stood tall, framed by the open window. The sunlight illuminated him from behind and the light breeze made the curtains flutter. He was touched by gold, and looked more beautiful in that moment than any painting she'd ever seen. Adelaide drew in a soft breath. Each time they met it seemed that he somehow found ways to look like this. Peaceful, angelic. Adelaide snapped out of her daze, turning her starry eyes unto him as he crossed the room to meet her again.

"Why, yes," She replied happily "Those are indeed mine. I prefer to write singing pieces but I have on occasion written instrumentals." She brushed a stray curl back behind her ear as she looked over the music, taking the excuse to move her body closer to his. Boldly, she reached out and rested her hand delicately on his forearm. Pointing to a lively tune, she said "I wrote this for our dear Duncan, actually." Fingering a different page, she said in a softer voice. "And this one I penned for you." It was gentler, with easy romantic undertones and a happy melody.
 

BoneBrain

New Member
Hugh hummed appreciatively as she spoke about her music. His breath caught however when she mentioned that she had written a tunes for the two brothers. His eyes moved over the notes, the tune did not come to him in his mind as he had never had a brain for music. His sky blue eyes sought out her own olive ones, the idea of her having penned a tune with him in mind touched Hugh's heart.

"Would you play it for me?" He asked her in a soft hushed tone. Hugh could not help himself then, he placed the sheets of music on a nearby table and took both of her hands with his own. Tatiana and Oberon had settled themselves around them and Hugh could hear the happy pants from both of them. "I must confess, I've been thinking of how much I want to dance with you tomorrow. I am grateful we have met Adelaide, it seems my life has been so much brighter since your appearance." Hugh told her earnestly.

There was something about the sweet summer air that brought out his feelings, something about the way she glowed and looked at him. Hugh could not describe it, she reminded him so of the fairy folk in his mothers stories. He was so inexplicably drawn to her.
 

maddymew

Junior Member
Adelaide blushed heavily as Hugh spoke to her so affectionately. His large, warm hands enveloped hers and her heart leapt at the earnestness in his blue, blue eyes. They were endlessly deep, like the ocean or the sky. She looked up at him and gave a glowing smile, her heart aflutter. "Oh, Hugh..." She murmured softly. "Yes, I agree. Ever since you found your way to my doorstep, my life has become a beautiful dream." Adelaide was drawn to him as if by magic. He had to be her guardian angel, breaking all the rules of heaven to stand before her so sweetly.

But, in order to fulfill his request, she had to step away. Before she did, Adelaide stood on her very tippy toes, and pressed a loving kiss to his cheek. She lingered there for perhaps a moment too long, but stepped away. She went to the piano forte and smoothed down her skirts to sit before it. Moving her braid behind her shoulders, she glanced at Hugh and smiled again. "I warn you, I'm not as good on the keys as Duncan." Taking a slightly shaking breath, she began the song she had written for him.

The tune flowed easily from her fingertips, and floated about the room like an easy summer breeze. Adelaide poured all of her unspoken feelings for the man into her playing, so the music might be amplified. She hoped desperately that he could hear it. And that he didn't think it too much.
 

BoneBrain

New Member
He was grateful that his affirmations and affections were returned. Hugh liked the soft rose that coloured her cheeks and knew she was a woman capable of great feeling. She moved closer to him and he closed his eyes as she pressed a kiss to his cheek. When she retreated Hugh smiled and waved his hand in the air at her words.

"I am sure you will do splendidly." He told her. As Adelaide settled herself at the piano, Hugh took a seat in a plush chair near the piano and settled. He leaned back and took in the sight of Adelaide, she had a long graceful neck that bent as she peered at the sheet, her fingers moved over the keys and he watched them dance out a lovely melody. Once again he was overcome with emotion for her, there was was playing one of the sweetest songs he had ever hear and she had made it for him. He found he could not keep still, his fingers tapped along with her. When she finished there was silence for a long moment. Hugh let out a small breath and leaned towards her.


"That was beautiful, thank you Adelaide." He told her. There was a motion at the door and Hugh glanced towards Charles and stood when the butler declared that lunch was ready for them on the balcony.
 

maddymew

Junior Member
As Adelaide finished, she found herself a little scared to look at Hugh. What would he think? Was she being too rash, too bold? But her insecurities were swept away as she heard his voice just by her shoulder. He had liked it! Oh, thank the heavens. Before they could speak again, Charles announced lunch. Adelaide stood and curtsied to Hugh smalley, before joining his side to follow the butler to the balcony. "I'm so glad you liked it." Adelaide responded as they walked, smiling. "I admit I was nervous of your reaction."

Soon enough they stepped through the open glass doors onto the large stone structure. It overlooked the expansive gardens, filled to the brim with blooming trees and flowers of every color, size and shape. Vines of ivy and Morning Glories snaked up the railing's pillars. Adelaide enjoyed the organized chaos of the garden. To the untrained eye it looked almost overgrown, but each plant was cared for and each had its place, creating a visual starburst of flowers.

They sat on the delicate outdoor table set, Hugh pulling out her chair. The lunch before them was light but full of variety, fresh bread and fruit accompanied by colorful salad and fish. Charles handed Adelaide her fan and bowed, retreating to the manor again. She snapped it open and fanned herself lightly as she smiled at Hugh, her free hand reaching for the teacup before her. "So, I must tell you, Lizzy and I are dying to know what you gentleman will wear tomorrow night." She winked at him playfully "I do have one or two surprises that hinge upon the matter, so if you would indulge me on this matter I would very much appreciate it."

The dogs had walked lazily behind them, but now sprinted out into the gardens after a squirrel, their whooping mingling with he birdsong on the breeze. Adelaide felt at ease with the man across the table. Being here with him in such a casual way set her heart racing, but calmed her, too. IT felt natural.
 

BoneBrain

New Member
"It was an absolutely wonderful song. You have a talent Miss. Lovelocke, I would not be surprised if a year or two from now you will be playing in a theater for hundreds to see in London. Now that you are entering society your talent is bound to be discovered and nurtured by willing parties." He told her as they walked. When they came out onto the balcony and Hugh saw the gardens for the first time he sound his eyes brows had shot all the way up in surprise.

"What an expansive set of flora..." He said softly, walking towards the railing and leaning out taking it all in. "Why on earth are we having a party at Westwood when you have this at your disposal?" He joked. Hugh took his place at the table then across from her. His legs crossed and he took a piece of fruit. Adelaide was using her fan and Hugh watched as the breeze it created send her golden hair whispering around her face. She asked him then what he planned to wear for the party tomorrow and found himself incredibly curious that what he would wear would effect her own dress.

"Surprises you say? I most certainly look forward to that. Even now you look more stunning than all the flowers below us." He grinned, liking the idea the more he thought about it. "Duncan plants to wear his red military jacket, he says he misses wearing it. As for myself I thought about doing the same but Aunt Lydia has sent a box of some London fashions over just last week. There was a forest green jacket that I rather fancied. Under she has advised me to pair it with a brown vest and lighter pants with dark boots." Hugh hoped he had given Adelaide and accurate description of his attire for the evening.

Hugh's head turned at the sound of barking and his eyes wrinkled with his smile at the sight of a squirrel fleeing from the two hounds.

"Have you done much travel in your life Miss. Lovelocke?" He asked out of the blue.
 

maddymew

Junior Member
Adelaide laughed at Hugh's reaction to the garden, and grinned mischievously when he told her of their attire. His compliment flustered her greatly, but she did her best not to show it. Her bright blush betrayed her as she spoke. "Oh? Truly? Well, duly noted then." She laughed again at his curious look. "You must forgive my scheming, Hugh. But I think you'll quite enjoy the outcome of my little nefarious plot. Duncan, too, I imagine." They sat in peace for a moment before he spoke again.

She tilted her head at his abrupt question, sipping her tea thoughtfully before responding. "No, I've actually never even traveled outside our little town." Adelaide sighed, her fan slowing as she looked out into the gardens. "I've told you my father was protective, but that's really quite a...generous way to put it." She had to search for a moment for the right words to continue. "If I was born a songbird, I've always lived in a gilded cage. I love Ivydowns dearly," She said, referring to her estate "But a cage is still a cage, no matter how comfortable and beautiful it may be."

"I've always daydreamed of traveling, but as I've grown up I've found myself quite afraid." She smiled at him a little sadly. "I'm not quite sure anymore if it's my father's influence or..other factors that fuel my fear." She looked at him curiously. "What of you? I know you had to travel for the war, but anything more pleasant?"
 

BoneBrain

New Member
Hugh listened as she spoke of her lack of travel and he a small trickle of remorse that she had not even seen another town let alone other places the world had to offer. He hoped that someday she might get the opportunity to spread her wings and try them out. There was a lot that the world had to offer her outside of their town.

"Perhaps the fear tells you that it is worth doing. Often things that scare us are the most important tasks we must make." Hugh said thoughtfully. When she turned the question back on him he nodded. "I've certainly seen quite a few places, most were blood soaked and their beauty replaced by war. But my travels as of late have been quite lovely. London is full of life, always something happening at every hour of the day. I've often thought of traveling north, and seeking out Ireland now that we have unified. Or taking one of my fathers ships down to warmer weather and beaches. Now that my freedom from company and family has truly solidified it has truly begun to settle that I could embark wherever." He said thoughtfully, the longer he thought about it the more he realized he truly had no ties to anything. Westwood certainly was his, but he could leave it empty should he choose. Hugh ate of bit of bread before turning his eyes to her, his smile soft.

"Aunt Lydia was always driving into me the merits of travel. She went once to see the Pyramids did you know? It was a year long trip but she says that she will never forget it."
 

maddymew

Junior Member
Adelaide listened to him speak, and nodded her head along with his words. At the realization that he was right, that he had no ties to keep him there, she felt her heart ache. Insecurity began to creep up into her heart. After all, why would such a handsome, worldwise man stay here? The little countryside had naught but farming to offer, and his soul was the restless sort. After all, why would such a man wish for her? A sheltered, mousy girl who was so different from himself. Adelaide worried at her bottom lip as the dark thoughts swirled around in her head, pushing away the plate before her just a little. Anxiety always turned her stomach into knots.

She did her best to shake herself from her mind as Hugh brought up Lydia's trip to Egypt with a gentle smile. Adelaide smiled back as well as she could. "Yes, I do remember! I was still a little girl, but she brought back the most beautiful necklace for me. All heavy gold and jewel tones, some sort of bug--a scarab, I think she called it--as the centore." The memories of the old woman flashed before her eyes. "She talked of it often, and fondly."

Adelaide flared her fan out before her face as she finished speaking, suddenly feeling great emotion overwhelming her. She stood, and walked to the rail of the balcony, turning her head as to hide her tears from her guest. Adelaide had long mastered the art of weeping silently, when emotion came in waves. If one did not see her face, they would hardly know she was crying. Her shoulders remained still and no sound fell from her throat. The idea of Hugh leaving her life as abruptly as he'd arrived overtook her. But she had never cared for anyone as she did him, even if they were still exploring their feelings for each other. Now that he had come, the thought of being alone again nearly suffocated her.

Oberon returned just then, Tatiana still flouncing about the yard. At the sight of his master, the black dog let out a soft whine,a nd sat beside her, pushing his head into her hand as he tried to offer some comfort.
 
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BoneBrain

New Member
Hugh was unsure of Adelaide's abrupt stand from the table and found his brow furrowed with confusion. She stood still and looked out towards the gardens, Hugh was about to join her when Oberon decided he would be the one to take his place next to her. He whined and Hugh grew even more concerned. What on earth had shifted in her in those quite few moments. Hugh was rising to his feet when Charles knocked on the balcony door and drew his attention. The man bowed and then lifted a silver platter that held a letter on it.

"Forgive the intrusion-" The man said. "- But a letter has arrived for you from Westwood." Charles told Hugh and offered him the letter. Curious Hugh thanked the butler and the man left with a quite swish of his uniform. Folding open the letter Hugh began to read.

We have a little trouble with the fleet. One of the ships has gone down and I need you to return home to sign some letters and get payments out of the way before the party.
Sorry for the trouble brother, I would not ask for help unless it was necessary.
Duncan


Hugh folded the letter up and sighed deeply. Without thinking he placed the parchment on the table and stepped towards Adelaide, his hand reached out and he brushed a soft hand down the back of her arm. When she did not look at him he leaned in and whispered gently in her ear.
"I must leave, but I very much look forward to seeing you tomorrow, I will likely not sleep tonight thinking of your surprise." He told told her, hoping that she would be alright. He bowed then as was customary and left heading back towards Westwood.
 

maddymew

Junior Member
Adelaide let Hugh leave, though his kind words eased the pain in her heart a little. As soon as he left the room, her knees gave way as she finally began to sob in ernest. Great emotions swirled within her, fear, sorrow, excitement....Adelaide found herself quite overwhelmed. Charles returned after escorting Hugh to the door, and quickly aided his mistress inside. The rest of the night passed Adelaide in a daze, though as she returned to her bed for the evening, her head had cleared a little. She pushed the storm clouds to the edges of her mind and fell into bed, exhausted.
***
Adelaide woke the next morning early, to Lizzy jumping excitedly into bed with her. "Up, up up!!! Addy, you can't sleep in today!! We've got to get ready!" Adelaide groaned a little as she yawned, and sat up. Her dogs grumbled as they were unceremoniously pushed to the floor. "I've sent Lionel ahead into town to get the housewarming gifts and such," Lizzy continued. "And it's almost half past nine, so your guest should be arriving within the hour! Oooohhh, I can't wait to see those Montgomery boys falling all over themselves for you two!!" She laughed with a devilish smile playing across her lips.

Adelaide found herself getting swept up into Lizzy's excitement, a blush dancing across her cheeks as she thought about what Hugh might say to her surprises tonight. The women rose and took breakfast in their rooms as they started the long process of readying themselves for the ball.
 

BoneBrain

New Member
It was a long night of paper work and writing condolence letters, Hugh was certain the families expected them but how could a single letter of sorry replace a loved one? He was grateful for the measures put in place to offer help to those families and he hoped that they could mourn in peace. Duncan stayed with him and together they wrote over thirty letters and made sure that there would be no work for the following day. True to his word Hugh laid awake most the night and wondered about the party and how Adelaide had reacted earlier that day. Hugh wondered what had been said and thought that perhaps he had been too pushy with her about travel. Making a mental note to himself to apologize to her he rolled to his side in his bed and fell fast asleep. He had dreams of barking dogs and wildflowers.

***

In the morning Hugh awoke to the sound of Duncan merrily singing as he prepared for the day. It was a lively ships tune of sirens fine and taverns full. They took breakfast along side some of the workers who were setting up the last of the what needed to be done for the party. The men chatted and joked as they do, and soon the morning turned to afternoon. The band area was set and tables were covered with soft white linen. There was a large table along the side of the ballroom hall that held a decadent amount of cakes and pastries. There were to be workers milling about the room with drinks balanced on trays offering refreshment to all the dancers and party goers.

Hugh dressed himself in his new jacket from London and found the jacket did rather nice things for his eyes. His boots were shined and his cravat was tied in an intricate high knot around his neck. Duncan had dressed in his red coat and was happily shining a few of the badges and buttons when Hugh joined him downstairs. It would not be long now before the first guests would arrive. The brothers sat waiting in the entrance hall chatting.
 

maddymew

Junior Member
Adelaide had dressed in a long velvet gown, colored a rich, forest green. Her hair was put up in tight ringlets and emeralds were woven into the curls, almost giving her a crown. Her choker was white lace, the ever present locket shined up. White satin shoes and long white evening gloves finished her attire, along with just a touch of makeup to highlight her features. She examined herself in the mirror one last time, then met her party in the main hall. Bidding Charles and her dogs a farewell, the group made their way to Westwood by coach. They would most certainly be the first to arrive, and Adelaide was vibrating with excitement. She wondered what Hugh would think of her dressing to match him. She worried about singing for so many people. She laughed at the thought of Duncan's face at her little surprise.

They exited the coach, Lionel and Elizabeth first, and Adelaide and her friend second, the couples arm in arm. Upon entering Westwood, they were greeted warmly by the hosts. Lionel gave both men a friendly hug, and Lizzy and kiss on the cheek for each. The group gasped at the beautiful styling--Westwood looked magical. Adelaide caught Hugh's eye and smiled, dipping into a low curtsey.

"Good evening, Mr and Mr Montgomery," She said. Standing, she opened her hands to present the woman beside her. "Gentlemen, this is my longtime friend, Fausta Ricci, of the southern province of Italy." Fausta curtsied low as well, her ebony hair loose about her shoulders. She wore a stunning red dress with handmade detailing, all adorned with white pearls that shone against her bronze skin. She had a long, proud nose and wide eyes, which were a bright hazel in hugh. Full, red lips smiled gracefully at the hosts as she stood, reaching out a hand in greeting.

"Caio, Signors Montgomery," She said in her richly accented voice. "Grazie for having me here. Adelaide has been my pen pal since we were young, and I am delighted to finally meet her and her friends at such a lovely occasion." Her eyes caught Duncan and looked him up and down quite plainly. "She did tell me my escort was handsome, but not how much. It is wonderful to be partnered with such a fine English gentleman."
 
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BoneBrain

New Member
(Oh no! The link is broken! Can you link it again? ^D^ )

He could only look at her. Hugh was star struck at the sight of Adelaide and it took him a moment to realize that Lionel was coming towards him for a hug. Hugh snapped out of his trance and smiled warmly at the man, already feeling quite at home in his presence. Hugh returned the women's curtsy with his own bow and saw out of the corner of his eye Duncan do the same.

"Welcome everyone! I'm so pleased you could join us tonight." Duncan said after he raised up, his eyes locked on Adelaide's new friend who was introduced as Fausta and he found her quite lovely. There was a warm little pit in his stomach and Duncan found himself grinning from ear to ear when the Italian woman looked him over and her words were filled with such fine praise. He took a step towards Fausta and offered his arm to her and the other to Lizzie. His head cocked over to Lionel and he gestured with his chin which way they would be walking.

"I do believe we are going to have to most wonderful night." Duncan told them as they wandered off down the hall and to the awaiting ballroom. Already soft violin music played as the band began their set for the evening. Hugh and Adelaide were left along lingering behind in the entrance hall. Hugh gaze was intense upon the woman, she dazzled him. His hand slid down the side of his jacket and he tilted his head in understanding.

"Miss. Lovelocke, you look beautiful." It was a simple statement and it rang true. He stepped towards her and reached out his hand for hers, intending to kiss it in greeting. After he did, he spoke again. "Thank you for helping to put on this wonderful party, it would not have been possible without you or Mrs. Brooke."
 

maddymew

Junior Member
(Of course! I'm so sorry about that. Here they are again! Green, Red)

Hugh looked magnificent. Adelaide blushed and linked her arm through his after their greeting. She felt a blush crawl up her neck at the intensity of his gaze upon her, butterflies erupting in her stomach. "Why, of course, Hu--" She quickly covered her mouth with a gloved hand, blush intensifying. "F-forgive me, Mr. Montgomery," She recovered quickly. "I'm honored to help you host such an evening here." She smiled at him softly and giggled. "And Lizzy is always ready to throw a bash, you know. It was so much fun for her." They began to walk after the others, but slowly. Adelaide kept her eyes on him, studying Hugh's strong profile. Just his presence brought such calm upon her.

"I'm glad you liked my little surprises, though I hope neither was too forward of me." Adelaide said, carrying the train of her skirts over her arm.

Fausta was dazzled by the proud English manor and all it's finary. The band played a low, lovely tune and she swayed a little to it as they stood chatting idly. Elizabeth dragged Lionel off to do final checks around the house, and the two were left alone. Fausta opened her mouth to speak.

"I 'ope you can...forgive my english. I am not yet, how you say, speaking fluidly. Your home is bella, signor. Truly. It seems like a storybook." She wound both her arms around his one, batting her eyelashes at him.
 

BoneBrain

New Member
Hugh walked slowly with her happy to have her next to him again. He liked the way they looked walking together, catching a glimpse of the both of them in a hall mirror. Their matching tones looked quite lovely together and he couldn't help but lean in closer to her, their shoulders grazing. He smiled as she spoke, and squeezed her hand when she almost slipped with his first name making him chuckle. She was looking at him then and his eyes caught hers, pausing before they walked into the ball room he turned to look at her.

"Firstly, I do not find it too forward, rather its quite endearing." His hand longed to brush down her cheek but he kept himself in check. "And secondly I wish to apologize to you Miss. Lovelocke, I believe some words I said yesterday were not quite to your liking. For that I am truly sorry, please allow me to make it up to you this evening?" He asked her.

Duncan was quite happy to be alone in the company of Fausta, she was a lovely creature and he knew that if they were to share a dance quite a few mouths would be chatting about them the next day. She spoke to him in broken English, but enough to get the message through clearly. He nodded listening to her and noticing the way her arms held on tightly to him. His mind went slightly inappropriate before he forced himself back to reality. He found himself swaying with her and wished the band would pick up a more lively tune.

"You speak English splendidly." He told her watching as her lashes dipped and rested against her cheekbones for a brief moment. "My brother found a lovely decorator in town, they certainly made the place into a fairy garden like Hugh requested. I'm sure he will be most pleased you like it. How long will you be staying with Miss. Lovelocke?" He found himself asking.
 

maddymew

Junior Member
Adelaide smiled up at him, relishing their closeness. Relief came over her at his words, and she sighed softly. Adelaide wished desperately to touch his skin, to feel his pulse alive and jumping beneath her fingers. For now, she settled for being arm in arm. At his apology, she shook her head. "Oh, no no no! Please, it is you who must forgive me for that display yesterday. I'm afraid my mind ran away with me suddenly. It was awfully rude." Adelaide looked down at her shoes, feeling her cheeks color with embarrassment.

"There's nothing to make up for, Mr. Montgomery. Though I would still be most delighted to have a dance or two with you this evening?" She looked back up at him, her eyes meeting his with excitement. Gently, she squeezed his bicep with the hand wound through his arm.

Fausta noticed that her escort swayed with her gently, and gave Duncan a brilliant smile. He really was kind, as Addy had said. At the man's question, she paused, putting the words together in her mind before speaking. "I will be with her for some time." She responded "It is my first time in England, so my family is being..." She cursed lightly in Italian as she lost the word she needed. Her brow knitted together as she muttered in her mother tongue, one hand coming away from Duncan's arm to motion about before her. "What is the word? Gentle? No. Easy? I think that is close. My family is being easy on me for time."

Embarrassed, the woman looked away from him, brushing her tresses back over her bare shoulder. "I am sorry." She apologized again. "I want to be making a good impression. I will be understanding if this is annoying to you."
 

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