Okay, pax at Noon, but I wondered if today was a good day to share a small prank from Mariah’s Marriage.
“We will be seen, Mariah, when I wish us to be seen. I was talking about your intentions. Did you think to make me fall in love with you?” he asked. “Have you made some plan and put it into action too quickly without testing its prospects of success?” When she did not reply, he spoke again. “It is clear to me that Mr. Fox has kept you too close, my dear. He has not allowed you that intercourse with other young women that would have educated you about the affairs of men and women.”
“How can you say so, sir? My papa has allowed me out into the world where I have enjoyed far more freedom than your own sister,” she protested.
“Yes, he has. Freedom can act as a shackle too, Mariah. You think that the only way to live your life is the one your parents follow. By letting you go, he draws you back.”
“Is this not what you are pursuing when you say you want a woman to replicate your mama’s behaviour,” she said vehemently.
“Oh, Mariah, let us not quarrel. We will be married within the month. At least your papa’s house contains plenty of books. You may practise throwing them.” The instruments of the band fell silent and Mariah listened for the swell of voices that should take their place but there was none. A cold frisson of fear touched her heart. The earl had engineered her presence in the garden without any kind of escort and with none of his relatives to give them countenance.
“You have tricked me, sir,” she said.
“My beautiful girl, of course I have,” he said as he pulled her into his embrace and kissed her.
A small prank with life-long and life-changing results for Mariah. Why? You need to read on to find out…