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The Duke pt.3

Marie clutched her throbbing head, “But you can’t marry me.”

“And why ever not, my dear?” the duke had stepped back and was again leaning against his large oak desk. He watched her with a gleam in his eye, as if he got pleasure from watching her squirm, watching her try to wiggle out of a situation he knew was inescapable.

“Because I’m engaged.” Marie stuck out her left hand for him to examine, then stared in shock at her ring finger. There was no ring on it. Could she have lost it? Lost the ancient, pure gold ring her beloved had given to her on their engagement nearly 6 months before? She couldn’t have, she never took it off. It was too precious to her. It was also a tight squeeze to get it on.

She rounded back on the duke, shouting with fury, “What did you do with my ring?!”

“You don’t need that old thing anymore, for your engagement to that buffoon back in that village is no more,” again the duke smiled at Marie.

“An engagement can end only when one in that engagement wants to break it off, and I doubt that my ‘buffoon’ has found someone else in the day that I’ve been here.”
She longed to slap that smirk off his face, stopped only by the thought that it might make him truly angry. She was completely at his mercy here; she didn’t know where she was or how long it would take to get out of here.
His grin widened, “True, but an engagement also ends if the man cannot provide for his would-be wife.”
“I’ll have you know my fiancé is a blacksmith, and is more than able to provide for me,” Marie huffed.
“Not if he’s in jail.”
This struck her silent. Of course her beloved would never do anything to get himself in jail, he had a few rough friends of course, but he always came home before anything got too serious. But she knew what happened, and this was what wouldn’t let her form any words. This man, this monster in front of her had ordered her fiance to jail, maybe even framed him for a crime. This sick man was willing to ruin a sweet, innocent person’s life just to have her all to himself without having some pesky ‘buffoon’ interfering. And in doing that, he was subjecting Marie to the worst feelings of guilt, hate, and helplessness. Finally Marie saw how carefully he had planned this first encounter out, from her abduction to this moment when she realized everything was hopeless. He had predicted everything, except maybe, how powerful Marie’s emotions were.
She could only stand there in a stupor, envisioning the bleak life ahead of her if she could never escape this underworld prison. Finally the duke tired of watching her sink into depression like a stone in water, and called Rita the maid back to guide her to her room.
“Don’t forget, my dearest,” He called after her, “our wedding is but a month from today!”
Marie let Rita lead her down the hall, barely registering the duke’s words, and back into the costly room in which she woke, only to find her dream continued as a nightmare. Though it was the second time that day she had traveled through her prison, she still knew nothing of it besides this room, the study, and the twisted beast that had the key.





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AprilBlue said...
May 9, 2010 at 3:37 pm
I LOVED THIS! Ugh. I see so much, and this is one of the best. I really liked the first part. This totally has potential. Great work!
 
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