The Girl of Many Names
Sold like livestock“ Bella, we have something to tell you,” The words that would change my life completely followed, “ We know that you were expecting Fernan to marry you. But you know that he wasn't able to pay the bride price. A gentleman by the name of Bernard Buraqua came and offered us a large bride price. We need the money Bella.”
I sat in silence. A tear slid down my cheek, but I brushed it away. “ I've never heard of this man. How did he come to find me?” I whispered.
My mother with her ability to come up with the right thing to say came over and sat next to me. “ Don't cry Bella. He seems to be a nice man. He said that he's watched you from afar for years. He had thought that you were intended to be betrothed to Fernan, but when I told him that Fernan could not afford the bride price, he was very delighted. He offered us much money, and promised that he would treat you well. He's coming by carriage today to bring you to his home which he said was a lovely rolling estate. I want you to be happy Bella. This will give you a better future then this,” my mother made a sweeping motion with her hand.
When my mother had left I continued to sit. I looked out the window and saw the rain begin to pour down, reminding me of Fernan, and I began to sob. I wanted to run away. I had no right to be sold off like livestock, no better then a cow or a pig sold off to the slaughter house.
Thoughts of running away ran through my head, but they shortly ended when I was called to come downstairs and meet my new husband.
There Bernard stood. He was a gangly man with medium length brown hair tied back. His blue eyes scrutinized me with care, though I couldn't tell how he felt about me because his lips were tightly pressed togetherr. “ Hello M'lady,” his voice was deep.
I said nothing until my mother nudged me. “ Good day.”
“ It tis.”
The silence in that room was tangible. Bernard shifted uneasily.
“ I suppose that we should begin our travel home M'lady. It tis a long drive and I hope to be there by dusk.”
I hugged my parents and my siblings and walked with Bernard who was carrying my one suitcase.
“ I am impressed M'lady that you could fit your belongings into one suitcase.”
I could see that he was trying to start a conversation, but I didn't have to oblige. So we walked in silence to his carriage.
We rode in silence until we were a few miles away from our house.
“ Listen Bella, I know that you don't like this at all, and I'm sorry that you couldn't be with that man Fernan. But what's done is done, and I would rather you drop your attitude.”
I frown. “ What happened to M'lady and all that? I have every right to behave as I please. You dragged me away from my home, my family, and the one man I ever loved. You've succeeded in completely ruining my life. I don't know anything about you Bernard, and I don't know why I never met you before if you were so taken with me.”
He smiled. “ Well for starters, my name isn't Bernard, it's Jaque. Count Jaque DeLoah-”
Confused I asked. “ Why did you tell my parent's your name was Bernard?”
“ Because then they would know who I was.”
“ Why didn't you want them to know who you were?” I asked incredulously.
“ You'll find out given time. For now I would like to enjoy being married to you for a bit, and then you shall know. Oh and while we are married, would you prefer that I call you Bella or you're real name Claire?”
“ Don't play dumb little girl with me Claire. You know who you are. You're Marie Antionette's daughter and you know it.”
“ What is wrong with you? Why would you think that? You met my parents.”
“ I met your adopted parents. Coverups I'm sure. It must be hard being a illegitimate child, and that's why I know that you are pretending that they are your real parents.”
“ But why would you think that I am an Antionette?”
“ Inside information. Classified,” He said when he saw me about to ask where he got the information from.
“ Then why would you want to marry me?”
“ I have my reasons. You'll find out soon enough what they are, but for now I want you to be a good little wife, do what I say, and don't cause any trouble.”