Chapter 1

One day.

The thought passed through her head as it had done many times before. It was the same as always, from the unpleasant snippets of gossip to the practiced chuckle of a bored wife; even the odd whisper of debauchery from a rake to an unsuspecting debutante.

From where she stood, she could see them all draped in their expensive silks, adorned in their acres of frills and pointless lace.

The same people, party after party, dinner after dinner, who ignored her. Day after day.

So Estellise Murphy, in her brown muslin, high-necked gown, who had never danced with a man or known what it was to enjoy a party, told herself that one day, somebody would realise she was standing there. Somebody would look at her. Somebody would notice.

One day.

Estelle sighed as she spotted Marielle across the room, talking rather too genially with a blond-haired man. She supposed he must be an earl or duke’s heir, considering the young debutante had bothered to even consider him a suitable match.

Since the Lady Marielle Harrington’s debut, bunches of bright, expensive flowers were sent to the house daily, accompanied by ridiculous penned proclamations of love; often these were accompanied by other high-priced baubles.

However, Marielle claimed to care for none of these things, and would often complain of how she yearned for men to be “far more daring”. As Marielle’s governess and chaperone, Estelle certainly did not approve of whatever that meant.

Nonetheless, suitors were in no way deterred when their attempts were cast off. It was true, Marielle’s dowry would be considerable… and yet it was certainly not enough so to be fought over.

Estelled concluded that it was the girl herself which drew men to her. That fiery red hair and porcelain skin must’ve been the icing on the flawless cake.

Her fingers reached down, to her heart-shaped pendant. It was a reminder of her mother. Of her sins.

She briefly wondered if she would have been married by this point, had she attended the same soirées and dinners as Marielle did.

But those were just thoughts of what might have been, had she been born under a different star.

Into a different life.

Perhaps it was time to accept that she would probably sit with the spinsters forever…

“Dear Estelle, surely you are not wool-gathering again!”

Marielle’s soprano reached her ears before Estelle had even realised the girl was standing barely a metre away.

“M-My Lady! Why, I was merely—”

“Oh do try to enjoy yourself, Estelle. There are such lovely people here, you really must socialise!”

Estelle feigned a smile as she nodded, “I will… try, my Lady.”

Estelle watched her charge recede. Marielle would never understand that people of her status could not just ‘socialise’ with the rest of the ton as if it were proper. Chaperones such as herself were destined to stand in a corner with widows and spinsters, protecting their charges from golddiggers, witless dandies and notorious rakes.

The music started. A waltz.

Estelle shook away her feelings, pushing them behind the familiar façade of nonchalance once again, and focused on searching for Marielle.

After several seconds of attempting to do so, it became clear that the elusive girl was nowhere to be seen.

Frowning, Estelle took a few steps toward the dance floor. Yet still, after peering subtly round passing, waltzing bodies, she could not locate her charge.

Beginning to worry at this point, Estelle walked quickly to the corridor and looked calmly from one end to the other. Nothing.

Nothing! Damn!

Burdened with several, unhelpful thoughts of the debutante locked in a rather compromising situation, Estelle quickened her pace as she headed outside, toward the main house.

She searched the gardens first. She cringed as she trod on the dewy grass; she may not have been trying to impress anyone, but a soggy hem was something even she abhorred.

Estelle noticed that the door leading into the main house was open. She walked briskly to it, anxious to save what virtue Marielle had left.

And anxious not to lose her job, amongst other things.

Estelle ran with as much speed as she could muster, through the door to the main house…

…and into the completely empty and silent sitting room.

“Damn! That little—! I swear to God, that girl is in for a scolding!”

The sound of the string quartet wafted through the open windows. It only served to aggravate her further.

She glanced left and then right and searched the room from top to bottom. Nothing.

“Damn. Damn, damn, damn!”

And then she froze. Because another heavy sigh, and not one of her own, had just reached her perking ears.

Estelle steeled herself for a direct confrontation with her disobedient charge. And… well, whoever else she was with.

“I should hope you will be grateful I have chosen not to mention this to your mother—”

“I shouldn’t think my mother would be terribly interested, but I am grateful all the same.”

Estelle’s eyes widened. She opened her mouth several times, trying to get the words out, but in the end could only stare gracelessly.

Estelle dropped her eyes to the floor.

“F-Forgive me sir, I assumed you were… somebody else. I will… leave you now. My sincere apologies for interrupting—”

“Out of interest, precisely who is it you are looking for?”

Estelle blinked in surprise, but kept her eyes politely on the wooden flooring.

“Why, that would be my charge, Sir. Now if you’ll excuse me—”

“Is there a reason your eyes are so earnestly searching the soil? Might your charge be located there, or is it my horrendous features that offend you so?”

“Oh no, my Lord.” She promptly looked up again, grateful when she saw he was no longer looking at her, but out towards the darkness of the vast gardens. “I simply… that is, I…”

The man’s perfectly wicked, sensual lips were wrapped around some sort of… smoking… stick. Estelle watched as he leant casually back against the wall, exhaling a cloud of smoke.

He turned to her then, catching her hopeless stare.

“Tell me, who is this rebellious charge of yours?”

“I-I believe that is none of your business, my Lord.”

A flicker of amusement that passed over his features. “Well then what is your name?”

“Well, I… I don’t believe that is any of your business either.”

One dark, ebony brow lifted opposite her. “Truly?”

“Of course. It would be highly improper, my Lord.”

“You are an interesting chit, aren’t you?” The stranger mocked lightly, his smile lop-sided.

“I am no ‘chit‘, my Lord.”

He brought the smoking stick to his smiling lips once more.

“Well then, it seems I am entirely in the wrong this evening. Might I be right in thinking you have never seen a gentleman smoke before?”

Of course she had, the problem was simply that… it had never looked so, so sinful to her. The small stick seemed to fit so elegantly between his fingers, she rather thought it had been made especially for him; to tempt, to burn.

“I am indeed familiar with the act of smoking, my Lord, but simply not with… such a peculiar looking—”

“Cigarette.” He finished for her. “I developed a taste for them during my time in Barnacle Bay.”

He stubbed it out on the wall next to them.

“Terrible habit. I only indulge when absolutely necessary.”

Estelle tilted her head in interest, unaware of what possessed her to continue.

“And pray tell, what made such a terrible habit such a necessity this evening, my Lord?”

“I do believe, that is none of your business, my dear Lady.”

Her lips parted at his gentle mockery. “I–“

Oh, my Lord, we should not!”

Estelle whirled in the direction of the familiar soprano. Perfectly practiced, delightful giggles filtered to them from the terrace, as well as the low, satisfied murmur of a particularly fortunate gentleman.

“Oh! That girl—!”

A  strong hand gripped her wrist, tugging her back with incontestable yet gentle force.

“Sir! If you would kindly—”

“Hush!” The stranger ordered, craning his head in an attempt to see the couple on the terrace.

“You don’t appear to understand!” Estelle protested. “That girl is my—!”

The roguish stranger silenced her as he pushed her softly against the windows, caging her with his large, lithe body. Estelle would have been frightened, had the man’s eyes been fixed on her and not on the grass  outside, narrowed as if intent on catching every murmur of the conversation.

…again. We could do it together, my dear. You have beauty enough to entice him, and when you do…” Fairly menacing laughter followed, “We can…

Words trailed off into private whispers. The stranger frowned.

“S-sir, if you do not unhand me at once, I swear—!”

“You do swear an awful lot for a woman, don’t you? The number of times you managed the word “damn” was frankly admirable, my genteel lady.”

“I beg your pardon?”

The man moved slightly, providing Estelle with the space to wriggle out from beneath his body. “Now stay quiet, I do believe I know who they are discussing.”

“I was not aware they were discussing anything. I assumed they were simply—”

He silenced her with a sharp glare as the voices became audible again.

“… seeing as they say he is handsome; marvellously so.” Marielle’s voice sang out, “I should not think I will mind his courting terribly.” She giggled.

Are you trying to make me jealous, love? Because if so, you are succeeding.”

Marielle’s delighted squeal sounded out in the night, and Estelle assumed that the girl’s…friend had just caught her in his arms.

The telltale sounds of lips meeting in barely contained passion wafted shortly afterwards to where Estelle stood. However a large, hand arrested her, holding her absolutely immobile.

“I must stop this! Unhand me at once, sir!”

The now brooding man neared, once more trapping her between the his body and the glass barrier. Estelle found she could not quite breathe as his face neared her own.

“Darling, if you don’t stop talking I’ll have to silence you myself.”

Ignoring the endearment (yet blushing all the same), Estelle struggled again. “Well I should think you will be very sorry for it!”

She stilled when he flashed that mischievous smile again.

“I shouldn’t think so.”

Her breath hitched when his lips moved gently to cover her own. She swallowed a mewl of protest as that wicked mouth passed over hers, slowly teasing her senses with its sinful knowledge. Hands trailed down, making her shiver as they made a tantalising journey to her waist.

She lost herself in those few moments, never wanting to resurface from the indulgent sensation of sharing something so intimate with a man. And a stranger at that.

My dearest, let’s return; that unbearable chaperone of yours is probably searching the house for you.

The voice of Marielle’s partner pierced the mood like a knife.

Precise instructions will have to wait until Lady Aston’s dinner tomorrow, I’m afraid.

Estelle moved back quickly from the heady kiss, her eyes catching his dark ones. They stared at each other for a long moment before she had the common sense to try to get away.

However the stranger caught one of her hands, holding it fast and forcing her to look up into his eyes. When he spoke, his voice was low, husky.

“What’s your name, chick?”

Estelle snatched her hand out of his grasp as her eyes widened in comprehension.

“The unbearable chaperone,” she snapped. Indignation blazed within her. That he had just— just man-handled her in such a manner—! “Now, if you’ll excuse me, sir.”

She pushed past the arm that blocked her path to the stairs, not looking back as the stranger said something quietly to himself. It sounded like a curse.

Praying to God she did not look as tumbled as she felt, she ran swiftly through the door. Bless her invisibility to the ton at times like these!

Marielle’s fiery coiffure was quite visible in the crowd, even without having to search for it, and Estelle approached her at a rapid pace, grabbing her hand without warning as she went past, heading towards the door.

Sputtering, Marielle gathered her wits at as they arrived in the entrance hall.

Estelle! What is the meaning of this?!”

“We are returning home immediately and you should not need an explanation as to why!”

“But I was in the middle of a conversation—!”

“I don’t care, Marielle! Your behaviour tonight has been ludicrous, irresponsible—”

“What on earth are you talking about?! I’ve been exchanging pleasantries all night with potential suitors!”

Indeed! With one in particular who—” Estelle stopped herself. It seemed she couldn’t explain what she’d heard without admitting to a little… tryst of her own. “You should know what I’m talking about, young Lady.”

The ‘you should know without me saying‘ tactic usually worked.

However it appeared to backfire rather unpleasantly this time.

“Do not presume to label me so ‘young’, madam! I’ll have you know that many of the ton consider me to be mature beyond my years!”

“I have eaten cheeses that were more mature than you, Marielle!”

Estelle gestured for her charge to exit first.

“Now let us speak no more of it!”

The debutante harrumphed as she moved to go past her, but stopped before stepping out into the night. She turned to Estelle, a scowl implanted uncharacteristically in her girlish features.

“Just because you are a spinster, does not mean that others must be doomed to the same fate!”

And with that, she stalked moodily towards the carriage, leaving her chaperone speechless at the door, staring at the place where her head had just been.

But after a moment, Estelle merely swallowed, took a breath and followed.

All the while, Estelle remained unaware that a certain dark-haired stranger had heard every word.

“The ‘Unbearable Chaperone’…” he cooed softly. “What am I going to do with you?”


20 responses to “Chapter 1

  • kathleen

    ohh, brilliant!
    “I have eaten cheeses that were more mature than you, Marielle!” I have GOT to remember that one. lol!

  • ghekate

    OH MY GOD! New favorite story. I love this! Ah!

  • Chitousi

    OMG. O.O That was so intense! This is my first time reading such a Sims 3 story. And your characters are beautiful. :”>

  • Anonymous Miss

    This is lovely! I love your language, and am so intrigued by the situation. I also love the Victorian period clothes and attitudes. So unique!

    • Becki

      Wow, thanks for reading! I’m glad you like it so far, it’s a lot of fun to write =D

      To be honest, one of the reasons I decided to set Suitor in a historical context was because I’ve seen very few around the community. And those historical costumes? Nightmare to find! x

  • vampireXheart

    Everything is just wonderful with this so far. The outfits are gorgeous, the photos are beautiful and the characters are already quite well developed and strong. I can’t wait to see them as the chapters progress

  • LilyParker

    Just found your story today and am loving what I’ve seen! It’s so well written, and the pics are wonderful. I didn’t think I’d be interested in a period piece, but I’m so glad I gave the first chapter a chance. I’m a fan. 🙂

  • Taina

    oh oh oh!!! This is gooooood!!! I love a good ol’ historical! So glad I found this story!

  • nightowl992

    Ohhhhh… Just love it! 😀

  • bethysims

    I just refound this! I told myself I would read it again 🙂

    I’m a big fan of the time period you’re writing in actually, and I’m a fan of sims so its a win-win in my book.

    So far I love it, and can’t wait to finish reading the rest!

  • noonibean

    Exciting first chapter, and the photos you captured are great! This story pulled me right in. I can’t tell you how much I LOVE finding other historical romance sim stories out there. I feel like there aren’t nearly enough. 😦 Feel free to check out my historical, late 1800’s story if you enjoy stepping back in time like I do! http://trustingdesire.wordpress.com (us historical writers have to stick together, lol.)

    I can’t wait to read more of this! 🙂

  • theeyesofbecca

    Good start. I love historical romance, and I agree with noonibean, there aren’t many out there. I was thinking of doing one but I can’t find the time to look for all the CC that I would need for it, so I started a romance story with some similarities to historical romances but is more of the modern times.
    I will definitely come back to read more chapters. 🙂

  • TheSimeater

    Oh it’s just too brilliant! Love it! And I really like the main character, she’s such a nice change to the normal female lead. Will keep reading, I’m looking forward to seeing this story progress! I’m also a sims 3 story teller, do come and have a read if you get time! 😀

  • mckatsims

    A friend recommended this story, and I have to say I really enjoy historical fiction, especially of the Victorian England variety. You pretty much had me at “wool-gathering”. 😀 Very much looking forward to seeing how this story plays out in the upcoming chapters!

    • Becki

      Someone recommended? That’s amazing! I’m a bit nervous about having a historical fiction fan reading this… but I hope you enjoy all the same 😄

      • mckatsims

        Yeah, I have been reading historical fiction for a long time. However, please do not let that make you nervous. I love to read, and I am definitely enjoying your story very much. 😀

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