Chapter 35

A/N: I’M ALIVE! I was on hiatus, not dead; aren’t you glad? XD I hope you didn’t think for a MINUTE that I’d left this story in the proverbial graveyard!

Screenshot-46“Lord Landgraab hopes you don’t mind terribly that he took the liberty of moving you, you know. He knows the room is rather small, but there is some truly beautiful scenery in this area that makes him very fond of visiting this place…

When you’ve sufficiently recovered, I’d encourage you to explore the grounds.”

Screenshot-54Estelle looked around her ‘small’ room, at the soft feather bed with an enormous headboard and silk curtains tied back around the bedposts. On the other side of the room stood a luxurious vanity and two large dressers, all made of the same fine polished wood. There was also a sliding door which looked suspiciously ike the entrace to a walk-in closet.

All in all, the room was incredibly elegant, and certainly not one that a governess had the privilege to occupy.

Screenshot-41The professed reason for Estelle’s seclusion, according to Alice, was that Lady Millerna had not wanted to further hinder her recovery with anymore ‘stressful encounters’.

When Estelle asked what exactly that meant, the maid said that Estelle could probably answer that question much better than herself.

Screenshot-47“I must say, you have a very diverse circle of friends for a governess: Count Landgraab, the Lady Millerna, and then, of course, that dashing Viscount who has been residing here recently...”

Screenshot-34Estelle felt herself colour at the mere mention of Vaughn, like a criminal caught red-handed, and immediately resented herself for it.

“You exaggerate what are, in fact, three very minor acquaintances. The Viscount is courting my charge, whom I shall return to once I am sufficiently recovered.”

Screenshot-26No matter how Estelle tried, she could not stop her brain from constantly battling to reclaim the patches of darkness in its memory. To still not recall the events that had past, well, she felt more helpless than ever before.

There had certainly been a brief flash of… something when he Viscount had been reading to her earlier.

screenshot-134_zpsc5362b92In the depths of her subconscious she had seen his face barely inches from her own, felt his hot breath on her lips…

screenshot-193_zps48fda894But, more suddenly than she could comprehend, her hand had risen and struck him hard. That was all. She had seen nothing else. She hadn’t know where or how or even why these feelings had come upon her.

Screenshot-49But what was the point in wondering when they were nothing more than an illusion? Had Vaughn himself not told her he had no recollection of such an event?

Screenshot-14And, frankly, she believed him.

Within the past two days, no, longer than that, the past three weeks, he had shown himself to be kind, understanding and – dare she say it? – sweet.

Screenshot-42Of course, two days in particular could not erase the tempestuous history they shared, nor could it change the fact he had utterly disrespected her for much of their acquaintance. No, she would never forget that.

… but, perhaps, she could forgive.

Screenshot-33Moreover, his recent behaviour proved something that she had suspected for a while now: beneath the stubborn façade of arrogance, cunning and conceit that he had built up much of his life, there was a gentleman.

It was simply, very, very… very deep down.

Screenshot-60The involvement of Lady Millerna Landgraab in her rehabilitation was also quite the puzzlement to Estelle.

“It is not as strange as all that.” The maid stated when she expressed. “Lady Millerna is a physician, after all. Oh, it was quite the scandal back in the day, I assure you.”

Screenshot-86“Lady Millerna?”

Estelle repeated with astonishment.

“A physician?”

Screenshot-72Yes Miss,”

The maid sounded quite exasperated as she fidgeted with the hairpins that had been dislodged.

“The former Duke Landgraab, Lord rest his role, saw her disinherited for it…”

Screenshot-81Alice continued absently: “It wasn’t until Lord Charles inherited the Dukedom that he saw her titles rightfully returned to her. Lucky for her really, as that husband of her’s had up and died of consumption…”

Screenshot-83And such was the nature of Estelle’s next two days.

She was forced to be content with what little Alice could tell her and what she could deduce for herself.

Screenshot-76She only hoped that she might soon have one of those ‘stressful’ encounters or else she might so mad with boredom.

Little did she know just how soon she would get one.

Screenshot-302Estelle could not sleep. She had tossed and turned and cursed for hours.

She knew it had been hours because of the damned chimes from the grandfather clock out in the hall. She was growing more alert by the minute, the blankets growing more tangled, and her patience earning ever more thin.

Screenshot-306She sat up then and silently declared to herself that, if she did not fall asleep in 10 minutes, she would simply give up altogether and jump out of the window!

Well… perhaps not.

Screenshot-299Estelle had just laid her head back onto her pillow when rain began to tap, softly at first, then hard and heavy on the window pane.

Oh please, not a storm. That’s all I bloody need.

Screenshot-145She decided to ponder in an effort to take her mind off the ominous weather outside. Why on earth would a solicitor want to see her?

Oh, she did hope it wasn’t something awful – had something happened to Marielle’s parents on the continent? Or perhaps Liddy? If she had forgotten something like that she would never forgive herself. She simply had to remember.

Screenshot-88_zpsc5ead96bAnd that was when the thunder started.

Oh!”

This couldn’t happen now….

Screenshot-379_zpsd3376a26It was a dark, cold night.

Her mother was gone.

She was alone—

Screenshot-314_zpsd65a00f7No! She would not think of that time in her life. She would not break down. She would be strong.

The only way to get through it was to focus hard on other things. The smell of the duvet. The goosebumps on her skin. The sound of her breathing. The tick of the clock….

Screenshot-356_zps2cf6e009

… the memory of his face.

His eyes and the dark fire behind them. How well she knew those eyes, with thick black lashes that Liddy would say were wasted on a man. And yet no feature seemed wasted on Vaughn’s face Not even that stern, solemn—

Screenshot-102_zpsd08d8f68Another white flash.

“No!”

Screenshot-384_zps080834e5Dark. Rain. Alone. And her father…

He did not know her. He did not care to know her—

—so cold.

Screenshot-93Please… no more…

She whimpered, sinking to the floor. It wasn’t enough. It was never going to be enough.

… I can’t do this.

Screenshot-364_zps37a8b6dcIn one final attempt to pull through the darkness, she thought of his lips. His lips. Yes, yes. She knew those. She remembered the way they felt.

How could she possibly forget?

Screenshot-359_zpsfeddcbc3The way his wicked mouth had found hers so many times, had shared her breath. And made her head spin and her body flare and heat so desperately. With those lips, he was made her feel beautiful and feminine and…

And free

Screenshot-366_zps0ec0f0deShe kissed him softly, tentatively, desperately. He was holding her, embracing her throughout the storm.

Suddenly, she was deaf to the thunderous crash outside…

And then it all flooded back.

screenshot-542_zps4a3171ef “Your father’s fortune cannot be secured indefinitely.” 

“You will have access to all his land and estates…”

“…under my supervision, be given an extremely generous allowance each month…”

screenshot-791_zpsf1436f8cHer father— her father—

He had died.

And she was legitimate.

Screenshot-372“Oh my god.”

Her chest rose and fell erratically, panic gripping the edges of her consciousness , shaking her over and over until she was forced to comprehend that she was…

“Lady Venture.”

Screenshot-99“No!” She choked out, “No… no, I can’t! I won’t!”

She needed to breathe, to escape her past, escape her future, but—

 “If you are not married within these six months, Lord Venture’s estates will be passed over to his nearest male relative…”

Screenshot-313She couldn’t possibly… she would not marry! She would not sign her life away to a man to live a lie; She would not marry a man solely in order to live a life that was never meant for her.

She wanted – had – to leave Sunset Valley and Moonlight Falls behind, to leave the country, to—

screenshot-303_zpsecc4d4e0“Don’t go.”

Now another voice sang out in her memory. This time, far more familiar.

screenshot-134_zpsc5362b92“I can’t stop thinking, dreaming about having you—“

“We’ll have a place in the house just for us. A secret, away from the rest of the world…”

“Marielle will never know.”

Screenshot-91After a long, heavy moment, she forced a breath out amongst her tears, her shock, her confusion. Then another breath, and another, waiting until she remembered how to do it without conscious effort.

She lacked the energy, lacked the spirit to grow more upset by the fact that she had lied to her. Again.

Screenshot-324Of course he had lied about it. Of course he had. She had been such a fool to think he could ever change.

And Marielle? What would Marielle do now?

 Let me disappear. Just let me disappear.

Screenshot-321A second later, the latch on the door clicked.

She gasped and looked up towards the intruder.

Screenshot-106The Viscount’s eyes widened as he caught sight of her. “Jesus Christ, what the hell happened?!”

“Don’t!”

Vaughn faltered. Stopped two paces away from her.

Screenshot-176“Estelle? What—“

“I said don’t! Don’t come any closer!”

Screenshot-401She closed her eyes for she could not bear to look at his face. She heard him taken several unsteady breaths. Heard him swallow.

Heard him realise.

Screenshot-261“You remember.”

The words barely settled over the pelting of the rain upon the window.

Screenshot-183“Just let me explain—“

“I have absolutely no wish to hear anything you have to say to me ever again!”

“Please, I—” Vaughn took another step toward her.

Screenshot-164“You lied to me!”

She shouted over the thunder, in terror, in anger.

“You acted as if nothing was wrong, as if you were my friend—“

Screenshot-221“Estelle, I am your friend—“

“Oh please!” She shouted at him.“Do not insult my intelligence by pretending you considered me as anything more than a means to an end! That’s what I’ve bee all along, isn’t it?! Something you could use!”

Screenshot-209He stared hard at her.

“That is not true.”

Screenshot-202“It is!”

As her anger increased, so did her strength. She glared at his frustatingly handsome face, carved in moonlight.

“How many times have we been over this?! From the moment we met you haven’t thought once about the consequences of your actions, about who I am, how I feel!”

Screenshot-215“Forget the fact I could have died, you must have been so relieved when I couldn’t remember a thing about that day!

Your little—little proposition! Like I was some common strumpet off the street!”

Screenshot-236“Have the past few days meant nothing to you at all?!”

He snapped.

“Have I not shown you that I am not a monster?”

Screenshot-388“They meant everything!”

She shouted before she could stop herself, too dizzy, too distressed by unnamed black-fluttering panic.

screenshot-471_zps68495760After hours, days, weeks of shoving everything consisting of thought away from her consciousness, she shied from reason like a startled bird.

Because reason meant wallowing in the echo of Liddy’s words from what felt like forever ago.

Screenshot-402She didn’t want to think about the choices that lay ahead of her.

It simply hurt too much and Vaughn being here just made them all too real.

Screenshot-226“I thought you had changed, I thought…”

She hesitated.

“… b-but now I know it was all a lie and you will never, ever be anything but a conceited, arrogant—“

Screenshot-193“I lied because I didn’t want to upset you! Because I’ve reconsidered—

I have replayed that day in my head over and over, and I cannot stop thinking of—”

Screenshot-238“If you try to apologise to me, so help me god I—“

“Will you let me speak?!”

“I cannot comprehend why you continue to treat me in this manner!”

Screenshot-203“And what manner is that, exactly?!

Paying for the finest physician in this bloody country to attend you? Sitting by your bedside for days, reading to you for hours, telling you things I have never told anybody, giving you my brother’s book, the one thing I treasure most in this world?!”

Screenshot-393“I woke up to the sound of you screaming, and I ran here because I wanted to offer you some semblence of comfort through the storm! What I wanted—

What I wanted was for you to know that I was here for you, that you were not alone, that I cared about your well-being!”

Screenshot-251“Are you honesty trying to tell me that you care for me?”

Estelle demanded, incredulous.

“Is that what you’re saying? After everything you’ve done?! When I know for a fact that you have never once thought about me, never once considered—”

Screenshot-115“I think about you constantly.”

Vaughn interrupted, clearly frustrated by the fact.

“And if I could stop any of it, I would, believe me. But I can’t.

Screenshot-400“I—”

Her words faltered as she tried to repel his. She tried not to believe him, not to listen. His words… they were not real. This was not real.

Screenshot-392Enough is enough. Get away from him.

Now.  

“Get out.”

Screenshot-397The Viscount did not react, nor did he move. Outside, the rain continued to worsen.

“Get. Out.” She repeated, slower, sharper.

Still he did not move.

Screenshot-158“You feel it too.” Vaughn remarked, quietly.

“Get. Out.”

“Is that the real reason you’re so angry?”

Screenshot-387“GET OUT!”

She shouted, furious, confused, ashamed.

“JUST GET THE HELL OUT!”

Screenshot-367“What are you so afraid of?!” He hissed back, grabbing her arms.

“No!”

“Tell me!”

“No!”

Tell me!

Screenshot-351“I–I’m afraid of everything!”

She sobbed, struggling in his grip.

“I’m afraid of you, the way you look at me and what you— what you say to me. I’m afraid of everything you feel for me and everything you want.  Because… because I…!”

Screenshot-275“Because you what?”

Vaughn demanded.

“Because you what?!”

Screenshot-289Because I want it too!”  She cried, hating herself, hating him for making her admit it.  “I want everything that you want and it terrifies me!”

This was the last piece of herself that she could give to this frustrating, hateful man, knowing that there might not be another chance to do so.

Screenshot-271“A-and I don’t know what’s— and I hate you too, y-you stuck up bastard— I -h-hate—”

She tries to say with Vaughn’s hands sliding up her arms. His eyes are black now, bruised in the moonlight and Estelle shut her eyes so that she wouldn’t drown in the fear and insecurity and need they summon.

screenshot-108_zpsdf260c27Lightning flooded the room once more.

The kiss is accidental.

The deeper that sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain. Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?
— Kahlil Gibran

A/N: So why did this take me so long? Many, many reasons, but mainly I decided I was terribly unhappy with my original chapter and completely re-wrote it. I really laboured over this one, so I hope you liked it!

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10 responses to “Chapter 35

  • parabee27

    I was just checking my daily websites, came here and I was like, “Meh… There might be one, there might not.” Yayy! There is!

    Omg she regained all her memories! Eek! Yes! Finally, Vaughn, push it out of her, make her spit it out! Finally! I’m just overjoyed. Great chapter, as always!

    • Becki

      Thanks so much for sticking with me! I know I made you wait an unforgivable amount of time.

      Yes, memories are back! Originally I was going to skirt around it more, but I eventually decided that there’d be more drama this way 😛 Stay tuned x

  • LilyParker

    The Suitor’s back! *happy dance* 😀

    The maid is adorable and, as usual, I love all your pics! With Estelle’s expressive face, I swear I could actually HEAR her shouting at Vaughn. 😉 What a fortuitous thunderstorm. She remembers! Finally! I don’t remember if you’ve mentioned the marriage clause in the will before. The reasons for Estelle and Vaughn to tie the knot just keep adding up, don’t they?

    Estelle and Vaughn have such an explosive relationship. Their passion burns hot for each other, and yet their first inclination is to fight it … and each other. I was so relieved when Vaughn admitted how he felt about Estelle and how wrong he was to ask her to be his mistress, when he’s clearly in love with her and not Marielle. I’m so glad Estelle finally fessed up that she feels the same way and is just scared. Aww…. So, quit fighting with him, silly girl! Time to kiss and make up. 😉

    Now I need another update! More, more, MORE! I know, I know. I can be demanding sometimes. *shrugs*

    • Becki

      Thanks Lily ^^ Those expressions were a major part of why this chapter took so bloody long! I had this particular image of how I wanted things to look, but in the end I had to compromise because I got sick of taking screenshots 😛

      Yup! All cards are on the table now, but there’s still a few issues to be resolved. I’ll leave you guessing what they are… huhuhuhu.

      As always, thanks for the support x

  • violincat

    Finally! I am so happy to see a new post from you! Great job”

    • Becki

      Thanks for reading, being patient and just generally sticking around after I disappeared off the face of the Earth 🙂 I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  • vampireXheart

    They finally did it! Oh my god. Finally. God and it suited them so well the way they confessed to each other. The fire, and the brimstone in each of them, and that stubbornness, it was perfect.

    I wonder how this marriage clause will affect the both of them, since it would solve both of their problems. But at the same time, I can see that they might see the situation as a type of test. She might want him to propose without any prompts from her, without the feeling he’s giving her something and that’s why he’s doing it. But if she comes forward as the legitimate daughter with wealth and land to offer him, Vaughn’s family might accept their relationship.

    And as usual your photos are gorgeous. I don’t know how you do it, but they always look so good, and suit the scene so well. Majorly jealous.

  • MCS

    I started reading this legacy only a couple of weeks ago. I finished all chapters in a day and was really sad when I found out it’s not yet complete. I wasn’t really expecting any update for a couple more months but when I checked today – tadaah new chapter!

    This is update is a pleasant surprise and I like how this chapter is written. Overall, the story is good. Keeps me interested even though it’s longer than other legacies I read.

    I salute you for your creativity. I’m not really into arts, writing, and all that so I’m amazed how you are able to write this wonderful story from playing sims 3.

  • LilyShadowWriter

    “So I hoped you liked it.” Liked it….? LIKED IT!?! AHHHHHHHHHHH, I LOVED THIS!

    I swear my emotions were going insane as I read through this chapter, my eyes stuck on the screen until they’d read every single word possible, whereupon I finally gasped….and then let out a stupid little squeal. YESSSSSSS. Vaughn and Estelle! Estelle and Vaughn! God they have SUCH a long way to go, but this is a huge step for them!

    I am officially obsessed with this blog–COMPLETELY obsessed. I will be frantically checking for updates, even if they take months to come. I must know what happens, lol.

    Also, last comment: “I think about you constantly and if I could stop any of it, I would, believe me. But I can’t.” I JUST CANNOT. I AM DEAD. Could those two possibly mess with my heart any more!? Gah!!! You convey emotion SO WELL through your writing!

    Man, I really, really hope this all works out x_x;

  • Taina

    OMG! I literally just said, “What the hey – I’ll try this blog again…I’m sure there’s no-”

    HOLY CRAP A CHAPTER! lol

    And it was definitely worth the wait. Ahh, Vaughn, you better hold on to her forever, she looks like the type to cut and run!

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