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Rated: 13+ · Campfire Creative · Appendix · Drama · #1469592
A girl gets sold to a stranger who takes her on her 16th birthday
[Introduction] Bella Black is a very beautiful, loving girl. She is well liked by her friends, parents friends, and is loved by her siblings and father. She cares for everyone in need. That is how she ends up meeting William Alexander. He is disguised as a homeless beggar trying to find a caring person. Instantly he meets Bella as she went with her father to town. She offers him money in a thoughtful way and he instantly falls in love with her. Desperate to win her love for him, he ends up meeting with her mother and buys her.
Not knowing what he has done, Bella is not turned on, but off to his charm and stresses the owner/servant situation. In a year time, though, her feeling become to change. Unfortunatly, a couple maids find out about her feelings and they accuse her of stealing a priceless jewel that they planted in her room. He ends up with no choice but to throw her out, for he wouldn't dare have her die. Remember, thievery was punishable by law for a women.
A years after Bella's face had gone, Sir William Alexander finds out about the maids doings and banashes them from England. her. The only problem is Bella is no longer with him. Now he has to find her, hoping that she hadn't been swept up, and beg for her forgiveness and hand.

Characters with a big part:

Name:Bella (taken)
Age:16
Appearance:She has long, black hair, bright blue eyes and fair, pretty complictions.
Personality:She is passonate, wild child. She stands her ground when she feels threatened and maintains her duty when she's not. She loves to read and write and loves her family, even her mother at times. She tries to find no fault in anyone, which is not easy for a girl growing up in her society.

Name:Mathew (taken)
Age:22
Relationship:Oldest son to the Black family and loving brother to Bella
Appearance: He is about 5'7 with short, surfer boy hair, Dark blue eyes and muscular build with a caring face.
Personality: Despite his breath taking looks, Mathew is not the type of guy to swing for just any girl he happens to meet. He is a well educated, well mannered man who always looks after those he loves. He loves nature, sports, reading and spending time with his little sister Bella.

Name:Sir William Alexander (taken)
Age:28
Relation: Deal maker with Bella's mother, and lover
Appearance: Short brown wavy hair. He is 6 feet with a muscular build and face with dark green eyes.
Personality: He is a very interesting individual. He is liked well all over England. He

Minor characters:
Mr. Black- kind father who divorces Mrs. Black after learning why and how his youngest was sold.
Mrs. Black (taken) - a mean pride and prejudice women who would do anything to see her cheery daughter in a bad, unloving place. No one knows why, she's just that way.
Marissa Black- Bella's older sister. More known as the middle child. She is sweet and loving to Bella just like Mathew. She got engaged a day before Bella's birthday and was about to tell her family when Sir Alexander showed up.
Also there are the two jealous maids. We'll call them Maria and Beth.
It was a warm summer day, around half past noon and Mrs. Black and her youngest daughter, Bella were going to collect more books for learning and free time.
"I do not see why I need to learn so much, mother." Bella said exasperated. She enjoys reading, but she rather read for her pleasure. Learning books were dull and boring.
"I know, Bella, dear." Her mother cooed annoyed. "But to be a well rounded, successful women, eligable to wed, you will need to know many things outside your teachings of manners and politeness." Her mother looked at her with a half caring, half annoyed look. Bela sighed and wished to go home.
"Besides, your sixteenth birthday is only in a weeks time." Her mother raised her voice a bit.
"I know that mother." Bella sighed in an annoyed tone. They were walking back to the carraige after several hours of searching for books when they started to walk up to a beggar who looked like he had not bathed in a year.
"You poor thing!" Bella exclaimed as she dug in her pocket purse for money. The man looked half embarrassed and half grateful for hr kindness. "Do you live anywhere? We could take you there?" Bella offered, which her mother detested but let her daughter no what was 'right'.
"No thank you, dear, I live here." The beggar told her with a sad look. Bella exchanged the same heartbroken look. "I am so sorry. Would you like to come with me?" At this the baggars face lit up, but Mrs, Black did not like her daughters actions.
"That s quite enough, Bella!" Her mother yelled as she took her daughter strongly by the arm. "I am sure this gentalmen can make due with the money you gave him. We need to go home."
So Bella was dragged away from the beggar, who did not take his eyes off her, back to the carraige and taken home.
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"Ha! I win!" Matthew shouted in manly triumph as he swung his wicket to the ground. He grabbed the wicket ball and pumped his fist. Henry, his best mate, rolled his eyes and smirked. "Best two out of three mate?" he asked. Henry smirked and turned to see his sister and mother coming up the walk. "Oi! Bella! You're just in time to witness my greatest victory in the greatest english game- Cricket!" he tossed another look at henry and got ready to beat him again.
Alexander roamed around the city looking for that special girl. He had sought out women of royalty, but they didn't have the kind of heart he was searching for and only looked out for themselves and he wanted someoen who would love him. He looked for one who had a heart like his own, but he unfortunately he's come up with nothing.

He had almost given up hope, and was shuffling along the street on his way someplace concealed he could go to get changed into something more suitable for someone of his prestige when he came upon a young girl and her rather unappealing mother. The girl was beautiful, but when he looked at the mother and the daughter together it didn't look like a girl of such beauty could come from a mother that looked so...stuck up.

"You poor thing!" the girl exclaimed, as she dug in her pocket purse for money.

I wonder if she's going to make fun of me like the other girls around here. If only they knew who they had made fun of. William thought to himself, as he took the money she had given him.

"Do you live anywhere? We could take you there?" the girl offered, which her mother looked as if she swallowed something foul, but let her daughter continue though it was obvious that she wanted to get her daughter and herself out of there fast.

"No, thank you dear, I live here." William replied with a sad look on his face, playing his part as beggar as best he could.

This girl, she is so sweet, and beautiful. She looks geniuely heartbroken. He thought.

"I am so sorry. Would you like to come with me?" the young girl asked, with a hopeful expression on her face giving a small smile.

She is not joking. I thnk I may have found the one for me. William thought, allowing his dirt smudged face to light up with joy.

"That is quite enough Bella!" The mother shouted."I am sure this gentalmen can make due with the money you gave him. We need to go home." She said, as she pulled the young girl by the arm dragging her away to the horse drawn carriage, while still lecturing her on who to and not talk to while out.

Feeling the coins she had placed in his hands, and commiting to memory the look of her face. William made up his mind to find this girl and make her his.

"I will find you Bella my love. I'll cherish you if only you give me a chance." William said standing upright now that the carriage was out of sight, and walking toward the palace.



As the carriage rolled along the cobbled stone path, Mrs. Black couldn't help the frustration show on her face as she watched her daughter stare out the window. The girl had so many thing going for her yet she couldn't seem to recognize what a handsome match she'd make and how much money she could bring to the family in a good marriage. Instead, she was always so... nice.

Striping her each of her fingers out of her white gloves, her mouth was pressed into a thin line. "Really, Bella. I wish you wouldn't do that. God knows where that man had been."

"But, Mother-"

"But nothing, Bella. You will behave yourself when you are in public."

Bella bowed her head, looking at her hands folded in her lap. "Yes. Mother."
After Bella had endeared her mothers scolding, Bella surpassed her brother, not wanting to be asked questions, and ran to her room where she felt all alone. It was not until her father came to see her that she finally opened up and explained her day.
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After beating Henry about four more times in Cricket, Matthew decided to get back to his studies. This was where he, Bella, and their sister, Marissa, differed. Matthew was studious, always tied down to his schoolwork. Bella was a free spirit, noncommittal to anything that came her way unless she was madly in love with the idea, something their mother seemed not to understand. And Marissa . . . . well, let's just say that Marissa was a little too much like her mother. She'd be a good boarding school head mistress.
Upon returning to his place of residence Sir William made preparations to find the girl he had met when he was at the market after getting himself cleaned he announced he was going back to the market, and he sent out some of his servants to look for a girl named Bella, but to only bring back the information of where she lived so he could retrieve her himself.

searching the market for hours he found no sign of Bella. None of his servants could find any information on her, and thinking he would never find her he was going to give up when he noticed the woman in black that looked like she could break stone with her hard facial features.

"Excuse me Madam. My name is Sir William Alexander." William said adding a little chaarm to his introuction loving the effect he saw that made her attitude shift.

"Good Sir, what is it a woman like myself can do for you?" Mrs. Black said with hunger in her eyes.

"I saw you and your daughter in the market this morn, and was wondring if we could come to some sort of agreement."
"But of course, Sir Alexander." Mrs. Black pasted on her best appeasing expression. Who knew forgetting one's clutch bag in a store could be such a fortunate occassion. "What sort of agreement?"

Sir Alexander gave her a charming smile. "One involving your daughter."

Mrs. Black assessed the man at her front doorstep with a critical eye. He wavy brown hair, sharp green eyes and fit frame made him very attractive indeed, but it was his clothes and baring that truly caught her attention. Everything about him scream aristocracy and money and power. Perfect for her Bella. Mrs. Black smile. And thus, perfect for the family.

"I want her to come and work for me as a servant."

"Servant?!? I thought you wanted my daughter for marriage."

Sir Alexander shook his head firmly at the notion. "Marriage is out of the question. I want her free and clear, Mrs. Black, with none of the trappings of her family. How much do you want for her?"

Mrs. Black shocked to the core of her marrow, but let nothing show on her face. Feeling she was losing ground, she quickly reassessed the situation. She thought of her only daughter, Bella - free spirited, well liked and loved by everyone she met. Beautiful and kind in a way Mrs. Black knew she would never be. Even her husband loved their daughter more than she. But with her gone she might have a chance to be the favorite for once. And she'd be rich to boot.

"Come with me, Sir Alexander. We will discuss this further in my carriage."

When the black carriage arrive, Sir Alexander held the door open for her like a gentleman. Mrs. Black held the handle, but stopped before stepping in to look sternly into his eyes. "Do not think me a docile woman, Sir Alexander. I will take nothing but full value for my daughter."

The expression on his face seemed to harden, but his smirk remained in place. "But of course, Mrs. Black."
Bella felt alive as she ran through the rose garden. After she had explained everything with her father, and finished what she had of schooling, she persuaded her brother to play hide-and-go-seek with her. They had been at it for well over an hour by the time their mom came home.
Bella and Matthew grew quiet when they heard a male voice among their mothers. They snuck around to the front of the house where they saw their mother talking with a strange gentlemen. Bella took a long look at him from around the corner of the house. "He looks oddly familiar, Matthew." Bella whispered. Matthew put his hand on Bella's shoulder right as the stranger man looked their way and smiled. Both siblings ran wide eyed and hid back inside the rose garden and quietly wondered why that man was there.
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Matthew leaned back against the tree. "Don't worry Bella, he's most likely here on business of some sort, no doubt with father. Ow!" Matthew hissed as his arm slipped and plunged into the throny rose bush beside him. "Matthew! Are you alright?" Bella asked, concern in her eyes. "Goodness bella, I'm fine, Just caught in an act of stupidity," he laughed and wiped off his injured finger. Bella stared at him. "Matthew, do you think any of us shall ever find love?" Matthew stared at his sister. "Why of course, Bella. Marissa will find someone just as . . . special . . as she is, and you with your fine beauty and loving nature are bound to attract millions of suitors. You'll choose the right one." he smiled. "And I cannot deny that I may be the most wonderful man in England," Bella smiled, her grin bursting into giggles. The back door opened. "Bella!" called Mrs. Black. Matthew and Bella's laughter stopped. "Well, come on Bell,m let's go see what the old bat wants now," Bella shoved her brother playfully. "Oh Matthew, it's a wonder mother does not sell you in the market!"
Sir Alexander watched her Mrs. Black called all her children over so he could see Bella the object of his affection. He knew that she was the one he had been searching all this time for, and he planned on having her just for himself. Plans were already in motion back at his home, and all that needed doing was the procurement of his lady love.

"Children I would like for you to meet Sir William Alexander." Mrs. Black announced with a greedy expectant air about her.

"Hello Children." William said, with his eyes staying on no one but Bella.
Mrs. Black surveyed her children as they looked at Sir Alexander pensively. She did not blame them for their apprehension for her children were not stupid. They take after me in that respect, she thought smugly to herself. But the time had come for Bella to leave with Sir Alexander. He had paid the handsome price of twenty thousand pounds sterling to have Bella work for him. The condition of her welfare was entirely up to him now.

"Matthew, its time for you to bid farewell to your sister."

Matthew, always the protective one, stepped in front of Bella as she huddled closer to his side. "What do you mean Mother?"

Mrs. Black did her best not to let her satisfaction show on her hard facial features. "Bella will be leaving with Sir Alexander. She works for him now."

Bella gasped and Matthew's face turned red with anger. "You can't! She belongs here."

"No, she belongs to Sir Alexander." Mrs. Black switched her gaze from her son to her daughter. "Bella, go now and pack your things. We must not keep your owner waiting."
Bella, showing frightful and angry tears, looked from her mother, Sir Alexander, to her brother, who had the same tears showing. After moments of silent, and before her mother could yell and grab her arm, Bella sighed sadly, and started to walk out of the room, with her hand in her brothers. As he followed, their mother said, "Oh, Bella, Mathew has to stay here!" Bella and Mathew turned to stare at their mother. "I would not want you two come up with a way to run." Their mother smiled like she had won something, which made Bella blush with anger. Once her mother stopped, Bella looked at her brother, who nodded, and saw a glint in his eye. If there mom only knew that when it came to plans, Bella was the one making them. So she started a little longer at her brother, and sighed like he wanted her to obey. Only when she turned to go up the stairs to her room, she turned her head to look at her mother, and then proceeded to run to the kitchen thinking "Maybe, just maybe, if I can reach the side door in the kitchen, I'll be okay."
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Matthew walked the few steps back towards his mother and Sir Alexander. The bastard. How dare he show up and demand to take his sister? As a servant, no less! And how dare his mother, how dare she sell Bella as if she were an acre of land or a hand-me-down dress? Of all the vile and despicable things, it had to be this. Matthew clenched and unclenched his fists to keep from killing Sir Alexander as he stood smugly before him. "I believe I shall go help Bella pack, we shall be right down," Mrs. Black said, and excused herself. What she might as well have said was 'I'll go make sure Bella doesn't give us the slip. Then I wouldn't get my money.' The bloody witch. Matthew sent dark daggered looks at his sister's buyer but apparently Sir Alexander wasn't paying attention to him. "Don't you dare harm my sister," Matthew said with clenched teeth. "Or, by God's promise, I will kill you." Sir Alexander looked at him, but before he could respond, Mrs. Black escorted Bella, clutching her valise. "Here you are, Sir. Bella, be a good girl." she said curtly. Bella nodded slightly, her eyes round and fearful as she sent a pleading look to her brother. Matthew tried to send her a comforting look, but Sir alexander put a hand on her shoulder and roughly whisked her away to his awaiting carriage. Matthew stared helplessly after them, and Bella glanced over her shoulder at her brother once more, tears filling her eyes. Matthew watched them go, and then called for his own carriage. Maybe, as brother and sister, they could come up with a plan to save Bella. He was going to pay a visit to Marissa.
Alexander sat in the carriage with Bella watching her every movement he could see that she was frightened, but she would soon see that he was doing this to not only make his life better, but to also give her the love that she so rightfully deserved. She passed the first test, but things weren't going to be so easy for the next.

Is she really worthy of my love? Or will she hurt me like all the rest? Alexander thought as he watched her.

She sat on the opposite side of him her breathing was rapid that was evident by the way her chest would rise then fall with quick succession. Alexander feared the girl might faint or pass out before they even step foot into his home that any would love to call home. He felt as if he should say something to calm the storm of thoughts that must have been going through her head.

"So...are you enjoying our ride to my home?" Alexander asked hoping it would be enough to break the ice that had formed between them.

Her response was to stare at him blankly without so much as a word then she turned her head toward the beautiful scene that played itself for her out of the carriage window. She would have enjoyed the tall richly green trees and the manys lakes they passed, but not today she didn't even really see them as they passed her by so quickly all she saw was that her mother had betrayed her and there was nothing anyone could do to change the fact that her life was over.

Alexander kept watching her to see if she would speak or say something to him bu it was futile so he began to do what she was doing he stared out of the window watching how the birds that were of a powder white flew from tree to tree feeding their young then shooting off to gather more food. Alexander had always loved birds ever since he was a youngster, and he wanted to have some of his own, however his father wouldn't have that.

Taken abruptly from the thoughts of him raising birds he saw that they were coming close to their stop in front of his home. He gathered his things together, and when the carriage came to a stop he opened the door and adjusted his hat and cane then took Bella's hand and lead her to the place she would be calling home.
Bella, still frustrated by what her mother has done, sat on the opposite side of the parlor with Sir Alexander. He was checking that everyone was getting their assignments done. As he looked at the list, he saw that there was more work needed in the kitchen. "Do you do well with cooking and cleaning?" Bella nodded quickly, her breathing would not settle, but continued to spike on and off. Sir Alexander nodded, and put her name on the list. "You will start as a maid with bringing out food, and cleaning the kitchen." Bella nodded as she looked around the room. There were portraits and painting every where on the cream colored walls. Another man came through the door, he stood by Sir. Alexander and said things that Bella could not hear. Sir Alexander smiled and had the man go away. "That was Mr. Wells. He will be instructing you on your assignment." Bella only continued to look at the door way, wishing she could run. "Since it is near supper, you will start working tomorrow." "Bella let out a ragged breath and nodded quickly. Sir Alexander got up and stood Bella up. "Now. Let me show you your room."
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Matthew ignored everything on the way to his sister's home. Marissa was working as a governess to three children, but they would all be napping, so Marissa would be free to speak to him. They arrived shortly and Matthew stormed up to the doorstop, rattling the brass knocker. One of the old kitchen maids answered the door. "Is Marissa in?" he asked. The maid nodded. "Something wrong, Mr. Black?" she asked Matthew shook his head impatiently and the maid ran off. She returned moments later with Marissa in tow. "Matthew? This is an unexpected visit," she said, slowly taking in his troubled expression. "Marissa, I must speak to you in private." he said gruffly. Marissa nodded and turned to the maid. "Eliza, will you tell Master and Mistress Taylor that I will be in the courtyard if they need me? I shall be in at half past, at the latest." The old maid nodded and left. Marissa grabbed a shawl and led Matthew out to a bench in the courtyard.

"What is it Matthew? I can tell by your face that not all is as it should be," she said. she grinned slightly. "Don't tell me you came here to complain about someone beating you in cricket." Matthew fixed his sister with a glare. "Marissa, please be serious," he growled. Marissa put on a straight face and nodded. Matthew sighed and looked away from his sister. "Marissa, mother's sold Bella."
Sir Alexander took Bella by the arm ensuring she wouldn't try to run away he could tell by the look on her face adn the way she was acthing that she didn't want to there, but she had to learn that she was his now and he wouldn't be having her runa way on him off to god know's where. He would not be defied, not again the last time was too much to bear.

Taking her up the stairs he lead her to the room that would be hers for right then and if she proved herself worthy then she would be given something more suitable, but right now she would be fixed with the room a few doors down from the maid quarters so they could keep an eye on her incase she got it in her mind to bolt. The hallway was decorated with all sorts of paintings of his past relatives and his most recent late parents who he loved dearly.

"This will be your room Bella, if there is anything that you need all you need to do is pull that rope there and someone will come to serve you." Sir Alexander said pointing to the rope that was located next to her bed of purple silken sheets adorned with a golden dragon.

Bella said not a word only looked drearily at the room, and if it weren't for the way she made it here she would be happy but yet again she was here against her will so her only thoughts were that of trying to find a way to get out of this situation.Oh, how she wished she could be back at home with her family, and she missed Matthew and most of all she missed her father who she needed the most he always understand her and would help her in any way.

"Bella?" Sir Alexander said taking her out of her own thoughts with a start. "Bella, tomorrow you will start your work, and I hope you're able to make the best out of all of this, and around 7 o'clock get yourself cleaned up. We'll be having dinner at 8 and I won't tolerate tardiness." Sir Alexander informed.
Mrs. Black sat in the lounge with her delicate needlepoint in her lap. A lukewarm cup of tea sat at her elbow as she worked on her embroidery while humming under her breath. Every few moments her face would break out into a wide grin the realization of what she had done. Bella was finally out of the house and she was several thousand pounds richer. At the moment she was far above content.

The front door opened with a gush of wind as Mr. Black stepped inside. Her husband looked the part of a middle-aged man well with a widening paunch to add to the effect. However, he was a jovial fellow, which was why almost everyone liked him. Except me, she thought sourly. Where once her husband was the true apple of her eye, he was now nothing but a harsh reminder of how their lives had faded into obscurity.

"Good evening, dear." He took his hat and overcoat off, handing them to the maid for her to hang. "I trust your day has been well."

Her cat of a smile quickly spread across her face. "It was quite well indeed."

Mr. Black frowned as he looked up at the ceiling to the second floor. "The quiet is unnerving. Where are the children?"

A spark of unease ignited in Mrs. Black's stomach. How ever was she going to tell him what happened?
Bella waiting until she knew Sir Alexander was gone that she sat on the bed and brawled. Oh how she hated her position. To be taken away from her family was on her list of deep fears. "Why?! She cried loudly. "Why ever me? I don't even know the man!How can he expect me to make the best of this horrid situation?!" She cried harshly into the hem of her dress and did not stop until she it was half hour to 7:30. With seeing the time, she got up and rummiged through the clothing she brought and tried to pick out the most plain full dress possible. She found one- sort of. The dress she decided to wear was a pale blue with small white roses printed all over the gown that were attached by red vines. After she dressed, she did not know what to wear for shoes, so she decided to go without, for now. She also decided not to wear makeup, for she feared it would smear for she knew she would end up crying again, so she tried to find a place to wash her face. Once she did, she made sure no one was around, and when it was clear she washed her face and hands and went back to her room. When she got there, she was still alone, and it was ten minutes to 8. "Time to go." Bella sighed. She finally decided to wear her the only shoes she had, a half inch healed, white shoe. She rubbed her eyes one last time, and made her way to the dining room.
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Marissa blinked. "What?" she half expected her brother to leap up, point at her, and laugh. "I got you, Marissa!" he would say. She waited for it to come. But it didn't. "Are you serious? How? And Why? To Whom?" she cried. "Apparently the man, a Sir Alexander, saw mother and Bella in the market and decided he wanted to have her. Mother sold her for a few thousand pounds." Marissa gasped. "Does father know?" Matthew shook his head. "And I do not want to be there when Mother tells him. He will be furious." Marissa nodded, troubled. "Wait here. I'll be right back," Marissa said. She walked back to the house and was back in a few moments. "I told the Taylor's that there was a family hardship and they excused me from tonight's duties," Marissa explained. "What are we going to do?" Matthew asked. Marissa smiled. "I believe we shall pay a dinner visit to Sir Alexander and see what we can do about getting our sister back." Matthew smiled back and they hopped into their carriage.
Sir Alexander had been at the door that leads to Bella’s room about to enter and tell her news that he was going to set a special dance up for the both of them when he overheard her crying. It made his heart weep that being his woman would make her cry in such a way.

“Am I that bad that she can never be happy?” Sir Alexander thought sadly.

"Why?! She cried loudly. "Why ever me? I don't even know the man! How can he expect me to make the best of this horrid situation?!" She cried harshly in a muffled tone.

Sir Alexander could bear it no longer and walked away from the door sick with heartache for he knew at that instance that she would never truly love him and that he was wasting his time with her. However, he bought her from her mother and he would treat her accordingly with respect. Maybe just maybe she would learn to love him and if not then at least he would have helped such a pretty girl as Bella get away from a mother who would jump at the chance to sell her to someone who was of ill nature.

Sir Alexander walked out into his garden near the brook that ran all along his property to pick flowers personally for Bella to have when their dinner was over. Seeing beautiful roses that had the softest hint of pink to them, Sir Alexander picked them receiving a most painful prick with a thorn. After wrapping his hand, he gave the flowers he picked to one of his servants and told them to put the roses in water then only after Bella leaves the rooms were they to place the flowers in there so she would be surprised when she went to bed.

After making sure his orders would be followed to the letter, he went to wash up for dinner. Sir Alexander took extra care to make sure he looked good for the dinner he would be having with Bella tonight. Satisfied he looked his best he made his way down to dinner at 7:00 so that he could greet Bella as she entered the Dining room. When Bella entered through the huge Oak doors of the Dining room Sir Alexander was taken aback by how beautiful Bella was though he could see that she was not happy yet there was no denying the fact that Bella was beautiful.
Bella and Sir. Alexander ate in silence as they sat at each end of the table, which Bella was a little thankful for. As each dish was served by the maids in the kitchen, Bella was well aware of their glares while she sat, head, and silent. She could only imagine what she would endure the following day when she starts to work.
Sir Alexander did try to start a conversation, but all she did was raise her head up enough to meet his gaze and then quickly take her eyes off him and back to her never ending plate of food.

Once dinner was done, Sir Alexander had the maids clean up as he went to stand beside Bella, now staring at her lap. "I meant to tell you this earlier, but you were upset." He started. Bella looked up at him with shock and guilt. 'He heard me crying.' She thought. 'What else could have heard?' Sir Alexander's expression changed into sadness as he saw the pained expression on Bella's face. "Oh, dear, drear, do not look at me that way." He pleaded. Instantly, Bella regained her composure, and then stared at him with curiosity, wondering why it would hurt him to see her upset. "As I was saying, though." He cleared his throat. "I set up a special dance for us." He said this with optimism. Bella, still curious, looked up at him with a smile. Bella loved dancing and even though her lessons had been a pain, it was a way for her and her father to relate and get away from the worries of the world. Her smile lit up Sir Alexander's, and he lead her to the dance hall without a second thought.
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Well, as luck would have it, carriage traffic did not allow Marissa and Matthew to arrive at Sir Alexander's home until a bit past the time when most were finished with their suppers. They did arrive, however.

"May I help you?" the maid who answered the door asked. "Yes," Matthew said curtly. "We demand an audience with Sir Alexander immediately," he stated. She nodded, eyes wide with wondering what her master had gotten himself into now.

"Who shall I say is requesting this audience?" she asked, as was her duty. "Matthew and Marissa Black," Matthew responded. "And what shall I tell the master it is pertaining to?" the maid asked. "His newest maid," Matthew spat the word with disgust. "A Miss Bella Black." The maid nodded and bade them to sit in the parlor.

It would not be long until he would see his sister again and hopefully reach some a agreement with this horrid man.
A deep warm sensation ran throughout Sir Alexander's body when he saw the look of joy on Bella's face at the mention of the dance he had set up for them. Her hand felt so warm and small in his larger one. Turning to her as he came to a stop in the middle of the ballroom he saw that she had a smile that made his heart melt and he almost lost his composure from the desire to kiss her beautiful lips.

Sir Alexander took Bella's other hand in his as he stared into her eyes getting ready to move across the ballroom floor with her when they were interrupted.

"My lord, A Matthew Black requests an audience."


The carriage rocked slightly back and forth as it rode hastily down the lane. Mrs. Black twisted her hands in her lap, a clear sign of her agitation. She should be somewhat grateful, she thought as she stared unseeingly out the window. There was no clear explanation she could give her husband about Bella's new position, and she knew he would be greatly upset by the news.

"This definitely a problem."

It had been a tactical advantage, however, when the maid had interrupted their conversation to say Matthew had gone off to see Sir Alexander in the company of Marissa. Her stark expression of rage had been mistaken by her dolt of a husband as a sign of fear.

Disgust curled her lip. "Imbecile of a man."

She would fix this and her husband. There was no other choice. But when she was done, her children would know she was not a woman to trifle with.

The carriage halted in front of Sir Alexander's estate beside a hired coach she was sure her elder children had taken to save their precious sister. With haste, Mrs. Black stepped out onto the gravel road and intercepted Marissa and Matthew much to their surprise.

Mrs. Black grabbed both of their forearms. "What on Earth do you two think you are doing?"

Just then the door opened.
"Mother?" Bella asked shocked. She, Sir Alexander, Matthew, Marissa and Mrs. Black stood outside. Mrs. Black straightened out and let go of Matthew and Marissa. Sir Alexander did not look pleased to see the three of them. "What is your business here, Mrs. Black?" Sir Alexander tried to control his temper. She shook her shoulders and answered. "I have come to collect my two eldest children from harming any arrangement we have made." Matthew scowled at his mother and uttered a disgusted cry. "Let us leave, Matthew, Marissa you have work to do." Marissa looked helpless at her younger sisters pleading eyes as she stood, tightly, to the side of Sir Alexander, who looked like he would never let go of her. Sir Alexander, looking at Marissa and Matthew, asked, "What then is your business here?" Matthew glared at him. "I've come to take back my sister!" Marissa nodded and stepped forward to take Bella's hand. Sir Alexander, now very mad, turned Bella sharply out of there view. "I am afraid I cannot allow you to take her." "Now, if you may. Leave in peace with your mother." Matthew and Marissa did not move, and Matthew was now locked in a fighting position, and seeing the threat, Sir Alexander was as well. "NO!" Bella yelled as they were about to fight. She ran to her brother and hugged him. "Stop it, please." She whispered in a pleading cry. "But Bella-" Matthew was about to argue. "Please, let us not turn this into murder. I know how you get when you feel threatened." Bella buried her head into Matthews chest. "Come back within a year. Maybe then he will be so sick of me that he will make a deal." "Bella-" "Matthew, listen to her." Marissa whispered. "She knows what she's doing." Matthew, through pleading eyes, looked from both his sisters, now in a tight goodbye hug. "I love you." They all said together.
Once there fair well was over, Matthew and Marissa left, and soon after Sir Alexander lead Bella back inside, the most forgotten Mrs. Black, very angered, went back to her carriage and went home.
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Matthew was in a rage. His mother was a horrid beast, his sister Marissa trusted too eagerly in a young girl's words, Bella was to blind to see clearly her own situation of danger, and his father was being an ignorant fool, letting his own daughter be sold off for her mother's whims! Then a thought struck Matthew. It was possible that father didn't know about all of this. It would be entirely like his mother to not breathe a word to this to their father, at least for a day or so until he noticed Bella's disappearance.

Matthew did not beat his mother home, as he wished he could do, seeing as he still and to take Marissa back to her governess job. So it was nearly twilight when Matthew stopped his carriage at home and the stableboy took over. He walked up to the house and let himself in, almost frightening one of the passing maids out of her wits. He then strode into the sitting room, where mother and father spent their evenings. Mother and Father both looked up when he banged the door open, and he saw the flicker of fury in his mother's eyes. "Matthew, my boy! Will you come and study by the fireside with your father?" Mr. Black asked with a cheery smile, obviously not noting the tension in their room.

"Oh, and where is dear Bella? Call her and we can have a game of tiddlywinks," he chortled. Matthew directed a cold stare at his mother, one that clearly showed his disgust, and spoke. "Father, I need to have a private word with you. Now."
"Matthew!" Mrs. Black said sternly. "Now is not the time to bother your father with nonsense."

Mr. Black, as if suddenly noticing the tension in the room, glanced back and forth between his son and wife. His easy smile turned into a concerned frown. "What is going on in this house?"

She wasn't ready. Now was not the time for her well conceived plan to go out the window. One more day, that's all she needed. One more day of Bella being out of the house and her meddling son to stop his ill-placed feelings of sentimentality.

Taking control of the frantic emotions building up inside, Mrs. Black folded her hands delicately in her lap with a serene appearance gracing her face. She may not have a hold on her son, but she still had power over her husband. "Matthew, please go to your room while I talk with your father."

"But...Father!"

"Matthew," Mr. Black ordered sternly. He was confused and wanting some understanding from his wife. His voice softened as he glanced back at his son. "Matthew, my boy. I'll be up to talk with you in a minute. Let me speak with your mother a moment."

Mrs. Black kept her expression blank, but there was a spark of triumph in her eyes as she watched Matthew sulk up the stair, anger radiating from the clenched hands at his side. She had not lost the game yet.

"Tell me wife," Mr. Black said moments later as he took seat in his chair. "What is this ruckus all about?'
Bella hurried through her chores. She was very tired, and it was already noon and she had practically done nothing. She stayed up all night with nightmares of the day before. She had also been an hour late starting her l chores as well. So it was very safe to say she was freaking out. Like she also knew yesterday, the maids who she thought were glaring at had loaded her with a ton of work, so they were all ready on 'lunch break.'
What helped though, was that Sir. Alexander was off on a business run and would be gone all day. As long as she got everything done, and stayed working all day, she would make sure the maids could not blame her. The last thing she wanted was to get into false trouble.
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Matthew Black had not the patience to wait for his father to come and share with him any lies that his mother had told. How could she sell her daughter into servitude? And then lie to her husband? And expect her other children to forget all about it as if it were natural for their sister to be here one day and gone the next.

So, instead, Matthew paced around his rather large room, trying to think of what else he could possibly try. He had tried confronting his sister's new master- a word he thought with loathing- he had tried talking to his father, and he and Marissa had failed at both.

Then, Matthew got another idea. he pulled out the ladder he'd made out of bedsheets when he was a boy and slipped quietly out the window. he hit the ground running and didn't stop until he reached the large house that his friend Henry lived in. Matthew picked up a few stones from the garden and threw them up to his friend's window. Hopefully Henry remembered the signal- they hadn't done it in so long now that they were both older and now gentlemen who were civilized and just knocked on each other's doors.

But soon Henry's face appeared in the window. "Matthew?" he asked. Matthew nodded. "Henry, I need your help- Bella's in trouble."

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