Darcy's daughter Charity has a strange romance.
Charity Darcy was having her season. Her parents had been planning this ball for her season and wanted her to find a husband. At seventeen years old, she had to wonder what was the hurry and fuss about. The servants were running rampant and there was enough food to feed all of England. Flowers were all over the tables. The band was assembling. Charity's mother Elizabeth was calm as could be. She was giving last minute instructions to the servants. Charity felt like Cinderella in her beautiful blue dress and she nervously fiddled with her white gloves. Her pretty eyes looked lavender and she brushed her dark hair away from her face. Her mother was beautiful but she had gotten her looks from her father. He was the most handsome man ever. Charity wasn't worried about that. Her brother Jason was away at college and wouldn't be here tonight. She missed talking to him. He promised his father he would take a wife after college. Women had to be married while they were still young and with men, there was no age limit. Charity looked around Pemberly. Chandeliers, red velvet chairs and the room was huge. Pemberly seemed like a country all by itself but it was a big mansion. Darcy was the richest man on this side of England. Her thoughts were interrupted by her mother calling her. Their first guest had arrived.
Lord Brice Ashby had arrived. He was the most handsome man outside of Darcy. Charity liked him. He was in his twenties and owned a textile industry. He was single and had dinner at the Darcy's a few times. Lord Ashby grabbed a hold of Charity's hand and kissed it. He had never done that.
"You look lovely, Miss Charity. I hope you will save me a dance or two."
"I will be happy to."
"She is a beauty." Lord Ashby said out loud and walked away to talk to other guests. Darcy came up beside Charity and kissed his daughter's cheek. "Have a good time tonight." He whispered in her ear that there would be plenty of men here to see her. He hoped she would find a husband.
Charity sighed. The h word again. She loved her life at Pemberly. She had a father and a brother. She didn't need a husband. More guests arrived. The Stephens family who had a tea industry greeted Charity along with their son Warren who was clumsy and his hair always looked greasy. The Dommers, The Lewis family, Monroes, Daltons, Aberdons and other families showed up with their sons and daughters. Charity admired her mother being the gracious host. Charity was introduced to people she didn't know and greeted ones she already knew. She didn't like any of their sons. A husband? The only acceptable one so far was Brice. She saw the military men. They were all dressed in blue. Darcy would be so upset. Charity had heard all military men were bad because of Wickum. She wouldn't marry a military man. This ball was her parents idea.
The guests were all here. More may show up later. Darcy announced the band would play and refreshments were being served. The band played and three men were in line to ask Charity to dance. Brice was first. Charity accepted a dance with him. He had blue piercing eyes. She liked how he held her. Maybe she could just dance with him all night. Brice smiled at her. He had a nice smile. The dance ended and another man Darrell Lewis asked her to dance. He had two left feet and stepped on her foot. He got his ring caught in her hair. Would this dance never end?
The dance did end and her Aunt Jane and Uncle Charles had arrived along with her Aunt Mary and Uncle Trent. Georgiana had come down to join the ball. Charity hugged her aunts and they wished her well. As she turned around, a military soldier asked her to dance. She accepted.
"My name is Captain Jerome Finley. You must be Miss Charity Darcy."
"I am." Charity went out unto the dance floor with the Captain. He held her tight. She didn't like this. He had been drinking and she wanted to get away from him. He wasn't a good dancer. This dance seemed like forever but it was finally over and Brice asked her to dance with him again. They laughed and hugged. They danced the next four dances.
Charity accepted dances with two other young men. A young man named Lawrence Aberdon and he dragged her out unto the dance floor and another older man in his thirties Jason Monakay asked her to dance and he wouldn't even take off his hat and it kept brushing against her neck. After this dance, Jerome grabbed her for another dance and he nibbled her neck. Luckily, Brice cut in and danced with her. The one maid Millie gave her dirty looks and she had no idea why. Brice held her just right and after the dance, he got her punch and took her outside.
"Thank you, Lord Ashby. You rescued me."
"I was more then happy to. You know I have had my sights set on you for the past year. As a gentleman, I want to tell you that I love you and I want to marry you. Your father has given us his blessing. He said it is up to you. I promise to be good to you and you will be well provided for. You know I have wealth."
Charity was taken by surprise. She wasn't in love but he always made her laugh and had bought flowers for her once. They had went out riding once and she and her parents had a picnic with him. This man was right for her. She wanted to marry him.
"Yes, Lord Ashby, I want to marry you. I promise to love you. Love is new to me but you are the only man I want or would ever want."
Lord Ashby gave Charity a quick kiss and they went to tell her father. Darcy was thrilled and they told Elizabeth and Darcy announced Charity and Brice's engagement. Captain Jerome Finley was not happy. The ball ended and the guests had all left. Lord Ashby was invited to stay at Pemberly.
Charity went to her room after biding Brice good night He kissed her cheek. Elizabeth came up to her room.
"Are you happy, my daughter?"
"I am, Mother. I feel something for him. He is the only one I wanted to dance with. He is handsome, isn't he mother? I won't have a problem let him make love to me."
"A lady doesn't speak of these things. He will be gentle with you. He does love you."
Elizabeth hugged her daughter good night. She went to her room. Charity fell asleep but was awakened a little later by Millie.
"Millie. What is wrong?"
"Miss. Your mother. She is sick. She came to my room and fainted. Your father isn't here. I don't know what to do. Come Miss."
Charity followed Millie to her room and they opened the door. Elizabeth wasn't there.
"Mother isn't here. What is going on?"
"No, she isn't." Just then Jerome and two large men grabbed Charity and one put his hand over her mouth.
Millie looked at Jerome and tossed her blonde hair aside. "I am going with you. I can't stay here. We can share the ransom money and get married."
"Married? No way. You are delusional. I am leaving and I don't love you or want you."
Jerome and the men took Charity outside and Millie was yelling. Jerome slapped Millie and gagged her and tied her up. The men were taking Charity to the woods. She was being kidnapped. Where was her father? What was going to happen to her. Millie. She thought Millie was a devoted servant. Charity couldn't fight the men and now, she had a gag over her mouth and couldn't breathe. This was awful.
Just then a loud howling noise was heard and a growling. A big, gray and white wolf appeared. The men were scared and ran off and so did Jerome. Charity fell to the ground. She watched the wolf and she looked into his eyes. She knew he wouldn't hurt her. The wolf looked at her with kindness but turned and ran after Jerome. The wolf and men went farther into the woods and they screamed. Charity fainted. When she came to, Darcy, her mother and Brice were there. Her mother hugged her and Darcy did, too and then Brice held her.
"Millie helped that military soldier Jerome kidnap me. He was her lover or something. There was this wolf. He looked at me with kindness but he ran after Jerome and those men. What if Jerome comes back?"
"He won't. The wolf got them. They are dead. The wolf's howls is what woke us up. Millie has been arrested." Darcy kissed his daughter's cheek.
"You are safe, baby girl. Darcy, what about the wolf?" Elizabeth asked.
"I don't think he will be back. There hasn't been a wolf here in years. We will have men guard the place. Don't worry." Darcy looked at Brice and nodded. Charity and Elizabeth were hugging and didn't see the look. Truth be told, one of them was able to turn into a wolf but only did when there was danger. Better to think that a wolf had just showed up and let it be a mystery. Supernatural things weren't discussed. It was better this way.
"You are safe, my Darling. We have the wolf to thank for that. I love you and told you that I will always keep you safe." Brice hung on tightly to Charity.
Charity and Lord Ashby were married and she never saw the wolf again. The wolf had saved her. Charity and Lord Brice Ashby were very happy and they lived by Pemberly in a nice mansion. Charity never mentioned the wolf again but she had a feeling Brice and her father knew something about the wolf but Charity let it go. Life was good so why worry?
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