Chapter 2: Contract marriage (2)
“Did your father set this up” It was the only plausible scenario for Edgar.
“My father has no idea that I am out here speaking to you, Duke Edgar. I have told you the party is on the inside. No one was supposed to see me passing by. My father wont be pleased to see you here with me,” Alessandra replied with the honest truth.
Not many people could say they often saw the barons daughter since Desmond kept his daughter out of sight. Alessandra wasnt of any use to him thanks to the mask she wore and the rumors surrounding her.
“Everything I say right now has nothing to do with my father. I leave it up to you to believe me. I am not interested in marrying anyone for love. I only wish to leave this place and never look back.”
“What is it Your father has plans to marry you off to a man far older than you or is he just shipping you off somewhere you do not wish to go Has to be something drastic for you to ask a man you dont know to marry you,” Edgar pressed his cigar against the stone wall to end it.
“It is suffocating to be here. I am forgotten by my own father. I do not care for your looks Duke Edgar nor your money or anything else others might want. Frankly, I only see you as an escape,” she explained her reasoning for choosing him.
Their meeting was completely unexpected on her side but Alessandra didnt want to leave without proposing what she had in mind.
“Ive heard my family speak of how the king wishes for you to get married. For a man who does not wish to have any romantic relationships with anyone, I might be a good choice. I will live quietly like a ghost, taking care of what you want of me, and I shall never love you.”
“Is that so” For once in his life, Edgar did not find her words unbelievable. Still, he wasnt looking to entertain the idea of being married to her just yet. “It isnt hard for me to find an actress to play the role of my wife.”
“If it was so easy you would have done so already,” Alessandra said, seeing through his bluff. He most likely needed a wife who would make sense to the king. “If the king has done this to toy with you, choosing a wife like me will certainly make him regret this.”
The corners of Edgars mouth lifted. “You are quick on your feet. This is why I keep telling my peers not to believe rumors. Its said countless times that Alessandra Barrett is just a timid girl who freaks out and runs away when spotted by someone.”
“You are said to be a monster but you sound human to me. I do what I must to survive here. If you do not wish to do a contract with me, I shall leave you be,” Alessandra took one step forward and then waited for an answer.
When Edgar did not respond, she took another step thinking the man did not want any plans in what she was offering him but then, he surprised her.
“Meet me at my residence tomorrow. We will further discuss this there and then I will give you my answer.”
Alessandra turned around in a haste, almost making herself fall. She was surprised because he was actually contemplating it but was even more surprised Edgar wanted her to meet him at his residence. “I dont leave here.”
“I gathered that from you sneaking around. It is a test for you. I want to see how determined you are. Im sorry to end our conversation here but I have stayed at your home longer than I wanted to. It was nice chatting with you, Alessandra. Hopefully, we shall see each other soon,” Edgar turned on his heel to go back inside to find her father.
Alessandra began to panic as she thought of how she would meet with the Duke tomorrow. At least he seemed to be taking her seriously unless he would have a crowd waiting to laugh at her for believing he would marry her even with a contract. “We shall see each other tomorrow,” she promised.
“Duke Edgar Who are you speaking to” Kate Barrett, the younger daughter of the Baron stepped outside.
She heard the Duke was all alone and thought to give him some company. Seeing the Duke walking away while her fathers daughter was standing outside made her blood boil.
Kate thought highly of herself. She used her looks to elevate her position amongst her pairs. She was identical to her mother with blonde hair and blue eyes. Two things she believed made her more beautiful compared to everyone else.
Dressed like a doll, Kate was hoping to have a word with the Duke and catch his interest. She begged her father to have a moment alone with the Duke but Alessandra had stolen it away from her.
“I hope she did not offend you, Duke Edgar. She was not meant to be out here,” Kate glared at Alessandra, warning her to run away.
“Hmm,” Edgar stopped right beside Kate. “She has not offended me. Not like your father has.”
“Thank goodness. She-”
“It might be due to me being an only child but shouldnt you be referring to her as your sister or at least by her name” Edgar quickly picked up that the younger girl did not like the older one.
Seeing the Duke speaking to her sister, Alessandra used this chance to run away before any of them would ask her to speak. She wished Kate would have stayed inside rather than come out.
Now that Kate knew she had spoken to the Duke, all hell would break loose tomorrow.
Edgar listened quietly to the sound of Alessandra running away while Kate tried to think of a good answer for what he had asked her. He wondered what Alessandra was so afraid of when it came to Kate.
“You are correct, Duke Edgar. It has to do with you not having any siblings. When siblings argue, we tend to do petty things but I love my older sister. As you can see, she is extremely shy and can be awkward. That is why I was concerned she might have offended you,” Kate put on her mask of being a good sister.
She would do anything to make the Duke see she was a good person. There was no one else she saw worthy of being her husband.
“If that makes you sleep better at night,” Edgar proceeded to walk away after Alessandra had gotten far away. If only he was in her position and not the one stuck with Kate.
“You know Duke, I was hoping for some alone time between the two of us. I wish to show you that I can be an excellent choice for your wife,” Kate followed behind him, gripping his arm to slow him down.
Edgar sighed annoyed with Kate who could not take a hint. The Baron and his wife raised her to be like a spoiled princess. Fortunately, he had experience with an actual spoiled princess to know how to handle Kate. “Is there some misconception that I am looking for a wife who can only please me in bed” He smacked her hand away.
If anyone were to see them like this. rumors would quickly spread. He did not feel the need to add another rumor to the long list he had.
“Im sorry,” Kate was caught off guard by him denying her advances. There were plenty of men who would jump at what she was doing for Edgar. “You visit the red light district.”
Edgar shrugged his shoulders not seeing what that had to do with his future wife. “Who is to say I do not go there to read a book”
“It is awfully loud there.”
“I work better when there is a lot of noise around but please enlighten me, what do you know of how loud it is” Edgar grinned, enjoying the sight of Kate realizing her mistake. “What on earth would the Barons daughter be doing there unless you are listening to the gossip of what others do there”
“N-No. You are misunderstanding,” Kate tried to clear it up right away. She had never visited such a place.
“Understand this Kate. What you are doing will never entice me. Besides, Ive received a better offer. Excuse me,” Edgar stated before leaving Kate behind both utterly confused and embarrassed.