Chapter 6: Contract conditions (1)
“Young master, I have brought your breakfast,” the butler, Alfred said as he entered Edgars study with a tray.
He found it odd Edgar was not seated at his desk as he normally would. Instead, Edgar was peering out his window which had a clear view of the entrance of his home.
Alfred placed the tray down on the desk and straightened it out before turning around to see if there was anything else Edgar would need. Unfortunately, it did not seem like Edgar realized he was even there.
“Young master,” Alfred called out again.
“Good morning Alfred,” Edgar looked away from the window to Alfred standing behind him. “Thank you for breakfast.”
“Are you expecting guests Should I prepare breakfast for them or have drinks prepared” Alfred figured that was the reason Edgar was staring out the window.
The only person Edgar did this for was his mother but it wasnt due to him being excited about her visit. Instead, Edgar did this to see who was tagging along with his mother so he would know to abruptly leave home.
“I am honestly not sure. I gave her the invitation but it is not certain she will arrive unless she is truly desperate,” Edgar went back to looking out his window. He was curious to see if Alessandra really would visit him.
She was never seen out in public so her coming all the way here to make a marriage contract with him was intriguing.
“A woman visiting In broad daylight” Alfred was utterly surprised.
Edgar frowned, turning to look at Alfred once again. “What are you trying to say, Alfred That I am some kind of whore”
“Yes,” Alfred bowed.
Edgar couldnt believe Alfred had answered honestly. Had it been anyone else, Edgar would have sent them out but Alfred was a long-time friend and father figure. “I am not. Please refrain from saying such a thing if the guest is to arrive. She might become the lady of this house.”
“W-What,” Alfred had to hold onto the desk to stop himself from falling.
Edgar stared unamused at Alfreds dramatic reaction. “Why are you acting like its such a surprise I would get a wife”
After a brief moment, Alfred recollected himself since he needed to get the truth. “Your exact words when the king suggested you marry where I am never **ing getting married. I would rather jump from the roof and die. Maybe I misinterpreted those words. I apologize.”
“Alfred, I sincerely believe I inherited my dramatic nature from you. I am not interested in marriage but the woman I met last night was intriguing. A perfect way to piss off the king and ward off some people from around me.”
“I do not understand,” said Alfred. How would the lady coming piss off the king and ward off others
“It will be self-explanatory if she arrives today. If a Barrett comes to visit me, let them in. Not the father,” Edgar added since he could not stand the man.
“Barrett Is it Kate” Alfred spoke softly. She wasnt what Alfred had in mind to be Edgars wife nor did he see how intriguing she was. “Did you drink at the party last night Edgar”
“No, I only had a quick smoke break,” Edgar replied, leaving the window to see what Alfred brought him for breakfast.
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“Smoke Excuse me, I shall check all your cigars,” Alfred bowed, ready to leave the room to check Edgars supply.
“What the ** for” Edgar looked to Alfred for an explanation.
“If you find Kate Barrett to be intriguing-”
“Are you crazy” Edgar stopped Alfred in his tracks. “The baron has another daughter. Alessandra Barrett is the older one.”
“Thank goodness,” Alfred held his chest and sighed.
“You are aware of the rumors concerning her right” Edgar believed Alfred shouldnt be so relieved yet.
“Anyone is better than Kate in my book. If that younger girl were to become your wife, I would finally retire after forty years. We are not so sure Alessandra will even arrive. When was the last time you-”
A knock at the door interrupted Alfred.
Alfred excused himself to see who had come to see Edgar. He opened the door to find a maid, seemingly scared, hand him a paper before going back to her duty. Alfred closed the door as he read the paper. “It appears we are in for a surprise. Alessandra Barrett wishes to have an audience with you.”
Edgar was pleasantly surprised to hear she had arrived already or even that she came at all. “Invite her to my study.”
“Yes young master,” Alfred bowed, then proceeded to do as he was told.
“Stop bowing so much Alfred. You are not a priest,” Edgar said as Alfred left the room. “Alessandra Barrett, what an interesting person you are.”
Edgar wanted to judge if the baron truly had nothing to do with Alessandra wanting to get married. Their meeting wouldnt have been that coincidental as he told the baron he was going out to smoke and then Alessandra magically appeared.
The only thing making Edgar believe this might be a coincidence was the baron not sending his younger daughter.
Meanwhile, Alessandra exited the carriage her father gave for her to ride around for the day. Luckily, Mario had spoken to the coachman and nothing about this visit was to be mentioned to her father.
If the coachman showed any signs of betraying what he promised, Alessandra didnt mind playing into the rumors about herself to threaten the man.
“This is huge,” Alessandra commented as she looked around the entrance of the Dukes estate. It was no wonder why he was the biggest catch to get married to. The man was filthy rich. “Good morning,” she said as armored men walked pass her.
“Good morning,” they replied in unison.
Alessandra was surprised they had not flinched when they looked at her mask.At least the guards here are not afraid of stupid rumors, she thought.
Moments later, the large doors of Edgars home opened up revealing a man in butler clothes.
“Welcome Alessandra Barrett. The Duke is expecting you,” Alfred greeted the young woman. He did not react to her mask and made sure not to stare at it since the action would be rude. He made a mental note to tell the other workers to do the same.
“Good morning. Its nice to meet you,” Alessandra said as she approached Alfred. She held out her hand to properly greet the man when she stood in front of him.
Alfred shook her hand happily. It was rare for many of Edgars guests to greet him like this but Alessandra did it without a second thought. “Come, I shall lead the way.”
Alessandra felt unable to breathe when she entered the Dukes home for the first time. The Duke appeared to be a collector of many paintings Alessandra wished she could get her hands on. The home was painted in white with countless famous paintings around.
She was amazed by the interior of the home but once she realized how much she was ogling at it, she cleared her throat and just looked ahead to where the butler was taking her.
“Im sorry. I did not get your name,” Alessandra said after she noticed she had not asked for the butlers name.
“Alfred,” he replied.
“Nice to meet you, Alfred,” Alessandra smiled.
“He is in here,” Alfred knocked on the door and then opened it for Alessandra to walk in. He did not know how Edgar and Alessandra got to the point of wanting to marry each other but Alfred was starting to like the young woman.
“Thank you,” Alessandra told Alfred before entering the room. She felt her heart skip a beat when the door closed behind her and Alfred had not come in behind her.
“I wasnt expecting you to show up but if you did, breakfast time was not my guess,” Edgar sat at his desk watching her every move. He began to inspect the type of person Alessandra was.
“Was I meant to come in the night as a thief would” Alessandra responded without thinking.