Chapter 7: Contract conditions (2)
“I suppose coming at night would have made my men think you were a criminal. Take a seat,” Edgar pointed to the free chair on the other side of his desk. “I am extremely curious to know how you were able to leave your fathers home when it is said you never leave. Did you play a trick on your father or did he let you out willingly”
As Alessandra was taking a seat, she digested Edgars words carefully. “I am not working with my father. In fact, he would never allow me to visit this place. He would even call me crazy for thinking you would ever invite me into your home.”
“Does your father hate you” Edgar bluntly asked. There was no point in beating around the bush when what they were here to discuss was serious.
Alessandra thought about it before giving her answer. “I dont think my father hates me. He is ashamed of me. Who would want a daughter with a reputation like mine in a world like this”
“It is a parents job to love their child no matter what. Its a shame you were born as a barons daughter. You would have been loved elsewhere.” To Edgar, it was only people with wealth who cared to distance themselves from someone all because of reputations.
“If I were the daughter of farmers they would have rightfully cast me aside to sell their crops-”
“Why would something so drastic happen to a farmers daughter for her to end up wearing a mask Whatever you are hiding, it was done because you are a barons daughter right” Asked Edgar. “High society is quite competitive.”
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Edgar was well aware of the things young women do to others they were jealous of. Alessandra was no doubt in the line of someones jealousy.
“Yes,” Alessandra gave up since he was right. It all happened due to her being a barons daughter.
“Someone must have been really jealous of you, Alessandra. Fine, lets say I believe this is all your planning and your father is not involved. Why would someone who has lived a vast majority of their life in hiding want to marry someone who has the spotlight on them”
“Truthfully, me asking you about marriage was something that just slipped out of my mouth. I was looking for someone to get married to but I never pictured that person to be as grand as you. I have considered three things, Duke Edgar. One, you are a private person so there would be no need for me to mingle with many people. Two, I can ward off people from coming around you. Lastly, you are capable of controlling my family,” she explained.
Before falling asleep last night, Alessandra thought critically of the benefits of marrying Edgar. If she were to bring someone below her fathers status, her father and stepmother could easily push that person away and Alessandra would have to stay caged up.
Now, if a man like Edgar were to come asking for her hand in marriage, her father could hardly object to it. Her main objective was to get away from her home.
“It is true that I like to keep to myself but there are few parties I need to attend whether it is hosted by family, friends, or work-related. Am I to show up without my wife It would be boring if you hid all the time,” said Edgar. He was not looking to have his wife be a prisoner.
“You are misunderstanding something, Duke Edgar. I never hid because I wanted to. I did what I was told to. I would love to go out and view the town, attend parties, and dance around. I might not have the experience and my confidence might need to increase but I do not wish to live in the shadows anymore,” she looked right into his eyes as she made this confession.
Alessandra did not care to mingle with too many people not important to Edgar, instead, she wanted to go out and start enjoying her life.
“Hmm,” Edgar made a humming sound as he contemplated something. “A week ago, I would have never entertained this conversation with you but I am in the mood to play games,” he placed a piece of paper on his desk.
“What is this” Alessandra asked as she looked at the paper with fancy designs on the edges.
“A contract marriage needs to have rules and conditions right” Edgar pushed the paper, a pen, and ink towards her. “Lets get started.”
Alessandras eyes widened as she realized he had officially accepted her proposal for them to get married.Isnt this a little too easy I expected him to grill me some more, she thought.
“What are you waiting for” Edgar asked when she continued to stare at the paper without doing anything.
“Sorry,” Alessandra reached for the paper and pen. She gasped when Edgar grabbed her hand before she could touch the paper.
“What happened to your hand” Edgar spotted a faint redness around her knuckles. Glancing at her other hand, he saw that it was perfectly fine. “Did you punch something or did someone hurt you”
“Its nothing,” Alessandra pulled her hand out of his grasp.
“It is something seeing that you will be my future wife. I dont take too kindly to someone hurting my people. Name the person and I shall have them punished,” said Edgar. Now that they were going to be husband and wife, her problems became his.
“It was an accident Duke Edgar-”
“Just Edgar is fine. See to it that you do not have any more accidents while you are living there before we get married,” Edgar decided to leave the topic for now but he would get back to it. He didnt like the feeling he got as he thought about the life Alessandra had.
“I will try my best. Based on our conversations, no love shall be the first condition. It shall not be a problem on my end,” Alessandra stated as she wrote down the first rule.
“I hope you are like this until the very end.”
Alessandra looked up from the paper to Edgar. He was a handsome man but that was all. She knew nothing about him and frankly if she was not so desperate to leave her fathers home she would have never talked to a man like Edgar. “You are not my type, Edgar.”
“So, there is a type,” Edgar for some reason wondered what kind of man moved her heart.
“I was hidden away but I was not blind. What should the second condition be” Alessandra asked so they could move on from the love topic.
“Obviously, speak of this to no one besides my butler Alfred. He shall be a shield for you in dangerous times. Three, we need to communicate any issues we have. Do not allow something small to grow and become big. It is irritating,” said Edgar.
“I agree,” Alessandra saw no issue in that. “I must ask that I am able to keep my mask on until I feel comfortable walking around without it on.”
“That is your business. Do whatever you wish. Five, we must sleep in the same room. Why are you looking so surprised Did you honestly think I wouldnt sleep with my wife” Edgar titled his head slightly as he awaited her answer.
Alessandra thought they wouldnt share the same bed but as he said, she would be his wife even though a contract is involved. “I suppose that makes sense. It is something couples do after all.”
“Everyone does it. Young or old,” Edgar picked up a smooth rock from his desk to move around in his hand.
“Young How young” Alessandra asked.
Edgar only now realized she had misunderstood what he meant. “Sleeping, Alessandra. I was referring to just sleeping. However, if you wish for something more-”
“No! Sleeping is just fine,” Alessandra looked back down at the paper feeling completely embarrassed for thinking he meant something else. “Is there anything else”
“No, weve covered the basics. Anything else should be handled with communication in the future. You do not appear to be a difficult person who shall make things hard in the future. We can add on whatever we think of as time goes on. Sign it,” Edgar reminded her.
“Dont you wish to add a punishment for anyone who breaks the contract” Alessandra thought he would fine her or imprison her if she were to break this contract. “We have not set a timeline of how long we shall be married as well.”
“The main thing on the contract is to not tell others about it. If you let it spread that we are married under this circumstance, it will hurt you more than I. I shall remain a Duke while others will go out of their way to humiliate you for needing a contract. I am sure you do not want that.”
Alessandra shook her head saying no.
“Lastly, we shall be married forever. I thought that was obvious,” Edgar revealed to Alessandras surprise. “Be sure to add that to the contract now as it is important.”