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The Corrupted, the Cursed and the Crazed

By RenaissanceChick95

Fantasy / Romance

Chapter 1

Prologue

1817

Newcastle

Lydia watched her baby fall asleep in her cradle. She was breathing slowly in and out. This child was hers and hers alone. The baby had her and her complexion; it was perfect in everyway. Its name was Eliza Wickham and she was only three days old. Lydia really looked at the child and felt sorry for it. How can something so perfect be born of two horrible people?

Her husband was a mean debaucher and a drunkard. George would sometimes beat her up and call her stupid and maybe he was right. She had been a fool to marry him. He was only tricking her when he’d said he’d loved her. Lydia gets a deep pang of jealously at the thought of her two elder sisters. Elizabeth was married to the very wealthy Mr. Darcy and Jane was married to the very nice Mr. Bingley. Both of them were in love and happy. Mary was still at home and Lydia didn’t care, for all she really cared about was she. She was naturally selfish and she has been for all her life. The only people she cared about was her daughter and of course he sister Kitty.

Lydia missed Kitty more than words can say. She’d loved gaining one over her and gloating. That merry girl now seemed so very far away. She still writes to her sister despite the mean taunt she’d said when she’d left. Lydia wanted to run away and never come back to this awful house and to leave her husband. She was 19 now and in her view she was more than able to take care of herself. Lydia heard the sound of her drunken husband returning home from God knows where.

“Lydia!” he shouted, “Where are you?”

George let out a crazed laugh that startled her. She left the bedroom and went to confront him. He was still a handsome man and now at 32 years of age, he was started to lose his looks. Not from age but from wretchedness and years of hard gin and disappointment. Lydia felt no affection for him; in fact she hated him.

“You’ve been out drinking again” Lydia commented curtly.

“So I have,” George said in a sarcastic manner.

“Just go to bed and try not to wake the baby,” Lydia commanded.

Her husband ceased her writs and captured her against the wall. Lydia tried to squirm free but to avail; she was trapped. His grip on her writs grew so tight that she was sure that she was going to have bruises in the morning.

“You are my wife!” he chuckled, “I tell you what to do”

She knew what George was going to do next and it wasn’t pleasant. All the way through it she kept thinking about what her life had been like before and it took her strength not to cry…

Two weeks later

Lydia went into the tavern and looked around for her husband. It was the usual place, full of drunken men and bawdy laughter. She despised places like this; it made her feel physically sick at the pathetic sight of them. After failing to spot her husband she turned to leave but ran into someone. Lydia was speechless for a couple of moments; she’s never seen a man like this.

He had extremely pale skin and dark eyes that added to his mystery. His brown hair was wavy and stylishly fell at his shoulders. The man was well built and looked impossibly handsome. He wore a grey coat and a white shirt that looked like it’d been recently cleaned. Lydia was truly speechless at the sight of him. He just grinned when she’d bumped into him. He looked he her starting from her curves to her lips. The way he looked at her made her skin light on fire, it’s almost like he was looking right through her.

“I’m sorry” Lydia apologized.

“There’s no need to apologize,” he answered in a refined accent.

There was something about him that made her gravitate towards him. She felt like that this was the man she needed to be with and that strange considering she’s just met him.

“You seem like a very pretty young thing,” he noticed.

“You look no older than me,” she pointed out.

The man chuckled at that comment.

“I’m older than I look” he smirked.

Despite herself she laughed as well. Lydia realized that this was the first time that she’s laughed in a long time. He held his arm out for her and she took it. She felt safe with this man for some reason that she couldn’t explain.

“What’s your name?” the man asked her.

“Lydia Wickham” she told him, “What’s yours?”

“My name is Ethan De Morley”

Lydia could feel his skin on his hand; it was freezing to the touch. She was completely under his spell and was happy to be so. Just before they sat down she noticed him looking at her with a hungered expression. A bolt of pleasure struck her like lightning. Lydia knew that she wanted this man but she didn’t know how much he wanted her or what he was going to do to her…

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