"Yes sir, I'm ready" smoothing out my dress slowly.
I grew up with his youngest son. We would play together, he would sneak me to the secret passages and teach me how to read. I grew fond of him, but we were just really good friends. As I got older, I would see him sneak glances at me so that told me he was fond of me, but he was the son of a Duke. He found me this morning and told me that if I returned, he would find some way to convince his father to let him marry me. I kissed his cheek before we departed then we load up in the carriage and I look at the home that I was born and raised in.
Master Andrew lays a hand on my arm "Don't worry, you may return. I won't take you but this once. I know my son is fond of you but this is what the king ordered of every eighteen year old maiden. They are allowed to be married after the auction if they are not sold."
Dropping my eyes to the floor, my voice is soft "I know you wouldn't let us be together sir. He is the son of a Duke and I'm just a servant."
He grabs my hand and looks in my eyes. "That has no matter to me. You are a very smart woman, beautiful, kind and he is not first in line to the estate. If you don't sell, he has already told me what his plans are for you. He has showed you how to have manners, how to read and how to act in our social circles. I'm not an idiot, I now he has danced with you at balls, acted like you were his date and you two are very close."
Blushing brightly "Yes sir. I owe a lot to Nathan. He has been so kind to me all this time."
"That is the way I have raised all my children, they know not to mistreat our workers. If a worker does need a punishment, it's due to something that they have done really bad. We haven't had to punish a servant in my entire time I've been over our manor. They know if they treat people correct, then they will do everything properly."
Looking out the window at the trees going by "Yes sir, I have enjoyed my time with your leadership. I don't think I can find another person that is as kind as your family."
We arrive at a huge house and the door is opened for us. He gets out first and offers me his hand. Eyes are turned as I exit the carriage due to I don't look like a servant in the dress I'm in. People know Andrew and how he treats his servants as we walk inside and are guided to a line of woman that are standing in a line with their masters behind them. We are put on a number that is tacked on the wall and I keep my eyes down. We are suppose to do this unless asked to look at a gentleman. I look to my left and right at some of the other women and many are in old clothes, torn up and you can see some that have marks on their bodies. I shudder as I look at them. I have a ton of men look at me as my hat is being held by Andrew and I see a pair of eyes that makes my heart leap.
"Son, why are you here?"
Nathan smiles as he stops for a second "To maybe get me a bride." He winks at me as he walks down the line.
"He is full of surprises. I didn't realize he was coming to this." I blush hard and drop my head. My hopes are up that maybe he can buy me.
Another young man walks up looking at me as my heart races "Andrew, good afternoon. Is this your maiden for today?"
Master Andrew smiles at the gentleman "Hello Nicholas. Yes she just turned eighteen last month. She has been a servant in my household since she was born. She can read, is very smart and a big sweetheart. She has been to many of our social events and around all our big events."
Nicholas raises my face to look at his "She is beautiful. Probably the prettiest one here in line."
Master Andrew swells with pride "Yes, she is. I'm hoping someone would get her that would continue treating her the way she has been raised. It would kill me if she was sold to a mean master."
Nicholas flashes a smile that has a little bit of a evil hint to it "Yeah, your one of the nicest masters around. We will just have to see what she goes for."
My heart sinks as he says this due to he must be interested. He walks away without looking at any of the other women.
Master Andrew signs as he watches him walk away "He is the richest Dukes here. He has a ton of money, land, and manors."
Asking in a shaky voice "Is he nice?"
Andrew shakes his head sadly "Not like my family. He's not mean but also not extremely nice. He knows he is rich and can throw it around and has been know to be a huge rake."
"So he's been with women before?" hoping he is not going after me.
"Yes, a lot of them but most were mainly whores" his voice drips with a little bit of disgust in it.
"So, you don't like him to much huh?"
"Not in the husband type of way. He is probably here for a mistress or someone to entertain him in his bed chambers."
Fiddling with my hands slowly "I hope he finds another one to do that. I don't want to become someone's whore only."
Andrew pats me on my shoulder "Just relax, my son is here and we have a lot of money. Most of these auctions, women goes for under twenty-five dollars. I have heard tales at events where some people have been to them." We are then turned and ushered into the big room with a huge wooden stage as I take a deep breath and wait my turn.