The Death of Evelyn Frankton
Evelyn looked in the mirror at the white and cream gown that was once her late mothers. She could barely breathe in her corset. The day she hoped would never come was here. Her mother held this day at bay. Unfortunately, the pledge took her from this world. Now that she’s gone nothing can stop her father from marrying her off to the highest bidder. She always wanted to choose her husband. Born to one of the lords of Queen Victoria the choice was taken from her.
“You look just like your mother the day we married.” Her father Lord Frankton spoke breaking her from her daze.
“At least she had a choice.” Evelyn seethed as she glared at her father.
“You’re lucky to be marrying someone who is well off. He’s the only son of Count Van Smit and he is around your age.” Her father scoffed at her behavior.
“I don’t care about money or status. All I care about is my freedom.” She stated firmly as she glared at the wall.
“You will have freedom. You’ll be able to do anything you want. You’ll be a countess once his father dies or retires.” Her father stated as he poured himself a drink.
“I won’t be free to marry someone I love.” Evelyn almost whimpered as her voice cracked.
“Love doesn’t exist, kitten.” He stated before downing the scotch from his crystal glass.
“What about mother?” She asked at the hand maids places her vial into her black curls. The maid’s choice to pulled half of her long curls into bun but let the rest spill down her back. Small white lilies and babies breathe adorned her head like a crown.
“What about her?” He asked as he gulped his scotch down.
“Didn’t you love her?” She asked staring at him with her large doe eyes.
“I felt something for her but it wasn’t love, kitten.” He stated as he held her chin with his fore finger. “She was the only woman who could put me in my place. Now you will marry and have children for your new husband like a good girl.” Her father’s voice became dark as he glared at her.
“She loved you.” She whispered as her father left the room only to be replaced by her brother.
“Oh Sam I thought you were in Paris.” She smiled almost crying as he pulled her into a hug.
“I would never miss my twin sister’s wedding.” He stated as he squeezed her tight.
“I wish I could miss it...” She stated before he let her go.
“I know this isn’t what you want but think of it this way. You can stop being harassed by flock of suitors who fawn over you.” Like always Sam had to end with a joke to make his dear sister laugh.
“Your right but I won’t be happy about it.” She pouted but smiled for her brother’s sake. “Now let me look at you.”
She looked him over once to make sure he still had his limbs. He shared her deep dark brown eyes and dark hair. The only difference besides the obvious was their skin. He looked as if was kissed by the sun were as she was kissed by the moon.
“Still in one piece, I see. I figured those French girls would have ripped you apart just to get a piece of you.” She smiled as she poked fun at her brother.
“Joke all you want. The French courtesans are quite thrilling.” He spoke with her favorite cheeky smile. “They have something called Ménage à Trois; it is my new favorite activity of Paris.”
“Why do I feel I would be disgusted by what Ménage à Trois means?” Evelyn made a mock disgusted face at her brother’s comment.
“I’m sorry to say this but it’s time to start.” Her handmaid and best friend Jessica stated as she held up the end of the dreaded lace vial that hung from Evelyn’s head.
“I wish you could come with me.” Evelyn stated as a tear fell down her cheek.
“I know but I’m bound by contract to your father. Once my parent’s debt is cleared I’ll come to you.” Jessica also began to cry.
“When that day comes you will not be a servant; you will be my guest and friend.” Evelyn vowed with all her heart.
The girls wept as the two walked down the brightly lit corridor of the church. Everyone took their places before she was forced to take her final steps of freedom.
The church was breath taking. White lilies wrapped in ribbons and babies breathe hung from every pew. White rose petals lead the way up the isle to the alter after the flower girl skipped up the aisle.
It felt as if her corset became tighter with every step she took. It did not help that her father was squeezing her arm to keep her from bolting out the church doors. As they approached that alter she saw a tall old man who was not the groom.
“What is going on?” Evelyn asked as she looked to her father confused.
“Victor had a last minute business he had to attend to this morning. So his father is standing in for him.” Her father stated as if it was the norm for a man to miss his own wedding.
“What is this madness? Not only are you forcing me into this marriage; he doesn’t even have the decency to show up for it!” She cried out as the crowd gasp in shock at her outburst. She looked to the priest pleading in her eyes as she spoke. “Is this even legally binding, father?”
“Unfortunately, my dear, it is legally binding. As long as one of you is present a proxy may be used.” The elderly father stated with pity for the poor girl.
“Well I refuse to marry the man unless he’s right in front of me!” She stated as she threw the bouquet of lilies to the ground in protest. “If I have to go through this so does he!?” She protested hot with anger stomping her foot.
The room was hushed with whispers of the young woman’s unusual behavior. A loud smack filled the room and echoed from the high ceiling. The room was dead silent as Evelyn covered her throbbing cheek. She starred at her father shocked; he had never struck her till that moment. He raised his hand to strike her again but was stopped by Sam.
“I don’t care if you are my father; you will not lay your hand on my sister again or I will remove it.” Sam stated in a deadly tone as he twisted his father’s hand.
“You ungrateful brat you are cut off!” Lord Frankton groaned as Sam continued to twist his hand till a sickening snap echoed through the church.
“You will not harm Evie. I will protect her from you even if it means you cut off to protect her.” Sam stated before looking to his sister.
“Evie, just go along with it. I have met the man, he is very decent. He will be good to you.” He stated without looking away from their father.
“Alright same, if you approve of him I will.” Evelyn’s voice shook as she took her new father-in-law’s out stretched hand.
The ceremony was short and straight to the point. It all felt wrong to her. She had always dreamt of this day as a happy occasion. She would pledge her life to the one she loved. Instead she was forced to pledge her life to someone who wasn’t even there. It felt wrong.
After the ceremony there was a huge party to celebrate. Everyone one in London was there except the guest of honor. With Victor away on business no one saw the point in having the bride present. She was pushed into an awaiting steam carriage with an escort and whisked away from her beloved London to a country estate.
The escort was a middle age woman with dirty blond hair and a kind smile. They sat in silence as tears fell down her burning cheeks. Five hours into their journey the woman spoke.
“It will be another six hours before we reach the manor.” Her accent was not British but she could not place it; Scottish maybe Irish. “If you’re tired the seats pulls out into a nice comfy bed.” She spoke with such kindness it made Evelyn feel slightly better about this arrangement.
“I must look like a mess.” Evelyn muttered before letting out a loud yawn. She didn’t realize how exhausted she was till that moment.
“You look fine, dear but if you want I have a night dress in my bag.” She spoke as she opened the bag at her side and pulled at a lovely silk gown. Evelyn stared at the fabric awed by its detail. When Evelyn did not respond she continued. “So your dress won’t get wrinkled and you can be more comfortable.”
“Oh thank you. I wish we could stop at a hotel.” She muttered a tired reply as the two women moved to the center of the carriage. The woman began to unbutton the wedding gown.
“I’m terribly sorry I did not ask before but what is your name?” Evelyn asked as the woman loosened the laces of her corset. “I should ask. I mean you are undressing me.”
“My name is Rebeca O’Connell but you can call me Becky, dear.” She stated as the she unfastened the buttons on the front of the corset. “I’m the head of the house staff.”
“So we will be getting to know each other quiet well.” Evelyn let out a giggle as she slipped into the silk gown. Becky gently folded the wedding gown and slipped it into her bag.
“How do we set up the bed?” Evelyn asked as she sat back onto the seat.
“Throw your legs up onto the seat and make sure no fabric is hanging.” Becky stated and Evelyn did as she was told.
Becky pushed the nose of one of the small metal wolf heads that adorned all four corners of the carriage. A loud grinding noise came from under the cushions as they began to move. The back rest flattened as the seats moved forward to make a bed.
“You wouldn’t happen to have pillows and blankets in that bag by any chance?” Evelyn asked as a yawn broke free.
“They are in the storage compartments above your head, dear.” Becky spoke with her Irish accent getting thicker from exhaustion.
Evelyn opened the compartment and pulled out the first thing she saw. She let out a frighten squeal as a very large blanket fell onto her head.
“Miss Eve, are you all right?” Becky asked as she pulled the blanket off Evelyn.
“I’m alright; just startled.” Evelyn stated. “Let’s just get some sleep.”
The next morning Evelyn awoke to unfamiliar surroundings. Still groggy she examined the darkness surrounding her with her hands. From her assessment she could tell she was in a proper bed and not the carriages make shift bed.
“I must have been sleeping like a rock when we got here....” She muttered to herself. She stretched her stiff joints before moving to find her way through the darkness. After crawling a few feet she fell through the canopy of the bed onto her bottom.
“Oh my, that hurt.” Evelyn moaned as she rubbed her bottom.
Before she could get to her feet the bed chamber door flew open to reveal a young maid.
“Miss Evelyn, are you all right?” The maid asked as she rushed to Evelyn’s side.
“I’m fine; I just have a sore bottom.” Evelyn stated before examining the bed chamber.
The chamber was large and elegant with gold trim along every grove and curve of the high ceiling. A beautiful chandelier hung in the middle of the chamber making the ceiling look even more beautiful as it shined in the morning light. The gold trims expanded to the walls and molding of the base boards. The gold complemented the blush pink of the walls paint.
“The chamber is quite lovely.” Evelyn mused as she examined the cherubs painted in each corner.
“That was my first thought.” The maid mused along with Evelyn before her look of musing was replaced with dread. “But let’s talk after you clean the chandelier and almost fall to your death.”
“Oh dear that sounds freighting.” Evelyn gasped at the image.
“Oh it was, I’m lucky my Jacob was there to catch me.” She sighed thinking of the moment he caught her. “That’s where our courtship began.”
“Oh that sounds terribly romantic.” Evelyn sighed sadly for she would never know that feeling. She married a man she has yet to meet just yesterday.
“After that he followed me around to make sure I was safe.” The maid sighed as her face tired pink.
“I wish I could have experienced that.” Evelyn sighed sadly.
“Lord Victor is quite a charmer; your courtship must have been romantic in its own way.” The maid Stated not knowing about the arrangement.
“He did not court me. In fact we still have not met. I was married off to the highest bidder by my father.” Evelyn stated as she fought back the tears.
“I am sorry.” The maid’s face became even redder as she bit her lip. “I sometimes forget how noble marriages work.”
“It’s alright.” Evelyn stated as a single tear fell ran down her pale cheek. “I wish I wasn’t a noble so I would not have been forced in to this.”
They stood there in silence for a moment before a loud gurgle came from Evelyn’s stomach.
“When did you last eat, Miss Evelyn?” The maid asked.
“Yesterday at lunch before the wedding.” Evelyn stated realizing how hungry she really was.
The maid stated as she curtsied to introduce herself. “I am Anna. I am your ladies maid. I will be taking care of you till you say otherwise.”
“Well now that is done let’s get you dressed so you can eat. I have a bath prepared for you if you wish to bath after your journey.”
She gratefully accepted the bath and Anna escorted her to the adjoining bathroom.
A month had passed and Victor had yet to arrive home to meet his new wife. According to the house staff he was not happy about the arrangement. She found comfort in that fact not knowing the nightmare that awaited her.
Evelyn learned the Jacob Anna spoke of was Becky’s very handsome son. And very handsome he was with red hair and freckled pale skin. His kind blue eye and smile could melt even a cold woman’s heart. He took advantage of the master’s absence and proposed to Anna. With Evelyn and Becky’s approval they held a small ceremony in the main garden. The large garden was located in the center of the large manner.
The garden became Evelyn’s favorite place in the manner besides her bed chamber. Compared to her bed chamber and the garden the rest of the manner was dark and cold.
Another month pasted without Victor’s presence as Evelyn began to settle into her home. Her brother visited often and as much as he could before he left for his new client’s exposition for the next year.
“Do you really have to leave for a year?” Evelyn pouted at her brother.
“It pays well dear sister. After my falling out with father at your wedding he cut me off so i have to work.” Sam stated as he took a sip from his tea.
“It’s my fault you’re leaving.” Evelyn stated as she touch her now healed cheek.
“No it’s his fault for hitting you.” Sam frowned thinking of the moment he broke his father’s hand.
“Still if I had not thrown a tantrum it would not have happened.” Evelyn spoke with a tone that stated she was not going to back down.
“Fine be that way.” Sam laughed knowing just how stubborn she could be.
“I hope Victor is treating you well.” Sam took another gulp of tea finishing the small cup off. “I haven’t seen him at all he must be off again on business.”
“More like never came home to begin with.” Evelyn scoffed before sipping her tea.
“You’re telling me it’s been two months since the wedding and he still has not shown his face?” Sam asked in shock.
“Yes. From what I have heard from the staff he was not happy with the arrangement either.” Evelyn scuffed.
“I’ll see what’s taking him so long before I leave.” Sam stated before asked for something stronger than tea.
Victor charged into his father’s office in a rage.
“Why did I receive a massage from Samuel Frankton inquiring why I have yet to me my new wife?” Victor stated the question to his father in a sarcastic tone. “I believe I rejected the proposal of marriage to any woman.” His cold black eyes bore into his father’s own eyes.
“The girls diary was already paid in full so I stood in for you at the wedding after you ran off to fuck off with the whores in France.” count Van Smit stated as his sons tempter heightened.
“How is that even legal?” Victor passed the room has he ran his finger through his black hair before continuing his comment. “By definition she is your new wife not mine.”
“look at it this way son. Use the girl to give me an heir then you can do whatever the fuck you want with her. I don’t fucking care if you use her toy after that.” The Count stated as he signed a document before letting out a breath. “I’m not going to be here much longer.”
Victor stopped his passing to sit in a chair in front of his father’s desk.
“What do you mean father?” Victor spoke his hanger completely gone. Victor may seem cold but he did love his father.
“The doctor said my heart is giving out. I have six months maybe less.” The Count let the news sink in before continuing. “For me I need you to do this and have a son of your own so our line may continue.”
“Alright father; if you wish.” Victor accepted defeat and left for his country home.
That night around midnight maybe; Evelyn was awoken by searing pain retching through her body. In the darkness she could feel the weight of someone much larger on top of her. She could smell whisky on him. She tried to scream but he covered her mouth as he continued his assault on her body. She was freighted at the fact that she was being raped by someone in her own bed. Who would do such a thing to her? She clinched her eyes shut as tears feel from her eyes. Pain spread through Evelyn with every hard thrust as cried out with her mouth still covered. Before long the pain became too much and she fainted.
The next morning she woke with a start sitting straight up before shooting pain ripped through her. She fell back to the bed as the sun shined in her sore eyes.
The one who assaulted her must have left the canopy open. Her breathe caught in her sore throat as realize she was not alone in the bed. She slowly turned her head to gaze upon him only to realize she it was Victor. She recognized him from his portrait in the main hall along with his family. Evelyn felt a pit in her stomach. ‘Is this how all out sexual encounters will be?’ She thought as the chamber doors slowly opened as Anna enters. Before Anna could speak Evelyn she pointed to Victor indicating she did not want to wake him.
Anna nodded in agreement as she helped Evelyn out of bed. Anna gasped at the sight of the nightgown as it was covered in blood. Anna helped her to the bath and disposed of the blood soaked gown.
Weeks pasted and to her relief victor was kind to her. Their next encounter was gentler than the first and she actually like it compared to the first time when he was blackout drunk. Within a month she became pregnant. Three months the birth of their son, Aden Joseph, the Count’s heart gave out and Victor and Evelyn became the new Count and Countess of Wolves. Motherhood became Evelyn’s world and she was happy but not for long. Soon her life became a living hell. Victor become someone else completely and monster. Their encounter became violent and bloody. He would leave her bound to the bed in the dungeon for hours. he would leave her there bleeding from the razor cuts he inflicted on her belly and forearms. In secret Victor was a blood drinker and decided to use his new wife as a source. It only became worse over time. When he wasn’t bleeding her he was raping her. During so he would strangle and beat her till she would faint. The abuse continued for a year before the night he died.
Like usual he had his hands around her throat squeezing. Something was different about him this time. He was drunk and angry and it freighted her. She flailed as she tried to get him off and out of her but he only squeezed harder. She looked around her for anything to strike him. Out of the corner of her eye she could she noticed his pistil in its holster on the bed. She reached for it has his grip tightened. As her vision blurred her heart pounded in her chest as adrenaline filled her veins. Her fingers gripped the gun as she shoved the pistil in his mouth. Her vision began to darken as she used the last of her strength to pull the trigger.
The next morning the house was calm as the staff performed their morning duties like usual. the silence was broken by Anna's blood curtailing scream. fearing the worst Jacob ran towards the sound of her screams.
"Anna, where are you?" He called when he couldn't find her.
"I'm in the Countess's bed chamber!" Anna's shaky voice Answered him.
"Whats all this yelling for; you're going to piss the master off." Becky asked as she followed her son tot he bed chamber.
"Something is wrong with Anna." Jacob stated as he opened the door to Anna on her knees sobbing.
"What's wrong?" Jacob fell to his knees to comfort his wife.
"He... killed...her..." She spoke between sobs pointing towards the bed.
Becky rushed to bed pulling the canopy before letting out a shocked "Oh dear god..." before ordering that someone call the enforcers.