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Express Yourself

By Margaret Katerina Hill All Rights Reserved ©

Romance / Fantasy

Blurb

Twin sisters working as ladies maids discover they are witches with powerful abilities when their father enters their lives after twenty years of not knowing about them. A dangerous and evil coven of witches and warlocks kidnap them and attempt to use their abilities.

Chapter One

It is the year 1900, in the England countryside not far from London is Lulling-stone Castle, home of the well-known, rich land owners the Martinez Family. My name is Rosemarie Raven. I am 19 years old and I work as a ladies’ maid to Lady Jane Martinez, I have long auburn hair with a slight curl at the bottom with blue eyes flecked with spots of hazel. I am known to be very protective of my twin sister, I have looked after both of us since we were 10 years old. I am not as shy as my sister; but I do not show emotion easily. I am strong, determined, persevere, loving, selfless, and kind. Along with my twin sister Amelia Raven who is a ladies’ maid to Lady Mary Martinez. She has long auburn hair with curls, and green eyes flecked with hazel. She is shy, compassionate, and kind. She is very introverted and ashamed with herself after what happened with one of the footman. Only talks and shows her true feelings to myself. We have worked for the Martinez family ever since they took us in out of kindness when the family found us on the doorstep when we were 10 years old left there by our mother, as she could not take care of us anymore, and we do not know anything of our father, our mother only met him once and then 9 months later my sister and I were born. The Martinez family treated us like their own, and once my sister and I turned thirteen the Martinez family employed us as ladies’ maids to their two eldest daughters. My sister and I are happy with our life and we are treated well and receive a sustainable wage to support us both. Helena and Joseph Martinez are both in their late forties and they have been married for twenty-five years. They are kind, generous, and loving. They own a substantial amount of land and are quite rich, and well-known. Lady Jane Martinez is twenty years old, treats the twins like family and with kindness. She is very beautiful with long black hair and blue eyes.

Lady Mary Martinez is twenty-five years old, kind, and treats the twins like family and with kindness. She is very beautiful with long dark curly brown hair with blue eyes. Daisy Collins, the kitchen maid who is eighteen started working for the Martinez family one year ago.

Mason Ashford is twenty years old, and a protective, strong, loving, caring gentleman with rough, calloused hands, and a strong build. He has brown short hair with brown eyes. He will do anything for Rosemarie, has feelings for her ever since he first met her. He works for the Martinez family as a footman and assistant chef. Damon Gilbert is twenty years old, he is a protective, kind, shy gentleman. He has short black hair, a pale complexion with ice blue eyes and has a medium build. He has feelings for Amelia. He works for the Martinez family as a footman and an assistant gardener.

Robert Williams is forty-nine years old. He is a caring, compassionate, kind father figure to all house staff especially the twins. He oversees the house and the staff, known as the butler.

John Branting is thirty-eight years old. He is Rosemarie and Amelia’s biological father, he had no idea that he had daughters until their mother approached him and pressured him to tell them the truth that they were witches. He is strong, intelligent, with a medium build. Age is starting to show with a receding hairline. He wants to protect and be there for his daughters. He has a kind heart, means well. He will do anything everything to make his daughters happy and protect them.

This is the story of our life, and the discovery of our abilities and everything that followed afterwards.

I woke up this morning to Amelia gently shaking me to wake up.

“Rosemarie, get up, you have fifteen minutes until Lady Jane expects you in her room!” Amelia urges me.

“Ok. Ok. I am getting up.” I begrudgingly reply as I slowly sit up in bed.

“Oh and by the way Robert wants to see us in the kitchen before you go up to Lady Jane’s bedroom.” Amelia replies as she is walking out of the room.

“Ok.” I begrudgingly reply, as I get out of bed and dress myself quickly but efficiently and as I walk out the door I grab my apron hanging on the hook and tie it around my waist as I begin my descent down to the kitchen. As I am walking down to the kitchen I hastily run my fingers through my hair as a comb and pull my hair up into a tight messy bun. I walk into the doorway of the kitchen just in time to stand next to Amelia.

“Rosemarie! Amelia! Slept in, again did we? Will you come into my study for a moment?”

“Yes Robert, coming.” We both reply in unison.

I walk past Robert through a doorway with Amelia behind me into a room no bigger than the kitchen pantry, I walk a little further inward and then turn around to face him with Amelia standing beside me.

“Rosemarie, it has come to my attention that it will be your birthday tomorrow as well as Amelia, and that you will both be turning 20 years old which as you know is the coming of age, I say this because I have known you and Amelia since you first came here and have grown very fond of you, and I would like to give you both a small gathering in the kitchen tomorrow night, what do you say?”

I look over to Amelia, who is staring wide eyed at Robert. So I speak up on behalf of both of us.

“That would be wonderful, thank you.”

I look over at Amelia and she mouths the word thank you.

“Well then, that is settled, I will tell the rest of the house staff of our plans. But there will be more chores than usual to have everything done by tomorrow afternoon.”

Amelia and I both nod our heads at Robert and slowly begin to walk past him and as I reach to grab the door handle, Mason; who is a footman opens the door. I stare at him wide-eyed, then Mason speaks.

“Robert, Mr. Martinez would wish to see you regarding dinner tonight. Oh and Rose, Lady Jane is waiting for you.”

“Thank you Mason. Excuse me.” Robert replies walking in front of us and out of the doorway past Mason.

“Thankyou Mason.” I reply timidly while walk out of the room going past Mason as I do so, when I hear him reply

“Have a nice day Rose.”

I look back at him and see him smiling, I smile back and reply

“You too.”

I can feel my stomach feeling fluttery with butterflies and my face feels red and flustered as I slow my walk to walk beside Amelia who walked out of the room behind me.

“Rose, your cheeks are red and you look flustered, are you Ok?”

“I am fine, it is just seeing Mason makes me feel so happy, I always feel so fluttery when I see him.”

I reply in an anxious tone.

“Rose, I think you have feelings for Mason.” Amelia replies with certainty

“You really think?” I reply with an uneasy tone.

We continue walking together until we reach the hallway where the bedrooms of the Martinez family are, there we walk towards the bedrooms of the sisters whom we serve, before I enter Lady Jane’s bedroom Amelia walks over to me.

“I think Mason has feelings for you as well, I think you should talk to him, you would both be good for each other.”

Amelia walks back over to Lady Mary’s door and walks inside. I stand in front of Lady Jane’s doorway thinking about Mason for a moment and then I store those thoughts in my head for later and walk into Lady Jane’s room to see her sitting up with her breakfast on her lap. I walk over to the fireplace and kneel in front and carefully grab the poker stick from the stand and poke at the coals to move them around and keep the fire going. As I am doing this Lady Jane speaks regally.

“Rosemarie, is it true that it will be your birthday and Amelia’s soon. I remember when your sister and yourself were found outside on the doorstep wet and cold, and my mother brought you both inside, fed you, gave you clothes and a home.” She says reminiscently.

“Yes Lady Jane, that is true.” I reply with obedience.

“And I do believe you will both be turning 20, and coming of age?” She continues

“Yes that is correct.” I reply.

“Do you or your sister have any plans for the milestone?”

“Yes we do, Robert has organized a gathering for us in the kitchen with all the house staff tomorrow night, Lady Jane.” I answer.

“How thoughtful of him. Well I do hope you enjoy yourself, now I do believe I am ready to get dressed.” Lady Jane responds.

“Yes, Lady Jane.” I obediently reply.

I stand up and place the poker back on its stand and then walk over to the wardrobe and bring out clothes to show Lady Jane.

Next day.

I am in the parlour room beside the kitchen, sitting at the table with one of Lady Jane’s dresses with which she asked to have hemmed and taken in at the base. I am sitting next to Amelia as I do this, she is sewing one of Lady Mary’s night gowns. I speak up at last and ask my sister about Mason.

“Amelia, do you believe what you said to me yesterday morning about Mason?” I ask in a curious, questioning manner.

“Rose, when you began to walk out of Robert’s study and when Mason opened the door and saw you, his face, it showed happiness and love for you.” She replied earnestly.

“So should I approach him?” I ask unsurely.

“Rose, I think you should wait for Mason to approach you, he saw your reaction when he opened the door.” She replied.

“Thank you Amelia.” I reply with a hint of happiness in my tone.

I finish taking up and hemming Lady Jane’s dress and then I place it on the table and stand up and then carefully pick it up and carry it over both my arms to take back to Lady Jane’s wardrobe.

As I am walking back from her bedroom, after placing the dress in the wardrobe, I take the servants stairs down to the kitchen and before I walk in I bump into Mason in the hallway outside the kitchen. I look up at Mason; as he is an inch taller than me, and he looks down at me, and smiles.

“Mason, why are you smiling?” I ask with interest.

Mason continues looking at me.

“I was just coming to find you Rose. Where have you been?” he asks.

“I just came back from placing Lady Jane’s dress in her wardrobe. Why?” I reply with curiosity.

“Because I wanted to ask if you wanted to come into town with me to buy some food for the gathering in the kitchen tonight.” He asks with keenness in his voice.

“Oh, well I don’t have any chores to do until mid-afternoon, so I suppose I could join you.” I reply happily.

“Well then, could you fetch the basket for me, while I go attain some money from Robert.” He replies.

“Yes of course.” I reply, as I walk off towards the kitchen and before I go to fetch the basket, I turn around and look back at Mason and he smiles at me, so I smile back and then turn back around and fetch the basket from the kitchen.

When I have the basket in hand, I walk towards Robert’s study and wait for Mason outside with basket in hand.

A few minutes’ pass and the door opens and Mason walks out while putting the money into his jacket pocket, then he sees me and smiles and I walk up to him and we walk towards the back door that leads into the courtyard.

When we are out in the courtyard, Mason asks me “Rose, I do believe it will be your birthday soon and Amelia’s. Also, I believe Robert has planned a gathering for you both on Saturday night as you will both be 20, the coming of age.”

“Yes Mason, that is correct.” I reply unsure of what he is asking.

“Rose, you are a beautiful, kind, and honest, smart woman, and I like you a lot, ever since I started working here and when I first saw you, I liked you, and I just didn’t know how to say it until now. Will you allow me to escort you on Saturday night?” Mason replies truthfully with love in his eyes.

I stop walking and stand still in the middle of the dirt path and stare at him in every way, did he just say all that, I try to speak but my lips and throat have dried up, so I do the only thing I can manage at that moment, I nod.

Mason walks back towards me and slowly reaches his hand out to grab hold of my left hand with his right and he leads me on to continue walking into town with him, he doesn’t let go of my hand, I don’t either. Neither of us say anything until we reach the town and then Mason finally speaks

“Rose, will you go over and buy some herbs and medicine. While I get some other things. Meet me back in the town square after?” Mason asks.

“Ok.” I reply.

He hands me a few coins from his pocket and I let go of his hand and walk away to buy the herbs and medicine, I look back and I notice him watching me walk away, when he notices I turned around to look at him he smiles, I smile back and then I turn around and continue walking with the smile still on my face.

20 minutes later.

I gathered all the herbs and medicine and begin to walk back to the town square to meet Mason. When the town square begins to come into view, I see Mason standing by the oak tree in the town square waiting for me and holding something in his hand but I can’t quite make it out, when he looks up and sees me approaching he smiles and stands up straight, I walk up to him.

“Mason, if I may ask, what is in your hand?” I ask curiously.

“Rose, I’m sorry but you are going to have to wait until Saturday night.” He replies with a smile.

I sigh and then speak “Ok. Are we ready to head back?” I ask.

“Yes we are.” Mason replies, and he gently grabs hold of my left hand again but this time it loops it through his right arm. We walk together back towards the Martinez’s family home and then we walk around the back through to the courtyard, before we approach the back door to the kitchen though, Mason stops me and I turn to face him to ask why he stopped me, but before I can he has let go of my hand and has put both of his hands on both sides of my face and bent his head down and kissed me with a tender but also intense and passionate kiss. I don’t pull away, instead I lift my arms up and place them around his neck and then Mason suddenly pulls away and looks at me, his hands still resting on either side of my face. I look at him, and then he just smiles.

“Rose, you are irresistible, I could not wait any longer to kiss you.”

I stare at him, and realize that my feelings for Mason are endless and deeper feelings than I thought.

I move my mouth towards his and kiss Mason with such an intense and meaningful passion that for a moment he is caught by surprise, but then he kisses me back with just as much intensity and passion that we stand there with my arms around his neck and his arms holding my waist close to him for about a minute, before I suddenly pull away, and look at him.

“Mason.” I give Mason a peck on the cheek and then pull my arms down from around his neck, I remove his arms from my waist, but as I turn to walk away, I feel Mason’s hand reach out to hold mine, and I let it, we walk through the back door of the kitchen hand in hand and both of us content, when we walk towards the entryway to the kitchen I let go of Mason’s hand and take the basket of herbs in to put in the pantry, when I get there Amelia is in the pantry sitting on the ground with her knees held against her chest with her arms, now I heard it, her quiet sobbing, I kneel down and sit next to her, and put my arms around her, she leans her head on my shoulder.

“Amelia, are you okay? what happened?” I whisper.

Amelia slowly lifts her head.

“It was Jimmy, he… attacked me.” Amelia sobs and stutters on my shoulder.

“It’s okay Amelia, its ok I am here for you, explain to me from the beginning what happened exactly.”

I ask her calmly, and pull her closer in to my embrace trying to absorb all my sisters’ pain and take it away from her.

She takes a deep breath in and then lifts her head up, and pulls out her handkerchief to wipe her eyes with it before she finally speaks.

“It was about 15 minutes after you left with Mason, I was the only one in the kitchen, I was cleaning and putting food away in the pantry and I… I… didn’t hear him come in. I was in the pantry placing vegetables in there and when I turned around to walk out to grab the rest of them… He was right there in front of me.” She starts sobbing again. I pull her closer again and gently stroke her back for comfort. I look over to where Mason is standing and mouth to him to give Amelia and I some privacy. Mason nods and walks out with an empathetic look on his face.

I wrap my arms around Amelia in a protective embrace. “It’s okay.” I reply calmly and in a strong voice, even though inside I am breaking down just as much as Amelia.

“He… He stroked my cheek with his left hand, and I shivered when he did so. I was so scared and frightened to what might happen to me. I never did anything wrong. I never flirted or led him on.” Amelia replied sobbing into my shoulder.

“Amelia, he will never ever touch you or even look at you again, I will make sure of it.” I firmly stated in a protective voice.

“Rose?”

“Yes, Amelia what is it?” I curiously asked to what she would ask of me.

“I… I… don’t want him anywhere near me. I’m scared. He… He attempted to rape me, and he ripped my clothes. I’m scared Rose that he is going to come back and try again.” she stuttered.

“It’s okay Amelia, he will stay away if he wants to stay alive.” I replied with hatred towards the monster who hurt my sister and attempted to take away her innocence.

“Amelia you should head to our room and I’ll be there soon with supper. I will dress Lady Jane and Lady Mary tonight; I want you to go and rest for the rest of the evening.” I told my sister before standing up and grabbing hold of her hands and pulling her off the ground and into a sisterly hug before watching her leave with a grateful look on her face.

“Thankyou Rose, I love you.” She said over her shoulder as she was leaving.

When she left the room, Mason turned to face me. “

Rose, I am so sorry, something like this wouldn’t happen if she wasn’t alone, I shouldn’t have asked you to come to town with me and then Amelia would be fine.” Mason confessed. “Mason, you did nothing wrong, I enjoyed going in to town with you. What happened with Amelia would have happened sooner or later anyway, Jimmy has always been looking at her in a strange, and disgusting way now I know why. Please don’t blame yourself, blame Jimmy.” I stood on my tip toes and leaned in towards Mason and kissed him with all the emotions that I held for him.

After what seemed like a lifetime, I pulled back from the passionate kiss and gazed at the man I had a crush on since he first started working in the kitchen. At some point, I had wrapped my arms around his neck and he had his arm wrapped around my waist. It made me feel loved, cared for, protection being in his embrace, I wanted to stay like this forever but first I had to look after my sister and deal with Jimmy. “Thankyou Mason.” I then gave him a quick peck on the lips and wriggled out of his embrace to do my jobs and then heal my sister. I turned around and started to walk away to dress lady Jane and lady Mary, when I suddenly felt Mason’s hand on my upper arm and he swung me back around and brought me into his chest and wrapped his arms around me into his embrace. I could smell his scent from cooking in the kitchen and I loved it. “Rose, I am falling for you more with each day that passes. I will always be here for you. I will be at your door tonight ready to escort you down to the kitchen. With one last lingering kiss I said goodbye to him until tonight.

A few hours later.

I managed to get all my jobs for the evening done as well as Amelia’s while she was resting in our room. I manage to give myself 10 minutes to get ready for tonight and when Mason came to escort me down.

“Rose. How do I look?” Amelia questioned me coming out from behind the changing screen in a beautiful green silk and white flowing lace dress with shoes to match. Her hair was half done up loosely with the rest of it flowing down in soft curls on her back, on the top of her head was a small tiara like clip that made her grand. The green in her dress matched Amelia’s eyes which are an emerald green colour.

“You look gorgeous. Maybe tonight Damon will finally take notice of you.” I truthfully told. Damon was one of the footman who worked alongside Mason, and Amelia had a massive crush on him, except she didn’t know that he likes her too, he just hasn’t approached her yet. She deserves to be happy, in love and protected and Damon can give her all that, especially after what happened today, she deserves to be happy.

“I hope so. Now get behind that dressing screen and get dressed before Mason arrives.” She replied.

I walked around to where she got changed and started undressing myself. When I came out from behind the screen I was wearing a beautiful purple silk and white flowing lace dress with shoes to match. It fitted my body perfectly, hugging all my curves and showing a little bit of cleavage but not too much. Our dresses are quite similar except for the base colour choice. We wanted it like that though, because we are twins we wanted to have similar dresses except for the colour. My dress is purple because in my eyes I have blue eyes flecked with spots of green and in some areas of the eye the colours have mixed to form purple. Its unique. No one else has eyes like me. Not even my twin sister.

I step out from behind the dressing screen for my sister to approve. The only sound I hear from her is a loud gasp when I step out.

“Rosemarie Raven you are stunning! I cannot wait for the moment when Mason sees you, he already has feelings for you, now he will be in love with you.” She truthfully responded.

“I can’t wait to see him and his reaction when he sees me either. Amelia‚ I think I love him.” I reply with truth because I do. I love Mason Ashford with all my heart. I always have and I always will. It just took me a while to discover my feelings for him.

“I know you do. I can see it when you look at each other. Now let’s get your hair done before Mason shows up.” She replies.

I walk over to sit in front of the mirror of our dressing table and stare at myself in the mirror to watch what Amelia does with my hair.

“Rose?”

“Yes Amelia?”

“I feel ashamed after what happened today, maybe I did lead Jimmy in to thinking I wanted what he did. I feel dirty, and I don’t feel deserving of a gentleman such as Damon tonight.”

“Amelia Raven, you did nothing wrong, you are beautiful and deserve so much. We both do. Jimmy will get what he deserves for hurting you. Now please forget about what happened, I am here for you always and forever.”

“Thankyou Rose, I love you”

“I love you too Amelia, I will always look after you.”

She brushes my hair to start with, then she puts little curls in the ends and pulls hair from either side and then ties the hair up at the back of my head like how her hair is done. Then she goes over to my jewellery box and takes out a princess tiara hair clip that is slightly bigger to hers and carefully places it on my head and in my hair.

She finishes by touching up my face with some mascara making my eyes bigger and some lipstick.

I stare at myself in the mirror. I look like a princess, not like someone who works as a ladies’ maid. I look beautiful. As I am staring at myself in the mirror I glance above my head and notice the tall male frame standing in the doorway staring at me with love. We stare at each other for a few more seconds until he comes over and stands behind me, leaning down to kiss me on the cheek, then as he passes my ear, I feel his lips against it. “You are so beautiful Rosemarie, are you ready?”

I cannot seem to find my voice so I nod, as I am standing up, Mason grabs my hand and loops it through his arm. In this moment, I feel happy.

“Amelia, I hope you don’t mind but I thought you would like an escort as well so I asked if Damon would escort you, he is just outside the door.” Mason mentions to Amelia. I give Mason a pointed look as to whether he knows that Damon and Amelia both like each other. Mason just grins at me and leans down and places his lips on mine, giving me a tender and sweet kiss.

When we break away from the kiss, we walk towards the door to where Amelia and Damon are talking. Damon coughs quietly to try to politely tell us it is time to head down.

“Um sorry to break up the happiness, but it’s time to head down.” Damon politely mentioned, he smirked at Mason who just glared at him.

“Amelia, it would be my honour to escort you.” Damon bowed in front of her, then took her arm and looped it through his and they headed down the hallway and toward the stairs together. Mason escorted me down after Amelia and Damon and once we reached the bottom of the stairs. When the staff dining room next to the kitchen came into view, my mouth dropped. The whole room was lit with illuminating candles, the long table and chairs were removed from the room and Daisy, one of the kitchen hands was playing the piano. It was wonderful. I cannot believe Robert, helped orchestrate this gathering. Mason tapped me on the shoulder and I looked over into his eyes and he started leading me into the kitchen.

When we entered the kitchen, my mouth dropped open at amazement for yet the second time tonight. On the wooden bench in the middle of the kitchen was a cake. “Mason” I whispered.

“I made it myself, in your favourite flavours; Chocolate and Caramel.” Mason replied turning around to see my reaction.

Instead of telling him how much he meant and what he did for me, I showed him. I put my hands on either side of his face and pulled him in for a kiss. It felt like time stopped, and it was just the two of us together.

When we finally pulled away to take a breath, Mason kept his arms wrapped around me holding me close.

“I have another present for you.” Mason spoke.

“Really?” I replied.

“Really. But it’s going to wait until later tonight, I want to dance with you first.” Mason replied with a grin.

“Let’s dance.” I reply eagerly with a smile.

I let Mason lead me back into the staff dining room to the middle of the room where Damon and Amelia were already slow dancing, we joined them in the middle of the room and I wrapped my arms around Mason’s neck and swayed to the music played by Daisy on the piano.

I felt like Mason and I were the only two people in the room, I felt blissfully happy and in love.

We swayed in each other’s arms to the sound of the music for what felt like hours and hours and happiness was pouring out of me. When Mason finally pulled away enough to consider my eyes, I looked around and realized we weren’t alone and that it was well past midnight.

Mason leaned down to my ear until I could feel his warm breath on my neck.

“Rose, will you join me outside for some fresh air?” Mason whispered against my neck.

I nodded. He led me by my hand out towards the back entrance. Once we were both outside and put some distance between the door and us, he turned around to face me.

“Rose, I love you and I think I always have ever since I first saw you and I want to give you something to show you how much I love you, how much I will do for you, sacrifice for you, what I will do to protect and care for you. I will do anything for you Rose, I love you.” I stared at the man standing before me in amazement and then he reached into his inside coat pocket and pulled out a small velvet box. Mason looked up at me again. “Rose. This represents my love.” Then he opened the box and inside was a beautiful pendant necklace with a stone that was the same colour as Mason’s eyes; chocolate brown. I loved it. “Mason.” I whispered, unable to put what I was feeling into words. So instead I stood on my tip toes and leaned in putting my arms around his neck and kissed him with so much passion and love for him, and showing him just how much I loved his present.

He kissed me back with just as much passion, and after a minute he pulled back to look at me.

“Rose.” he whispered.

“I love you too Mason. I have always had feelings for you but now I have discovered that I love you deeply and unconditionally.”

“Can you please put the necklace on for me?” I replied.

“Anything for you.” I turned around so he could do the clasp up, I pulled my hair back so he could get access to the back of my neck. After he clasped the ends of the necklace together, Mason lightly kissed the back of my neck. I turned around in his arms and faced him, I looked down at the pendant and I gazed at it lovingly and then back up into Mason eyes.

“You look even more beautiful now.” He whispered before leaning in to kiss me.

I blushed. “Mason, it’s getting late.” I whispered.

“I know, come on I’ll walk you back in.”

We walked back through the back door and Mason held my hand in his as we walked up the stairs and towards my shared room with Amelia.

When we reached the door, I turned around to look at Mason. I didn’t want this night to end, I didn’t want Mason to leave me even if I will be seeing him again in the morning.

“Mason. Will you stay with me tonight?” I asked anxiously.

“Of course. I would love to.” He replied without hesitation. I guess I am not the only one who doesn’t want this night to end.

I turned around and opened the door and then turned back around and grabbed Mason’s hand and led him inside.

I led him over to the bed that I occupied each night and then I let go of his hand and walked over to the dressing screen to change behind. It is by great luck that Amelia and I do not share rooms but our rooms are connected via a door, so Mason and I won’t receive any interruptions tonight.

I walked back out from behind the screen to see Mason lying on my bed in just his underpants. I walk over and lift the sheet from one side of the bed and hop under the covers. Mason does the same on the other side of the bed.

Mason situates himself lying on his back in my bed with his head propped up against the headboard with pillows, I snuggle into his side and curl up beside him, nuzzling his neck, and wrap my arms around his waist.

We talk for hours and hours about random things in life, about our future, what we hoped to achieve and about family, and anything else we could think of.

Mason placed his arm around my shoulders and held me protectively and close to him. He leans his cheek on top of my head.

“Mason, I love you.” I whisper. I finally say those three little words out loud, and I know they are true with all my heart I love this man, I have had feelings ever since I first saw him and only recently have those feelings blossomed into love over time.

“I love you too Rose.” He replies.

After a few minutes of blissful silence, Mason and my own breathing began to slow into deep, even breaths, and after a few minutes we were both asleep, curled up together. In this moment, I am happy with where I am.

Next day.

My eyelids flitted open.

I felt something warm pressed against my back, and some big strong arms wrapped around my stomach protectively.

Mason. I invited him in last night, and we fell asleep together.

I carefully turned my body around in his arms so I could see his face.

Mason Ashford was devastatingly handsome and I loved him.

I loved his chocolate brown eyes and his olive skin matched with plain brown straight hair. He had a small scar on his chin from when he was a kid. He is strongly built with toned muscles under his white buttoned shirt and a foot taller than me.

Mason’s arms moved around my stomach and pulled me in closer to his body.

“Good morning Rose.”

“Good morning Mason.”

We stared at each other in silence for a few seconds.

I moved my head closer to his so my forehead rested on his and I stared into the eyes of the man I loved so much. “I love you.” I whispered, barely audible.

“I love you too Rosemarie Raven.” Mason replied. “Now seeing as it is Saturday morning and we have temporarily been relieved of duties until tonight. Rose, would you join me for a picnic lunch outside?” Mason asked.

I stared at him with love, this man was so romantic and I loved him. “Yes.”

Mason then pulled me closer and his lips found mine and we kissed like we had been doing this for years, his tongue pushed its ways through my lips asking for permission to pass, and I let him slide his tongue in and his tongue danced with mine. It was passionate.

Knock, Knock.

“Oh that must be Amelia, I told her I would go out to pick strawberries with her this morning because we were relieved of work until tonight.” I told Mason.

“Well please don’t take too long picking strawberries, because I have plans for you and I.” Mason replied smiling.

I wriggled myself out from his grasp and stood up. “I won’t Mason, I promise. I can’t wait for what you have planned for me. I love you.” I replied truthfully. Then I leaned down and gave him a deep, lingering kiss and then I disappeared behind the dressing screen.

When I came out, all dressed in my casual day clothes. The bed was made and Mason was sitting on it dressed in what he wore last night. I looked down and my breath hitched. Mason was holding a small black velvet box in his hand. “Mason?” I questioned him.

He stared at my face the whole time, he stood up walking over to where I stood frozen on the spot and opened the box in his hands. “Rosemarie Raven, I love you, the first time I saw you I fell in love and only now can I express what I feel, you are all that I want in my life, I want to love, protect and care for you, I love you.” The whole time he spoke I stared straight into his chocolate brown eyes. I haven’t seen what was inside the box yet.

I looked down to his hands to where the box was and inside it was a ring. It looked very old, like it was his mothers, it looked antique and a unique style with a rose gold band and it was like two bands weaving in between each other and in the middle of the ring was a small simple white diamond. It was beautiful.

“Rosemarie Raven, will you forever be mine by becoming my wife?” he asked.

I couldn’t speak, my throat had closed, so I did the only thing I could do.

I nodded.

Mason smiled at me and then took the ring out of the box and placed it on my finger. It was a perfect fit. Mason then picked me up around the waist and held me tight, I placed my arms around his neck and peppered his face with kisses.

“Mason. Amelia is waiting for me.” I said.

Mason sighed heavily “Ok. Ok. I will see you later. I will be waiting for you in the courtyard. I was going to wait and ask you to marry me at lunch but I didn’t want to wait. I love you.” He smiled.

“I can’t wait. I love you Mason.” I stood on my tip toes and gave him a peck on the cheek.

I then turned my back to him and walked over to the door and when I opened it, Amelia was there with two empty baskets hanging from each arm. “Good morning Amelia, how was last night for you?” I sang happily.

Amelia looked at me with a smile and then looked behind me to where Mason was standing and no doubt smiling at being seen standing in my room.

“Good morning to you to Rose. My night was wonderful, and my guess is yours was as well?” Amelia replied smiling.

“I will tell you everything when we are out in the strawberry fields, come on sister I also want to know what you and Damon got up to last night after we left.” I replied with a smile just as big and bright as my sisters.

Half an hour later.

Amelia and I were quietly sitting down on patches of soft, luscious green grass in between the rows of strawberry bushes busily picking juicy red strawberries.

“So Rosemarie, we are now alone, so start talking.” Amelia interrupted the silence smiling while still picking strawberries across from me.

I smiled, my sister loved gossip and boy talk.

“Okay so when we were outside Mason gave me this pendant necklace I am wearing to signify how much he loves me and to remind me of him.” I leaned towards Amelia so she could take a closer look at the necklace.

“Then we headed upstairs because it was getting late. When we approached the bedroom door I didn’t want the night to end so I invited Mason inside, and then nothing happened, we just talked for a while and then fell asleep in each other’s arms and then in the morning after I finished getting dressed Mason was sitting on my bed with a velvet box and inside was this.” I hold out my left hand with the ring on my finger for Amelia to observe.

“Mason professed his love for me, that I am the only one he wants and that he wants to spend the rest of his life with me.” I recounted with happiness in my voice.

I looked up into Amelia’s face to see her smiling at me with joy.

“Rose I am so happy for you, if only our parents were here to see how happy we are now and how well our lives turned out without them.” Amelia replied.

“Amelia do not mention our parents, they left us and wanted nothing to do with us so that is how it will be, our family is here now with the Martinez’s. Amelia do not feel down; it won’t be long and Damon will show his love for you. Amelia, you are just as lucky as I am.” I replied sincerely.

“I’m sorry Rose, and I do hope Damon and I will be in love as much as you and Mason.” She replied.

“So Amelia, what happened with you and Damon last night?” I questioned curiously.

Amelia smiled. “Rose, I had an amazing night with Damon, we danced together all night, after a while we slow danced and I put my head on his chest, and in that moment, I felt so happy Rose. I forgot about everything bad that happened that day. Then Damon led me upstairs to my room and I didn’t want to say goodbye to him, I didn’t want him to leave me, so I asked him to stay with me, and he did, we stayed up talking for hours, we kissed and Damon asked if I would have lunch with him today in town at the local restaurant. We eventually both fell asleep together and when I woke up Damon had woken up before me and brought me breakfast in bed.” Amelia recounted happily with a beaming smile.

“Oh Amelia. I am so happy for you. After what you have been through, you deserve so much happiness in your life.” I replied honestly, because it was true, Amelia had been through many traumatic experiences in the past involving men, so she deserved happiness and I am happy Damon is the one giving her that, she has admired Damon from afar since he started working here a couple of years before Mason, and Damon has had a crush on her for a while too which has now developed into love. My sister deserves so much after what she has gone through in life.

The most recent tragedy to envelope my sister was the one that involved Jimmy, a footman, who always looked at Amelia with a hungry expression in his eyes and no love for her, he just saw a chance to take advantage of my sister and sexually abuse her for a year until he went too far the other day and she spoke up and told me what had been going on.

After Amelia told me I went straight to Robert and told him everything and he let Jimmy go without any references that day, and now neither Amelia nor I have seen Jimmy since.

When lunchtime finally arrived, I met Mason in the courtyard and I looped my arm through his when I saw him and we headed over to sit under the old oak tree on the Martinez’s property. As we were walking I lay my head-on Mason’s shoulder and sighed happily. When we reached the trunk of the massive oak tree, underneath it was a rug with a basket. I walked over and sat down with my legs curled up underneath me. Mason sat next to me and then reached behind me and grabbed the basket placing it in front of us. I moved over so I was sitting closer to Mason and leaned into his shoulder. He lifted his arm and placed it around my shoulders and held me closer to him. We sat in silence with no words needed to be spoken because Mason and I were content with just being in each other’s presence. We enjoyed sandwiches under the tree and lay down on the blanket together enjoying the serenity of nature and the calmness that came with it. In this moment, I was happy and I didn’t need anything else and hoped nothing would ruin our happiness.

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