The Foreign Bride

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When faced with a past crisis, Annalisa Albrite seeks refuge in another country. But instead of hiding, she is given a marriage proposal. "I was not going to ask you like this, Annalisa. I would like to ask for your hand in marriage." He spat out. "What?" She yelped, her eyes wide. She snatched her hand away from his body and brought it to her chest. He clenched his eyes shut, "I am sorry, this is not my strong point but I am in a dilemma. My parents are disinheriting me if I cannot find a suitable wife within the next few days. I was hoping that you could be my wife." She widened her eyes more, speechless. "It's just that you are so kind and so beautiful. You are not something that I would like to watch another man have. I would like to be the one to take care of you and to grow old with you. If it is not something..." He stared at her face. "It was only a request..." he started to murmur, trying to save himself of the embarrassment of rejection.

Romance / Drama
Jess Sanders
4.3 16 reviews
Age Rating:

Chapter 1

“I dare say that if Drake continues to throw his money out as he did, that his family’s fortune will be spent before he can even inherit it. Can you believe it, Edward, that such a gentleman such as Lord Drake would waste his money on such a disreputable investment?” Ross Chambers suggested as he pushed forward Edward’s stack of cards.

The three other men at the gambling table turned their immediate attention to Edward, awaiting his reply.

Edward held us his cards to check his stack and flipped them down once again, leaning back in his chair, “I think that Lord Drake is rather good at keeping his money in the right places. Have you not noticed that his investments always pay off?”

The man sitting next to Edward, Lord Jacque, raised an eyebrow, “He has got a good point, Ross. Drake always has his investments in the right place.”

Another man, George MacArthur, grinned, “What’s it to you anyways, Ross? Suddenly in need of quick money? Are you jealous that Drake may take your territory?”

Before anyone could continue, the butler of Edward’s estate rushed to Edward’s side. Edward tilted his head to listen to what the man had to say.

He stood, “Gentlemen, I am afraid our game will have to happen another time. Please excuse me.”

Edward Parks turned his back to the men that remained at the gambling table and marched back into his office with a great slam to the door.

His anger was on the verge of spilling over and Edward could not bear to embarrass himself once again. His father had written him countless times over the past couple of months, asking him to come to Mayfield, his father’s estate, but needless to say, Edward had no need to visit his father. Every time he visited, things always took a turn for the worst.

The last time his father had come to see him, they had gotten into a yelling match. Things were said that Edward never could take back and despite the guilt of it all, he certainly didn’t regret it.

He sat down, pouring himself a glass of whiskey and mentally prepared himself for the meeting that was about to happen.

“Edward Harold Parks, you will not run away from me now! I am your father and you have no right to ignore me!” Edward heard his father yell as he pushed open the large doors to Edward’s office.

After two shots, Edward didn’t really want to converse with his father.

He was tempted to roll his eyes in disgust or maybe even order the guards to stop his parents but he let them barge into his office. Edward refused to look up and continued scribbling on the pile of papers before him.

“Look at me!” His father yelled, slamming his fist down on the desk, “I was once lord of this house. I deserve the respect.”

Edward stood and paced towards the window, “Father, you have not been in a position of power for quite some time. Besides, I have no time to discuss such irrelevant matters with you.”

“Irrelevant? These matters contain the future of the family- of mine and your family, Edward. You are a Duke, these irrelevant matters are a part of your duties to this country.” His father argued.

He spun around to face the old man, “You are going insane, father. I want to choose who I want to marry when I’m ready, not on your command! I am still young and I have time to look for the one woman who will do as I need her to and keep me happy at the same time. ” Edward paused briefly to finish off the whiskey, “I don’t know if you remember the last time you chose my bride.”

His father’s eyes narrowed, “You may be on your own, now, but you are still awaiting my inheritance. If you want what you deserve, you will find a suitable bride within the month.”

Edward’s eyes widened, “You wouldn’t force your only son to marry someone he didn’t love...” He couldn’t believe his father would do such a cold-hearted thing but it was what his father’s father did to him.

“Oh, but I will, and mind you, she better meet my standards.” He said smugly, crossing his arms.

With that, his father disappeared.

Edward sank down in the nearest chair and sighed deeply, “You agreed with him, mother?” He asked, looking at the startled woman who remained in the corner of his office.

Her lips pursed, “I had no choice, Edward. You are a good looking boy, I think you will find a good girl. You need heirs to reassure your succession to the throne and to give this family a good standing in this world.”

“Why does everything have to be about money and power? For once, I want someone to just let the world happen as it does!” Edward snatched the bottle of rum off the table.

“You can’t be forever alone, Edward.” His mother whispered.

Edward huffed, “I agree. All I have ever asked for is time. It takes time to find a bride and time to create a family. Things just don’t happen overnight.”

“It did for me. Children come very easily with perseverance.” His mother replied, her cold tone never swaying.

“And what if I do not, mother? What if there are no heirs to be found? ” He snapped, feeling his anger begin to swell past its limits.

His mother narrowed her eyes, “Then I suggest you better look and try harder.”

He closed his eyes as she stormed out of the room, preparing for the slam of the door.

What was he to do? How could he do a bride in that short amount of time? And how would they have children this quickly?

His eyes looked lit up when he remembered what Drake had said.

The annual ball.

Annalisa looked up at the castle through her carriage window.

She had wanted to visit England for so long and when she had received a letter from her old friend, Drake, telling her all about his annual ball, she had to come.

All the way from Germany.

Hans, her brother, had practically begged her not to go, but she only showed him her packed bags and went on her way. She needed to escape the nightmares that chased her. She prayed that England would be the answer to her prayers.

“Princess, we have arrived.” The footman said, opening the door.

She stepped out and took a deep breath, “Danke.”

She walked up to the grand staircase, where Drake had promised to meet up and waited. He had promised Hans that he would do all he could do to take care of during her stay in England. She would both stay and be escorted by Drake the entire duration of her stay. And she was so grateful for it. England was a big country and she was just a small girl. She wasn’t ready to be on her own.

“Anna, is that you?” She heard the familiar voice ask.

“Drake!” She turned around and ran to hug her old friend. He swung her around with a large grin on his face. He opened his mouth to say something then paused.

“How do you say good evening again?“He asked, creasing his dark eyebrow.

She laughed softly, “Guten tag.”

He offered her his arm, “I must lead you to the ladies before I leave you. I do hope you enjoy yourself, Fräulein.”

They walked into the grand ballroom, littered with glittering, gold chandeliers and well-groomed men and ladies covered with jewels. It was definitely more grand than her brother’s palace in Germany. The decor of the walls and of the furniture almost resembled that of the Vatican’s.

“You live here?” She asked as she looked up at the beautifully painted ceiling.

“For the time being. Let’s just hope I do not make His Majesty upset again.” Drake held out his hand to a dark-haired lady, who gave her the warmest smile possible, “Lady Eleanor, may I introduce you to my dearest friend, Princess Annalisa. Princess, this is my trusted friend I told you about. She’ll take good care of you, I promise.”

A woman with dark curls bowed lowly before holding out her hand to Annalisa, “Come with me, darling and I will show you a good time.”

Drake raised his eyebrow and pointed a finger at the Lady Eleanor, “No partying to hard, Elle. This girl means the world to me.”

“Drake, I thought you would be my escort for the night?” Annalisa asked him with concern lanced in her voice. She was scared to be without him. She liked feeling safe under his watch.

“I have business to attend to. I shall come back for you, I promise.” Drake said as he backed away from the group of ladies.

“Come along, Princess. Let me introduce you to a few of my friends.”

Little did she know that her future was about to change forever.

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