The Traitor's Daughter

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Chapter 2: The Suitors

Genevieve was fuming. Almost a month passed and her uncle made sure that she knew her new place in Ainsworth. She's the lady of the holding and yet, her voice was nothing compared to her uncle. Lord Beaumont's men ignored her authority while her father's men had no choice but to follow him or risk dismissal. Winston, on the other hand, was always reminding Genevieve to go with the flow. England is unforgiving to women he said, and if Genevieve wanted to survive, she should thwart her Scottish ways and be the compliant English rose her uncle wanted her to be. Genevieve contradicted him.

“I am not as pliable as he thinks! I am the lady of this holding and I have to take care of Ainsworth from the likes of him." She grumbled. Mary covered Genevieve's mouth even though it was only the three of them occupying that part of the garden. “Genevieve, don't say anything like that! If your uncle hears you-"

“Yes, he will hear me and that's why I'm saying it out loud." Genevieve replied casually after she removed Mary's hand off her mouth and with incredible speed, she put an arrow in her bow and aimed it behind the bushes. She let go of the string and the arrow pierced through the air. She wickedly smiled before a scream came from the bushes and a man scrambled away.

“I hate people lurking." Genevieve said as she put her bow down. Mary almost swooned. Winston scratched his head as if he did not know what to do to her anymore. “Did you hurt him? He's one of your uncle's men, isn't he?" he asked with nervousness. Genevieve rolled her eyes. “Of course he is my uncle's man. Do you think my father's faithful vassals will spy on me?" she asked with a tinge of irritation in her voice. She stood up.

“His legs were braced like he was readying for a fight. I merely let my arrow pass between his legs…maybe a little too close to his crotch. I did not hit him there and risk ending his family line, of course. I am sure he will never spy on me again." Genevieve said and then left Winston and Mary. The servant looked at the vassal helplessly and said, “If my lady continues to be like this she will either kill someone or be killed." Winston agreed.

“Aye, she's a monster." He said jokingly and the two of them chuckled.

Genevieve took a walk around the lake near the Ainsworth castle. The lake did not change; it was how it always looked since she was a child. Her father would take her there for a walk and she would insist that she rides her father's war horse. Lord William will hold the reins and guide the stallion while Genevieve sits atop the animal. He would always tell her how she looks so much like her mother, Ellyn MacAlistair. Ellyn died in childbirth but she left Lord William a treasure worth anything else in the world. Ellyn made William promise her that Genevieve will always be happy and content. William told his dying wife that he would let Genevieve marry a cobbler if that's what will make her happy. Ellyn died with a smile on her beautiful face.

Her father told her that story many times before but this is the only time that Genevieve laughed. Cobbler! Now her father asked her to find a powerful protector, someone who is surely not a cobbler or a milker. No, her father did not stand on his promise to Ellyn. Just like any other English noblewoman, Genevieve had to marry for advantage.

But is she ready for that kind of life? Genevieve had been free from the grips of the English's social restraints while in Scotland and now, the society where she's trapped in felt alien to her. In fact, she wanted to return to Scotland where there are people who really care about her.

“How about Ainsworth?" Genevieve murmured as she kicked a rock. It went into the clear water and sank. She imagined herself being that small, pathetic rock and it made her feel even funnier.

“Genevieve," Winston called out behind her. She whirled around in surprise. She was so deep in thought that she did not hear the vassal coming. “What is it, Winston?" she asked. The vassal caught his breath before answering. “You have a visitor. Lord Beaumont requests your attendance in the great hall."

Genevieve was not expecting anyone. Hadn't Winston told her before that she is now a disgraced noblewoman and people from the nobility will not like to be seen in her company after what happened to her father?

“Do you know who that is?" she asked. Winston nodded. “He is Henry, the eldest son of Baron Langdon. He is here to ask for your hand in marriage." He said. Genevieve flared up.

“Did my uncle arrange this meeting? He is really in such a rush to marry me off. That obnoxious relation of mine really wants me out of Ainsworth as soon as possible." She assumed. Winston darted his eyes away. He learned long ago that telling Lady Genevieve to be careful with what comes out of her mouth is futile. “We must go now, my lady. You should not keep the man waiting."

“I did not invite him here so he can wait all day for all I care." Genevieve retorted but then she walked back to the castle grounds with Winston all the same. Winston thought that Genevieve's alienation and hopeless situation made her a harder woman. For all he knew, the lady was already nervous. She never had a special relationship with a man before and the fast pace of marrying her off must be terrifying for her.

“All the same, just show your manners, Genevieve. Don't let them think that your father did not teach you to be civil." Winston advised. Genevieve laughed out loud. “You are using my father to make me follow your sound advice, Winston. Don't think I did not know that." She said. Winston blushed.

“I was merely…"

“Do I look all right or should I wear the heavy English gowns?" Genevieve asked. Winston surveyed her for a moment. She was wearing a simple white gown with blue tassels in the waist. Her hair was down and flowing and her cheeks were flushed from her walk under the sun.

“You look great, Genevieve." He finally said. Genevieve smiled and her deep dimples on her cheeks showed. Winston thought that any man would desire her even if she made no effort to please.

It did not take Genevieve an hour to decide that Henry Langdon was a bore.

When Genevieve came in the great hall, the man quickly stood up and bowed. Genevieve thought he was too refined for her taste. His clothes, which looked too big for his thin frame, were as grand as her uncle's considering that he came from the lesser nobility. He talked pompously as if he had the world to offer which irritated her even more. He was the perfect gentleman, but when both of them took a walk to the garden and he bored her with courtship poems, she decided that she will die of monotony if she becomes Henry Langdon's wife.

“I heard you came from Scotland, my lady. I trust you did not have any health issues whilst there. I heard that their climate is abysmal." Henry said. Genevieve's brow cocked up. Just because Henry Langdon is thin, scrawny and looking like he will die the next winter it already means that she is unhealthy too. She gave a sweet smile.

“Forgive me for disagreeing. Scotland was sympathetic to me. I even slept in the moors with just my gown on my back when I accompanied my aunt's men in raiding farms of other lairds and not once did I contract an illness." She boasted. It's true that she really did some outrageous, unladylike adventures in Scotland but she knew that it was something she should not tell Henry on the first meeting if she really liked to push through this marriage. As she expected, Henry Langdon cringed.

“You did that, my lady? Why, you could have been attacked by wild animals or have been taken advantage of. I daresay if you were here in England that time, such things would have been entrusted to the men. How awful Scotland is!" Henry said in fervor. Genevieve rolled her eyes. She was taking this chance to lose his interest and this stick man was taking this chance to appear chivalrous.

“We have an apple orchard near the lake. The trees are now bearing fruits. Would you like to see it?" Genevieve invited. Henry Langdon really preferred the indoors, but being the gentleman he is, Henry obliged. He offered his thin arm for Genevieve to hold on to and she felt like she can crack his bone if she were not careful. Henry recited flowery verses to her until they reached the orchard.

“The apple blossoms smell as fresh as the spring, my lady. Now I know why you like to go here." Henry said. Genevieve wondered how she can make this man run away from her and when an idea sparked inside her mind, she just knew it will be the best way to make this pretty English boy regret he ever planned to make her his wife.

“Apple is my favorite fruit," Genevieve said happily and then added, “Would you like some? I'll pick apples for you." Henry Langdon did not understand what Lady Ainsworth wanted to do now, but when she ducked down to remove her shoes, horror came across Henry's face.

“My lady, I believe you should not-"

“Oh keep quiet, Henry! The apples are fresh and waiting to be plucked from the branches. I'd say your mother will be impressed if I send her some of these when you get home, don't you think?" Genevieve asked in pure innocence as she handed her shoes to Henry. The poor nobleman watched in awe as Genevieve started climbing the tree.

“My lady!" Henry called up when Genevieve reached the high branches and started tossing the apples down for Henry to catch. Henry begged her to come down from the apple tree but Genevieve feigned deafness. In her heart, she was a bit ashamed for what she was doing to Henry, but then she convinced herself that she will not make a good wife to him anyway so she should view this little game of her as a favor to Henry.

And as a little piece of revenge to her scheming uncle who thought he could be a romantic matchmaker.

Henry's worried voice as he loudly called to Genevieve rang around the grounds until they caught the attention of the guards. Winston slammed his palm against his forehead while a guard went to fetch Lord Beaumont. Mary, however, was laughing.

“No one can tame Lady Genevieve." She declared with certainty as she watched Genevieve jump a few times on the stout bark she was standing on. Henry Langdon did not know whether to climb after her, to hug the tree trunk to stop it from shaking or to just wait on the ground and prepare to catch Genevieve if she loses her footing and falls.

“GENEVIEVE!" Lord Beaumont roared. He was limping on his left foot but he quickly reached the apple orchard. His normally reddish face looked a shade of puce now.

“Come down this instant!" he commanded. Genevieve pretended to be an obedient niece and climbed down the tree. She put three more apples to Henry's already loaded arms.

“What is the meaning of this?" Lord Beaumont asked angrily. Genevieve bowed her head but inside, she was in no way regretful of her actions.

“I thought of picking apples as a present for Henry's mother." She said. Lord Beaumont's nostrils flared up. “If that is what you want, you could have asked a man to do that for you!" he said angrily. Henry Langdon put the apples down and dusted his clothes.

“It is a pleasure to know you, Lady Ainsworth," Henry said and then asked Lord Beaumont for a word. When the pair was gone, Genevieve laughed uncontrollably. Winston went to her.

“You did that to turn him away, didn't you? Genevieve, this incident will get out and will make you look like an uncivilized-"

“Barbarian? Scot?" Genevieve supplied, cutting Winston off. “I am the traitor's daughter, right? I don't have a reputation to lose anymore but I still have my freedom. I will not let it fly away by being stuck in an uninteresting marriage with a flowery boy who only knows how to recite court poems."

Lord Beaumont did not know what to do anymore. Genevieve proved to be a tough bone and the way she disobeys and shames him is remarkably maddening. Many times a day will he feel the urge to strangle the girl's neck but then she will turn her striking blue eyes on him and he will become more puzzled than angry. What is going on inside her head now?

It was also obvious that she did not like to marry anyone. Henry Langdon was truly appalled at his niece's actions that he swore not to see her anymore. Not that Henry was so important he had to be chased, but being a disgraced lady, Genevieve's match with the Langdon boy would have sufficed for her. A week passed and Lord Beaumont managed to arrange an introduction between Genevieve and with another baron's son named Cornell Stewart.

“I am not feeling well, uncle." Genevieve said when Lord Beaumont told her about the visitor arriving tomorrow. Lord Beaumont hit the table with his fist so hard his ale spilled. “You will not mess this up, Genevieve, or I swear you will not like the punishment awaiting!" Lord Beaumont said. Genevieve stood up.

“It is not my fault that Henry Langdon did not like me and that Cornell Stewart will not like me either." She said and then left the great hall. Lord Beaumont screamed for the cupbearer to pour more ale in his empty goblet. William the Conqueror is thinking of rewarding the Ainsworth lands and holding either to him or to some nobleman who will do a favor for him in the next weeks. Griffin cannot risk his future on the second option. His small, rocky land in the farthest county in England was so rundown that a serf's backyard would have made more produce. His small manor shook against the cold winds and his cattle were malnourished from lack of vegetation.

Hell, he will take all chances to get Ainsworth, even make an alliance with Genevieve's husband-to-be than return to his land that no one cared to do anything with – and he needs that alliance soon.

Cornell Stewart was handsome. At least, according to Mary.

Genevieve looked down from her bedroom window and saw the Stewart heir enter the castle grounds. He was a big man with blonde hair and fair skin. He was also wearing a full armor as if he just came home from a war to impress Genevieve. Genevieve snorted. First look at him and she already knew he is nothing but a bragger. She thought of not going out of her room where she was confined for a week under strict guarding. Her uncle was not pleased at the result of her meeting with Henry Langdon and he made sure that Genevieve knew that. She was ready to rot inside her room rather than meet the new suitor when the lock turned and in came her uncle.

“You look lovely today, my dear." Lord Beaumont said in a kind voice. Genevieve wanted to say something off but she just kept quiet. Her uncle noticed the change in her demeanor, though.

“Have you forgotten how to use your tongue?" he snapped but then acted like he was as calm as sheep. “Lord Cornell Stewart is here to make an acquaintance with you. I trust that you will not do anything to throw the marriage proposal off." Lord Beaumont added with a tinge of warning in his voice. Genevieve nodded.

“Well, we should not keep the lord waiting, don't we? Come now. I heard Lord Stewart is a charmer at court. I am sure you will like him." He added with a smile before taking Genevieve's arm himself. Genevieve highly doubted that, however. She wanted to push her pig of an uncle away from her but she stopped herself. They walked arm in arm down the stairs and to the great hall where Lord Stewart was waiting. When Lord Beaumont let go of Genevieve, Lord Stewart bowed low.

“This is the happiest day of my life! I have never seen such a beautiful lady in all of England." Cornell said in admiration. It was obvious that he was smitten and it pleasured Lord Beaumont to great lengths. Ha! Here comes my salvation, he said to himself.

“You should visit Scotland, Lord Stewart. My face would have been nothing compared to their ladies." Genevieve said with a smile. Lord Beaumont's ear twitched. Since when did the big, brute Scot women become desirable? Their arm could lift a ten-foot log without sweating! What is she doing now?

“I have never been to Scotland but I doubt there is anyone who can surpass your beauty, my lady. Your red hair is like a fiery sun to me." Cornell Stewart stuttered. Lord Beaumont thought this is the best chance for the two young people to get to know each other better.

“Genevieve, would you please show Lord Stewart our gardens? The roses are in full bloom now." Her uncle suggested. Genevieve smiled.

“Our apple trees are also blossoming and many have already borne fruits." She quickly added. Lord Beaumont quickly turned to her in mixed anger and warning, but he said nothing. Genevieve was pleased to rile her uncle.

“I'd love to go anywhere with you, my lady. I am very used to walks with beautiful women like you." Cornell Stewart said. The two of them walked to the gardens where Lord Stewart showed Genevieve how right her earlier judgment of him is.

“Many women fawn over me at court. Sometimes I think that if I were not born as handsome as this, I will have an easier life. The attention is getting on me that I decline court invitations whenever possible." Cornell bragged. Genevieve thought that it was just his excuse for not being an important person at court as he pretends to be.

“Oh, so you know Lady Suzanne Warlof? If I remember correctly, she told me when I last saw her that a blonde, handsome Stewart wrote her a poem. It could only be you." Genevieve said. Cornell looked up, as if recalling Lady Warlof from his long list of women, and then smiled. “Yes, I remember Suzanne. She is a delightful woman. She gave me her favor when I joined the jousting tournament although if I had met you earlier, I would have never noticed Suzanne or any other noblewoman." He said with a wide smile. Genevieve was getting excited.

“That's thoughtful of you. You fought on a joust? Do you like horses then? My father has many horses. I can accompany you to our stables." She said. Cornell was a little taken aback at this queer tour but he just smiled. “Wherever you want us to go, my lady." He said. They went to the stables and she introduced him Alpha, her mare who was a gift from her father when she just arrived from Scotland.

“She is as white as snow. You have a very beautiful mare here, my lady." Cornell said and it was true; Alpha is as tall as a war stallion but with long but slender legs. Her coat is silky and as white as snow and her liquid brown eyes are big and communicating.

“We can ride together if you want. We have riding grounds here." Genevieve invited. Cornell looked a bit hesitant but after much pushing, Cornell finally agreed. He rode the chestnut brown stallion and the two went riding. Winston and some of Lord Stewart's men rode with them. For a while, Genevieve was happy. Alpha trotted gaily. She obviously missed her mistress and Genevieve missed the outdoors too.

“You ride well, my lady." Cornell commented and that was true. Genevieve smiled. “My father taught me how to ride when I was just three summers. When I moved to Scotland, my aunts and uncles continued my training. I can even ride without a saddle." She shared. Lord Stewart was about to give another praise when he thought of an idea that would speed up the wooing of this beautiful lady.

“Since you are an accomplished rider my lady, would you like us to have a race? This courting will eventually lead to marriage anyway so we do not need to stall it any longer, am I right? We will just have a race and whoever wins will have the word in this prospect of marriage." Cornell Stewart suggested. Genevieve thought about it while Winston and Stewart's men were holding their breaths. Of course, Lord Stewart will win.

“Let's do it." Genevieve replied in a challenging voice. Cornell's smile reached his ears. He will have this woman warm his bed tonight.

Lord Beaumont was in his bedroom when he saw a line of spectators in the riding grounds. There was an Ainsworth man holding the Ainsworth banner while another was holding the Stewart banner. He could not tell for sure, but there were two riders on the other side of the field. Griffin cringed to have a better look and almost fell to his knees when he saw that the riders were Genevieve and Cornell Stewart.

“What in the hell?!" Lord Beaumont boomed as he quickly left his room and went to the castle grounds.

Alpha was thumping her hooves against the ground. Genevieve can feel the soft trembling of her horse and she knew that Alpha is as excited to run through the air as she is. She missed how the air whipped against her face and thanks to Cornell's impudence, she will be riding again like how she did in Scotland. Winston stood on the far end and on signal, he waved the white flag to begin the race. Cornell's horse quickly sprang into action and Alpha followed. Genevieve is determined to stop her uncle's marriage plans for her and never did she think that Cornell will be a suitable husband for her.

“Let's beat the hell out of this boaster, Alpha." She murmured and as if understanding her, Alpha's gallops went faster and faster until Genevieve was riding side by side by Cornell. The man was not pleased to see her beside him so he nudged the horse to run faster. Genevieve smiled and nudged Alpha too until one of them was eating the dust left by the other. Lord Beaumont arrived to witness his niece already dismounted and waiting at the end of the line for Cornell. The young man was fuming. How the hell was he beaten by a woman? Cornell's face was red as he approached the triumphant Genevieve.

“My lady, I hope that this race will not affect the marriage-"

“Why it does, Lord Stewart! I now have the say in this proposal and I say that there will be no marriage happening between us." Genevieve said. Cornell's face went a shade of magenta as his men tried so hard to stop laughing but failed.

“It was just a race! We were doing so well a while ago-"

“It was not just a race Cornell, and just to let you know, even if you won the race I will never marry a proud liar like you." Genevieve said in a high voice. Cornell's brows met. “Me? A liar? What do you mean?" the poor ladies' man of a lord asked. Genevieve looked at him with disgust.

“There was no Lady Suzanne Warlof."

Lord Beaumont had had enough of Genevieve's wiles. After Cornell Stewart left Ainsworth holding with his men as fast as lightning, Griffin lost all his composure and dragged Genevieve back to the castle by the arm. Winston and the other soldiers loyal to Genevieve tried to stop Lord Beaumont but his own men blocked Winston's group. Genevieve, however, did not scream for help even when in pain.

“Let me go uncle, I can walk!" she said in a loud and strong voice. Griffin was deaf to his niece's pleas as he dragged her down the stairs leading to the dungeons. Genevieve stared at him in disbelief. She knew that her Uncle Griffin had a bad blood, but to imprison her in her own castle?

“Why are you doing this to me?" she asked as the lock turned. She looked into the eyes of her uncle and saw only wrath and hate. “You forced me to do this, young lady. I was patient with you but to shame me to other noblemen! If you destroy any of my future plans, I will make sure that those people loyal to you will not wake up to see the sun shine in the morrow!" Lord Beaumont threatened. For a second, Genevieve wanted to throw her uncle a retort but she saw in his eyes that he was serious. “Don't touch them!" she said instead. Griffin was satisfied upon hearing fear in her voice. “We can work this out together if you follow my lead." Lord Beaumont said and then left his niece in the dungeons.

It was already her fourth day in the dungeons when Lord Beaumont went down to see his niece. Genevieve was a little pale but was otherwise healthy and unharmed. Lord Beaumont chuckled when he saw that not an ounce of fight left Genevieve's eyes but this time, he made sure that she will be an obedient tool to his grand plan.

“You have another suitor. I am surprised that after what you did to the first two, this man came for your hand in marriage." Lord Beaumont said. Genevieve did not rise to his bait but wondered who that man could be. She guessed that he is some son of some baron. Maybe the choices are now in vassals since no nobleman would dare court her and be shamed like Henry and Cornell.

“Are you still not interested to talk to me? I will be releasing you today because you have to prepare for this next suitor. I want you to secure a marriage with Viscount Brandon." Lord Beaumont said with excitement in his voice. Genevieve finally looked up.

“You heard me right, my dear. A powerful man, Viscount Brandon is." Lord Beaumont chuckled. Genevieve's brain whirled up. A powerful man.

“Now remember, if you ever do something to thwart this marriage proposal off, I will kill Mary, your sweet little servant. If on the last minute I change my mind I may just kill Winston too. I have plans of mine and you will not ruin the chance. Do you understand?" Her uncle asked. Genevieve nodded. I have plans of mine too, she thought to herself as Lord Beaumont freed her and brought her to her room where a warm bath and gown were waiting for her.

Aidan Brandon wanted to get this over and done with. He will meet the other viscounts in London tomorrow and this short stop at Ainsworth estate should not derail his timetable. Aye, he will perfunctorily introduce himself, propose a marriage, go on his way and return after a few days for the marriage ceremony. Some say Lady Ainsworth is a looker, but that was when she was a young girl before she went to Scotland. Appearance can change, he thought. For all he knew he might be marrying a hulking woman with limbs as big as tree trunks.

“I still don't understand why you are marrying a disgraced lady. You are doing well with your betrothed." Aidan's right-hand vassal Frederick said in an inquiring tone. Aidan just shrugged. When he and his father heard of the sons of two barons who were rejected by Lady Ainsworth,
Lord Augustus Brandon convinced Aidan to ask for Genevieve's hand himself.

“I am a viscount, father, and she is a-"

“A traitor's daughter? Nay son, she is William Ainsworth's daughter. There is a difference." The old man said. Aidan looked concerned. “How about my betrothal to Lord Bellamy's daughter? I cannot just marry Lady Ainsworth without breaking our alliance with them." Aidan asked. Lord Augustus took a deep breath.

“I did not do anything for William when he was executed; at least let us do something for his daughter. Protect her and I will take care of the Bellamys." His father said. Aidan saw the guilt in his father's eyes but being the sharp mind he is, Aidan gave a small smile.

“And I think that aside from keeping the woman safe, you also want me to find the missing paper that was the cause of Lord Ainsworth's death." He added. Lord Augustus tapped him in the shoulder as praise.

“I know I don't need to tell you that anymore, Aidan. You know what to do." He proudly said. Aidan took a deep breath. Sometimes his father expects too much of him being the next earl.

Genevieve looked splendid.

Her servants drew a warm, relaxing bath for her and she loved how the rosewater smelled on her skin. She washed her hair thoroughly and then wore the gown her uncle ordered to be made for her. The cream-colored gown fitted perfectly on her slim frame. The low neckline showed the swell of her breasts but it did not look indecent. Gold threads lined the gown and small red flowers were embroidered on the waist to accentuate her figure. The gown clung to her skin but spread out from her waist down. Aye, it made her look like a princess. The gown had matching headdress but Genevieve vowed that she will not wear such a thing. It felt more like a restriction for her than an ornament. When the elderly servant started to braid her hair, Genevieve stood up.

“I don't want anyone touching my hair and I hate braids. I want to wear my hair loose." She insisted. The woman did not contradict her. They were about to leave when Lord Beaumont entered the room without invitation.

“You look absolutely beautiful, Genevieve." He praised. Genevieve looked at him with fury in her eyes. “Where are Mary and Winston?" she asked instead. Lord Beaumont just smiled. “They are in the dungeons, dear. They will be released as soon as everything turns out all right. Let's go down the hall now, shall we? The viscount is waiting." He said excitedly. Genevieve put her hairbrush down and went with her uncle to meet the viscount who was stupid enough to ask for her hand.

Aidan patiently waited in the great hall. He stood by the window and looked at the well-tilled and rich Ainsworth lands and wondered what would happen to them if the king grants all of Ainsworth to a man he favors. Of course, there is the half-brother of Lord William who is now hurrying to marry off his niece before she loses every bit of her claim to the Ainsworth lands.

“Welcome to Ainsworth, my lord." A woman's voice said from behind him. Aidan turned around and saw the most beautiful woman he had ever laid his eyes on. He stared at her flaming red hair which was unbound and cascading like waterfalls on her back. She has smooth, white skin. Her long and curly eyelashes swept her lids. She is beautiful all right, but what took Aidan's breath away were her eyes. They were of striking shade of blue, like a pair of sapphires. He met her stare with a cool gaze and wondered what is going on inside her head as different emotions played across her lovely face.

Genevieve did not know what to feel when Viscount Brandon finally faced her. He is so handsome it should be a sin to have a face like his. He's tall, with black hair as dark as the starless night sky. He has chiseled jaws, straight nose, and fine lips that were clamped together in a stern line. His unreadable grey eyes were looking at her and Genevieve cannot tell what the viscount is thinking about her. For a moment, she wondered if he found her beautiful but then caught herself on time. Where did you get such ludicrous ideas, she scolded herself. They were still for a long time and just stared at each other until Genevieve broke the silence.

“My uncle wants me to be married to you my lord, but I will make a terrible wife." She said in a warning that told Aidan she will have the pleasure of ruining her future husband's life. She gave Aidan a smile to emphasize her certainty and the dimples on her cheeks showed. Aidan's heart skipped a beat. His grey eyes glinted in mischievousness as he gave a reply that Genevieve was not ready for.

“I think you will find out soon, my lady, that I am good at taming."

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