Madeline stood at her bedroom window and watched as the townspeople began entering her family's estate, she let out a soft sigh, she hated weekends like this more than anything, she was always made to stand there looking pretty and she was told to only speak when spoken too.
Her Emerald green silk dress hung on the hanger on the bsck of the door, albeit it was beautiful, extremely beautiful in fact, and she knew how very fortunate she was to have such expensive clothes and belongings when there are people going hungry in the world, she had hated her life since her mother died her father had become tyrannical, his temper had gotten worse, her older sister Celeste was lucky and married into a loving family, Madeline felt some jealousy towards her sisters new life, she knew it wouldn't be long until her father started looking for a suitor for her turning 22 and still being unwed was considered strange.
"Miss Thomas your father is waiting for you downstairs" spoke one of the servents on from the other side of the door.
"Could you tell him I'll not be a moment" she internally sighed before getting ready, she slipped on her dress and pinned her hair up into a simple yet elegant up-do and she was ready, well as ready as she would ever be.
She made her way to her father's office where he was waiting tapping his foot and rapping his fingers on the desk "Finally" he grumbled "we've got nearly the whole town here waiting for us and your pandering around doing christ knows what"
"I'm sor.." she began to apologise, but it was cut short.
"no time for apologies Madeline, now hurry up we have guests to greet, and then we can get the festivities underway"
"yes, dad" she forced a smile.
As they made there way on the makeshift stage the whole town and its cousins were stood there, Madeline's definition of a nightmare, the thought of all those eyes staring up at her made her palms sweaty.
"Welcome everybody to the 4th annual love of light festival" her father boomed talking to "his people" Madeline's mind trailed, she couldn't wait to get this weekend out of the way after her father's speech it was then her turn to mingle, she had a long list of do's and don't's like not to talk about private family life, not to mention anything about the string of street girls she had seen leaving the estate and stupid times of the morning.
She stood in the corner of the room, feeling lost she normally had her sister here but this time she was flying solo, her eyes scanning looking for someone she recognised.
"Good Afternoon Miss Madeline"
She spun around.
"Hello William" she replied apprehensively
"Still no ring I see" he glanced down at her bare hand.
Her face flushed red "I'm not going marry just anybody" she replied more sharply than she intended.
"Well I would hurry up because my father is in that office talking with your father as we speak Mrs Madeline Carrington has a nice ring to it don't you think" he replied smugly.
"I wouldn't marry you if you were the last man alive" Madeline scoffed.
William took a step closer to her "when your father realises I'm the best you are going to get your not going to gave a choice, I mean your slowly getting lower list of eligible women" she scoffed.
Madeline felt a surge of anger and balled her fist she was just about to close her eyes and swing when she felt a hand on her shoulder.
"Is everything okay"
"mind your own business we're fine" William Spat screwing his face up.
"I wasn't asking you, I was asking the lady here" he turned to Madeline who was for once lost for words.
"I'm-" Madeline began.
"she's my fiance, I don't believe her wellbeing is any concern of yours Mr..."
"Cordova, Nicolai Cordova" he smiled towards Madeline who was still frowning at William for cutting her off mid sentence and even more for introducing himself as her fiance.
"I am not your fiance at all William, never would I be in a million years, I. Would rather be hung from the gallows than for you to ever introduce me like that again" her gaze turned to Nicolai whoa was stood looking amused at William squirming on the spot "and I'm fine, thank you for asking, don't worry about William, he's nothing I haven't handled before"
"well I do like a woman who can look after herself" he licked his perfectly shaped soft pink lips, causing Madeline's stomach to flip.
"i-uh-i" shd couldn't get her word, she stuttered for a moment before finding her composure "I'm Madeline Thomas, it's lovely to meet you Nicolai" William stood there for a moment bewildered as to what was happening in front of him before walking away huffing
"Mayor Thomas' daughter? I've heard a lot about you"
"all good I hope" she blushed.
"of course, I would be concerned if a father would bad mouth his own child"
"you know my father?"
"I've just this moment left his office, I was just leaving when I saw you ready to punch that chap in his face"
"I'm sure if you didn't step in when you did I most certainly would of" she laughed.
"it's been a pleasure to meet you miss Thomas" he lifted her hand and softly kissed her pale skin "I hope we have the fortune of meeting again"
He began to walk away, when Madeline felt an urge in her stomach, it was time she started taking control of her future.
"Excuse me, Mr Cordova?" she called.
He stopped before turning around.
She took a deep breath...
It's now or never Madeline!
"would you care to join me for the fate tonight?" that's it she said it, "I mean if your not busy or have other plans?"
A smile crept across his face "it would be an honour too, I shall see you tonight Miss Thomas".