Madeline stood at the huge French windows in her bedroom and watched as the townspeople began pouring in to her family's estate, she let out a soft sigh, she hated weekends like these more than anything than she could think of, she was always told to stand there and look pretty and to only speak when spoken too.
The exquisite hand-made Emerald coloured silk and velvet dress hung on the back of the door, albeit it was beautiful, in fact it was extremely beautiful in and she knew how fortunate she was to have such expensive clothes and belongings when there are people going hungry in the world, but she had hated what her life had become since her mother died, her father had become tyrannical, his temper had grown worse, and he was a complete displeasure to be around, her older sister Celeste fell lucky and married into a loving family that adored her and to a man that spoilt her rotten with affection, Madeline felt some jealousy towards her sisters new life and she knew that it wouldn't be long until her father began to start looking for a suitor for her, since 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 finally getting ready, she slipped on her dress and pinned her hair up into a simple yet elegant and easy 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 impatiently 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" his face red and puffy from the years of alcohol abuse.
"I'm sor.." she began to apologise, but it was cut short "there areno time for apologies Madeline, now hurry up we have guests to greet, and then we can finally get these festivities underway" he stood up from the desk that was almost the half of his size
"yes, dad" she forced a smile nervous butterflies rising in her stomach, as they made their way on the makeshift stage where the whole town and its cousin were stood waiting for the mayor's grand apperance, this was Madeline's definition of a nightmare, the thought of all those eyes staring up at her made her feel sick.
"Welcome everybody to the 4th annual love of light festival" her father boomed loudly as he talking spoke to his people, Madeline's mind trailed as usual, she couldn't wait to get this weekend out of the way, after her father's speech it was then her turn to mingle with the revellers, 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, basically it was protecting
She stood in the corner of the room, feeling lost, she normally had her sister there to keep her entertained but this time she was flying solo, her eyes were scanning the room looking for a friendly face or somebody she knew
"Good Afternoon Miss Madeline"
She spun around and turned her nose up.
"Oh Hello William" she replied politely even though he was the last person she wanted to speak to.
"Still no ring I see" he smiled and& glanced down at her bare hand.
Her face flushed red "I'm not going marry just anybody" she replied more sharply than she intended, but the truth was she couldn't physically stand him, his greasy slicked back hair, the little fuzz on his top lip which he liked to pretend was a Moustache made her cringe, William was everything she despised in a man.
"Well I would hurry, because my father is in that office talking with your father as we speak" he lucked his lips and smirked "Mrs Madeline Carrington has a nice ring to it don't you think".
"William I wouldn't marry you if you were the last man alive and we were the ones to help bring back the population" Madeline scoffed, looking down her nose at him.
William took a step closer to her and gripped her wrist pulling her closer to him "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 eligibility list, you'll be shipped off to nunnery in the middle of France" he seethed through his clenched teeth Madeline scoffed at him pulling her wrist away sharply, she felt a surge of anger run through her veins and balled her fist she was just about to close her eyes and swing to punch him in his horrible smug weasle face when she felt a hand on her shoulder.
"Is everything okay here?" a man interrupted.
"mind your own business we're fine" William Spat screwing his face up making him look even more weasle like than usual, and grabbed hold of madeline wrist again.
"I wasn't asking you, I was asking the young lady here" he turned to Madeline who was for once lost for words at the handsome man standing in front of her.,
"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 so for just 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 back to Nicolai who was stood looking amused at the way William was squirming on the spot "and as I was just saying before we were rudely interrupted, I'm fine, thankyou for asking, don't worry about him, 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.