posted on 30-Dec-2002 8:43:50 PM by mattie788
A Duke, a Governess, and a Little Lady

Rating: most likely pg to pg-13 at the most.

Disclaimer: If I owned Roswell, we'd still have a show to watch.

Summary: Elizabeth Parker is a governess for Emily Burming in the early 1800s but when tragedy strikes they move 3000 miles away, to live with a cousin Emily's never met and a Duke Elizabeth might not be able to handle

**PROLOGUE**

Elizabeth Parker strode through the hallway of the Burming estate towards the nursery. She took as big of steps as she could before appearing unladylike.

She heard another scream for the bedrooms upstairs and hurried not caring how ladylike she looked. Just as she opened the nursery, a small girl leapt into her arms.

"Miss Beth, where's my mama and papa?" The small girl asked.

"Your Mama's upstairs, and your papa" She paused taking a deep breath. It had taken forever to find out what had happened. "Is not going to come home."

"What?" The girl shrieked.

"Miss Emily, you must really be quiet. Your mama will hear you and worry."

"But I want my papa." She cried. Elizabeth held the small girl in her arms while she cried.

It was early spring and some of the roads were still a bit icy from the winter's snow. Mr. Burming had gone out to fetch the doctor since Mrs. Burming went into childbirth. The carriage overturned and he was crushed, killed instantly.

"I know." Elizabeth held the small girl tighter to her. Elizabeth remembered back to the time when she was five years old and told her mother had passed away. She had screamed and cried. Claudia, her grandmother, had been there. And then she remembered back to the time when her father died when she was sixteen. Emily had lost her papa and now her mama within hours of each other.

They heard a shriek, a high scream and then silence. Emily buried her head in Elizabeth's chest.

Elizabeth listened in earnest for the sound of a baby cry. Nothing. Total and absolute silence filled the house.

An exhausted Martha peeked her head into the door. A painfully slow nod told Elizabeth everything she needed to know. Tears rolled down her cheeks. She bent down and whispered to Emily the news she had just heard. Emily slumped in Elizabeth's arms. She had fainted.

Part 2

A Duke, a Governess, and a Little Lady

Rating: PG-13 at most

Disclaimer: If I owned Roswell, we'd still have a show to watch.

Summary: Elizabeth Parker is a governess for Emily Burming in the early 1800s but when tragedy strikes they move 3000 miles away, to live with a cousin Emily's never met and a Duke Elizabeth might not be able to handle

A/N: I've made some places up as you will be able to see so that they suit my purposes and also, no aliens.

A small knock on the door and Lewis stuck his head in the door.

"Miss Parker, Mrs. Burming wishes to see you."

Elizabeth looked up from where she was rocking Emily.

"Ok." She bent down and took her time explaining to Emily where she was going; she was in no hurry to see the cynical old woman.

Emily nodded and then curled back up in the chair to await her governess's return.

"Where is she at?" Elizabeth asked straightening her hair. She had been up all night and did have a chance to freshen up.

"In the study, Miss." Lewis left her standing in front of the double French doors.

"Good Morning, Mrs. Burming." Elizabeth dropped a curtsy.

"Don't good morning me, Elizabeth, I don't like you and I know full well that you don't like me." She said in a strong English accent.

Elizabeth stared at her hard.

"Alright now that that is established I have a questions to ask you. Sit"

Elizabeth did as she was told.

"Where is my granddaughter?" She asked.

"In the nursery."

"Why?"

"That's where I left her." Elizabeth said.

"Alright, go retrieve her."

"She won't speak with you."

"Who are you to say?" She crossed her arms.

"She hasn't spoken with anyone but me."

"She'll speak with me."

Elizabeth went upstairs to get the small girl and returned with Emily clutching to her skirts.

"Come out girl, a Burming never cowers." Mrs. Burming stood up.

Emily came out from behind her skirts holding her head up as high as she could.

"Good Morning, Grandmother Burming." She whispered.

"Good Morning, child. How old are you?" She asked her voice softening a bit but still very harsh.

"F-four, soon to be five." She stuttered.

"I'm much too old to take care of her. She'll stay with her second cousin, in England."

"What do you mean?" Elizabeth asked.

"She is to go to England to stay with her second cousin." She restated. "You of course will make sure she gets there, I will pay for your ticket. Once you get there it will be up to you to do whatever. If he decides you can stay, then you may, but if not, your on your own."

"So, basically you want me to accompany your granddaughter, three thousand miles away from my home? To be left to who knows what? Of course I'll go, but don't think I'm liking it." She said as she started to walk out of the room.

"Yes you may take your leave, Elizabeth."

"Thank you." She took Emily's hand and gracefully as possible stormed out of the room. "And one more thing, ma'am."

"Go ahead." The woman waved her hand.

"Who exactly is this second cousin?"

"Maxwell Evans, Marquess of Roswell, Future Duke of Antar."

Part 3

A Duke, a Governess, and a Little Lady

Rating: PG-13 at most

Disclaimer: If I owned Roswell, we'd still have a show to watch.

Summary: Elizabeth Parker is a governess for Emily Burming in the early 1800s but when tragedy strikes they move 3000 miles away, to live with a cousin Emily's never met and a Duke Elizabeth might not be able to handle!

"My lord, there is a letter here for you, from Aunt Mabel Burming, in America." Martin the young butler asked stepping into his master's study.

"What does it say, Martin?" Max didn't even look up from his papers.

Martin cleared his throat preparing to read the letter, still becoming accustomed to reading the mail.

Maxwell, I am sorry to inform you that your cousin Edward Burming was killed in an accident early on the morning of August 3, 1816. His wife Georgiana Burming died in childbirth later that same morning. As you know they have a young child of five, making her your second cousin. I'm sending her to live with you. I'm too old to raise a child of such a tender age. I will be sending her with her young governess, the girl is three and twenty. Once she and the young girl arrive you are to do whatever you wish with both of them. I don't care. But I don't want anything to do with them. Although, I really think Emily, you cousin, would make a nice lady, valuable tool for bargaining. Just some advice to a loved one. Yours truly, Mabel Burming

Martin stood nervously he didn't like being involved in family matters.

"Darn that woman! I should know by now that a letter from Aunt Burming is never good." He stood up and began pacing. What were he to do with a child of five, and a governess of three and twenty? Then he got an idea.

And, who did she think he was, using little girl as a tool to secure positions. His parents hadn't believed in it, why should he?

"Martin, how old are you?"

Startled out of his thoughts, "four and twenty, my lord, I'll be five and twenty next month."

"Have you considered marriage?"

****

"Miss Beth, I can't see." She held her hands up.

Elizabeth obliged her and held her up over the railing. "Can you see it?" She asked pointing out the coastline.

"There's England." Emily shivered slightly.

"Are you cold?"

Emily rested her head on Elizabeth's shoulder. "No."

"Can we ever go back to Virginia?" She asked looking at her with round blue eyes.

"I don't know, love. We'll see." She took in a breath knowing Emily wouldn't just accept that. "Um, Emily?"

"Yeah?"

"Probably not."

****

Max went to the tower for the third time in an hour.

"Is it in yet?" He asked the guard.

"Nay, my lord." The guard answered trying not to get annoyed.

Max paced back to his carriage. He didn't like the docks, it was rusty and the smell of dirty sea water and dead fish. There was just something about it he didn't like. If they weren't here in a half hour he'd go to the inn and rent out two rooms. They had a three hour journey ahead of them.

A half an hour later he walked back to the tower. A young woman and a frightened little girl with blonde curls were talking to the guard. Something about that little girl's eyes looked familiar.

"Pardon me, but has the Princess come in yet?" He asked.

The young woman glared at him for interrupting, while the little girl clutched the doll she was holding tighter and backed up.

"Emily, stay still." She commanded sharply. "I just came in on the Princess is there someone you were looking for?"

"Yes, a Miss Parker and a Miss Burming?" He inquired.

"That, would be us." She declared.

He studied her and the little girl once more. "Follow me."

Max started walking and Elizabeth followed as closely as possible, dragging Emily behind.

"My lord, could you slow down, please, our legs aren't as long as yours." She called.

He stopped abruptly causing Elizabeth to slam into his back with a loud "hmpf."

Elizabeth shook her head to clear it. Looking up she saw the most beautiful carriage she had ever seen.

"I, my lady, am Lord Maxwell Evans. But you may call me Max, everyone else does." He smiled.

"I'm Elizabeth Parker." He took her hand and brushed a kiss over it. "And this is Emily Burming, my young charge." She introduced. "I'm commonly called Beth."

"Liz." He stated.

"Liz?" She was confused.

"I'll call you Liz."

"Why?"

"Because I want to." He stooped down to Emily level, as Liz liked to call it. "How do you do Miss Emily?"

"Liz it is." She muttered.

Emily shrunk back and looked up at Elizabeth.

Elizabeth gave her a look. "Good, m-my lord." She whispered. "A-and you?"

"Just fine thank you." He stood up to full height.

When he stood full height he stood more than a foot taller than Elizabeth. She was looking squarely at his chest.

"Well, we better be off." He said opening the door.

He went to grab Emily. She hid behind Elizabeth.

"I'll go first." Elizabeth said, knowing Emily would follow no questions asked.

"Fine Liz." He helped her up.

Emily immediately let out a shriek of disapproval at being removed from her security.

She glared up at him tiny fists on her hips. "P-please help me u-up?" She asked, half angry, half terrified.

"Alright." He swiftly lifted her up where she crawled into Elizabeth's lap.

Max climbed in after. "Ready?" He asked.

Elizabeth sighed. "I guess."

And the carriage jerked forward.

TBC.



Part 4

A Duke, a Governess, and a Little Lady

Rating: PG-13 at most

Disclaimer: If I owned Roswell, we'd still have a show to watch.

Summary: Elizabeth Parker is a governess for Emily Burming in the early 1800s but when tragedy strikes they move 3000 miles away, to live with a cousin Emily's never met and a Duke Elizabeth might not be able to handle!

"So, Miss Emily, although I guess it would be Lady Emily, now that you're back in England, I've heard your five years old?" Max asked gently.

"I will be, next Tuesday." She said sinking into Liz.

"September 27? Good day to be born." He smiled.

Emily turned a crimson shade and felt as if her face was on fire. She studied the man across from her.

He was really tall. When she stood up on the ground next to him it looked like forever till she reached his head. He had dark hair, like her papa. She missed her papa terribly and her mama. Feeling the need to cry, she snuggled closer into Liz and studied him some more.

His eyes were dark, but kind. She knew somewhere deep inside that he would never hurt her. He was just so, so big.

"I hear you're a smart girl." Max commented.

Emily looked up at Liz to see if she had heard, but her attention was on something out the window. She had that worried look on her face. The face she gets when she thinks she was sleeping late at night. When she'd sit by Emily's bed, and just, well, sit.

"You could say that, my lord." Emily whispered.

"You speak four languages?"

"Miss Beth speaks six." She stated matter of factly, wanting desperately to take his attentions from her.

Max looked up at the young woman sitting across from him. Her hair was long, brown and straight. It was unusual, in England, for a woman her age to wear her hair down and free. She looked like she could be intelligent. She must be if she was this girl's governess at such a young age. Six languages? He spoke as many, he has never in his life known another female, disregarding his sister, who spoke more than two.

"Six, Liz?" He had to ask.

Liz continued looking out the window. "Liz?"

"Miss Beth?" Emily gently squeezed her hand knowing that was the only way to help her out of the haze.

"Pardon?" Liz shook her head to clear it.

"Lady Emily here said you speak six languages, is that true?"

Liz smiled a shy smile and nodded her head. "Yes, my lord."

Max studied her when she turned to look back out the window. He felt something towards this girl. He wasn't sure what. He already knew that they would be staying with him, but Liz would be married. Something felt off at that thought. Unsettling.

Pretty soon Emily drifted off to sleep. There was complete silence in the carriage except for Emily's soft breathing.

Liz stroked Emily's hair while she thought about the man sitting across from her. When he had kissed her hands earlier, she felt alive like she hadn't felt alive before. She had wanted to blush but had long ago learned to hide it. One of the reasons she wanted to get into the carriage first was so that she could sit down. Her knees felt like they would give out.

"Liz?" She heard her name being called. She looked over to the handsome figure across from her.

"Yes, my lord?" She asked.

"I told you to call me Max." He said sternly.

"Sorry."

"How old are you?" He asked bluntly.

Liz looked at him shocked but answered. "Ni-three and twenty." She corrected herself.

"What?" He asked.

"Three and twenty."

He looked at her closely and then turned back out the window only to be greeted with the most spectacular sight. "What's that?" She asked with awe filling her voice.

"Lake Antar." He told her with a smile.

"That's yours?" She said.

"Well, my family's."

"Wow. Can you swim?" She had always wanted to learn but no one would teach her.

"Like a fish. You?"

"No one ever taught me." Liz looked down at her hands in her lap.

"You'll learn quickly." He said.

"Liz?"

"Yes?"

"You'll be ok here." He tried to reassure her.

"I'm not so sure about that." She answered honestly, looking him in the eye.

The carriage pulled up to the driveway and a young butler came down the front steps.

"Hello, Martin." He smiled, but felt that unsettling feeling inside him again.

"I trust your trip went well, my lord?" He asked helping his master down from the carriage.

"Excellent." He smiled. "Here Liz, hand the girl to me so you won't have to wake her.

"I've got her. I have to wake her up anyway to get her ready for bed." Liz explained. She set the sleeping girl on her feet and gently tried to coax her awake.

"Mama?" The girl rubbed her eyes.

"No, love. Come on." Liz stepped down from the carriage with the help of both Martin and Max.

"Elizabeth Parker, I'd like you to meet my butler, Martin Kendall. His father is, my driver, who goes by Kendall, and Mrs. Gloria Kendall, Martin's mother and Kendall's wife, is my head housekeeper.

Liz studied each of them. She liked the older couple but the way the young man was looking at her, was making her uncomfortable.

"Mrs. Kendall will show you to your room." He nodded at Mrs. Kendall to let her know it was to be done immediately. "Liz, after Emily's in bed, I'd like to talk to you about Emily's further education."

"Can't it wait till tomorrow, my lord?" She asked extremely tired.

"No, Liz it can't." He crossed his arms. He was not one to be reckoned with.

Well, neither was she.

TBC.

Part 5

A Duke, a Governess, and a Little Lady

Rating: PG-13 at most

Disclaimer: If I owned Roswell, we'd still have a show to watch.

Summary: Elizabeth Parker is a governess for Emily Burming in the early 1800s but when tragedy strikes they move 3000 miles away, to live with a cousin Emily's never met and a Duke Elizabeth might not be able to handle!

Liz followed closely behind the waddling woman. It couldn't be called walking. The old woman really was a dear but she talked all too much.

She paused at the doorway of one of the rooms to catch her breath. "This will be the young miss's room." She opened it. Everything inside was a pale pink.

Emily hated pink.

"Miss Beth, it's pink." She pointed out quietly.

Liz just about died. There was no way Emily would be able to sleep in here.

"Shh." She shushed Emily.

"This used to be the princess's room."

"Princess?" Liz asked, picking up Emily at her silent request.

"Oh, the Princess Isabel, she's the marquess' sister you know."

Liz was astonished. THE Crown Princess Isabel, was Max's sister?

"Really?" She asked.

"Yes, raised her myself, if I say so. I wasn't always housekeeper, I was nanny at a time." She smiled proudly. "I always knew our Izzy would marry well, just not the Crown Prince well."

"So she's going to be queen?"

"Yep, and if I'm not mistaken our king is ill, God help him, she will be in a few years coming. And they already had a son."

Liz knew all about them. It had made news when Prince Alexander had chosen a wife. It reached the Americas. As for the boy, "What's the young prince's name?" She was curious to find out.

"Christopher." She said simply.

"Cute little one if I say so myself." She smiled and went back to setting things straight.

"Lady Emily, sit here." She directed her to the chair.

Emily obediently went and sat down. She looked at Liz eyes pleading not to leave her.

She was scared. Elizabeth had known she was afraid but tonight she was downright terrified.

Mrs. Kendall dressed her in her nightclothes and began brushing her hair, all the while talking about Princess Isabel.

"I can do it." She was going to take the brush from the old woman's hands.

"No, no, it's been such a long time since I did a young girl's hair, let me do it please?" She asked.

"Alright with you Emily?"

"Yes." She said quietly.

Liz sat down in the chair next to her and began brushing her own hair out.

"Miss Parker, why do you wear your hair down?"

Liz stopped in the middle of a braid.

"Am I not supposed to?" She asked worriedly.

"It's fine, it's just, well, usually woman your age wear their hair up." She said.

"But I don't like it up." She said finishing the braid and throwing it behind her shoulder before starting on the other one.

"Indoors I suppose it will be fine, but outdoors, you'll have to."

"OK." She was heavily annoyed now. She hated her hair up, it made her feel older than she was.

Mrs. Kendall finished with her hair and Emily crawled into her lap.

There was a knock on the door. "Miss Parker, my lord would like to see you now."

"Tell him I'll be there in 10 minutes, Martin, please?" She asked picking up Emily. She laid Emily down on the bed. "Will you both please excuse us?" Liz asked.

"I'll put the girl to bed, you go and meet with Max." Mrs. Kendall urged.

"No, I will put her to bed. Now please?" She looked towards the door. She would let her do hair and anything else but she was not about to let her put her to bed. That was her job and it would always be her job.

"Alright, Miss Parker." They both agreed and Mrs. Kendall waddled out the door.

"How do you like it here?" Elizabeth asked.

"Mrs. Kendall talks a lot, and it's pink." She said talking in her normal voice now that they were alone.

"I know, but you'll be ok." Liz assured her.

"Where will you sleep?"

"Just in the next room." Liz pointed to the doorways that lead to her quarters.

"I want to be with you." Emily said nervously.

Liz handed he Katarine, Emily's favorite doll. "No." She said firmly.

"Please, just for tonight?" She asked.

"Alright, tonight only."

"Good, I don't want to sleep in the pink." Emily said disgusted.

"Alright, lay down, which poem do you want to read, Em?" She asked sitting on the edge of the tiny bed. She pulled out her small poem book by William Blake.

"Divine Image." She said automatically.

"Alright." She sat back and began to read. Ten minutes and three poems later, Emily was out.

"Goodnight, love." She kissed her forehead and sat the book on the sidetable.

Elizabeth made her way down to the study and knocked on the door.

"Come in, Liz." Came from within the huge double doors.

"You wanted to speak with me, my lord."

"You are to call me Max, I will not ask you again." He said firmly.

"Alright." She nodded her head.

"You are three and twenty you say?"

"Yes, my-Max." She said correcting herself.

"Good. And you speak six languages?" He asked.

"Yes. I speak five but I read latin." She explained. "I'm starting to speak it better but Papa wouldn't allow me to speak it and Mrs. Burming is no longer able to teach me."

"What other languages do you speak?" He asked her precisely in Latin.

"German, because the church we went to, that was the only language they spoke, French, Spanish, English, Swedish, and I'm learning Latin." She said.

"You seem to understand pretty well." He switched to French.

"I take my studies seriously." She answered back without thinking.

"What church did you go to?" He asked in German.

What is going on? She asked herself, she was confused, is he testing me? "Our Redeemer, Lutheran. It was a small roadside church in my hometown outside of Philadelphia."

"How'd you learn so many languages?" He asked amazed.

"Papa was Swedish Nobility, Mama was French nobility. It was expected of me to know both languages. I lived in America, I had to know English. German Speaking church, I had to be able to understand the sermon. And finally my grandmother was of Spanish descent and she taught me what I know."

"Wow." He said astonished. "That's quite an accomplishment."

"Thank you, Max." She ducked her head. "Most men would be intimidated you are not." Where had that come from?

"Yes, I speak as many myself, but my latin's fluent." He told her in Spanish.

She nodded.

"What languages does Lady Emily know?" He asked standing up and moving across the room.

"Spanish, French, German, and English." She said.

"And you've been her governess how long?"

"Since she was two."

"Two years?"

"Yes."

"She learned that in two?"

"She's a fast learner."

"Now, about you, Liz." He said looking at her.

"What about me?" She asked.

"Why aren't you married?"

She froze in her seat.

TBC.

A/N: I'm praying that this thread here is going to work. I'm back, I'm not dead.

[ edited 16time(s), last at 19-Feb-2003 1:27:34 AM ]
posted on 1-Jan-2003 2:56:40 AM by mattie788
A Duke, a Governess, and a Little Lady

Rating: PG-13 at most

Disclaimer: If I owned Roswell, we'd still have a show to watch.

Summary: Elizabeth Parker is a governess for Emily Burming in the early 1800s but when tragedy strikes they move 3000 miles away, to live with a cousin Emily's never met and a Duke Elizabeth might not be able to handle!


"Why does that concern you, my lord?"

"Because you're three and twenty, or so you say." He stood up from his chair and began to pace.

"What's that supposed to mean, Max?" She asked staring at him wide-eyed.

"It means that I don't believe you when you say you're three and twenty. My sister is one and twenty and there is no way that you can be older than she." He said shaking his head.

"Well I am, Max." She drew out his name to emphasize it.

"Why didn't you marry in America?" He asked.

"Aren't these questions a little personal?" Liz asked appalled that a "gentleman" such as the person pacing in front of her would ask such questions.

He stopped and put his hands behind his back. "You are to be married."

"Excuse me?" She said.

Max studied her, here she was threatened with the prospect of marriage and she was perfectly composed. Isabel would've been out the blocks by now. Her back was perfectly straight, ankles crossed and hands folded neatly in her lap.

"You will marry." He stated once again.

"Pardon me, but this may sound a little rude, but a situation like this calls for it." She said in a deadly calm voice. Max swore he saw ice in her eyes. "I accept and will assist you in anything you want to do with Emily. I know you are her guardian and I am just her governess. But, in matters concerning my life, I and only I, will make those decisions. I do not like people meddling in my life."

He looked at her taken aback.

"Why, then did you come to England?"

"I came because of Emily." She didn't want to state the other reason as well.

"You came across the Atlantic Ocean because of a little girl. There are tons of people needing governesses in America, why didn't you stay there?"

"I didn't want to abandon her when she was orphaned to go to a distant country, to live with people she doesn't know."

"Alright." He nodded. "Liz, you will get married, you have to."

She silently stood and walked towards the door. "I cannot, and will not get married, my lord." She opened the door.

"You can and you will."

"No, my lord, good night."

They held each other's glares for a minute or two before she turned and walked up the stairs.

Liz changed into her night clothes before going to retrieve Emily from the dreaded "pink room".

She left the door open a crack because she couldn't stand to leave her door closed. She sat in the window seat and pulled out her journal, it wasn't until then that she let herself cry.

Wednesday, September 21, 1816, Dear Journal, Today we arrived in England. At first I thought it would be quite nice here. The marquess is really quite sweet and the weather splendid. When we were shown Emily's room I almost fainted. It was pure pink, everything. Emily won't even sleep with a pink blanket let alone a pink room. She's asleep in my bed. She'll fit in just fine here. I don't know as if the same will be for me. I thought the Marquess was nice but he told me I must marry. From the first time Papa told me I must be married, I swore I would only be married on my time, no one else's. I don't care what he says, I'll marry if and when I'm ready.

****

"Bonjour, Mademoiselle." Emily said waking up Liz. It was Thursday, they spoke French on Thursdays.

"Bonjour." Liz said, opening her eyes. She hadn't been able to sleep as usual but liked to pretend for Emily's sake. "You ready for you day?" She asked cheerfully.

"Oui!" Emily replied snuggling closer.

"We'll get up in a minute. What time is it?" Lessons started right away.

It took Emily a while to look at the time and be able to figure it out. "6 o'clock." She answered.

Liz leaned up on her elbows to check. "Good job, sweet." She said.

Liz had just started to get up and out of bed when Mrs. Kendall waddled in.

"Morning." She said cheerfully. Emily looked at Liz and rolled her eyes.

"It's Thursday, why is she speaking English?" Emily asked questioning.

"Because only we speak French on Thursdays." Liz explained washing down in the freezing cold water.

"Why?"

"So you'll learn it."

"Does monsieur know?" She asked wandering over to her.

"Yes. Now come here." Liz finished pulling on her dress and tying it back. They walked through the doors.

Emily washed down quickly in the slightly warmer water. "I'm hungry." She said.

"Hungry?" Usually Emily had to be forced to eat.

"Yes." She said.

"Mrs. Kendall." Liz called into the adjoining door.

"Yes, Miss Parker." She waddled into the room with fresh linens in her hands.

"Where do we take breakfast?"

"My lord wants you two to join him downstairs, this morning." She said as if she remembered something. "Oh, and he wants you down there at 7:00, every morning."

Liz straightened and looked at the clock. 6:50. "Emily come here and let me finish your hair."

She quickly swept her blonde curls into a half ponytail as directed by Mrs. Kendall.

"Let's go. Do you want to take Katarine?" Liz asked picking up the doll.

"Yes." She held out her hands. She tucked Katarine safely under arm. "Up?" She asked holding her hands up.

"Come on." Liz picked her up and Emily wrapped one arm around her neck.

"Let's go."

Emily chatted happily, yet quietly, on the way down the stairs.

Liz had to remind herself to keep walking when she saw Martin holding open the door to the dining room.

"Good Morning, Miss Parker, Lady Emily." He smiled. Liz was still very uncomfortable under Martin's scrutinizing gaze.

"Bonjour." Emily whispered blushing furiously. She tucked her head in Liz's neck.

"Morning, Martin." Liz nodded her head in acknowledgement but kept walking.

"Nice of you to join us." Max said standing up from his seat at the table.

Liz glanced at the clock. 7:02. "Sorry we're late, my lord." She answered back in French

"Bonjour." Emily said sliding down in the booster seat that was there.

They had a quiet breakfast. Emily chatted quietly with Liz in French. Liz talked only to Max when he addressed her. It seemed to pretty much annoy him. She kept it up.

"May we go for a walk?" Emily asked as she hopped down from the seat and waited for Liz to join her.

"My lord?" She asked, knowing that Emily's education was up to him.

"Why don't you take morning lessons outside?"

"Outside?" Emily asked clinging to Liz.

"Yes. It's nice weather. It won't be here much longer, enjoy it while you can." He smiled and held the door open for them.

"Liz, I'd like to speak with you." He whispered in Latin.

Emily looked curiously up at them.

"Can it wait?" She asked not looking at him.

"No." He crossed his arms. "Send her with Mrs. Kendall for the morning. It's important."

"She naps in the afternoon."

"No, now." He said.

When was he going to learn that she did things her own way at her own time?

She'd show him now.

"Alright. Let me take her to Mrs. Kendall, I'll be back as soon as possible." Liz took Emily's hand and led her upstairs.

Liz eyed Martin warily at the way his eyes were studying her. She'd have to talk to Max about that.

TBC


Chapter 7

A Duke, a Governess, and a Little Lady

Rating: PG-13 at most

Disclaimer: If I owned Roswell, we'd still have a show to watch.

Summary: Elizabeth Parker is a governess for Emily Burming in the early 1800s but when tragedy strikes they move 3000 miles away, to live with a cousin Emily's never met and a Duke Elizabeth might not be able to handle!


Max paced downstairs in his study. He was in his riding clothes. He had sent Martin up after Liz to tell her to wear the riding habit that was in the new wardrobe he had made, he hoped it fit.

"You do like to ride, don't you?" He asked as soon as he saw her enter the room. The habit fit perfectly.

"I spent a lot of my childhood on horseback." She said, smoothing out her skirts.

"What took you so long?" He asked.

"I had to start Emily on her lessons." She looked up at him.

"It took you an hour?" He crossed his arm and raised his eyebrows.

"Yes." She answered back defiantly. "Are you ready, my lord?"

"Quite." He walked towards the door but then paused. "Are you going to be cold, it's chilly but nice?"

"I don't get cold." She answered. All she had was her light cloak, she'd be fine.

"Alright, don't complain."

"How long do you expect to be out, my lord?" She asked on the way to the stables.

"About three hours." He stated simply.

"Three hours?" She turned back towards the house. "I didn't tell Emily I'd be out that long, please let me go tell her."

He grabbed her firmly but gently by the arm, "No."

"P-please?" She stuttered. "She's going to get upset, she's not a huge fan of horses since her father's accident." She whispered.

"She'll need to learn, Liz. We'll be back before noon." He kept walking.

"W-will you let go of my arm please?" She whispered.

Max looked down at the young girl. She looked like she was going to cry. "Yes." He dropped his hand. "Hurry up, the sooner we leave the sooner we get back."

She followed quickly after him. "As I said yesterday, my lord, I cannot keep up with you when you walk at such a speed."

"I'm sorry, he slowed his pace a bit."

"Thank you." She eyed the puddle there was no choice but to go through. " Where exactly are we going?" She lifted her skirts above her ankles to lightly step into the puddle, but was hoisted into the air.

"Let me help you." He said. She grabbed onto him to gain balance.

They were well over the puddle but he was still carrying her. "Max, you can put me down now." She told him.

"You walk to slow, it's faster when I carry you."

"Suit yourself." She said annoyed, she didn't see a point in arguing with him.

Pretty soon they reached the stables. They were the most magnificent horses she had ever seen. "These are beautiful she said in awe."

"I have the perfect horse for you and Emily." He said proudly. He set her down and led her into the stables. "Allen!" He called for the stable boy.

"Yes, my lord?" He asked sleepily.

"Please prepare Alador, and the young mare." He said, voice ringing with authority.

"Come, I'll show you Emily's." He pulled her along to the other side.

He stopped in front of a young chestnut mare. "She's beautiful." Liz whispered. She had grown up with horses and she knew a good horse. "How old is she five, six?"

"She's six years. Newly broken and gentle as a lamb." He explained.

They walked back outside the stables. A magnificent stallion was standing proudly next to a smaller, calmer mare. "The stallion is my horse, Alador." He told her as they walked towards the horses. "The mare is yours."

"Mine?" She asked. "Yours, she's not even named yet." He said smiling.

"I'll have to ride her to see what she's like." She said shyly. Although she'd spent her life around horses, didn't mean she'd ever had one. "Thank you."

"Your welcome." He helped her up onto the horse.

They began at a slow trot. "Where are we going, Max?" She asked again.

"I'm going to show you how far you're allowed to take Emily on rides without an escort and certain ground rules that will need to be laid down."

"Alright." She says.

An hour later they circle Antar Lake. "Are we allowed to wade in the water?" She asked.

"Yes."

"There's going to be a party for her on Tuesday." He said completely out of the blue.

"Why?" Liz asked looking at him. "Can we stop here?"

"Sure." He hopped down from his horse to help her down as well.

She walked towards the water. He eyed her warily. "Liz, can you swim?"

"Nope." She slipped off her slippers and walked a little ways into the water.

"Careful." He warned. "It gets slippery."

"It feels cool." She said. "It reminds me of a creek that I used to play in when I lived in Pennsylvania." She smiled remembering.

"Was it fun?"

"I don't really remember much, only the coldness of the water. Mama used to take me down to the creek when she was with child. She said the water cooled her feet. It was the only time she let me take off my shoes outside the house." She smiled and stepped further into the cold water. She lifted her skirts a little higher.

Max stared at her. Her legs were shining in the water.

"How deep does it go?" She asked innocently turning around to stare at him.

It took him a minute to find his voice. "I'm not sure, my Mrs. Kendall never let us go that far."

"Ok." She stopped where she was and began to walk sideways. "So why are we having a party?"

"For her birthday." He stated. "The duchess feels it's necessary to make her feel as welcome as possible."

"Will the duchess be coming?" She asked.

"Yes, my father, mother, sister, and nephew, my brother-in-law might come if his schedule allows." He nodded.

"All those people are coming and they don't even know her?"

"She's part of the family." He shrugged as if it was normal. He kicked off his boots and rolled up his pants to join her. He stepped in the cool water next to her.

"It is cold isn't it?" He asked.

"Very." She chuckled. "I don't think I can feel my feet." She walked back towards the dry land and sat down on the grass.

"It's very nice here." She looked around.

"I like it." He took a seat next to her. He noticed how tired she looked. "Did you sleep last night?"

She looked at him. "Yes." She quickly changed the subject. "Am I allowed to bring Emily here?" She asked.

"Yes, with either Martin or myself."

"Why?"

"Because you can neither see the house nor hear anything from here. Now don't doubt that this property is well protected, we can't guarantee anything." He looked at her making sure she understood. "Is that clear?"

"Yes." The only thing that stood in her mind was they could not see or hear anything from here. She was never, ever coming here with Martin.

"Liz, answer me truthfully. Did you sleep last night?" Max asked her. He scooted closer and lifted her chin to meet his eyes.

"No." She said quietly, she tried to divert her eyes from his dark, questioning ones. "I don't usually sleep at night. I nap with Emily during the day. I-I don't like sleeping at night. Things happen when you're asleep." She looked at the ground blushing.

"Like what?"

She looked back up at him, tears forming in her eyes, she wanted so badly to tell him but she couldn't. One, she knew him for one day, and two he'd send her back. "Nothing."

His face was close to hers. Why was his face so close to hers? It should not be allowed to have eyes that gorgeous.

His face was getting closer by the second. His lips were so close that she could feel his breath.

Someone came crashing through the trees. Liz pulled away and pulled her feet under her skirts.

"I'm sorry, my lord. But you have a caller, and Lady Emily doesn't want anything to do with us. She wants Miss Parker." Martin said in a hurry.

Liz was up in a second she pulled her slippers on and made her way back to her horse. There was no ways she'd be able to get back onto that horse without help.

Martin was behind her and lifted her up onto the horse. She stiffened, his hands just felt wrong, and they lingered longer than they needed to. "Thank you, Martin. Max, shall we go?"

He pulled a glare away from Martin and looked at Liz. "Yes. Martin meet us back at the house." He instructed. "Liz, can you gallop?"

"Of course." She answered.

"Let's go."

They took off towards the house.

The stable boy met them on their way to the stables. Max helped Liz down and she walked back across the lawn to the house.

She was so determined to get to Emily she almost missed the blonde girl standing in the entryway, almost.

"Tess?" She looked at her.

"What are you doing here?" She folded her arms.

"Do you two know each other?" Max asked coming up behind Liz. Max glanced at the girl and almost shrunk back in disgust.

"Um, no." Liz said quickly, turning away. "I'm going to find Emily, my lord." She curtsied and exited the room.

TBC

Part 8

A Duke, a Governess, and a Little Lady

Rating: PG-13 at most

Disclaimer: If I owned Roswell, we'd still have a show to watch.

Summary: Elizabeth Parker is a governess for Emily Burming in the early 1800s but when tragedy strikes they move 3000 miles away, to live with a cousin Emily's never met and a Duke Elizabeth might not be able to handle!


"Who was that?" Tess asked as Elizabeth scampered up the stairs?

"The governess, you've yet to meet my young cousin Emily, who I'm to take care of till she turns eighteen." Max lead her into the study and pulled the call cord.

"That's a long time, Maxwell." She purred as she latched onto his arm. Max resisted the urge to pull his arm away.

"Yes, my lord?" Martin said stepping into the room.

"Please go get Miss Parker and Lady Emily?" He told him. "I have someone they need to meet."

Martin turned "And Martin, keep your hands and eyes to yourself." Martin nodded.

"Now, Tess, what brings you here today?" He asked wondering if she could detect his loathing.

"I came by to see you, I forgot they arrived yesterday." She said helping herself to the seat.

"I'm very busy today, Tess." Max answered taking his own seat. "I have to get the two of them settled before I can do anything." He said.

"That's what the servants are for, darling." She drawled.

"No, I'm the host, I see to them until they are completely settled in."

"Can you accompany me to the Opera, Tuesday night?" She asked.

"No." He was through with the rumors that he was with Tess.

"Please, Max, it's not like you have prior engagements."

"Actually I do." He stated.

"We-"

She was cut off by the knock on the door. "My lord, you wanted to see us?" Liz asked quietly, Emily cowering behind her, clutching Katarine.

"Emily, come here." He said gently.

She looked up at Liz with sparkling blue eyes. "Go on." Liz urged.

She let go of Liz's hand and skirted around Tess, far as possible. She made it safely to Max.

"Hello." She said quietly, smiling.

"Hello, Emily." He lifted her up onto his lap. "This here is my friend Miss Tess Harding." He introduced. "Tess, Lady Emily Burming."

Emily stared at the woman across from her. "How come I'm Lady and she's miss?" Emily whispered in his ear. Tess still heard.

"Pardon." Tess glared at the girl sitting in the position she wanted to be in.

"Emily!" She said appalled.

Max tried to hold back a smile.

"What?" Emily asked confused. Miss Beth told her that whenever she had a question to voice it.

"She's not a lady because her family is not nobility, Emily." Max explained.

"I am?" She asked.

"Yes, you're my cousin and I'm a marquess."

"Oh." She nodded her head. Why was Tess turning red? "Why is she turning red?" Emily pointed out.

"Emily." Liz said, quietly, yet telling Emily not to test her.

"Miss Harding, I'd like you to meet our governess, Miss Parker."

Liz nodded in her direction.

"So, I'm a lady and she's a miss?" Emily asked to clarify.

"Yes." Max said patiently.

"Miss Beth is a miss." She observed. She leaned back and whispered something in his ear.

He burst out laughing and set her down on her feet. "Goodbye, Cousin." She waved as she took Liz's hand.

"Good day, my lord, Miss Harding." Elizabeth nodded and left the room. She was going to have to check that mouth of Emily.

"She's a curious one isn't she?" Tess said through gritted teeth.

"Yes, and she's the reason I can't accompany you Tuesday." He said standing up.

"What?"

"I'm busy, Tess, good bye." Emily's innocent curiosity gave him the courage to be more blunt with her.

"Goodbye, I'll stop by tomorrow."

She walked out the door.

"Martin!" Max called.

"Yes, my lord?" He stepped into the room.

"Please have this delivered to my mother and father please." He handed him a note.

"Of course, my lord."

****

The next day they began their first lessons, Liz wanted to go outside since Max informed them that the good weather was not to stay for much longer.

Max was at a safe distance watching the way they worked together.

Emily had a copybook and was neatly and efficiently copying her tutor's writing. They were speaking Spanish today. The morning had been filled with math and arguments over how to do a specific problem. Now everything was mores subdued filled with copying, speaking, spelling, and Spanish grammar.

"Sorry to interrupt, Liz." Max said walking up to them.

Liz gave him an annoyed look, "Go ahead, my lord." She stopped Emily from finishing her dictation.

"If we're to make it to London by tonight we must leave now." He said.

"What?" London, since when were they going to London?

"We're going to my townhouse tonight and we're staying there for the weekend, Emily needs some dresses and if we're to redecorate that room, what better place is there besides London?" He asked as if it were obvious.

"But we haven't packed anything." She said starting to panic.

"Already taken care of, by the time we get back to the house, the Kendalls will have everything ready for us to go." He smiled.

"Am I allowed to finish this?" She asked pointedly. She hated being told things last minute.

"Yes, by all means, just be done within the half hour." He said returning to his spot by the tree. He lifted up his book with his business affairs in it and returned to doing it.

"Yes, my lord."

She took forty five minutes to finish.

"We're ready now, my lord." She stood up, pulling a sleepy Emily behind her.

Max just gave her an amused glance and gathered all his books together. He put them in the satchel attached to his horse's saddle.

Max helped Liz onto her horse before settling Emily on his saddle and climbing up behind her.

"Let's go." He told her and started off at a trot so as not to jostle Emily.

Liz followed without protest, thoroughly annoyed yet fascinated with her employer.

TBC

Part 9

A Duke, a Governess, and a Little Lady

Rating: PG-13 at most

Disclaimer: If I owned Roswell, we'd still have a show to watch.

Summary: Elizabeth Parker is a governess for Emily Burming in the early 1800s but when tragedy strikes they move 3000 miles away, to live with a cousin Emily's never met and a Duke Elizabeth might wish she hadn't.


**London**

Liz stepped down the front porch of the townhouse. They had gotten into London late the night before and couldn't see the house properly.

"It's pretty, Miss Beth." Emily said holding tightly to Liz' hand.

"Isn't it?" Liz added.

"Are we going shopping today?" Emily wanted to know.

"Yes, we just have to wait for Max. He won't let us go without him or Martin, you know that." Liz reminded her.

"Do I have to study today?"

"No." Liz shook her head.

"That's two days this week." She clapped her hands happily.

"Yes, I know, and you'll not the rest of this week." Liz said wondering if she was making the right decision.

"Really?" Emily exclaimed.

"Yes." Liz affirmed.

Emily squealed. "Emily, not outside please." She had almost forgot how high her squeals could go, almost.

"Let's take a walk that way, shall we?" Liz asked taking her hand.

"Sure." Emily clutched and walked up the street a few houses and back. When they returned Max was waiting for them on the steps.

"Good morning, Cousin." Emily said quietly, slipping back into her old shyness again.

"Good Morning, Emily, Liz." He walked to the carriage and held the door open. "You ready for shopping?"

"Yes." Emily said. She loved shopping, and her mama used to tell her of shopping in London.

Max helped them up into the carriage.

"We'll be meeting some friends in town, I think you'll get along with Maria, my best friends wife. She has a daughter Emily's age."

"Really?" Emily asked. She didn't really interact with other children in Virginia and everyone knows there's no children back at the Estates.

"Yes, we'll be spending the day with them." He said.

"Are you going shopping with us, or is Martin?"

"I will be." The night before Liz had discussed with Max her feelings about Martin, he had made it clear that they wouldn't be together, alone, without his supervision.

The ride into town was short; they could have walked if they wanted to.

When they met up with Lord and Lady Guerin, Liz hung back respectfully until she was introduced.

"Elizabeth, it's nice to meet you." Lady Guerin greeted her.

"You too, my lady." Liz said formally.

"No, you may call me Maria, I'm tired of hearing, my ladies." She said happily, yet through a thick french accent. "This is our daughter Adele, but we like to call her Ellie. She doesn't speak English very well yet, but she's learning."

Max introduced them to Adele and Emily was more than happy to accommodate Ellie and speak French.

"Maria, I was hoping you could show Liz around London?" Max asked.

"Of course!" Maria exclaimed happily. They began walking, Maria talking nonstop. They eventually switched to French since it was easier for Liz to understand her in her native tongue.

Walking into the dress shop Maria introduced her to the owner and informed them that Emily needed new dresses.

"Come here, dear." The older woman waved to Emily.

Emily stopped chatting with Ellie and stepped forward.

"I'll take her measurements, miss, why don't you go pick out some materials."

"Beth, I'll be right back, I have to pick up something from across the street, will you be alright?"

"Yes." Liz didn't need to look behind her to know that Max's watchful eyes were on her.

Liz walked towards the back of the shop where the materials were. She was so lost in thought that she didn't see the blonde woman come up behind her.

"Elizabeth." She heard the voice. She froze she hated that voice.

"Tess." Liz turned around.

"Fancy meeting up with you again." Tess sized her up. "I see you're living with the Lord Evans now, what mooching off of him?"

"Nice to see you again Tess." Liz said ignoring her and going back to her materials.

"You're probably wondering what I'm doing here?" Tess sat neatly in the chair behind her.

"No, I wasn't." Liz shook her head.

"Well, older sister, for your information, me and my mama were sent here after Papa died."

Liz gasped and turned around.

"After you ran away, you might want to say that my mama was aggrieved, but she wasn't." Tess sneered. "She was happy you were gone. She found you were a nuisance."

None of this was new to Liz; she hated her stepmother as well as her half sister.

"The thing you don't know is after your disappearance, your husband came looking for us, demanding where you are."

Liz stiffened. "Pardon?" Liz turned around.

"As I said Rafael came looking for you."

Liz pressed her back against the soft materials and closed her eyes taking a deep breath. "But of course, because you had run away we had no idea where you were." She smiled. "We promised him that when we found you, and we would, we'd tell him where you are." Her smile turned menacing. "And, that's already been done."

Liz almost fainted. "Liz?" Max came back, it'd been a while since he'd seen her and he was worried.

"I-I'm here, my lord." She called, upset because she was stuttering.

"You've been quiet, and Emily was wondering if" he stopped when he saw her pale face and Tess standing there smiling sweetly.

"Good morning, Tess, wasn't expecting to see you here." He turned his attentions to Liz. "Are you alright?" He asked gently.

Liz shook her head to clear it. "Yes, I'm fine." She picked up the material she had picked out and walked towards Max. "Here, it's not pink, she should like it." She said trying to seem normal.

Max eyed her then glared at Tess, warning her to stay away.

"Good day, Maxwell." Tess sauntered out of the room.

"Are you alright?" Max asked again.

"I will be."

Liz walked out of the room. Max paid for the needed material and soon were on their way back to Max's townhome.

Liz was silent the whole way back. Emily had chosen to go to the Guerin town house, which had shocked Liz.

Max stared at her from his position across from her. "Are you sure you're going to be ok?" Max asked quietly.

"Yes, Max, will you please stop asking?" She said frustrated, she wanted to be alone. She was glad that Emily wanted to go with the Guerins. She wanted to just go up to her room and sit by herself.

"I'm sorry." He said. He didn't talk to her again until that evening.

"Liz are you coming down?" Max knocked on her door. There was no answer.

"Liz?"

Still no answer.

He slowly creaked open the door. Liz was asleep on the bed clutching Katarine, which Emily had left behind.

He walked into the room, knowing full well that it was improper. No one was home though. The Kendall's did not stay over during his stays at his town house. It was too small and he preferred to have as few people staying with him as possible.

He sat gently on the bed. She slept fitfully. He knew she would wake up sometime soon because it was getting dark outside, and he knew she didn't sleep once it got dark.

She started to thrash about. He pulled her so her head was in his lap. He stoked her brown tresses from her face and whispered comforting words in her ear. She stopped. He stopped briefly but continued when he realized that she was crying.

"Liz?" He bent down.

She tried to move away from him but he held fast. "Liz." He said again softly.

She cried harder. He took her hand in his and she held tight. "It was only a dream." He tried comforting her.

"No, it wasn't dream, it's what's going to happen. Max?" She stopped she tried to sit up but he held tight and wouldn't let her. She turned her face towards him instead.

"Yes?" He asked softly, wiping away her tears.

"Am I safe here, with you?" She asked, having to know.

"Of course." He asked wondering what had brought this on.

"If something bad happens, a-am I safe?" She asked.

"Yes, Liz, tell me what's going on?" He pleaded. He picked her up and carried her over to the rocker that was there for Emily.

"I can't." She said. She knew she shouldn't be sitting here in her lord's lap. She knew that their position was compromising, and she definitely knew that his face shouldn't be getting closer. Now he was kissing her.

It was soft and gentle, she tried to resist at first but gave in to his advances. She relaxed into his body. They pulled away desperate for air.

They were both panting. Liz curled up onto his lap knowing that she was safe. Pretty soon, Max realized, she was asleep

TBC

Chapter 10
A Duke, a Governess, and a Little Lady

Rating: PG-13 at most

Disclaimer: If I owned Roswell, we'd still have a show to watch.

Summary: Elizabeth Parker is a governess for Emily Burming in the early 1800s but when tragedy strikes they move 3000 miles away, to live with a cousin Emily's never met and a Duke Elizabeth might wish she hadn't.


Max continued to hold Liz until there was a knock at the front door. Realizing that he had to answer it he carefully laid Liz down on the bed handing her Katarine.

She moaned at the loss of his body heat but curled into the blankets.

He leaned forward and kissed her quietly on the forehead. As he walked down the stairs he began to regret kissing her. He knew he shouldn't have. He kept telling himself that he did it because he was trying to comfort her and she needed it but he knew deep inside, that it wasn't the reason.

He opened the front door. Michael was standing there with a sleeping Emily in his arms.

"Good Evening, Max." Michael stepped inside.

"Good Evening, Michael." Max greeted. He took his sleeping cousin from Michael's arms. "Would you like to come in?"

"No, Maria and Ellie are waiting in the carriage and Ellie's quite exhausted, and when she's tired you don't want to mess with her." Michael smiled.

"Like her mother?"

"Exactly. But hey, I love them." He shrugged. "Good evening." He tipped his head as he turned down the steps.

"Wait, my mother wants you and your ladies to join us on Tuesday, it's Emily's birthday." He called softly.

"I'll see, Maria will make time in our schedule for it." He smiled and climbed back into the carriage.

Max turned and shut the door. He carefully carried Emily up the stairs and laid her in her bed. He turned to leave and found Liz standing in the doorway. "I'll change her, did she eat supper?"

Liz asked keeping her eyes on the ground.

"Yes." Max said. "I'll be down stairs, in the lounge."

Liz dressed Emily quickly, trying not to disturb her from her peaceful sleep. "Good night, love." She whispered before heading downstairs. She glanced at the clock it was 9:00. She had another long night ahead of her.

"What time do you go to sleep, Max?" Liz asked taking a seat on the soft sofa.

"Around midnight." He stated.

"May I stay with you till then?" She asked shyly.

"Aren't you going to bed?" He glanced up from his paper.

"I told you, I don't sleep at night." She said. She got up from her place and walked over to the bookcase. She turned and pointed, "May I?"

"Yes, Liz." He said going back to his paper.

"Thank you." She picked a book and returned to her seat.

By 11:00 she was nodding off. "Liz, you should go up to bed." He said gently.

"I can't." She curled up into a tight ball.

"Come on, I'll go with you." He uncurled her and lifted her in his strong arms.

"Please, put me down?" She asked.

"No."

She relaxed in his hold. She expected him to put her down when he reached her room. Instead he walked her to the rocker and sat down. She pushed against his chest trying to get him to let go.

"Hold still, go to sleep." He cooed. She was outraged, she was no babe.

"Pardon me sir, I'm not a young babe who needs to be rocked to sleep. I will not sleep." She pushed against him once again. But he had an advantage, he was stronger than she, it was a useless struggle.

She slumped in his arms. "Alright, but I'm not sleeping."

"You will." He adjusted her so they were both more comfortable.

Within minutes she was asleep.

He removed her robe and laid her down in bed. He made sure she was covered before he snuffed the candle and retired to his own room.

****

The scream came at 2:00 a.m. Max was out of bed in a minute.

"Liz!" He burst in the door without waiting to ask permission.

"Max!" She gasped out. She gasped for breath slowly reminding herself to breathe.

He took her in his arms for the third time in one night. She began to sob against his chest.

"It's ok, I'm here nothing's going to happen." He whispered to her. He ran his hand over her hair her back, any place he could find to soothe.

"I-I told you I didn't want to sleep." She said half angry half terrified.

"What's wrong, sweet?" He asked.

"H-hold me and I'll tell you in a minute." She said, still trying to catch her breath.

He obliged and took her more firmly in his arms. She calmed down to where she could talk.

"I don't like sleeping at night."

"I gathered that." He said plainly.

"Will you hush so I can tell you why?" She asked annoyed.

"Sorry, go on." He scooted back against her headboard.

"I, when I became Emily's governess, I was only seventeen." She began slowly. "Making me nineteen, not three and twenty. The only other person that knew this was Mrs. Burming, Emily's mama. I said I was one and twenty so Mr. Burming would allow me to stay on." Liz shifted.

"I was already thought young, but I was smart and I knew I could teach Emily as well as any, and, Virginia was far from Pennsylvania."

"Why did you leave Pennsylvania?" He asked gently.

"My papa died and I didn't want to stay with my stepmother and half sister."

"And your mama?" He asked stroking her hair.

"She died in childbirth when I was two and a half. I remember her though, although Papa says it comes from what he told me. There are things that only she and I would know that I remember." She said clutching him.

She picked up Katarine who was lying idly beside them.

"She made this for me when she was with child." She held her up and played with her arms, restlessly.

"I remember watching her make it. Wondering why her tummy was so big and I couldn't sit on her lap anymore." She said blushing at such a topic.

"Why did you give it to Emily?"

"Because I'm not to have daughters of my own." She said softly.

"And why not?"

"I don't want to be married."

"Emily is like your daughter then?" She asked.

"Yes."

"Isn't it odd for a governess to get so attached to their charges?"

"Yes, in a way it is. They could be moved at anytime, but I was secure with the Burmings, and I'm secure here, aren't I?" She turned and gazed up at him.

"Very."

She stopped talking after that. Max wanted to know more, knowing there was more to her story but didn't want to press her.

"You should go back to bed. We've been here nearly three hours. Emily awakens in one hour." Liz tried to pull out of his arms.

"She didn't awaken to your scream?" He asked.

"She'd sleep through a storm." She smiled as she settled back into bed, under the covers. He got up.

He kissed her before he left. She watched him leave.

The next morning they rose, and went about their daily business.

Days turned into weeks, weeks into months, and neither mentioned the night at the silent townhouse.

TBC

A/N: In case you were wondering why I post so many at a time I do it to catch up to where it's posted at the other board. So it's almost there.





posted on 5-Jan-2003 3:58:15 AM by mattie788
A Duke, a Governess, and a Little Lady

Rating: PG-13 at most

Disclaimer: If I owned Roswell, we'd still have a show to watch.

Summary: Elizabeth Parker is a governess for Emily Burming in the early 1800s but when tragedy strikes they move 3000 miles away, to live with a cousin Emily's never met and a Duke Elizabeth might wish she hadn't.


****CHRISTMAS EVE****

Emily bounced around the nursery happily.

"Emily sit down and let me finish." Liz commanded sharply.

"We're going to have a white Christmas, Miss Beth." She said happily.

"I see that, but we'll never make it to service if you don't settle down and let me finish your hair."

Liz finished the detailed style fit for the cousin of a great Marquess. "There. Now sit there while I finish mine."

Liz donned her Christmas dress that Max had insisted she get. It did look good on her but it made her look higher in society than the governess she was.

"Are you ready, Miss Beth?" Emily asked impatiently a half hour later.

"Almost." Liz pinned her hair on the side and left the rest down. She decided that since it was Christmas she could wear what she wanted. Her hair was curled and fell neatly on her shoulders. Emily's curls did that naturally.

"Let's go, love." Liz held her hand out to her. Emily picked up Katarine who had also obtained a new dress for the holiday festivities.

Max was waiting for them by the stairs when they descended. Max couldn't believe his eyes. Liz looked like she belonged there, walking down those steps, in a dress fit for his marchioness. He wanted her there, as his marchioness, but she would never agree to it.

He knew that he had promised her to Martin but decided that he could talk it out with him.

"You look wonderful." Max held out his arm to her. He bent down to Emily as well.

"And you, you're the most beautiful five year old I've seen today." He smiled.

"I'm the only five year old you've seen, cousin." She said smartly.

"Oh well, pity for the next one, she'll have a lot to compete with."

"Thank you, cousin." She smiled up at him. "Can we go now?"

"Not without your cloak. And why are you in such a rush?" Liz asked.

"I want to see the snow, Miss Beth." Emily rested her small hands on her waist.

"Ok, come here then." Liz fashioned the cloak faster than Max had seen any body do. "Let us hurry, it's mighty cold out there." Liz stood back up.

"Ready, Max?" Liz asked.

"Yes."

****

The service was more beautiful than Liz ever remembered her services being.

"Are we going back?" Emily asked Liz.

"Yes, Isabel, and the Guerins are coming as well." Liz informed her.

Emily walked ahead to talk to Ellie and took the two-year-old Prince Christopher's hand. Ellie took his other hand. Liz buried her hands in her cloak and walked next to Maria.

They came to the outside of the church where snow had piled quite high during the service.

Christopher eyed the snow warily, and then looked up at his mother. Isabel smiled and picked up her child. He kissed her cheek and rested his head upon her shoulder.

Liz watched all this. It was uncommon for people to see the royal family show such affection towards each other. But as she had seen, the Evans didn't care about how everyone else worked.

Ellie and Emily made their way hand in hand to the carriage. One by one the ladies filtered into the carriages, children on laps, the gentlemen in the other.

Walking into the grand foyer of Max's large Estate. Shaking snow off boots and removing coats the three children made a mad dash to the warmth of the parlor.

"Presents!" The adults heard shouts.

Seeing everybody happy and settled, Liz excused herself to go upstairs.

A half an hour later she did not return.

Max went upstairs to find her. Isabel and Maria smiled knowingly at each other.

"Liz?" He knocked softly on the door.

"Come in." Liz called.

Max walked in to find Liz huddled on the window seat.

"Why didn't you come back down?" Max asked sitting opposite her.

He remembered that night three months earlier. He dreamt of it every night. Tonight though, there were people down there, people waiting for his return.

"It's a family time." She said staring out the window, looking out at the snow.

"Why don't you join us, then?" He asked curiously. Had they done something to make her feel excluded?

"Because I'm not part of the family." She said glancing at him before turning back to the window.

"Emily considers you part of her family, so in part you are." He said gently. He reached forward and caressed his cheek.

"I can't. It's a time for you to be together, Emily should get used to me not being here all the time."

"Why?" He asked concerned. His face searched hers for an answer.

"Because." She didn't answer his question.

"Max, after Christmas, I have something I need to share with you, but it has to wait. Can you wait please?" She asked taking his hand.

"Yes. But only if you join us." He tried to negotiate.

"Alright." She stood up shakily. It was then Max noticed she had been crying.

He didn't ask about it though. He would wait till the day after tomorrow and then he should know everything.

****

Max escorted down into the main parlor.

"Miss Beth! Look what I got." Emily stood by her dollhouse.

"It's beautiful." Liz gasped. She always wanted a dollhouse, Tess had one, she didn't.

Liz sat in a chair. Glancing around Liz noticed all children were with their parents. Isabel's eyes kept wandering towards the door. Liz knew she wanted her husband there to be with her. If she were married she knew she'd want him to be with her on Christmas as well.

Emily came and sat on her lap. Her head began to droop. Pretty soon she was sleeping.

All the children were. The adults moved in closer to the fire, talking about the next day plans. The duke and duchess were coming to spend the day.

Liz sat and observed the group with envy. She had never been this close with anyone besides her short time with her mama.

Christopher awakened with a start. Isabel glanced down at him and tried to soothe him back to sleep.

"Did I miss anything?" Came a voice that Liz did not recognize.

Isabel's eyes lit up as she turned around and spotted her husband.

"Alex!" She gasped.

"Papa!" Christopher shouted, climbing down from his mama's lap.

"Hi, my man." Alex lifted his son into his arms.

Isabel ran to him as well. "I thought you couldn't come." She said through tears.

"Took a lot of convincing but Mother finally convinced Father to let me come." He explained and kissed her cheek.

Max and Michael winked at each other. Maria caught it.

"You two knew?" She said pointedly but quietly.

"And if we did?" Michael asked. A tumbling block hit the side of his head.

"Ouch." Michael exclaimed rubbing his sore head. "Get over it." She told him. "When are you gonna learn not to keep secrets from me?" She crossed her arms.

"I don't know." He shrugged and shifted Ellie in his arms.

"Alex." Isabel said pulling him over to the semi circle the group had made.

"I'd like you to meet Emily." She bent down next to the sleeping girl. "She's my cousin from America. And this is her governess that came with her, but she's more of a friend, Miss Elizabeth Parker."

Liz smiled up at the Prince. "Nice to meet you, your highness." She greeted.

"And with you Miss Parker, but please call me Alex, among friends and family, I'm just Alex." He shook her hand.

"Then please, call me Beth."

"Alright." He took a seat that Max had pulled up.

They went on to talk about the day after Christmas when everyone went down to village poorhouses and distributed blankets, toys, and anything else that was needed. Liz had helped make several blankets as well as teach Emily how to make them as well.

Liz was still thinking about other things that was to happen the day after Christmas and was wondering if that was the day she should tell Max everything.

TBC

Part 12

A Duke, a Governess, and a Little Lady

Rating: PG-13 at most

Disclaimer: If I owned Roswell, we'd still have a show to watch.

Summary: Elizabeth Parker is a governess for Emily Burming in the early 1800s but when tragedy strikes they move 3000 miles away, to live with a cousin Emily's never met and a Duke Elizabeth might wish she hadn't.



Liz never got her chance.

Christmas morning when Liz came down there was a messenger waiting for Max.

Max took the message and told them all that they had to go to the parent's estate at Antar to celebrate Christmas.

They piled into Alex's fancy carriage, since everyone could fit into it, comfortably.

Emily and Ellie chattered the whole way there about dolls and such that they had gotten the night before.

They were met at the door by an ashen-faced duchess. They greeted each other and the kids were told to go upstairs to the nursery, Liz followed behind knowing someone needed to keep an eye on them. The duke and duchess were not a big fan of Liz either, they talked to Tess, and from according to what Tess had told them, she was trying to prevent Max from marrying and producing an heir.

Max tried to restrain her from following the kids.

She turned shook her head firmly and followed the kids up the stairs.

Max glared at his mother for making Liz feel uncomfortable but followed the group anyway.

At lunch Liz escorted the kids to the dining hall where the group was waiting to dine. Liz debated whether or not sit down with them.

The men were standing looking at her so she took the hint and sat down.

Lunch progressed without incident, but Liz had the feeling that this wasn't a normal Christmas celebration. Sure, the decorations were pretty and jolly, but there was something missing.

After lunch Liz took the kids out to make snow angels. It'd been such a long time since she actually had to act the part of a governess she almost forgot what to do with the children. The kids napped in the afternoon. Liz pulled out her old, tattered journal. She'd have to buy a new journal soon, she'd had this one since she was sixteen. She was about to start writing when the door creaked open.

Liz set looked towards the door to see Max quietly enter.

"Good afternoon, my lord." She greeted before looking back down at her journal.

"Merry Christmas, Liz." He sat down in a chair across from her.

"Merry Christmas." She mumbled.

"I'm sorry about today, Liz." He looked at her. "I have this, it's from me. Emily said you needed a new one because you've had your old one since you came to her." He pulled out something wrapped neatly.

TO: Elizabeth Parker

FROM: Max Evans

Was scrawled on the top with a greeting card which Liz immediately recognized.

She opened the package, carefully. It'd been a while since she got a present from anyone.

It was a light green journal, with gold trimmed pages. In the corner of the front, neatly printed was "Elizabeth Parker" then underneath her name was "Christmas 1816"

"It's beautiful." It took her a moment to find words to describe it. "Th- thank you so much."

She hugged him and pulled away quickly blushing.

"Thank you, I did need a new one." She held up her old one for him to see.

He chuckled.

"We're going to meet in the parlor tonight before returning to Roswell this evening."

"We're returning tonight?" She asked surprised.

"Yeah, it'll be late but we need to get back."

"Why?" She asked looking at him suspiciously.

"I have to come back." He cleared his throat, trying to take the pain from his voice. "My father's ill, the umm." he paused and swallowed. "The doctor said that he won't be hear much longer." He finished quietly.

The look of pain on Max's face cut Liz to the core. "I'm sorry, Max." She got up from her chair and kneeled in front of him.

"It's ok." He took her hands in his. "I have to come back tomorrow. We have to get everything in order before, before-" He couldn't finish the statement.

Liz pulled him down into a hug. "It's ok, Max."

"You'll have to stay at Roswell by yourself." He warned.

"Why?" She didn't like that thought. The only reason she slept at night was knowing Max was there, to keep her safe.

"Because my mother doesn't want Emily here when he goes."

"I understand." She stood up when Emily started to stir.

"Martin will be here with me, but Mr. and Mrs. Kendall will be at your disposal." He said.

"Alright." Liz went to Emily.

Max walked out of the room. Liz was mad at him. He could sense it. But he was trying to figure out why. He never could figure out Isabel, how was he supposed to figure out Liz?

TBC

Part 13

A Duke, a Governess, and a Little Lady


The next day Max left early in the morning before Liz or Emily came down for breakfast. Because of this Liz and Emily didn't bother to go downstairs for breakfast and ate in the nursery before starting lessons.

Emily was restless that day because she couldn't go outside.

"Emily, sit down." Liz demanded. Her nerves were on end because of her lack of sleep the night before, she had gotten used to sleeping at night once again.

"I want to go outside." Emily whined taking a seat at the desk.

"No, it's snowing and plus, Max said no outside." She handed her back her mistakes that she was to correct.

"I thought I did these right?" Emily asked looking at her work.

"Fix your B's they look like F's and the last time I checked 11+11 did not equal 24." Liz sat down.

"Alright." Emily conceded. She was not used to Liz being so sharp with her. Tears started to well up in her eyes. She sniffled. Liz heard.

"I'm sorry, Emily." Liz picked up the small girl. "I'm not in a very good mood today." Liz rubbed her back.

Emily sniffled against her shoulder and nodded. "It's ok." She said quietly.

She slid out of her arms to perfect her two simple letters.

They went down to lunch quietly and Liz was happy when Emily fell asleep soon after. She went and sat down with her brand new journal and began her first entry.

"Miss Parker." There was a knock on the door.

"Yes, Mrs. Kendall." She called annoyed that her quiet time was interrupted.

"There's a letter for you." She spoke through the door.

"Alright." Liz set her journal down and made her way to the door.

Recognizing the handwriting, she opened it slowly, with shaking hands.

Elizabeth, I know where you are, obviously since you're reading this letter. I plan for you to receive this letter on the 26 of December since I will be leaving New York Harbor on this exact date. I'll be there to retrieve you from Roswell, in two months time, and thank the marquess ever so kindly for keeping you safe, darling. R

Liz looked down at the letter in disgust, disbelief and downright fear. This truly could not be happening.

****

Max returned to Roswell three weeks later, tired, depressed, and angry.

Liz didn't know he was home until two days later when she happened to bump into him on the way to Emily's dance lessons in the ballroom. No one had found it important enough to tell her of his return.

"Max!" She exclaimed surprised.

"Good Afternoon to you too, Liz." Max greeted sharply.

Taken aback, Liz had continued walking. She wasn't in the mood to deal with cranky people now. Her nerves were on edge yet she had no idea whether or not she wanted to tell Max about the letter.

Max watched her leave and shook his head sadly. He knew this time would come but he hadn't wanted it to be so soon.



TBC

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 5-Jan-2003 3:59:03 AM ]
posted on 5-Jan-2003 8:49:53 PM by mattie788
A Duke, a Governess, and a Little Lady

Liz was braiding her hair when Max entered her doorway.

"Good Evening, Your Grace." She acknowledged the fact that he was now indeed the Duke of Antar. "I'm sorry about your father."

"What do you have to be sorry for?" He met her eyes in the mirror. "I need to speak with you downstairs." He turned on his heel and left the room.

"Yes, Your Grace." She said to no one in particular.

Liz knocked on the door before she entered.

"Come in Miss Parker."

He never called her that.

"Liz," He paused, "Miss Parker, we-I have a problem." He started. "When my father died, he left the family in dire financial straits." He studied his hands.

"We're not desolate, there's no way we could be because Isabel is the Crown Princess, but we aren't good. There is much work to be done before they can be fixed but the immediate thing, now that I'm duke, I must have an heir." He took a breath. "In order to obtain an heir I need to marry."

"Obviously." She said annoyed.

"Miss Parker, please." He eyed her. "I am to be married, in three months time."

Liz felt as if the air had been kicked out of her. She had never had any hopes of a future with him, but knowing that another woman would have the right and honor to be his wife was hurtful towards Liz. But who was she to say anything? She was just a lowly governess, neither servant nor family.

Max gauged her reaction and felt his heart leap that she seemed upset. Yet, he was sad because for once there was nothing he could do to fix it.

"One of the demands of my fiancé, Emily must attend boarding school, hence there would be no need for you in the household anymore." He said trying to sound as disconnected for the statement as possible.

Liz stared at him. Trying to compose herself and not let the tears run that we threatening to in her eyes.

"W-where am I to go?" She asked, her voice broken. She didn't want to leave Emily.

"You can stay here, if you wish to marry Martin." He said matter of factly.

"Pardon?" She said starting to get angry. "You know perfectly well how I feel about that man."

"I was just offering." He shrugged. "Tomorrow, Tess will come to get a head start on running the household, I suggest that you stay out of her way." Max looked at her.

"Tess, you're marrying Tess?" She asked disgust filling her voice.

"Yes."

"I thought my position here was secure." She asked him, holding him accountable.

"It was." He said quietly. He hated this.

She stood to leave. "Promise me, your grace, you'll bring Emily home for the summer holiday and any other holiday?" She asked. "Although I don't know if I can hold you to it." If she couldn't trust him, than whom could she trust?

"I will." She exited the room. "I'm sorry, Liz." He whispered brokenly, when he realized she hadn't even said goodbye.

Liz went up to bed and pulled Emily into her bed because she needed someone oblivious to the world around her. Her arms settled around her and Emily snuggled into Liz's arms as she had when she was younger. "Night, Miss Beth." She whispered.

"Goodnight, Love." Liz whispered, as the tears coursed down her cheeks and landed on the white pillow.

****

The next month was hell, Liz looking frantically for a new position, while trying to keep her young charge, as well as herself, out of her half sister's way. She also had to keep Max from finding out about the letter and her relation to Tess.

"Your Grace?" Liz knocked on the door.

"You may enter, Miss Parker." Max called.

"Your Grace." She entered the room to find Tess sitting in the familiar chair that she used to occupy. "Miss Harding." She acknowledged Tess. "Could you give me a reference, I might have a position with the Skeffingtons but they want a decent reference and you're the only one I have?" She asked quietly.

"Come here." He said firmly.

Her feet went automatically towards him. He took her paper and scrawled something on it.

"Thank you, your Grace." She nodded and was about to turn to exit the room when a voice stopped her dead in her tracks.

"Elizabeth." She forced herself to be calm.

"Hello, darling." He said stepping into the room.

"Who are you?" Max demanded from his position behind his desk.

"Me? I'm Rafael Derevko, Elizabeth's husband." He stood behind her. Liz froze.

Her 'husband' was tall, not quite as tall as Max but close. He was well built and had arms of steel as she knew all too well. He had dark hair that hung to long and eyes that were too dark to have any good in them.

"Pardon me?" Max shot a look at both Liz and Rafael. "Explain." Max tipped his head a sign Liz knew was for her to be seated.

She was on her way to sit when Rafael restrained her and Liz froze. She knew this wouldn't make Max happy, he didn't like people to defy him, especially in his own home.

"She will stand." Rafael said in a calm voice, eyeing Max.

The two men silently fought for dominance. Rafael's grip loosened and Liz escaped his grasp and sat in the chair as far from him and as close to Max as possible.

"Rafael. Nice to see you again." Tess said from where she had silently observed them.

"You know him?" Max tipped his head in Rafael's direction. His eyes angry.

"Of course I know my sister's husband." She said smiling and crossing her arms.

Max's gaze swung to Liz whose eyes were on her hands.

"Miss Parker." He said.

She looked up and tried to blinked back tears. "Yes, your grace?" She said quietly.

"I'm sorry, I think I miss understood Tess, would you like to explain?" He asked.

"You mean to tell me that she didn't tell you she's my half sister?" Tess exclaimed faking shock.

"Quiet, Tess." Liz said sharply.

"I'll explain." Rafael said standing up.

Not liking to have to look up to the man Max stood as well.

"I was married to Elizabeth, or Miss Parker as you call her. Directly after the wedding I had to leave for Russia when I would return for her in two years."

Max interrupted. "How old was she?"

"Fifteen." He answered as if it weren't a big deal.

"Fifteen, you married a girl at fifteen?" Max asked astonished. "How old were you at the time?"

"Eight and twenty."

"Making you how old now?" He asked.

"Two and Thirty. But that's beside the point. When I returned I learned her father had died and the little chit had run away. No one knew where she went and seemingly no one cared, but I did. I made a deal with her half sister here, Tess, that if she heard from her she would let me know." Rafael nodded. "Now, I thank you, your grace for keeping my wife safe, we'll be on our way now." He walked over to Liz and pulled her up by the arm.

"Do not move." Max said fiercely. Rafael didn't try to argue. Liz hung her head in shame. This is not how she had wanted Max to find out. "Sit down, Liz." He called her by her nickname. Liz looked up when he did this and his eyes softened for a moment before they turned cold on Rafael. "Drop her arm."

"The little chit is my wife, you'll not tell me how to handle her." Rafael said.

"Pardon me, but you're in my house, you will do as I say, no questions asked. Period." Max said. Rafael dropped her arm without further argument.

"Will you please step out of the room, Mr. Derevko and Tess?" He asked politely.

"I will not have you alone with my wife." Rafael stood.

"I told you once, I won't tell you again. You are in my home, you will do as I say and if you don't I will have you removed." He said in a deadly calm voice.

Tess and Rafael both scurried out of the room.

When the door was shut behind them Max turned his attentions back to Liz. She was sitting calmly, or so she looked, with her hands folded in her lap and eyes on her hands.

He went to her and knelt down in front of her. "Liz, look at me." He said softly. When she refused to he put his forefinger under her chin and lifted until her eyes met his.

"Liz, can you explain this to me please?" He asked gently.

Liz blinked back more tears and shook her head.

"Liz," He said more firmly but still soothingly. "I need you to tell me so that I can help you."

She looked at him with tears in her eyes. "I'm sorry." She said through a sob. He embraced her even though he knew he shouldn't, that she was married.

"It's ok, calm down and explain." He soothed, stroking her back. He remembered that night four months back at the townhouse.

She pulled a handkerchief from her pocket and pulled away from Max. "When- after my mama died, Papa remarried about four months after. She had already had Tess, she was just a few month younger than I."

She paused before she went on. "So Tess is your stepsister?" He asked.

"No, half." She corrected. "I found out later, when I was fifteen, I didn't like my fifteenth year, I found out that was my half sister. Papa had been seeing another woman on the side. When my mama was with child, she um, she couldn't, well." Liz looked at him her face blushing.

"I understand, go on." He smiled.

"So he went to Ms. Harding." Liz said in disgust. "Papa and Ms. Harding never really liked me. I spent my time in the stables with the stable hand's daughter who was a year older." She paused again. "That hurt, a lot. But I got over it. Then the suitor's started coming. Ms. Harding and Papa arranged them for Tess, but I always had to attend since it was like a supper or a dinner meeting. I had to dress up, hair confined, everything. I hated every moment of it."

"Then Ms. Harding became upset with me, why I didn't know. Then one day Tess told me, like she always informs me about everything. She was upset because the suitors came for me and not her. So they did the only thing they could, married me off to whomever would accept the lowest dowry."

"Your Papa did?" He asked.

"My papa wasn't my number one fan. He didn't really like my mother. Grandmama Claudia arranged the marriage. She was the only one that really knew me apart from Mama. When Rafael left after the wedding, and I mean after the wedding. There was no wedding night, thank God." She breathed. "I went to my room feigning exhaustion. I changed my clothes, packed a few things is my knapsack, same one I have here, and left."

"Isn't running away from your husband illegal?"

"Extremely, but no one knew we were married, except the poor pastor who had to perform the wedding or have my father ruin his reputation. So according to everyone else, we weren't." She was now sitting in the chair out of his embrace, although, she desperately wanted to be there.

"Then how does he have any legal rights to you?" He asked confused.

"The next day it was in the paper, my papa was an influential man in Philadelphia. That match made a lot of the aristocratic men in Philadelphia unhappy. The respectable ones were waiting till I was old enough to marry before coming around. So it was confirmed, I was married, everyone knew it, and I was gone. I heard from Tess that no one really missed me except for Rafael, he was just mad he was out a wife. Papa died shortly after, in the paper's also." She added.

"I ran to a church in southern Virginia were I helped take care of orphan children until I got a dismissed to go to the Burming's. And you know the rest from there."

Max stared at her debating what to do.

TBC

Part 15

A Duke, a Governess and a Little Lady


"There's nothing you can do, Max." Liz said softly.

"What do you mean?" He asked.

"He wants to go back to Pennsylvania, I have to return with him. He'll tell everyone I'm alive, and then everything will be messed up. I have to go back."

"You can't go back." Max said standing, he happened to look at the clock, "Liz, we've been in here for an hour. We've got to call them back in here." He took a breath. "Here's what we'll do. You cannot leave until I've found a decent school that you approve of. He doesn't like that he can return to the colonies without you." Max smiled. "And there are a whole list of schools in England, and for his sake Paris as well. That will give me plenty of time to see if there's any laws or anything that can ban a fifteen year old from marriage."

"Alright." She nodded. She glanced in the mirror, and was horrified with her appearance. "Am I to still stay with Emily till then?" She asked.

"I'll set Mr. Derevko up on the other side of the house, nursery quarters are not to be entered by anyone other than servant, you or Emily." Max decided.

"Thank you." She added looking him in the eye.

"Your very welcome." He smiled with a true warmth that she hadn't seen in the past three weeks.

"Mr. Derevko, Tess, you may come back." He called.

"Have you set our departure date?" Rafael stood behind Liz.

"No." Max explained everything. At the end he added, "If you wish to stay here you may or you can stay at the inn in the village." He said.

"Where is she staying?" He pointed to Liz.

"Here."

"Then I shall stay here too." He decided.

Max explained what him and Liz had decided to him. "I'm sorry." He added again.

"Alright." He was about to exit the room.

"Derevko," Max called back.

He turned reluctantly around, "Your Grace?"

"You never exit the room before the ladies. And while you are here, I'd like you to know that I follow every rule of etiquette, strictly." He smiled, getting used to the power he now possessed.

He turned and glared at Liz, when Mrs. Kendall entered the room. She sensed the tension and hurried on to explain why she had interrupted.

"I'm sorry, Miss Parker, Emily's ready for bed and she wants you." Mrs. Kendall rushed.

"If you excuse me, your Grace?"

"Of course." He nodded. Relieved to be free, Liz rushed out the door, not even bothering to acknowledge the other people in the room.

"Hi, Miss Beth." Emily said tiredly, when Liz entered the room. "Why were you crying?" Emily asked observing the streaks. Liz sat down on the side of the bed and Emily reached up and stroked her cheek.

Liz laid down beside Emily who then turned to and snuggled into her. "I was upset earlier."

"Was it that mean Tess? I don't like her." Emily said bitterly. "Did she? Because I'm a Lady and she's not." Emily said proudly.

"In one month, she'll be a duchess." Liz reminded her.

"Is that why you're crying? Because you wanna be duchess?" Emily asked innocently.

"No, I don't wanna be a duchess."

"How about Cousin's?"

"Max's what?" Liz asked confused.

"Cousin's duchess." She state the obvious.

"I guess I would like that." Liz said quietly. "But that's not why I'm crying. I'll tell you in the morning, now go to sleep, please." Liz said.

"You're going away." Emily stated the fact.

"Let's not talk about this now." Liz said trying to get Emily back to sleep.

"I already know, Miss Beth. Stay with me tonight?" She asked.

"Yes. Of course." Liz answered her quickly.

"Thank you." Emily muttered before she went to bed.

Liz wondered briefly why Emily wasn't disturbed by all of this.

TBC

This was a longer part so I only posted two, I'll put more up soon! Four more chapters and there will be a new part at Fanfiction.net and here! It's ready to go, I just want to catch up here before I post the new part. Having fun waiting all you cheaters? *wink**wink*


[ edited 1 time(s), last at 5-Jan-2003 8:51:09 PM ]
posted on 7-Jan-2003 1:06:05 AM by mattie788
A Duke, a Governess, and a Little Lady

KITTENS: Although Tess and Liz have the same father, Liz ran away, automatically giving up any rights as his daughter. Just an answer to your question. *happy*

Disclaimer: I am an Alias fan so the name Derevko came from there if any one noticed. Just wanted to say I do not own that show. Thankfully else it wouldn't be as good as it is. Here's the next part!


The next two weeks was filled with avoiding husbands, half sisters, and finding a new situation for Emily.

Liz sat quietly in a chair correcting Emily's work while Emily was in her dance lesson.

She heard Emily scamper over to her as soon as the musicians stopped playing.

"Are you done?" She asks her.

She smiled sheepishly. "Emily." She said. Emily curled up into her lap.

"Madame, wants to speak to you." She says. She's starting to pick up the English accent, now when she speaks she sounds just like any English born noble's daughter.

"Miss Parker, that student of yours refuses to learn any of the waltzes I teach her." A red-faced dance instructor stopped in front of her.

"Emily, is this true?" Liz looked down at the girl hanging from her neck. She nodded quickly.

"Show me, Miss Beth." Emily pleaded.

"No, she'll teach you." She sat her down on the floor.

"No, please Miss Beth?" Emily begged.

Liz reluctantly got up from her seat and made her way to the ballroom. "Max."

Liz bumped right into him when she stepped inside.

"Good Afternoon, Liz, have you seen my dance partner, short blonde curls, blue eyes, about five years of age." He smiled.

"She's supposed to dance with you?" She asked.

"Yes, but she ran off somewhere." He said.

"Emily, come here." Liz called. Emily came out shyly from behind the flower fixture.

"Why don't you want to dance with, Max?" She bent down to her.

"Show me." She pleaded and pushed her towards Max.

"Alright." Liz gave in. She looked at Max. "Are you ok with this?"

"Fine by me."

The exasperated instructor signaled to the musicians to start playing.

They began the slow waltz. Liz was amazed she remembered anything at all from when she was a little girl. She studied Max's eyes noting the detachment. She wondered briefly at the reason but thought nothing of it. He had been distracted in the last few weeks with a wedding to plan and a way to find her marriage illegal.

Max looked down at Liz to find her studying him. They looking into her eyes the world ceased to exist anywhere past here eyes. He heard the instructor say something about posture to which they both immediately straightened but that was about it.

Thinking about the earlier meeting with the lawyer. He felt as if he had failed her but he was going to do everything in his power to stop it. His hold tightened on her. They kept dancing until they felt a short tug at Liz's skirt. Pulling herself from the daze they were caught in, Liz looked down at Emily.

"Who's that?" Emily pointed to the doorway.

Max looked up from Liz to see Rafael standing in the doorway and a very upset Tess standing next to him.

They pulled away from each other.

"That is Mr. Derevko." Liz introduced.

Emily looked at him warily not liking him. "Hello, Mr. Derevko." She said politely as she had been taught.

"What are you doing Max?" Tess asked airily.

"Nothing, Tess." Max said stepping away from Liz. "Just showing Emily how to dance a waltz."

"Can you come here for a minute please?" She asked sweetly. Liz looked at her and wanted to claw her eyes out.

"I'm coming." He dropped Liz's hand before he excused himself from the room.

With that the dance instructor gave up any hope of teaching Emily anything and dismissed her with a defeated sigh.

Emily walked over to Liz. "Up." She asked.

"No, Emily." She took her by the hand and exited the ballroom on the other side away from Rafael.

"Nap time?" She asked looking at her while trying to keep up.

"Yes, sweet." Liz nodded.

"But I'm not tired." She stopped in her tracks.

Liz tried to get Emily to move, she didn't like this part of the house because it was open territory and Rafael could come here when he felt like it.

"Emily let's go up to the nursery." Liz pulled on her hand.

"No nap." Emily had never fought a nap and now of all times.

"Fine, Emily, let's go." She tugged.

"No."

"Emily." Liz said desperately.

"You seem to be in a hurry, Elizabeth."

"Mr. Derevko." Liz nodded acknowledging his presence.

"No need to be formal, Elizabeth." He came up next to her. He ran his hand up her arm.

She pulled away. "Pardon me." She glared. "Emily let's go, now, else you will take a nap." She said annoyed and frightened at the same time.

Seeing the look on Liz's face Emily decided it was time to return to the nursery rooms. "Uppies." She said, Liz looked at her knowing that was her acquiescence.

"Excuse me, Mr. Derevko." Liz stepped around him thankful for Emily's final cooperation.

"I'd like to speak with you tonight." He told her.

"No." She kept walking.

"Yes, and you have to." Liz's back straightened as she disappeared into the double door leading to the nursery.

"Miss Beth?" Emily whispered waking up from her nap.

"Yes." She set her journal down and walked over to the bed.

"When are you going to leave me?" She asked sadly.

"Leave you?" Out of all the things she thought she would have asked, she wasn't expecting that one.

"Yes, you're going to leave me and go with Mr. Derevko, I know." She looked at her with tears in her eyes.

"Oh, love." Liz picked her up in her arms. "Max is trying really hard not to make me go away."

Emily started crying and buried her head in her shoulder. "But Miss Harding told me that there's no way and that even if it worked I have to go to boarding school. She said she doesn't want a little chit like me running around."

"She said that?" Liz was asked not at all shocked by her half sister's words.

"Yes. She said that Cousin doesn't like me, that he thinks I get in the way." She said through a sob.

"Emily don't believe a word of that. You know Max loves you else he wouldn't have taken you in. You know Grandmother Burming didn't give him any specific order to let you stay here." She ran a hair through her soft curls.

"I know." She held on tight to her skirt.

Liz looked up when she heard a knock on the door. "Enter." She told them.

"Liz." Max took a step inside the door.

"Max?" She wiped her eyes and wiped Emily's eyes with a hankie inside her skirt.

"I was wondering, well it's been two days since the last snow and all the horse paths are clear, I was wondering if you and Emily would like to join us on a ride."

"When?" She asked standing up.

"Right now?"

"Alright." She said. She got up to change clothes in her room. She returned to Emily's chamber to find Max and Emily deep in conversation.

They stopped abruptly when she entered the room. "Emily put this on." Max turned his back when Emily shimmied out of her dress and put on her tiny, custom made, riding outfit.

"Let's go." She said happily at Max and Liz.

****

Walking out of the house towards the stable brought back memories for Liz. She had to keep blinking to hold back the tears knowing that she might have to leave all of this depending on how things went tonight. That was when Max's lawyer would tell them what rights Liz, if any, had.

"Emily, don't you dare step into that puddle." Liz shouted.

"Why not?" She stopped and looked at Liz.

"You'll get sick." Max explained.

"No." She crossed her arms.

Max didn't give her a chance to argue when he came up behind her and tossed her over his shoulder. She let out a high squeal.

"Down, Cousin." She pounded on his back. He laughed and she giggled.

Liz smiled and received her horse from the stable boy. "Thank you, Allen." She said politely.

"Welcome, Miss Parker." He blushed and ran back into the stables to prepare Emily's.

"I wanna ride with Miss Beth." She wiggled her way down to the ground.

"No, you're too big for her now." He approached Liz on Philly, which is what she chose to name here mare, after her native city.

"Please?" She pleaded.

"She's really not too heavy." Liz says.

"Alright. If she gets too heavy give her to me." Max got Emily situated on her lap.

"Allen just get Alador, leave Lady Emily's in her stall." He called.

He heard a muffled, "Yes, your grace" Come from within.

Max was waiting for his horse when Tess and Rafael came out of the house towards the stables.

"Sorry it took so long, my lord." Tess apologized.

"Hurry up." He said curtly.

Liz did a quick trot around the yard so that she could adjust herself on the saddle with Emily perched on her lap.

Pretty soon all the horses were ready and they set off.

Two hours later four horses made their way up the path to the stables, Emily riding securely and sleeping in Max lap.

****

Liz paced Emily's nursery knowing of the conversation that was going on downstairs.

Emily was sleeping fitfully she had sensed the tension between the group during the ride.

On the way back, Liz's back was hurting from stress, supporting Emily, and just plain riding after not riding for so long, so she transferred Emily to Max.

It had taken a reading of the whole William Blake copy and halfway though in Latin to get Emily to fall asleep.

Liz answered the knock at the door.

Mrs. Kendall stood at the door.

"Miss Parker, his Grace would like to see you."

TBC

Part 17

A Duke, a Governess, and a Little Lady


"Mrs. Kendall stay here with her please?" Liz asked.

"His Grace asked me to escort you down there myself."

"No, stay here with her, if she wakes up I don't want her coming to find me, understood?" She asked.

"Alright, Miss Parker." She sat down by the fire and pulled out her knitting. Where she got that from Liz never knew.

"I'll be back." She whispered.

"I'm praying for you, Love." Mrs. Kendall said so Liz couldn't hear.

****

Liz made her way through the halls that were now home for her.

She heard voices in the study. She picked out Max's deep voice, and Rafael's rough voice. She listened one voice she couldn't identify, and one she knew as the high chirpy dying bird voice of Tess.

She knocked. "Enter Miss Parker." She heard Max use formally. That cannot be a good sign.

"Ah, Miss Parker." The old gentleman said, he had a strong Irish accent. "Nice to finally meet you, I've heard wonderful things about you."

Liz blushed.

"Allow me to introduce myself, I'm Patrick McCormick." He nodded. "Would you be seated?" He asked kindly.

Liz sat and studied the people around her. Max tried to offer her a smile but she could tell it was not a real smile. Rafael and Tess on the other hand, were smiling true, genuine smiles. Liz's posture faltered a second and then she put on a mask. You could not tell what she was thinking. The only one that knew that face was Max.

He wanted to leave so he wouldn't have to see the hurt on her face, but he wanted to be there for her when she found out. He had tried everything. He didn't know what else to do.

"Let's get started shall we?" Mr. McCormick sat down.

"Miss Parker, how old were you when your father married you off to Mr. Derevko?" He asked kindly.

"I was fifteen." She said calmly.

"OK, in the States, you're allowed to be married at that age with your parent's consent." He took a breath. "Miss Parker, you are not Miss Parker anymore, your husband could charge you with desertion."

"What?" She asked. "He left me."

"I left you in the care of relatives, and you knew I was going to be back, my dear."

"He can, and you're lucky if he won't. Mrs. Derevko," Liz took a gasped at being called that. "You shouldn't even be a governess because of your status, only, virgins, which you being married would make you not one, are. Miss Harding here could call you up on that as well for tainting her young wards mind." Liz studied his face he didn't mean any of the things he said. She noticed he'd make a face whenever he said Harding or Derevko.

She looked upon a grinning Rafael, and a smiling Tess. She turned to look at Max.

His back was to her, his front facing the fire. His head was down. Feeling someone looking at him, he turned around and met her eyes. They locked. She looked straight at him as she said the next words.

"I-I'm a virgin." The breath left him, his gaze more intense on her.

"What?" Mr. McCormick asked. "You didn't consummate your marriage?"

"No." Her eyes still never left Max's.

"You didn't consummate it?" Max asked finally.

"No."

"You didn't consummate it?" Mr. McCormick asked again.

"No!" Rafael lashed out.

"Why not?"

"He left right after the ceremony." Liz explained.

"Could you annul it then?" Max asked.

"Yes." He stated.

Max breathed a sigh of relief.

"If you would have told me, we would have been done with this mess right now."

"You can only get an annulment if both parties are willing, especially the husband, and he's not." Rafael said menacingly.

"That would be a problem." Mr. McCormick said again.

"Elizabeth we leave tomorrow at noon." Rafael said, before turning and exiting the room.

"Goodnight, dear sister." Tess exited the room again.

"I'll see you in the morning, your Grace." Liz walked out of the room.

Mr. McCormick said his goodbyes leaving Max alone in his study.

He walked to the window and looked out. The snow was falling again. Softly it hit the ground and blended into the others each a unique snowflake of it's own. Ever since he was a little boy he loved watching the snowfall, it always calmed him.

His mother used to tell him that he would sit for hours not doing anything but watching the snowfall. With his tutor, when it was snowing, they had to tie the curtains closed so that he couldn't see outside. It was his reward for being good, leaving the curtains open.

Max thought about the girl upstairs. Not a girl, a woman. He knew that he wanted to keep her around for more than just Emily. He wanted her there for himself. If he couldn't have her, than he didn't want anyone to have her. He felt a fierce protectiveness in him when it came to Liz. The same protectiveness came over him when he thought of Emily but it was different. Emily was innocent and he just wanted to keep it that way. Liz had a whole world out there against her, he wanted to take her in his arms and wrap her in their safety. To tell her everything would be ok.

To tell her he loved her.

He had been denying it before but now he couldn't do that anymore. He had fell in love with her back at the townhouse that night, so many months ago. He had known something was wrong then, but didn't pry. That's when he first started to recognize the protectiveness in him.

He wished with everything in him that he could cry off with Tess. He couldn't do that. It would hurt his mother too much. He was at a loss. The only thing he knew was that he couldn't allow was for Rafael to marry him. It took a half an hour to get the courage to go up and see her.

****

Liz sat up in bed. Someone was in her room. "Mrs. Kendall?" She called hopefully.

No answer.

"Emily?"

No answer.

"Rafael, if that's you I'm going to scream." She said.

No answer.

Someone sat on her bed. She was about to scream when someone's hand went over her mouth.

"Shhh, don't scream. Emily's in the next room, you don't want to wake her up do you?"

TBC

Part 18

A Duke, a Governess, and a Little Lady


The hand moved down and gave her room to breathe. "You have to promise to keep quiet else my hand goes right back up."

"Max!" She whispered.

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to scare you." He kissed her forehead.

"Well you did." She said defiantly. "Why are you here? If Rafael found you here he'd kill you."

She got up and shut the door to Emily's room.

"Are you cold?" Max asked.

Liz looked at him oddly. "I don't get cold, Max, I've told you that multiple times."

"It's my house. Liz, you have to leave."

"I can't." She said quietly.

"You have to, I can't stop you from going with Rafael, I-I can't stand you having to go and live with him." He hugged her.

"Max, if I run away, and he finds me, he'll kill me. He has every right to, he's my," she paused and took a breath, "he's my husband."

Max grimaced. "I know, please run away, I'll get you a pardon from the king, Isabel has that power."

"The king can't save me now, I'm not an English Subject." She explained.

Max nodded. "For Emily?"

"I wouldn't be able to see her again, Max." She said.

He pulled her into his arms. "What are we going to do?"

"Tomorrow, at noon, I'm going to leave here, with Rafael. That's what's going to happen. It's the only thing that can happen." She held him tighter.

He didn't want her to leave. He needed her here. "You can't try to stay?" He pleaded.

"No, I-" He interrupted her.

"For me?" The brokenness in his voice cut her heart in two.

"No." Tears started falling. "Not even for you, Max."

"Can I just sit here for a while?" He asked.

"Yes." She nodded and curled up in her arms.

"Liz." He stroked her hair.

"Yes?" She asked.

"Remember, back at the townhouse?" He said quietly.

"Yes." She nodded.

"I remember it like yesterday. That day I decided I wanted you as my duchess." He started. Liz didn't want to interrupt him and kept quiet. "I wanted you to have my children, to live with me forever. When you were in my arms, I wanted you to stay there forever." Liz couldn't take it anymore.

"Max, stop, you can't do this to us right now, it will only make it all the more painful."

"No, please, Liz, I have to get it out." He pulled her closer. "I wanted to keep you, Tess be damned, my parents, I didn't care what they thought. I would have taken Emily as mine, if you would take her as yours also. I had so many big plans. After you told me, what you told me at that townhouse. Then Christmas Eve, dressed so pretty, I swear the floor dropped from beneath my feet. I wanted you to be mine to protect, to cherish, to-"

He never got to finish that statement.

"What is going on here?" Rafael stood in the doorway. Martin was standing behind him, quietly, with a smirk on his face.

Max stood up quickly. He covered Liz with a robe now that the room was bathed in light.

"What are you doing in the nursery?" Max stood full length. To Liz's shock and relief Max was taller than Rafael, when he stood full height.

"I was informed that you were in here with my wife." Rafael said furiously. He pulled Liz roughly toward him. "You little-"

"Finish that statement and you will be kicked out of my house." Max's eyes glowed with anger.

"She is my wife, we're leaving tomorrow, seven in the morning, not a moment sooner nor later. We'll breakfast on the road. I knew there was something between you two, but I denied it." He said, hands clenching at his side.

"Miss Beth?" Emily squeaked.

Liz went to get her, but was restrained by Rafael. She let out a small scream when she felt his nails dig into her flesh.

"Stay here." He growled.

"But-"

"Say nothing, wife."

She looked at him. She stomped her foot and angrily wiped a tear from her eye. She looked at Max.

"Move out of my way, Rafael." He said in a low voice that meant business.

"Miss Beth!" Emily was now screaming. "Cousin!" Liz could hear the tears and fear in her voice.

She heard Max comforting the crying girl.

"Sit, wife." She sat. She kept her head up the whole time.

"What was going on in here?" He asked.

"Nothing." She looked him in the eye.

"Nothing? I don't recall him professing his undying love for you nothing."

Her breath caught in her throat. "He did nothing of the sort." She said told him.

"He might as well have. Pack you bags."

"Now?" She looked at him.

"Yes."

"Why now?"

"We're leaving early. I will not leave this room until your bags are packed, now get to it."

She stood on trembling legs. She turned her back so that he would not see her crying. She packed her things hurriedly. She returned to the bed and sat down.

"Leave." She said in a calm voice.

He nodded and left.

She went the door.

Max looked up at her, holding a sleeping Emily. "Liz you better go back, you're going to get in trouble."

"I'm already in trouble." She cried. He laid Emily down and she went to him. "Max I'm scared, I don't want to go." She shook her head violently. Her body shaking with sobs.

"Stay with me, Liz." He told her, holding her tightly against him.

"I can't, Max, I want to but I can't."

"Stay with me, Miss Beth, just tonight?" Emily whispered.

"Yes." She pulled out of Max's arms.

"Goodnight, Liz." Max kissed her forehead. "I'll be right outside your door tonight."

"Thank you." She laid down next to Emily. "Goodnight, Max." She whispered. ****

Max walked out of the room and right into Martin.

"What are you doing here, Martin?" He asked.

"He's my informer." Rafael said.

"You?" Max looked at him.

"He was paid handsomely for his services."

"Martin, leave." Max said through rage.

"Your Grace." Martin stuttered.

"Out!" He shouted.

Liz opened the door and watched the scene unfold before her eyes.

"Your Grace, he's so young, have mercy on him, please?" Mrs. Kendall shouted.

"No, Mrs. Kendall, not now and keep your voices down, all of you."

"If you toss him out then, then, I'll leave too." She pulled to full height.

"Fine."

"That means me as well." Kendall came forward.

"Then out with all of you. Out I say. Rafael you aren't allowed in these quarters, now leave, before I call the magistrate." Max was blinded with anger.

They turned to leave. "Martin, what other damage did you do?"

"I took the letters to port, if that's what you mean, Your Grace." He smiled.

"What letters?" He asked, becoming annoyed.

"The ones that Miss Harding sent to Mr. Derevko." He clarified. "She told me at once that she knew, Miss Parker, er, Mrs. Derevko. I was upset at you, you had promised me that I could marry her but you decided to like her yourself. So, I did what she asked, tracked her down, even delivered the letters on the right day."

"What do you mean?"

"Mr. Derevko wanted the letters given on specific days. So I delivered them."

Max had it. "Out! All of you. Kendalls, don't come back. Rafael, you will be out the door at seven o'clock sharp. Not a moment later, now, leave these quarters now!" Max said in a deathly calm voice.

"Good evening, your Grace."

Max didn't respond, he just sat down in a chair and rested his head in his hands.

Liz closed the door with a soft click.

Max looked up and swore.

TBC

Part 19

A Duke, a Governess and a Little Lady



5:30 a.m.

Liz woke up with a heavy heart. Emily had clung to her all night. There was no way of telling if either one of them had slept.

6:00 a.m.

When Liz was changing, Emily stayed right there next to her.

Liz looked down and saw the tiny finger marks where Emily had held onto her during the night.

Right next to them were much larger ones. These caused Liz to flinch.

She dressed and started getting Emily washed up and cleaned. Mrs. Kendall was not here, so Liz had to get everything ready. She laid out her nightgown, and a few ribbons.

6:30 a.m.

"Emily, I'm leaving these here for Max to wrap your hair at night, until you get a new governess, ok?" Emily nodded.

6:35 a.m.

"Come here, let me finish your hair." Emily sat down. "I'm going to fix it kind of tight, so that it will last longer." Emily nodded.

"Two, two lasts longer." Emily held up two fingers.

"Ok, two." Liz nodded. She looked at the clock,

6:45 a.m.

She finished quickly, and made her way down the stairs.

6:50 a.m.

They were waiting at the door. Emily's grip increased. "Don't leave, Mama." She whispered.

"What did you say?" She asked quietly.

"I didn't mean to." She ducked her head ashamed.

"No, no, if that's how you feel, Love, oh, Emily I love you so much, I'll miss you." She hugged her.

"That's two Mamas that went away." She held up her hands.

"Elizabeth." Rafael called from the door.

"Hush."

She pulled Emily away from the others and knelt down to her height.

"That's why I wanted two, so that I think of you." Emily hugged her. "I'll miss you, Mama."

Liz hugged her, she had promised herself she wouldn't cry, but tears started falling.

"Come on, let's go to Max." Liz pulled her back.

6:55 a.m.

She stopped in front of Max. Holding Emily close, Emily crying into her shoulders. "Thank you, Max. For everything. Please, take care of Emily for me?" Max nodded, blinking back his own tears.

"Take her upstairs. Don't let her stay here, take her upstairs and stay till I leave, please?" Liz pleaded.

Max nodded understanding. "Goodbye, Liz." He shook her hand. She tried to hand him Emily.

6:58 a.m.

Emily clung with a vice grip.

"No." She said tears pouring.

"Emily be a good girl, please." Liz whispered.

"No." She shook her head violently.

"Max take her." Max hated to do it, but lifted her by force.

"No! Mama!" She screamed. Max paused and turned to look at Liz.

"Go, Max." She told him.

"Mama, don't leave!" Emily was screaming as loud as she could. It made Liz want to cry even harder.

He hurried up the stairs. Liz could still hear Emily screaming for her to stay with her.

6:59 a.m.

Liz turned to Rafael with hatred blazing in her eyes.

"Let's go." She swept past him. No more tears. He would not get the satisfaction of seeing her cry.

"Elizabeth, your coat." Tess stopped her.

Liz turned and saw it was the one she wore on Christmas. "I don't need it, I don't get cold."

She paused before stepping into the carriage. She looked up and saw Max walking back in forth in front of an open curtained window.

Emily had stopped screaming but was being held by Max, crying. She saw her out the window. Liz waved a sad wave. Emily blew her a kiss and mouthed, "bye Mama." Liz turned and got into the carriage and it drove off. Away from Roswell, away from Tess, away from Emily, away from Max.

7:00 a.m.

It was the first time Max didn't like the snow.

The snow was coming down fast and hard. Liz didn't take a coat. And the only other one she had was the one laying on the bed.

****

12:00 p.m.

"Max how long are you going to stay with her?" Tess asked wandering into the nursery.

"Till she stops shaking." Max told Tess.

"Max, she'll be fine. Let's ride into London, there's nothing here to eat, you fired Mrs. Kendall."

"No, she doesn't want to leave."

"Who cares what she wants. She's five, what does she know?"

"Tess."

"Max." She stared him down. "You stay here, I'm going to London." She stormed out of the room.

"Tess!" He called out.

She came back fast. "Yes?" She said sweetly.

"You're going to London?"

"Yes."

"Don't come back." He shook his head and stood up.

"Pardon?" She looked at him.

"I'm not going to marry you." He said again.

"What?"

"Leave, Tess, go to London, Virginia, Pennsylvania. I don't care where. Just don't let me see you again." He stood up. Emily scrunched her fingers, if that was possible.

"For that little chit."

"No, for this little girl. Tess, leave." She stormed out of the room.

12:30 p.m.

Max smiled when he saw Tess ride away in her carriage.

"Emily, are you ready to eat?" He asked.

"Please?" She held onto him and rested her hand.

"Martha." He called.

"Yes, your grace?" She came.

"Do you cook?"

"Why of course." She looked surprised he asked.

"Alright. I'll pay you extra, make us a meal?" He smiled.

"Of course, your Grace." She curtsied and hurried out of the room.

TBC
posted on 7-Jan-2003 8:42:36 PM by mattie788
A Duke, A Governess, and a Little Lady

You guys are now ahead of FF.net. That server is not being nice right and now and won't let me post right now. So you guys are lucky!



“I’m finished, Cousin.”

Emily handed Max her copy book. She went back to her miniature desk on the other side of the room and started her math.

Max compared Emily’s writing to the writing Liz had out on her paper.

Before she left, Liz had put together a portfolio of Emily’s neatest work. Next to her work there were small corrections in Liz’s fine handwriting. Max decided that since he wasn’t going to send Emily to school he’d teach her himself until he could get out to find a governess.

“Emily, these don’t match.” He looked up at her.

“Again?” She asked.

“No more for today.” He told her. He looked at the clock. “Are you ready for supper?”

“I’m starved.” She smiled at him.

Ever since Liz left it had taken a lot to get Emily to start smiling again. She did once in a while but never a bright smile.

They ate in silence and by that time it was time to go to bed. Max sat on the bed and pulled her on his lap. “How are you doing?” He asked her as he did every night.

“I still miss her.” She looked up at him.

“You will for a long time. You wanna know something?” He bent down close to her ear.

“What?”

“I still miss her too.” He kissed her cheek.

“Do you love her?”

He studied her. “Yes, very much.” He answered honestly.

“Did she love you?” Emily asked.

“I think so, I don’t really know.”

“Did she love me? Because I love her.”

“She loved you very much Emily.”

“Then why did she leave?” She started crying again.

“She didn’t want to but she had to.” Max comforted her.

“I know, she wouldn’t have left me on purpose. Or you, she loved you.” Emily told him.

“Don’t say things like that Emily.” He told her. He laid her down and read her a poem out of William Blake.

“Goodnight, Emily.” Max said before snuffing the candle. “Remember, it’s only three days, everything will get better.”

“I hope so. Goodnight.”

***

Max sat in his study after putting Emily to bed. He wasn’t going to get any work done. He was scared for her. He couldn’t do anything. He just hoped she would come back if anything happened.

Max looked up from his work when he heard the door open.

“Cousin.” Emily’s eyes filled with tears.

“Come here, Emily.” He held his arms out to her.

She ran to him and began sobbing. “Can we please go see her?” Emily begged.

Max’s heart broke at each of her sobs.

“No, Emily.” He held her. “She has to come to us.”

She accepted that. “Hold me?” Max almost broke out in tears. It was the same please Liz had given back at the townhouse.

“Alright.”

He sat in the rocking chair, that he had moved down from the nursery.

An hour later he lay Emily down in her bed, in the nursery, that was now green. He knew she would make her way though the dark corridors to his bed.

Max went back down to his study and set back to work. Five minutes later the door creaked open again. He didn’t look up. “Emily, I have work to do. You can sit on my lap but I can’t rock you.”

“I’d sit on your lap, but I’m soaked and you wouldn’t want me to ruin your nice suit.”

His eyes shot to the door.

“Liz.” His mouth formed the words but nothing came out.

He sprang out of the chair and around the desk. He approached her slowly taking in her appearance.

Her hair was wet and tangled, she never let her hair tangle.

Her clothes were wet and torn.

Everything about her appearance was off.

The sparkle in her eyes, gone.

He took her in his arms. She wrapped her arms around him and pulled him to her tighter. She was shivering.

“What happened?” He asked after laying his cheek on her head.

“I walked back.” She explained.

“From where?” He asked, walking anywhere in this weather would be deadly.

“The docks.” She shivered and held him tighter.

“Why didn’t you send a messenger?” He asked. “I would have come for you in a second.”

”I would’ve been dead by then. Max?”

“Hold me, I’m cold.” Her body went limp in his arms.

****

“Liz?” She had fainted.

He picked her up and cradled her against his chest. Max took her upstairs. Quickly and very innocently he changed her into her nightgown that she had left behind. He combed and braided her hair as Emily had taught him.

He didn’t leave her side all night. Nor did she wake up.

“Cousin?” He heard Emily call the next morning. Max rushed in there to quiet her down.

“Emily, you must be quiet.” He picked her up and carried her to the next room.

“Look!” He turned the girl towards the bed.

“Mama!” She exclaimed. She crawled onto the bed next to Liz’s sleeping form.

“Cousin, why is she so hot?” She asked pulling away.

“Hot?” He asked concerned.

“Yes, hot, cousin, feel her.” She pressed his hand to her forehead.

“Oh my.” Max pulled his hand from her, worried.

“Liz?” He called to her gently.

She didn’t move. Max was in a panic.

“I have to go into the village.” Max said. “I must get a doctor.”

“Cousin, look.” She pulled the curtain back. “It’s snowing, you can’t go.” She said worried. He cursed under his breath. “What do I do?” He looked lost.”

Emily quietly went over to him. “cousin, sit.” She pushed him back into a chair and crawled into his lap. “When I was sick, Mama, my other mama, and Miss Caroline, my old governess, used to put cold cloths on my head.”

“Alright.” Max went down to the kitchen and returned with a bucket of water. Emily showed him where Mrs. Kendall had kept the clean linens. Carefully and together, they started to set everything right.

TBC

From now on, since you guys are all caught up, I'll only post one part at a time now. Sorry! But thanks for all the feedback!


posted on 11-Jan-2003 2:00:56 AM by mattie788
A Duke, A Governess, and a Little Lady

Max did everything Emily had told him to do.

It was funny, taking instructions from a five year old. That five year old was now in bed on a cot that she made him drag in here.

Max decided that talking was the only left for him to do. She was sleeping, restlessly, but sleeping.

He talked for hours about anything and everything. He told her that he had left Tess. He told her about Emily, and how she was fairing. Anything that popped into his mind while he was sitting there he said.

During the day, Emily sat on the floor studying hard. She read aloud to Liz everyday from William Blake. She started recopying it into French. She read it aloud for Max to correct but Liz to hear. To come back to her.

At night it took a lot of persuasion to get Emily to crawl into bed and sleep. He promised he would wake her up if anything happened.

****
Liz tried to open her eyes and couldn’t. They were so heavy and she was so tired.

She tried to move her head. That was heavy to.

She stopped moving. Taking a deep breath, she recognized that smell. It was Max! Stop fooling yourself, she told herself. He was gone, she was probably on some ship on the way back to America now. She didn’t feel the familiar rocking of the ship and was surprised. Suddenly a small sound came to her hears. She hadn’t realized she couldn’t hear before.

“Rhi-Rhinos, help.”

“This is a rhinoceros.” She recognized that voice.

“Where did you get these from?” Another, smaller voice came once again. “Lord Michael drew them for me when we returned from his travels in Africa.”

Liz tried to open her eyes, she wanted to so desperately. She licked her lips they were so dry. She turned her head towards the sound.

She tried to get her eyes open. It was bright. She closed her eyes and tried again. Everything was out of focus. She blinked and everything came sharply into focus. The room was not all that bright afterall. The curtains were open, it was night out. Candles were lit everywhere in the room.

She looked over; Max was sitting with Emily looking at a book.

“You went to Africa?” Emily asked amazed.

“Yes, when I was one and twenty.”

“Wow!”

“Max.” Her lips formed the words nothing came out. She licked her lips her mouth was dry. “Max.” She said in a faint whisper but it was enough.

Max’s head jerked up. “Liz?” He said quietly.

“Max.” She said trying to sit up.

“No, no, Love, lay down.” He instructed her. He sat on the side of the bed. He brushed her hair back. “How do you feel?” He asked softly stroking her hair.

“Thirsty.” She squeaked. Emily ran to the basin and brought her a cup of water.

She drank slowly. Max took the cup away.

“How do you feel?” He asked concerned.

“Tired.” She sunk back into the bed, her eyes starting to drift shut.

“Go back to sleep. We’ll be here when you wake up.” He said comfortingly.

She felt Emily crawl into bed next to her. “ I stay here next to you?” She asked.

She could only nod as she shut her eyes.

She heard Max tell her to lie extra still and not move around too much.

****

Liz woke up when she heard murmurs outside her door. Her head wasn’t as weak and she lifted it with more ease.

“You’re awake.” Emily said excitedly. “I’ll go get cousin.”

Emily returned quickly with Max not far behind her. Behind him was a man Liz didn’t recognize.

“Hello, Elizabeth, my name is Dr. Pascal.” He introduced himself. “How do you feel?” He asked in a kind voice.

“Tired, but I’m not cold anymore.” She smiled at Max. Emily crawled in next to her.

“Elizabeth, did you have the Fever when you were a child?” He asked.

“No.” She answered.

“That’s what it was then. I don’t know how smart it would be to have the young girl next to her. The rooms still contaminated.” He advised.

“She already had it.”

“How old is Emily?” The doctor asked.

“She’s five.” Liz told him.

“How old was she when she had the Fever?” He felt her forehead.

“She must have been a year. Her other governess contracted it from her, and she didn’t make it.”

“A one year old survived the Fever?” He asked amazed.

“Obviously.” As interesting as Emily past illness is that’s what it was past. Liz was ill now. “Is she ok?”

Liz smiled at Max as the doctor examined her. She felt fine and knew the worst was over she just did it to appease him.

“She’s fine. Just plenty of rest, you need to get a cook in here to make her some soups.” The doctor advised.

“One starts tomorrow. I’ll-“

“Don’t worry about it, my wife is down there right now. She’ll leave enough until tomorrow. Good day, your Grace.” The doctor exited the room.

****

Liz woke up again with Max sitting by her side. She felt weight next to her and figured it was Emily.

Looking around the room she noticed, she wasn’t in her room. “Where am I?”

“You are in England, Roswell Manor to be exact.” Max answered with a smile.

“I know that, but this isn’t my room.”

“It’s mine.” He stated.

“Yours, why am I in yours?” She asked.

“Because it’s bigger and I didn’t think you’d want doctors coming in and out of your bedroom.” He explained.

She did love being here. His smell surrounded her, making her feel safe.

“How do you feel?” He asked concerned.

“Better than I have for the past, how long have I been asleep?” She asked.

“One week and five days.” He told her. “It took till yesterday to get a doctor here because of the snow.”

“That’s a long time.” She looked at her hands. “Help me sit up?” She asked.

He propped pillows behind her and she leaned against the headboard. “Liz, if you feel up to it, would you like to tell me what happened?” He asked softly so as not to awaken Emily.

She nodded. “Some of it I blacked out.” She studied her hands then her nightgown. How did she get into that nightgown?

“Max, why am I in my nightgown?” She asked.

He blushed. “You were wet and you were passed out. I didn’t look, well as much as I could, I couldn’t leave you in the clothes.” He met her eyes honestly.

She felt a warmth go up her spine he cared for her enough that he would change her, as uncomfortable as he had been. Then remembering something she looked him in the eye.

“Where’s Tess?” She asked.

“She left. The day you left. I didn’t want her here anymore. I’m sorry it took your leaving for me to see that.” He looked at her.

She smiled. “What about your mother?”

“She’s ok with it. I have to find a duchess soon.” Liz looked down again.

“Liz, tell me what happened and why you walked back fifteen miles in the snow.”

“Ok.” She took a breath and began her story.

“We got to the docks around noon. There wasn’t another ship leaving for the states until the following week. We rented out a room at the small inn. Rafael was not too happy that he hadn’t consummated the marriage on the wedding night. So he had decided that we would fix that problem later that night.”

Max moved closer to her. She held her hand up and shook her head. “No. Stay there.”

“Liz.” He looked her over concerned.

“No, just let me finish.” She swallowed and continued. “He told me of this and left the room. I was terrified. It hadn’t even dawned on me to leave. He was gone all day.” She took another breath. “When he came back it was later. I hadn’t changed because it was cold and I wasn’t about to spend the next week in the same bed as him. I doubt he would have slept on the floor. When he came back, he was drunk.”

“Liz.”

“Max, I’m not going to finish if you don’t stay quiet.” She threatened.

“Alright.”

“He came back and he was so drunk that he passed out on the bed.”

“I didn’t sleep that whole night. He woke up the next morning and screamed at me. Then left.” She shifted. “He said I needed to become social with the other ladies so that I wouldn’t look bad. I washed up and went down to converse with the innkeeper’s wife. She conveniently needed someone to watch her young son, who was seven, the other governess was ill. I watched him for the day and did odd jobs to get enough money for a coach ride to just two miles outside the village. I snuck out during the night. Rafael came back drunk. I knew this was how it was going to be for the rest of my life so I left.”

“It wasn’t snowing when I left. Of course, I didn’t bring my cloak. The coach dropped me off inside the village, since it had started snowing.”

“Why didn’t you have him bring you all the way here? I would have paid the price when you arrived.”

“I know, but I didn’t think of that then, and it was starting to snow and he still had more passengers to transfer. I started walking. It took me all day until I got here to walk through the snow. It was terribly cold.”

“Why didn’t you think of sending a man from the village up here to get me?” He asked.

“I wasn’t thinking. All I knew was that I had to stay off the main road. Several horseback riders came by and I had to make a dash for the forest. As you saw my clothes. I just wanted to get back here as soon as possible.”

“I’m glad you did, I just wish that you wouldn’t have had to get sick because of it.” His earlier concern coming out.

“I know, but I did, but I’m ok now.” She reassured him.

“I see that.” He smiled.

“Max when did you sleep?” He looked tired and ragged.

“Every few hours.”

“You should rest.”

“No you should.” He corrected her.

“I’m not tired.” She shook her head.

“Make a deal. You sleep, and I’ll sleep too.”

Liz nodded through a yawn. “Alright. Where do you sleep?”

“I brought in a little cot. Go to sleep, I’ll see you in the morning.” Max explained.

“Goodnight, Max.” She whispered.

“Goodnight, Liz.” He stood over her.

When he was sure she was definitely asleep, “I love you.”


posted on 11-Jan-2003 2:01:38 AM by mattie788
A Duke, A Governess, and a Little Lady

Max did everything Emily had told him to do.

It was funny, taking instructions from a five year old. That five year old was now in bed on a cot that she made him drag in here.

Max decided that talking was the only left for him to do. She was sleeping, restlessly, but sleeping.

He talked for hours about anything and everything. He told her that he had left Tess. He told her about Emily, and how she was fairing. Anything that popped into his mind while he was sitting there he said.

During the day, Emily sat on the floor studying hard. She read aloud to Liz everyday from William Blake. She started recopying it into French. She read it aloud for Max to correct but Liz to hear. To come back to her.

At night it took a lot of persuasion to get Emily to crawl into bed and sleep. He promised he would wake her up if anything happened.

****
Liz tried to open her eyes and couldn’t. They were so heavy and she was so tired.

She tried to move her head. That was heavy to.

She stopped moving. Taking a deep breath, she recognized that smell. It was Max! Stop fooling yourself, she told herself. He was gone, she was probably on some ship on the way back to America now. She didn’t feel the familiar rocking of the ship and was surprised. Suddenly a small sound came to her hears. She hadn’t realized she couldn’t hear before.

“Rhi-Rhinos, help.”

“This is a rhinoceros.” She recognized that voice.

“Where did you get these from?” Another, smaller voice came once again. “Lord Michael drew them for me when we returned from his travels in Africa.”

Liz tried to open her eyes, she wanted to so desperately. She licked her lips they were so dry. She turned her head towards the sound.

She tried to get her eyes open. It was bright. She closed her eyes and tried again. Everything was out of focus. She blinked and everything came sharply into focus. The room was not all that bright afterall. The curtains were open, it was night out. Candles were lit everywhere in the room.

She looked over; Max was sitting with Emily looking at a book.

“You went to Africa?” Emily asked amazed.

“Yes, when I was one and twenty.”

“Wow!”

“Max.” Her lips formed the words nothing came out. She licked her lips her mouth was dry. “Max.” She said in a faint whisper but it was enough.

Max’s head jerked up. “Liz?” He said quietly.

“Max.” She said trying to sit up.

“No, no, Love, lay down.” He instructed her. He sat on the side of the bed. He brushed her hair back. “How do you feel?” He asked softly stroking her hair.

“Thirsty.” She squeaked. Emily ran to the basin and brought her a cup of water.

She drank slowly. Max took the cup away.

“How do you feel?” He asked concerned.

“Tired.” She sunk back into the bed, her eyes starting to drift shut.

“Go back to sleep. We’ll be here when you wake up.” He said comfortingly.

She felt Emily crawl into bed next to her. “ I stay here next to you?” She asked.

She could only nod as she shut her eyes.

She heard Max tell her to lie extra still and not move around too much.

****

Liz woke up when she heard murmurs outside her door. Her head wasn’t as weak and she lifted it with more ease.

“You’re awake.” Emily said excitedly. “I’ll go get cousin.”

Emily returned quickly with Max not far behind her. Behind him was a man Liz didn’t recognize.

“Hello, Elizabeth, my name is Dr. Pascal.” He introduced himself. “How do you feel?” He asked in a kind voice.

“Tired, but I’m not cold anymore.” She smiled at Max. Emily crawled in next to her.

“Elizabeth, did you have the Fever when you were a child?” He asked.

“No.” She answered.

“That’s what it was then. I don’t know how smart it would be to have the young girl next to her. The rooms still contaminated.” He advised.

“She already had it.”

“How old is Emily?” The doctor asked.

“She’s five.” Liz told him.

“How old was she when she had the Fever?” He felt her forehead.

“She must have been a year. Her other governess contracted it from her, and she didn’t make it.”

“A one year old survived the Fever?” He asked amazed.

“Obviously.” As interesting as Emily past illness is that’s what it was past. Liz was ill now. “Is she ok?”

Liz smiled at Max as the doctor examined her. She felt fine and knew the worst was over she just did it to appease him.

“She’s fine. Just plenty of rest, you need to get a cook in here to make her some soups.” The doctor advised.

“One starts tomorrow. I’ll-“

“Don’t worry about it, my wife is down there right now. She’ll leave enough until tomorrow. Good day, your Grace.” The doctor exited the room.

****

Liz woke up again with Max sitting by her side. She felt weight next to her and figured it was Emily.

Looking around the room she noticed, she wasn’t in her room. “Where am I?”

“You are in England, Roswell Manor to be exact.” Max answered with a smile.

“I know that, but this isn’t my room.”

“It’s mine.” He stated.

“Yours, why am I in yours?” She asked.

“Because it’s bigger and I didn’t think you’d want doctors coming in and out of your bedroom.” He explained.

She did love being here. His smell surrounded her, making her feel safe.

“How do you feel?” He asked concerned.

“Better than I have for the past, how long have I been asleep?” She asked.

“One week and five days.” He told her. “It took till yesterday to get a doctor here because of the snow.”

“That’s a long time.” She looked at her hands. “Help me sit up?” She asked.

He propped pillows behind her and she leaned against the headboard. “Liz, if you feel up to it, would you like to tell me what happened?” He asked softly so as not to awaken Emily.

She nodded. “Some of it I blacked out.” She studied her hands then her nightgown. How did she get into that nightgown?

“Max, why am I in my nightgown?” She asked.

He blushed. “You were wet and you were passed out. I didn’t look, well as much as I could, I couldn’t leave you in the clothes.” He met her eyes honestly.

She felt a warmth go up her spine he cared for her enough that he would change her, as uncomfortable as he had been. Then remembering something she looked him in the eye.

“Where’s Tess?” She asked.

“She left. The day you left. I didn’t want her here anymore. I’m sorry it took your leaving for me to see that.” He looked at her.

She smiled. “What about your mother?”

“She’s ok with it. I have to find a duchess soon.” Liz looked down again.

“Liz, tell me what happened and why you walked back fifteen miles in the snow.”

“Ok.” She took a breath and began her story.

“We got to the docks around noon. There wasn’t another ship leaving for the states until the following week. We rented out a room at the small inn. Rafael was not too happy that he hadn’t consummated the marriage on the wedding night. So he had decided that we would fix that problem later that night.”

Max moved closer to her. She held her hand up and shook her head. “No. Stay there.”

“Liz.” He looked her over concerned.

“No, just let me finish.” She swallowed and continued. “He told me of this and left the room. I was terrified. It hadn’t even dawned on me to leave. He was gone all day.” She took another breath. “When he came back it was later. I hadn’t changed because it was cold and I wasn’t about to spend the next week in the same bed as him. I doubt he would have slept on the floor. When he came back, he was drunk.”

“Liz.”

“Max, I’m not going to finish if you don’t stay quiet.” She threatened.

“Alright.”

“He came back and he was so drunk that he passed out on the bed.”

“I didn’t sleep that whole night. He woke up the next morning and screamed at me. Then left.” She shifted. “He said I needed to become social with the other ladies so that I wouldn’t look bad. I washed up and went down to converse with the innkeeper’s wife. She conveniently needed someone to watch her young son, who was seven, the other governess was ill. I watched him for the day and did odd jobs to get enough money for a coach ride to just two miles outside the village. I snuck out during the night. Rafael came back drunk. I knew this was how it was going to be for the rest of my life so I left.”

“It wasn’t snowing when I left. Of course, I didn’t bring my cloak. The coach dropped me off inside the village, since it had started snowing.”

“Why didn’t you have him bring you all the way here? I would have paid the price when you arrived.”

“I know, but I didn’t think of that then, and it was starting to snow and he still had more passengers to transfer. I started walking. It took me all day until I got here to walk through the snow. It was terribly cold.”

“Why didn’t you think of sending a man from the village up here to get me?” He asked.

“I wasn’t thinking. All I knew was that I had to stay off the main road. Several horseback riders came by and I had to make a dash for the forest. As you saw my clothes. I just wanted to get back here as soon as possible.”

“I’m glad you did, I just wish that you wouldn’t have had to get sick because of it.” His earlier concern coming out.

“I know, but I did, but I’m ok now.” She reassured him.

“I see that.” He smiled.

“Max when did you sleep?” He looked tired and ragged.

“Every few hours.”

“You should rest.”

“No you should.” He corrected her.

“I’m not tired.” She shook her head.

“Make a deal. You sleep, and I’ll sleep too.”

Liz nodded through a yawn. “Alright. Where do you sleep?”

“I brought in a little cot. Go to sleep, I’ll see you in the morning.” Max explained.

“Goodnight, Max.” She whispered.

“Goodnight, Liz.” He stood over her.

When he was sure she was definitely asleep, “I love you.”


posted on 12-Jan-2003 6:55:10 PM by mattie788
A Duke, a Governess, and a Little Lady

“I love you.”

Liz kept her eyes closed when Max had said those words.

It was hard to restrain her quick intake of breath. It went through her mind over and over again.

She heard him lay down on his cot. She looked around the room and buried her face in her pillow, she’d have to tell him tomorrow.

****

She woke up to Emily’s giggling coming from outside a new maid she hadn’t seen before was bustling around the room.

“Bonjour, Mademoiselle.” The maid said happily. She was younger, older than Liz but definitely younger than Mrs. Kendall. And she spoke French. That would make Emily very happy.

“Bonjour, Madam?” Liz question.

“Oui. I’m married to the new driver.” She answered back in French. Liz learned that when people don’t speak English very well and have a French accent, it’s easier to speak to them in French.

“What is your name?”

“Clara. She answered. “His Grace said you needed a bath and that I was to have it ready for when you woke up. Are you ready?”

Liz nodded, a bath would be nice.

She bathed quickly, the water soothing to her limbs. She dressed in a morning dress.

There was a knock on the door. The maid answered.

“Mademoiselle.” She called. Liz looked up from where she was watching Emily on her young mare. Max had Alador leading her at a slow trot around the yard. Emily was laughing.

“Bonjour, Mademoiselle” The butler greeted. “Lady Guerin is waiting your parlor.” He informed her. “I’ll escort you there.”

Liz smiled thankfully although she wondered when she had gotten her own parlor for callers.

“Beth!” Maria exclaimed when she saw her.

“Lady Guerin.” Liz curtsied.

“Beth, what have I told you?” Liz blushed.

“Pardon. Would you like to sit?” She pointed to the nicely furnished room.

“Thank you.” They both sat.

“Has Max talk to you at all?” Maria asked softly.

“Yes.”

“What about?”

“Just about how I got here.” She shrugged.

“Nothing else?”

“Should he have?”

“If he hasn’t than no.” She shook her head.

“Where is Ellie?”

“Outside with Emily, Max and my husband.” Maria smiled. “We just happened to ride over and I was glad so that Ellie could see that other young ladies ride too. Michael has been trying to teach her since he bought her a young mare last year.”

“It took some coaxing to get Emily onto that mare. But I guess she enjoys it now.”

There was a knock on the door.

“Enter.”

“Miss Parker,” Clara entered. “His Grace would like you to join him on a ride.” She told her. “Would you like to change into your habit?”

Maria smiled a sneaky smile. “I’ll keep Emily here.” She encouraged.

Liz nodded and followed Clara out of the room.

****

Max was holding her mare steady when Liz exited the house.

“Good morning, Liz.” He smiled.

“Good morning, Max.” She nodded.

He helped her up to the mare, “steady, Cinder.” She had named the horse after her favorite fairytale and her color.

They began at a slow trot around the yard to warm her up. Then headed out.

They went out to where Lake Antar was now frozen. He tied the horses down and pulled two pair of ice skates from the satchel attached to his saddle.

“Are you up for it?” He asked with a smiled.

“I have never ice skated before.” She said a little nervous and a little embarrassed.

“Really?” He asked amazed.

She nodded and stared at the ground.

“Come here.” He said softly. She went to him. He sat her down on a stump that was clear of snow and tied the skates on top of her tiny slippers. He put his own on and helped her step onto the ice. She clutched tightly to his arm.

“Slippery.” She said laughing when she almost lost her balance.

“Extremely.” He affirmed. He guided her out farther onto the ice.

“This isn’t that difficult.” She said more confidently.

Max let go of her hand and she glared at him. He moved away and had her skate to him.

“Max, don’t make me.” She was unsteady on her feet.

“Come on.” He encouraged.

She slid forward and into his arms. He let her go and repeated only further away.

She got it well enough and made their way around the lake.

Liz got faster and more daring. Max kept up with her the entire way.

After a few embarrassing falls Liz, being the fast learner that she was, was almost as good as Max.

Max sat down on the stump and pulled Liz onto his lap breathing hard.

“Max, I’m not supposed to be here.” She chided.

“I know.”

“Did you bring me out here for a reason?” She asked.

“Yes, actually.” His expressions suddenly serious.

“Liz, you know I need a duchess, correct?” He asked.

She nodded. Why was he talking this over with her? She already knew that he loved her, why would he want to tell her this?

“Max, you don’t need to discuss this with me. If I need to go away then I need to go away. All that I ask is that Emily is cared for.” She started to get up from his lap.

She was upset with him. Max thought. What did he do wrong? He held her tight against him so she couldn’t move.

“No, Liz, I do need to discuss this with you.”

“No, no you don’t, I don’t want to hear about your need to get a duchess.” Liz spat out. A perfectly good day ruined. Tears started to fall down her face.

“Why are you crying?” He asked worriedly.

“Honestly, Max?”

“Honestly.” He assured her.

She took a deep breath to calm her nerves and tucked a loose strand of hair behind her ear. “Because it hurts too much. Knowing that you’re so close, yet so far. I can never be your duchess, even though I love you and I know you love me, I heard you last night.” She cried trying to stand up.

Max’s heart soared. She was crying and he could fix it. He raised her chin so she was looking at him.

“Liz, look at me.” She averted her eyes. “Please?” He asked softly.

She gave in and looked at him. “I need to discuss this with you because it involves you, very much.” He smiled.

She stared at him.

“I want you to be my duchess.”

“Me?” She asked astonished.

“Yes you.” He smiled.

“I can’t, I have no social standing, I’ve been your governess living in your house for the past few months. Scandal will happen, the Evans name will be slaughtered. And Isabel! What would happen to her and poor Alex.”

”He’s prince, no one dare say anything.” He told her seriously. “If I can guarantee no scandal, will you marry me?” He asked. “Would you have me as your duke?”

”Yes. Yes of course.” She hugged him.

“Let’s go back, shall we?” He asked.

She nodded. He bent down and unable to stop himself kissed her. It felt more right than anything hand ever felt in his life. He didn’t have to worry that what he was doing was wrong because she was his, and his alone.

****

“Max, I can ride Cinder back.” She laughed.

“No, Alador will hold both.” He assured her. She handed him Cinder’s reign’s and walked over to the stump. Max lifted her up onto his horse in front of him sitting sidesaddle across his lap.

“What will the people at the house think?” She asked as he guided Alador into a walk Cinder following dutifully behind.

“That I’m carrying their future duchess and they need not say anything.” He kissed her and urged the horse in a gallop.

Liz gladly held on tighter and laughed.


TBC

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 12-Jan-2003 6:55:51 PM ]
posted on 14-Jan-2003 7:29:52 PM by mattie788
Hey Everyone!
Mattie here. I just wanted to say thanks to all of you feedbackers. There are so many questions and there are answers to all, well most, of them! You'll just have to wait for the next few parts so you know what's going on. HEHE It's nice to be in control for once, usually I'm at the mercy of the authors but I'm the author now. But I assure you I'm a dreamer all the way. I don't write or even "dream" of anything else. In my mind, not to any of you other shippers, what else is there? Yes, the whole marriage thing with Rafael will be settled and the result will be very, deserving, if you will.
Just a little hint, for those of you who read romance novels you know that if they're happy half way through the book, something bad is gonna happen. Let's just say we're about three fourth of the way done.*wink*
Mattie
posted on 16-Jan-2003 12:13:06 AM by mattie788
A Duke, a Governess, and a Little Lady


Maria smiled when she saw Max and Liz come riding in.

Liz got off the horse and made her way over to Maria.

“You knew, didn’t you?” Liz said excitedly.

“Yes, he talked to me when you were sick.” Maria nodded.

Maria continued chattering and Liz spotted a messenger come riding in fast on his horse. He gave a letter to Max.

The look on Max’s face made Liz stiffen. Maria noticed and turned around.

Max was now talking to Michael. Michael nodded at Maria.

“Why don’t you come inside with me?” Maria pulled Liz into her parlor.

“What’s going on?” Liz said almost in a panic. Remembering to breathe correctly, Liz settled herself in her chair.

“Beth, I have to tell you something, why those nice gentlemen out there chose me to tell you, I’ll never know.”

“Maria, what is it?” She asked.

“In case you don’t remember, Beth, you are married.”

Liz’s eyes flashed with anger, how in the world did she find out? Max told her. He completely went against her trust.

“No, Beth, don’t get upset with him. Michael, my husband, is the magistrate. He had to know.” Maria smiled proudly.

“What?”

“You didn’t know that?”

“No.” Liz shook her head. “Maria, d-don’t say anything. I have to explain.” Liz said starting to get panicked. “I was going to ask Max that question, but he was just so happy, I couldn’t do it.” Liz looked down at her hands.

“No worries, Beth.” Maria laid her arm on Liz’s leg.

“Beth, while you were sick, Max rode back to the docks, to try to settle on something for an annulment. When he got there a terrible fight had taken place. Two drunken men got in a brawl and one ended up dead on scene and one died soon after from stab wounds, the man who had died on site was identified as Rafael Derevko.”

Liz gasped.

“Max rode back to our house as soon as he heard and talked to Michael. He had it reported and it was indeed him.” Maria nodded.

Liz felt awful, yet so relieved. She smiled. Then burst out in tears.

“I have been crying more than I have ever cried in my life.” She wiped her tears. “I feel so bad that he died, but I feel so relieved. I don’t have to look over my all the time anymore. Maria, is it ok to feel this way?” She asked.

“It’s perfectly ok.” Maria sat by her.

“Now I can get married.” Liz smiled.

“Well, not exactly.” Maria said sadly.

“What? Why not?” Liz asked.

“You see, if you’re not properly introduced into society, they’ll never accept you as Max’s duchess.”

“How am I to do that?” Liz asked.

“You will come live with us.” Maria explained. “You will be Michael’s cousin from America, and his ward. Max has agreed, since you shall be his wife, to pay for everything needed for you successful debut. You will stay at our house; Emily will stay here, so Max isn’t all by himself. You only have to keep up the charade till you have met and have been properly introduced to him. You know all the rules of English society and shall be completely ready within the next few weeks. The first party starts in three weeks.” Maria smiled happily.

“But how will I get enough gowns in three weeks? I’m sure all dressmakers will be swamped.” Liz said not sure of the plan.

“Isabel has already arranged for her personal dressmaker to make your dresses. No one will think anything of it since we are best friends, well, you too of course.” Maria shrugged.

“I’ll leave Max and Emily?” Liz asked.

“They’ll come over everyday, Emily can even stay the night once or twice. But yes, you will have to. Beth for you to be with Max, you have too.”

“Alright.” Liz nodded her consent, then smiled. “Do we get to go to London again?” She asked.

“Yes, you will stay at our town house, we leave in a fortnight.” Maria stood. “Let’s go get you packed.”

Liz nodded. She had just gotten back and now she had to leave again. She would see Emily everyday though, and Max in the evenings.

****

“Emily, it’s time for you to leave with Max.” Liz called.

Emily stood and nodded. She didn’t know exactly what was going on but she knew ‘Mama’ was leaving again. She knew she would see her everyday.

Max pulled Liz inside Michael’s study. “Max, I have to say goodnight to Emily.”

“I know.” Max affirmed. “But I get to say goodbye to you first.” He lifted her chin and placed a kiss on her mouth.

Liz eagerly accepted. They stayed in that embrace until Liz pulled away.

“Max, what about Tess? She knows, won’t she tell?” She asked worriedly.

“No, she has the princess’s word against hers, who do you think they will believe?” He asked confidently.

“I didn’t think about it that way.” She smiled.

“Mama?” Emily called.

“Here.” Liz stepped out of the study and bent down to say goodbye.

“Emily, be good for Max, ok?”

Emily nodded and studied the two of them. “What’s going on, why are you staying here?” Emily asked hugging her.

“We’ll tell you tomorrow, Sweet.” Liz kissed her forehead and handed her to Max.

“Goodnight, Mama.” Emily whispered and snuggled into Max against the cold.

“Goodnight, Sweet.” Liz whispered but looked at Max and met his eyes.

“You sure you don’t want a carriage?” Michael asked.

“No, don’t trouble your groom. It’s not a long ride, we’ll be fine.”

Max nodded and entered into the snow.

****

“Do you like this one?” Isabel asked holding up pink silk.

“No, no pink please.” Liz smiled. She squirmed under all the measurements.

“My Lady, will you please hold still?” The dressmaker grunted. She had gotten used to being addressed as ‘My Lady’ at Maria’s house. She had protested at first but Maria reasoned. She said that if she were to go to London as miss she couldn’t be Michael’s cousin and within a few months she would be ‘your grace’.

“Sorry.” She mumbled.

“Beth, this one’s perfect.” Maria held up to her. Liz glanced over at the material.

“It is.” Liz smiled. Maria brought it over to her. Liz felt it.

The material was a pale red, not pink, and softer than any silk she had ever seen.

“Can it be made like my Christmas dress?” Liz asked looking at Isabel.

Isabel looked at the dressmaker who nodded.

“I want it made like that.” Liz said getting excited.

“It will be then.” Isabel nodded.

“When are Emily and Max coming?” Liz asked anxiously.

“Clara is bringing Emily over, Max has work to be done before heading to London for the season.”

“He’s not coming?” She said quietly.

“He can’t, Beth.” Maria sympathized.

“Here!” Christopher burst into the room and straight to Isabel.

“Hello, Sweeting.” Isabel picked up her son.

“Hi, Mama.” He smiled.

“Who’s here?” She asked.

“Millie.”

Millie was his nickname for Emily. He couldn’t get the Emily down quite yet.

Liz looked up smiling.

“Mama!” Emily came running in front of an exasperated Clara.

“Lady Emily!” She said out of breath.

“I’m sorry, my Lady.” She pulled her away from Liz’s leg and an annoyed dressmaker.

“It’s fine.” Liz smiled.

“Were you good for Miss Clara?” Liz asked.

“Yes, Mama.” Clara had taken up position as governess after Liz left. Max had discovered that she taught at finishing school for three years. With a lot of twisting and pulling she got Max to reluctantly agree.

“I like that.” She pointed to the material Liz had picked out.

“I like it enough.” Liz stepped down from the stool and stretched.

“What were you going to tell me, Mama?” Emily asked walking closer to her once again.

“Let’s go to my room, and I’ll explain there, ok?” Liz asked unsure of how to tell her now that Max wasn’t here to help.

“Fine.” She said happily and skipped next to her.

TBC
Thanks again for all the feedback!


posted on 20-Jan-2003 7:49:32 PM by mattie788
A Duke, a Governess, and a Little Lady

part 24


A/N: I meant to have this posted earlier but my sister, her husband, and her two kids are moving up to Palmdale and we were house hunting. For those of you who don’t know that just happens to be fifteen minutes away from Vasquez Rocks, better known as the Pod Chambers. HEHE. We just had to stop! So I got home a lot later than I expected and hence this part didn’t get written as quickly. I also quickly had to think of title for Michael, so don’t be surprised.

“Emily, settle down.” Liz sat her on her lap.

She stopped squirming and gave her full attention to Liz.

“Emily, remember, when I had to go away?” Liz asked seriously.

Emily’s eyes widened. “You’re not going away again are you?” She asked worriedly.

“No, I’m not going to go away again.” Liz pulled her closer. “Do you know why I left?”

“You were married to that man, Mr. Derevko.” She said clearly yet quietly.

“Yes. Do you know what it means to be married?”

“Like my other Mama and Papa. You have to live together, that’s why you went away.” Emily told her.

“Exactly. Now, you know how you asked me if I wanted to be Max’s duchess?”

She nodded.

“Well, the only way for that to happen would be for me to marry Max.”

“Really?” She squealed.

“Yes, is that ok?”

“Yes, yes, yes. You’re going to marry Cousin?” He asked.

“Yes, that’s why I live here and Miss Clara is your governess.” She told her.

“You’re going to be a duchess.” Emily whispered. She hugged her tight.

“Not just, any duchess, Uncle Max’s.” Ellie walked in.

“Hello, Ellie, did you hear?” Emily jumped down.

“Yes. Mama told me before. You wanna come play, Christopher’s here.” She said excitedly.

“Yes. I’ll talk to you later, Mama.” Emily waved and was out the door.

“That was easy.”

****

Liz stood looking in her mirror. “Martha, does this look ok?” She asked nervously.

Her nerves were on end. She had spent the last week in London in the Guerin Townhouse, away from Emily and Max.

It had been a week of shopping, exposing her slowly to society, tempting young suitors who she of course had no intention of marrying.

“Yes, my lady.” The short maid answered.

“Alright.” She smoothed her hair down. It was up, unfortunately, she hated it this way.

“Beth, come on.” Maria called from the door.

“Coming.” She took a deep breath and glanced once more at the mirror.

“You look beautiful.” Martha smiled her encouragement and opened the door.

“Thank you.” She made her way out the door.

To pass time in the carriage ride, she talked to Maria to calm her nerves. “Will I see Emily tomorrow?”

“Yes. Isabel said she’ll be staying there so you can come and visit Isabel, to society, but really to see Emily.”

Liz smiled but it quickly faded when she saw all the carriages that were lined up in front of the huge mansion the party was taking place in.

“There are so many people.” She said nervously. She played with the folds in her dress. Could she really do this? Would she be able to attend parties year after year as the Duchess of Antar?

"Isabel is going to be here tonight, everyone wants a chance to talk and become aquainted with the Princess." Maria explained.

“You’ll get used to it.” Michael stepped down from the carriage. He turned to help first Maria then Liz down. “When you see him, don’t act familiar.” He reminded her.

“I know, cannot talk with him until you introduce me. ” She nodded not liking this. If Max showed too much affection towards her or even danced three times with her, she would be scandalized.

“Ready?” Maria whispered.

“Yes.” Liz nodded. Michael took Maria’s arm and Liz followed obediently behind.

“The Earl and Countess of Rockford, and the Lady Elizabeth Parker.” The butler called.

Liz felt the room turn and stare at her.

She drifted closer to Michael, eyes scanning the room for Max.

“He’ll be here.” Maria whispered.

Liz nodded and took a deep breath calming herself.

Liz stood patiently by a wall while Michael danced with Maria. Until Michael danced with Liz no other man could.

She felt the dozens of pairs of eyes on her. She kept her eyes trained on the floor.

“Care for a dance?” She looked up and smiled into Michael’s warm eyes.

She nodded. She had dreaded this moment forever. Now all those dozens of pairs of eyes were going to wander over and see if she wanted to dance if they could call in the morning. All of this was tedious, but necessary, extremely necessary.

Michael led her back to her place against the wall. Maria moved protectively by her side.

The young men waited patiently for an introduction.

“The Crown Princess of England and the Duke of Antar!” The butler exclaimed. The room went silent.

Everyone turned to the front entryway. Isabel appeared in her shining glory. The room went into one big mass of bowing and curtsying nobility.

They made their way over to Michael and Maria. Max dutifully ignoring Liz, until he was formally introduced.

“Your Grace, I would like you to meet my ward, Lady Elizabeth Parker. Elizabeth, the Duke of Antar.”

Liz smiled a small smile up at him.

“My Lady.” He nodded respectfully.

“Your Grace.” She curtsied.

“May I have the pleasure of dancing with you, my lady?” He asked.

Liz glanced at Maria as if to ask permission.

With a curt nod Liz was on the dance floor with Max.

They kept up a light conversation, neither one mentioning the comfort of having a each other in their arms again.

Max walked Liz back to Michael. “Thank you, my lady.”

“It was my pleasure, your Grace.” Liz curtsied and turned to talk to Maria and Isabel.

No man dared talk to her now that the Duke of Antar had staked his claim. He stayed possessively by her side and glared at any man that dare come near her.

“Max.”

Michael and Maria turned around simultaneously to see who would address Max so informally in public.

Maria stood face to face with Tess.

“Miss Harding, haven’t seen you in a while.” She said in a two sweet voice.

“Same here, Lady Guerin.” Tess acknowledged.

“May I introduce you to my husband’s ward, Lady Elizabeth Parker?” She turned to Liz.

Liz’s face had gone white at the realization of who was standing there. Her first instinct was to move towards Max and announce that he was hers but secondly, she wanted to hide. This moment would determine many things.

TBC
posted on 8-Feb-2003 8:06:18 PM by mattie788
A Duke, a Governess, and a Little Lady

Thanks for all the reviews guys! It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside now to answer a few questions:

Scifinut111- “Max staked his claim” scaring all the other gentlemen away. By talking to her and staying by her, it kind of warns the others away.

Destinyrebel- I think that is the most interesting bump I’ve ever gotten. It’s so creative! And thanks for all the unfailing bumps!

Thank you for waiting so long, I’ve been doing lots of stuff lately and I was just plain in a blank spot right now. BUT I’ve gotten going again. So Here ya go!

Now for the story:


Part 25

“Lady Elizabeth, would you like to dance?” Max turned to Liz.

Tess’s face turned a pretty, well ugly, shade of red.

“It would be my pleasure.” She took his hand and followed him out to the dance floor.

It was a slow waltz so the could talk while they danced.

“Why is she here?” Liz whispered.

She felt the many eyes on them. All of society felt that the duke of Antar cried off and left hard feelings between the two. Obviously there had to be a reason and they were all anxious to see if those results were true.

Max dancing with Liz with his ex-fiancé standing there was a snub at Tess. There must be something wrong with her if the Duke of Antar refused to dance with her.

“No idea. From the last Isabel had heard, she wasn’t on the guest list.” Max turned her around so now he was facing Tess. She was glaring at Liz’s back so he pulled her closer to him and gave her a possessive glare.

“Max, this is our last dance. If you dance any more times, rumor would run rampant.” Liz warned.

“I know.”

Meanwhile on the sidelines:

“Miss Harding, it’s been a while since we’ve seen you, where have you been?” Isabel asked politely for Liz’s sake.

“I’ve been around town, your highness.” She answered politely.

Isabel could see ears straining to overhear the conversation.

Tess smiled at this. “It hasn’t been nearly that long. Why, if I’m correct it’s only been a fortnight.”

Isabel glared when everyone looked from them to the dance floor where Max was holding Liz possessively.

Isabel heard the intense whispering and glared at Tess. “It’s been longer than that, Tess, and if you dare repeat another lie, you will be quick to regret it.”

Isabel threatened in a whisper.

Tess just smiled. “Are you sure that Lady Elizabeth hasn’t been in London before?”

Isabel flashed her a warning. “Very sure.” With that Isabel turned her back and headed over to Maria.

Gasps were heard when Isabel turned. When a princess turned her back on you, your reputation was going to go down.

Gentlemen waiting for Tess to be free to dance slowly backed away. Tess glared at Isabel’s back as she walked away.

Max returned Liz to Maria. He made his way over to Michael and arranged to call on her the next morning.

“Did she say anything?” Liz asked worriedly once she was safely at Maria’s side.

“No. And if she knows what’s good for her, she will not.” Isabel said through another glance at Tess.

She was standing angrily by herself. No one wanted that bad reputation on his family.

“Are you sure?” Liz was still a little worried.

“Almost.” Isabel said assured.

****

“Beth, come in, come in.” Isabel ushered her into the house. It had been two days since the ball and Isabel had invited Liz over.

“Hello, Isabel.” Liz said happily.

“Good morning, Maria.” Isabel said looking behind her.

“Good morning, Isabel, I’d love to stay but I must get home. I just had to escort Liz here since Michael’s unavailable.” She explained.

“That’s fine.” Isabel smiled as Maria quickly returned to the carriage.

“Max is in his study. You know where it is.” Isabel went back to what she was doing before.

Liz slipped quietly into Max’s study.

“Liz.” He stood up and went over and kissed her.

“Hello, Max.” She smiled at him.

“I was thinking we could go for a walk in the park today?” He asked leading her out of the room.

“Alright.” She looked disappointed.

“We have to make an appearance, like I’m courting you or the gentlemen will be all over you tonight at the Wellington’s.”

She nodded.

It was a short walk to the park. The park was full of nannies taking children out for morning walks, and couples courting as they were.

Max offered her his arm. She gladly took it.

“How is Emily, Max?” Liz asked him. She hadn’t seen her the day before and Emily wasn’t in when she was at the house earlier.

“She misses you, a lot. But I miss you too.” He gripped her hand.

“I miss you both.” Liz stopped to tell him.

“Liz, how long do we have to wait?”

“Maria said three weeks.” Liz told him sadly.

“I can’t take three weeks. Is that three weeks until I can offer for you, or three weeks till we could be married?”

“I don’t know.” She continued walking. There was a fountain in the center of the lake they were now circling.

“This is nothing compared to Antar.” She whispered, wanting to go back to the comfort of Roswell.

“I know.”

“Lady Emily, come here this instant!” She heard someone shout in French.

Instinctively she turned around to find Emily, her Emily, running up behind her.

“Cousin!” She said excitedly. She held one tiny glove clad hand on her hat to keep it in place.

“Emily.” He smiled.

“Hi, Cousin.”

“I’m sorry, Your Grace.” Clara said out of breath.

“It’s fine.” He assured her. “And how are you, Christopher?” Max asked the small boy holding Clara’s hand.

“I’m well, Uncle Max.” He looked at him.

“Will they join us on our walk?” Liz asked.

“Is it ok?” Max asked Clara.

“We were about to return to the house for our noon day meal, actually.” Clara informed them.

Liz nodded. She wanted more time with Emily but knew, from first hand experience, that a child’s schedule should be well kept.

“I’ll see you later?” Emily asked sliding down from Max’s hip.

“Yes.” Liz assured her.

“Goodbye, Mama.” She said quietly and took Clara’s offered free hand.

“Goodbye, Lady Emily.” Max and Liz both called.

****

“Where is my cousin?” Liz asked as the maid took her cloak from her.

“He is in his study, my lady.” She informed her.

“Thank you.” She headed in that direction.

The door was ajar and she stepped inside without thinking. “Oh, pardon me!” She exclaimed, finding Michael and Maria in an intimate embrace.

“Oh, Beth, it’s fine.” Maria blushed letting go of her husband. “I was just telling my love, some,” she smiled shyly at him, “good news.”

Liz studied the couple. Wondering if her question could wait till later. Then the sparkle in Maria’s eye and the smile that would not leave Michael’s face hit home.

“You’re carrying?” She whispered.

Maria’s face lit up. “How’d you know?”

“I worked in a hospital, only expectant mothers have that look.” Liz smiled as she pulled Maria into a hug. “This is wonderful Maria.”

Liz knew that both were starting to wonder if Adele was to be their only child.

“I’m sorry I interrupted.” Liz said again.

“No, really, it’s fine. Was there something you wanted to ask, Beth?” Michael asked gently.

“Yes, actually.”

“Well, then have a seat.” He nodded to one. Maria sat in the one beside her.

“I was wondering, would it be terrible if Max and I were to marry sooner than the proposed three months, if you’d publish it in the newspaper?”

“I don’t know, Beth.” He looked at her seriously. “People would talk. As much as Isabel has done her share of talk, the she can only say so much, before her word will start to falter.” He explained.

“Oh.”

“You’ll have to wait, Beth.”

“But why does it matter?” Liz asked desperately.

“Because, it does.”

Liz suddenly hated society. “But.”

“There’s no buts, Beth, the answer is no.” He said sternly.

A little too sternly for Liz’s taste. “Pardon me, you’re not even my guardian, I was just asking you, since it would be you’re duty to publish it in the newspaper.” She answered annoyed.

“I will not, you would put Max’s reputation, a new reputation at that, at stake. And my wife’s.” He nodded at Maria.

“So if you’re not going to publish anything until the proposal in three weeks, and the marriage in three months, we just have to keep up the charade of courting?”

“Correct.”

“Fine.” Liz said slightly angered but knew what he said was true.

“Thank you for understanding, Beth.” Michael said.

“Your welcome, my lord.” She said before exiting and leaving a glaring Maria in her wake.

“Michael, you could have done so.” She tried to keep her voice even.

“I know.” He smiled.

“Michael.” She said.

“Calm down, wife.” He told her calmly. “I’ll do it and you know it. Max just doesn’t want her to expect anything so soon.”

“What?” Maria asked perplexed.

“All I’ll tell you is that a publishing won’t be necessary.” He lifted her out of her chair and kissed her hair.

Liz was too busy changing clothes later that night to attend the ball to notice a messenger leaving the house, quickly, on horseback.

TBC

posted on 12-Feb-2003 1:14:48 AM by mattie788
A Duke, a Governess, and a Little Lady

“Are you going to go see Mama?” Emily asked watching Max tie his cravat.

“Yes, Emily.” He smiled at her.

“I can go too?” She asked leaning on the bed.

“No.”

“When?” She asked sadly.

“When you’re seventeen, or when your mama decides you’re ready.” He explained.

“That’s a long time.” Emily looked at him sadly.

“I know, it’ll come faster than you think.” He rubbed her hair that was carefully braided so her curls would fall perfect in the morning.

“Tell, Mama I said hello.” She said distressed.

“She’ll come, tomorrow, I promise.” He picked her up and carried her to the front door where Clara was waiting to take her.

“I’ll be back later, alright?” He asked.

She nodded. “Tell, Mama I love her.” She gave him another hug and went to her governess.

“I will.” He kissed her cheek and exited the house.

****

Liz sat on the opposite side of the carriage away from Michael. She wouldn’t look him directly in the eye.

“Beth, you won’t leave me alone when I have to go into my confinement will you?” Maria asked playfully.

“Of course not!” She said excitedly. She had forgotten about the baby. “When do you have to go?”

“In my seventh month.” She said sadly. “I can stay here for a little longer but after that I must be secluded from all social activity.” She said.

“It’ll be fine, Maria.” Michael wrapped his arm around his wife.

At Michael’s jump into the conversation, Liz turned away.

“There’s so many people here!” Liz observed.

“It’s the biggest party of the season. An invitation to this party means you’re still in. If you’re not invited to this party your invitations to anything begin to slow.” Maria explained.

“We were invited?”

“Of course.” Maria said as if it were common knowledge.

At the ball Liz danced stiffly with Michael while waiting for Max to arrive.

“The Duke of Antar!” The butler announced.

Michael smiled a secret smile at Max as he passed Liz off to him.

“Good evening, my Lady.” Max greeted.

“Good evening ,Your Grace.” Liz smiled up at him.

They danced one dance and returned to the sidelines. Another man offered Liz a dance.

Liz glanced at Max and he shrugged.

Liz relented and slid reluctantly into the other man’s arms.

He didn’t dance as easily or as smoothly as Max. Conversation didn’t come easily. Liz kept her eyes and ears open at things around her.

She felt everyone in the room stir. She turned them around enough to where she could see what was going on.

“What is that Miss Harding doing here? I heard Lady Wellington didn’t invite her.” The young man asked. Liz couldn’t remember his name a Lord Brockhurst or something odd like that, she didn’t particularly care either.

“I have no idea.” The dance completed and he escorted her back to Maria’s protective side.

“Where’s Isabel?” Liz asked nervously.

“Christopher struck ill suddenly.” Maria explained hurriedly. “She said she’d be running late.”

Tess made her way over to the small party. “Your Grace, Lord and Lady Guerin.” She greeted.

They nodded her presence.

“Miss Parker.” She greeted Liz.

Liz stiffened hoping no one else had caught the title.

“Miss Harding.” She said just as coldly.

Lady Wellington made her way over. “Miss Harding. How surprising to see you here.” She sneered, politely, if you could call it that.

“Lady Wellington!”

Liz studied the young duchess. She had expected her to be older yet she was a young woman perhaps not much older than Isabel.

“Lady Parker, I apologize for my guest’s rude behavior.” She turned to Liz.

“Having problems, Amy?” Liz heard Isabel’s voice. She sighed in relief.

“No, everything’s fine.” She turned.

Liz wondered why they were on first name basis.

“Have you been introduced?” Isabel asked Liz.

“No.” She shook her head.

“Well, this is Amy Wellington, my best friend since childhood. Our family’s country homes border each other.”

“Nice to see you, I trust Christopher’s well?”

“Better.” Isabel affirmed before turning to Tess.

“I thought we cut back the list Amy.” She asked.

“We did.” Amy said annoyed.

Everyone in the room got the hint and backed away from Tess.

“Good Evening, Lady Wellington, your highness.” Tess curtsied and fled the room.

Max just stared after her and guided Liz once more to the dance floor.

“Why are you so sad?” Max asked concerned. “You don’t have to deal with Tess anymore.”

“Max, he said no.” She said sadly.

“I know.” He said non concerned.

“It doesn’t bother you?”

“No?” He shook his head and smiled at her.

“Why?”

“This is why.” He slowed their dancing to a stop causing the rest of the dancing couples on the floor to stop as well. The music stopped wondering why the dance floor had gone still.

“Max, you’re causing everyone to stop.” She looked around dancing. And this is the biggest party of the season!

He got down on one knee. Everyone turned to stare at the young couple.

Liz was blushing furiously. “Max.” She said firmly trying to pull him up.

“No, Lady Parker. I’ve known you for nothing but three short days, yet already you carry my heart. With your consent I want to give you mine. Will you take it? Will you be my wife?” He asked.

Liz looked about. All the married women were fanning themselves. Angry mamas were storming from the room. The rich duke of Antar had been snagged! Old women whispering, men watched in envy.

She nodded her head slowly at first, and then finally found the words to blurt, “YES!” She smiled.

He stood up and kissed her publicly sealing the deal.

The crowd broke into applause. Max slid the most gorgeous diamond ring on her finger and held her tightly to him.

Maria, Michael, and Isabel made their way over to them. “Well done, Maxwell.” Michael congratulated.

“You knew!” Maria stepped back.

“Yes.” He said sheepishly. Maria knocked him over the head with her fan and sent him a glare.

Isabel just smiled and moved out of the way so the two could continue where they had left off dancing.

TBC



posted on 17-Feb-2003 4:09:29 AM by mattie788
A Duke, a Governess, and a Little Lady

AN: Hey guys! I debated over and over again whether or not I was going to do the wedding and I decided against it. Just imagine it yourself. It will have reflections back in the following posts, so in a sense you will eventually experience the wedding, just not all at the same time. Sorry!

Also, I skipped about 7 months later, Maria's baby's being born now.



“Mama!” Emily ran into her mother’s sleeping chambers.

“Yes?” She said sleepily. She was buried under Max’s arms and luckily at her insistence, both were in nightclothes.

“Emily, why are you in here?” Max asked playfully.

“I wanted to be with you.” She said simply crawling into bed with them.

“And Miss Clara is where?” Liz asked moving away from him.

“I don’t know.” She answered snuggling down between them.

She paused as if she just noticed something. “Cousin,” Max flinched, she hadn’t yet begun to call him Papa and Max and Liz had decided not to push the subject, “What are you doing here?” She twisted her head to look at him.

Liz looked away stifling a laugh and hiding her blush.

“Same reason you are.”

“Why?” She demanded mornings were her time.

“Because I wanted to be close to your Mama.”

“Well.” She said flustered. She had always been the first one with Mama in the morning. “Were you having fun, without me?” She turned and looked at them with hands on her hips.

“Yes.” Liz squeaked out while blushing a deep shade of red Max had never seen before.

“Why don’t we go see what breakfast there is to eat?” Max said with an arrogant grin on his face.

“Yes, why don’t we.” Liz quickly agreed. “Emily go get changed, I’ll meet you in there in a moment.” Liz instructed.

“Yes, Mama.” She slid out of the bed and glared at Max. “I’ll talk to you downstairs.” She raced out of the room leaving the door wide open.

Max went over and shut it. “Is she always in here in the morning, how come she hasn’t come before?” He smiled.

“Because we slept later than usual and usually Clara has her until she’s sure you’re out of here.” Liz said.

“You plan that?” Max asked surrounding her with his arms.

“Have to, she thinks she’s the first one that sees me in the morning and takes joy in that.”

“Alright.” He kissed her.

“How is the little one?” He spread his hand over her tummy that had a tiny bump in it.

“Fine, they are doing fun.” She smiled.

“They?” He turned her around to face him.

“The doctor says I’m showing too early and that there might more than one baby in there.” Her eyes sparkled.

He picked her up before quickly setting her down. “Are we going to tell Emily?” He asked.

“No, we can’t tell her, it wouldn’t be proper.” Liz shook her head sadly.

“I know, but when have we ever been ‘proper’?” He asked.

“Do you want to answer her questions?”

He shook his head. “No.”

“Mama!” Emily shouted.

“Go get dressed now, Max.” She pushed him through the door that connected their rooms.

Liz’s maid rushed in the door as if she had known she was ready to be dressed. She changed quickly.

****
“Emily, do you think you could go faster?” Liz asked pulling her horse up next to Emily’s.

“No.” Emily said clinging to her horse.

Liz was anxious to see Maria’s new baby, she had him the day before.

“No faster, Liz.” Max said sneaking up on the both of them.

“Why not?” Liz asked.

“Because.” He looked towards her abdomen.

“Alright.” She looked down and moved him to a canter.

“That’s good, Emily, keep up with your mama.” Max brought up the rear.

Within a half an hour Liz was sitting with Maria holding the sleeping baby.

“He’s gorgeous, Maria.” Liz cooed.

“Thank you.” Maria said. She still looked exhausted.

“Was it horrible?” Liz asked after she handed the baby back, her hand resting on her tummy.

“It wasn’t that bad.” Maria looked at the baby then back at Liz. “Well, it was, but once the baby’s here you forget all about it.” Maria encouraged.

Liz talked a while more until Max called her home.

****

“Mama?” Emily crawled into Liz’s lap in front of the fire.

“Yes?”

“Can I have a baby too, like Lady Maria’s?” She asked.

“Not until you have a wedding.” Liz told her.

“But I already had a wedding.” She said confused.

“When, I don’t believe I was there?” Liz said.

“Remember, at the church in London? You were there. You wore the white dress; Cousin said you looked like an angel. Remember?” She said confused.

“That was my wedding.” Liz said. “Yes, I do remember it.”

“I had fun. I remember I had the flowers Adele’s hair was really curly almost like mine.” She said.

“Yes, you were the flower girl.” Liz clarified.

“Yeah, the flower girl.”

“And Prince carried the ring on the pillow.” She said getting into it. Adele and Emily both called Christopher, Prince.

“Yes, the ring bearer.”

“I want a wedding like that.” She said dreamily.

“You can. But first you need to grow up and find a man to marry.” She said.

“I already know whom I’m going to marry.” She said with confidence.

“And who would that be?” Liz asked.

“Prince.”

“No, you can’t marry Prince.”

“Why not?”

“Because he’s your cousin.” Liz explained.

“You married Cousin.”

“But he’s not my cousin.” She told her holding back her smile.

“Oh.” She rested. “I’ll find someone.”

“Yes, Cousin and I will find someone for you.” Emily relaxed into her arms.

“Yes.” She said quietly as in thought. “Cousin.”

Max watched silently from across the room.

****

“Max, what’s on your mind?” Liz stroked his cheek from where she was cuddled in his arms in bed.

“Emily.” He stated.

“Why?” She blinked.

“What does she think of me?” He asked quietly, like a little boy in need of reassurance.

“Why, she loves you.” Liz said. “Why do you ask?”

“I don’t know. It’s nothing really.” He said shrugging it off.

“No, Max, it means something to you, what’s wrong?” Liz said scooting up.

“I, it’s just, I don’t want to be just cousin anymore.” He said quietly.

“Well, you are her cousin.” She said simply.

“I know, but I feel like so much more than that.” He stroked her hair.

“Like a papa?” She whispered.

He nodded.

Liz sighed. “Max, she loves you so much right now. You have to let her come to her own conclusion that she wants to call you that. Although I have a feeling it will be soon. Max, she calls me Mama only because she’s known me as her second mama most of her life.”

“I know, Liz, and I don’t want to push her, yet it’s some little nagging feeling, every time she calls me Cousin it just hurts.” He said.

“Don’t worry, I’m sure by the time your children are born she will call you Papa.” She scooted up to kiss him.

He nodded and pulled her closer to him. “I know.”

****

“Mama.” Liz woke up to hear a tiny whispering.

There was a tiny knock. “Mama!” Came through the door with more volume.

“Who’s there?” Max sat up in bed.

“Max, who else calls me Mama, Max?” She looked at him annoyed. “Put your robe on and go back to your room.” Liz instructed.

“Fine.” He placed a kiss on her forehead as she went to open the door.
“Mama, I’m scared, can I stay with you.”

“Why are you scared, you’re almost six years old.” Liz took the girl back her bed and lie down beside her.

“Why does it smell like Cousin?” She asked.

“Because, I like the way Cousin smells.” Liz answered smoothly.

“My other mama liked the way my other papa smelled.” She told her.

“I know, wives tend to do that.”

“Mama?”

“Yeah?”

“How come Ellie and Prince have Mama and Papa, and I have Mama and Cousin?”

“Because that’s what you call Max.” Liz said carefully.

“I have Mama but no Papa.”

“Max is sort of like your papa.”

“Yes, but I don’t call him papa.” Emily clarified.

“I’m sure you could and he wouldn’t mind.” Liz told her.

“Could I?” Emily said with awe in her voice.

“You should ask him.” Liz said.

“I want to see him now.”

“He’s sleeping.”

“I want to sleep by him.” Emily said.

“Alright.” Liz slipped on her slippers and helped Emily with hers. “You have to be quiet.” Liz led her to the adjoining door.

“How come your room is so close to his and mine’s down the hall?”

“Because, husbands are always close to their wives.” Liz said slipping through the door.

Liz lifted Emily onto the higher bed and she scrambled over to Max.

Liz crawled in beside him.

Emily settled on Max’s chest while Liz took her place in the crook of his arms. Both arms came across the girls keeping them close to him, even in sleep.

****

Clara was in a frenzy. The young lady Emily had vanished. The house was in an uproar.

“We have to wake the duke and duchess.” A maid said.

“No!” Clara said frantically. They were for sure going to fire her. Emily was always slipping away from her.

“Yes, the faster they’re up the faster she’ll be found. Her Grace has that child wrapped around her finger.” The same maid said.

“I know.” Clara walked slowly upstairs to the family quarters.

“Your Graces, I-” She paused there was all three duke, duchess, and little lady, asleep on his bed.

With a sigh of relief she slid out of the room and shut the door.

Max smiled at the maid’s expression. He stared back down at the girl in his arms. Liz was awake as well. Emily, for once was still asleep.

She started to stir.

Liz shifted to make room for her to move onto the bed but she stayed firmly on Max’s bare chest. Her eyes blinked open.

“Morning, Mama.” She said sleepily.

She moved her head so she could see Max. He smiled down at her as he stroked her hair.

“Morning, Papa.”

The End

Epilogue coming soon!



[ edited 1 time(s), last at 17-Feb-2003 4:14:42 AM ]
posted on 19-Feb-2003 1:25:10 AM by Mattie788
A Duke, a Governess and a Little Lady

AN: You guys have been so great! It’s been such a great ride. You guys all supported me so much and it really made it worth writing. I considered whether or not to make the last part, the last part. But I highly doubted I’d find another opportunity to make it that sweet. Plus it would have just dragged on and I know even novels that I read that I love that drag on get on my nerves and I don’t like it anymore. So I made it end there. I’ve had such a wonderful time and I might write some more challenges I find the one I’m writing to be so much fun. And to answer Liz1490’s question, there won’t be a sequel to this one. Sorry guys. But thank you all so much! This has been so much fun. I'm sorry to see it end, but it has to.

Epilogue


“Papa, what’s wrong with Mama?” Emily asked early the next morning, Max had met her at the door outer room of Liz’s chambers.

There was a muffled shriek from the next room.

“Why don’t we go outside?” Max took her hand nervously and tried to steer her away.

“No, I wanna be with Mama.” She tried to pull away.

“No, come on, it’s been snowing the past few days, come on, let’s go.” He told her.

“Will she be ok?” Another shriek. “I don’t want to leave her.” Emily shook her head.

“Hold on.” Max left her in the antechamber and walked back in the room.

“Max, what are you doing in here?” Liz said breathlessly.

“Emily wants to see you.” He said as he stroked her hand.

“She can’t, Max.” Liz said and pulled her hand away.

“There’s no break?” He asked worried.

Her face contorted in a twist of pain.

“Bring the girl in.” The doctor said. “Go now, before another pain hits.”

“Mama!” Emily ran in the room as soon as she was permitted.

“Emily, you must go outside with Papa.” She said trying not to let her pain show.

“No, I wanna stay with you.”

“Emily, go, I need you to. It’ll make me fell better.” Emily said.

“Fine.”

She looked so dejected that Liz wanted to call her back but was already to feel the pain of the next one.

“Max, hurry.” She whispered.

Max picked her up fast and left the room before Liz let out another scream.

****

“Your Grace, you may see her now.” Clara ran shouting across the lawn.

Max looked up from where Emily was trotting on her horse.

“Watch her.” He nodded in Emily’s direction. “Bring her in 30 minutes.”

“Yes, Your Grace.” Clara curtsied and Max ran towards the house.

He walked into Liz room slowly yet quietly.

“Liz?” He said quietly.

“Max.” He heard his name. She sounded exhausted.

“How do you feel?” He asked.

“Tired, yet elated. Max look at them, they’re our babies.” She looked down at her arms.

As if remembering Max looked down at the two baby boys.

“Say hi to you Papa boys.” She smiled.

Max looked down at the tiny babies that were part him part his wife.

“Do we have names for them yet?” Max asked.

“No, not yet. I was waiting for you.”

“How about Max?” He said.

“No.”

“What’s wrong with Max?” He asked.

“Nothing, I just don’t want too. How about Phillip after your papa?” Liz said softly.

“I like that one.”

“Phillip for him.” Liz lifted one arm. “He was firstborn.”

Max took his firstborn son’s hand. “What about him.” He nodded to the other twin who was just waking up.

“Jacob?”

“I like it.” Max nodded.

“Mama!” Emily rushed in.

“Emily, you must be quiet.” Max said picking her up.

“Look.” Max pointed out the babies.

“Who are they?” She asked.

“Your brothers.”

“My brothers?” She questioned. She climbed out of Max’s arms and onto the bed.

“Yes, they’re our babies.” Liz said quietly.

“I don’t like them, take them back.” Emily said with tears trailing down her cheeks.

“What?” Liz questioned.

“Emily, we can’t take them back.” Max said quietly.

A nurse came forward and removed both babies from Liz’s arms at her request.

“Emily, come here.” Liz said gently. “Carefully, don’t move the bed too much.”

Emily slowly crawled up into her arms. “Why don’t you like them, Love?” Liz questioned.

“I don’t know.” She whispered. “You’re my mama.” Emily hugged her and started crying.

“I’m still your mama.” Liz hugged her fiercely back. “That’s not going to change.”

“It won’t?” She said uncertainly.

“Yes, she’s sure, I’m sure, Emily.” Max said. “She still loves you the same, we love you.” He hugged her.

“Alright.” Emily nodded. “What are my brother’s names?”

”Phillip and Jacob.”

“How come there are two. Adele on has one brother.”

“It’s just what happened.” Liz shrugged. Max looked proud of himself.

“I want to see them again.” Emily said.

The nurse brought the babies back. “Can I hold one? They look the same.”

“They’re twins.” Max explained.

“Will I be able to tell them apart?”

“Of course you will, you’re their big sister.” Liz said.

“I’m their big sister. They have to listen to me?”

“Yes, if you’re fair.”

“I’ll be fair.” She promised. “I love them.”

“They love you. And we love you too, Emily.” Liz reassured her once more.

“Mama?” She said after a few moments of silence.

“I wanna have twins too.”


THE END