Arranged Marriage Ch. 01byreluctantromance©
Violet was storming mad, running as fast as she could for the stables. Once there she mounted her favorite horse, Lightening, and rode off. She would of course return, her father didn't even bother sending anyone after her, he knew she would be back. She always rode when she was mad, hurt, disappointed, or just needed time alone or time to think. He had just told her that she was to marry in a few days time, and it was arranged. Most people had broken with that tradition a few generations ago, but occasionally it was still needed in families to secure business partnerships or other business necessities.
When Violet reached her favorite clearing deep within the woods she stopped Lightening and let him wander while she headed to the edge where she had constructed a lean to shelter, complete with a few creature comforts for her longer stays in the woods. She had never spent the night, but this time, she was tempted.
"How could he do this to me?" she yelled at no one in particular, as she was all alone. She settled down and began to think. He had said the name of her future suitor, "David Kensington". What did she know about him?? She thought he was older, old enough she had never been interested in him, and since he lived a few towns over she hadn't seen him except at a few parties. Parties that she had quit attending years ago, or rather had started mostly hiding at. Dancing in some huge dress that barely afforded any movement to scope out some match, ha, not her idea of fun. All of the guys were dull and only there to try and find a wife so they could own them. It wasn't for her.
After thinking about it for awhile she decided she had last seen him probably 5 years ago, at the last party she attended and actually participated at, and didn't really remember him as she was just 13 and he was an adult. She basked in the sun for awhile while hearing her mother's voice in her head, "Stay out of the sun, your skin will look like your a gardener, who will want to marry a worker?" Violet chuckled. It was likely her future husband also had no choice in the matter, so it didn't matter how tanned she was or how many freckles she had. He was stuck with her.
A thought popped into her head just then. She could be the most horrible bride and wife the world had ever seen, make him so miserable he wouldn't want her and then maybe he would leave her alone. She didn't want a husband. She had seen what men do. Her father's manor was quite large, with a lot of nooks and crannies. She had seen what the stable boys and the maids did, it didn't generally look fun either, and there was no way she was letting David Kensington flip her skirts up and look at her legs, or anything else for that matter.
As dusk began to creep up Violet mounted Lightening and headed home. Once there she took care of Lightening and brushed him and fed him. It was past the time any stable boys would stick around to care for any of the animals, and Violet didn't mind caring for Lightening, whom was her best and nearly only friend.
When she entered the house through the doors by the stable she was greeted by her father's voice, "I'm glad you decided to come home."
"Well, I guess I don't have much of a choice, but I don't agree with what you are making me do, and I will not go along silently. I will fight you and him any and every chance that I get."
"He sent a letter for you, it is on your bed. The maids have packed what you will be taking with you. You will be leaving tomorrow morning, and married the following day. I have arranged for Lightening to go with you, but you are only to ride with permission, and not off of their grounds, if you violate that agreement Lightening will be returned here or sold."
"They can't sell Lightening, he is mine!"
"Once you marry he will belong to David, and all you need do is abide two simple rules and they will let you keep him, despite the fact that a lady shouldn't do nearly as much riding as you do, nor in the manner that you do. I would think you would consider yourself lucky that they are being this compliant at all. Now, get to bed, you have a long day ahead of you."
Violet made her way to the kitchen to grab a quick snack as she had missed both lunch and dinner then to her room for her letter.
I do hope you are as excited as I am for our marriage. I remember seeing you at a few parties years ago, you were always so lively and vibrant. I look forward to formally meeting you in the morning when you arrive and I hope your journey is pleasant. I do apologize that this is so sudden for you, it is for me as well, but as I hear, necessary for certain business reasons for not only our families, but several others as well.
I anxiously await our formal introductions,
Well, that didn't tell me much, she thought while munching on her apples. That night Violet slept quite fitfully and felt quite ill the next morning. Her stomach was full of knots and butterflies, or maybe bats even. She dressed and did her hair in as plain a manner as possible, not wanting to attract attention from anyone, especially David. When she came down for breakfast her parents were both waiting for her. It wasn't often that all three of them actually ate a meal together.
They tried to cheer her up and encourage her that she would love David and being married, that it was like nothing else. She could only think of all the times her father had struck her mother, and didn't understand how they could expect her to "trust his judgement that David is a nice gentleman." She could barely eat and when breakfast was finely over was told a carriage from David's was waiting out front, Lightening would be fastened behind it, and all of her bags were packed.
Upon arriving at the Kensington manner Violet was greeted by a butler, Giles, and told to follow him to dinner, she must be famished after such a long journey. The house was very dimly lit, and fairly sparsely decorated. Once she reached the dinning room Giles indicated she should sit in a particular seat, fairly far from the other diner, which she was sure was David.
Why so far away she asked herself, then realized, she preferred it this way, she didn't want to be his friend or anywhere near him.
"Your trip was decent?"
"I suppose, I don't want to talk right now?"
"Are you nervous for tomorrow?"
"I said I didn't want to talk, so why would you ask me more questions? And, no, you don't need to answer that."
David was saddened by this, apparently all of her vibrant liveliness was going to be directed at hating him. After he finished eating he waited until she appeared done then asked, "Shall I show you your room for the night?"
"I suppose, I certainly don't want to spend the night socializing with you."
"Violet, please, I see you are angry by this, but I did not arrange our marriage, and hating me won't fix anything, it will likely just make us both miserable."
"I think it will make you miserable, but it will make me satisfied, I'm not anyone's puppet, and I'll make my own decisions."
"I'm not going to tolerate a bad attitude from you, but please understand, I will do everything I can to make you happy, I just hope you decide to do the same for me."
"Can you show me to my room, I already said I didn't want to talk."
David walked off in the opposite direction and Violet followed, nearly running the first few steps to cross the dinning room and catch up with David. Once they had gone up several flights of stairs and made so many turns she was sure she would never make it back out on her own they arrived at a door.
When he turned and opened the door he blocked her way for just a moment. "Violet, we will be married at 9 am tomorrow, someone will be in to help you prepare, but it is going to be a very small ceremony and fairly simple. Once we are married, all of your things will be moved into my room and we will share."
"Yeah, sure, whatever, you're not touching me, and I'm not sharing a bed or a room with a complete stranger."
"Would you like to spend some time together this evening and get to know me?"
"I don't want to know you." She snarled as she brushed past him and into her room. Once she shut the door she began to cry, again, for probably about the 15th time that day. She barely had any freedom now, and once she was married, that would surely disappear altogether. Then she heard the knob turning and turned around to see the door opening.
"I'm sorry...I didn't.....did I....why are you crying......I should go?" David stammered as he started to back away and shut the door.
"Wait, what did you want?"
"I was going to see if you wanted to go riding, you father said you loved to ride. I thought it might make you feel better."
Violet looked up at him with tear filled eyes. Maybe he was nice after all. "Do you ride?"
"Yes, I love to."
"Ok, lets go then."
They walked in silence back down the way they had come and then through a different door and out to where the stables were.
"I had them put Lightening on the far end, next to Sun, she is my favorite. Would you like me to saddle Lightening for you, I'm sure all the stable boys have gone home by now."
"I don't use a saddle."
David was shocked by this and for a moment thought of telling her that such things were necessary, but figured he better not push his luck now that she was at least talking to him.
Once on their horses they rode around the yards and then down into a little forested area.
"Come, on, I want to show you the waterfall pond. It isn't far, and it's great spot for swimming, resting, and just relaxing, it's my favorite spot."
She followed him down and in the moonlight saw a wonderful water fall that fell gently into a calm pool of crystal clear water. The area was surrounded by beautiful wild flowers and plenty of big rocks that looked perfect for laying and sitting on. David dismounted Sun and extended a hand to help Violet. She instead jumped down off Lightening on the other side and started smelling all of the wonderful flowers.
"The full moon is really great, I love the way it reflects the water." David murmured trying to get Violet's attention.
"It's beautiful here, I had a spot back home I would ride to, but we didn't have a waterfall and pond near our manor. It was a lovely clearing though."
"Do you like swimming?"
"I've never been, when I was little my sister drowned, my parents never let me near the water and always told me how dangerous it was."
"Would you like to go in now, it's only waist deep, and I'll make sure nothing happens."
"You can if you want, I just want to look at all of the stars."
David walked down to the water's edge and then proceeded to take off the majority of his clothing, leaving only his underwear on before getting into the water."
"Don't you think that is a little inappropriate?" Violet teased him.
"Come tomorrow you'll see much more, so I don't see that there is much of a point in me getting all of my clothes sopping wet."
Violet made herself comfortable on a rock, using some of his clothes as a pillow then retorted, "I might be marrying you, but I will not do those things that you expect of me, I don't know you, I don't think they would be fun, and I refuse."
"Lets take it one step at a time then. I won't pressure you, I know you probably haven't been exposed to sex much, if at all. But, you will be my wife, so I'll expect you to at least be civil with me."
"I don't want to be your wife, so I might not be civil with you. I didn't make these decisions. I wanted to grow old and maintain my independence and freedom, not get forced into some stupid marriage with a complete stranger that thinks he then has the right to do whatever he wants with me. And, you might be much larger than me, but know this, I will put up a fight, and if you ever hit me, I get even with you, and I will hit back."
"Who said anything about my doing whatever I want with you or my hitting you. I would never do that. Where would you get such an idea?
"He told you I would hit you?" David was truly puzzled by this, no wonder she was so cool to him, she was probably scared of him!
"No, my father hits my mother. And, I've heard her pleading with him, but him still demanding that she do things, I'm not sure what though, I don't linger long outside their bedroom door. If he noticed he'd hit me too."
"Your father hits you?"
"Well, I guess not anymore, I'm too far away." Violet said with a chuckle.
They stayed in silence, David swimming and diving around, Violet studying the stars, and occasionally, when she was sure he wasn't looking, David's body while he swam. After several hours David pulled himself up onto her rock and asked for his clothing back. When he realized she had dozed off, he took a moment to appreciate her beautiful dark brown hair and the way it curled all over her shoulders and down her back. Her full pink lips, and her perfect nose. Then he gently shook her by her arm and realized that was the first time he had touched her. Her skin was cool but silky smooth, and she smelled like cinnamon.
"mmhmmmmmmmm What are you looking at? Let go of me!" She snarled as she yanked her arm out of his hand.
"I'm sorry, I just wanted to wake you, I need my clothing is all."
"Oh." Was all she said as she got up and began walking to Lightening. He was amazed when he saw her place both hands on the massive horses back and then jump all the way up and swing a leg over to mount him. She wasn't very tall at all, and Lightening was massive, her head was even with his back. He quickly ducked behind some bushes and shed his wet garments to dress in his dry ones. She was waiting when he came back and mounted his own horse.
"Why were you so startled when I woke you up"
"I wasn't startled, I was dreaming, and you ruined it." She lied. She thought in her sleepy delirium it was her father. He often worked late, but if he returned home and found out she had done anything remotely displeasing, in his opinion, he would storm into her room, wake her up, and then proceed to beat her. She had tried to fight back in her childhood, then he would just bring in some servants to hold her and then would explain that she would also be punished for fighting back.
Back at the stables they each cared for their horses and then she followed him back into the house and to her room.
"I'll be right across the hall, if you need anything, let me know."
She entered her room and collapsed on the bed and went straight back to sleep. He on the other hand laid awake for quite awhile picturing how peaceful she had been at the pond and how beautiful she was when she had been sleeping. Then he thought about the horrors that she must have gone through as a child with such a horrible father. He made up his mind, that he would just have to be extra nice and hopefully she would someday very soon realize he was nice, and not some mean bastard like her father.
The next morning the wedding took place. She looked magnificent in her dress and he couldn't wait to tell her so after the small reception and luncheon. She was mostly nervous and extremely anxious about how he would act once he "owned" her. She had enjoyed last night, it was so much fun, but couldn't let herself believe he was that person all of the time. After lunch David approached her and asked her to come upstairs with him. Her knees were like jelly, but she followed him. He opened their bedroom door, allowed her in and then shut it.
"What are you doing? I don't think I want to be here." She managed to squeak out.
"Well, I wanted to change out of my formal clothes, I thought you would want the same. I also wanted to ask why you tried to push me away during our wedding kiss."
Her cheeks burned bright red, "I've never kissed before, and I told you, I don't want any of this."
"Turn around so I can undo the buttons on your dress. Lets just get changed, then we can spend the afternoon getting to know each other some more."
"Don't touch me, I'm not changing in front of you."
"There is a screen in the corner, but I think you'll need help with the buttons is all."
She turned around and allowed him to undo the buttons. He began at the top, and soon realized, she was not wearing a corset beneath her dress. Her skin, which he stroked while unbuttoning her dress was as silky smooth as her arm. He could feel his cock begin to twitch and stir. The buttons continued all the way down the back of the dress and ended just below her waist. When he finished he ran his hand up her back, and onto the base of her neck. She quickly turned around, holding her dress over her chest,
"What are you doing? You are just like every other guy, you think because we're married now you can do whatever you want!"
"I'm sorry, I couldn't help it, your skin is so soft and smooth, I'm so attracted to you. Please."
She turned and disappeared behind the screen to change into a plain dress. When she re-emerged he was changed as well.
"I'm going riding, by myself, don't try to follow me. I don't want to get to know you."
"Wait, please, I'm sorry, why won't you even let me touch you?"
"I've seen men touch women, it always seems like they get a lot more out of it, and I hardly know you."
"Well, take some time to get to know me. You had fun last night, right? Let me have one of the cooks pack a dinner, we can go back to the pond, get to know each other and have a picnic dinner."
"Alright, but don't touch me anymore."
"I won't touch you without asking you, but I do want you to realize that I am very attracted to you, and I would love to be able to hold your hand or touch you. We don't need to have sex right away, but you will have to let that happen soon, as we will need to have children within a year or so of our marriage."
"Meet me out there with the dinner, I want some alone time."
"You can find it again?"
"Yes, I remember exactly how to get there. And, I'm sure Lightening would too."
With that Violet left and went to the stables to collect Lightening and ride back out to the pond and waterfall. On her way out however Lightening stepped into a prairie dog hole. He tumbled, miraculously not breaking his leg, but sending Violet hurdling from his back. She lay unconscious and bleeding from a gash just below her hairline above her left eye. When David reached the pond he didn't see her there and immediately went riding around in attempt to find her, assuming she just couldn't find it. When he came upon her lifeless body and the rock and grass covered in blood he feared the worse. As he rolled her over he saw that she was breathing, but was rather beat up, likely from tumbling over several rocks. He scooped her up and mounted Sun and rode back to the manor, Lightening followed. At the stables he sent a stable boy for the doctor and moved Violet into their new bed.
Before the doctor arrived she began to stir. Her head was painful and she was somewhat disoriented, but seemed fine.
"What happened?" She asked, wincing as she moved her forehead.
"Lightening must have stumbled, I arrived at the pond and you weren't there, I went back looking for you. You were unconscious and bleeding. Lightening appears fine. The doctor is on his way now."
Violet lay back and relaxed, trying not to move as that produces excess pain from the gash across her forehead. Various other locations throbbed as well. Her hands and knees were skinned and her left elbow and shoulder also hurt a great deal. When the doctor arrived he asked David to give him leave to make sure he could properly examine Violet. Once David left the doctor began examining the head wound and then informed her stitches would be needed. The other injuries were only minor and would heal with rest and relaxation.
"Do you need someone to hold you or will you sit still for the stitches?"