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Mary-Kate determinedly marched into William's room. She walked over to where he was sitting by the window and pulled him to his feet.

"You're going to Briarwood manor" She said dragging him to the door.

"Excuse me?" He asked standing still and not allowing her to move him.

Mary-Kate sighed and turned to him. Must she explain everything?

"Victoria is grounded, er, not allowed to leave the manor. She snuck out that day you saw her in the field and her mother found out"


"So! That horrible old man she's engaged to is staying there, and they're thinking of bringing forward the wedding"


Mary-Kate lost her temper "SO! So you feel something for her, go do something about it! Go find out if you're just imagining it, or if it's something more"

William looked at her like she was crazy, then stopped to think about what she was saying. He sighed, "Fine" He said walking to the door "I'll go"

Mary-Kate smiled happily as he disappeared out the door.


William wondered about his sanity as he made his way to the location of BriarWood Manor. Was he insane? What'd he plan on doing? Walk up to the door and say 'Sorry, I know your daughters engaged, but I think I feel something for her and would like to see her, potentially even steal her from her fiancee'. Yeah! That was gonna work!

Quicker then he would have liked, he crossed the field between the manor and town, and soon was just one field from it. He stood in a cluster of trees and looked over at the foreboding manor. Still unsure as to what he should do he began to pace around in circles.


Victoria wondered if her life could get any worse. Since coming home late the previous day, and getting the worlds biggest scolding, she'd had to spend the last day doing her best to stand Count John's boring company. The man was practically a fossil, and he was extremely arrogant. Not Victoria's kind of person at all.

The Count and her Mother had decided to bring her wedding forward to the next week, without so much as consulting Victoria. She'd just sat there in shock, wishing she'd die then.

"I'm sure you'll be glad to get out of this dated Manor and into the palace I live at" The Count said to her when her mother left the room for a few minutes.

Victoria had to force herself to count to 10. She loved this Manor, it was a beautiful class old building. Compared to the Counts modern one which she found extremely ugly and hideously lavish when people were starving. She decided not to say anything.

"Well, it's getting late" She said after a moment of silence "I really should retire for the night"

Count John got up, walked over to her, and leaned down as if to kiss her. She felt like she was going to throw up and quickly extended her hand for him to kiss instead.

"Good-night" She said rushing from the room.

She took a detour though, instead of going to her room like she'd said, she ran outside. She felt like her world was closing in on her and suffocating her. She just had to get away from that house and from that man. Even if only for a few minutes.


Will continued to ponder what he would do, the sun set and still he was unsure. Finally summing up all his courage he started across the field to the manor. He was walking through the trees that lined the Manor grounds, and didn't notice the figure running towards him in the dark. Neither did she.

They collided with a bang and were both thrown to the ground.

"Ow" Victoria whimpered. She tried to examine the scrape on her elbow but it was nearly impossible in the dark.

"Who's there?" William asked warily.

"William?" Victoria asked. She was shocked that she recognized his voice, but she did. "It's me. Victoria"

"Victoria?" Will slowly crawled over to here, trying to find her in the dark. He helped her up " What are you doing out here?" The moon came out then and from the silver light they were able to see each other.

"I just needed to get away from the house" She said looking away from him.

William could tell something had happened, and though he didn't want to pry, he had to know what it was "Are you ok?" He asked, he reached out and put a hand on her shoulder.

She was still facing away from him and took a deep shaky breath "I'm fine" She lied.

"I don't believe you" Will said quietly.

Victoria let out a little sobbing sound and her shoulders shook slightly. "I can't do it" she said between sobs.

"Do what?" William gently turned her around to face him.

"I can't marry him" She shook her head "I just can't!" She said as tears flew down her face.

William pulled her close to him "Shhh" He said patting her back "You don't have to"

"But I do" She said hugging him tightly, and burying her face in his shoulder.


Chapter 8

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