Hey! Happy Birthday to me!
My regularly scheduled blog happened to be the day of my birth!
To celebrate, I probably won't be working! But, I do have Chapter Five of JACK THE BODICE RIPPER.
The above illustration is a visual interpretation of Sir Ahibodeau. He is a knight of the queen, loyal, and Faye's father. In his youth he was a fierce warrior protecting the realm, but now retired, gains employment as a blacksmith. He is a Paramount, but as I said about Paramounts─the relationship is not always sexual. Faye is his obedient because she is his daughter.
The competition Sir Ahibodeau and Jackson have is as an unhappy, potential father-in-law.
Let's carry on to Chapter five of JACK THE BODICE RIPPER!
If you are completely lost, and this is your first time here, you might want to start from the beginning. I suggest clicking on "Jack the Bodice Ripper" under the CATEGORIES on the right hand side of the screen. Or clicking the button below to start at the beginning.
For the rest of you...enjoy!
This is a FREE internet story for my fans. This is a fantasy somewhat historical called "Jack the Bodice Ripper"
No part of this story may be reproduced or transmitted without written prior permission from the publisher. This is a work of fiction. All characters, names, events, incidents and places are of the author’s imagination and not to be confused with fact. Any resemblance to living persons or events is merely coincidence.
If you find any grammar, spelling or punctuation errors, please let know via the comments!! I may not get to them right away, but I will get to them. I'm aware of the tense change, but alas, this was written when I was young and tense changing was a thing for me. I will try to do better in the future! Thank you.
Jack the Bodice Ripper
My fair bunny scrambled to her feet. “Father!”
I stood with nonchalant amble. “Sir Ahibodeau.”
The knight strode over in his formal wear, cape, hat, and gloves ready to vacate the premises with the lovely Lady Fayola, but I had other plans.
“I told you to stay next to me.” Sir Ahibodeau glared at his daughter.
Lady Fayola cast her eyes to her shoes. “I was bade away.”
Her father turned his malice to me. I was sure he refrained from a more primal advance, particularly drawing his sword and slaying me where I stand, and stayed his hand. “Bodice ripper—” Sir Ahibodeau took time in examining Lady Fayola with concern.
The nerve. As if I’d ravish her clothes and have her naked in the garden. Rumors about me were vastly over compensating for the lack of exciting tidbits people jitter on about.
“Has he molested you?” Sir Ahibodeau placed a finger under her chin and lifted her face.
Lady Fayola murmured her response. “Sir, I am unscathed.”
His hand searched over her neck, feeling for bites I supposed.
I could stand his insult no longer. “Sir Ahibodeau, she was under my care and no harm came to her.”
Bushy eyebrows scrunched together as Sir Ahibodeau brought his attention back to me. “I know your kind.”
He turned back to his daughter. “We are leaving, get your cowl.”
Lady Fayola’s eyes grew wide.
I stepped in front of Sir Ahibodeau. “Leaving before you pay proper respect to your host?”
Three guards closed behind father and daughter and I was sure another three were finding their way to my back.
Sir Abibodeau's sword hand twitched. He eyed the guards as that of a paranoid soldier.
My bunny pulled at her father’s coat sleeve and whispered, “Please, you promised.”
A thrill shot down my spine knowing she was defending her want to stay, to be with me.
But a man such as Sir Ahibodeau, a Paramount that felt responsible for his obedient, would not fold, no matter how real or imagined, if he thought she was in danger.
I would have to convince him it was more dangerous for them to go than stay. “Mother would be disappointed if she were unable to greet Lady Fayola on the event of her short stay.”
“Lady Fayola Ahibodeau has been seen by you, that should suffice. Queen Tyilasuir is understanding.”
“Not as much as you think, Sir Ahibodeau.” My mother’s voice cut through the thick of our masculine posing.
Lady Sophillia past through the waves of guard escorts alongside my mother.
The queen's mouth pursed in triumph.
Opening my stance for mother to our conversation I bowed to her. The Ahibodeau’s bowed to her as well.
“I believe you requested my audience Sir Ahibodeau. I’m available now for your daughter’s introduction.”
Lady Fayola smiled in such a curious fashion, it made me wonder what she was thinking.
Sir Ahibodeau took his daughter’s hand and presented his prized offspring. “Queen Lydia Tyilasuir, this is Lady Fayola Ahibodeau.”
Mother smiled at Lady Fayola’s bowed head. “My dear, it is so good to meet you. Have you met my son, Prince Tyilasuir?” She offered a hand towards me.
The dove recovered, turned and bowed to me. I in turn captured her hand and lay it between my elbow and ribs. My greeting put me in between father and daughter. “I’ve decided to be her chaperon while Sir Ahibodeau finishes his business.”
The knight ground his teeth hard enough that his jowls went pale. “I am finished with my business.”
Mother gave a toothy smile and offered her hand to Sir Ahibodeau. “Good. You won’t mind staying with me then. I have guards but, I find any handsome escort of my own is boon in my favor.”
He had no choice but to take her hand. The old knight resigned with a sigh and nodded. “Anything for my queen.”
“Ahem.” Lady Sophillia smoothed out non-existent wrinkles in her dress.
I’d forgotten she was there.
“Yes, my dear.” Mother waved to Lady Sophillia. “We’ll be headed towards the ball room. It’s time to find out who my son has chosen.”
“But it’s not yet time!” I looked to the sky—and found the moon in her wane. Four hours had passed. My freedom sprinted away during what felt as moments. Time spent with Lady Fayola was no hardship.
“It’s time enough.” Mother said. “All our guests are waiting.”
Three guards on either side of us resumed their watch and paced mother and Sir Ahibodeau in perfect unison. Lady Sophillia cast a narrow-eyed glare towards my charge as we sauntered behind, heading up the rear of our procession.
Beads of sweat rolled down my back. My nerves must have shown. Lady Fayola squeezed my arm. In response I flexed my elbow. Fayola giggled. Sophillia scowled back at her. Sir Ahibodeau remained much more refined and indignant while the three of us walked behind my queen and her escort.
I pushed my feet forward, every step feeling like quicksand.
Our ten minute stroll back to the doors and civilization was more like a walk to the Bastille. But whenever I looked at Lady Fayola, my mood changed. My steps seemed lighter. She scattered my turmoil to the wayside.
Before we reached the doors Sir Ahibodeau turned to me. “It won’t due to have a Lady on your arm when choosing a wife in moments.”
Mother looked back and nodded. Then she turned to her knight and pulled the him in closer. “Sir Ahibodeau, please accompany me while he chooses.”
I stopped, Lady Sophillia’s eyes watching us, and turned to Lady Fayola. “My dear it’s been a pleasure.”
She dipped her head, stared at me with those warm honey eyes in sympathy and faded into the crowd starting to gather around.
I climbed the drudgery of stairs to the balcony behind queen and knight with a thousand female eyes on me. Who was I going to choose? Maybe I should just let mother pair me.
“Evening my courtiers...” Mother started speaking. She so eloquently sprinkled her words while my mind raced.
There were so many faces still here. By now, at any normal ball, rendezvous would meet in the halls scurrying off to made plans, husbands and wives would already bade good fortune and retired, rogues would find their way to a house of cats and cards.
Not tonight. Not on such a momentous occasion. My breaths wheezed climbing the stairs. These years of sexual freedom was all over.
Scanning the faces I saw Mrs. Eldridge hold her wine glass up, sending me a toast. I returned a nod and a smile, chuckling at the wonderful times getting to know our roles. I would miss her.
Sophillia burned my retinas with intensity—I had to look away. She wasn’t what I wanted. But what I wanted and what the crown needed were two very different things.
The twins popped olives enticing me to make a decision from my lower head.
Then there was Ms. Nelly, the logical choice. Stiff posture. Never smiled. The prodigal daughter of a wealthy ship merchant. Despite her proper attire and attitude, I'd heard she could out swear a sailor and preferred to be called captain. But in public, she was serious and an unforgiving partner.
“Bring up your bride-to-be, my dear.” Mother made a flourish with her hand to the hundreds of women below.
I sighed. My face must have been calling out for help when warm honey eyes ignited my answer. Without breaking eye contact, I spoke in hopes that she could be everything—not just to the kingdom, but to me. I was taking a chance, but all other names were shut out of my mind. “Lady Fayola Ahibodeau.”
Silence rang in my ears to the tone of panic.
Glass shattered against tile. It sounded as a thousand pieces of sanity skittering along the floor. The outcry began. Chatter. Dresses bustling about. All the noise of scandal exploded in the ballroom.
Ten guards immediately circled Lady Fayola, both to protect her and escort her to me.
“No! I insist you choose another.” Sir Ahibodeau stepped in my personal area and ground his teeth in my face.
Behind him, mother stood with her hands together in they way women do when coupling patience. With a knowing expression and pleased twinkle in her eye, it was apparent mother was pleased with my announcement.
Lady Ahibodeau might have been her choice as well.
“Is she sworn to another?” Mother dropped all humor and shot her business face to her honored knight.
“No.” Sir Aibodeau blustered.
“Then she is my choice,” I said keeping my eyes on my named bride as she stepped up the marble stairs.
"No." The knight protested. "She is all I have."
The queen stepped up to Sir Ahibodeau and touched his arm. "And Jackson is all I have."
"She is too young."
"She is old enough to come out into society." Mother consoled the father of the bride-to-be. "You should be proud she commands impart from a noble house."
Lady Fayola glided onto the patio. “Father?”
Sir Ahibodeau stepped up to his daughter and grabbed her shoulders. “No! Not him. Anyone but him.”
“What do you find distasteful about my son?” Mother’s authority stopped Sir Ahibodeau short. The force of her command turned him around.
He dropped his face in a mask of nullity. “Nothing, your majesty.” The knight bowed. “I had just hoped for Fayola a better—fate.”
Mother raised her eyebrows. “A better fate than to be queen?”
He’d stepped in a pile of road apples and the horror on his face showed it. “Your Grace, Fayola is but a fragile thing, an emotional creature. I fear the strain of…” Sir Ahibodeau wavered and walked closer to mother and whispered in her ear.
It didn’t take brains to know what he said. I was sure he was explaining what a rake I was. Nothing she didn’t already know.
Lady Fayola looked at me perplexed. “You’ve only known me but a few hours.”
Reassuring her with a smile I took her hand. “You're asking yourself, why you?”
“Because I have seen many women and none are like you."
“You have seen many women?" She teased.
Leaning in, I dropped my lips to her ear. “I like my women─obedient.” It was a term she would understand, not a state a woman should be.
She widened her eyes and then lowered them. “You are a paramount.”
“You don’t deserve her.” Sir Ahibodeau held murder in his expression.
“Despite my reputation, Sir," I pulled back ready to meet him in kind. "I believe in monogamy.”
I prayed Fayola would be able to keep me faithful.
“Monogamy?” Sir Ahibodeau laughed. “The standard of betrothal is one year.”
Wonderful. He was going to invoke archaic wooing customs. "Yes..."
“Then I will consent." Sir Ahibodeau straightened to his full height. "If you remain faithful to my daughter for twelve months to the day. If you do not, you will relinquish the bond.”
Twelve months. The standard. It wasn’t like I could argue. His terms were not out of the ordinary. And yet, I felt a jolt of panic.
“If it’s too much—”
“No, it’s not.” I raised a hand. I could do this. Fayola would be my strength. “I want half a day with her once a week.”
"Chaperoned." He lifted a challenging eyebrow.
"You believe me to hold no honor?"
"I believe, that your honor will not refuse tradition." Sir Ahibodeau smiled in humorless vindication.
Damn him. Not being able to touch her while being in her circumference would be hell. My wedding night would be memorable.
“Then it’s settled.” Mother clapped. “A wedding on my birthday!”
Warm honey eyes melted my heart. This might work. One year. Twelve months. Three-hundred and sixty-five days left to go.
This would be a long test. I was looking forward to helping her find out why they call me bodice-ripper.
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