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Bethan Lloyd

Due to time constriction this is only the beginning of a story.

Romance & Revenge

Chapter One

There are so many people in this world


that are only after money. All they think
about are riches and glory, never about
friendship, love or lust, well…maybe lust
but all for the wrong reasons.
16th May1819
The evening had started out well; Lady Danbury’s ball was a success; people
were dancing, laughing, and enjoying themselves. The room was an array of colours
from palest pink to magenta with splashes of jade and lemon. Emma had managed
to avoid her mother for most of the evening, which was easier, said than done. The
business of Dowager Beckett life was to get her daughter married off the highest
bidder. Emma was standing in one of the dimly lit corners of the ballroom, out of
everyone’s sight.
“You’re not sulking, are you?” said a voice behind her.
“I’m not sulking, merely avoiding certain people’s company, Frank.”
“Mother again?” he said with a grin, “You know you should just get married, life would
be a lot easier!” Frank was a good foot taller than Emma was and, with his angelic
features; she often thought that he looked more feminine than she did, although the
boyish grin and matching hair changed all this.
“I would marry if there was someone worth marrying. Anyway, who are you to talk?”
“Miss Beckett,” said Nigel Hengrave, striding across the floor towards them.
“Help me?” whisper Emma to Frank’s shoulder, pleading with her eyes.
“Too late,” Frank replied, enjoying the moment
“Mr Hengrave,” greeted Emma as she turned around.
“Miss Beckett, Lord Beckett, how are you this evening?”
“Good, thank you.”
“I think I hear mother,” said Frank. As he left, he heard Emma whisper:
“I’ll get you later.”
“Miss Beckett, would you care to step out onto the terrace?”
Yet before Emma could reply, he had already whisked her outside onto the terrace,
which was surprisingly empty.
“Emma, I think you know why I have brought you outside.”
Oh no, not good, thought Emma.
“Nether of us is getting any younger, an…”
“Nigel.” Emma cut in before he could finish. “I’m not going to marry you. Please, let
go of my arm so I can go back inside.”
“Emma, I love you, please marry me,” he begged, holding her even tighter.
“Let go of me right now, before this goes any further,” she said sternly, noticing now
more than ever that his adolescent years had left him looking quite peculiar in his
evening wear.
“But I love you!” he cried out; “All I want to do is to make you my wife.”

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Bethan Lloyd

This is really getting annoying, Emma thought; she couldn’t even feel her fingers any
more.
“That’s it; if you don’t let go of me I will have to make you, and for the last time, I will
not marry you.” Emma said, losing her patience with him, as he clung to her like a
limpet.
“Emma,” he pleaded.
That was it. Emma brought back her free arm and punched him right on the nose. He
looked up, just in time to see Emma flee the scene.

***
Not yet ready to return to the ballroom, Emma crept into one of the rooms
along the hall. After she closed the door, she leant against it with her eyes closed,
trying to calm down. Oh my god, I just punched Nigel Hengrave!
It was the only thing Emma could think about. Finally Emma opened her eyes, after
what felt like hours, but which was probably only about five minutes, to see her
surroundings.
She was in a library. It wasn’t as large as the one at home, but it had a good
collection of books. Intrigued, Emma walked around the room running her fingers
over the books. Occasionally she would pick one out and read its cover. As she
walked around, Emma thought about what Nigel had said, and realised that he was
right, that she wasn’t getting any younger. This was her fourth season. She had had
a few proposals over the years; four, well five if you counted Nigel’s, yet they were
after either her money or they had no brains and could not hold an intelligent
conversation. She wasn’t asking for much, she just wanted a man who was clever
enough to string two words together, who was kind and liked her (love was to much
to ask for, love was only for novels). Plus good looks wouldn’t hurt.
Emma paused and pulled out a book about Europe. She sat down in one of
the many leather chairs, despite the protests of her gown and began to read about
the North of France.
All of a sudden the door flew open and somebody entered the room.
“Mr Hengrave, I presume that is you,” said Emma without looking up.
“Yes,” said Hengrave to the chair where the voice had come from. All he could see of
the lady was her sapphire blue gown flowing over the edge.
“I told you before Nigel, I will not marry you, not now, not ever and if you don’t leave
this room now I will seriously hit you again,” said Emma, putting her book down and
turning around.
“I’m not Nigel, I’m Anthony,” he said. Still staring at the mysterious lady in
front of him, liking the way her hair, which was midnight black, had escaped from its
prison on the top of her head, and the way her grown flowed out from her waist,
emphasising her curves.
“Oh”, Emma exclaimed turning around abruptly, to see someone completely
unlike his brother. Anthony had filled out his broad shoulders with muscle, his dark
brown hair slightly longer than fashion required. By looking at him you could tell he
wasn’t one who cared for following the trends as he was dressed almost all in black,
except for a sage green cravat that matched his eyes. On anyone else you would
think they were in mourning, but for some reason it suited him, surrounding him with
a dark and mysterious presence.
As soon as he had said his name she recognised him. Not only was he Nigel’s
brother, he was also Frank’s friend from Eton and Cambridge. The last time she had
seen him was when he and Frank had just finished Eton: she was twelve. She
followed them around everywhere back then, she thought. She loved him, a silly
childish crush, yet he had treated her horribly, rejecting her, not even being kind
about it, he had just laughed in her face. That was ten years ago, and they had both
changed a lot in appearance. She had grown in height, and she had also lost all her
baby fat, creating a feminine figure.

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Bethan Lloyd

Anthony caught his breath as she turned around to face him. Until now, he all
he had been able to see of her appearance was her back and her hair, which was a
very fine view, but this one was even better. She wasn’t beautiful or pretty, but there
was something stunning about her, you could say she was winsome, the way her
eyes sparkled as blue as her dress or the way her lips turned up as if laughing at
private joke.
“Miss, I am sorry if my brother has offended you in any way,” he purred in his most
seductive voice.
“I was nothing I couldn’t handle, but thank you sir,” added Emma, as an after thought.
She willed herself to look him in the eye as she said it; I’m not twelve anymore, she
told herself.
In a blink of an eye he had strode across the room to her side; bending, he
picked up her hand and kissed it and even though she was wearing a glove it sent
shivers down her spine.
Still mesmerised by the magnificent lady in front of him, he stood and looked
her in the eyes, saying: “Sorry if I sound rude, but you are?”
At this comment, all Emma could do was laugh, to his shock and her amazement.
“Should I know who you are?”
“Yes,” replied Emma, regaining her cool composure.
“Forgive me; I have been out of the country for three years. What is your name,
lady?”
“I shall forgive you, but only if you can guess my name.”
“Am I allowed three questions?”
“Yes, and now you’ve got two left,”
“Alright, your rules,”
Who is she? He’d been out of town so long travelling the world he barely knew any of
the women here. “Do you have any older brothers?” That should help, he knew most
people from his days at Eton and Cambridge, and then from later in his rakish years
before he went abroad.
“Two of them, both of them pains, you know them,” she said with a devilish grin. This
was the most fun she had had in a while.
Her last answer had helped, but there were still so many people she could be. He
could always cheat if he failed; there were plenty of ways he could get the answer out
of her.
“Where do you live?”
“Mayfair,” she said with an innocent smile that made her eyes twinkle. “You’re out of
questions, Mr Hengrave. It’s time you make a guess.”
“Victoria Hislop.”
“I’m insulted!”
Anthony placed a finger over her lips, and upon feeling her take a sharp
Intake of breath, he leant forward and whispered in her ear, “Don’t be, there are other
ways to find out,” as his other arm circled her waist, fitting perfectly.
Emma’s heart was rapidly speeding up and she could feel his eyes on hers.
She could feel his large hand around her waist. Emma closed her eyes, and told
herself that she was not twelve any longer, and gave him a shove and spun away
from him in a hypnotising swirl of blue silk.
“Don’t even try your rakish ways on me or I will hit you like I did you brother.”
“The kitten has claws,” murmured Anthony recovering from her rebuff; he was going
to have to try harder in future. Receiving a glare from the Emma for his comment, he
added: “Who taught you to punch?”
“My brother,” she said smiling sweetly, “Lord Beckett or more commonly known as
Frank.”
Oh, bugger.

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Bethan Lloyd

Frank’s Sister Emma, Miss Emma Beckett. He had just tried to seduce one of his
oldest friend’s little sister.
“Miss Beckett, I am very sorry,” he said, truly meaning it.
“Good night, Mr Hengrave,” Emma said looking at him as if he was filth.
With that, she gracefully strode out of the room with her head high and a
smile on her lips, not looking at him once.

Chapter Two

All men make mistakes, they’re bound to.


Yet only the smart ones correct them.
17th May1819

The next night, Anthony found himself in yet another ball, only this time he
was talking to Frank not Emma.
“You took your time getting back,” said Frank. “I thought you were only going for a
year.”
“There’s a lot in the east to keep a man entertained,” replied Anthony.
“So why did you return to this dull life then?”
“Expressive order from Father,” Anthony said with a grimace, “Saying that if I did not
get back and start to look for a wife within the next six months Nigel would become
his heir.” At this all that Frank could do was laugh. “I have to go out there,” he said,
indicating to rest of the ballroom, “And be fed to all the match-making mothers, while
you get to sit back and watch”
“Sorry, but rather you than me.”
“Well, you’re going to have to help me. I don’t know anyone in this room who is not
married.”
“My pleasure,” said Frank with a grin. He was going to enjoy watching Anthony be
forced to dance and parade for all the mothers.
“What is going to be your pleasure Frank?” asked Emma, walking up behind them
and grinning when Anthony winced.
“Darling sister, what a surprise! Why aren’t you helping mother break some poor
man’s heart?”
“Oh, I already did their now recovering.” Emma said with a malicious laugh, “Anyway,
before you change the subject, you haven’t answered my question, and who is your
friend?”
So that how she is going to play it thought Anthony; pretend we never met,
well that was fine by him. He was just going to play along, all the while thinking about
how close he had been to kissing those lips that were now laughing at him.
“I am Lord Anthony Hengrave, you used to know me. I’ve been away in the
east for a few years, Miss Beckett,” he said bowing down to kiss her hand.
“Why, Lord Hengrave, you have changed so much since the last time we meet,” she
said with a smile that did not reach her eyes.
“As have you Miss Beckett. Would you care to dance?” he said, as the last dance
was coming to an end, offering her his hand, “If that’s okay with you Frank?”
“Of course, we can finish up later, just make sure Mother can’t see you,” replied
Frank.
“Why?” said both Emma and Anthony at the same time.

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Bethan Lloyd

“She’ll have you married before the end of the month,” Frank answered before
walking off, laughing at his own comment. Emma and Anthony headed towards the
dance floor.
“You seem to be following me,” Emma commented icily, taking up waltz stance.
“If I said sorry for my behaviour last night would you forgive me?”
The music started to play and they started to dance. Emma had to admit he
was a good dancer, so good that she couldn’t think about anything else while they
were dancing. Well almost, he was dangerous. She knew that much, yet dancing with
him brought back all the memories she had tried to forget, he made her feel like she
was twelve again.
“No, you will have to do a lot more than that to earn my forgiveness.”
As soon as the music stopped Emma curtsied and fled before she said
anything else she would regret.
“Who was that I just saw you dancing with?” asked Elizabeth Grey, Emma’s
oldest and closest friend. Both unmarried, yet that may change, by the end of the
season. Emma had plans for her and Frank.
“One of my brother’s oldest friends, Anthony Hengrave,” she replied.
“He was the one …” Emma nodded confirming Lizzie’s thought.
“Oh! Do you still like him?” Lizzie was the only person who knew about Emma’s
childhood crush, also about how he rejected her.
Moving to a quite corner of the room Emma briefly told Lizzie what had happened in
hushed tones.
“What are you going to do?”
“One word my friend,” replied Emma looking straight at Anthony, Emma didn’t know
about Anthony, but she had changed and he was going to pay for all the tears he had
caused her, one way or another, “revenge”
“It could go so wrong,” Lizzie thought out loud.
“Cheer up Liz, the season is getting boring the alterative would be to marry someone
I don’t like to please mother,”
“You probable will end up with someone anyway,” more to herself than Emma “just
be careful,”
“I will, but this is something I have to do,”
“Fine I shall help you, as you say the season is getting boring,” with that both of them
eyed up their victim, Anthony Hengrave.

***

Anthony could not stop thinking about her, his mysterious lady. Even though
he now knew her name, it didn’t seem right to call her by it, Miss Emma Beckett. In
some ways it ruined all future possibilities, yet in another way it excited him, because
if Frank was going to give his sister away to anyone he would prefer him to be
someone he knew and trusted (he hoped) rather than to a stranger.
Yet Frank was not the one he was thinking, dreaming about. He was not the
reason he had stayed up all night imagining ways to apologise for what happened in
the library and all those years before. He remembered how he had treated her; he
had laughed when she had said she liked him, he had embarrassed her, ignored her.
He was glad to say he had never hurt her, yet then again he had never helped her
when she fell over or hurt herself trying to copy them, insisting she was just as good
as them, never once complaining if she went home with a bruised knee.
She liked him once; maybe she would like him again. A lot had happened in
ten years for both of them. For her to be able to forgive him she would have to get to
know him.

***

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Bethan Lloyd

In her room in Mayfair, Emma was also awake thinking about Anthony yet for
a different reason. She was planning her revenge.

Chapter Three

When the men are gone the women shall


come out and play, gentleman beware things
may not be what they seem.
19th May1819

“A list of the season’s young miss’s, only the suitable ones,” declared Frank,
by that he meant the pretty ones. They were in whites discussing the possibilities for
Anthony’s future wife. Yet he new what he wanted, just not how to get her. “With your
name and lands you could probably get anyone you fancy. Now then, there is Debra
Martin; she is this season’s big catch…” Frank continued on his list of all the suitable
ladies. Yet he had lost Anthony to his train of thoughts.
“Is there anyone on that list for you by any chance” commented Anthony resurfacing
from his thoughts.
“Um not in the list,” replied frank blushing slightly
“Do tell, if I’m to face the match making Mamas you can to,”
“Miss Elizabeth Grey”
“You sisters friend, interesting, then why are you talking to me and not
married to Miss Grey?”
“She is too happy with her single life, she is a rich orphan in the company of
her elderly aunty,” he said though gritted teeth. He had been trying to persuade her
for the last five year from Emma and Lizze’s first season.
“Why don’t we both get married with in the year, confidence in numbers and
all that?”
“Is that a challenge Hengrave?”
“Depends on how you see it,” with that they both said grinning in to there
whiskeys. As if it was ten years ago and they were fresh out of collage.
“I take it your sister is still not married” said Anthony breaching the subject.
“Not for lack of trying, I said she could choice within reason who she marries
as she put it I don’t have to live with the man. Although I am beginning to get the
feeling that they have stopped trying on choice word form Emma and they never
return.” At little more than that thought Anthony thinking of his brother.

***

On the other side of town, in a drawing room in Mayfair, there was a similar
discussion taking place with tea instead of whiskey.
“Anymore thoughts about the revenge?” asked Lizzie
“I think jealousy and humiliation is the plan so far,” replied Emma contemplating
different ideas but most meant that she would end up ruined too and that would not
do, she want a future in society even if it is an unmarried one.

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Bethan Lloyd

“If that is so then you need to act nice to him until we have devised some kind of
plan,” thought Lizzie out loud.
“We shall see,” Emma answered with a secret smile. She had a plan, a delightful one
that would not go wrong. Both sat deep in thought eating biscuits.
“I’ve been thinking if I shall ever get married,” said Lizzie breaking the silence
“I thought you never wanted to be married after everything that has happened,”
replied Emma momentarily shocked.
“I’ve been thinking of spinsterhood and it doesn’t sound bad at all, well maybe a little
lonely. But the real problem is if I am a spinster I cannot have any children.”
“As for being lonely very I may become a spinster and join you, we could do anything
we want. But for the children we could adopt it’s not as if either of us is poor,”
“It sounds perfect Em,”
They were both sat grinning when the butler, Samson, came in announcing a
visitor.
“Lord Malfrey, Miss Beckett and Miss Grey,” Lord Jeremiah Malfrey was a
fashionable gentleman and one of Emma’s latest suitors, one she actually liked for
once.
“Lord Malfrey, we were not expecting you this afternoon,”
“I know Miss Beckett but I wonder if you would do me the honour to accompany me
to the theatre to night, there is a new production of Loves Labours Lost, you too Miss
Grey if you would like.”
“It would be my pleasure Lord Malfrey,” an idea already forming in her mind.
“I on the other hand my Lord, am all ready going with some one to night, but thank
you for the offer anyway.” Lizzie replied.
“Thank you Miss Beckett, I shall pick you up at half an hour before the performance,
Miss Grey.” With a kiss of their hands and a bow Lord Malfrey left the room.
“What are you thinking Em, I don’t like that look,” asked Lizzie
“Jealousy, Lord Malfrey has solved my problem,” replied Emma, he was going to help
her make Lord Hengrave jealous.
“Just don’t be too harsh on him when you cry it off, he has feelings too you know.”
“I will not be insensitive; anyway who are you going with to night?”
“Frank, he asked a while ago he knows how I like the theatre,”
“And you told me not to lead them on,” mutterer Emma she knew all about her
brother love for Lizzie. “Will you ever put him out of his misery and marry him?”
“I don’t know, I really don’t know.”

***

Lord Malfrey nodded to the footmen as they passed through the main doors
of the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane and up the stair, where only those privileged
enough to have box seats were permitted to tread. Lord Malfrey was talking but
Emma was not playing any attention to the general gossip about who is sitting with
whom as he held the curtain aside for her to enter his private box. Murmuring her
thank you, she sat down surveying the theatre.
As per usual the theatre was a social gathering of the aristocracy, an
opportunity for gentlemen to flaunt their ladies, showing their wealth in the jewellery
and the cut of the gowns. The box was not good as Franks, but then again none of
the boxes were amazing if but society dictated that the pit was only for commoners
even thou that was where the best seats were.
The first half was swift, despite Lord Malfreys attempts to talk through the
majority of the play; fortunately she had seen it before. His feelings for the theatricals
were becoming known, yet they were the opposite the of her own.
“Excuse me Madam I have a letter for you,” said a shy footman at the edge of the
box.
Emma murmured her thanks you as she collected the letter. It was only a short note-

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Bethan Lloyd

‘Miss Beckett, Miss Grey has fainted and requests your presents in your
brother’s box.
Lord Anthony Hengrave’

“Will you please excuse me my lord, my friend has fainted and requests my help?”
Emma said to Lord Malfrey, “will you take me to Lizzie please?” she asked the
patiently waiting footman. Once they left the box and enter another, looking at the
stage the play was about to resume.
“Lord Hengrave, Lizzie would never faint what are you after?” She was annoyed that
he had the gut to take her out her box and away from her escort for the evening, but
it also pleased her, she had made him jealous.
“Why Miss Beckett I merely wanted to apologised for my behaviour the other night,”
replied Anthony, motioning for her to sit next to him. “Please the play is about to
start,”
“Humph!” Emma sat but as far way from him as the box would allow, which wasn’t far
enough in her opinion yet for him it was close enough. The farce was enjoyable event
although she liked Shakespeare’s plays but today she was not in groused in it,
distracted by the ominous presents of him sitting next to her, watching her when he
thought she wasn’t looking.
“Are you enjoying the play Miss Beckett?” asked Anthony. Emma ignored him, not
speaking or looking at him, pretending to be engrossed in the play.
“Are you going to talk to me Miss Beckett?” still she ignored him; he was beginning to
get annoyed. . . . . . .

(I don’t know how to end it whether I should go further or leave it like this, although I
see it as thou their going o kiss but I don’t want to write that)

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