The Two Sides Of Royalty

It is the year 1910, and Jane May has been arranged to be married to the Duke of Dorset on her 16th birthday. She understands that this experience will change her life forever, changing her status from a normal teenager in the 19th century to the Duchess of Dorset, but she wants the best of both worlds: to keep her 2 year relationship with her lover, Edward, but at the same time, to marry William. She has wanted royalty from a young age, but knows that by marrying the Duke, she will not be able to see Edward.
Unfortunately, she does not have the choice to decide the path of her life, and so life of a Duchess begins. She adores the privacy, William, and the expensive dresses she receives, but she also has to keep her secret: sneaking out to see Edward. As her life as the Duchess of Dorset goes on, she finds that William is not the perfect Duke, or the prince of her dreams. He has some dark secrets too...

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12. Caught red handed

I reach the stables safely and tie Lillian back where I took her from.

I make my way up the stone staircase and re-enter into the living room, where I am met immediately by guards.

My mind spins around, and I am curious and confused at the same time.

I reach the bedroom, where John is waiting outside, and I push open the door.

As soon as I step inside, the atmosphere changes. It seems so negative, but still so confusing.

John comes into the room behind me and stands next to William who is standing by the bed. William's expression cannot be explained, and John expression matches his.

The silence is long and loud.

Since no-one speaks out, I decide to ask the obvious question.

"William? What is going on?" I ask, looking around the room. Nothing has changed, yet everything seems so different than it was before I left.

"I think you know exactly what is going on." William replies darkly.

"And what happened." he continues.

My eyes flit between John and William, back to John and then back to William before I answer.

Do they know what happened? That I asked for permission to leave the palace only to visit Edward? Surely no-one saw me, did they? I ask myself in my head.

"Did you not think that I would send guards after my wife? To protect her? Even though I said not to?" he asked me.

I open my mouth in a hopeless attempt to protest, but I shut it again after realising that there was no need. They had seen everything.

"I knew all these years that you had ever forgotten about him. And that one day, you would go back and see him. I knew." he said to me, while in the far corner of my eye, I see John looking very uncomfortable.

"I...I..." I try to say, but nothing that I say now will help me.

I have been caught red handed.

"What did you see?" I whisper, barely hearing my own voice.

"Oh, I didn't see anything. My guards did. They saw everything from the rose bushes behind you. Everything from the very first kiss and the first words to the fight and the last word. I asked them to be in a position where neither of you would be able to see a glimpse of them." he explained.

Well, he knew. So now I have nothing to lose.

"But if you know everything, you'll understand that I choose you and Charles now. Nothing else matters. I chose you - us - over him. Doesn't that mean something to you?" I ask frantically, my voice rising.

"No, Jane. You chose me and Charles because he was angry at you for having a baby with me, and because he didn't want you any more. I can imagine where you would be by now if he wasn't, if he still wanted you after you told him. You two would probably have run away - far away - by now. So no, Jane, whatever you say now, it doesn't matter. I do not believe you anymore." William says harshly.

"No. William, please! No!" I sob.

I try to hug William, to tell him that I am sorry. But as soon as I reach him, he signals for John, who tears me away from William.

"Because of this, you will have your own room, which I will have the key to, and you will only have the permission from me to leave the room." William explains in full detail and I listen carefully to the harsh instructions I have no choice but to obey because of what I did.

The stupid thing that I did.

"I will only go into your room when I need you. This is how it will be from now on."

"And Charles?" I ask, my voice barely above a whisper.

"Charles will be permitted to see you at different times of the day, but will spend most of his time with me. I will not have you being a bad example to him." says William.

"This means you are keeping me locked away from my son? This is unreasonable!" I shout at him, dropping down onto the floor, and sobbing uncontrollably.

What have I done?

"This is unreasonable? after what you have done? You were supposed to stay loyal to me! Stay loyal, and take on your role as Duchess, and produce an heir to me. I thought we were on the right track, until you did this. Looking at the conditions and from my side, this is not a harsh punishment at all. You should be grateful I am even letting you see Charles!" William spat at me, his voice rising with his anger as I continue crying into the floor, my long white dress splayed out by my side.

"Get her off the floor and take her to her room." William tells the two guards waiting outside of the room who instantly picks me off the floor with ease and carries me to my new bedroom.

Down and hall and up a flight of stairs, at the end of the next hallway, is a small, less grand room. They show no mercy at all as the two guards drop me down onto the floor and is about to slam the door closed behind me when William stops them.

At this moment, it gives me hope that William takes back this punishment, but instead, he just says,

"Consider yourself lucky."

And the door slams shut behind me, leaving me alone in the room, where I continue sobbing into the floor and eventually fall asleep in pain and sorrow.

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