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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11. Choice

The moonlight shines down onto the gazebo as I sit back down onto the bench, dumbfounded.

I have never seen Edward so angry before, never.

Now I am just scared.

Because of the way Edward acted, and because I do not know who to choose.

I sigh and weep softly into my hands in despair.

"You should go back, Jane, the Duke will be suspicious if you do not return." Edward says to me, rather coldly, with no emotion.

Empty.

I wipe the last few drops of tears with the back of my hand, and sniff. I take a deep breath before I say everything I have to.

"Edward, I can still love you, and no matter where I am, what I am, I will always love you. I just want you to know, that by choosing William, it doesn't mean I do not care for you, that I do not love you anymore." I say to Edward without looking at him in the eye.

There is the loudest silence I have ever heard, and I am just about to look up to Edward, when he replies.

"So he is the one you will choose? Forever?" he asks me, demanding an answer.

"...I have no other choice." I whisper, looking him directly in the eye.

"You have no other choice? Jane. You have a choice. Leave him. Leave the palace. Run away now, escape this town, go somewhere we can be alone together." Edward says, and by the way he says it, he means every single word.

I look up at him, and I see the Edward 5 years ago, the care-free little 16 year old boy, the boy I loved so much. Back to the time when our path was one block wide, when all I needed was Edward by my side.

But I know what is right, and my decision has been made.

"What are you waiting for? Let's leave tonight." Edward's eyes lit up, and he seems so happy, and I'm so glad, but...I cannot.

"Listen to what you are asking me to do." I whisper softly, brushing back a strand of his hair.

"I cannot leave Charles."

"Your child." Edward replies bitterly.

"Then this is the last time we shall speak. Our paths will never cross together." Edward looks away.

I hate to end like this, but I am the Duchess.

This is my destiny.

"Do not come again. I will not be here." Edward turns away from me, and I assume that this is not the right moment to protest, and that this is the moment to leave.

I walk towards Lillian and mount her carefully. I grab hold of the reins when Edward turns to me.

"Goodbye, Duchess." Edward says, and bows gracefully.

"Please, Edward, I am still-" I get cut off from him when he interrupts.

"-No, you are the Duchess of Dorset to me now. Like you are to everyone else." Edward says, his voice still empty.

"Very well." I say, and turn Lillian around, heading back towards the palace, and finally letting the tears flow down freely, where Edward cannot see my pain.

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