Hidden Love


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1. Chapter One

 

The morning storms came quickly. It felt as if I had slept five minutes then risen, tired and weary. Whereas before I was able to get up at eight, I was now inclined to wake at six and make my way down by seven. The smell of Sausages and bacon came from downstairs. How torturing it was; Knowing I was just a servant and porridge awaited for my hungry mouth, though satisfy it would not. I made my small, hard bed with limp hands and changed into my new, dull, scratchy dress. It was fitting for my slender figure, but still ugly. I tied my white apron around my waist and pulled on my new black boots. I put my hair up into a plain and simple bun.

            It was half past six when I made my way down stairs. The thundering rain hammered onto the roof of the kitchen which was located in a single storey part of the house which attached to the dining room. The cooks were busy making breakfast as I took out a bucket and sponge from under the sink. There was a cold nip in the air which made me thankful my dress had long sleeves. 'Good morning Elise.' My master appeared from around the corner as I made my way through the back corridor which avoided the main rooms of the house. Mr Forrester was a finely built man in his late twenties. He had attractive features and combed back brunette hair. Mr Forrester had been in possession of Milwood Manor for just over three years after his father had passed away. From what the servants had told me, he was a kind man and treated his staff well.

            'Oh. Good morning, Sir.' I said clearly and politely with a smile.

            'How are you this morning?' He asked me. Mr Forrester was an early bird and usually woke at the same time as the servants.

            'I am decent, sir.' I said humbly.

            'Splendid!' He flashed a smile, showing his perfect white teeth. 'I trust you got a good nights sleep?' He asked.

            'I did, thank you.' I was wondering whether I should enquire into his current welfare and his quality of sleep. However I did not want to speak out of turn.

            Mr Forrester gave a satisfied nod. 'Have you not had breakfast?' He glanced down at the bucket and sponge.

            'I should like to get something after I finish my morning chores. It will give me something to look forward to.'

            'I admire your self-discipline, Elise.' Mr Forrester stepped forward. 'Please inform the cooks that I shan’t be dining in tonight. I have plans.' There was something about his tone of voice which told me I was dismissed.

            'Indeed I will, Sir.' I smiled politely and curtseyed. I then headed off down the hall. 'Oh, Elise?' He called to me. 'Call me Christopher.' He finally said before leaving.

            'Yes sir.' I said to myself as I made my way to the main hall way to clean the floors.

 

            'Mm, Mr Forrester is gorgeous is he not?' Cecil Pottley said as we ate our porridge. It was now midday and my morning chores were over and done with. Cecil was a maid, just like me. She had worked here for at least three months now.

            'He is... attractive.' I said cautiously. I wasn't one to gossip. Cecil giggled like a little girl.

            'I'd give anything to be like him. I'd live in a palace in Italy. Possibly in Florence. I'd wear great big red and blue majestic dresses and my horse drawn carriage will be pure gold. Mr Forrester would be my husband and we would have six children. All girls of course! Well, I suppose Mr Forrester would like at least one boy to go hunting with and the like. You know Elise?'

            Pretending that I had been listening intently, I replied with 'Oh, indeed I do Cecil!' It was true of course; Mr Forrester.. or Christopher should I say was incredibly handsome but he was not for me. His kind look down on our sort; the commoners of the bunch.

            I observed Cecil as she nattered on about Mr Forrester. I couldn't help but feel incredibly grieved for her. It was quite obvious that she was falling head over heals for this man when she didn't have a chance in heaven. Her features were not at all pleasing and her hair was a dull colour which could be seen as grey in some lights. She was young of course; perhaps in her late teenage years like my self, however her face was aged which gave her a much older appearance, possibly due to her poor bone structure.

            When I snapped out of my day dream, Cecil's eyes were looking expectantly at me. 'Well?' She prompted.

            'I’m sorry?' I asked.

            'Do you think that he will get married soon?'

            'Perhaps.' I said, uninterested. 'Perhaps not.'

            'Yeah well. When that day comes, I'm going to be one unhappy puppy.' Cecil frowned and pushed away her porridge. 'Your pretty Elise.' Cecil said after a moment of silence.

            'Oh, uh, thank you, Cecil. That was kind of you.' I could feel the blood rushing to the surface of my skin. It always did when I was embarrassed.

            'Really pretty I mean.' Her expression did not show kindness, instead, it portrayed jealousy and I was suddenly defensive.

            'I must start my afternoon chores, Cecil.' I jumped up from my seat.

            'But you've just finished your morning ones!' Cecil complained.

            I ignored her and exited the kitchen.

 

Once out of eyesight, I rushed away quickly to avoid Cecil coming after me. I must have been watching the ground as I hurried because the next thing I knew was my face smushed up against Mr Forrester's chest. 'Steady there girl!' He chuckled.

            'I am so sorry!' I jumped back. 'Mr Forr- I mean Christopher, I didn't mean to-'

            'Its quite alright Elise.' Mr Forrester smirked and I suddenly felt like an idiot for worrying so. He was a kind and humble man after all. 'May I inquire into why you were in such a hurry?'

            'Cecil and her perilous gossip.' I admitted jokingly.

            'Ah, I see.' Christopher laughed. 'Yes, it is probably best to avoid. I hear that once she starts she will not stop on any account.' He grinned. There was something sweet and charming about his smiles.

            'I very much agree!' I could not believe my self. Here I was in a hall way, gossiping about one of my fellow maids with my master! How very improper of me! From my experience a maid such as my self should keep to her self or to a close friend or an individual of the same status. Christopher Forrester was neither a friend nor of my lowly status.

            'Are you alright?' He asked me, suddenly concerned. 'You have turned the most awful shade of white.'

            'Oh have I? I must have a fever.'

            'Come with me to my parlour. I shall see that you are taken care of.' He said kindly.

            'Oh you needn’t worry, I shall take a lay down before I start my afternoon chores.'

            'Nonsense. You need a warm bed and care.' What a hole I was digging my self into! My attempts to stray further away from Mr Forrester had brought him closer.

            Mr Forrester sat me down in his parlour and fetched me a blanket. 'Really, Sir, I'm fine.' I reassured.

            'I cant have you fainting now can I?' He said as he rummaged around in a draw. 

            'What are you looking for?' I asked him.

            'A thermometer. I could have sworn that I had one.'

            'I could always just visit the doctor.' I tried and tried to release my self, but he was so adamant that I was to stay.

 

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