The soft sea breeze filled the air. It was heavy with the smell of salt and unfortunately fish. The waters of Boyce were a most profitable fishing ground. It was why the Sutton family founded Boyce in the first place, when they sailed from England. But with so much wealth along the coast and in the city, it was often pirated. But the navy of Boyce grew larger and anyone who was related to a person who had been pirate, criminal, or outlaw was forced to live outside the city limits. This granted the city the moniker “Safest Harbour”. That moniker only increased profits for the city and in affect the Sutton’s.
Miles found himself longing to be out at the Greenwood or down by the craggy shore with Roselle and her band of misfit outsiders. It had only been 3 weeks ago that he met Roselle. But he could tell he was starting to feel something more for her than just friendship. She, on the other hand, seemed to be giving no indication of wanting that. Maybe it was her independent attitude he had become so fond of. She was smart and funny but headstrong and stubborn all at the same time. Or maybe it was the way she smiled when she let her guard down. There was just something about Roselle that made her different than anyone he had ever met.
Absentmindedly a smile appeared on Miles face. And his good friend Thomas noticed. “You are a peculiar man Miles. What has got you smiling like that?” he asked quizzically. The pair was walking along the busy main street of Boyce. “I’m just thinking. You know, the world is so fascinating.” He said. He rarely talked directly about Roselle. She however, had introduced him to the wonders of the natural world. The world had become so much more fascinating to him since he met her. “There is so much more the world has to offer than what we’ve been given here in Boyce. Don’t you feel sheltered here?” Miles asked his friend. Thomas just laughed. “That girl has been putting strange thoughts in your head. Or you just sound like a guy in love, who does not even know what he is saying..” Thomas said in a girly mocking voice.
“I am not in love Thomas. You do not fall in love with someone that quickly. I am just saying that there is a whole world out there that we know nothing about because we are cooped up in here all our lives and are afraid to leave.”
“All I’m saying is you sound quite like myself when I first met Anna. And now look at me, we are getting married. I would just be careful Miles. You know your father would have a fit if he knew you hung out with this girl. Just do not go getting unrealistic thoughts in your head Miles.”
The words put somber thoughts in Miles head as the two split ways. Miles returned to his ornate 3 story home just in time for tea with his father. Not something Miles ever really enjoyed. Their tea times almost always ended in arguments. Some were more serious than others. And sometimes, on rare occasions, they thoroughly enjoyed each other’s company. It was not that Miles hated his father; he just disliked the pressure his father placed upon. When Miles was younger, they got a long wonderfully. If only the same could be said about them now.
At a room in the front of the house sat his father. The large drapes were pulled back revealing a scene of the sunlight dancing along the ocean waves. “Ah, come in Miles.” His father’s deep voice called. His father’s voice always seemed so commanding. It always sounded like he was demanding something from Miles, even if that was not the case. “Good afternoon, Father. You wanted to speak with me?” he asked politely. Miles took a seat on an ornate chair with gold flourishes on the arms and legs. His father took a deep breath and sat back in his chair. “You have been absent as of late. Both physically and mentally it seems. Your mind is in another place and not on your duties. You need to start getting serious Milton. I will not be around forever. And when I am gone, you will have to take up my role and the power that comes with it. People are starting to think you are some wild child and you are not taking matters seriously.” He paused as his grey eyes stared intently and Miles. “And because of this, we will show the people how serious you are. We are going to throw a party for all the wealthy land owners, even some people from England who are looking to settle in Boyce. And there, you will pick a girl that you will hope to make your wife. I’m not saying you are getting married now … but it will be soon. And if you do not choose someone, I will choose for you. And you will make it clear to everyone how serious you take yourself and your family’s legacy.”
Miles knew that that was the end of the conversation. There was no changing his father’s mind, even with his well thought out argument. His father was stubborn. And there is not much else you can do with a stubborn powerful rich man, except to listen and obey.
But Miles had a bold and possibly dangerous idea.
“Roselle, please come. It is one night. This party needs a breath of fresh air.” He attempted to convince her. “I’ll never ask you to come to town again.” The Greenwood filled with the evening breeze coming across the ocean carrying scents of salt and leaves from the trees. Roselle’s hair danced around in the wind in magical wave. In the light, hints of blonde could be seen running throughout her slightly wavy hair. She was so beautiful to him.
Roselle looked at him stubbornly biting at the side of her check. It was her look of indecision, torn between two thoughts and feelings. “Even if I wanted to, only those you consider to be royalty can attend. How do you think I’ll be able to get in?”
A slightly devious smile tugged at the corners of Miles lips. Roselle knew that look too well, he had a plan.
“Well my dear, I thought you’d never ask.” Miles said as he revealed his plan to her.