Our Fractured Hearts

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by moffnat, Feb 19, 2015.

  1. [​IMG]
    Aurélie Giselle Beaulieu, #dec087, georgia The crack of dawn was a most merciful awakening. Gentle strokes of gold and aubergine bruised the sky into most pleasant painting, one that Aurélie was anxious to see upon every fresh spring morning. I should paint this image someday, she thought with a little smile that warmed her sleepy heart. Everyone in the world should be able to see sights like this. She stretched her slender body as the light of a new day reached the emeralds in her eyes, and a yawn broke free from her lips.

    Yet another beautiful day. Quel monde merveilleux.

    "Up, up!" came a sudden call from the opposite bed. Aurélie rubbed her eyes and sat up on command, running her fingers through untamable chocolate curls and groaning at the loud voice. "Aurélie, wake up! You are late!"

    "What?" she offered in a shocked reply. "But it is only seven-thirty—"

    "Seven thirty? Girl, it is eight-thirty! You slept in! I let you get more sleep because of all the work you did yesterday, but I lost track of time."

    "Quoi?! Are you sure? I—merde!" Only three months on the job, and I'm late! She spurred herself from the comfort of warm blankets and flew to the showers across the hall, giving herself a quick scrub before tending to all other personal hygiene needs. The thought of being fired continued to nag at her innocent mind, even after returning to dress herself and complete the overlook of a maid's ensemble. She snagged herself a bagel and tied her hair up in a high bun, buttoning the black vest on her way out of the maid's quarters. "Maxine!" Aurélie called in a rush, "Maxine, where am I stationed today?"

    "Gardens first, dear, then the Duke wants his study dusted. Come back when you have finished those things, and I will give you more."

    "Okay, okay!" She bit off a piece of the bagel, slipping on a pair of traditional black heels and exiting the apartments without another inch of hesitation. The large house in which the maids lived inhabited some of her dear friends who bore incredible understanding of her overworking attitude more than others, and while Aurélie appreciated the gesture that the Maxine had let her sleep in, it kept her from making money that was no doubt needed. Money will help my dreams come true, that had been her mantra ever since she left France with nothing but a suitcase of clothes and one-hundred and fifty euro to last until she found some form of employment. It was a cruel sentence for a crime that Aurélie had not committed, yet she never looked back.

    Those, however, were thoughts better left for darker days when the sun was absent of grace and the rain dampened moods. The girl mentally pulled herself together and drank in the sight of the morning sky, letting warmth and light engulf her every atom before continuing on with her duties.

    Her first stop was the gardening shed, a massive cabin of spruce wood that housed all of the necessities for tending to the various gardens throughout the Lancaster Estate. She never envied the family for a single second—royalty was not something that someone like her could aspire to become, so she felt there was no point in growing envious of their wealth and prosperity. There was a time when she thought that those of a certain stature had everything and wanted nothing, but not all in life was gold and money and riches and political prowess. Sometimes, it was nice to be able to spend time to one's self and unfold in the completeness of total relaxation. That was worth more than anything of monetary value.

    And still, it is something I can't relish in its entirety. I suppose even royalty would envy my ability to cherish it somewhat. Ah, well. There is no use for pity parties. I have work that needs to be done. Aurélie unwrapped a hose and attached a spray nozzle to the top, pulling the plastic and rubber from the depths of the shed and dropping it in a heap on the edge of a magnificent flower bed of bright red tulips and waving lavender. When the water was turned on, she began her work and drizzled fresh sprays of water onto the needy plants, her heels clicking along the stone as she paced the edge.

    Maybe tomorrow I'll have a day off, she thought pleasantly, and peruse Devonshire like I never have before.

    That would be a nice change.
    #1 moffnat, Feb 19, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2015
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  2. Vincent Augustus Lancaster, #2c5259, andale mono
    Every day, it was the same mundane routine. At the crack of dawn, just before the sun rose above the broad and vast horizon, Vincent awakened and tended to his daily hygienic needs. He liked to start the day off with a nice, warm shower, just to help wake him and prepare him for the long day ahead. His dark waves and his light beige skin smelled of refreshing bergamot, that of which was a citrus-like smell that he found himself fancying. It was refined yet inviting, just like his favorite tea. He parted with the steamy bathroom wearing his usual white robe, and he was received with a knock upon his chamber door.

    And so it begins, he thought with a neutral expression.

    "Come in," Vincent spoke out in a considerably chipper tone, already aware of who was on the other side of the entrance.

    "Good morning, Mr. Lancaster," the head butler, Sebastian, greeted him politely with a bow. "I hope your nightly rest treated you kindly. What attire would you deem suitable for today? I'd recommend something of lighter feel, for the weather is quite warm this summer."

    "Ah, Sebastian," Vincent greeted the elderly man with a warm smile, though it never seemed to reach his dark eyes of coal. "Always on time, I see. I think some standard slacks and one of my button downs will suit just fine," he spoke, and Sebastian proceeded to preparing his clothes for him. While Vincent knew very well that he could pick out his own attire and dress himself, Sebastian had been doing this for him for years regardless of his wishes. Duke Frederick, Vincent's father, was mostly to blame for the unneeded help. However, it was almost second nature by this point, though Vincent still never ceased to express thanks for his efforts.

    "Thank you," he spoke as Sebastian handed him his clothes. "I appreciate it."

    "You're welcome, sire," the butler responded respectfully. "Shall I pour you some tea while the cooks prepare your breakfast?"

    "I'd appreciate that, yes."

    "Earl Grey, I presume?"

    "You know me well," another smile graced Vincent's lips, for Sebastian knew his favorite tea like the back of his gloved hands. However, despite Vincent's sincere pleasure and gratitude, his eyes never seemed to brighten regardless of the beams his mouth displayed. They were always dull, lifeless — just like the black coal they represented. His eyes were actually of a dark brown color, though with how solemn they appeared over half the time, one just might assume they were truly black in hue. It mattered to Vincent not, for what people thought about his expression wasn't on his agenda of things to worry about.

    He had other boring, but sadly essential things to attend to.

    Just another day in paradise, he thought to himself with a hint of sarcasm as he finished putting on his clothes behind the dressing screen in his bedroom. Once he reappeared, there was already a warm cup of tea awaiting him. "Thank you, Sebastian," he spoke to the butler once more as he took a seat and retrieved it. Without saying a word, Sebastian offered another small bow, placing his hands behind his back formally as Vincent took some time to enjoy his refreshing beverage.

    I wonder when I'll finally be rid of all these pestering shadows, Vincent thought to himself, feeling slightly bitter about how he was always followed by the servants of the Lancaster Estate. However, whatever negativity that corrupted his being was effortlessly concealed by his courteous grin. Once he finished his cup of tea, he slipped into his trusty black oxfords, applied some of his favorite cologne of refined amber and juniper scents, and made his way out of his chambers.

    "So, what's good old Rupert preparing for breakfast this morning?" Vincent questioned Sebastian, that of who was following closely behind Vincent as they made their way to the dining hall.

    "I believe some soft boiled eggs, toast, marmalade, and some of his signature, succulent ham," Sebastian informed him with brows raised encouragingly. At this, Vincent let out a modest chuckle, allowing Sebastian's grin to infect him.

    "His ham is absolutely delicious, isn't it?" Vincent let out a humorous breath, though his expression grew slightly somber before continuing on.

    "Will my father be joining us? Or perhaps his wife?"

    Already seeming to know how much Vincent didn't like the subject of those two, his expression also dulled down a little bit. "No, sire. Duke Frederick is preparing a trip to London to meet with other officials. Lady Beatrice will be accompanying him."

    "I see," he began with a soft sigh. "Well, that's alright. I have you to dine with me, now don't I?"

    With a small smile, Sebastian bowed his head in approval. "As always, sir."

    As Vincent finished up his breakfast, Sebastian soon had to go off to train some of the new maids and butlers that his father hired on. Don't we have enough already? he thought as he smiled politely towards the couple maids that took his dishes away. They giggled like little school girls once they were a few ways away from him, that of which didn't garner much of his attention. He had other things on his mind, like taking advantage of Sebastian's absence to take some time for himself. Before the butler could apologize for having to take his leave, Vincent held his hand up in hushing.

    "Don't you worry about a thing," he began with another one of his signature, courteous grins. "I have some reading to catch up on, anyways. Allow me some leisure, would you?" he offered another charming grin, that of which Sebastian couldn't refuse.

    "As you wish, sire. If you need anything at all, just call on me or any of the other servants."

    "Will do," he began, making sure he didn't look too eager as he made his way out of the dining hall and out onto the gorgeous greenery of the estate.

    Soon enough, he arrived at his favorite resting place. A lone bench, that of which appeared quite aged and abandoned, was situated right beside a small pond. Not many ventured out to those parts of the garden. In fact, it was actually one of Vincent's hidden habits to tend to the nearby flower beds. Not even some of the servants knew of this place, for it was one of Vincent's secret havens. With how large the Lancaster Estate was, there were many hideaways that remained unknown by various residents. As far as Vincent was aware, only his father knew where this place was.

    It's where he proposed to my mother, after all.

    Shoving that thought away from his mind, he made his way over to the lonesome bench. However, he didn't do this before taking a look at the flower beds. He expected them to look droopy, for he hasn't frequented this spot in some time, though he was left curiously taken aback. Has someone else been tending to them, as well? he wondered to himself, taking note on how lively the flowers appeared to be. They were filled with vigor, almost seeming to smile up at him as the summer breeze blew past.

    Shrugging it off, he took out his journal and began writing with his favorite feather pen in hand. Little did anyone know, Vincent was quite the writer. He had a taste for fiction and the ways of poetic prose, though this was, yet again, one of his many secrets.

    It was his release.
    #2 Elixir, Feb 20, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2015
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  3. Aurélie Giselle Beaulieu, #dec087, georgia The rainbow of colors in the elegantly shaped flower beds glistened with the refreshment of the water Aurélie provided them. Droplets of liquid reflected the sun's light like specs of gold. Gentle breezes were a pleasant accompaniment to her daily work, brushing a pleasing tingle of cold air on along the slopes of her slender neck. The French-born girl went about her duties as instructed, offering nourishment for the rich flowers that surrounded the Lancaster estate, humming a little song as she walked through the beauty that surrounded her.

    It was then that she noticed him.

    What on Earth is that man doing? Aurélie inquired silently, halting the spray of the water so she might further examine him from afar. Is he absolutely insane? Doesn't he know that this could get him fired from the job? She had never seen the likes of this man before, though he looked like he was slacking on his work, part of his uniform abandoned as he hunched over something she couldn't see. Even on a day off, we aren't allowed to be out here unless we're working. I hope he has not forgotten that. The young maid looked left and right for any sign of management, and upon finding that the two of them were alone she approached him in a concerned rush.

    "What are you doing out here?" she whispered, sitting beside him on the wooden bench and leaning close so none might overhear them. "We're not allowed to be out here, even on our days off. You know that, don't you? I won't tell anyone this one time, but you should leave before Mrs. Jenkins comes around. I hear she's making the rounds this week, and you know how she is..."

    A feather pen? Aurélie stopped talking a moment, glancing down to his hands. Smooth, laborless. A decorative watch rested around his wrist. The gentle scent of musky cologne wafted through the air in the summer breeze, and when he looked at her, she did not see a servant's eyes.

    Is he...oh, no.

    "Oh mon Dieu, Seigneur Lancaster! I—I'm so terribly sorry, disregard everything I just said to you—" Aurélie stood with the speed of light, stepping backwards and stumbling on the leg of the bench. By some stroke of divine intervention or sheer dumb luck, she managed to remain on her feet. "Please, keep writing—or, whatever it is you're doing, I'm so sorry, I did not mean to disturb you my lord..."

    Fumbling for something to do, she picked up the hose that had dropped to the stone and held it like a lifeline in her hands.

    That's it, she panicked. I'm fired. It's back to France for me.
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  4. Vincent Augustus Lancaster, #2c5259, andale mono
    "What are you doing out here?"

    Vincent was caught momentarily off guard when he heard a feather-light voice coming from his side. It was coated with concern, apprehension, and a prominent French accent as she continued to address him as though he was somewhere he didn't belong. He slowly set his pen down on top of his journal, closing it as he turned to look at the woman beside him. As if suddenly realizing that he wasn't one of her fellow coworkers, she was left in complete shock and dismay.

    Doing his very best not to chuckle at her little outburst, he simply plastered a small smile across his face as he watched her fumble about.

    "Please, keep writing — or, whatever it is you're doing, I'm so sorry, I did not mean to disturb you my lord..." She continued to rant frantically, almost losing her footing as she backed away from him in surprise. At this, he couldn't help but let out a small, amused breath, though his exterior remained poise in nature. He simply gazed upon her with his eyes of mysterious, alluring coal, so dark they almost seemed to absorb and eliminate all of the light around them. They were slightly cold, unlike the warm and gracious smile placed across his enticing lips. Most didn't notice this difference.

    However, he most definitely noticed her eyes of deep, forest green. For a moment, he found himself growing lost in them.

    They put these shrubs to shame.

    Collecting himself once more, he set his journal aside and stood back up.

    "You have no need to fret," he began as he raised his hands slightly, expressing that he meant no harm. "You're not going to be punished. You've already apologized, so I see no need to torture you further. Please, relax," he placed his hands back in his pockets as he eyed the hose she held in her hands. She was grasping onto it so tightly her ivory knuckles began to pale. The poor dear, he thought with a silent sigh through his nostrils. His gaze narrowed for a moment.

    Are we royals that intimidating?

    "I'm Vincent Lancaster, Duke Frederick's son. I don't believe we've met before," he decided to introduce himself kindly as he returned a courteous smile back to his lips. He bowed his head slightly her way, treating her in a kind manner as he did most of his servants. She seemed quite unnerved, so he figured if he acted more like a normal person instead of the tyrannous boss she most likely saw him as, she'd calm down a bit.

    A lady shouldn't have to wear such a tormented expression.

    "Quel est votre nom?*" he spoke to her politely in what appeared to be her home language, a charming grin on his face all the while. He had been required to learn a few languages thanks to his position as the son of the Duke of Devonshire. At times, he had to travel with his father to a few other countries in Europe. France was one of the main ones, so he took up French at a young age. Hoping this would soothe her a bit, he straightened back out as he awaited her response. He hooked his hands together behind his back, holding himself up just like any person of royal blood would.

    Perhaps it was out of habit — this grandiose nature of his.

    Unlike my father, all I desire is respect from our servants.

    Not fear.

    * What is your name?
    #4 Elixir, Feb 25, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2015
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