By Rachel Young <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted January 2000
Summary: A soulmates' story in which a young Loisette and Charles find forbidden love only to be thwarted by their timeless nemesis, Tempos.
The sun shone past the tapestries and curtains, shimmering over the drawers and carpets and onto the sleeping body of a young girl. She was fair of face and dark of hair. She had a white night gown on which had the letter L woven into the fabric over her right breast. She was no more than fifteen years of age, yet looked slightly older.
"Loisette…Loisette! wake up you lazy girl. You'll be late for your lesson," yelled her nursemaid as she walked into the room to see the young girl still in bed. She was on the verge of sixty and looked every bit of it. Her hair was streaked with gray that contrasted nicely with the natural auburn color of her hair. Her facial features were soft and her blue eyes were wrinkled at the edges with laugh lines. She was plump and grandmotherly, the type that would take you in her arms and hug you till you turned blue.
"Go away, Nana! I don't want to go!" Loisette said as she shifted in bed. "Just tell them I'm ill."
Loisette stole a glance at the old woman while she set her breakfast on the antique table that took up much of the large bedroom. Loisette loved the old woman more than anyone, yet no matter how she tried she couldn't voice her feelings. It was unheard of for a nobleman's daughter to be so affectionate to a servant, but Nana was more of a mother than her mother was.
"Oh, so I guess youíre *too* ill to go to your father's ball tonight," Nana said slyly, "considering it's the first ball your father has ever allowed you to go to."
In a flash Loisette was out of bed.
"Well, come on you silly old woman! help me get dressed or I'll be late!" Loisette said, rummaging through drawers for her corset.
"Very well, Madam," Nana said with a sigh, joining Loisette's search.
"So by adding x number of apples to 10 oranges you get what?" The governess asked, her eyebrow quirked.
"13." Loisette said lazily while looking out the windows of the living room and into the garden. She was focusing on the fountain in the center of the garden. She loved to look at the water falling off the layers of stone that formed the beautifully sculpted structure. She often looked out the window during her lessons. She understood almost everything the governess gave her to study or complete. She especially liked writing, from poems to stories to sonnets. There was no greater feeling to her than to lose herself in her own world of stories.
"That's it! I give in! Take an hour for recess and lunch," she said, with a sarcastic huff. The governess was young, maybe in her mid-twenties. She was tall and lean, her face was soft and had a quality that didn't make her just pretty, but beautiful.
"Oh, thank you, Madam Bellconto!" Loisette said happily and ran out of the room.
"Well young Miss, what did you want for lunch?" The plump cook said to Loisette, who was now sitting in front of her on a old but strong stool. "I advise you fill up now so you don't Look like a starved child at the ball tonight. There will be a large feast, but you don't want to be eating much. It's unladylike," the cook said, engulfing Loisette in a loving gaze. She had known Loisette all of her young life and felt as if she were her own.
"All right, Cookie." Loisette had called her Cookie ever since she was a young child. "I'm just so nervous. Do we have any of the chocolate from that Dutch lord?" Loisette asked.
"Sorry, Miss. You ate it all yesterday," The cook said with a frown.
"Oh, yes, I guess I did," Loisette said nervously. "What am I to do! I'm under so much pressure today! I have to show my father I'm mature enough to go to the ball! Then I have to get dressed for the ball! Oh no! What am I to do?" Loisette babbled wildly.
"It's OK, Miss. I thought this would happen so I ordered something about three months ago. It came all the way from Switzerland." The cook went to the cupboard and pulled out a fairly large box and set it in front of Loisette. Loisette's eyes grew wide when she lifted the lid. The box was filled with chocolates. All different kinds from bars to truffles. Loisette was delighted.
"Oh thank you, Cookie!" She said as she gave the plump cook a hug.
"Don't thank me. Thank your Father. It may have been my idea, but it was your father's money," the cook stated.
Loisette gave the cook one more hug and rushed out of the kitchen to go find her father.
There was a soft knocking at the door of the study room.
"Yes? Who is it?" Lord Lane asked gruffly. He had been sleeping when he heard a knocking. He was a tall, lean man with gray hair that was balding on the top. His eyes were heavy with sleep and the documents that had once been on the desk were now plastered to his face.
"Itís me, father. Loisette," Loisette said timidly.
"Oh, come in, princess." He quickly swatted the papers from his face and straightened his clothes. "What do you want? If it's about me kissing Madam Bellconto, I can assure you it wasn't what you think," Lord Lane said nervously. He played with the cuff on his shirt sleeve.
"No, no, father. It's not about that. I just wanted to thank you for the chocolates," Loisette said, putting on her most angelic face.
"Oh, yes. Well, youíre welcome," he said with a smile.
Loisette turned to leave the room just as her mother, Lady Ellen, came into the room.
"Guess who said they would be coming to our ball after all?!" Lady Ellen said to her husband excitedly. She noticed Loisette leaving, thinking she was not part of her parentsí conversation. "Loisette, dear, come back here. This discussion pertains to you, too," Lady Ellen said.
Turning his attention back to the conversation they had just been having, Lord Lane said, "Well, don't leave me standing, old girl! Who is coming?"
"Baron Thomas, Baroness Tabatha and their son Tempos! They'll be staying for a few months! They're coming to inspect Loisette for marriage to Tempos! Isn't that wonderful?!" Lady Ellen said overwhelmed with joy, her tightened bosom stressing to bounce up and down.
"When are they coming?" Lord Lane asked. He sat there waiting for an answer >from his jubilant wife. He was always annoyed that his wife always elaborated on every thing and never got to the point. He always thought of his situation as maddening.
"They should be here in about an hour," Lady Ellen said after wandering off into her own denial land. She had slight episodes ever since she became a strict alcoholic.
The whole time her parents were having this discussion, Loisette was feeling very uncomfortable. 'They're setting me up!í The thought outraged her. Who's to say whom she will marry and whom she won't? It was her choice, wasn't it?
Loisette could feel her hands ball into fists. Her heart pounded with rage. She wanted to scream, beat things, throw things and run out of the room. It was supposed to be her life, not theirs! She would get her revenge…Oh yes…she would.
" Loisette… Loisettte… LOISETTE! Are you listening to me?" Lady Ellen said, rather loudly. She didn't like it when she trailed off into her own little world. Lady Ellen couldn't figure out whom she got it from.
Loisette snapped back to reality by her mother's rather loud voice. She couldn't stand the sight of her at times. Lady Ellen never was a good mother; she was practically raised by Nana, not her mother.
"Sorry, mother. What did you say?" Loisette asked, a little dazed, hiding her disgust.
"I said go get dressed in your finest dress. Tie your corset tighter and don't slouch. We'll have a new dress for the ball for you tonight. NOW GO!" With that Loisette moved hurriedly up the stairs to her bed chamber.
Loisette was done getting ready early and just sat by the large windows of her bed chamber. She loved the view of the outside garden. Right down the middle was a long road. If you followed the road a couple of miles down you would end up in the small town of Locksville. The small town was practically ran by Lord Lane.
'Maybe it won't be so bad,' Loisette mused to herself. If she couldn't make her own decisions maybe she would make the best of the ones made for her. She was, after all, a woman. Well, technically, she was still a girl. She wasn't supposed to make decisions for herself, or so she was told.
At that moment, what seemed a legion of horses came through the gates of the estate. Even from her room she could hear the large gates creak while they opened. Loisette always loved to look at the gatesí lattice work and think of what it might be like to just be a infinitesimal swirl in the gate. There, she could just be a non-important curve never noticed except by the lattice work that made her. No obligations, no arranged marriages and no one to bother her small and pointless life. But that was not going to happen.
She drew her attention back to the visitors. To tell the truth, there were only about two saddled riders, a tall handsome man with dark hair and a boy who seemed only a year or two older than she was. The man and the boy looked very much alike, so she assumed the boy was the man's son.
'If that boy is Tempos, this won't be so bad at all!' Loisette thought happily.
As for the rest of the horses, they were pulling three carriages. The first of the carriages was pulled up to the estate by three horses and looked to be carrying packages something like presents. Some were quite large and some seemed as if they were about to fall off the cart.
The second carriage stopped directly behind the first. The draft horses attached to the harness of the carriage seemed to look tired and worn. Loisette watched, horrified as the man driving the cart pulled the horse reins harshly, jerking the horse's head back. Then one of the horses reared, obviously in pain. The driver started to whip the poor beast, causing the animal to get more frustrated. The driver kept whipping the poor thing until a large firm hand grabbed his wrist. The tall man on the horse restrained the drivers are as he took away the whip. The boy rode up to the horse and grabbed the carriage horse's bridle and gently cooed and petted him until the horse was calm.
When everything was calmed, the third carriage emerged and took its place in front of the other carriages. The horses pulling this carriages were regal and grand and obviously of superb breeding.
'Baroness Tabatha must be in that carriage,' Loisette thought. It was all too clear that the carriage was made for passengers.
With that last thought, she ran down the stairs to greet her guest.
When Loisette got to the bottom of the stairs, her mother and father were waiting for her.
"You look beautiful, princess," Lord Lane said, looking down at his daughter.
"Now remember, Loisette, poise, grace, and absolutely no running. One more thing. If you get nervous, do not eat chocolate," Lady Ellen stated bluntly. She knew her daughter had a insane obsession with chocolate. It seemed whenever she got nervous or a little stressed she ate some chocolate and she was over it.
"But…" Loisette started.
"NO CHOCOLATE!!!" Lady Ellen said firmly.
"Excuse me, Madam," Nana interrupted. "They're here."
"Oh!! Well, let them in, Nana," Lady Ellen said while smoothing her dress and motioning for Loisette to do the same.
Loisette thought of her mother as being too up tight. No matter what Loisette did it never seemed to be enough for her mother. Unlike Nana who always encouraged her and supported her. Nana was her kindred spirit. She could tell her anything; yet they remained distant. She was expected to be distant to the servants, not daughter like. She would catch herself right in a tender moment, than turn into the bossy girl she was supposed to act like.
Nana disappeared for a few moments and then returned and stood by the door.
"Sir Chandler and his son Charles," Nana announced as the tall man and his son walked into the room.
This caught Loisette totally off guard. She thought the tall man and the boy were Baron Thomas and Tempos. She was looking forward to getting to know this amazing young man that so calmly tamed an outraged horse.
'If that's Sir Chandler and his son then who and where is Tempos,' Loisette thought now, a little more curious than disappointed.
At that very moment, as if on cue, Nana announced a new set of people.
"Baron Thomas, Baroness Tabatha and their son, Tempos," Nana announced with a little less enthusiasm. Loisette soon figured out why.
At that a tall, thin man and a short, chubby woman walked in. Both were dressed in thick, flashy, expensive clothes and looked very snotty. They didn't look at all friendly.
A boy about sixteen or seventeen years old stood between them. He was tall, lanky, very pale and had a malevolent look on his face. Loisette knew at that moment she did not like him at all. There was something about him that made her uneasy.
The three walked up to their host and hostess and Loisette's parents bowed so Loisette did the same.
Loisette turned her attention to the knight and his son. Sir Chandler and Charles stood in the back of the room with Nana. They just stood there, hard as steel, but Loisette seemed to understand that the expressions on their faces were all an act.
Charles was in the back of the room standing. Though he wasn't starring at her, he kept stealing glances whenever he thought she wasn't looking.
She was the most beautiful girl he had ever laid eyes on. It was moments like these that he was truly jealous of Tempos. 'Why couldn't I be the lord for once instead of baby-sitting this ill-mannered weakling? He's two years older than me and I have to take care of him!" Charles thought bitterly.
Sir Chandler noticed the sour look on his son's face and nudged him so as to tell him, 'Straighten up, Charles.' Charles understood his father's body language and stood straight and wiped any expression he had off his face.
The adults told the children to go outside to the garden and play. The children walked out of the mansion and went to the garden. They were all relieved to get away from the adultsí watchful eyes.
Loisette walked through the gates of the lavished garden and sat on the large stone bench. Tempos walked through the gates and inspected his surroundings while Charles walked past him to stand against the shady side of a nearby tree.
The garden was very large which was no surprise because the rest of the grounds and lands that were owned by Lord Lane were quite extensive. Loisette knew that Tempos's parents only wanted Tempos to marry her for her father's land and money. It made her sick just to think about it.
Charles stood by the tree in awe. He knew he was starring at Loisette, but she didn't notice so he didn't care. 'She is so beautiful!' he thought. For the first time in his life he was truly jealous of Tempos.
Loisette knew Charles was watching her, and she loved it. She straightened herself up and tried to look absolutely charming. She heard a sigh coming from Charles' direction. She smiled; she was getting to him.
Tempos had wandered off into the maze of rose and gardenia bushes. He found pleasure in ripping the flowers off the bushes and laughing when he stomped the life and beauty out of them.
Loisette was disgusted at his actions. 'How can someone so privileged be so cruel?' She thought in dismay as she plucked a blossom from a bush and placed it behind her ear.
turning her thoughts away from Tempos, a smile crept to her face as she thought of Charles. When she turned to him, his eyes grew wide as he realized she was looking at him.
"Would you like to come sit by me or are you going to stand there all day?" Loisette asked, not really looking at Charles at the moment.
"A-a-are you talking to me?" Charles asked, then quickly added, "I think Tempos walked off into the garden maze if you're looking for him." "Yes, I was talking to you. Why would I want to talk to that unsettling young man? If you ask me I think he's positively repulsive. Why do you put up with him? It's obvious you can get rid of him anytime you want," Loisette said pointedly.
"Well, it's not that easy. Even if I wanted to hurt Tempos I would have to consider the consequences. If I hurt him my father would probably be relieved of his position," Charles stated as he sat next to her on the bench, then quietly added, "Then we wouldn't be able to pay for mother's operations and medications."
Loisette was stunned. This boy and his father traveled all the way from France to baby-sit two grown adults and their son who was simply a brat just to make some money to help his mother. Incredible!
"What is the matter with your mother?" Loisette asked sounding concerned and sympathetic.
"It's her heart," he said looking down at the ground, "but my motherís getting better. Soon we will be able to send enough money to get her the best help that England or France can provide!" Charles said, trying to sound happy and hopeful.
Loisette knew better. She saw it in his eyes. He was in pain. You could tell just by the way he said 'mother' that he loved her very much. She saw his muscles tense and his eyes started to water.
"Why is your father here?" Loisette asked, trying to steer away from the painful subject of his mother.
"My father is the Baron's personal knight, sort of like a bodyguard," he stated. "It's been that way since they were children. Just like me and Tempos," he said bitterly.
"So are you going to the ball tonight or are you not allowed in those social things?" Loisette asked trying to hide her hopefulness.
"Yes, I am. I hear your father is well known for his extravagant dinner parties and balls," Charles said trying to hide his happiness.
"Maybe we could share a dance," Loisette said cautiously.
"Wow, really?!?! I mean sure! That would be wonderful!" Charles said, turning his head away from her to hide his reddened face.
"Good! Well, I need to go get ready. I'll see you at the ball. Goodbye," Loisette said, getting up off the bench.
"Yes. Well, I guess I have to find Tempos before he hurts himself. Goodbye." At that they turned away from each other and walked away, both equally satisfied.
Later that night…
"Hello, Charlie." Charles turned and was not happy to see who was there. Tempos's smirk grew wider when he saw how annoyed Charles was. "So Charlie, have you seen Loisette? I think it would be fun to see how she would react to me 'accidentally' spilling something on her new dress," Tempos said, snickering.
"If you do, Tempos, you'll be sorry!" Charles growled, grabbing him by the collar.
"Don't get too attached, Charlie. You do know I will be the one to marry her, don't you? It's really too bad. You would have made a cute couple." With that Tempos wiggled out of Charles' grasp, and moved through the crowd in the Ballroom.
Charles was devastated. He hadn't thought that Tempos would really marry her, and he hadn't thought that he could never have Loisette.
Charles was so occupied by that thought that he was startled by the sudden announcement that echoed through the room.
"Lord Lane, Lady Ellen and their daughter Loisette," announced the doorman.
Lord Lane came down the marble stairs fashionably dressed in the usual apparel. Lady Ellen came down the steps in a light cream colored gown with glowing pearls attached to it.
Charles was captivated by what he saw next. Loisette walked down the stairs in a deep burgundy. She had her long, dark brown hair up in a mass of braids and ribbons. Her eyes glowed like stars in the dimly lit Ballroom.
Charles just stood there and stared. 'I may be sixteen, but I'm not blind!' he thought to himself. He felt lightheaded and probably would float out of the Ballroom if he could.
He just stood there… starring, until a large hand placed itself on his shoulder. Charles snapped out of his daze and turned to see his father. His face was smiling, but his eyes told him something much different. They said 'Don't get to attached.' A simple and clean stab of a knife right through the heart. Charles nodded and turned stone hard again, trying to show his father he was able to hold his emotions in, but it still hurt.
Meanwhile, Loisette mingled through the crowd. Her parents would show her off to their friends and colleagues. They would all comment on how much she had grown and how beautiful she looked and that she was so mature for her age. It made Loisette sick for them to pinch her cheeks and act like they really cared about me. She knew they really didn't care. They just wanted to be friendly with her parents.
Finally Loisette seemed to move away from parents and blend into the crowd. She was searching for Charles. She hoped that they would share that dance that they had talked about.
Finally she spotted him. He was standing close to his father in a corner of the Ballroom. She smiled and headed toward him.
"Excuse me, Sir Chandler, but may I steal your son away from you for a moment?" Loisette asked in a sweet innocent voice. Sir Chandler didn't know what to say. He knew he shouldn't let Charles go with her, but if he didn't he would look rude in front of his host's daughter. Finally he spoke.
"He's all yours, my lady." He said with a smile. Before Charles left his father gave him a stern look. Charles would obey, or at least try.
"I thought I would never find you!" She said with a smile that seemed to light up the room.
"Oh…uh…I'm sorry," Charles said, trying to regain his steel hard look, but failing miserably. He seemed to melt before her with the slightest words that escaped her lips.
"Well, I forgive you, but you still owe me that dance," she said. She loved the way he squirmed around her. He was just so cute when he was tongue-tied.
"To tell the truth, Loisette, I'm not even supposed to be talking to you," he said, trying not to meet Loisette's large, brown eyes.
"What!?!?" She almost screeched. "Never mind. Letís just go somewhere we can talk. Follow me," she said, taking him by the hand and leading him to the kitchen.
Once in the kitchen, Loisette led them through the maze of counters and cooks to a small corner in the kitchen. Loisette went to the corner and started to move a tray of desserts. Charles chuckled as she struggled to move the tray; he finally walked up and started to help her.
When the tray was moved a large wooden board that covered a big hole was revealed. Loisette removed the board and started to crawl through the hole. It was stuffy and damp in the hole. Charles could hardly breath, but he couldn't complain about the view in front of him.
When they reached the other side of the hole, Charles found himself on the bridge that connected the two towers of the Lane Mansion.
"Loisette…" Charles started.
"No, Charles, let me talk. I really like you, and I don't care what our parents say. I will see whomever I want," Loisette said defiantly.
"Loisette, do you mean what you just said? Do you really want to be with me the way I want to be with you?" Charles asked, fidgeting with anticipation.
But Loisette didn't answer with words of love and contentment. She showed Charles what she felt for him by gently placing her lips upon his in a soft yet lingering kiss.
Charles felt the heat rise to his face, and Loisette giggled at his blatant display of bashfulness. They were both happy and agreed on their feelings for each other.
Still and hushed in the darkness of a lone corner, two eyes shown in the night. The young couple didn't notice a malevolent face scowling in the dark.
"Father, I refuse to have that muscle brained blockhead, they so appropriately named Charles, ruin our plans! Get rid of him or else!" Tempos screamed. His eyes were burning with the fire of rage. No girl had ever chosen Charles looks over his fortune. Tempos was almost insane with fury.
"But son, you must understand that Sir Chandler and I have known each other since we were children. You can't ask me to send him away just because you don't like his son," Lord Thomas said in a reassuring voice. It was hard to settle Tempos down when he was acting like this.
"Fine, but I guess you would send him away if it meant the courts would know about your little embezzlement scam," Tempos stated coldly. He loved to see his father squirm. He could see his father's pale arms shake and flush up with goose pimples.
Lord Thomas knew that he was trapped. His son was too smart for his age. He couldn't break free from the hold his son had on him. There was nothing else to do. He knew he would have to do anything his son wanted him to.
"All right, Tempos. They will be leaving in the morning. I'll give Chandler that extra money he's been asking for," Lord Thomas said in a defeated tone.
"Good. Now get some rest, Father. Youíre just too old to be staying up this late," Tempos said laughing his way out of his father's chambers.
The next morning Nana pushed her way into Loisette's room muttering something about young girls shouldn't sleep so much. She stopped in mid-sentence when she saw that Loisette was already out of bed and fully dressed. She looked more like a woman than the day before. Nana noticed a glow in her cheeks that she had never seen before.
The weather was terrible. The skies were dark and stormy. Yet Loisette's mood seemed to change all that, even if it was just in the one room.
"Good morning, Nana!" Loisette said brightly. The smile on her face spread from one ear to another.
"Good morning, Miss. My, don't we look chipper today," Nana said while setting up Loisette's breakfast on a near by table.
"Oh, that's all right, Nana," Loisette said, placing a hand on the old woman's shoulder, "I think I'll break fast with my parents and the guests today."
"Really?" Nana asked. She was stunned. Loisette hadn't eaten breakfast with her parents since she was six years old.
"Yes, really," Loisette said as she headed for the door. "Don't act so surprised, Nana."
With that, Loisette stepped out of her room while Nana followed close behind.
Charles loaded his luggage into the wagon. Just a few hours ago everything was right with the world. he didn't even notice the dreary weather. Now he felt every drop of rain and every cold wind like it was freezing his heart and soul.
Lord Thomas had approached Charles and his father this morning and told them that they were to leave for France that very day. Charles was happy that Lord Thomas was kind enough to give them the extra money they needed for his mother.
He had the money for his mother and he was going home yet his heart was screaming at him to stay. He had never felt this way before. He loved Loisette from the first time he saw her. He would gladly die for her, and yet he was leaving her.
Then he thought of his mother. Lying in her bed in the sunny valley of Robear, dying. He suddenly remembered a phrase from a new play he had seen, Hamlet. The actor had said, 'Thus conscience does make cowards of us all.' Oh how true those words were. They seemed to have new meaning to him.
He would leave that day with only half the heart he started with. He was leaving the other half with Loisette; to him she was his other half. Even though she would probably get married, have children and forget all about him, he would never forget her. Never.
Loisette bounded down the stairs and came to an abrupt stop as she saw Charles carrying a suitcase full of who knows what. Charles looked up to see her then quickly turned away. It was too painful for him.
"What are you doing? You're not leaving, are you?" Loisette said desperately grasping for some of what control she had left.
"Yes, we are," Charles said bluntly.
"Why are you and Tempos leaving?" Loisette asked searching for some explanation.
"Tempos and his parents aren't leaving. My father and I are," Charles said. He knew his steely exterior was weakening every time she spoke in that desperate, despairing voice.
"But, why are you leaving?" Loisette sobbed. The tears which she had tried to hold in now ran freely down her face. She decided to be blunt and ask what she really wanted and needed to. "Did last night mean nothing to you? Charles, I think I love you. Why are you leaving now when I think…No…I know you love me, too?"
Charles let go and joined her crying with light sobs of his own. He walked over to her and enveloped her in his arms, swaying slightly to comfort her trembling body.
"Loisette, I do love you, and it kills me to have to leave. Tempos's father told us this morning that we were to go back to France. He gave my father the raise he needed to help my mother." Charles stopped talking to look into Loisette's wide brown eyes. She was relaxed and calm in his arms. Then with the utmost sincerity, Charles said, "I will be back, Loisette. I promise you that. I don't know when I'll be back, but no matter what, I will be with you again. Just please remember me."
"Oh Charles, you know I'll never forget you. Even though we've only known each other for two days it seems like we've known each other forever. I love you and I will wait for you," Loisette said. She then placed a gentle kiss to his lips.
The distant booming of sir Chandlers voice broke the kiss, and for a moment Charles and Loisette just stared into each other's eyes.
"Charles!" Sir Chandlers voice was heard again.
"I have to go, Loisette?" Charles said, reluctantly letting go of her.
"Must you?" Loisette asked, her eyes pleading with him.
"I must," Charles said. Then with one more quick kiss he said, "I love you."
With that he turned and left hearing the faint whisper of her voice saying, ìI love youî as he walked out into the pouring rain.
TO BE CONTINUED in "The Reunited"
*Authors note* Thank you for reading. I know the plot isn't very plausible with Loisette and Charles meeting and falling in love in only two , but I think itís kind of romantic. This is my first Fanfic and because of lack of time it took me almost two years to write. So, if you have any questions or suggestions about my fanfic please write me at email@example.com Thanks!! ;) ;) ;) ;)