little lion man - mumford and sons
4, January 1811 The wilsons are throwing a ball in their grand estate for the purpose of formally announcing the engagement of their daughter, Miss Helene Wilson.
@radio-surgery because of the item limit, I was not able to make another doll, but I did include Helene's portrait. If I can maneuver a way to make another doll, I shall do so.
“Oh Helene! You look absolutely marvelous. Congratulations.” I smile, placing my hand on her shoulder gently. Thinking better of myself, I remove it, settling for a quick and small embrace.
Letting go of her shoulders, I notice the less than pleasant look on her face. My smile turns to a frown, and I raise a hand abreast, the other holding my glass of champagne.
“I’m sorry Miss Wilson, did I do something wrong?” I give her an apologetic look, gnawing on my lip nervously. She shakes her head, and I almost drop to the floor in relief. I’ve known Helene for a while already, but we’re still in our ‘awkward acquaintanceship’ stage for now.
“Hopefully if it doesn’t bother you Elizabeth, but may I tell you something with promise that you’ll withhold it?” she asks nervously, and I nod, because really, whom would I have anything to tell to?
Her eyes dart around for a second before dropping her voice an octave and whispering, voice full of regret. “I’d be anywhere but here right now.” she shook her head. “ I don’t wish to marry. Especially Viscount Howsham. Goodness, he is well over twice my age, almost thrice!”
A sigh bubbles in my throat and I nod, sipping my champagne to fill in the silence, thinking of what to say.
“Spouse or fiancee is only such a title.” I decide on, not pressing further on what I mean by the statement. Helene nods like she knows, and I smile, gesturing to the flute in my hand.
“Never mind the matter, you look parched.” I gesture for a flute of champagne and it is brought over, the cold glass placed in her hand.
“Oh Miss Rycroft, you of all people shouldn’t try to get me intoxicated.” I bite back a frown at this, but don’t say anything. It’s usually better if I don’t.
She sips it anyway, and I nod bristled.
My mind drifts to the show on the coming Saturday, the costume hanging in the theater’s wardrobe, more enchanting than the one I am wearing now. I excuse myself quietly, walking out to the garden to get some fresh air.
The cold air relaxes me, the tightness in my throat relieving immediately.
All to shortly before I am startled by two strong hands gripping my shoulder, and I scream, but it’s quickly muffled by one of the hands that was previously holding my shoulder.
“Oh Miss Elizabeth Rycroft, would you care to help me with a little...problem?” The voice growls defiantly, and I shudder, thrashing around violently.
“Unhand me!” I yell, this time breaking through the barrier of hand and cloth. I hear the rushing of footsteps now, coming close.
“Idiotic whore” the unidentifiable man spits, moving quickly, dropping me to the ground. I gasp, shaking, while two young men ( one I quickly identify as Damien Monroe, the other I cannot place) and a woman rush to my aid.
“Miss Rycroft!” the woman gasps in surprise, and I push myself up, wobbly. She grabs my arm quickly, her small frame almost tumbling over with mine, before Damien catches both of us quickly, the other man behind him.
I wave them off, breathing heavily now, shaking my head quickly.
“No, no, this night” a gasping breath “Is about Helene, enough about me.”
Damien sighs, waving them off, and I give him a shaky smile. He shakes his head with a grimace, easing up the grip on me.
“Do you know whom it was?” I shook my head, moving the hair from my eyes. “He. He came up from behind me. I didn’t get a good look at his face.” I reply, voice still shaking slightly as so my body.
He nods remorseful, and places my hand in his, leading me to my carriage. I flush hotly, but he doesn’t notice, helping me into my seat. I smile gratefully to him, flustered, and looks at me, concerned.
“Are you sure you’re alright?” he asks. I nod, placing my hands in my lap.
“I’ve had worse on stage!” I try to joke, but it just comes out as an uneasy reminder. He sighs, kissing my cheek, and I blush again, making him give me a small smile.
“I shall see you this Saturday, Miss Rycroft.” he says, and it seems like he is already in character, the dashing Don Jose. I nod and smile, and he gestures to the horseman to take me home.
I let my head rest against the back of the velvet wall of the carriage, chest heaving letting the up and down movement lull me.