Love and Hate Chapter 9
It was a cold drizzly day. The sun was trying hard to peak its head between those stubborn English clouds with little success. I stood shivering as I held a bunch of red roses and laid them on his grave.
Lord Henry Nitingale
Baron of Colchester
What a load of crap! I looked at that tombstone and must have read those words a hundred times. I still don’t know why my father instructed to have those blatant lies inscribed on his gravestone. It was the only thing he ever did mention in his will, other than that he had bestowed all his estate to me. Unfortunately most of what he owned was held up in debts and notes. To my hugh surprise, my husband held most of that in his hand. Now they were all in mine. Sebastian or Samuel, heck I still wasn’t sure what to call him. For me Samuel was but a mere childhood memory so I settled on Sebastian, my husband, maybe. As per our agreement my husband had sent me all my father’s debts and notes signed over to me as well as my divorce papers and they had been lying on my desk ever since.
It had been more than six months since I left my husband’s estate in Lancaster and went back home to Colchester. My father died less than a month ago and as the loving bereaved daughter I was supposed to show grief by visiting his grave every day for a whole month and lay those flowers for everyone to see. I thanked god it was the last time I was going to do that. That man destroyed my life, that of my husband’s and god knows how many others. I wouldn’t forgive him if he was to raise up from his grave and beg me for forgiveness.
I sat behind the large mahogany desk in my father’s office, only now it was mine as well as his large estate that stretched from the North Sea almost to outskirts of London. I looked at those scattered papers in front of me and I sighed.
By signing these forms
you agree to the settlement hear-by
mentioned in these divorce proceedings
as decreed under Almighty God
and the laws of his Majesty
King George the Third
King of England
My husband’s signature was scribbled underneath these inscriptions but mine wasn’t. Every day I would sit behind that desk, read through these papers and cower at the last minute to run up to my room and cry. I just couldn’t. So technically under God and his Majesty I was still the wife of Mr Sebastian Preston, one of the wealthiest men in England whom I wanted to bash his head in for leaving me. That is if I knew where he was. My loving husband left me in that dungeon of his, cold, shivering, almost unconscious, stopping short of whipping me and never to see his face again. I looked for him everywhere. I asked his friends, I asked Lady Carolina, who was almost like a sister to him, and none even knew where he went. The only thing I managed to find out was that he took one of his ships as well as his two sluts, Beatrice and Bernice, and sailed away.
First I waited in Lancaster. Then I waited in Colchester. Months drifted by. Then one day a lawyer came knocking on my father’s estate and he gave me all those document; my divorce papers, signed; my father’s debts and notes, only they were all signed over to me. But what I didn’t expect was that Sebastian also signed away all his wealth under my name. My father’s heart must have stopped upon hearing that. He passed away a few months later. Suddenly I was all alone in the world, no father, no husband but one thing for sure I had become one of the wealthiest ladies in the whole of England and I hated every day of it.
“You can’t keep yourself locked up in this house,” Mrs Mellow begged, “it has been more than year. You know I love that man as much as you do but I don’t think he is coming back.” Who said I loved him?
When I decided to go back home I asked Mrs Mellow and her husband if they would come with me and they accepted. I couldn’t stay in Lancaster anymore. Too many memories. Besides everyone looked at me like I was to blame for my husband’s disappearance. Mrs Mellow wasn’t one of those. She was the only one whom I could trust. I needed a friend but most of all I needed someone who knew the truth and didn’t hesitate to tell it to me straight. So it turned out I loved my husband. Well, that’s according to Mrs Mellow.
Oh God could she be right? How could that have happened? I don’t even remember when. For heaven’s sake he never even gave me a proper kiss let alone a loving one. Why all of a sudden do I have all those conflicting feelings for him? Love…Hate.. and everything in between… I have been living with every color of that rainbow since the day I saw that man being sucked by one of his sluts. That was the HATE part of it until the day he held that whip in his hand and my feelings for him just froze. When he dropped that whip on the floor they all came rushing through like an uncontrollable river. Do I hate him? You bet I do. Do I love him? I don’t know. Then why the hell does it come out seeping everyday as I dream of his cock in mine? LUST? Heck I could have every single man in this country including the king himself if I wanted to. lust, simply doesn’t have anything to do with it. Everyday I wake up dripping wet as I remember how he fucked me in that ocean, on the dinning table, tied up to that contraption in the dungeon about to be whipped to death. But he didn’t do it. He stopped short of raising his hand to strike. Did he love me? I don’t know. Did he hate me? Maybe…Probably…. Then why? All I wanted to do was to look him in the eyes and ask him that….Why? Why? Why? And get that overdue kiss if I could.
“My lady…” he hadn’t called me that since we met. “My lady…” I could remember his assertive voice lifting me on top of those waves. “My lady…” he slowly rammed that pole as waves upon waves mingled with the oceans…. “My lady…”… I …
“MY LADY!” I woke up like I was hit by a raging horse. I opened my eyes to see Mrs Mellow standing next to my bed trying to wake me in the middle of the night.
“What?” I asked, “what is it?”
“Bernice,” Mrs Mellow replied, “Bernice is here.”
I jumped from bed and ran out of my room like a flash. I didn’t even stop to put on anything over my nightmare. To many who must have seen me, they probably thought I lost my mind running almost naked in the hallways. I didn’t care. If Bernice was there then she must have known where Sebastian was. I must have jumped three or four steps down the stairs until I saw her. She stood like a shriveling little flower in the corner of the hall. Her cloths were torn, her hair cut short and scuffled like a dirty old hag. I ran and hugged her as if she was the long lost sister I didn’t have. It wasn’t so long ago that I called that girl, a slut, a bitch, a whore…all true but all I wanted to do was to hold her in my arm and ask ….
“WHERE THE HELL HAVE YOU BEEN ALL THIS TIME.”
I must have said that out loud. I don’t remember. She just broke down and cried in my arms like a little child.
“Mrs Mellow,” instructing as I dragged Bernice upstairs with me. “Prepare the bath in my room and bring her something to eat…”
An hour had passed and Bernice was lying asleep in my bed. We had given her a bath to wash away all that grit on her body. She ate a little then she began crying once again. She couldn’t help herself. She broke down sobbing uncontrollably until I held her in my arms as she slowly drifted to sleep. I sent everyone away but I stayed next to her still holding her in my arms, looking at her face in the darkness of the night. I could still remember her giggling smile. That girl could never stop giggling. She would giggle for anything and anyone. Since she came to my house she didn’t even smile.
“He still loves you my lady,” suddenly Bernice said. She looked at me and a couple of tear escaped her eyes. One of my arms was still rapped around her shoulder. I didn’t want to pull away lest she broke down sobbing once more. She tried to control herself this time.
“What happened Bernice?” I whispered, “where is Sebastian? Where is your sister? Where did you all go?” I had so many questions. Only she could tell me what happened.
“Oh god!” She prayed. “Why does this keep happening to us?” I wasn’t sure what she was talking about so I waited until she finally started to explain.
“One night Master Sebastian came to our room. He told us to collect our belongings and that we were going to leave immediately. We didn’t know why. We could only see that he was distraught and angry. We just felt that it must have had something to do with you but he didn’t explain. Of course we didn’t ask. We never do.
In the middle of the night we left the house and rode to Lancaster then straight on to one of his ships. The next morning we sailed west until we reached the island of Navis. On the way he told us that he was getting away from all of this; his work, his life, everything and everyone. He wanted to start a new life out there in the new world. For the first couple of months the master was content on making Navis his home. He even bought a little farm to settle down in that beautiful island.
One day soldiers came bursting into the house. They arrested us all and locked us up for months without telling us why. Then we were forced to work on one of the sugar plantations on the island. There were hundreds and hundreds of slaves on these farms living in unimaginable hardship. Every month a new ship would arrive carrying even more slaves to replace those who died in these fields.”
“Didn’t Sebastian tell them who he was?” I asked. “He could have bought that island a thousand fold.”
“DON’T YOU THINK HE TRIED?” Bernice was about to cry once again if I didn’t tighten my arms around her until she stopped shivering. Then she continued.
“Believe me he tried and that was the problem. Of course they knew who he was. First they accused him of being a French spy then they said that he was helping slaves escape these plantation. Knowing the master that was probably true. The governor tried to bargain with him but the master wouldn’t concede. He just wouldn’t give him the satisfaction.”
“What does he want?” I was curious.
“He wants your money my lady,” Bernice finally explained. “The governor wants a ransom and that is why he sent me to you.”
“How much does he want?” I asked.
“A thousand thousand gold coins.”
I gulped. That was a hefty sum of money. If I sold the whole of my father’s estate I would come up short. That was impossible.
“Does Sebastian know about that?” I asked.
“No my lady. All he knows is that I was moved to another plantation,” Bernice explained. A few seconds passed in silence as I thought about what she just told me. “What are you going to do now my lady?” Bernice finally asked.
“Save my husband of course.”