Bridgerton | Official RP Thread


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As they were officially introducing each other, Theodore smiled and bowed for her. Lydia gently shook her head, a glint of amusement in her eyes, “Ah there is no need for that,” She light-heartedly insisted in attempt to drop the formalities, despite how fitting it may be in the extravagant setting they were in. “It would be a waste to expand such grace and decorum on me,” Lydia explained, as she was not one that needed impressing with practiced manners and etiquette.

Lydia listened intently on Theodore’s travels. She longed for it to be deemed acceptable for a woman of her standing to venture out by herself, without needing to marry and travel with a partner. Lydia was intrigued of what lived outside the confines of the ton, and wanted to explore it for herself alone. “I’m very grateful to have been shown something that can be found there,” She told him, despite wishing it could have been her that was able to bring back things. He appeared relieved that Lydia had been so easily accepting of his apologies, requesting her accompaniment on a stroll. “Of course,” She smiled, joining him by his side, though not needing his arm to walk with him. “Tell me about other things you would come across on your time in China,” Lydia requested.

Though as they began walking around the venue, Lydia’s attention was elsewhere, despite her company’s attempts to converse about his travels. While she tried to appear invested in Theodore and had really been interested in the subject, she couldn’t help notice the handout of infamous papers, the eruption of hushed murmurs surrounding them, and the sudden scrutiny of eyes that seemed to be in her direction. It stopped Lydia in her tracks, looking around to confirm that is was her they were all looking at.

“Was it something I said?” Lydia thought out loud, her glance falling back to Theodore as even he couldn’t ignore the attention they had unexpectedly brought. “Perhaps they are all waiting their turn for a conversation with a perfectly eligible bachelor such as yourself,” She suggested, nodding her head in his direction playfully, despite the concern rapidly growing inside. “I shall tell them they need to…” Lydia trailed off as they were joined by a woman from the ton, the Lady Whistledown paper that had caused this mystery in her clutches.

“Pardon my interruption, I simply wish to extend my congratulations to yourself, Lady Ellis,” She began, making Lydia no less confused than before. Without it being offered to her, Lydia began to slowly take the paper out of her hands, because SOMEONE needed to fill her in on the apparent good news. Though the woman got there before she could read it for herself. “We are all delighted to hear of your betrothal.”

The word weighed heavily, dropping to the pit of her stomach as it escaped the woman’s lips. When it landed, it set off a sudden implosion within her, her heart racing and breath accelerating. Surely not. “My… what?” She attempted to verbalise, though whatever answer she might have received was inaudible over the ringing in her ears. Lydia had to find the answer for herself, her eyes hurriedly scanning through the paper to see the news that her surroundings had gotten quite the head start on.

She couldn’t believe what she was reading. Lydia had to go over it several times, hold it closer and then further away, her chest tightening with each read. It said the same thing each time. Her engagement to viscount Klaus Shafer. Her grasp on the paper stiffened until it crumpled and trembled in her hand. Though her panic began to evolve, as her thoughts became more focused and Lydia’s attention drew to the only way this could have happened. Anger crept in as she looked around for her mother.

When her laid her eyes on her, she stormed over without hesitation. She should have known she was being too lenient about Lydia’s actions at this event. It wasn’t that she had lost interest, it was knowing the matter had already been settled. “Have you taken leave of all your senses completely?” She demanded, negligent of the people that were of earshot. Her mothers eyes screamed warning in her direction, accompanied by an attempt to verbalise it, “Lydia–” “I haven’t even a clue on who this person—” Though Lydia’s interruption was handed an interruption of it’s own, her mother’s hands pushing down on both her shoulders in attempt to quiet her. “You’re being hysterical, understandably so, given such a momentous announcement,” Her mother spoke, both to Lydia and as an explanation to watchful eyes. “I suggest you get some air, perhaps it shall calm you down,” She told her, urging her towards the entrance to leave through it.

For a moment, Lydia remained still. She was filled with so much rage and a whirlwind of thoughts she didn’t know where to begin. But as she looked around at their audience, Lydia knew now wasn’t the time to give a show. She looked to her sister that she needed now more than ever, but stood close by her mother’s side. Her mother had such a way with manipulation that this public fallout would never be one where Lydia alone came out favourably. So she took steps back, breaking away from her mother’s hold and heading in the direction had been advised.

Lydia headed outside with a determined pace, each step exuding the frustration and distress that was overwhelming her, as she desperately needed to be away from the crowd of Whistledown readers. As she escaped the building, Lydia didn’t stop. She didn’t know where she was going, but she continued walking. As she always has, but now more than ever, Lydia needed to be away. From everything.

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someone come :smiling_face_with_tear:
@Caticorn Theoooooo
@benitz786 Ellis’


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Post-Whistledown w/ Klaus

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Theodore relaxed himself a little when the girl insisted that there wasn’t a need for the formalities he was showing her, though he couldn’t help but wonder why she didn’t think herself worthy of grace and decorum. “Merely a habit.” He responded as if he had to justify why he had extended her the same grace that he would have given any member of the ton.

As he began to speak about China, he was pleased to see that she seemed genuinely interested in what he had to say. She agreed to join him but when she didn’t take his arm, he respected her decision, holding his arms behind his back as he began to walk beside her. “The textile arts there are quite exquisite. My father sells Chinese fabrics in his shop, most of which I have brought back for him, but my sister has learned the art of Chinese embroidery and has generated some very beautiful creations.” He started. He continued to tell her about everything he had seen and experienced while in China but eventually could not ignore the feeling that he was being stared at. A very familiar pamphlet was being passed around and Theodore guessed that either one or both of their names appeared in it. A woman approached them and congratulated Lydia on her engagement, which was when Teddy decided to take his leave. He did not want to cause more scandal by being seen alone with another man’s fiance.

“Have you gone mad?” Kitty angrily accused as she appeared, thrusting one of the infamous papers into his chest. “Not only have you gone and ruined any prospects you might have had, you have ruined mine as well.” Still unsure of what it was his sister was so upset about, he finally looked at the piece of paper he now held, scanning it for a mention of his name. When he found it, he felt all the air leave his lungs.

…it is with a mix of sorrow and intrigue that I must inform you of Mr. Radcliffe’s clandestine occupation as a paramour for hire…

“I…it’s not…I don’t do…I can exp…” As his breath became heavy, he could not get himself to speak in full words, let alone sentences. A part of his history that he had wished would never see the light of day had been thrust out into the open like washing being hung to dry. He walked away from his sister without another word, needing to find himself a quiet place where he was out of the judgemental and inescapable eyes of the ton. He leaned against a wall, needing desperately to catch his breath, though it seemed like an impossible task at the moment as the cold and his panic spurred a violent coughing fit. He searched the crowd desperately for his father, hoping to get a chance to defend himself, but who he found instead was much more of a relief.

“Klaus.” He breathed out, covering his mouth with an embroidered handkerchief as more coughs forced their way out of his lungs. He paused for a moment to collect himself as best he could. “I need to speak with you. Please.” There was desperation in his voice as he spoke. He prayed that if his friend had already seen what had been written about him, he wouldn’t cast him aside without first letting him explain himself.

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@Kristi - Klaus

Mentioned: @novella - Lyd

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Klaus’s nerves were unsettled, as he perceived the loud murmuring and the inquisitive gazes directed towards him. The expressions he encountered were not of negativity, but rather of intrigue and curiosity, with a few even appearing celebratory, leaving Klaus utterly bewildered. It was evident to him that this stir had something to do with the pamphlets being distributed. Could it be an article from Lady Whistledown? Had some news been unveiled?

“Klaus…,” came the familiar voice of his brother, compelling Klaus to turn and walk towards Dough.

“Brother, is there a problem?” Klaus inquired, his voice betraying his nervousness, his hands at his sides as his fingers tapped lightly on his trousers. The look Dough gave him confirmed his fears, and Klaus felt a wave of terror at the thought of what could have caused such panic in his dear brother’s eyes. Klaus’s gaze fell upon the paper Dough was holding.

“Is that…is it… an article from Lady Whistledown?” His brother nodded, and although the mention of the infamous columnist struck a chord of anxiety in Klaus’s heart, he could not fathom what could be so alarming about the article to leave Dough so uneasy. If the article involved Klaus in some way, it would likely detail the engagement… the engagement his father had decreed would take place. He remembered the moment he had first heard of it, during one of his many painful baths—the feel of the bath water only serving to feel like a housand tiny needles piercing his skin. Each droplet seemed to carry a malevolent intent, seeking out every sore muscle and tender bruise. It was not a comforting bath, at all, but most of his bath were not as he tended to seek the pain. The pain although damaging, always tended to comfort him in a way as it reminded him of his duty- his duty to his family, and his many failures. Moreover, as he was taking that bath, he had heard a knocking of the door, a maid’ telling him that his father was calling him.
It had been approximately two days prior that he had gone to answer his father’s summons, the fresh bruises on his shoulders still sore. Unlike usual, his father’s face had broken into a smile upon seeing him. His father’s words, ones Klaus would remember for quite some time, had been simple yet profound. “You are to be a husband,” his father had declared.* “I have arranged for it.” *At those words, Klaus had not known what to feel.

His mind had been a whirlwind of conflicting emotions. The bruises on his shoulders, reminders of his father’s harsh discipline, were still tender, yet here was the same man speaking of his future with a smile. Klaus had stood there, silent, trying to comprehend the magnitude of the announcement. An arranged marriage? He had barely had time to process the idea when his father continued, detailing the virtues of his intended bride and the benefits of the match for their family. He had not once mentioned her name or the family she hailed from. All Klaus knew was that she was from a prominent Duchess family, and a younger daughter. His father had called her troublesome, a shrew but an acceptable one and had said that perhaps Klaus peaceful nature could calm her down and all Klaus could do was to nod, as his fingers were numb. That day too, Klaus remembered droplets of water falling from his eyes as a memory of Liebe haunted him. Liebe, his dear Liebe, his dear sister was around his age, when she too had been married off to someone who was a good match for the family. But the fiance, the fiance, Klaus could not save Liebe from him and now due to his failure she was dead and he was going to fail his fiancee as he had failed his own sister. He could never do anything right, he had not wish to marry- at least this early, when everything was still quite wrong with him, when he was still more of a child than a man. But he could not fail his father, and he could not reject the marriage and embarrass the lady he had been enganged too. It could tarnish her name. She-whoever she was, will be ruined, she shall be made a laughing stock and Klaus was raised better than to let that happen. But still, this was, to fast, to complicated, he did not even know her name- what was she like? And still, he could not help but to think of Maisie, he had not held delusional feelings that perhaps one day she will be able to reciprocate his feelings and they shall be happy together in love, but he had hoped one day, when he had gotten married, he would have gotten over her and perhaps marry a gentle woman, one who wished to be Viscountness and he could be friends with and love. He had hoped to, that before his wedding day, he would get rid of his hallucinations, that he would not still be a mad man and that he could better himself- he could become strong enough to protect his wife, give her the life she deserved and not make her a point of ridicule.

Now, as he stood with Dough, the weight of the engagement felt even heavier. Dough had handed him the paper, and with trembling gloved fingers, Klaus began to read. The article started in a familiar fashion, but his eyes quickly focused on the name of his fiancée, Lady Lydia Ellis. She was Lady Aurelia’s sister! Klaus remembered her from their youth when their families frequently interacted due to their noble status. He felt a flicker of relief that she was not a stranger, yet it had been many years since he had seen her. He knew nothing of the woman she had become. Had she not once expressed a desire to remain unmarried? This news must be as much of a shock to her as it was to him. She might not be handling it well, and Klaus was unsure how to approach her.

Should he speak with her when he saw her? Would she prefer not to converse with him, which would be entirely understandable under the circumstances? These questions swirled in his mind, compounding his anxiety.

Still perplexed, Klaus turned to Dough, who seemed unusually downcast. It was then that Dough handed him a different edition of Lady Whistledown’s paper. Klaus hesitated before unfolding it, a sense of foreboding settling over him. As he began to read, the words struck him like a blow.

Speaking of untoward lovers, this author has recently unearthed a most extraordinary tale concerning a young gentleman, Mr. Theodore Radcliffe, whose path has led him far from the expectations of his noble lineage and into the shadowy realms of the night.

Yes, dear reader, it is with a mix of sorrow and intrigue that I must inform you of Mr. Radcliffe’s clandestine occupation as a paramour for hire. Driven, perhaps, by circumstances beyond his control or desires he dare not express in the light of day, Mr. Radcliffe had previously taken to offering his companionship and affections for a price, weaving a life of secrecy amid the glittering decadence of our society’s elite.

Our society insists that appearances are meticulously maintained, and this revelation is bound to ignite fervent discussions and furtive glances across the drawing rooms and parlors of the ton. Given the stain this news shall undoubtedly bring to Mr. Radcliffe’s reputation, it also begs the question of involvement. As you know, dear reader, Mr. Radcliffe is quite well connected to many in our society, and it is not a far cry to wonder who amongst the ton knew of his affairs, and who else, one might wonder, may have been involved in such a scandal.

Klaus stopped reading immediately, his heart breaking. Theodore—Teddy—was a prostitute. Klaus knew his friend would never do this willingly; he must have been forced into it. What had happened to Teddy in his absence? What circumstances had driven him to such desperation?

He did not have the time to think more into It, when he had been approached by the very person he was thinking of. Klaus Teddy breathed out his name, covering his mouth with an embroidered handerchief, as he coughed, causing Klaus to flinch. I need to speak with you.Please’ there was a sense of urgency in his voice and Klaus nodded.

“Teddy…” Klaus began, deep sorrow etched in his face. It still felt quite unusual for Klaus to call Teddy, Teddy after all this time, but there was no other name for Theodore that Klaus could have possible used at a time like this. “Of course, let us talk.” Klaus replied, his concern for his friend overriding his own turmoil. He led Teddy to a more secluded part of the garden, away from prying eyes and ears. As they walked, Klaus noticed how pale and drawn Teddy looked, his usual vivacity replaced by a weary desolation.

Once they were alone, Klaus with a sense of tender agony had turned to Teddy, "Are you…’ He began, “Do your fair well?”



@benitz786 and @novella - Ellis sisters


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Theodore didn’t have the words to describe the relief that washed over him when Klaus agreed to talk to him. He seemed concerned and forgiving, not cold and distant like Teddy had expected. After the way his sister reacted, he didn’t think he could bear having his friend turn his back on him as well. Klaus led him to a part of the garden where they could have more privacy. As they walked, Teddy tried to fight off the tightness accumulating around his lungs. The fit that he knew was coming was the last thing he wanted to happen right now. He shook his head when he was asked if he was faring well.

“English winters are always unforgiving when it comes to my condition.” This was likely not the answer his friend had been searching for but it was a fact and a reason that he was not his usual self. Until his mother had insisted that he begin searching for a wife, he preferred to spend his winters in China, where the weather was much kinder. “I had hoped I would be married before that part of my past came to light.” He admitted, finally addressing the topic. However harsh her words had been, Kitty did have a point when it came to his secret affecting their marriage prospects. He had sullied his reputation and was now unlikely that he would be able to find a match this season, or ever.

“My father is going to disinherit me.” He spoke softly as he came to his realization, his voice tight and breathy due to his inability to take a proper breath. He knew he was right. Jasper would be a much more fit heir and his father would be foolish if he didn’t see it. No sordid past. No lingering ailment. The desire to be touched romantically. He would ensure their father’s line continued in a respectable manner. Something Teddy was no longer confident that he could do. “Not that I would fault him.” He added. His father had stubbornly refused to name Jasper his heir when Teddy became ill and again when it became clear that his lungs had been permanently damaged but he doubted that he would be able to ignore or find an excuse for this.

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@Kristi - Klaus




In the middle of a field where the night crickets chirped and the gentle sound of a lake pushing the currents could be heard was Adeline. It was already past her bedtime, and although she was supposed to be in her own bed right now, she found herself lying on a beating chest. She smiled as she counted his heartbeat, sometimes noticing a skip. Adeline knew this was wrong, but right now she did not care. All she cared about was being wrapped in the arms of the man she loved, hoping this feeling would never leave.

☾ ⋆*・゚:⋆*・゚༻✧༺ ⋆*・゚:⋆*・゚ ☽

Adeline looked at herself in the mirror as Thea brushed her hair, adding some finishing touches before they had to leave for the ball. More than a month had passed since she had confessed her feelings for the man she believed felt the same way, but Adeline knew she had to stop feeling sorry for herself. It was time for her to do what she needed to do as the diamond of the season: find a husband. She had picked out her dress herself today, a dress that said she would meet her future husband today.

It was an elegant, light blue almost looking white gown with a square neckline adorned with delicate lace trim. The short, puffed sleeves added a touch of whimsy, while the bodice and skirt were embellished with intricate white floral embroidery. The waist was cinched with a band of lace, giving the dress a graceful silhouette. The sheer overlay on the skirt, also embroidered with floral patterns, added a layer of ethereal beauty to the garment. To keep herself warm in the winter chill, she had chosen a matching velvet cloak lined with fur, its hood resting gently on her shoulders, ready to be pulled up against the cold. Smiling to herself, she felt good about her choice, but a hint of nervousness still lingered in the back of her mind.

A lot had changed since her love confession. Falling into a depression for a while, her brother Atlas had begun to check up on her more often, even accompanying her for breakfast and her morning walks. This was one of the things that helped her get out of that depression because she felt as if she had her other half back with her again.

Arriving at their destination, Atlas led Adeline to where the crowd was gathered. They saw everyone around them either dancing or skating happily. As they moved through the crowd, Adeline could feel piercing eyes all around her, which normally would make her want to run and hide, but this time Adeline made sure to make eye contact with the men around her, keeping her head high and smiling confidently. Atlas also kept his head high as he carefully studied the men looking at his sister. It was not normal for him to be beside Adeline during these events; it was usually easier for the men to approach her. Would Atlas complicate things now?

As Adeline saw the beautiful ice pond and people ice skating, she looked up at her brother with eyes full of excitement. Atlas knew this meant she wanted to go ice skating; she hadn’t stopped talking about it since their way here. With a small chuckle, he released her arm and signaled for her to go ahead.

Atlas then stood on the side as he looked around the crowd, where he spotted a familiar figure, one he hadn’t seen in a while but knew he couldn’t wait to speak to again. Without another thought, he made his way to her, and with a soft, nervous smile, he said as he approached her, “Ah, Ms. Mehta, I thought the day was beautiful already, but seeing you makes it truly breathtaking."


@Caticorn priti <3

slightly mentioned: @astxrism archhh



Winter Ball with Atlas


Priti had never experienced winter like this before. The snow and ice was new to her and she was embarrassed to admit that she had nearly slipped and fallen a few times this evening. Despite this, she was eager to see what the ice skating at the ball was like. She wondered if she would be able to find someone who could show her how to skate. A while into the event, she noticed a familiar piece of paper begin to circulate around the party. She managed to get herself one and as she read, she felt awful for all of the people mentioned. One name in particular stood out to her. Klaus Shafer, who apparently was now engaged to Lydia Ellis. She couldn’t help but feel a hint of disappointment, as she had thought she had connected well with Mr. Shafer and hoped they could become better acquainted and that something might come out of it.

She set the paper down, not wishing to dwell in her disappointment when there was so much available to her to take her mind off of it. She hugged her chest, trying to deliver some more warmth to herself. She had to admit that the thing she appreciated least about the wintertime in England was the cold. She didn’t understand why it had to have so much of a bite.

While she was exploring the event to keep herself warm, she heard a familiar voice approaching her. She turned to face it, smiling as she discovered she had been correct in guessing who the voice belonged to. Atlas Delaney. Her disappointment began to wash away as she made eye contact with him and his words made her blush, reminding her of how much she had enjoyed the time she had spent with him when he had called on her all those weeks ago.

“Your words flatter me, Lord Delaney.” She responded, her smile turning shy. “The day is quite beautiful, indeed. Even more so now that you’re here.” She agreed with him, maintaining eye contact. “Though I could do without the cold.” She added with a small laugh. She wondered if he shared her sentiment about the cold or if he was accustomed to this weather.


@sunflowerjm - Atlas

mentioned: @novella and @Kristi - Lydia and Klaus

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Was there such a thing as sorrowful eyes? For if there was, then, that was the only way one could describe Klaus’s eyes when he had asked his friend if he-Teddy, was fairing well, and Teddy had shook his head no. He had never been that good with words, but still, he was at lost for words, and had nothing to say. Thus, instead of saying what cannot be said, Klaus had wrapped his arms around his dear friend, and the pulled away, gloves hands on Teddy’s shoulders, before they fell down.

“English writers are cruel,” Klaus said agreeing with Teddy’s words. “But… I really,” Before he could get his words out, Teddy had began to talk about he hoped he would be married before that part of my past came to light and Klaus sorrowful eyes could not help themselves but to get sadder. You’re a remarkable person." His gloves hands had reached to grab on his friend’s shoulder, “Anyone would be lucky to have you for a husband, I just wish…” He squeezed his friend’s shoulders, “I just wish that I was there with you going through all this, I’m sorry.” He had pulled Teddy in for another hug. He couldn’t help but to think that he deserved some blame for all the troubles his dear friend was facing. Perhaps, if he had not been passionate in his jealousy at his friend strength, if he had not been a coward, if he had been a true Shafer then all this would not have happened. He would have helped Teddy with all his troubles, so he would not have to turn to a life of prostitution and his reputation tarnished like this.

Theodore Radcliff was the kindest, and most honorable man Klaus had ever met, such a man like Teddy, a man like him did not deserve all this sufferings. “There must be something that can be done.” Klaus voiced at at Teddy’s words, his fingers tapping against his trousers as anxiety threatened to consume him. But what it is that can be done, “It will all be forgotten ,” He tried to sound reassuring, "Soon enough, the ton will have another rumor, they will forget all about this, they have to,’ He ran his hands through his hair, tugging at it. “Your father…he wouldn’t disinherit you If you got married and had a heir would he?”

Now, Klaus had never been a fan of marriages of convenience nor arranged marriages- ironic to his own condition, but his reasoning for them is that such marriages always ended up terrible, with both people bitter.But Teddy was a good man, a good man filled with love. Klaus knew that whoever Teddy marries, he would love her with all his heart. But with the rumors, with the rumors, one would not be wrong to say that Teddy’s reputation had been tarnished and finding a marriage prospect would be hard. But still, there had to be someting- a way to save his friend, a way to help him. “Recently, are you interested in any ladies?”




As Cassian made his way up the winding path that led to the Ellis family estate, the sun cast long shadows across the grounds, painting the world in hues of amber and gold. He shrugged off his overcoat, feeling the warmth of the house envelop him as he handed his hat and gloves to the waiting maid. His boots echoed softly against the polished marble floors, a stark contrast to the bustling energy that seemed to hum through the air.

He had been away all night, attending to matters that demanded his attention, but the news of Lydia’s engagement to Klaus had reached him already before the ink had dried on the official announcement. He had known of the arrangement, having been privy to the discussions between their parents and Klaus’s family. Lydia, the youngest of their siblings yet first to engage, a young lady ever independent and fiercely protective of her freedom, had never been one to dream of marriage. Yet, Cassian believed Klaus to be a good match for her, a fine gentleman close to her age, with a kind and respectable personality. In his mind, it was a pragmatic decision, as much as it wasnt ideal, it was still made with Lydia’s best interests at heart, as much as he wished it was done differently. And besides, Klaus was likely a far superior choice compared to most of the so-called gentlemen of the ton.

As he walked further into the house, the familiar sights and sounds washed over him. The portraits lining the walls seemed to gaze down at him with knowing eyes, as if they too were aware of the news that will soon stir the household. Cassian’s emotions were a mix of worry, relief and quiet determination. He knew Lydia’s initial reaction would likely be one of shock and likely resistance, but he believed that in time, Lydia would come to see this match as a positive one, even if she couldn’t see it now.

Descending the grand staircase of the Ellis estate, Cassian was greeted by the sight of his mother, her elegant gown cascading around her like waves of silk, a portrait of grace and authority. “Cassian, dear,” she began, her voice seemingly soft yet carrying the weight of her authority. “You have returned just in time for the Winter Ball. I trust your night away was productive?”
He offered her a small smile and a nod, though concern and weariness lingered in his eyes. “Indeed, Mother. Matters demanded my attention, but all is settled for now. Have you spoken to Lydia yet?”
The Duchess regarded him with a faint smile, her gaze steady and calculating. “Not yet,” she replied evenly, her tone carrying a hint of intrigue. “Your father and I thought it best to wait for the right moment. You know how Lydia can be.” Cassian nodded again, though inwardly he wondered how Lydia would take the news. “I shall go prepare for the ball,” he informed his mother before turning away with a barely noticeable sigh. As he paced through the empty halls of the Ellis estate, the silence seemed to amplify his thoughts. His sisters, Lydia and Aurelia, had already departed for the Winter Ball at the Queen’s Palace, leaving him alone with his contemplations.

Entering his chambers, Cassian closed the door behind him, the click echoing faintly in the quiet room. He sighed, a sound heavy with the weight of thoughts that had been botherig his mind. For a brief moment, he allowed himself to shed the veneer of composure he wore so effortlessly in public, leaning against the sturdy oak, he allowed himself a rare moment of vulnerability, letting the mask of nonchalance slip from his features. His reflection in the mirror mirrored a man caught between two worlds, between the duty and responsibilities of a man in his station and the desire for sweet moments of freedom.

The room was dim, the heavy drapes still drawn shut against the winter’s chill and the intrusion of daylight. With measured steps, he crossed to the tall window overlooking the Ellis estate’s meticulously manicured gardens, and with a decisive tug, Cassian pulled the curtains apart, welcoming the warm, late afternoon sunlight that spilled into the room, revealing a breathtaking view that never failed to stir a sense of tranquility within him. He could see the gardens below, carefully tended and already showing signs of the winter’s grip with frost-covered trees glistening in the winter sun that hung low in the sky, casting a warm, golden hue over the frost kissed landscape below. Delicate patterns of ice adorned the branches of ancient oaks, their leaves long since fallen, creating a sparkling tapestry against the backdrop of clear blue sky.

Cassian’s gaze lingered on the gardeners below, their figures small and purposeful as they tended to the last remnants of autumn and prepared the grounds for the cold months ahead. A pang of admiration mingled with a touch of melancholy as he thought of the dedication that went into preserving such beauty. As he gazed out at the tranquil scene, his mind wandered, from Lydia’s engagement, to Klaus, to Aurelia, to himself, to her, that one face, one presence, that lately seemed to linger in his mind more than any other. The memory of her touch, the taste of her lips, and the way the light caught in her eyes haunted him.

Turning away from the window, Cassian moved to his wardrobe, where rows of finely tailored suits and formal attire awaited.He selected a midnight blue tailcoat, its silk lapels catching the sunlight as he held it up. With precision born of habit, Cassian dressed himself for the Winter Ball at the Queen’s Palace, his presence showed a man impeccably dressed yet inwardly conflicted. The midnight blue tailcoat fitted him perfectly, its polished buttons gleaming under the soft glow of the light. Adjusting his cravat with practiced fingers, he couldn’t help but feel a sense of detachment from the lavish event unfolding over yonder.

Arriving at the entrance hall, Cassian approached the waiting carriage, its polished exterior gleaming under the soft glow of lanterns. The coachman, ever stoic and impeccably dressed, nodded in acknowledgment as Cassian stepped inside. The carriage lurched into motion, its rhythmic clatter over cobblestones marking the journey toward the Queen’s Palace. the air was crisp with the promise of winter’s embrace as Cassian arrived at the Palace fashionably late, his steps echoed softly on the cobblestone path leading through the palace gardens. The sight before him was undeniably beautiful, Lanterns hung delicately from the branches of ancient oak trees, casting a warm glow upon the frost-kissed ground and illuminating the path ahead.

The pond, now a shimmering expanse of ice under the evening sky, beckoned skaters in elegant attire to glide gracefully across its surface. The laughter of guests mingled with the strains of music that drifted from the grand pavilion nearby, where musicians played with skill and passion. Cassian moved through the crowd with practiced ease, exchanging polite nods and smiles. Yet, for all its magnificence, Cassian’s thoughts were elsewhere. He had attended this ball and others like it on numerous occasions in the past, each time appreciating the grandeur and tradition it embodied. But tonight, as he approached the glittering pavilion, there was a sense of detachment that lingered in his heart.

As Cassian wandered through the people, his attention caught by clusters of guests engrossed in Lady Whistledown’s latest scandal sheet. While he typically paid little heed to such gossip, tonight seemed to be different. It was when a well-meaning acquaintance approached him with congratulations for Lydia’s engagement that Cassian’s heart sank. He maintained his composed demeanor outwardly, offering a gracious smile and a nod of acknowledgment, but inwardly, he knew something had gone awry. Lydia was not supposed to learn of her engagement in such a manner, especially not amidst the gossip columns of Lady Whistledown. Suppressing a sigh, Cassian excused himself from the conversation and discreetly made his way through the crowd, in dire need of a refreshment.

@novella Lydia mentioned

@Kristi Klaus mentioned


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Klaus’ sympathy and comfort meant more to Teddy than he could ever express in words. After the years they had spent distanced from each other, it was a relief to still have the support of his friend. What broke Teddy’s heart was the sorrow in his friend’s eyes. Sorrow which he wasn’t sure that he deserved. A sad smile appeared on his face as Klaus squeezed his shoulder, reassuring him that anyone would be lucky to have him for a husband, a sentiment that Teddy didn’t share.

“I appreciate the kind words, Klaus. Truly.” He responded, even though he didn’t believe the words his friend was saying, nor was he certain that he even wanted to be a husband. Being a proper husband required a level of personal connection that Teddy didn’t think himself capable of anymore. The one thing Klaus said that he agreed with was that he wished he had been there. At one point during that period, he had started writing a letter to him. Yet he had never finished nor sent it. The more he wrote, the more he realized that none of his words were genuine and he couldn’t bring himself to sign a page of lies meant to convince a dear friend that he was perfectly fine when in reality he was a shell of the man he once was. “I wish you had been there as well. It had all happened so quickly, I wish someone could have stopped my reckless stupidity.”

Theodore admired the optimism with which Klaus was approaching the situation and his insistence that it would blow over. “Your optimism is comforting, Klaus, but I am not confident that this is something that would blow over. I doubt that any respectable family would let me marry one of their daughters.” He responded. He stopped to think about the suggestion that if he found a wife and produced an heir, his father might not disinherit him. “Maybe not. I suppose it comes down to whether my father finds greater value in familial loyalty or in the reputation of our name. I would not fault him for choosing our reputation.”

He didn’t know if he could answer the question of whether he had been interested in any ladies. No one immediately came to mind. Lydia Ellis had not been unpleasant to spend time with but she was now engaged and Teddy had to admit that she would be a much better match for Klaus than for him. “Not that I can immediately name. I’m sure my mother has been making changes to her list as the season progresses.” He told him with a small laugh. “While we’re on the topic though, I suppose congratulations are in order.” He added, changing the topic to his friend’s newly announced engagement.

-ˋˏ ༻❁༺ ˎˊ-

@Kristi - Klaus

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The words that had left Teddy’s mouth, Klaus was not quite certain he believed in them. But he did not press, could not bring himself to press, because he knew how undignified that would be for his dear friend. Thus, instead of pressing, he nodded his head and squeezed Teddy’s shoulders once more, as if that would do anything. It was quite hard, to not be good at words, or at least not know how to express one’s self better. “Forgive me,” There was not much Klaus could say to what Teddy had told him, telling him he wished that Klaus had been there for him, but that. It was hard to truly understand how deeply he wanted to be forgiven by Teddy, because Teddy did not even blame him for what became of himself (though Klaus does blame himself), he does not even know that if he were to blame Klaus, to desire a scapegoat- Klaus would have happily given himself as a scapegoat. “How,” He asked, before the english word, how was lost on his tongue. “Did it comes about,” He had wanted to ask, why , not how but why seemed to stern- too harsh, as if he was saying, Why did you let it happen, thus how, ‘how did this mistake come about’ was the most effective way of saying it,

I doubt that any respectable family would let me marry one of their daughters.” Klaus wished that he could disagree, he wished that he could say that was not the case, but then he would be a liar- and a bad one at that, so he kept silence, his face flushed at the fact he could not offer better comfort to his friend. Then suddenly, “There’s Lady Rutherford,” Maise, he thought, his dear Maise. “She- she, She, Lady Rutherford,” It was quite embarrassing the amount of times he had said she, “Has a certain penchant for matchmaking, perhaps she,” The words felt short on his throat, “Can find you a wife, after all,” He tried to appear optimistic, “You’re still not yet disinherited, a soon to be marquis, a heir, you’re a favorable match,” Hopefully, he thought but did not say. “I can… talk to her, if you wish. Please, there has to be a way to help you,” After all, if Klaus had not been so cowardly and dishonorable in his actions, then all this would have never have to have occurred to his dear friend.

He had asked his friend, if there was some ladies he had a particular incline towards, he had said he has none that comes to mind, then had congratulated Klaus on his engagement, making Klaus cheeks turn red. “Thank you,” He muttered, his face red, “I meant to tell you, it all happened so quickly.”


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