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|The Maiden of Anjou (standard:romance, 1852 words)|
|Author: empress||Added: Jan 19 2003||Views/Reads: 2294/1418||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|She was a maiden, he was a visiting English Lord...|
Chapter One 1062 Anjou, France Anacelle Jacqueline Baptiste-Rainfroy glumly stared out at the sheep-filled from her second-story balcony. It had been almost three summers since she'd last seen her parents. They had been hopeful and happy, ready to leave for Athens to attend the wedding of Jacques Rainfroy, the brother of Anacelle's father. Uncle Jacques had been on his grand tour when he met with a beautiful Greek woman and proposed marriage. Six months, they had said. Six months and they would be back with many presents for Anacelle and Alessandro, her older brother. Six months had passed, a year, two years. Still there was no news from the count. Today marked the end of her ignorance of their fates. Alessandro, who was twenty, just received the sorrowful news that they had died in a shipwreck on the way home from Greece. This meant that he was the new Count of Anjou. Alessandro wasn't home today. He was probably checking on the progress of the walls, which were being built around the chÉteau for defense. Anacelle sighed and walked back inside her family's grand and almost finished chÉteau by the river. It was a cold winter and the wise men of Anjou predicted rare snow up north, maybe even here for the first time in a decade. The house was no warmer than outside, and Anacelle shivered. She ordered a chambermaid to add more wood into the tiny stone fireplace and added a thick sheepskin cloth to her attire, but nothing seemed to make the cold leave the room. Anacelle was used to hotter, even sweltering climates, and was a stranger to this sudden arrival of winter. Alas, maybe it was a sign of bad things to come. The Normans and Bretons, their neighbors, were always attacking them left and right, trying to claim their lands. After a few moments of staring moodily into the fire, she rose up and headed for the door. Her small hand was on the handle when she heard the chambermaid gossiping with the kitchen maid in the hallway. "Have you seen the travelers?" "What? There are travelers in Anjou? Wherefore? Why?" "They are just passing by. They are nobles! I saw them as I was going back to the kitchen, carrying my the milk I just-" "Where are they? Are they handsome? Tall?" Anacelle smiled when she heard the two girls giggling and pressed her ear to the door. She dearly wanted to join their conversation, but it wasn't allowed. She would have to settle for listening-eavesdropping-on them, but the two girls suddenly stopped talking. Footsteps were heard outside, which slowly faded away as they left. They were going to have a look at the nobles, Anacelle would bet her best slippers on it. She opened the door and sighed. She would have wanted to have a look as well, but she knew it was improper of her to do so. Anacelle instead headed for the small chapel on the west end of the chÉteau where she would offer a prayer for her deceased parents. She stopped at a mirror further down the hall to see if her light brown braids were fixed. Who knew, she might perchance happen upon those handsome noblemen. After scolding herself for vanity, she then resumed her walking. The chapel was connected to the chÉteau by a passage on the second level of the house that was lined with arched windows. It was a beautiful walk, truly. It was like crossing a long, beautiful bridge with many windows. Click here to read the rest of this story (161 more lines)
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