1 comment

Fiction Gay Romance

Everything always starts with some dramatic scene, at least every story I have ever been told has. This story however started with a moment of calm for our main character. A young girl who had grown up alone with only her father and her brother. She was left in their care after her mother passed away. She never had a claim to her sibling or father, yet they kept her close, as if left unsupervised she would spill their secrets. 

Eirian’s tale began on March 26, 1735. A day that felt so mundane she wasn’t even thinking about what she was doing, but focusing on the song of a nearby bird. She was hanging the laundry on a clothing line in the small cramped, fenced off area that servants were provided. On a very rare day, it would allow for some time outside in the sun. In London, a better bet than sunshine would be fog and grey skies. 

Eirian however, managed to go outside more than the others. Every servant in the household knew who she belonged to, with her mother’s fiery red hair tumbling over her shoulders and her fathers tell-tale golden eyes peeking out from underneath. Her jobs around the household were simple, whatever was left over from the day before in addition to how the young lord chose to torture her on that given day. 

This day in particular, as promised, was her version of mundane. Taking the extra laundry out to dry because one of the lady’s maids was sick the day before. Cleaning dishes from breakfast so the kitchen staff could focus on creating the morning brunch for the ever late Countess who spends her mornings in bed. All Eirian could do was wait for Anthony to come along with some mind numbing or disgusting task that would fill the rest of her morning. If we are being honest with ourselves, also her afternoon. 

So as she hung up the final sheet in her basket, one she knew belonged in a servants quarters from the rough texture, she heard her brother’s shout, “Where is that little Welsh sprite?!” Sticking to his usual mannerisms, he was loud, rude, and perturbed. 

“On my way my lord!” 

So, of course, our young heroine ran, she ran as fast as her stiff skirt would allow. Until she was standing in front of her half brother, his nostrils flared and foot tapping over and over again. Light brown hair combed back in just the right way and golden eyes to match her own staring at her. 

“What took you so long, carrot?” Anthony’s voice came out in almost a growl. Although if you were to talk to him yourself, it would probably be in your best interest to call him Lord Anthony.

All Eirian did in response was what she had been taught by her late mother, bow her head low and apologize, “My lord, it is all my fault. I thought running here would look unseemly for a young serving girl, I should have sped up nonetheless.” 

“Well, I already knew it was your fault, no need to state the obvious. But since you choose to take the long way I will make sure you have more to do today so you can learn the meaning of my time,” Anthony grumbled, he turned and walked back inside without another glance. 

Anthony led Eirian through the kitchen, bright and loud with cooking tarts and cleaning used dishes; and up the hidden set of servant stairs to the hallway just outside of his mother’s sitting room. His plan had been to make his bastard sister’s life a living hell. She is responsible for cleaning his riding habit and boots after the muddy morning ride he had endured. But like any good plan, it was interrupted by his mother. 

“Anthony, darling? Is that you?” The crystal voice echoed out through an open door that Anthony and Eirian were headed past. ‘Darling’ was something the Countess only called her son when they had company as everyone in the household was aware. 

Eirian watched as Anthony allowed his head to drop for a moment before plastering a smile on his face and motioning for her to follow in, “Yes Mother. I was just headed upstairs to read.” He left out the reasoning for the serving girl next to him, she was invisible to most anyway.

The moment they both stepped in the richly decorated, powder blue room their eyes went to different things.

Eirian felt her eyes widen and her breath catch when she saw the fine young lady that the Countess had invited home this time. The young lady in mention was the picture of beauty, with golden locks curled and placed just so, clear blue eyes that mirrored the color of the clear sky at midday, and smooth skin without a freckle or a mark. She was wearing a fine purple dress with white lace that made her eyes seem even brighter. Resembling the beauty of a porcelain doll yet the lady sitting on a sofa in front of Eirian was anything but delicate, somehow you could tell she was strong and ruled her own world. Unlike the poor illegitimate maid that admired her. 

Anthony found himself staring at the smile his mother had plastered on her face. He saw the hope in her eyes, the faith that he himself could live up to his title. His purpose in life. His gaze did not see a beautiful young lady but chains coming to curl themselves around his fingers, then his arms, then his chest and his neck. Curl around him until everything, everything he was and wished to be would go away with those chains.

Of course both siblings' thoughts were interrupted as the Countess spoke again, “Anthony, dear. Did you hear me?” She already knew the answer so she continued talking, “Well of course not, silly boy. I would like you to meet Lady Isobel Barling. Her father, Viscount Barling, moved the family to their town house in the middle of the season, that silly man! Which means that Lady Barling is here to ask for my help being introduced to some of the finer men in your circles. Could you help with that?”

“Of course mother.” He had answered, then turned to the lady, “I would be happy to help you Lady Barling, if that is alright with you,” Already Anthony found his response to be a chain dragging him down the path that caused his mother to smile like the fog would never hit London again. 

“Why of course my Lord, I will be indebted to you. Of course I will also owe you, Countess, a favor for aiding me with my late entry to the season,” The Lady Barling spoke as well as she looked. Clearly the women surrounding Anthony were entranced with the well spoken lady, but he was too busy mourning.

His future had been decided at that moment, whether or not he liked it. He would marry the girl his mother had brought into his home; his heart however would remain his own throughout. The beautiful Lady herself would take someone else’s heart, and keep it. 

At that moment the Countess chose to notice Eirian, the bane of her existence, “Why I must have missed when you walked in Eirian. What is it you need, girl?” 

“My lady, his lordship had asked me to come up and take care of a few things for him. We had no idea you had a guest or else he would have come here immediately,” and Eirian then did what she was all too good at doing, taking the blame onto herself, “I am so sorry Countess, I should have gone up and taken care of it myself instead of waiting for him. I did not realize how important of a guest we had today.”

“Just remember next time. You are excused for now,” The sinister smile that the Countess had on her face then was not one of hope for her son, but pure love for the low class that Eirian held. She knew that her son sent the poor girl on senseless chores and showed great anger towards the young girl. It made her proud to watch Eirian bow her head and admit she was wrong. There is still no reasonable explanation for why her husband insisted Eirian be kept in the household even after her mother’s death. Why she herself was forced to live with a reminder of her empty bed and ever distant husband.

“Well then I should go with her, mother, she is to clean my riding habit and always forgets to polish the boots with the right solvent. I must supervise, you understand. It was wonderful meeting you Lady Barling, I look forward to seeing you soon,” Anthony bowed, not as low of a bow that a man would deserve but enough of one for two gentleborn ladies. Just a slight bow to excuse himself from the powder blue walls that he claims were getting smaller the longer he stood there.

“But darling, who will walk Lady Barling home? She can hardly walk herself home alone. Why one can only imagine what would happen to a young woman of her stature if she were unaccompanied,” The Countess did have a point there, a young woman alone on the street was a danger in any time and place. One could only pretend that the stories of mad men and terrible accidents were gossip, even as they increased in number every year. In the streets of London, where no one could find a police officer to help them without fancy clothes or a coin in hand, a lady by her lonesome could endure unspeakable things. It was even worse in the slums, where a murder could occur and no culprit would ever be caught.

Lady Barling still attempted to protest the escort, “Why I don’t think that will be-” 

Anthony, surprisingly, was the one to interject, “My mother is right my lady, it would be unkind of me to let you walk home without company. I must insist.” All he got in response was the lady herself giving him a nod and rising from her seat on the sofa with parasol in hand.

“Wonderful, my mind is at ease,” The Countess said, every syllable drenched in thick, sickly sweet honey. “While you go I will make sure Eirian takes care of your riding habit, do not fear my son. Once you get home those boots will be shining!” 

“Of course mother, shall we go Lady Barling?” Anthony gestured to the door before turning his back on Eirian and his mother. If he had dared to look back he would have seen one head bowed down and the other full of unbridled glee. 

Now I do want to tell you what happened on the walk to Lady Isobel Barling’s house; for it is an important bit of this tale. Sadly I do not know what exactly occured, only what was told to me after the fact. I cannot promise all of this is true 

To set the scene, they were walking on a nice day. With a breeze and a rare clear sky above as they stepped out of the tan house onto the well manicured street. The only unsafe thing in sight would have been a loose pebble on the paved walks.

Lady Barling was the first to broach the silence, right as they reached the end of the block, “You do not have to marry me you know.”

Of course these words must have come as a shock to a gentleman such as Lord Anthony, leaving him with no option but to ask, “Excuse me?”

“I merely wished to assure you, I do not expect to marry you or any of your acquaintances. No matter how kind or handsome your mother claims they are. I apologize if you expected otherwise Anthony. Oh I hope you don’t mind but I am going to call you Anthony, you may call me Isobel of course,” Isobel said all of it with a firm voice but a smile on her face. She knew that Anthony’s mind was probably left reeling in the aftermath of her words. That was the thing about Isobel, she knew when she needed to act the meek, polite lamb and knew when to allow herself to be loud and opinionated. 

“I apologize Lady Barling,” Anthony earned himself a pointed glare as they turned a left corner, “I mean Isobel, I just suppose I do not understand, do you already have a suitor who wishes to claim your hand?”

“Of course not silly, I cannot even imagine myself with a suitor, what a funny thought! I suppose I could tell you, you seem like the trustworthy sort of chap Anthony. I do not wish to marry you because I find myself without attraction when it comes to men, now that Eirian girl on the other hand. She was quite startling with her red hair and freckles,” Isobel admitted, probably with a smirk on her face as she always does when she ruins one’s upbringing with a mere sentence, another thing she does on a daily basis.

“I-” was all Anthony could manage to say. By then they had probably made it to the main street, framed with flowering white trees and people seated outside every shop. The fog from the factories, or the uglier side of London, appearing over the horizon. 

That is where, with no fear of being overheard or ruined, Isobel continued to talk, “I cannot explain it to you Anthony, there is just something about a beautiful girl that changes things. Why you must understand, the feeling when you memorize the movement of her hair, watching every movement and hoping she will meet your gaze. Wishing to see a pretty smile light up her face, why it is all so intoxicating if I am being honest.”

That made Anthony pause, in both his tumbling thoughts and his step, “I can’t say I have ever felt that.” 

Isobel would later claim she understood the confusion that filled Anthony’s mind after he admitted he had not understood. However I feel that neither of them truly remembered the small talk that followed them to Isobel Barling’s house.

And here we have come to the end of this tale's beginning. Or for me it was the start of my real life, one where my half brother was no longer an enemy but an ally; a story where a low illegitimate child could fall in love with a beautiful wellbred lady. You can probably tell, the story does not have a perfect backdrop, nor do our paths always bring us joy, but that is something you will have to continue reading to find out.

September 17, 2021 20:08

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.

1 comment

20:31 Sep 21, 2021

Cinderella with a gay twist. Interesting.


Show 0 replies
RBE | Illustration — We made a writing app for you | 2023-02

We made a writing app for you

Yes, you! Write. Format. Export for ebook and print. 100% free, always.