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 Woodstock, Oxfordshire - 1999 (Louis)

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Mimosa Harrington

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PostSubject: Woodstock, Oxfordshire - 1999 (Louis)   Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:19 pm

Vanessa Jhalak Sheridan

The letter lay between the two like a physical barrier, quite a feat as nothing - not even time - had managed to separate the two individuals currently occupying the withdrawing room of Sheridan Manor. The windows were no longer sealed shut as they used to be, even the dreary, constant rain of the English countryside had somehow become bearable with Louis' presence close by. Over the months of living together, Vanessa had found a delicate sense of peace. No longer would she wake up in the middle of the night only to check if her cousin was still there, no more would she look over her shoulder to ensure his tall frame was only a few steps behind, the private vilification of her character among their social class would not sting as much as it used to.

But now the letter that lay between the two threatened the brief spell of happiness she had been so vary off. Letters from Versailles were common. Aunt Lynette's tales of the palace, of Dominic's condition, of the subtle reminder that her duty lay not with her heart but with the heir of House Clement. Yes, those letters were not extraordinary.

This one was, primarily because it was addressed to the son the Clements had refused to acknowledge for a decade now. It was also not from the usual sender.

"Grandmere would not write lest it was of great importance," The brunette finally spoke up, her soft, carefully controlled voice gently breaking the silence of the room. The words were in English, a small sign of nervousness that no one save Louis would be able to tell. Of course, the sentence conveyed a lot more. No man's pride could match to the level of Lissette Clement's. For her to acknowledge that the grandson she had cast aside years ago existed, let alone write to him, spoke volumes on the nature of the letter's content.

There was no point in question like how the Palace had known Louis was with her, no reason to wonder if she herself would be punished for the crime of harboring an outcast, there wasn't even time enough to hope that this would turn into something for the better. Better was what they made it, Vanessa had learned long ago. Things just were.

"We shouldn't keep her waiting," she suggested to the man sitting across from her, the years of respect for her grandmother still deeply ingrained into her being despite everything the woman had done to them both. Even today, the stings of childhood were clear in her memory, and the longer Grandmere's letter went ignored, the more she could feel the phantom pains of girlhood discipline.

"If they house is in peril, we have no choice."
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Louis Clement
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PostSubject: Re: Woodstock, Oxfordshire - 1999 (Louis)   Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:56 pm

The Clement household had known only one male heir for a decade. A male heir who, from birth, the Clement household had known would not last long enough to oversee the estates owned by the family. Louis had, in some sense, known as he'd grown up he was not the second child that could be overlooked, even if no one spoke of it. One day, he would likely step in to his brother's place if Dominic did not have children.

This, Louis knew not to have happened.

Dominic's intended wife sat before him in the withdrawing room of her home. In England. Not France, and no Clement ring sat upon her finger. There had been no fan fares, there had been no child, and the letter between the two of them was screaming the very clear message of what was going on in France. This was the reason that Louis had not brought his eyes to rest on his beloved since he'd taken in the letter and the all too familiar writing atop it.

Grandmere.

The uneasy feeling resting in his stomach was enough of a testament that the last six months of happiness he'd spent with Vanessa was being drawn to a close. Reality was setting in around the twenty-six year old that freedom was coming to an end, and duty was going to be called for. Had he been asked at sixteen, there would have been no question, he would have stepped up to the position with Vanessa at his side without hesitation.

But ten years in the military, told you had been disowned by your Grandmere, it was a very long time. Long enough for him to have almost forgotten his duty to his family...

Feelings -- concealed feelings, but feelings no less -- were bubbling away inside of Louis as his eyes looked out the window of the withdrawing room to the grounds outside. He could go home, but the knowledge of his brother's actions against Vanessa would lead him to one goal, and only one. He could go home, and face his Grandmere, listen to her explain to him the duty of which he was aware, for hours, and be marked with the lashing of her words for life.

Or, he could stay here with Vanessa. Where it was safe... happy...

Vanessa's voice permeated it's way through Louis' thoughts, bringing him back to the here and now. English, his mind supplied absently, and Louis knew that his own fear of returning was echoed in Vanessa. The only response to Vanessa's words, though, was the subtle movement of his jaw as it set. They both knew, speaking the words didn't make it easier for either one of them.

Keeping their Grandmere waiting, though, was simply not an option, and Louis' eyes moved back to the letter, eyeing it with caution. It would not be good news. Tentatively, almost scared that touching the paper would bring forth the charm that had worked his wrists when he was a child, Louis took up the paper, breaking the seal and sliding the letter from the thick envelope.

Eyes scanning the page, Louis' face slowly grew whiter. Even though he'd known, reading the fact that Dominic was slowly losing his hold on the world was something that made his stomach churn painfully.

Louis Charles Phillip,

We are quite aware as to your current residence within the Sheridan home, don't think we're unaware of your continued resistance towards the family.

Dominic will not be with us much longer, and therefore your return to Versailles is no longer a request, but an instruction of your elders.

We will give you until sundown on Sunday evening to bring yourself, and Miss Sheridan, back to France where you belong. If you still believe you can not comply with our expectations, we will ensure you are returned to us by other means. Don't make a scene of this Louis, you know what is expected of you now.

Sincerely,

Lissette Clement


Louis placed the letter back on the table for Vanessa to read if she liked. For a moment, Louis said nothing, Vanessa's comment of having no choice was what he knew, his Grandmere had written that much down. Comply, or go by force. "We've never had a choice." Louis told her softly, his eyes finally moving to meet Vanessa's. She'd know the battle was raging inside of him, his eyes were her vision to his thoughts, feelings, him.

"Except, whether we do it together." He added, in nothing more than a whisper.

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~ Lord Clement ~ Profile ~ 49 ~

Thank you to the amazing Ruby for the signatures! <3
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PostSubject: Re: Woodstock, Oxfordshire - 1999 (Louis)   Wed Aug 02, 2017 10:14 pm

Vanessa didn't necessarily need to see the words, she read the letter in the set of Louis' jaw, the hard lines of his face as he took in their grandmother's words, in the shadows that crept into his eyes once he was done. Vanessa had only known Louis to fear one thing his entire life and that fear was starting to make it's way into the man again, something she would not permit.

Moving from where she sat, the witch glided smoothly to his side, taking a seat beside him as her pale hand reached for his. She needed the strength too. After a moment, her grey eyes picked out the letter, her free hand reaching for it to see what punishment House Clement had declared fit for the two.

If the sender's name wasn't enough, the words proved that they had been written by the matriarch of the house. the letter was cold, impersonal and with a hint of threat at being met with disobedience. The letter was a perfect manifestation of the woman Grandmere was. Vanessa noticed her own name, "Miss Sheridan", no hint to the fact that she had grown up at the palace right alongside the Clement brothers under Grandmere's watchful eye and ever ready wand. It made sense, where once she had been Dominic's intended, now she was "Miss Sheridan" as Dominic would not live to be wed.

"We've never had a choice. Except, whether we do it together."

Squeezing his hand gently, the brunette moved her clear grey eyes from the letter to his. "I shall instruct the servants to pack," she replied simply. There was never any question of only one of them leaving. Even if only one of them had been summoned, both would arrive in Versailles. "We will need mourning attire at the ready."

Despite her statement, the woman made no move to do so. That could be taken care of later. Right now Louis needed to know that despite how powerful House Clement was, despite what Grandmere could personally achieve, there were some things no power on earth would be able to accomplish.

Come hell or high water, nothing would separate Louis Clement and Vanessa Sheridan now.
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PostSubject: Re: Woodstock, Oxfordshire - 1999 (Louis)   Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:11 pm

Louis was struggling internally to come to grips with the letter, but he had noted Vanessa moving from her seat to join him. She knew, unlike any other person in the world, when he needed her. Vanessa knew when he needed space, even from her, and when he needed her close, her hand in his, as a reassurance that they were going to be okay.

Twenty six years had taught him that he couldn't do anything, not really, without Vanessa. Even in the ten years he'd been away, the one thing that had kept him moving one foot in front of the other had been the niggling notion that, soon, he would be back with the woman he loved. Soon.

As Vanessa's hand slid in to his own, the tension in his hand released. He'd always been relaxed by even the simplest of Vanessa's touched, and that evening was no different. The pain inside of him diminished in seconds, because his own anger could hurt only one person. The one person in the world that Louis refused to hurt ever again.

But even with the comfort of Vanessa by his side, Louis could feel himself holding his breath as he spoke the words of whether doing this together was what they would do. He didn't doubt it, not for a moment, but there was always the possibility Vanessa's mind could change. But even the small worry was destroyed only a moment later as Vanessa spoke of readying their servants to pack up the house for their move to France.

Some of the strain left Louis' body as he leaned forward to press a soft kiss on Vanessa's forehead. A thank you without words that she would follow him anywhere, in to the unknown, in to a world that was going to be turned upside down. "Merci ma chérie," Louis whispered softly, his arms moving to envelope her smaller frame, to hold her close to him for just a moment.

A moment, before their world turned upside down once more.






Translations:
Merci ma chérie -- Thank you, my darling.

________________________________________________

~ Lord Clement ~ Profile ~ 49 ~

Thank you to the amazing Ruby for the signatures! <3
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