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   Chapter 11 No.11

The WeatherMaker Hearts Desire By Lady Lilium Characters: 5381

Updated: 2018-07-10 12:03


'I want you to meet her' Bairn repeated. 'Can you spare a moment of your time for that?'

'But of course' Farrell said.

'Wonderful' the Duke cried joyfully, a great big grin crossing his face. 'I'll bring her over now.' He turned, calling towards the corner of one of the houses. 'Ramana!'

Farrell cast his eyes to the ground, expecting to see a young girl, a child. Instead, his sight was met with the lower half of a dress, coming from around the corner. He looked up, giving a slight gasp without realising it, as he gazed into the face of the Duke's daughter.

She was spectacular. A woman of such celestial beauty, that a mere glance from her would set men falling at her feet.

She approached him.

'This is Ramana' the Duke introduced as she stopped beside her father. 'She is eighteen now, a mature woman. She takes after her mother more than she does myself; but I'm sure you can tell that already' he chuckled.

With such beauty unmatched, Farrell was at a loss at what to say as he gazed upon her magnificence. Radiant and stunning, her long silky black hair cascaded down to the bottom of her back. She wore a vivid red dress that ran across her shoulders.

Ramana took a breath. Her nose wrinkled as she smelt the perfume on Farrell.

'It's a pleasure to meet you' Farrell dipped his head, never taking his eyes from her.

She nodded back to him, thought did not speak, and nothing in her expression conveyed what she was thinking.

'Ramana, would you excuse us for a moment?' Bairn asked her kindly. 'I wish to speak now with Farrell alone.'

Ramana bowed her head obediently, and silently she walked away from them.

Arlen was just leaving the temple at this time, walking with eyes down and staring at his own feet. He lifted his head, just as a woman was approaching him.

The world seemed to slow. Arlen turned towards the woman just as she passed him by, so near to him she was.

His heart stopped, his eyes grew wide, and his breath was completely stolen away.

He slowed to a stop, staring after her as she walked away. She did not acknowledge him, but seemed to be in a world of her own.

Arlen stayed rooted to the spot, frozen. He could not move.

'Arlen?'

Arlen turned.

'Are you alright?' Farrell asked him. 'You look like you've seen a ghost.'

Arlen seemed to compose himself. He took a deep breath.

'No' he said. 'Not a ghost.'

Arlen glanced back towards the direction he had been staring. 'Tell me' he said to Farrell. 'Who is that woman?'

Farrell looked past him, and towards the small figure walking away in the distance. 'That's Ramana' he told Arlen. 'The Duke's daughter.'

'Daughter?' Arlen tore hi

s eyes away. 'I didn't know he had a daughter.'

'Neither did I' Farrell agreed, 'until a moment ago.'

'Where's she been all this time?' Arlen asked.

'Under lock and key.'

'What?'

'The Duke has been very protective of her, she is his only daughter after all, and he has lost so many children in the past.'

'Oh' Arlen said, looking away again, but by that time Ramana was out of sight.

Arlen's shoulders sagged. He then gave his full attention back to Farrell.

'You mean he's kept her locked away all this time?'

'That's what he said' Farrell sighed, crossing his arms.

Arlen shook his head. 'That's so wrong.'

Farrell gave his brother a curious look.

'To keep someone locked away their whole lives…' Arlen went on, 'it's just….wrong.'

He was distracted from his thoughts however, when two women, who's attention he had unwillingly attracted, sailed over to him.

'Ooohhh' the women cooed, flanking Arlen and running their hands up and down his body, admiring his princely features.

Arlen immediately tensed at this.

'What a handsome man you are' one of the women said.

'Why don't you come with us?' The other woman said, nuzzling into his neck and stroking his clean-shaven face. 'We'll look after you.'

'We'll make you feel special' the other woman winked at him.

Arlen glanced at both of them, giving them a sceptical and confused expression.

'It's the middle of the day' he said to them.

Farrell threw his head back and laughed.

Sometime later, when Arlen had managed to shake off both women, he followed the path Ramana had taken back to her home. But when he got there, he found the great gates to the Duke's estate tightly shut. He stood before them for a moment as he contemplated, then went away to think. But he didn't go to the temple, this time he wanted to be completely alone, away from even the holy women. This time he went to the forest, where it was quietest. And there he sat, and thought.

Chapter Three

The Wall

The days stretched into weeks, and Ramana had not ventured from the manor or its grounds since the day Arlen had seen her for the very first time.

It was midday now, and Arlen had been sitting on this rock for far too long. He decided it was time to leave. Leaning forwards and groaning at the aches in his body he rose to stand, straightening up with great effort, stretching his muscles which had become stiff. Arlen slowly made his way down the hill, away from the manor he had been watching over, and back towards the town. There was nowhere he was expected to be that day, and so he headed home. Only because he was hungry, otherwise he would have gone to the temple instead.

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