Eliana, my sweet sister, would be causing a scandal with her news. The worst type of scandal in the upper class and nobility circles.
Affairs and babies born out of wedlock.
Sebastian had gone pale, my parents were reeling from this news and the Dumonts? Well it seems that even they did not know this last little titbit.
Mirabelle walks towards them, “You’re pregnant?! A child born out of wedlock, how shameful!” She shrieks and I could tell this upset her incredibly. “I knew there was something about you that I didn’t like.”
Eliana throws her head back and laughs, or rather cackles, “Mirabelle, there will be no scandal. Robert and I will wed before the child is born. Then you will finally be rid of me.”
I do not think I have ever heard my sister speak in such an acid tone, especially not towards Mirabelle Dumont. I could feel the shame radiating from where my parents were seated.
Mirabelle goes completely red in her face, “You-”
“Mother, you knew about this?” Sebastian finally speaks up and looks towards his parents. My eyes flicker to his voice and I couldn't help but feel sorry for him. He maintains his composure, but the hurt in his eyes was evident, something I think Eliana did not care to notice. Mirabelle shakes her head, “I found out about the affair yesterday, the pregnancy is new.” She answers her son, her face dropping as she took in his expression.
Sebastian scoffs then looks towards my sister, “How long were you going to keep at this?” He asks Eliana, “And you, uncle Robert, sleeping with your nephew's son as if we were in some sort of bad soap opera. What were the both of you looking to gain from this?" Sebastian was livid, but how he was keeping calm when his fiancee and uncle were just exposed was beyond my recognition.
My eyes went towards my parents and saw the anger in their expression. Eliana had always been the golden girl, the lady set to marry into a prominent family and uphold the Wiltshire name. Now she would bring nothing to the family but scandal, something my mother absolutely despised.
Robert suddenly spoke up, making us all turn in his direction, “I have been urging Eliana for months to come clean and call off your engagement.” He says, taking Eliana’s hand in his, “We fell in love during my visits last spring when I had helped with the Spring Ball. I am sorry this has hurt you, Sebastian, but the truth needed to come out. This is why I went to my brother and Mirabelle before an even bigger scandal engulfs the family name.”
Oh, snap. The Spring Ball was in April of last year, it was now September the following year with an Autumn wedding scheduled. My sister has been cheating on Sebastian for over a year now. Why had she said yes to him in June when she was in love with Robert?
Sebastian strides towards the door, but my father calls him back and stands up, looking deeply ashamed. “Mirabelle, Spencer, I am deeply sorry for this insult Eliana has caused to your family. She has undoubtedly tainted both our names, but we know in order to avoid an even bigger scandal, Eliana would have to wed Robert.” He says we all knew this would have to happen, even I did and I despised the upper-class rule and regulations. I might be the rebellious heir, but I knew how to toe the line.
Spencer nods, “Indeed, she will. But now with that out of the way, what will come of Sebastian’s supposed marriage? Our family’s name will be left tainted because of this.” He gestures towards Robert and Eliana.
Sebastian scoffs again, “I will not be getting married, father-”
“But you must. If the public finds out about Eliana and Robert, we will be pariahs in our circles.” Mirabelle says shaking her head and looking dismayed, then her eyes flicker towards me. “Unless…”
Unless? Unless what, Mirabelle?! The look in her eyes softens as she takes me in with a warm smile, Then she gets out of the armchair she was seated in and walks towards me, pulling me out of my seat.
“Unless we find a replacement.”
It took me a few seconds to register what she had just said. A replacement bride. ME??
Horrified, I look towards her, “Excuse me? A replacement?” I ask, my voice a high pitched wobble then I look about the room.
Sebastian regards me then looks away.
My parents nod, and look towards one another, their minds made up.
Spencer stares at me but I could see him putting the pieces together in his mind.
Eliana and Robert both stared at me, dumbfounded.
Mirabelle an elated ball of joy.
“Yes, it’s perfect. We could tell the press that Sebastian and Elena were always together, and they got it confused because the girls are twins. IF everyone sticks to this story, we should be okay.” Spencer responds, a grin crosses his face as he stands up and walks towards his son. “This needs to be done, Sebastian.”
“Very well,” Sebastian says and stomps out of the room, then we hear the front door open then slam shut.
Was I just offered up as a pawn to appease families and social circles?
“Uhm, excuse me. Did anyone think to ask me how I felt about this?” I suddenly spoke up, having found my voice. They all turn towards me and I see my mother staring daggers before she walks over to me.
“Honey, this needs to be done. Your sister has insulted the Dumonts and we, as Whiltshires, need to make this right. Unfortunately, you do not have a choice in the matter. This marriage will be arranged and go ahead as scheduled.”
My mother, always caring about appearance more than me. What else did I expect?
I sigh and my bottom lip trembles, then I look towards my sister who had an apologetic look in her eyes. “I cannot do this, I’m sorry.” I finally say and storm out of the parlour to the surprise of everyone present.
Running up the stairs to my room, I hear my name being called behind me but I refuse to look back. This can’t be happening! I just got accepted into Uni! I had Nicholas, I had a life planned for myself separate from the Wiltshire circles! They could not force me to marry, and to Sebastian at that. I despised the man, now I would be forced to marry him.
I slam my bedroom door then fall onto my four-poster as tears stream down my face.
How would I tell Nicholas that I could no longer be with him because I would be forced into an arranged marriage to a self-centred, egotistical CEO?