Elizabeth Knosley has been raised in the sanctuary of her father's mannor, tucked away from much of society to be raised away from the horrors of life. But what happens when she steps from the bounds of her childhood?
Lord Knosley watched as his daughter's lonely figure strolled along the handsome garden lanes he had designed just for her enjoyment, the sunlight playing on her silky ringlets of chocolate hair and her pretty muslin day gown. A sad smile tugged at his lips, a daughter that appeared just as her mother.
His face formed into a firm frown, the dark thoughts of his wife's death crossing his mind. He had been too late, he had been too naive, to shield her from the world's terrifying wrath. No, Lord Knosley had learned his lesson. Nothing would tarnish his darling girl, nothing would harm her; she would never feel the evil bitterness of life. Indeed! He would protect her, and show her rather the beauty that life had to offer her.
A Governess had been brought when his Lizzy was old enough, taught more than even young boys. She learned her manners, dancing, multiple languages, and all of what a lady would need, though she had never put them to use. Only a select few had seen her quiet beauty, her gentle manners, her dark, sad eyes.
Lord Knosley had begun to see it as well. The melancholy glaze over her brilliant eyes, her bright air stiffened with a strange gloom. She seemed to linger in a world of her daydreams. Perhaps he couldn't keep her hidden as he wanted, perhaps her heart longed for a companion, a lover. She was certainly old enough.
Mr. Otis came to his mind instantly. His father, Count Otis, was an influential landowner, and had long been a good friend of his and Lord Knosley had visited his various homes often. He himself had met the Count's son, and had admired him greatly. He was handsome enough, an intelligent mind and a kind manner. Mr. Otis lineage was flawless. Lord Knosley's heart lifted. Of course! He would arrange a marriage between the two. Mr. Otis would make Elizabeth happy, and still Lord Knosley would be able to keep his darling daughter's precious safety.