Sophia woke up to find that the surreal happenings of the previous day had not been a dream. Her head was rested on the Earl's bare chest, rising and falling with his breaths.
"You're awake." he smiled, tucking a loose lock of her hair behind her ear.
Macdonald turned to look at him and her heart swelled unexpectedly.
"I am. And I'm also your maid, if you haven't realized quite yet."
He laughed and nodded.
"I know. But you don't have to be."
She frowned in thought.
"What do you mean?"
The Earl ran a hand along her cheek, becoming serious.
"Run away with me."
Sophia blinked in surprise.
"What? What about your title, your family?"
"They were never really mine to begin with. I want to be with you, for as long as I live and longer."
Macdonald was speechless.
And then, of course, the door burst open.
"Are you out of your mind?! You would dare to leave your obligations for this whore?"
It was the Earl's father, clutching a rifle with the visiting baroness standing behind him, teary-eyed.
She had always fancied the Earl, and clearly she had informed the old man who otherwise had demonstrated that he could sleep through cannon fire.
"How could you...do this with that underbred garbage?!" she hissed, before returning to her sniffling.
"I don't give a damn whether or not he beds every maid in the house!" the gunwielder hollered, "But he can't bloody elope with one!"
The Earl dressed himself in a robe and calmly faced his father.
"I intend to remain true to my word. There is absolutely nothing you can do to stop me."
The old man's face grew red with anger and a deafening noise rang out in the room.
The baroness was screaming and the Earl's father was staring in shock, but Sophia was already at her lover's side, holding him close to her.
One of her hands tried desperately to stop the blood from escaping, but it pooled beyond her fingers and tainted her skin.
"Don't just stand there!" she screamed at the two witnesses of the scene, "Get a surgeon, get water and bandages!"
The Earl looked up at her, his pasture-green eyes fading and starting to glaze over.
"Hold on," she reassured, "As soon as a physician arrives-"
She was cut off.
"No. I'm dying Sophia."
Macdonald started to sob, her tears mingling with blood.
"No...you're not. You can't be. You...can't leave me."
She looked at him pleadingly, and his eyes filled with pain.
"I have to, darling. I have to."
His words were starting to slur and his breathing was growing faint. Blood pooled around him in swirling patterns, resembling the wings of an angel.
Sophia kissed him a final time, feeling his heartbeat stutter and slow.
"I will always find you." he whispered, before falling limp.
Macdonald searched for a pulse on his body, but it was already growing cold.
She closed his beautiful eyes and screamed her anger into the heavens, scarcely breathing in between her harsh lamentations.
Sophia heard the baroness and the Earl's father run back into the room, much too late, and she stood up solemnly.
"I will have my revenge." she hissed through gritted teeth, not turning to look back.
A new power possessed her as she walked onto the balcony, still covered in blood and only partly dressed.
She leapt to the grassy ground without a thought and began walking towards the road, already planning.
Planning her vengeance.