When thirty days have passed with Harriet as Arthur's proprius, Henry takes action. In turn, he releases Harriet from his power, though not before he has had some difficulties with regard to his feelings towards her, and she finds that she has a choice on her hands: return to Arthur who completely controlled her for a 'perfect' relationship or begin to court Henry, whose love cannot possibly be denied. Which brother will she choose in this sequel to 'The Conquest'?
"I have to go to school tomorrow?"
Harriet looked horror-struck. I might have been amused if I hadn't known that that horror was completely genuine.
I had just told her that she would need to return home because she had school tomorrow.
We had been greatly fortunate to spend almost the entire weekend together, as four of my brothers had stayed away from home Saturday night as well as Friday.
But now that Sunday was halfway through, it was time for Harriet to go home. She most likely had homework to do and she would certainly have to get her bag ready.
I ought to leave her once we arrived. It wasn't ideal for her to be distracted when she had things to do.
The thought of being away from her filled me with pain but I couldn't exactly spend every second of my life with my girlfriend, no matter how much I loved her. Life was about responsibility, not just about pleasure - though love had a significant impact on it. So I had to let her go to school and continue being educated myself and, eventually, we'd have to go to uni and get jobs...
Internally, I sighed.
Harriet was still staring at me, though her horror had dwindled down so that she now looked crestfallen.
"Yes," I murmured.
She looked like she wanted to argue but she couldn't - she was my proprius.
I felt slightly guilty.
"I'm sorry, Harriet. I don't want you to be away from me but you have to live a normal life."
She nodded numbly. "Okay," she said quietly.
I hugged her tightly. "I'm sorry," I repeated.
"Don't be," she replied. "I couldn't bear it if you were upset."
"How could I be happy without you?"
She smiled as we let go of each other. "I love you."
I sighed. "You too. So much."
I can't stand being in the same house as Harriet and Arthur: it makes me sick. Not that I hold anything against the former, of course. I still love her, still want to protect her. I just can't bear to see her in that state of ... submission.
Yesterday I went bowling with Jack and Mia (thankfully they're too young to be too intimate and want total privacy like Matt and Ryan and their girlfriends), and then went to the library to get some homework done. I'm concerned that Arthur's preventing Harriet from getting anything done, actually.
Anyway, today, I went to the shops with Andrew to buy some milk and eggs. It wasn't very fun and Andrew even tried to tell me that I shouldn't interfere with Arthur's relationships, that having a proprius was normal, and that I hadn't felt the amount of love that would make me understand such actions.
Furious, I told him "I love Harriet! And I'm willing to bet I love her more than Arthur does. I would never even consider making her my slave."
"The word ‘slave' is harsh," Andrew said, frowning.
"I have a question for you," I said, ignoring his comment. "Would you make Elizabeth yours?"
"I'm not the same as Arthur, Henry - we're all different. But I truly admire him for doing what he needed to do to gain his ideal relationship and secure Harriet's heart."
"You make me sick," I whispered.
Andrew said nothing.
I was so relieved to find Harriet gone when we got back home. I might have exploded after that infuriating conversation with Andrew.
27 days, I thought to myself. 27 days and this would all be over. But could I really last that long without going mad? I hoped so.
At Harriet's house, I kissed my darling tenderly, enjoying the soft brush of her lips against mine as she returned it. Afterwards, I gently tucked her hair behind her ears, caressing the sides of her face as I did so. I gazed intently into her eyes as I told her "You won't feel any pain at school. And you'll be able to act yourself. In fact, you could get through the whole seven hours without missing me or even thinking about me."
She squirmed slightly in discomfort at the last part.
I put my arms around her and murmured "Don't let me stop you from doing work or anything."
"Okay," she replied quietly.
I let go of her and smiled. "Bye, love."
"Bye." She sounded so disconsolate, despite the fact I had called her ‘love'.
She looked so forlorn as I left ...
To work. Already I couldn't wait to see Arthur again. I felt lost without him.