Lafleur 1

Chapter 1

The RMS Queen Elizabeth July 1942

Chago Sima took a deep breath, as he stood high on the mountains in Vancouver, Canada. Now he could truly say that he had traveled across Canada introducing the latest fashion catalogues to every major department store s along the way. He finally reached his goal. It would be a record year for sales. Hitting all the high fashion outlets Chago’s connections in Paris, Italy and Germany would be pleased. Great quality and workmanship would start a prosperous year abroad.

He felt a pang of misery. Not all this money and he still had the one thing he wanted the most – Lorraine Atkins.  He would head back to the eastern part of Canada and spent some time with Lorraine before taking another tour. This time he would head towards America – The land of opportunity. New York City would be exciting to visit.

Demora took her daughter Marion aside.  She said, “I have decided to go back to England and hold a memorial service there for your father Stacy.”

Marion looked at her mother, hugged her, and asked “But where will you stay?”

Demora said with a wistful look in her eye “There’s something I haven’t told you.  When I was a young girl, I dated William White.  We were very much in love at the time.  William wanted to marry me, but his Father Wilbur White would not have it.  He arranged for William to go away to school.  I was devastated and desperate to find a way to provide for my family.  Your father Stacy offered me his hand in marriage.  Stacy assumed that he would inherit a fortune soon due to his Father being ill.  We married after knowing each other for a few years.  I loved your Father in my own way but not the same as I did William.

Later I found out that William’s Father tricked me because he wanted William to marry Francesca Dewier, as this would put him into a higher set of society then his Father ever achieved.  William was told that I married his brother Stacy out of spite for leaving me.”

Marion said “What a horrible man to do such things!”

Demora agreed “Yes he was a very controlling man and there was no way I would marry William with him alive.  Now that he is gone and your Father Stacy is gone.  We may rekindle our love for one another.  His daughter Merry has revealed that William’s still in love with me and would speak of me often.  He suggested that I come live at the Estate.  Merry and Frederick would come as well.  William intends to court me for a few months then we will have a quiet wedding.  I didn’t want you to suffer too much of a shock from all of this.”

Marion looked at her mother and had tears in her eyes “I know you weren’t always happy with Father, but you were loyal and kind.  It is good for two people who are widows to be together in love.  I am happy for you!”

Demora sighed with relief.  “I will be taking your Father’s ashes with me in an urn and he will be buried at the White’s tomb in England.”

Marion smiled “That’s where he would want to be.”

Demora said “We are taking the RMS Queen Elizabeth and I believe that Patricia will be joining us too.”

Marion asked, “Where are they headed?”

Demora said, “Patricia has decided there is more money to be made in Paris, France.  They are planning to reopen Raine Carrington’s finishing school for young women.  Raine was Luvena’s mother, the poor soul passed away at a young age.

Patricia will teach the art of being a chaperone and Madame Carrington will teach dancing and social etiquette.  There will be others types of courses as well but they are still planning their courses of study.  Lorraine Atkins, has referred the two of them to some women she knows there.

They are in desperate need of such a school for the dancing and garden parties held in Paris.  They did not get too much response here in Canada, which might be due to the war.  The social circles are much broader in Europe.”

Marion decided to let her fiancé Goderich Lafleur knows that Demora was leaving so he could say his farewells to her that evening.  Goderich was busy letting the men of Quebec know about his new hunting lodge.  The guest rooms were filling up fast and the next few weekends were already booked in advance.

Goderich hugged his soon to be mother in law and said, “It’s been a joy having you around.  You take care of yourself and write often.  We will miss you.”

His words brought tears to her eyes.

Demora said, “You are such a sweet boy.  I know you will take good care of my daughter.  I want you to come visit me in a few months.”

Goderich looked at her in surprise, “Why in a few months?”

She said with a twinkle in her eye.  “I’ll have Marion explain everything to you later.”

She hugged them both, and then headed back to her room to rest.  Demora felt strange being in her bed all alone.  Tears began to fall as she thought of her husband Stacy.  He was so nice to cuddle with she would miss about him.  Stacy was a loving, affectionate man, but with his constant illnesses over the years and deteriorating health, Demora was not able to enjoy the physical side of her marriage.  She thought of one thing that she would want to do in the future and smiled as her head touched the pillow…

It was a few days later that a group of them boarded the RMS Queen Elizabeth on July 31st.  They were looking forward to getting back to Europe.  The war ships that flanked either side were of little comfort.  They could hear the firing of artillery off in the distance.  Praying the German Nazi Ships would not find them and sink another ship.  It was a return trip for the War Brides who were on their way to Canada from Liverpool England.

Demora wondered if everyone’s homes were still intact, for London’s Blitz Bombing that happened on September 7th, 1939 was something she would rather forget.  The terrifying sounds of bombs and guns, reverberating through the mind at all hours of the night. The air raid signals, loud and clear causing stress and anxiety for mothers with little children, and wives with men at war.  World War II was taking its toll on an already fragile economy.

Coming out of a depression era then now a war, things didn’t look too good from an investors point of view.  Demora sighed, she was very grateful for the money that Wilbur White left her.  Thanks to Stacy, she would live somewhat comfortably in England.  Being William’s guest at his mansion would be very strange for she left it a few years ago.  William did say something about redecorating it.  She could not wait to see it.  William left a few weeks ago, ahead of them.  He wanted to make sure the mansion was ready to live with them.

For the next few days Demora, Patricia and Luvena enjoyed leisurely afternoons out on the sun deck.  They spoke often of the new finishing school to everyone within earshot.  Demora kept to herself.  She felt kind of lonely and depressed with Stacy gone.  The crew kept asking about Stacy and she would have to explain that he had died and that she was taking him back in the Urn to England.  Demora would sometimes join Patricia and Luvena for dinner in the evenings.  Patricia was missing Demora’s company and getting tired of Luvena’s constant prattle.  Patricia was finding inventive ways to get away from Luvena, who was preoccupied with drawing her sketches and designs for the school that she didn’t notice how impatient Pataricia was becoming with her.

One afternoon, there was a knock on Demora’s door.  Demora was pleasantly surprised to see Patricia standing there.

Patricia said “Now Demora I insist a good walk on the deck is what you need.”

Demora gathered her lovely floral parasol with little pink flowers and birds.  A gift from William, it was made of Chinese silk and came all the way from China.  It was a bright and sunny day.  The wind was picking up so Demora gave up with her parasol and carried it over her arm instead.  The ship was clipping along and they strolled leisurely around the deck watching the seagulls diving into the water and catching fish behind the wake of the ship.

Patricia said, “Good lord, I had to get away from Luvena.  She is talking non-stop about the school and I honesty wonder what got into me to offer my services.  I am afraid that I am getting restless and wanting to travel again.  I haven’t seen much of Merry and Frederick have you seen them at all?”

Demora said “No the poor things are suffering from motion sickness.  They have been in their room since we all had dinner together the first evening.”

Patricia said, “Some honeymoon.  Imagine being sick the whole time. How dreadful.  I am glad that Barney and I got a chance to travel around the world for our honeymoon… that is before he passed away.  I still miss the louse every now and then.  One consolation is that he made me a very rich woman when he died so it does not sting so much.  I thought Merry looked a little green and Frederick somewhat pale.  I remember them complaining about the rocking of the boat.  I personally love it.  I’m like a baby being rocked to sleep.”

Demora laughed, “Maybe someday they’ll make a bed that you can rock in like a boat.”

Patricia looked at Demora, “That’s a fabulous idea!  You should tell William.  He is always looking for ideas for new inventions.  Maybe he will take you for a ride in one of his new boats.”

Demora’s eyes widened, “What boats?”

Patricia looked at her and scolded, “I see you haven’t done your homework.  William invested in a boating company.  It is White Star Shipping.  They are making plans to build the grandest luxury liners.  Even better then the SS America.  I hear that they plan to build a gigantic ship that will be better than the Titanic!”

Demora’s eyes grew huge with excitement, “What else do you know about William?”

Patricia smiled wickedly then said, “After he married his lovely, but very boring wife Francesca he put all his energy into becoming a very successful banker and investor.  He also developed the ideas of selling shares for the growth and expansion of companies.  He is a man that lives in luxury but spends most of his time travelling worldwide.

His wife Francesca never wanted to travel with him anywhere and William found it annoying at times.  He would have to attend a business function and banquets alone.  Many a time he would take Merry his Daughter along with him instead.  When his Wife died, William was happy.  She was a miserable woman to him and their Daughter.  She had hated being married to a man she was not in love with.  She would not hold any parties or functions in their home.  I believe William was ecstatic when she was finally out of his life.”

Demora had a guarded look in her eye when she said, “I see.”

Patricia looked at her in a wary sort of way and said, “You have nothing to worry about Demora; William will cherish you and worship the ground you walk on.  Once you’re married you can travel the world and live the life you should have in the first place!”

She said it so adamantly that Demora was surprised.

She blushed and sputtered “Patricia how…?”

Patricia smiled “Merry told me in secret, as she wanted me to reassure you.  That girl loves you so!  She’s envied Marion for years, hearing all the lovely things you did and how you took such good care of Stacy and William’s father.”

Demora said “What?  How did Merry know how I was?”

Patricia confided “Merry used to secretly visit Williams father whenever you went out for the day  he would brag about you to Merry and tell William all sorts of horrid stories (I think it was to make him feel guilty).  It was all because of his pride being hurt!  He told Merry that William’s Father had made a horrible mistake in life making his son marry that witch of a woman Francesca.  He said that you Demora would have made a fine and loving wife.  He was sorry for influencing William’s Father and that’s why he allowed you and your family to live with him all those years.”

Demora’s eyes welled up with tears and she croaked, “I hated William’s Father for so many years and all for nothing!  I wish I had known the truth, I wouldn’t have fretted so much about it all!”

Patricia hugged her, “It’s okay now Demora, all things wrong shall be righted!  All your hard work paid off.  You will be a very rich woman once you marry William.”

Demora had a questioning look in her eye and asked, “Why did he kick me, Stacy and Marion out?”

Patricia shook her head and said, “He couldn’t bear to see the woman he loved and adored with another man so he begged Frederick to marry Marion and offered a large sum if he had!”

Demora gasped, “I had no idea!  Is he doing this out of pity?”

Patricia grabbed her and looked her in the eye “Demora how you can even think that?  William and Merry were worried that you would get that idea in your head and that you would refuse them!  That is why she asked me to clear all your doubts for you.  William has always loved you and has always wanted to be your husband.  Merry has always wished to have you as a Mother now you have two more people to love and adore you.  You will take care of them with kindness, and love, and they will provide you with great wealth, social status, and security.  Now why would you worry about pity?”

Demora stood there for a minute letting it all sink in.  They both turned and seated themselves down watching the waves lapping against the great ship.  The beautiful blue sky and fluffy white clouds looked like a pile of marshmallows.

Demora said with a bright smile “Thanks Patricia, I feel better now.  I have a new life to look forward to, a man to love, and a new Stepdaughter and Stepson- in-law to hold close to my heart.  When I came on the SS America, I was exhausted and worrying about our future.  Fate has dealt my Daughter Marion a good hand and its rewarding to me as well, I guess the saying “What you sow, you reap is very true.”

Patricia smiled and said, “Yes and I was mourning the death of my Husband Barney when we came on the SS America and now look at me!  I am starting a new career and you don’t see that every day.”

They both got up and headed to the dining room for dinner with Luvena.  The ship docked a week later at London, England.  Excitement stirred in Demora’s breast as she and Merry and Frederick left the SS America.

A tall man, with white silvery hair, a tanned face, and baby blue eyes strode up and grabbed Demora in a bear hug.  “My dearest I love you.”

William and Demora had tears in their eyes as they stood there looking at one another.

He said, “May I?”  Then he leaned forward and gave Demora a warm passionate kiss.  Her knees began to shake and feelings that had lain dormant for years arose out of her heart and soul.

She stopped in shock when William said, “I can’t wait till we can make love.”

Demora turned three shades of red.  She had not had any physical contact for several years.  Stacy had been too ill.

William smiled wickedly and said, “Sorry dearest, I didn’t mean to shock you.  That kind of popped out without my thinking.”

She laughed, “You’re still the same as you were when we were young William!  I’ll get used to it.”

The four of them got into the waiting coach and off they went towards their home.

Chapter 2

William and Demora White

The large brown stone mansion had a majestic view of the green rolling hills surrounding it.  The long stone drive had groves of trees alongside of it and then they came out to a clearing.  English styled gardens now blanketed the front and back of the house.

Demora said in surprise, “William it looks lovely!”

He replied, “Wait till you see inside.  I have changed a few things.  My father Wilbur’s tastes were too dark and morbid for me.  I have put all his furnishing in storage.  I have ordered new tapestries and French provincial chairs and rugs.

I have also ordered the engraved desks and French provincial dining room furniture from Chippendale’s catalogue.  I have hired some artists from Paris to paint new landscape murals on the library and dining room ceilings.  It desperately needed updating I’m sure you’ll love it!”

Demora nodded in approval.  Then William turned to Merry and Frederick, “You two have the east wing and Merry feel free to re-decorate it any way you wish.  I have put several catalogues out to choose from once the workers finish my side of the mansion they will start working on yours.  They’ll be a few more weeks, unless Demora changes anything?”

He looked at her with a twinkle in his eye.

Demora murmured.  “What would I decide on?”

William said, “Your own suite of course?  I have built an addition on the back with several rooms for your own personal use.  I have to be honest Demora when I heard that your husband Stacy was seriously ill, I started planning for you to come live here.  Even if you did not want to marry me, I would still want you to live with us, just for the pure enjoyment of your company.”

Demora was not surprised, she knew when William wanted something done he would demand it immediately with no questions asked.  He had a commanding presence and a no-nonsense-attitude about him.  When he brought Demora over to her room, she was delighted with the rich embroidered pink and white flowered drapes and a four-poster bed with a lovely matching canopy.  It even had new pink sheets and linens to match.

He grinned, “Only the finest linens for you my sweet.”

He then directed her to the large walk-in closet lined with gowns of many colors and designs.

“This dear is your new wardrobe!”  He said with an impish grin on his face at her questioning look he added, “I had Patricia give me your sizes once you got off the ship when you reached London.”

Demora said, “William!  You did not!  How did you?  What did you?”

He said, “I was determined that once you were a widow I would set the record straight.”

She fingered the beautiful gowns and said, dreamily.  “Can I wear one tonight?”

William said, “As you wish darling, you also have an appointment with the seamstress to design your wedding dress and honeymoon entourage.  As my wife, you shall not wear the same outfit twice.  Especially at business functions when we travel.”

Demora’s eyes lit up as she said; “I have always wanted to travel.  Where will we go?”

William chuckled at her childlike expression of wonder, he said, “I am going to take you to Paris, Italy and New York City in America.”

Demora was ecstatic, “I would love to go to a fashion show there.  I have always wanted to go to one.  Patricia and Demora told me they are such fun.”

William smiled and said, “It would be a pleasure to take you to one.  Of course, I would join the men while you women planned what you wanted to buy then go to lunch.  I think we should go to Paris first.  We will go there so you can pick out some designs that fancy you.  We can hire one of their seamstresses to make your outfits while were there.”

Demora said, “I am going to write a letter to Sasha Totenmyer and ask her for Patricia’s mailing address.  Demora wanted to arrange a visit for them.

Demora asked,   “William?  Should I invite Marion and Goderich?  I am sure they would just love to attend a fashion show.  Marion could bring Alchetta with her as well.”

William said, “Sounds splendid to me dear, you do whatever your little heart desires.”

William excused himself.  Demora decided to try out her new claw tub with lily of the valley soap.  She lay down to rest for a while and then woke up hour’s later feeling refreshed.  She decided to wear the lovely blue gown with its high collar and lace.  She headed down to the dining room for supper.

In the center of the room was a large rectangular table surrounded by red chairs.  The tapestries on the walls matched those on the chairs and floor rugs.  It was red with orange and brown, an oriental print of trees and plants with pictures of people in kimonos dating back to the late 1800’s style.  Demora was surprised, she did not realize William’s idea of “modern” was new antiques shipped in from various catalogues.

When Demora walked into the large dining room William said, “You look lovely dear.”

Merry and Demora walked in and seated themselves on either side of the table.

Merry said, “Really Father isn’t there a smaller table to sit at?”

William looked at Merry and grinned, “I thought we would eat in our grand dining room since we are celebrating the arrival of two new family members.”

He raised his wine glass and added, “A toast and a welcome to my new son-in-law Frederick.”

The clinking of glasses could be heard as the servers came in with a large tasty pot roast, Yorkshire pudding, potatoes, gravy and baby carrots in butter.  They were all so hungry that no one wanted to talk during the meal.  One of the servants at the nod of William’s head put his favorite record on – Beethoven.  The sounds of classical music surrounded their first meal at the White mansion that evening.

After dinner, the four of them went to the games room to play some cards.  William told Merry and Frederick about his plans to take Demora to Paris to see a fashion show.

Merry said, “Father, thanks for the invite, but really I’m not into that sort of thing.  Frederick and I are going to settle into our quiet country life and enjoy some hunting, fishing, and hiking trips.  The only balls or dances we will attend will be for weddings or showers.  I really have no need to be a part of your high society circles anymore, they bore me to tears.”

William looked concerned for a moment then saw Demora’s wide smile.

Demora said, “Merry you’re a true country woman at heart.  I am sure your father will not mind now that you are married.  You can make your own decisions now, without his approval.”

William looked surprised at this and scowled.  He was angry at Merry but then Demora’s words of wisdom saved him from an argument.

William cleared his throat and said, “She’s right dear you are now Mrs. Frederick Fontaine and now he gets to decide what’s best for you.  I only have to worry about taking care of Demora.”

He looked at her with a strange gleam in his eye.  She wondered what he meant by that then said, “I’m finished now dear, I’m going to head up to my room now to write Patricia a letter, than retire for the night.”

She was walking down to where William was sitting, hugged him, and gave him a quick peck on the cheek and then went to her room for the night.

Chapter 3

Patricia and Luvena go to Paris

When the RMS Queen Elizabeth reached London, England, the two women waited until the very last to leave.  Luvena hated the crowds of people.  Patricia wanted to say goodbye to Demora but did not get a chance to.  The two of them headed for the train station to go to Paris, France.  Luvena had already contacted one of her friends there and she had notified her staff to open up her home in Paris.  She had inherited when her mother Raine had died.

They hired a taxi to take them to the Carrington Villa.  It was a lovely home built in the city of Paris.  Cobblestone streets littered with touring white carriages and horses.  Patricia felt like she was stepping back in time.  The streets were narrow and throngs of people were on the sidewalks.  Lovely cafes and opened air markets, fashion and design, and curio shops too.  It was a shopper’s paradise.  Patricia could not wait to settle in and tour downtown Paris.

She needed to know where all the designers and tailors were, the fashion world would now become a part of her new career.  Patricia and Luvena were busy discussing the idea of hiring wedding planners.  They could offer services for the wedding showers.  Both of them had attended so many of them over the years.  They would limit the number of days spent for each class.  Patricia had suggested that they hire a wedding consultant to work out of their office.

Once Patricia had an idea in her head, there was no going back.  They spent the next few days looking at the local businesses and deciding what building to purchase for their new school.  The old one was going to become a community center instead.  They would have a lovely building near the fashion district and thought it the perfect place to start the Rosewood & Carrington Finishing School for young women.  Patricia hired a French tutor to brush up on her language skills.  She decided to write a note to Sasha her Sister letting her know that she was settling in and asked if she happen to know Demora’s address so she could write to her as well.

A few weeks later, she received a letter from Demora.

Patricia rushed to show it to Luvena, “Demora and William, are coming to Paris for a visit!  She’s also invited Goderich and Marion and Alchetta as well!”

Luvena asked, “Why not Lorraine Atkins and Louise Picard?”

Patricia said, “Demora thought that I should invite them instead, for she really doesn’t know Lorraine or Louise very well.  I will write them tonight.  Where shall I advise them to stay though?”

Luvena said, “Chateau Frontenac.  It’s in Paris.”

Patricia chuckled, “I had forgotten we had one in Paris as well as Quebec.  I am sure they will all find that rather amusing.”

Luvena said, “We should also invite Melville and Retta Bailey.  Melville wants to expand a Hotel in Paris.  I am sure he would want to speak to Viscount Louis and Lady Genevieve as they are staying at Chateau Frontenac in Paris while on their honeymoon!”

Patricia got a look in her eye as she had a wonderful idea.  “Luvena, why don’t we have a grand opening party at our finishing school?  We will invite our party of friends and all of high society!  We could have small desserts and a ball!”

Luvena’s eyes lit up, “Patricia you’re amazing!  You always come up with grandest of ideas.”

Patricia said, “Let’s not wait for the regular fashion show.  Why not plan our own wedding fashion show.  We could do a line of ball gowns for debutantes and then wedding and honeymoon attire!”

Luvena said, “Yes and we could order some wine from the Cartier’s.  They are very dear friends of mine here in Paris.”

Patricia said, “I’ll ask Lorraine Atkins to help with the list of guests and decorations, as she knows anyone of significance in Paris.  She grew up here with her Sister Elsa.  Too bad for Louise that her mother died at such an early age.  Elsa had been such a sweet girl.”

Luvena said, “Is there anyone you don’t know a thing about?  Really Patricia you’re like a walking encyclopedia with your knowledge of people’s personal lives.”

Patricia grinned and said, “My husband Barney and I used to attend a party almost every week in different cities and countries.  I have never forgotten a face or a story told to me.  I keep it all stored up here for future reference.”  She tapped her head as she grinned at Luvena.

Luvena said, “You’re a valuable friend and business partner Patricia, I am so lucky to be a part of your life.”  With that, they set down to write out their letters and invitation ideas.

Chapter 4

Sasha Hears from Patricia in Paris

Sasha Totenmyer was pleased to receive good news from her Sister Patricia.  She quickly wrote to both Demora and Patricia exchanging all the address information as requested of her.  She also told Patricia about how helpful Brandon Deere was with her and how he had spent time with her every day.  Patricia was annoyed with her Sister and wrote back to Sasha saying that she had set up Louise Picard to be with Brandon Deere and she forbade her Sister to ruin that alliance.  She asked her to get to know Alchetta Bailey and Marion White and to find a way to help Louise Picard get back with Brandon.

She told Sasha that she needed to find a nice Native man who believes the same way as she does.  Sasha cried when she read her Sister Patricia’s letter.  Now she knew why Brandon always seemed so quiet at times.  He wanted Louise not her.  That explained everything!  She felt sad that she could never have Brandon, but on the other hand, she wondered if Patricia was aware of his drinking problems.  She decided to keep it to herself.  It had nothing to do with her.  Brandon found Sasha a comforting friend and after speaking to Alchetta, he decided that when Louise returned from Paris he would do his best to court her.

Chapter 5

The Invitation to Paris

Marion had been delighted at the invitation to go to Paris.  Goderich was happy as well.  He loved it when a plan all came together.  The next day Marion and Alchetta headed over to Louise’s place for lunch with Lorraine Atkins.  All four women decided to sit out in the garden and have some sandwiches, fruit, and tea.

Lorraine said, “Ladies we’ve all been invited to attend Patricia and Luvena’s open house as well as a ball and fashion show.  I will be helping them create a guest list and the decorations for this event so Louise and I will be going a week earlier.  My husband Anthony’s friend has a Chalet located in Paris and they have invited us to stay there.  Are you girls going to Chateau Frontenac?”

Marion said, “Yes we decided to go to the Chateau Frontenac and Alchetta’s parents will be joining us there.”

Lorraine said, “When you arrive in Paris, I’ll arrange a dinner party for you at the Chalet so we can all get together and chat before we meet our many society guests.”

Lorraine then asked Alchetta, “Would your Mother be interested in adding the people she knows to our guest list?  I believe she has some worldwide trade and commerce people that I’m not familiar with but I’m sure Patricia will know quite a few as well.”

Alchetta said, “Yes, Mother and I were discussing this earlier today and she’s already made a list for you.  I brought it with me” Alchetta handed over some notepaper to Lorraine.

Lorraine skimmed over the list of names and said, “This list is impressive your Mother has included the name of the daughters who would be presented within the next two years.  How thoughtful, tell her thanks for her list, it’s wonderful.”

Alchetta said, “It will be great fun to pick out an extraordinary wedding dress for myself.  I want to be the best dressed bride.”

Marion blushed at this comment.  Louise bristled with jealousy for she was not getting married any time soon.

Lorraine said, “Yes I can see you would love to do that, but my darling Louise, although not yet engaged, will be picking out her wedding gowns and honeymoon clothing there as well.”

Alchetta looked a bit put out and she smiled ever so thinly at Louise.  To her, Louise was becoming a thorn in her flesh.  She had always been the best-dressed girl.  How could she get competition from this penniless waif?  Her casts off gowns were good enough to use.

Marion looked at Alchetta’s jealous face and sighed to herself.  ‘Alchetta has a burr in her butt, wait until I tell Goderich.’

Marion suggested that she and Alchetta should go for a walk so they could gossip without Louise hearing them.  She had noticed the tension between Louise and Alchetta.  It had all started when Themus had decided to flirt with Louise after hearing about Brandon and Goderich’s flirtations.  Themus wanted to be part of the fun at least that is what he told Alchetta.  He had to keep Brandon on his toes.

It bothered Alchetta because Louise would flirt back and she was giving such steamy looks at Themus, it made Alchetta wonder about her.  Louise in turn would ignore Brandon and flirt with Themus.

Alchetta had said to Marion, “Just who does Louise think she is?  First, she chases Goderich when you were courting him and now she is chasing Themus.  Why doesn’t she go after Brandon he is single .”

Marion said, “I think this is her way of going after Brandon.  I know she wants to marry him, but she is bitter about something he did on the SS America and she is getting back at him.”

Alchetta asked, “Why, what did he do?”

Marion said, “I found out about it from Goderich.  I guess Brandon had a fling with a barmaid while on the SS America and Louise saw the girl going into his cabin.  She was pretty devastated at the time.”

Alchetta said, “That’s still no reason to go after another woman’s man.  She makes it look bad for herself.  Why doesn’t Lorraine do something?”

Marion said, “In Lorraine’s eyes, Louise can do no wrong.  She does not pay too much attention to it and neither should you.  There is no point worrying your little head about it.  Nothing will happen.  Louise is desperate to marry Brandon.  She is penniless remember?  She needs him.  Themus is your fiancé.  He wants to marry you, but he still acts like a bachelor.”

Alchetta cried in distress, “Louise once told me that Brandon had told her that Themus was a womanizer at heart.  He was surprised, that Themus will contemplate being tied down in marriage.  He had made a comment that Themus loved money and that was the main reason he wanted to marry me is because I am filthy rich.”

Marion could not argue this point for Goderich had told her the very same thing.  Marion shushed her and said, “Now Alchetta you are a beautiful girl and you’re engaged to the notorious Themus Munroe, just imagine how many women will envy you for being his wife.  Goderich told me every woman has chased Themus for years and never gotten him…

Then you came along and swept him off his feet with your beauty.  Who cares what Brandon or Louise say?  You will be the toast of the town!  You will be the woman who snared the famous Themus Munroe!  You should be proud of yourself!  Now stop worrying.  We will enjoy our trip to Paris, get you married off to Themus, and let us work on getting Brandon and Louise together as soon as we can.  Then she will be busy being his wife, instead of the town flirt!”

They returned to their party and decided it was getting late and should return to the Inn.  Marion and Alchetta hugged Louise and Lorraine goodbye then headed back to the Deere Inn for a good night’s rest.

Chapter 6

A Gathering of Friends

Sasha decided to heed her Sister’s advice and throw a welcoming dinner party in honor of Themus and Alchetta.  Goderich sent a note to Sasha letting her know that everyone was going to be there.  It would be a surprise party for Alchetta and Themus.  Sasha had spoken to Lorraine about Brandon and had asked for her help in planning the evening festivities.  They would eat dinner at Sasha’s then go to Lorraine’s for an evening of dancing.  Lorraine told Louise that they would have guests that evening and that Louise was to dress in one of her finest gowns.

Louise asked, “Who is coming this evening?”

Lorraine answered, “I have invited a few close friends of ours.  I’ve planned an evening of entertainment.”

Louise was excited.  She could not wait to see what Lorraine had in store for them.  When the bell rang, Louise was shocked to see Goderich, Marion, and Sasha.  Then Brandon came in followed by Alchetta!  She gasped when she saw a golden haired attractive man come strolling through the door.  Their eyes locked and Themus grabbed her hand and kissed it.

Louise gushed, “I never knew how gallant a man you were?  Alchetta made you seem so droll.”

Themus laughed.  “Yes, she’s the quieter side of me.  She has no idea what a party animal I can be!”  He winked at Louise.

They all filed into the music room to be the audience of a live band.

Goderich turned to Sasha and said, “Lorraine sure knows how to surprise us!”

Then Anthony came into the room.

Marion and Alchetta commented to Louise, “You have a very attractive uncle!  What a dream!”

They all giggled and Lorraine piped up, “Now I have another surprise for you please have a seat.  I have borrowed a friend of Louis Frontenac’s.  Do you remember the dance instructor from the SS America, who is also an illusionist?”

As they, all shook their heads no Chago Sima walked in wearing a black top hat and a cape and bowed, “Good evening ladies and gentlemen.  I shall dazzle you with my magic tricks and illusions for the evening.”

The applause at the end of his magic presentation was unusually loud with roars of “encore” from Goderich, Brandon, and Themus.  All three of them had been drinking quite heavily much to Marion and Alchetta’s dismay.  Even Louise was a little tipsy.

Alchetta complained of a headache and did not want to dance, so Themus ended up spending most of the evening dancing with the other girls.

Themus whispered in Lorraine’s ear, “I must dance with my lovely hostess.”

She complied and giggled.  Anthony watched with narrowed eyes.  First Themus was flirting with Lorraine, then Sasha and Louise.  Brandon watched with a sour look on his face and said something to Goderich.

Anthony walked over to Goderich and inquired about Brandon dating their niece Louise.

Anthony asked, “Can he do something with that lion?  He’s treading on dangerous ground.”

Goderich apologized for Themus and said, “Themus doesn’t handle liquor well.  He is not a drinker so his ego goes to his head.  I’ll go deal with him.”

Before he could do anything Themus had stumbled out into the garden with Alchetta and Louise had followed them at a distance out in the garden.  Themus grabbed Alchetta, pulled her close, and kissed her.

She pushed him away and said, “You know that I don’t like the smell of liquor!  I want to go soon I’m tired and my headache has gotten worse!”

Themus turned red with rage and barked, “Every time we go to a party you get a headache!  Must you always be such a party pooper?”

With that, Alchetta ran back inside crying and headed to the ladies’ room.  Marion followed her.  Goderich went to look for Brandon who had gone to the men’s room and been there a long time.  Louise saw her chance and she darted out into the garden.  Themus stumbled off towards the forest and she followed him.  He had seated himself down on a log and she came up beside him and seated herself down.

Louise looked into his miserable face and said, “How can you stand it?  Does she have any passion for you?  God if you wanted to kiss me I’d go wild over you.”

He turned and looked at her, around the garden then behind them there was no one there.

She said “Their all busy.”

With that, he grabbed her and kissed her full on the mouth.  He had never felt such a fire in him.  He was panting when they parted.  He looked at her heaving boson and looked into her eyes.

She said, “I want to know what passion feels like.”

He brought his smooth fingers up to her face and kissed her with hunger.  Then he traced his fingers along the crest of her breast.  He could hear her gasp in pleasure at his touch.

He looked at her and said, “I wish Alchetta would react like that!  You’re a wildcat!”

Louise gargled something incoherent and he kissed her again.  Her lips were intoxicating.  Suddenly they heard a snap in the bushes behind them and quickly drew apart.

Louise grabbed Themus arm and said to whoever was in the bushes, “Come help me, I think he’s passed out!”

Brandon stumbled through the bushes and said, “Here let me get him, he’s too heavy for you.”

Then he grabbed Themus and pulled him up by his trousers and helped him back inside.

Brandon said coarsely to Louise “Please wait out here I want to speak to you.”

Brandon came back outside and turned her towards the forest.  Once out of sight he grabbed her and kissed her passionately.  It was too much sexual tension for the both of them.

She begged, “Take me now, I can’t stand it anymore.”

He looked at her and said, “I’m sorry about the barmaid.”

It was like a cold bucket of water thrown in her face.  Louise froze, slapped Brandon on the face, and started to cry.  She ran back to the house and up to her room.

Anthony saw Louise as he headed out the door and grabbed Brandon by the scruff of his neck.

Anthony roared, “What did you do to my niece?  Did you dishonor her?  You’ll have a shot gun wedding if you did!”

Brandon murmured, “No, I did not dishonor her!”

Then Brandon snarled, “She wouldn’t let me near her even if I was married to her.  She cannot forgive my indiscretion with the barmaid on the ship!”

With that, Brandon stormed out the door, grabbed a horse from the stables, and rode away.

Goderich apologized to Marion and Alchetta and said, “I need to get Themus back to the hotel.  I fear that he’s had too much to drink and I’m afraid Brandon will do something stupid as he is drunk as a skunk!”

He apologized to Lorraine for cutting their evening short and they all headed for the door.

Chapter 7

Lorraine Tells her Secret to Louise

When the door shut, Lorraine turned to Anthony with a look of rage he had never seen before.

She snarled, “How dare you ruin our evening!  Are you trying to ruin Louise’s chances with Brandon Deere?”

He said, “Now look here Lorraine, Brandon confessed what the problem is with him and Louise.  The stupid boy had an affair with a barmaid on the SS America.  That is why Louise is all out of sorts.  I was just looking out for her.  I thought he had defiled her.”

Lorraine then spat out, “Well then I guess before he does that we make him marry her to retain some honor and dignity!”

He quietly said, “The man complained that Louise wouldn’t let him near her, even if he was married!”  With that, he walked off in a huff and headed to his study for a cigar.

Lorraine turned and apologized to Chago and said they would have to call it a night.

Chago said, “One moment please,” and he turned to the musicians.  “Perhaps we can play a nice waltz for our hostess tonight?”

With the music, playing Chago put his arms around Lorraine and danced around the room with her.  She smiled at him and thanked him for his kindness.  After a few spins around the dance floor Chago and the band packed up and left.  Lorraine promised they would be back for a wedding as soon as she had it planned.  She then headed to Louise’s bedroom door and knocked.

Louise cried, “Go away!”

Lorraine quietly opened the door and let herself in.  Louise was sprawled face down on her bed.

Lorraine sat down and gently patted her head.  “Louise I’m going to tell you a story and I want you to keep it a secret.”

Louise sat herself up and Lorraine gave her a handkerchief.

Lorraine continued, “When I was engaged to your Uncle Anthony, I came upon him one night out in the garden.  He had too much to drink and he was kissing and making love to one of my Father’s servants.  I watched horrified and envious.  I had wanted to be his first love.  I found out later that Anthony had many lovers and he still does.

Sometimes a man has desires he cannot contain so he will grab the first woman who comes along to satisfy those desires.  Do I need to remind you that you are penniless?  You need to marry a man like Brandon Deere in order to have financial security.  You must learn to overlook his indiscretions and that my dear you must remember it can work both ways!”

Louise looked up and asked, “What do you mean?”

Lorraine whispered, “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.  Once you are married, you can discreetly pursue a lover of your own.  Revenge or not, just do not get caught.  I saw how you and Themus were.  Alchetta is a cold fish.  Themus will crave a good fiery lover and if you are anything like your mother or aunt, you will crave the same.  Brandon will provide you with financial comforts but by the looks of it, he is a drinker.  He will have problems satisfying you in bed.”

Louise said, “How can you know this?”

Lorraine smiled, “The French know the art of lovemaking.  We know what affects what.  His alcohol consumption will affect his physical performance.  You can turn to Themus when he is ready for you.  However, you must both be married.  That way if any accidents do happen then no one will be the wiser.”

Louise asked, “What accidents?”

Lorraine looked at her and said “A pregnancy of course!”

Louise said, “Why do you say that?”

Lorraine said, “You know when I go away for my medical treatments in Cote-De-la-Montagne?”

Louise said “Yes?”

Lorraine said, “I meet Chago Sima there at Dubois Inn and we make passionate love.  The Innkeeper keeps it a secret, and I pay him well.  Now I am finally pregnant!  The good thing is that Chago is the same blood type as Anthony for they are step brothers through marriage.”

Louise gasped, “I never would have known.  I will not tell a soul.  But what will you say to Uncle Anthony?”

Lorraine smiled and said, “I’ll tell him I secretly received some fertility treatments with a Dr. Tibideau, who I secretly summoned from London and for a tidy sum of money has obliged me by writing a letter to Anthony explaining my treatments and miracle pregnancy at this time.  He’s also documented the baby’s blood type as Anthony’s so he will not suspect a thing!”

Louise asked, “Have you told him yet?”

Lorraine said, “No, I’m in my early stages.  I will wait a few months then tell him the good news.  He will be ecstatic to be having an heir.”

Louise shook her head, “Now I know where I get my cunning and deceptive ways.”

She hugged Lorraine and added, “Congratulations on being a mother.”

Lorraine then said in a serious tone, “Now can I count on you to work hard on becoming Brandon Deere’s wife?  I will ask Marion and Alchetta to help.  I know Brandon loves you.  He complained to Anthony that if you were his wife you would not let him touch you.  Just forget that girl; she was just a fling.  You must develop your sensual skills and totally blow his mind the first time he has you.”

Louise asked, “How am I to do that?”

Lorraine got up and said before leaving, “Tomorrow I shall start to teach you the art of pleasuring a man.  Once learned you shall have every man in the palm of your hand.  It comes with great power.  To know to love a man well, you can get anything you want from him.  From anyone…”

Lorraine headed to her room to go make love to Anthony.  Louise lay down and began to dream of how she would pleasure Brandon and make him forget that the barmaid ever existed.

Chapter 8

Brandon Courts Louise

The next day Lorraine went to pay a visit to Brandon.  He was surprised at first to see her.

He said “Hello Lorraine!  Sorry about last night I got a little tanked I guess.”

Lorraine said, “Not to worry I’m sure you can make it up to me.  Can we speak in private?”

He nodded, and escorted her into his office.

Goderich came through the door saw Lorraine and said, “Oh, excuse me Lorraine, I didn’t mean to interrupt anything and he backed out other door then said, “Let me know when you’re done boss,” then he winked at Brandon.

Lorraine smiled then asked, “Are you intending to marry my niece Louise?  Anthony and I were discussing your behavior and we decided it would be best to marry you two as quickly as possible to avoid a disaster.”

Brandon blushed and asked, “Is it that obvious?  I am just crazy about Louise and when I drink, I lose control of myself.  I haven’t dishonored her yet but I’m afraid I will if we don’t do something soon.”

Lorraine said, “Now I’ve spoken to Louise about this.  Were all planning to go on a trip to Paris for a fashion show and the opening of Patricia and Luvena’s school?  Let us plan a surprise wedding.  Everyone will be there and I can include the wedding invitations at the same time as the fashion show invitations.”

Brandon said, “Sounds good to me.  A honey moon in Paris is quite romantic.”

Lorraine agreed, “We have to keep it a secret though, even Louise won’t know.  You will not have to worry about anything.  The Picard’s have a family heirloom wedding ring and since Elsa has passed away.  The ring goes to Louise.

I will buy her dress and honeymoon clothes in Paris.  Do you have a suit to wear?  Never mind just give me a copy of your measurements and I’ll get you a proper wedding outfit for a man of your stature.”

Brandon blushed at this wondering what she meant by his stature?  He would have to ask Goderich about it after the wedding.

Brandon asked, “How will Louise feel?”

Lorraine winked at him and said, “She’ll be ready for you in more ways than one.”

Then she walked out of his office with a smug smile on her face.  Goderich walked in and looked at the beaming smile on Brandon’s face.

Goderich said, “I see you’ve been given the go ahead to court Louise now judging by the smile on your face?”

Brandon smiled wickedly, “Yes I’ll be courting and marrying that girl soon enough.”  With that he said, “Let’s go see what Themus is up to.”

They went to  the Munroe mansion and Brandon took Themus aside, “I know you weren’t planning to go to Paris but Lorraine is insisting we attend a party there.  Since we ruined her last one I’m going to insist you attend the one in Paris.”

Themus scowled, “There’s much work to be done here.”

Then Brandon looked at Goderich and said saucily, “Themus your clothing looks somewhat ratty for entertaining guests.  Do you think you should purchase a fine new fashionable wardrobe in Paris?  After all compared to Alchetta, you’ll be an eyesore with those old English styles.”

Themus turned purple at Brandon’s snickering.

Themus snapped, “You know I am always the toast of society when it comes to fashion!  I will definitely pay a visit to Paris and order the finest wardrobe ever!  Thanks Brandon for bringing it to my attention.  Now leave me alone.  Let me know when were leaving.”

Brandon said, “I think Lorraine is going in a week and we are supposed to go in two weeks.”  Themus asked, “Why are they going a week earlier?”

Goderich said, “Lorraine’s in charge of everything.  She has a lot of arrangements to take care of.”  Themus nodded then said, “Okay, does Alchetta know yet?”

Goderich said, “I can get Marion to let her know for you.”

Themus said, “Yes please do that.  I am likely to forget.  Also could you be a dear and pack my things for me Goderich?  I’m terrible at planning these things.”

Goderich rolled his eyes and mockingly said, “Themus you’re such a child!”

Themus growled at him and both Brandon and Goderich laughed as they walked away.

Chapter 9

Lorraine and Louise Go to Paris

Lorraine sent a letter to Patricia telling her what she was planning.  Patricia was thrilled for Louise.  Finally, the girl was showing some sense.  She kept it to herself, because Luvena would be angry to find out a wedding would be the main draw for the guests.  Lorraine had said they would be there in a week and the rest of the party including Themus would follow in two weeks.  Alchetta had written to her parents and they had been delighted.  Anthony Atkins had gone to Quebec to deliver the letter and offered his services in the building of the two hotels.  One is for Quebec and the other in Paris, France.

Melville Bailey had been overwhelmed.  Anthony had offered to build the Hotel for much less than the other fellow did.  He asked Themus about him and was told Anthony’s not out to make a lot of profit.  He is interested in making a name for himself instead.  Lorraine and Louise had accompanied Anthony to the hotel then the three of them had boarded the RMS Queen Elizabeth.

During the voyage, the women worked on the party plans together.  Lorraine also taught Louise the lessons on making love to a man.  Anthony spent his time creating designs for the two Millennium Bailey’s Hotels for Quebec and Paris.  He would use the exact same designs and only change the decor to reflect the French tastes in Paris and the French Canadian tastes in Quebec.

The trip was a pleasant one and before they knew it, they had arrived in England.  The train ride and ferry ride to Paris was long and tiring so that when they got to Villa Renoir they were all quite exhausted.

The next day they met up with Patricia.  She had pulled some strings and arranged for the wedding and reception to be at Chateau Frontenac in Paris, France.  Lorraine had mailed out the invitations the week before they had gotten on the ship.  She informed Patricia that all their guests from Place Royale would be attending their special party in a few weeks time.  Lorraine took Louise to the dressmakers right away.

They recorded her measurements and made note of the fabrics that Louise preferred.  She still had no clue what Lorraine was up to.  Lorraine had asked for her opinion for party gowns to wear at the fashion show and the open house.  Lorraine had excused herself for the day and sent Louise out sightseeing with Anthony.  Lorraine had gone to Jacob Jacobsen to pick up the ring and then she had obtained a marriage license at the courthouse.  She met with the priest and the wedding planners for the dining hall and menu items.

Thanks to Patricia’s help, there was not much for Lorraine to do.  She just had to confirm everything.  A few weeks later and it was the day of the fashion show.  Retta and Melville came in followed by Themus, Alchetta, Louise, Genevieve, Louis, Marion, Goderich, and Brandon.  The rooms were full of people.  Patricia had decided to do some skits showing a bit, of what the girls would learn at the school.  Louise, Marion, and Alchetta did some of the acts along with Lorraine and Anthony’s help.  They had lists for new clients to sign up and then the band came out.  It was the same one as before.

When Chago Sima appeared, Goderich thought it was too much he said, “Lorraine kept her promise; we get to show off our dancing steps again.”

Lorraine and Patricia had asked them all to demonstrate the ballroom lessons they had learned while on the SS America.  The presentation went along smoothly.  Brandon had promised not to drink as much while in Paris.  He wanted everything to be special for Louise.  Lorraine told Brandon to present the ring to Louise so they could announce the surprise to everyone that evening.

So Brandon took Louise outside and got down on one knee and asked, “Louise darling will you marry me?”

Louise had tears in her eyes when she said “Yes!”

He placed the large solitaire diamond on her finger and she said, “Why does this look familiar?”

He smiled and said, “It’s a Picard heirloom; it belonged to your Mother Elsa.  Lorraine gave it to you.”

Louise began to cry.  It was at that moment she really missed her mother and wished she could have been there.

Then Brandon said, “We have to go inside now, I have an announcement to make and a surprise for you!”

After sharing a passionate kiss and embrace, Brandon walked in and asked to have everyone’s attention.  Then Lorraine and Anthony got up and raised their wine glasses in a toast.

Brandon raised his glass and said “I have asked Louise Picard to be my wife and she has accepted!”

The room was full of shouts of cheer and the clinking of glasses.

Then Brandon said, “Just one more thing Lorraine has another announcement to make.”

Lorraine got up and smiled “As most of you know, you’re all invited to attend the wedding of Brandon Deere and Louise Picard’s in three days at Chateau Frontenac here in Paris!”

Louise gasped in shock, ran over to Lorraine, and said, “What about my wedding dress?”

Lorraine said, “It’s been picked out and made for you already.  Do you remember the choices that you made for the show in Paris?  We decided to use that information for your wedding and honeymoon clothing.”

Louise was excited, “A honeymoon?”

Lorraine said, “Yes Louise, most brides go on a honeymoon after getting married.  You will be having yours here in the romantic City of Paris, France.  I have booked you a honeymoon suite here at the Chateau Frontenac.  You will finally be able to enjoy your lessons on love making with your husband.”

Louise gasped, “How long has Brandon known this?”

Lorraine said, “We planned this week’s ago!”

Soon well-wishers surrounded Louise.

Marion was excited for Louise and said merrily to Alchetta “I can’t believe she beat us both to the altar!”

Alchetta was angry; she wanted to be the first to be married!  Goderich smiled to himself when he heard Alchetta whining to Marion.

The next day at breakfast, Demora and William surprised them when they appeared from out of nowhere.  Marion cried and hugged her Mother telling her how much she had missed her.  After breakfast, Marion headed to her room to get ready for the fashion show that afternoon.  Goderich had told Demora he needed a word with her.

Then he let her in on his plans.  Goderich then went to talk to Brandon and informed him he would have to cut his honeymoon short for a joyous event but then he could continue it afterwards in London.  Brandon thought it a great idea.

Brandon could not afford to stay at the Chateau Frontenac for a week anyways then he asked Goderich, “How do I tell Louise?”

Goderich suggested, “You inform Louise that you will only be staying in Paris for a two-day honeymoon but that you are going to take her somewhere special.  It will be a surprise.  She will not mind.”

Patricia, Luvena, and Lorraine had out done themselves.  They had entertainers, music, the finest wines, and French cuisine from the famous Cordon Bleu Chefs in Paris.  The fashion show was a huge success.  Goderich had made a mental note each time Marion liked something he would wink twice in a row at Patricia who took notes down for him.

At the end of the show, Goderich asked Patricia to order everything and have it shipped to Chateau Frontenac in Quebec.  When she asked how to pay for it, Goderich said to have them bill him and he gave her a billing number.  Patricia wondered how much Brandon would do for Goderich.

She did ask Brandon if Goderich was good for his money and he had replied, “Of course he is.  Goderich’s always paid all his bills on time.”

She thought it an odd thing for him to say and left it at that.

Later Patricia said to Lorraine, “You did a fabulous job my dear and a wedding as well.  Congratulations!”

Lorraine asked, “Has everything been taken care of at Chateau Frontenac?”

Patricia replied, “I had a lot of help from Louis and Genevieve Frontenac they had a room already saved for a reception.  It had been booked for another wedding, which moved to another date, so we were lucky to obtain it at such short notice!”

Lorraine said, “Well I’ll just go over and thank them for their hospitality.”

Patricia said, “They are also going to provide the honeymoon suite for free for the two days”

Lorraine started at this “Why only two days?”

Patricia said, “Brandon has a surprise for Louise.  He’s going elsewhere with her.”

Lorraine asked, “Do you know where?”

Patricia said, “No, he’s quite evasive about it, but insists Louise will be tickled pink by his surprise.  After the long day, everyone retired early to bed that evening.  The wedding would be in a few days.

Louise gasped when she saw her lovely shimmering gown.  “It looks like tiny silver stars!”

The Designers had provided a gown similar to Genevieve’s but with more diamonds in it.  On the day of her wedding, Louise had her hair wrapped up in many curls on her head.  She wore a large diamond necklace and matching bracelets.  Louise was feeling humbled by it all.  Alchetta’s eyes flashed in jealousy when Themus commented on how ravishing Louise was as a bride and any man would wish to take her home with him.

Then he realized what he had said and added, “Alchetta dear, you will be the most gorgeous bride.  I’m sure!”

Alchetta answered curtly “And when will that be?”

Themus looked at her and said, “Once Munroe mansion is ready of course!  We will have our wedding at the mansion.”

Alchetta felt nothing but dismay, “It could take another year for it to finish!”

Themus said, “More like six to eight months as long as you don’t make any more changes.  It gives you time to plan the most elaborate wedding of all.”

Themus always knew how to appease Alchetta and make her feel better.  They both quieted down when the priest said, “Dearly beloved…”

A great cheer arose when they introduced Mr. And Mrs. Brandon Deere at the reception.  Louise looked exhausted but happy.  They had delectable gourmet French cuisine and exquisite desserts.  It was a lively evening of dancing as well.

Goderich was pleasantly surprised and said to Marion, “Louise is already having a good effect on Brandon.  He’s not drinking at all!”

They danced for an hour then Louise threw her bouquet of flowers and Marion happened to catch it.  Louise could not wait to get into bed with Brandon.  He had been feeling her up under the table during dinner and kissing her neck while dancing.  He had an evil look in his eye when she complained about having to wait to have him.

He whispered “Soon enough my dear.”

That night he carried her through the doorway, slowly removed her gown, kissing her gently, and making passionate love, all night long, and the next day.  Goderich laughed when he saw they had not come down for lunch either.

He said to Marion, “It’s a good thing we married them off before they got themselves into trouble.  She’s a live wire that one.”

Marion smiled and winked at Goderich.  Soon he would find out that he is seemingly quiet and proper fiancé was a bit of a wildcat herself in bed.

Chapter 10

Goderich’s Surprise for Marion

As planned, they all boarded the RMS Queen Elizabeth back to Quebec.  When Marion saw Patricia and Luvena, she was surprised.  They said they had to visit Sasha to see how she was doing.  Marion thought it strange but did not question anything.  When they got back to Quebec a few weeks later Goderich surprised Marion one evening

Goderich stood up and said, “Everyone I have a surprise announcement.  I took it upon myself to make some special arrangements for tomorrow.”

Everyone nodded in agreement.

Marion looked wide-eyed at Goderich then said, “You didn’t?”

He said, “I did!  Were to be married tomorrow at the church of Notre dames and our reception will be here at Chateau Frontenac.”

Everyone gasped at this announcement.  Only the elite were to marry at the church.

Marion looked uncomfortable, and then Goderich asked, “What’s wrong dear?”

Marion had tears in her eyes and said, “I have no dress or money to get one?”

Goderich grabbed her hand, kissed it, and said, “My dear, I have everything waiting for you, in your room.  I had it delivered today from Paris!”

Marion said “From Paris?”

Goderich said, “Yes dear, Patricia and I worked hard taking notes of your favorite gowns and measurements.”

Marion gasped, “I had wondered why, but then I figured it was just for the fun of participating in the fashion show!”

She smiled, “You little sneak you!  I did not know you had it in you.”

Goderich laughed “It was a surprise for both of you, I like to surprise my wife and this is nothing compared to my other surprises.”

Marion gave him a wary look and said, “Well I must retire soon.  I need to be refreshed.”

Goderich winked at her “You mean to say, you can’t wait to see your gowns!”

Marion said, “What gowns?”

Goderich said, “Well of course my wife will be travelling and going on a most interesting honeymoon.  I am sure you will love it!”

Marion looked at his impish grin and wondered, ‘What was Goderich up to now?’  She headed to her room.

She told Alchetta and Louise they would have to wait to see her the next day.  She thought to herself.  ‘Poor Alchetta is so out of sorts about all this.  I am seeing a side of her that I do not care for.  She has gotten cold and snobby since coming to Canada.  Louise had complained about it to her the night of her wedding.  Alchetta made it obvious that she was jealous of Louise and now Marion.  She had become a stranger to them.  All of them had changed.  Marion worried that marriage would turn her head and make her snobby too.  She would try and not let it happen if she could help it.’  When Alchetta opened the box on her bed, she found a silk dress with puffy and long sleeves and styled with a high waist.  She tried it on.  It fit perfectly.  It had been in the fashion show.  She would look beautiful as a bridesmaid.  She went over to Louise’s room and knocked on the door.  Louise was wearing a matching gown only a shade darker.

Louise said, “Goderich’s really gone out on a limb buying pure silk gowns.  The one is from the fashion show as well.  They fit perfectly.  Amazing taste the man has.”

Alchetta said, “Silk is so expensive.  Even I did not order silk because it is hard to come by.  I believe this silk is from China.  How he got his hands on it I will never know.  Well maybe Patricia helped him out.”

Louise said “Let’s go ask her, but we need to hang the gowns back up, we don’t want to wrinkle or dirty them before tomorrow.”

So they headed over to Patricia who was murmuring something to Luvena and when she opened the door she said, “Look what Goderich sent us!”

Laying there on the bed were two silk gowns, one was royal blue, and the other was a dark green with a thank you note attached.

Louise looked at Patricia “Did you have something to do with this?”

Patricia said, “Goderich asked me to get the measurements to his team of designers.  He picked out the gown material himself!  Such exquisite taste this Chinese silk.  I have always wanted a gown in Chinese silk but did not want to spend the exorbitant amount of money on it!  We’ll have to make sure we thank Goderich and Brandon for their generosity.”

She grabbed Louise’s hand, “You’re so lucky dear to be married to such a rich man and a generous one at that!”

When Louise got back to her room, she said to Brandon, “You two out did yourselves this time.  How come my dress was so simple and cheap compared to Marion’s?”

Brandon felt a flash of anger and said, “I’m sorry you’re royal highness.  I did not take much thought into the quality of your dress.  I thought you would be thankful to be married to me?”

She laughed and said, “I am sorry; I did not mean to offend you dear.  Let’s get into bed and cuddle.”

Brandon grinned at this and followed her quickly to bed.

Marion sat down in shock at the yards of white silk and the long train.  It was almost ten yards long

Demora knocked on the door and said tearfully “He’s bought us Chinese silk dresses!  I received a mauve dress and it is the one from the fashion show.  I have always wanted a Chinese silk dress for years!”

Marion’s head was swirling she asked, “How can Goderich and Brandon afford this?  I hope he is okay so that we do not end up out on the street.”

Demora said “Now Marion, I trust Patricia’s judgment.  She said Goderich was a good man and so was Brandon.  I guess Brandon likes to flaunt his wealth at weddings.”

Marion cried in dismay, “Mother what if we attend high society functions?  I have no fortune of my own.

Demora said, “When I’m married to William I’ll request that you have a fortune of your own okay?  I’m sure William will accommodate me.”

Marion said, “Mother it has yards and yards of train.”

Demora said “Now Marion, Goderich is a well organized man you have nothing to worry about!  Now get some sleep we have a busy day tomorrow.”

Demora tucked her in and went to her own quarters wondering just how Brandon Deere was going to pay for all this luxury!

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