Lord Scrooge de Bourgh left the house of Elizabeth and her family angrily. It was simply a shame that his nephew had fallen in love with a woman of such low birth. But unfortunately something he couldn't change. He had to admit, Miss Lizzy had fire, and he appreciated that in a woman. He would accept that at least.
In fact, he would have liked to have talked to the lady longer in order to get clearer about her intentions towards his nephew. But he didn't like the looks her mother gave him. No, thank you, he was quite satisfied as a single person.
The only woman who had ever really attracted his attention...
But no, he was not even allowed to think about that. Much too young and too beautiful she was, for an old miser like him...
To distract himself, Lord Scrooge decided to go for a walk. Along the lake the world was refreshingly quiet and hardly visited at this time. Except for the petite person standing at the jetty looking out at the water. As he walked by, he gave her an uninterested look until he recognized her. Without wanting it, he stopped abruptly.
The noise he made in the process let the person turn to him in shock. His heart was beating faster, he had sworn to forget these forbidden feelings. But here she stood right in front of him. The older sister of his nephew's best friend...
Lady Magica Bingpap...
She seemed even more beautiful to him than at their last encounter. But what he especially appreciated about her was her manner. She knew how a lady had to behave. Was cultured and cunning. She also tended, like him, to be interested in money and power. A woman to his liking.
But even though she was a little older than her brother, she was still about his nephew's age. He would not have cared if she had been older than himself. But the way things stood... he was ashamed of his feelings for her…
Magica hated everything. Why did this Lizzy had to appear in her life along with her hundred sisters and alienate her from her brother? Her brother and his best friend whom she needed!
She needed him because he was the only connection she had to the one man in this world who made her heart beat faster. How many men were already at her feet before. All of them boring twaddlers with no brains.
She had tried to keep Fethry and Donald away from the two women and instead focus on the family again. But what seemed to work in the beginning was not made possible by Donald's feelings for this Lizzy. Her brother listened to him more than to her and both of them were about to get married, while she stood there as the evil one.
It had been so nice to visit Donald's uncle together...
She felt her cheeks turn red. Stupid, silly thing! Who was she after all? In the Lord's eyes only a little girl, not even a real woman. It was hopeless from the beginning, but now she could not even see him anymore.
Without the friendship to his nephew, she lacked the connection to Lord Scrooge de Bourgh...
She had already been fascinated by this man at a young age. Her mother, whom she had told at that time, had only laughed and assured her that it was a different form of affection and would change with age.
She was older now, much older than at that time. But instead of losing these feelings, they became more intense as she matured into a woman. What used to be innocent admiration for his mind and character grew into an irresistible desire for this man as her body developed.
She wanted everything, she craved him. But from now on she was not even allowed a glimpse...
Tears began to collect in her eyes as she suddenly heard a scratching noise behind her. Alarmed, she turned to the troublemaker, just about to tell the person that it wasn't appropriate to sneak up on someone. When she recognized him.
She thought her heart stopped.
There he stood right in front of her, dressed in a noble, dark tailcoat. He looked impudently good. He didn't had the right to look so seductive at his age. But even if there was such a law, Scrooge certainly wouldn't have cared. That stubborn genius.
Scrooge quickly regained his composure. He took off his hat and bowed politely to Magica. Only when he dared to look at her properly did he notice the tears in her eyes. Yes it was wrong that he felt attracted to her, but that was meaningless when it came to helping a lady in need. Carefully he walked towards her.
"Forgive me if I scared you Lady Bingpap." He looked at her for a while. She seemed sad and lonely. "Why are you all alone? And with all due respect, you look sad. May I help you?" He took her hand and kissed it in an assuring gesture.
Wasn't it enough that he was smart, rich and handsome? Did he also had to be a gentleman?
But maybe this was her chance to keep in touch with him, wasn't he the only one who wasn't satisfied with his nephew's choice of bride as well? Even if for completely different reasons? Sure, it was unfair to take advantage of his compassion, but what other chance did she had of being close to him?
"Your offer is very kind of your Lordship, but I fear you will not be sympathetic to me if you learn the reason for my grief. After all, I have discarded myself with my brother and your nephew equally."
Scrooge's eyes widened in surprise for a moment. His heart contracted painfully. Of course, it was clear that a young lady like Magica was attracted to a man of her age. But that his nephew of all people would be his rival... he swallowed hard before he could speak.
"Did my no-good nephew hurt you with his decision? With respect, it is incomprehensible to me how he could prefer Miss Elizabeth over you..." Had he already said too much? But didn't a woman with a broken heart need special confirmation that it wasn't her fault?
For her sake he would have gladly added that it would have been a pleasure for him to see a connection between her and his nephew. But Scrooge wasn't a liar. So he remained silent.
No! No, no, no... whatever happened, she didn't wanted him to think she was in love with his nephew. The idea alone disgusted her. It was already difficult for her to pretend a friendship to this taciturn bore, but love? Impossible!
At that moment she realized that everything was lost anyway. Perhaps it would ease the burden of her heart a little if she told him the truth? Scrooge was a gentleman, more than politely refusing her would not happen. But then she would have certainty and maybe the chance to live her life one day. Even if it bursts her heart into a thousand pieces.
She looked at him and immediately felt the desire to be close to him again. How she wanted to touch him. Stroke through the tender feathers of his sideburns. She wanted him to close his strong arms around her. That he kissed her passionately. She just wanted everything this man could give.
If only he would see her as a woman...
"If I may be honest with you my lord..." she began hesitantly. "It is not your nephew who interests me. What kept me at his side was only the connection to you that came with it..."
Now it was out.
"I realize that it is impossible for you to take me seriously, that I will never be more than a child to you, no matter how old I am..."
She felt her tears come again. It was so hard to face the truth.
"But... you are the only man I have ever desired in my life and there will never be a man equal to you..."
Her cheeks were red with shame, but courageously she looked into his eyes. He should see that she was not a coward. She would look her fate in the face!
"I love you Lord de Bourgh. Please forgive me this impertinence."
Scrooge was speechless. He had to dream. His mind allowed himself a joke with his forbidden feelings for Lady Bingpap.
It was completely impossible that such a beautiful, young and clever woman would have feelings for an old fool like him.
Nevertheless she stood before him in all her grace and claimed to love him.
Was he really allowed to?
"You... You make fun of an old man like me... You always had a strong will, this is the punishment that I scared you and approached you improperly, isn't it?“
He too, looked into her eyes steadfastly, none of them lacking courage. "If this is so, I politely ask your forgiveness and see your words as a fair punishment. I will not bother you any further." He was ready to go and bury the shards of his heart at home.
He had never had a chance, but it was especially painful that she made a fool out of him.
Magica had expected him to smile at her and dismiss her feelings as that of a child. But it seemed as if she had seriously hurt him because he believed she said it jokingly.
Could it be that he... Although she was just a stupid little girl?
Well, there was only one way to find out, her situation couldn't get any worse.
She closed the distance between them and fell into his arms. Hands first pressed to his strong chest, hesitantly wandering up until she could touch his face. Tenderly she stroked through the soft feathers and enjoyed the feeling of being close to him as long as she was allowed.
Normally Scrooge was characterized by a very serious face. But now, as his arms almost automatically closed around the petite figure of the woman he secretly loved. Even his mien was marked by a tender, gentle smile.
For a moment he gave himself into that wonderful feeling of being able to hold her. She felt so warm, so fragile in his strong arms. Although he knew that she was anything but an innocent lamb. She had the character of a snake. Torn, deceitful, mainly interested in getting benefit for herself. He loved such character traits…
But was that, what she wanted from him? Money? Power?
It was common knowledge that he didn't share his wealth with anyone, but maybe she thought if she seduced him, that would change for her.
He wondered if she was right. Wouldn't he be willing to do anything for her at the moment, as long as he was allowed to keep her in his arms?
Before he could say anything, she continued.
"When my brother marries Miss Jane Pennet I will be a stranger in my own house. Nothing but an unwanted disturbance.
Please, I expect nothing from you, just allow me to lie in your arms for a moment. May it be out of pity." She sobbed quietly, audibly trying to stay strong. "I don't care anymore, I've already lost everything, even my pride."
The anger about the decision of his nephew and his friend grew again.
Tenderly he pulled Magica a little tighter into his arms, gently stroking her back in a soothing manner. When this precious creature sought protection in his arms, it did not matter for what reason she acted. His pride melted with every tear that Magica shed on his chest.
If she was really willing to give herself to him, he would accept it. But should he notice that she felt uncomfortable, he would be content to protect her without demanding anything for it. Her happiness and smile alone were reward enough.
"Look at me, my lady, are you really sure that it is I your heart desires? A grumpy old miser who can't keep up with your tender beauty and youth?"
Magica looked at him. In a way that his heart was missing a beat. Despite the tears in her eyes, her gaze was piercing and determined. This woman did not doubt, she knew exactly what she wanted and for some reason, it was him.
He wanted to prove himself worthy of her and also be sincere.
"I have been ashamed of my feelings towards you for many years. Once you had reached the right age, I could no longer turn my eyes away from you. It was impossible for me to see in you the child you were years before. As the woman who stood before me was of such enchanting personality and beauty."
He looked deeply into her beautiful black eyes, which were full of affection towards him.
"If you really want it that way, you shall be the woman at my side. But even if you may only seek refuge, my house is open to you. I promise by my honour that I would never ask anything of you for it. For as shameful as my feelings for you may be, I would never touch you against your will…“
He paused for a moment and took a deep breath.
„I love you.“
Magica stared at him for a moment, speechless. Her mind was not able to process what was said immediately. The woman at his side? He... he had feelings for her?
She didn't care if it was appropriate or not, they were alone here anyway. Without returning anything she slung her arms around his neck and kissed him deeply.
Scrooge hesitated a moment uncertainly. If he was honest, he had never indulged in such physical pleasures. Had never desired any other than Magica.
But then he finally realized what was happening here. What he had thought to be completely impossible became reality. The woman whom he had loved so shamefully for so many years... loved him back.
For the first time he forgot his guilty conscience and gave himself completely into his feelings for her. She wanted him, she really wanted him…
When they hesitantly separated, Magica smiled at him like no one ever had before.
"If, I really want? If? I want to be at your side forever, if you will tolerate me there!"
Her voice was a mixture of laughing and crying. In the morning, her whole world seemed to lie in ruins and now... her greatest wish came true.
"Well, in that case..." Again he touched her hand and lifted it to his lips, his gaze always directed at her eyes. "...I will pay my respects to your brother and ask for your hand My Lady..."
Magica put her hand in front of her mouth so she wouldn't sob out loud. For a moment she feared to pass out. She was not used to such an overwhelming feeling of happiness. She, whose life consisted almost exclusively of hateful remarks and a look of boredom.
Scrooge really wanted to marry her?
"Yes, oh please yes," she sobbed overjoyed and snuggled up to him again. She felt so secure in his arms. Never before had she felt such a feeling of contentment as she had with him.
Scrooge just held her close and smiled tenderly. A little tear of bliss ran down his cheek. This very day he would visit Fethry Bingpap to ask him for his sister's hand as it was proper.
When Magica had calmed down a little, they walked arm in arm on the shore of the lake back to where he had left his carriage. Since the Bingpaps' residence was a little remote.
Happily Magica leaned her head against his shoulder in the carriage and closed her eyes. Their both hands lay tightly entwined between them and Scrooge stroked again and again tenderly with his thumb over her fingers. An assuring gesture that he was with her.
She hoped her brother wouldn't cause any problems.
As decency would have it, Scrooge announced his visit to the master of the house and finally entered his study without Magica. Not without a final, mischievous wink in her direction that made her blush.
Nervously she paced up and down in front of the room. Unfortunately the door and walls were too thick to hear anything. Besides, her heart was beating so loud that her ears were booming. She still couldn't believe her luck.
Probably she had to thank Lizzy for her appearance in the end... because without this drama, she would probably never have got so far as to marry the man of her dreams soon... just the thought of it made her giggle uncharacteristically. Quickly she got her bearings again, after all she was still the mistress of this household and the servants were not supposed to assume she had suddenly become soft.
"Lord de Bourgh! What an honor!" Scrooge was greeted exuberantly by Mr. Bingpap, sometimes he really wondered what his nephew found in this fool.
"What brings you to my humble home? I'm afraid your nephew isn't here today if you're looking for him."
Scrooge adjusted his jacket and straightened up to full size, his facial expression usual business serious. "No, I know exactly where this bungler is... I have come for your sister..."
Immediately Fethry's smile fell from his face. "Oh no, what did she do this time? I'm terribly sorry if she offended you. Sometimes her character is really... difficult..."
Scrooge disparagingly raised an eyebrow. "I assure you that Lady Bingpap never behaved disgracefully in any way towards me. On the contrary..."
He took a dramatic pause and enjoyed inwardly that Fethry's fear was written all over his face. No one but Magica should know that he had a heart.
Just a tiny little smile appeared on his face as he continued to speak.
"No, I am here to formally ask you, for her hand!"
It was clear to see that Fethrys brain could not process what was said properly. "Excuse me?" He inquired completely bewildered.
"You have already understood correctly..." Scrooge replied coolly.
"You... You want to marry my sister?" Scrooge's face didn't move when Fethry looked at him stunned. Then a smile appeared on his face, but it quickly turned into concern.
"This is very gracious of you my lord, but unfortunately I must say that my own wedding is imminent and... well, I can't afford to make a dowry for my sister. I understand, of course, that in this case there is no question that a man like you is content with a woman like her".
Embarrassed, Fethry smiled at his best friend's uncle. "I bet Donald gave you the idea, right? He always wants to help everyone. I'd love to agree to your suggestion, as my fiancée will soon be moving in here. But I can't pay you for it."
It was extremely rare for anyone to manage to make Scrooge speechless. Excuse me, what? This man sounded as if it was a punishment to take in his sister. That you had to pay every man to endure her.
"I don't want to get you any further away from your plan, but at the moment I'm not very good about my sister. With her interference she almost prevented my engagement. She is quite selfish you have to know..."
Fethry just kept chattering on and didn't even notice that his interlocutor was boiling with rage inside.
"But only because she was afraid to be left alone..."
Slipped out of Scrooge before he could prevent it. He quickly regained his composure and looked down on Fehtry as usual.
"Anyway, I don't remember asking you for money. All I want is your permission to marry Lady Magica!"
Now Fethry shone all over his face. "You are so generous your lordship! I am deeply in your debt. Yes I understant, she is pretty to look at, I have to admit that even as her brother. Of course I will immediately speak to my sister and urge her to take you as her husband. So far she had always refused and rejected every applicant, but I'm sure your generous offer will change her mind. Right, I'll get her to do that!"
Scrooge found it almost repeatable with what a joyful expression on his face the man spoke of selling his sister to a rich man against her will.
The only reason he didn't beat up the poor baboon on the spot was because Scrooge knew that most men thought so. It was normal, a woman wasn't worth much. An attitude that Scrooge had never understood.
And it really didn't seem like Fethry loathed his sister. No, on the contrary, he was just happy to give her such a great opportunity. Maybe also to reassure his own bad conscience that he abandoned her in favor of his own wedding. With verve he rang for a servant and ordered Lady Bingpap to be brought to him immediately.
"If you really think I would stand here in front of you without first talking to the lady herself..." Scrooge started with teeth clenched together.
But Fehtry understood his objection completely wrong. "Don't worry my lord, I promise you, she will be yours. No matter what she may have said in the beginning.“
Before Scrooge could say anything, Magica already entered the room. She looked so enchanting, with reddened cheeks and a shy smile on her face. He felt sick at the thought of someone else waiting here to take her to wife. Someone she hadn't chosen herself.
It was hard for him to keep his attitude. He was led outside so that her brother could talk to her alone. Magica seemed so happy that she didn't even notice the gloomy expression on her lover's face. With rosy cheeks she looked after him tenderly as the door closed behind him.
"Something great has happened, sister!" Fethry started overjoyed. "And I wish you'd take that chance."
There was still a smile in Magica's voice when she answered. "Brother, I have already spoken to Lord de Bourgh, I..."
"Please listen to me Magica, I know you have always refused to choose a husband. But just think, His Lordship has asked for your hand. We cannot miss this honour. Especially because Jane will soon move in here. Imagine, Lord de Bourgh doesn't even ask for a dowry for you" It became clear that Fethry was completely enthusiastic about the idea.
But although Magica of course wanted nothing more than to marry Scrooge, she didn't like how her brother talked to her. Now her voice sounded bitter and disappointed. "So you say you will force me to marry, whether I like it or not, because it suits you? Because I will disturb you and your fiancée if she moves in here?" She swallowed hard. Not to think if someone other than Scrooge had asked to marry her.
But her brother only waved a smile at her objection. "Now, don't act like that, Lord de Bourgh isn't a bad-looking man and I know from mother that you swooned over him when you were a kid, you could have done a lot worse. And he is also rich! This connection is the best thing that could have happened to us!"
Meanwhile Magica had tears in her eyes, although she was the happiest woman in the world until just a moment ago. She could not prevent that she started to cry bitterly. "Just say that you don't care what happens to me as long as you get rid of me!" She shouted.
In fact, Fethry looked a little upset at her words. "That is not true, sister. But you can't deny that it is a great opportunity!"
Now Magica sobbed uncontrollably. "That doesn't change the fact that you wouldn't give me any choice..."
Before Fethry could answer, the door was pushed open and Scrooge stormed into the room with an angry expression who had heard Magica's loud words through the door.
"Lord de Bourgh! Please be patient! I will bring my sister to her senses!" Fethry started desperately but Scrooge ran loudly over his mouth.
"Silence, you fool!"
He opened his arms a little and immediately Magica threw herself to his chest crying. Tenderly he stroked her back again and again and tried to calm her down.
Her brother looked pretty stupid as he watched the situation. Why had his sister suddenly changed her mind? Scrooge looked at him with a cold gaze that made him queasy. Why didn't his lordship rejoice that Magica gave herself to him?
"If you had listened to your sister or me for even a moment, all your chatter would have been superfluous. Which alone has led to my beloved feeling betrayed and abandoned by you. I really hope for the good of Lady Pennet that you know how to treat your fiancée better".
Protectively, he drew the weeping woman in his arms even closer to him.
"Please take me away from here..." she sobbed quietly.
For the first time a tenderness appeared on Scrooge's face as he looked at her and lovingly wiped tears from her eyes. "Of course, come..."
With these words he lifted her without any problems onto his arms and carried her out of the room. Over his shoulder he threw Fethry one last devastating look. "I have the honor."
Fethry Bingpap wasn't a bad person, though. In fact, his words and deeds had been well meant. He did not understand what had just happened. Besides he was really sorry that his sister felt rejected by him. He would talk to her again later.
But he was happy that she didn't seem to be averse to the lord after all. On the contrary, he never expected her to show herself to another man of such weakness, to ask for help and to cry. Perhaps, in the end Scrooge had been the reason why she never wanted anyone else. Because her heart belonged to Lord de Bourgh since her childhood.
The thought made him happy and he hoped he was not wrong. He would also talk to her about that. But for the time being it seemed appropriate to him to grant her peace and quiet to calm down. In the strong arms of Scrooge de Bourgh.
Magica refused to leave her seat on Scrooge's arms. Patiently, he also held her on his lap for the entire following carriage ride and tenderly pressed her to himself. After a while of peaceful silence, only disturbed by the rattling of the carriage wheels on the gravel, Scrooge addressed her.
"Hey... you know your brother doesn't really hate you, don't you? I mean, of course he's an idiot and I don't want to imagine what would have happened if another applicant had been standing in that room..." He shuddered. "But he is just as narrow-minded like most people in our society, as unfair as it is. I think he still was trying to act at your best."
He looked deep into her eyes, he didn't want her to believe that he would side with her brother. Never, if it were up to him, he would beat these stupid views out of any man's mind.
A mischievous smile flitted over Magica's face. "Of course I know that, even if it doesn't make his deeds any better. And so it suits him quite right to think for a while that he has hurt me badly..."
Scrooge laughed loudly at her words. "You sneaky snake..." He meant full of tenderness and lovingly rubbed his beak against hers.
"By God, I love you..."
He uttered and caught her lips in a deep kiss as he pulled her delicate body even nearer. Immediately she put her arms around his neck to be even closer to him and returned the kiss with passion.
"Thanks for playing along..." She answered after they had released themselves from the kiss. Tenderly she stroked through his sideburns, loving his soft feathers at this spot. "I think you scared my brother. His pale face was a very satisfying sight. I have always loved to see you so brash, so determining..." Again she pulled him into a kiss, could not get enough of this man.
"I love you... I love you so much..." She repeated between more and more passionate kisses.
Whether he desired her as much as she desired him? It didn't seem to bother him at least.
In the meantime they had changed their position so that she now sat facing him on his lap, knees on the seat. As close as possible she pressed herself to his body, wished that he felt how much she wanted him.
Even at the risk of appearing very kinky.
Of course he desired her. He had to summon up all his willpower not to rip her clothes off on the spot as she lolled on his lap like that.
He had to swallow hard to be able to speak.
"My lady..." he laboriously brought forth as their lips briefly parted to breathe. "I fear we have to stop..." His eyes were dark and his voice smoky with lust as he looked into her face.
Both their cheeks were reddened with desire.
She looked him straight in the eye as she bent over him, her soft breasts pressing against his chest. "Don't you desire me?" She breathed seductively.
Scrooge almost had to laugh because of the absurdity of this assumption.
Quick as a cheetah he grabbed her by the hip and pulled her a little tighter. "Believe me, you are the only woman I desire and have ever desired."
Nobody would have doubted his words at the look he threw at her.
"But as Lord de Bourgh I have to keep a certain decency. As hard as it is for me, please let us wait until we are on my estate..."
Magica looked at him in silence for a while, she knew he was right. Even as Lady Bingpap she couldn't afford a scandal. But that didn't mean that she couldn't tease him a little bit...
A dangerous little smile scurried over her face. With all grace she raised her hands to her hair and loosened the bow in it. Her raven black hair immediately poured over her shoulders like a waterfall of liquid silk.
Casual she drove her fingers through her hair before she gently put her arms around him again and kissed him innocently. "You are right my lord..."
Her face was very close to his.
At that moment Scrooge knew that this woman would mean his end and he would enjoy every second of it. On his face he also had a mischievous smile.