Chapter Thirteen: My Way to Happiness

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"Marry me!" I shouted, confidently.

A deafening silence followed after my proposal. The air felt heavier than before. Sweat dripped down my forehead. His red eyes were fixated on mine as I returned his unwavering gaze.

Finally, he opened his mouth, "What do you mean, Lady Eliza?"

Thank god, he is willing to listen.

"I am asking your hand in marriage," I replied, this time more hesitant with my offer.

Once again silence fell over the garden. I could hear my heart pounding and felt my breath getting quicker.

"And why would I marry you?" Duke Zenos said, looking at me questioningly.

As I was about to explain to him in detail, our conversation was interrupted by an uninvited company.

"So, you were here, Lady Eliza. I have been searching for you. Who is that man beside you?" Uken asked as the fearsome face of Duke Orion telling him to go find me floated in his mind.

He leaned closer to get a better look and discovered that the man in question was Duke Zenos.

"You! Lady Eliza what are you doing with this man? He will be a bad influence on you," Uken scowled, pointing at Duke Zenos.

Duke Zenos smirked and replied, "Certainly I am not a good influence but neither are you."

As they glared at each other, I opened my mouth, "Oh no...since it's come to this...I have to be honest. Young Lord Uken I would like to annul our engagement because the man I love is Duke Zenos and my feelings in turn are returned by him."

Duke Zenos looked at me with his eyes wide. I rushed over to him, taking ahold of his arm and looked upto him pleadingly.

Please play along. I beg of you. I want to get rid of him as soon as possible.

Duke Zenos humourously agreed "It is as she says. We are in love."

Uken was enraged. His entire face turned red with fury and embarrassment. This was the second time Duke Zenos and he had to fight over a woman and I the woman in question this time around, had chosen Duke Zenos. It was quite a blow to him.

"Lady Eliza, what are you saying? Has your father heard of this?" Uken shouted in protest.

"My father will want me to be happy no matter what so that isn't a concern of mine," I responded, softly.

Uken whispered, "Zenos...this is all part of your scheme. You approached her because you wanted to get revenge on me."

Well he isn't completely wrong. I approached Duke Zenos to get revenge on Uken.

"You think I have as much free time as you? I have responsibilities as a Ducal Lord which I have to attend to. Also, I believe we aren't close enough for you to refer to me with just my name," Duke Zenos stated, laughing.

"You better watch out!" Uken threatened, throwing one last glare at Duke Zenos and furiously rushing towards the ballroom.

Duke Zenos's eyes shifted to stare at me, demanding for an explanation.

Before I could talk, we were once again interrupted, this time by a servant.

"Pardon me but the Lord is searching for you Milady," the servant informed.

"My father is?" I asked worriedly, as I looked over my shoulder to see Duke Zenos.

"It seems like the universe is hell bent on preventing us from talking today. I will send someone to escort you to my estate. Let's discuss the details then," Duke Zenos suggested.

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