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Romeo And Juliet Alternate Ending Essay

Escaping society and all its rigmarole was a difficult task, especially once you’d accepted an invitation. ‘’ London hasn’t changed. ’’ James muttered under his breath while standing in the shadows getting some much needed fresh air on the balcony. Open double doors allowed him to keenly observe guests attending the Hargrave ball. A ball he himself regretted attending. Lifting a lit cigar to his lips he blew out another puff of cloudy smoke that hung thick in the air creating a heady mist.

Truthfully still surprised to have received an invite, Lady Hargrave only invited those possessing rank, wealth or both and he’d only been back in town two days. A title secured his invite, one he didn’t want. Up until eight months ago, he was simply a second son and never minded being such however now, now he was Lord Molecroft, a bloody baron. Wincing at the thought James leant back against a solid balustrade, dabbing out his cigar across carved stone he flicked it behind himself into foliage. Baron Molecroft was his brother, Frederick, not him.

It didn’t matter if he saw it written down or heard himself addressed as it, the title only blackened his mood, reminding him of Frederick’s untimely death. A wise man might say you’re still grieving, James thought bitterly as he watched gentleman spinning young ladies around the ballroom, their dresses swirling together forming an ocean of colour as they waltzed. It was more complicated than grief. He resented having an identity forced upon him, a life that wasn’t his. Frederick should be the one in London accepting invites, playing lord of the manor while seeking a respectable wife, not him and yet here he found himself.

Unwilling and without choice. His brother’s honourable behaviour in life left lasting consequences, now he had to pay the price. Turning his back on the ball James rested his weight on his forearms, narrowly missing a pile of ash, he stared out into the night. Only pockets of light shining from three double doorways in a row lit up the balcony, casting a dim glow that didn’t reach far. Darkness blanketed the garden below him, not that you’d know it as a garden, he couldn’t make out a single flower, bush or tree.

An inventive way to stop reputations from being ruined he supposed, hostesses usually lit garden lanterns allowing dance partners to stroll amongst roses which more often than not led to liberties taken. Leaving young ladies potentially ruined. A fact James always thought they should have considered before following a gentleman outside. Rising and falling musical notes wafted outside washing away endless chatter that buzzed in a low hum between dances. Glancing over his shoulder James watched the band play a quadrille, couples lined up and even though he knew he should be participating he was glad he wasn’t.

Since arriving James partnered several young ladies, of his own choosing he reminded himself, each one a little more naive than the last, yet it was their matchmaking mothers that chased him into hiding. He couldn’t face another introduction without a stiff drink or several. They sensed fresh blood, correction they smelled title and marked him as a good catch. It didn’t matter that Baron ranked lowest in the order of peerage, he was a new face upon the marriage market and relatively unheard of which apparently raised interest. Much to his dismay.

Breathing deeply James lowered his head and let his shoulders slump as he sighed gravely. Finding a wife took more effort than he previously assumed, his hopes of meeting a suitable lady to pursue this evening were long gone. Instead, James developed a list of qualities he desired in a woman, after all, marriage lasted a lifetime and just because a love match wasn’t an option didn’t mean a marriage based on mutual respect wasn’t possible. Rule 1. Not a hint of scandal. Rule 2. Decent appearance (not necessary a beauty but pretty enough).

Rule. 3. Able to hold a conversation. Rule. 4. Has intelligence. James cast the first rule in stone while journeying to London but after dancing with five different young women he started adding rules to please himself, slightly. Why shouldn’t he? The woman he married needed to be tolerable at least, his sanity demanded it. A sound, a thud caught his attention, company? He wondered. Standing straight he watched the scene unfold with his arms crossed loosely. From the shadows he saw everything yet couldn’t be seen himself.

A man towered over a woman he’d pinned against the wall, his hands gripping her arms to hold her still. James cursed silently, he didn’t like where this was going, just my luck he thought, rather than a lover’s tryst I get a lovers quarrel. Straining his ears James managed to overhear what they were saying by taking a step or two closer. ‘’ Get off me Rollo or I swear I’ll scream. ’’ The woman cried trying her best to break free from the man’s hold. ‘’

Now really cousin, is that any way to speak to your future husband. ’ Brutally he slammed her shoulders back against the wall, smirking at the pain he’d clearly caused her. ‘’ I’ll never marry you. ’’ She vowed. ‘’ You don’t have a choice, you know the terms of your father’s arrangement. If you don’t find a husband this season you’ll marry me and let’s face it with four previously unsuccessful seasons behind you, it’s highly likely you won’t find anyone again. ’’

He stated smugly. As much as James hated to admit it the man, Rollo, had a point, the woman’s chances were slim at best by now. ’ There are plenty second son’s desperate enough for a dowry like mine. Lord knows I’ll marry a butcher, baker or candlestick maker before you Rollo. ’’ She bit back writhing uncontrollably. Rollo laughed and must’ve seen something in her eyes that alarmed him because he stilled unnaturally. James watched on unable to leave now he’d seen the full force of the man’s temper. Suddenly he grabbed the woman’s face and yanked it close to his own. ‘’ You stupid woman. You’re the daughter of an Earl, do you really think your father is going to let you marry anyone that might disgrace him?

No. I’m your only option. ’’ ‘’ I’ll run away. ’’ She blurted out. ‘’ Oh really? And do what? You’ve got very little money and no skills. You’ll be dead or a dockside whore within a week. ’’ Rollo declared, letting go of her chin with a push so her head crashed into the brick wall that trapped her. ‘’ I’d rather be a fallen woman than your wife any day of the week. ’’ James shook his head, she’d just said the wrong thing and he knew this path wasn’t going to end well. The poor woman unknowingly to herself egged on her tormentor in a way that would do her no good.

If their interaction went the way he was certain it was going then he didn’t know how much longer he’d be able to idly stand by and do nothing. Not when the lady in question obviously wanted rid of the man trying to frighten her. Her spirit intrigued him, most ladies by now would have summited with the amount of force being used but not her. Either she was used to being treated in such a way, a thought that bothered James more than he liked or she possessed a nature rare to find in ladies born to peers.

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