Thursday, October 20, 2011

Fiction Friday - Installment 1.2

It’s time for Fiction Friday! How does Fiction Friday work? Well, kind of like those old Choose Your Own Adventure stories, but with a lot more room. Read the beginning of the story below. At the end, you’ll find a question. You the reader will get to determine what happens next. Leave a comment. If one suggestion gets overwhelming support, the story will go that direction. If they’re all equally supported, I’ll pick one at random.  You get to determine where the plot goes. So read, enjoy, and tell me what you want to happen next.  

Past Segments:  1


                “I have a proposition for you.”
                Olivia stumbled. The only thing that kept her from hitting the floor in an embarrassing heap was the tightening of Lord Clampton’s strong arm around her waist. He pulled her upright and propelled her into the next spin of the dance so fast, she was sure no one else noticed the near catastrophe.
                “I beg your pardon,” Olivia said once she caught her breath again. “I believe we should make for the edge of the dance floor, sir.”
                Lord Clampton’s grin leaned towards menacing. “You do not want to hear what I have to say?”
                “You have said quite enough.”
                “My, my, Lady Olivia, what could you possibly think I was referring to?”
                Olivia’s breath cut sharply into her lungs. Why was it that every time she dealt with the viscount, she was left feeling ridiculous? She refused to let him get the better of her this time. No matter what twist he tried to throw at her, she would not allow him to win this encounter.
                “What you meant matters not. I am not interested in any proposition of any kind from you.”
                “Even if it involves getting you out of London for the rest of the season?” Lord Clampton’s face was the picture of complete innocence.
                Olivia’s eyes narrowed. He could not know how much she longed to be anywhere but London. “You must be mad to think a young girl would want to leave London in the middle of her first season.”
                “I have watched you, Lady Olivia. You have not been enjoying yourself.”
                “You have – What do you mean you have watched me?”
                Lord Clampton shrugged. “I have watched many girls. You are the one who seems to suit my purpose best.”
                Why had no one told her he was insane?
                “My sister is traveling with me for the next couple of months. I am in need of a companion for her. I believe you would suit her needs admirably.”
                “Yes. You have heard of the concept, I assume.”
                “Of course, but… I am not in need of employment.” Olivia’s eyebrows drew together in confusion. She was grateful that the dance was drawing to a close. With any luck, they would be near the door at the close of the song. A trip to the retiring room was definitely in order. It was the only place she could be assured of not being asked to dance by anyone else.
                “I have no intention of paying you.”
                “Then what is in it for me?”
                The music ended. Olivia dipped low into a curtsy while Lord Clampton executed a much shallower, but elegant bow. “Have you ever left London?”
                Olivia didn’t answer. It was well known that her father preferred the city to the country. One of the things she had been looking forward to now that she was actually out in society was her first country house party invitation. Much to her mother’s chagrin, she loved to read about places beyond Hyde Park and Bond Street. Her main prayer was to marry a man who wanted to take her traveling. Could she really escape this matrimony madhouse and travel without getting married yet?
                Lord Clampton gently took her hand and looped her arm into his as he escorted her back to her mother. “I can see you’re thinking about it. I shall call on you tomorrow to discuss it in more detail. Please endeavor to be home at three o’clock.”
The next afternoon, Olivia paced back and forth in her bedroom. She glanced at the clock. It was a quarter to three. He would be here soon.
She tossed all night thinking about Lord Clampton’s offer. Breakfast that morning had been the deciding factor for her. Her mother dissected every moment from last night’s ball over coddled eggs and toast. The prospect of having every morning begin with a recitation of her uncomfortable encounters from the night before was daunting indeed. The alternative of actually seeing part of the country and putting off the husband hunt for another year was very appealing.
Ten to three.
Could she really do this? The potential contact with Lord Clampton would probably be enough for her parents to agree. He might be a viscount now, but he was in line for an earldom. He had an impeccable reputation, a solid family fortune, and a solid future.
Five to three.
Olivia took a deep breath. She looked out her window. The view was the same it had always been. The desire to see something, anything else was overpowering.
Three o’clock.
She pulled open the door of her bedroom and started downstairs. She would agree to accompany the viscount’s sister, but first she had a few requirements of her own.

What do you think? What is Olivia going to demand in return for providing companionship for Lord Clampton’s sister? Leave it in the comments below.  If you see one you like already, comment about it. Comments will close Thursday about noon-ish. The answer and the next installment will be up next Friday.                This week congratulations go to Alana. Hope you enjoyed seeing your plot line come to life!

This installment is now closed to plot suggestions. Please look for the next installment to make your recommendations. 


  1. Hmmm, what should she request?

    Request first something frivolous to see what he's made dresses. ;-) But then, her real request is that she be educated and given the opportunity to pursue her greatest joy and gift...writing or something like that. ;-)

  2. She should request to meet the sister (who could turn out to be very demanding and childish, very shy and hard to get to know, etc.).
    She should request to choose the destination of one trip.
    She needs to make sure that she will have respectable housing (while blushing since he is also traveling).

  3. I Think she should request to be able to pick one of the locations on the route. I think a prestigious library or something along that lines. Something that indicates she wants to rise about the expectations for a woman of her time. She could also be picky about the carriage, i.e. a barouche-landau. Like she was a gearhead in the early 1800s.