It'll Take More Than Roses To Steal My Breath Away12.216.225.10Posted On November 30, 2017 at 11:16 AM by Adelaide Claire LaBelle

i'm the hero of my own story, don't need a knight in shining armor

Growing up on the estate hadn't always been a lonely existence for the brunette woman. After all, Townsend had always been there in her life and to Adelaide he was more than just her companion. To her, he was her nearest and dearest friend that did not see her as a monetary gain and saw her for who she was. Never had he dared to try and stand in the way of her dreams by telling her they were nothing more than silly little daydreams that would only ever be just that. When her mother and father would disregard the young woman's words of what it was that she wanted for herself, she would tell Townsend and he would listen. He'd offered her a shoulder to cry those searing tears so full of anger and frustration on, been there to listen while she spilled out her heart and soul as those troubles and yearnings fell sometimes uncontrollably from those dusty rose-colored lips. When she was younger, she'd made friends with the few other children that played on the grounds of the estate, but they never compared to the bond that was shared between Adelaide and Townsend. The other children had treated her differently, never seeming to be fond of her games that she liked to play. They all wanted to play the princess locked away in some tower while the boys came along to slay a dragon and save the damsel in distress, but young Adelaide had been about games of exploring the deep jungles or sailing the wide-open sea. Her games had been about adventure and exploring, not acting like some meek damsel that needed a knight in shining armor to come along and save her, and it had seemed an unpopular choice of imaginary games among her few select peers. The girls would wrinkle their noses at the risk of getting their clothes dirty or climbing trees, telling young Adelaide that they'd much rather play house or have a tea party and though she would play along with them, there wasn't a bright and genuine smile to color those youthful features like there was when Townsend would muse her with whatever adventure she sought on that once enormous estate that only became smaller with the passing years. Even before she'd finally found such fairy tales to be pointless, there'd always been something in the girl that made her want more than to just sit around in custom made dresses chattering like birds about the weather or the charming young man that had visited the LaBelle residence. It was only when she realized that the other girls her age did not truly see and accept Adelaide as she was that things had gotten lonely and those figurative wings of hers truly started to crave the sky above.

Some might have looked at her then and thought her more of a tomboy than the well-bred daughter of the French nobleman, and perhaps to some degree she might have such a nature but that certainly did not mean she did not enjoy the finer things that a life of leisure had to offer. On the contrary, Adelaide never minded dressing in those fancy and expensive dresses for certain occasions, and while she wore mostly just the bare minimum as far as makeup was concerned that did not mean that she did not enjoy looking her best. She cared about how she looked to a certain length, but when her hair became windblown or she somehow managed to get a stain on one of her favorite articles of clothing, it was far from the end of the world as so many of her class might act or consider. She'd been raised to know that a lady had to look the part, be of both beauty and grace, but there were also times when she have to be. There were situations where it was smart to appear proud by sporting her most elegant ensembles, and there were also situations where she dressed more casually should an opportunity find her where she would get the chance to experience something new and exciting. After all, it was hard to enjoy oneself in a fitted dress. As she grew into who she was in this very moment, the need to climb that tree had shifted into something different and that tomboy-ish little girl had changed into a refined but strong young woman that would not let anyone other than herself be the maker of her bright future. She'd grown out of trivial things that had once served as her adventure and now, she found herself wanting more than the highest branch of the oak tree. Now, she wanted to those distant mountains, wanted to climb to the highest peak and see the world beneath her. While she would always enjoy to a slight degree silks and beautiful things, they had become less and less intriguing for her as the idea of the path less traveled and the promise of something amazing beyond that far off horizon began to call to the defiant young woman more and more until at last she was set free from that cage she'd been locked away in. Now, far away from her father and the borders of France, she was able to finally fly as she'd so desired, free to try and taste the sky as she flew ever farther and ever higher. Little did her parents know that when they opened that door to her freedom, she would do anything and everything it would take to be sure that she never saw the rolling hills of home again.

The French young woman knew what it was like to undervalued, to have someone look right through those windows to the soul and fail seeing a spirit for what it was. She knew what it was like to have high expectations set for her, to have someone trying to pull those strings to the future so that one was steered in the "proper" direction, and perhaps that was what drew her to Taylor. No, she didn't know anything beyond his name and his chivalrous act, but she couldn't help feeling like there was something beneath those worn clothes roguish smirk that seemed to find his lips often that whispered of so much more. There was nothing about him that suggested arrogance or conceit, not even the faintest suspicions of a haughty or two-faced demeanor that so many of the men she'd been more or less forced to meet had certainly carried with then. Adelaide was not some oblivious, naïve girl that others would take her for, thinking her completely unable to see past all the falsified kindness and empty words meant to swoon. She'd seen through her fair share of guises, their wearers having once thought her utterly incapable of doing only to be defiantly proven wrong and yet with Taylor, she found none of what she had unfortunately become so used to finding in others - more specifically men. It was almost impossible to explain, that feeling that seemed to brush ever so subtly against the wilds of her untamed heart which seemed to pull her towards the man, but it was that very unknown that caused the intrigue to flicker across those sage eyes that looked at him from beneath thick lashes. She couldn't exactly explain how it was that she "knew", but there was definitely something about Taylor that was unlike anyone she'd ever known, and she wanted to find out just what it was that separated him from the rest of the men she'd had the vast displeasure of encountering, what it was that seemed to call to her as those distant peaks behind the towering buildings did.

Keen sage eyes do not miss the reflected surprise and possible intrigue that flicker within those hunter depths that belonged to the first man in Adelaide’s life – aside from Townsend of course - that had earned the beginnings of what was known as her ever hard-to-earn trust, though at what surprised him she wasn’t sure but she was quick to dismiss this curiosity. She could not remember the last time that she did not look upon a man without any trace of suspicion or disinterest, but perhaps it was because of the fact that he seemed modest and kind, that he wasn’t out to try and earn her favor. After all, he knew nothing of her just as she knew nothing of him, though she would be lying to herself if she did not feel the ever so faint prick of uncertainty on just how his perspective of her would change when they arrived at her residence. It wouldn’t be hard to tell that she was well off, more so than what her clothes suggested. Most who earned a fair wage in their working life could know the luxuries of brand name clothes, it wasn’t really that hard to dress the part. It was, however, much harder to hide her monetary value with a four bedroom, two bath home that was clearly more space that she and the Englishman needed. It was the smallest thing that she could find though that did not seem claustrophobically small. Besides, she was very much used to large spaces, given her past and heritage. She pushes away that wondering of how he might react, deciding that she would simply have to wait and see if the dynamic that seemed to exist between them now would shift once they learned a little more of each other. No amount of uncertainty however slight would sway her from tending to the wounds that he had earned on her behalf. Even Taylor already seemed to understand that Adelaide was a determined woman as he does nothing to decline her again. A wise choice on his part, she muses lightly to herself.

League was all a matter of perspective, and as far as Adelaide was concerned if she were to regard him in such a light, he was much more worth her affections than the men who’ve approached her in the past. But she isn’t looking at him that way as his smirk only seems to grow when she is fitting the helmet neatly over her head and under her chin, that coy smile dancing upon her dusty rose lips. Instead, her coy smile only grows when he turns to look at the gauges on the motorcycle, breaking their gaze. If she didn’t know any better, she might say that he was attracted to her, and for the first time in so long that she could not recall a time before now, she found it endearing as he distracted himself instead of eyeing her like something to be purchased. If anything, she would even dare to say that she found him rather charming in turn though she keeps this easily to herself. When she moves into place beside him, she certainly doesn’t argue with the closeness that their mode of transportation required, finding his own scent to be a pleasant change from all those horridly strong colognes that so used to assault her senses. He announces their departure, hits the gas, and as they drive away from the parking lot near the burlesque with her dark locks streaming out behind her, she almost entirely forgets about the distasteful way in which they’d met. Such things were easy to forget when she was faced with the exhilaration of a first-time experience, and with a handsome man no less. Not just any man, but a man that she actually found pleasurable company in. As she assures him there was no reason to call bodyguards to her aide upon their arrival, her native tongue slipping through her English words, she can hear his voice over the roar of the machine and again she cannot help but give a bright note of lilted laughter.”If you find the term ‘my friend’ offending, then please tell me what you’d rather I call you if not Taylor”, she teases through silken words, the warmth of her breath brushing subtly against his skin only to be whisked away by the cold air that flew past them. She could think of a few other words for the man that had a surprising way of coaxing laughter from those plush lips of the French woman, though again her better judgment decides against calling him ‘handsome’ or ‘my dear’, figuring that ‘my friend’ was a safer course than the others she’d casually considered.

When they arrive in the driveway and he disengages the motorcycle, she dismounts gracefully, finding that she very much hoped that tonight would not be the first and last time she might enjoy such an endeavor, though she supposed it really depended on if Taylor stuck around or not after she’d patched him up. She is met with an easy smile accompanied by a chuckle as he explains that he’d had an extra hair tie in the bag on the machine. She would have been surprised though with the length of his hair it was sensible that he might own a few. His easy smile shifts back into that increasingly familiar smirk as he speaks of the confidence he had in her enjoyment of the ride he’d given her and that coy smile finds her features once more. How curious this man was, confident one moment and almost timid the next. Was this normally how he was around a pretty face? She refrains from posing the teasing question though and instead focuses her attention to the wounds on his arm that he now tries to hide from her, this only encouraging an arched brow to lift in amused question, though when she asks that he follow her he does not hesitate, ushering a common phrase she was accustomed to hearing. As they approach the door and Townsend meets them, Adelaide and the Englishman exchanging brief words, she turns when they’re standing near the bottom of the stairwell. Taylor’s words summon a look of question from the Englishman who raises a brow but says nothing – thankfully so, as Adelaide was familiar with that look Townsend fixed Taylor with and it causes her to give a light roll of her eyes. It is when Taylor speaks again and again that coy smile alights her lips.”Yes, well, it was a much needed escape all the same”, she says nonchalantly despite the clearly exasperated look that now flashes across Townsend’s face.”I simply ask that next time, you inform me of your whereabouts next time you feel so inclined”, he answers in his own matter-of-factual way.

His reply to her question of what he would like to drink has her attention returning to rest wholly over Taylor again. Tequila? Beer? She was sure they had something along those lines, though it was mostly Townsend who tended to the grocery shopping and inventory, but as she offers him briefly what she knew they had, he gives her that smirk yet again before replying, her sage gaze glittering. Surprise him, then? She could manage as much, though when he states that he would drink whatever she would, she is quick to stifle a note of laughter. He hardly seemed like the wine truly, and so if it was what she was drinking that he would want, then she would go with her second favorite liquor. She turns to the ever patient Englishman.”A bottle of Bastille would do nicely, I think”, she says in smoothly ushered accented words.”Oh, and some tweezers as well please, Townsend”, she adds quickly as she remembers the glass in Taylor’s arm.”Very well, Miss LaBelle”, Townsend responds before disappearing down the hall and towards where the liquor was stored. She turns back to Taylor now, stepping closer to him as she reaches for his hand.”This way, please Monsieur”, she purrs as she leads him into the living area down the hall and to their right where there were two couches separated by a small table and two oak shelves decorated with vases, books, and various other sculptures flanking a warmly lit fireplace. She only releases his hand as she sits on couch beneath the oil painting, gesturing to the place beside her. When he sits, she angles herself towards him, once again reach for the founds, sage eyes inspecting the pieces of glass.”We’ll be here for a while it seems, but that’s alright”, she ushers thoughtfully, only turning away from him as she hears the unmistakable clicking of claws against the floor.

Like clockwork, Reginal and Rose appear from around the corner and move to sit nearby, dark eyes obviously eyeing the stranger who sat with their mistress though neither makes an aggressive move. Townsend appears quickly after them, bringing a bottle of bright amber liquor and two crystal glasses with ice, offering the tweezers and damp washcloth from his other hand to Adelaide who only briefly glances up at the Englishman as he pours the whisky into each glass before setting the bottle back on the table.”Thank you, Townsend. That will be all for now”, she says dismissively though the older man falters for a moment as though he was about to say something, but seems to decide against it.”I will be in the study then, Miss…”, she says at last before giving Taylor another curious glance and disappearing around the corner. The young woman wastes little time working the tweezers, carefully pulling out the shards of glass that were embedded into his forearm before dispending the pieces on the table.”So, Taylor, tell me more about yourself. Are you from here?”, she inquires lightly, a gentle smile dancing across her lips as sage eyes looking up to his hunter greens before looking back down to the wounds as she continued to work on the length of his arm, one hand holding it up as the other operated the tweezers methodically. It seemed like a safe place to start the conversation and the process of learning about Taylor as sat beside her while she repaid his kindness. It would be a shame if she spooked the poor man by attempting to delve into too deeply into those uncharted waters too hastily.

Adelaide Claire LaBelle•*
dante|image by alexandru zdrobau


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