Marry Me, Meredith Excerpt


Chapter One


“Oh, he’s not here!”

It didn’t matter that no one could hear the words she uttered. It was bad enough that she could. And she didn’t even need to say the words aloud to know their truth. The season of 1808 had been and gone, well almost gone, it’s final passing was a mere formality. Along with the fact that she had to acknowledge that 1809, would become the year that a new word was about to become associated with her name.


There was no surprise, really, that the dreaded word so closely resembled sinister! A sinister spinster – there was an alliteration for you. It could easily have been Merry Meredith or Marry me please, Meredith!

But no, there had been no marvelous men or becoming bachelors who’d risen from whereabouts unknown to burst upon her life and break its monochrome machinations with colour and extravagance. Only Bella, her younger sister, had managed to set the Ton ablaze with her daring capture of the most dashing duke of all.  Not that she wanted to compete with her or, in any way, resented the happily ever after of falling in love, and it was love that Bella had blissfully tumbled headfirst into. It was the type of love that she'd hoped to experience herself, but it was not to be. Or perhaps she should really say, it had not been.

A solitary season it had begun and now was finishing. And as she lay on her bed, staring at the ceiling, trying to decide how she’d move into spinsterhood with dignity and decorum she idly swung her foot, back and forward. If Bella could survive the wicked web her path to love had trod, she could manage this. Easily! She just needed to begin as she meant to carry on. She needed to -- 

"Meredith?" Sarah her youngest of four and, at the moment, most unwelcome sister burst into her room interrupting her deliberations. “Ready, Meredith?”

She nodded. Her clothes had been packed. Her jewellery stowed and her paints tucked away ready for the trip home.  It was pretty obvious she was ready. Willing, not really! But ready, her lack of fripperies around her spoke to that. “How much longer do you think Mother will be?” Meredith asked.

  “Probably nightfall,” Sarah moaned. Her long blonde locks swung about her head and her green eyes flashed with impatience, instead of their usual excitement.

“Really? That bad is it?”  The roll of her eyes pretty much summed up what Meredith was expecting.

“Everything’s packed!” Sarah said as she frowned. “ There’s nothing for me to do.”

Meredith ruffled her sister’s hair. Her mother was a force of nature, seldom still, seldom predictable and always one whom any sane person should avoid when it came to organizing a departure from town.

Earlier, when Meredith had ventured downstairs the poor maids were going through the rooms for the third time, checking all was left as her mother wished.  Meredith would have loved to help, but her mother made it quite clear, this was her role and Meredith was fulfilling hers staying out of the way. In the end, she was happy to oblige. If her mother didn’t need her help and she didn’t, then she was happy to save her energy for a need that did. If only she could find one.