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Love is Only the Beginning: Chapter One

by Kay Kay


The slow beat music of the wedding swung to a halt, and I Susannah Leroux, breathlessly, sank into a satin covered couch. My partner planted himself roughly beside me.

“Idiot, you’re going to make us fall backwards,” I complained to him.

“Well, sorry,” William Castallono said, scooting closer to me.

I looked around the floor at the many couples dancing around; most of them related to me in one way or another. It was my cousin, Elizabeth Passarello’s wedding. She looked so beautiful in that flowing long white dress that my grandmother had wore in her wedding. I would be the next one to be wearing that dress.

This was when I noticed that my parents were watching me. It was pretty obvious since they both had their heads turned facing my direction. Disgusted, I glanced over at the man sitting next to me.

“Not too close; they will think we are married or something,” I stated, pushing William away.

“Since we are betrothed, I have every right to sit close to you,” he said arrogantly.

“If you ask me, I think it is absurd that my parents picked you.”

“Susannah….” For some reason, he smiled. “When we are married, I’ll teach you some respect.”

“If you live that long.”

I watched his reaction, which was an unblinking gaze at me. He quickly recovered and laughed.

“Death is not something to banter about, William,” I said with an evil smile. It was working.

William Castallono was the fourth man I had been betrothed to that year. It had been so easy to scare the other three away; this one was really annoying me. I had always wanted a passion for me, and not my money. My family was the second richest family on the coast. The men I had been betrothed to before wanted that money. They thought marrying me would get them a taste of how rich the Leroux family was. Only problem with that, is the fact that I dream of love, not fondness.

Sure, I wanted to get married, but not to someone who didn’t want…well me. The person for me just had not showed up yet.

I had to get rid of William soon or I would be stuck with him. But how? Nothing seems to be working well enough to scare him off.

“Susannah.”

The sound of my name being called brought me out of my thoughts. I looked up to find my father standing there. “Yes?” I asked, glancing past him. “What is it?”

“I was hoping to dance with my daughter,” Jonathon Leroux stated, extending a gloved hand in my direction.

“Sure.”

I crossed the dance floor, happy to be leaving William’s side. My father and I began to dance to a slow paced song. “Are your enjoying yourself?”

He was looking down at me with a smile.

“Unfortunately no.”

“Why is that, Susannah?”

“I am not happy with William,” I answered quietly.

“I see.”

“Are you angry?”

“Only a little.”

I smiled unexpectedly.

“Daddy, why are you smiling like that?”

“You are very beautiful tonight.”

I shook my head; sending dark curls in all directions.

It was then that I heard William’s voice asking, “May I cut in?”

“Of course,” Jonathon answered.

Once again, I was with my fiancé, and hating it. I wanted to chew my arm off, for he was touching it. His touch on my arm was like fire.

I was in the middle of dancing with William when the entrance doors opened. In stepped a large man with a large coat; he was wet from the rain. Either way, he was very good looking, and by the look of things, not from around here. The man was addressed by Elizabeth’s father my uncle.

I watched as he took off the coat; revealing dry clothing, and a well built body. His hair was midnight-black, and glistening green eyes serious. He looked at me as if my staring had caught his attention.

A smile was forming at the corners of his mouth as he bowed. He had a very nice smile that made my heart flutter. I wanted to dance with him so badly that it was hurting me. In fact, I just wanted to be touched by him. Thinking these thoughts, I completely forgot about the man I was dancing with.

William led me around the room dancing, but I never took my eyes off of the man with the midnight-black hair. He seemed to be always watching me too. When the song ended, my betroth pulled me by the arm to the balcony of the Passarello Manor. The only reason I allowed it was because my parents were standing not too far away watching. That was when I had lost sight of the man.

But once we were out of sight, I yanked my arm from his grasp. Startled, he said, “I have received your betroth ring.”

I looked at the ring between his thumb and index finger. It was so beautiful that I could not help but extend my hand in his direction. I had always wanted one of these rings. It was a dark green emerald surrounded by little diamonds. He slipped it on my finger. Only problem was that he had clutched my hand. There went the moment. Anger whelmed up inside of me, and I completely forgot about the ring I had just received.

“I am only going to say this once so listen carefully….” I took a deep breath, and sneered; “Release my hand before I start screaming that I am being raped.”

“Dear Susannah, do not say such things to cover up how you really feel,” he coaxed, taking a step forward. I took a step backward.

There was nowhere to go now, for I was standing against the wall over looking the Passarello plantation. It would now be easy to make me fall to my death. Lucky for me, that is not the intention William Castallono was going for.

“William please,” I whispered, knowing that if I jerked my hand free from his fingers, that I would surely fall backward.

“Susannah.” He was leaning toward my face to kiss me.

Please, God, I prayed. Help me.

“Excuse me?” A masculine voice asked. William turned slightly, releasing my hand. I quickly moved away from the edge, and my fiancé.

Standing there was the man with the midnight-black hair. Even though it was dark, I could see that his glistening green eyes were serious.

“I am not a guest here, but am wondering whether I could acquire a dance with the lady,” he exclaimed smoothly. But before I could answer, William said, “We are a little busy; perhaps…never.”

It was then that the thought popped into my head. How much had he heard? Had he heard my threat to my fiancé? It was possible, but there was a chance that he had. I could not allow him to re-enter the reception if he had. There was after all, my reputation to be kept.

For many years, I had led everyone to think that I was an elegant young lady while for real I was what some might call evil. The only people who knew of the obnoxious me were the three men I had scared off. If anyone found out that I was not the sweet Susannah Leroux that I pretended to be, then all my accomplishments would be ruined.

“Well it looks,” the man exclaimed; bringing me out of my thoughts. “As, though, the lady would like to leave your presence.”

William looked at me for a moment then, turned back to face the man. He stated, “And who are you to judge so? I am her betroth so I have every right to say what she can and cannot do.”

Even though it was true, my blood began to boil with hate. What happened next was not planned. “Yes.” I answered, “I would love to dance with you.”

I began to walk towards the man, but William grabbed hold on my floor lengthen dress, and tugged while saying, “Susannah, you are wearing my betroth ring. I forbid you to dance with this man.”

That did it. I did not care whether the man with the midnight-black hair saw or not. I turned around and angrily said, “If you do not release my dress, so help me God, I will stab you in the heart on our wedding night.”

Absolutely stunned, he released my dress as if it had burned him. “Susannah, I do not understand.”

“Let me clear it up for you, William Castallono, I do not want to marry you.”

With that, I picked up my skirts, and walked over to the man waiting to dance with me. He stood there, his arm extended in my direction. I took hold of his arm as he exclaimed, “It is just one little dance.”

Ignoring looks from my parents and relatives, I crossed the room with him. We smiled at each other, dancing.

“So who are you?” I asked, gazing into his dark green eyes.

“I apologize for not introducing myself. I am Jessie Lafayette,” he answered.

“Susannah Leroux.”

“Nice to make your acquaintance, Miss Susannah.”

“You are not from around here are you?” I already knew the answer. For when I told him who I was he didn’t mention my being rich.

“No, I was on my way home when my carriage got stuck in the mud,” Jessie explained to me. I liked the way he talked, his accent. “I live on the other side of the lake.”

“I have never been past the lake. My parents will not allow me to do so.”

He nodded in what seemed to be an understanding. Then, smiling, he asked, “Would it be too bold to ask of your years?”

“No…I am eighteen. And you?”

For some unknown reason he smiled even more. What was going on in that head of his? Is he realizing that I am of the proper marriage age or something? I could not decide what it could be.

As another song began to play, as he answered, “Twenty one.” Paused. “Your betroth, you do not like him much do you?”

So Jessie had heard my first threat towards William. Alarm shot up through me so quickly that I blurted, “Please do not tell anyone.”

I felt my face and neck turning red.

He chuckled; asked, “Let me guess, you have a reputation to be kept?”

“Yes.”

“I will take it to the grave. What did you say when he became your fiancé?”

“I told William that I hoped he would die before then,” I informed him as a matter of fact. We began to laugh. I could not help what I asked him next. “Do you have a betroth?”

This seemed to startle him a bit. At first he hesitated, but said, “She died.”

“I am sorry for bringing it up.”

“You could not have known.”

Suddenly, I heard my father’s voice asking, “May I cut in?”

“Oh, Jessie, this is my father, Jonathon Leroux.” I stated, “Daddy, this is Jessie Lafayette.”

“Very nice to meet you,” my father mumbled, pulling me away. He danced me away from Jessie, who stood there watching me. I never took my eyes off him either; at least not for the rest of the reception, anyway.


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22 Reviews


Points: 451
Reviews: 22

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Wed Jun 26, 2013 3:35 am
Paige wrote a review...



Wow. Wow. Wow!

I'm totally hooked.

Your grammar was close to perfect, if not perfect. I may have noticed one or two errors, but compared to other works I've seen, there is no comparison! Overall, grammar is amazing.

Secondly, I love Susannah's attitude and, for lack of better word, spunk. She's a very agreeable character. You know, how sometimes you can't stand a character? Well, Susannah is definitely not one of those! I also love the way you introduced Jessie. Additionally, you delicately described Susannah's frustration with the fact that she came from money, without making her sound ungrateful, or stuck up. I honestly wish I could live in this story! It's amazing so far.

One thing I would try to add to additional chapters is detail. For the first chapter I thought the details were adequate, but I would have loved to read more of the description of the reception. One of my favorite parts of writing is trying to describe the scene I picture in my head. I love seeing my stories come to life on the page. But, in the first chapter, I try to refrain from details, because when you begin a story, it can be overwhelming, because readers want to read about the characters and the situation, rather than the color of the curtains and whatnot. So this chapter is fine, detail-wise. From here on, though, I would add more details to the story.

Overall, I'm in love with this story so far, and I am definitely a huge fan. You're very talented!

Keep writing.

Love,

Paige




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Wed Jun 10, 2009 6:18 am
Kiss In The Rain wrote a review...



Another spectacular read. I really enjoy Jessie, for I know a man most like him, haha :lol:. I am a little confused, though. I am assuming that this takes place in a rather old-fashioned time...right? Or is this a culture most people don't know about? If you could clarify, that would be awesome :).

Critiquing time! This will seem like a ton of things that I suggest you fix, but most of it will be a quote, and almost everything is grammar, I promise :).

The slow beat music of the wedding swung to a halt, and I Susannah Leroux, breathlessly, sank into a satin covered couch.

:arrow: You should add a hyphen between "slow" and "beat" to make it "slow-beat"
:arrow: also, you need a comma between "I" and "Susannah" to make it "I, Sussanah Leroux"
:arrow: you can omit the comma between "breathlessly" and "sank"
:arrow: "into" should be "on to"

I looked around the floor at the many couples dancing around; most of them related to me in one way or another.


She looked so beautiful in that flowing long white dress that my grandmother had wore in her wedding.

:arrow: in that long, flowing white dress

It was pretty obvious since they both had their heads turned facing my direction. Disgusted, I glanced over at the man sitting next to me.

:arrow: the first sentence is kind of awkward... I would say something more like "It was quite obvious, as they kept throwing furtive glances in my direction" or something like that


I watched his reaction, which was an unblinking gaze at me.

:arrow: this is kind of awakard too. Try "I carefully watched is reaction: his dull (insert color here) eyes gazing unblinkingly at me"

I had always wanted a passion for me, and not my money. My family was the second richest family on the coast. The men I had been betrothed to before wanted that money. They thought marrying me would get them a taste of how rich the Leroux family was. Only problem with that, is the fact that I dream of love, not fondness.

:arrow: do you mean "I had always wanted someone with a passion for me"?
:arrow: there are a series of really simple sentences in there, and you can definitely combine some of them
:arrow: also, you should add "for money" on the very end of the last sentence

The person for me just had not showed up yet.

:arrow: had just not shown up yet

"Unfortunately no"

:arrow: two things: One: you either need a comma after "unfortunately"
or
Two: you need to word it "No, unfortunately"

I smiled unexpectedly.
“Daddy, why are you smiling like that?”

:arrow: I wasn't really sure if you meant that Susannah was smiling in return to her father or if you meant that her dad smiled unexpectedly. Please make that clearer


In stepped a large man with a large coat; he was wet from the rain. Either way, he was very good looking, and by the look of things, not from around here. The man was addressed by Elizabeth’s father my uncle.

:arrow: this is a little awkward. The first sentence is fine, but the second part of it could be added to the second sentence so it looks like "He was wet from the rain and he was very goodlooking. By the look of things, he wasn't from around here." It flows better that way
:arrow: also, the last sentence should have a comma after "Elizabeth's father"

I watched as he took off the coat; revealing dry clothing, and a well built body. His hair was midnight-black, and glistening green eyes serious. He looked at me as if my staring had caught his attention.

:arrow: the semicolon in the first sentence should be a comma.
:arrow: "glistening green eyes serious" doesn't make sense. Maybe word it more like "and his serious green eyes were glistening

A smile was forming at the corners of his mouth as he bowed. He had a very nice smile that made my heart flutter. I wanted to dance with him so badly that it was hurting me. In fact, I just wanted to be touched by him. Thinking these thoughts, I completely forgot about the man I was dancing with.

:arrow: I hope this guy is mouthwateringly ahmazing :lol: because most sane people don't have that kind of physical draw to a person unless they are a lover or Edward Cullen, :lol:. Maybe tone it down a bit? She's eighteen, she should be able to control her impulses a little bit better, lol.

When the song ended, my betroth pulled me by the arm to the balcony of the Passarello Manor.

:arrow: should be "betrothed"

That was when I had lost sight of the man.
But once we were out of sight, I yanked my arm from his grasp. Startled, he said, “I have received your betroth ring.”

:arrow: I would say that you should make this one paragraph
:arrow: should be "betrothal"

“I am only going to say this once so listen carefully….” I took a deep breath, and sneered; “Release my hand before I start screaming that I am being raped.”

:arrow: should be a comma instead of a semicolon

Standing there was the man with the midnight-black hair. Even though it was dark, I could see that his glistening green eyes were serious.

:arrow: the description of Jessie is a little bit monotonous at this point; spice it up a little. Change black to "charcoal" or "pitch" and change green to "jade" or "peridot" (depending on the shade of green his eyes are)

But before I could answer, William said, “We are a little busy; perhaps…never.”

:arrow: cut the "but" and make this sentence a new paragraph

There was after all, my reputation to be kept.

:arrow: "there was my reputation to keep, after all"

For many years, I had led everyone to think that I was an elegant young lady while for real I was what some might call evil. The only people who knew of the obnoxious me were the three men I had scared off. If anyone found out that I was not the sweet Susannah Leroux that I pretended to be, then all my accomplishments would be ruined.

:arrow: this sounds a little off. The tone and setting of this piece all hints towards 17-1800s dialogue, and this sounds like a petty teenager of today (lol). Try and reword the first sentence; the rest is okay as is.

“Well it looks,” the man exclaimed; bringing me out of my thoughts. “As, though, the lady would like to leave your presence.”

:arrow: change semicolon into comma and make "as" lowercase; also, cut the comma after "as"

William looked at me for a moment then, turned back to face the man. He stated, “And who are you to judge so? I am her betroth so I have every right to say what she can and cannot do.”

:arrow: cut the first comma
:arrow: "And" should not be capitalized
:arrow: "betroth" should be "betrothed

I began to walk towards the man, but William grabbed hold on my floor lengthen dress, and tugged while saying, “Susannah, you are wearing my betroth ring. I forbid you to dance with this man.”

:arrow: "on" should be "of"
:arrow: cut the second comma
:arrow: um, I would change something about the betrothal ring. Maybe say that he wears the breeches in the family and that he has control; it would pertain more to the time period

For when I told him who I was he didn’t mention my being rich.

:arrow: "For when I told him who I was, he didn't mention anything about my wealth"

“No, I was on my way home when my carriage got stuck in the mud,” Jessie explained to me. I liked the way he talked, his accent. “I live on the other side of the lake.”

:arrow: I really like how you talk about his accent. Is he just from across the lake? Or does he come from somewhere else?

Is he realizing that I am of the proper marriage age or something? I could not decide what it could be.
As another song began to play, as he answered, “Twenty one.” Paused. “Your betroth, you do not like him much do you?”

:arrow: "is he realizing that I am of the proper age of mariage or something?"
:arrow: either you need to cut the first "as" and the comma, or you need to cut the second "as"
:arrow: instead of "paused" it should just be "pause"
:arrow: "your betrothed...you do not like him much, do you?"

I told William that I hoped he would die before then,” I informed him as a matter of fact. We began to laugh. I could not help what I asked him next. “Do you have a betroth?”

:arrow: cut the "a" and change "matter of fact" to "matter-of-factly"
:arrow: should be betrothed

*~*

I appologize; I know it looks like a lot, but really it isn't :). This was brilliant, truely. I can't wait to get to chapter 3!




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Fri Jun 05, 2009 7:49 am
SuzieCake wrote a review...



I enjoyed this. When I read the prologue, I thought it wasn't going to be very interesting, but as I read chapter one, I wondered to myself, "Gosh! What was I thinking? This is amazing and I wish I could write something this interesting!" So... Gold stars!

The rest of my review is in the attachment. If you have any questions, feel free to PM me. :)




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Thu Nov 02, 2006 3:17 am
Certainly Love wrote a review...



Hey, I think you might like reading my work. Maybe it will inspire you. Your work is great...try and set the story in third person. Oh and I would also like to know when and where the setting takes place.

Be sure to pay attention to your dialogue. I get confused at times because I'm thinking, it's in th 1800s...Then I read another dialogue and then I start thinking, it's in modern time. Your story would be great if you worded them differently. I say, you dare take my advice, I think you would be the best writer I have met so far out of all those who are writing a romance.




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Thu Oct 19, 2006 1:31 pm
lexy says...



i'm going straight to chapter 2 !!! xxxx




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Tue Mar 22, 2005 3:27 am
Sam says...



You call the one guy 'the man with the midnight black hair' way too often. Try changing the phrase a little bit, OK? lol




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Sat Mar 19, 2005 5:30 pm
ohhewwo wrote a review...



Not bad.

There are a few places where a comma could be used. And at some point in the chapter, you said "matter-of-fact", instead of "matter-of-factly." There were not many other errors that I caught.

It would also be a good idea to say at some point what culture these characters are from. I'm not sure how many people know about cultures in which peoples' spouses are chosen, at least not on this forum.

But, It was pretty good, and I'll be looking forward to the next chapter. Just make sure not to make the chapters to long. This one wasn't, I'm just saying...





"Do not try to be pretty. You weren't meant to be pretty; you were meant to burn down the earth and graffiti the sky. Don't let anyone ever simplify you to just 'pretty'"
— Suzanne Rivard