Against All Odds by Dusty273

ReviewsRating: NC-17

Summary: Buffy Summers is a vibrant, passionate young girl in love for the first time in her life with Angel O’Connor, to whom she’s secretly engaged. When he has to go back to his native Ireland to take care of his business, fate intervenes and she meets the very daring and impulsive Duke of Aurelius, Spike. From the moment he lays eyes upon her, he decides he wants her for himself and sets upon making it happen. Will Spike get what he wants, and if so, at what price? Written for the Spuffy_fantasy (LJ) Art-A-Thon. For the gorgeous banner made by drkdevin (Number 9).

Text + | -


Chapter 3. Marriage is the Death of Hope

Chapter Notes: A thousand thanks to my lovely IBE, for being there for me always, but especially this past week, *glomps* for the edits, for the encouragement and the little surprise you’ll find at the end of this chapter. ;) Thank you as well to jamies_lady, I don’t think I can thank you enough for all the help with this chapter and the whole story. And thanks to OKDeanna and Tammy for the read-through and Sotia for being her very sweet self. *snuggles* I’m truly grateful for having friends like you.


 

What to do if you find yourself stuck in a crack in the ground underneath a giant boulder you can't move, with no hope of rescue. Consider how lucky you are that life has been good to you so far. Alternatively, if life hasn't been good to you so far, which given your current circumstances seems more likely, consider how lucky you are that it won't be troubling you much longer. ~Douglas Adams

Chapter 3. Marriage is the Death of Hope

The next day

Buffy sighed contentedly as she worked on her newest embroidery project in the terrace of her room. A monogrammed pillowcase with Angel and her initials intertwined in a lovely cross-stitch pattern.

Angel. It’d been a week since she saw him last and she missed him so much already. The time until he returned couldn’t come fast enough for her. She couldn’t wait for the day when she left this house for good either.

She loved her mother dearly, but her father… her father was another story altogether, she shuddered. She’d been in luck the day before, getting back from the Letter Office before him. If not, had she come home and found him already in the house, she dreaded thinking of what might have happened then.

And it would’ve been all his fault. Damn him and his bluer than blue eyes and his insistence of not letting her go until she gave him her name!

Who did he think he was, anyway? Or rather, who did he think she was? Yes, she accepted she was quite independent and rebellious at times, and perhaps she shouldn’t have been walking about the city without the footman, but that couldn’t be helped that day with him having to deliver an urgent message for her father and anyway, that didn’t mean she would climb into a stranger’s carriage just because he asked, now did it?

He must have thought she was easy prey because he found her alone. Well, she wouldn’t give him another chance to do so. Although she hated the idea of not being able to go on her morning walks to the park, the notion of possibly running into him again was even more daunting. There was something about him, something that affected her on a level she didn’t want to contemplate.

She was torn from her musings—and not a moment too soon—by a knock on the door, and after putting the pillow inside the basket where she kept all her needlepoint threads, she called out, “Come in.”

Buffy sighed in relief when she noticed it was Willow and not someone else. The maid was almost the same age as her, having worked in her house since she was a little girl, and had come with them when they moved to London. She was the one who accompanied her in her outings. The redhead didn’t stay with her the entire time though, allowing Buffy some private moments during which she met Angel. Buffy wasn’t sure if Willow knew of Angel, but she hadn’t told her about him either. She didn’t trust anyone enough with that secret to share it… yet.

“Good morning, Miss Elizabeth.” The girl did a small curtsy and Buffy rolled her eyes.

“How many times have I told you to call me Buffy, Willow, and please stop with that curtsying nonsense? At least when we’re alone.”

“Well, many, but old habits die hard, I imagine.” The redhead smiled before her expression turned to one of concern. “I was surprised when Mrs. Travis told us in the kitchen you were in your room. Are you not feeling alright, Buffy?”

“I’m alright, don’t worry. I just didn’t feel like going out today.” Or ever again, she added to herself.

“Oh, I thought perhaps it might be nerves due to all the preparations.”

“Preparations?” Her heart did a summersault inside her chest before it started a mad gallop. She had a feeling she wasn’t going to like Willow’s answer to her question.

“You don’t know?” Willow paled, biting her lower lip. Now she’d truly messed up.

“Know what, Willow?” The other girl’s demeanor was making her all kinds of nervous.

“It seems the Duke of Aurelius is coming to dinner tonight,” Willow started, unsure if she should tell her friend the rest.

“The Duke of Aurelius? Never heard of him. And I still don’t see what that has to do with me.” Buffy frowned, confused over why a Duke coming to eat at their house would bother her friend so much. True, they didn’t get that many visitors, but still…

“God, Buffy, I don’t know how to tell you this.”

“What? Willow, tell me please, you’re making me worry.” A million possibilities were running through her head now at her friend’s reticence to speak clearly.

“Well, it seems your betrothal will be announced tonight at dinner and a wedding date will be settled.”

“My betrothal?” She blinked. Had she entered some alternate reality where her parents were actually agreeing to her marriage with Angel, but how could they when… Oh God, no! She couldn’t have meant… Oh God, oh God, oh God!

She barely made it to the chamber pot, heaving until there was nothing left in her stomach. Once she finished, she leaned back and gladly accepted the damp cloth Willow had at the ready for her.

“Are you alright, Buffy?” she asked solicitously, helping the girl to the bed, wincing slightly as she berated herself, Dumb question, Willow, of course she’s not alright.

Buffy didn’t even listen to her. She was shocked out of her mind. This couldn’t be happening to her; it had to be a nightmare. A very, very bad nightmare.

Perhaps Willow heard wrong or well, she hadn’t really said who they were marrying her off to. Yes, that was it, she was jumping to conclusions.

“Willow, please tell me, who are they planning to marry me to?” She took the girl’s hand in hers and made her sit next to her in the bed.

“Why, but the Duke of Aurelius, of course,” Willow answered. “You’re a very lucky girl, Buffy. He’s one of the most eligible bachelors in the country, one of the richest, too.”

“Which means he’s very probably a wrinkly old man.” Buffy shuddered, remembering the few friends of her grandfather she’d met at his memorial service and wracking her mind trying to put a face to the Duke. “How could he do this to me?”

“Who?”

“My father, that’s who!” What was she going to do now? Escape? But where could she go, she didn’t have money of her own, she wouldn’t make it that far and she couldn’t in good faith ask Willow to lend her money when she wasn’t sure she would be able to give it back.

As if that wasn’t enough, her only friend was looking at her as if she were insane. Which she probably would be if she had to marry the damned Duke! God, why did Angel have to go when she needed him the most? She sighed dejectedly.

Willow couldn’t understand what was wrong with Buffy. The Duke of Aurelius was very far from being a wrinkly old man as her friend had put it. Very, very far. And she might have said that, but the other girl looked so miserable at the moment, she couldn’t bring herself to say anything else. She’d done more than enough damage already.

“Perhaps,” Buffy started, an idea starting to form in her head. “I can convince the Duke I’m not the kind of bride he’s looking for? Make myself look so hideous he’d run away scared? It could work, couldn’t it? He doesn’t know me, after all.”

“I hate to tell you this, but… you couldn’t look hideous if you tried and what do you think your parents will say when you appear like that?”

Damn! She’d forgotten about them. Still, there are other ways, she grinned evilly to herself. And not even the beating her conduct might earn her would dissuade her. Not this time. She was determined to make the Duke of Aurelius back down from marrying her.

“I will find a way, Willow, mark my words. I will find a way.”

That’s exactly what I’m afraid of, the redhead thought, getting up from the bed to clean the chamber pot and continue with her chores.

*~*~*~*~*~*

“You sent the announcement to the paper?” Spike asked Wesley, revising the contracts his solicitor had drawn up for the betrothal.

“I did,” Wes sighed. “However, it could still be stopped. You know once it appears published, there’s no going back, Spike.”

“Who said ’m backin’ out?”

“If you heard me out, perhaps…” He was interrupted when a soft voice was heard from the door,

“Really, Mr. Wyndham-Pryce, you should know by now my brother is the stubbornest man alive.”

“Stubbornest?” Spike chuckled; walking up to her and leaning to kiss her cheeks. “Is that even a word, darlin’?”

“If it isn’t it should be, it fits you so perfectly. Don’t you think so as well, Wesley?” she added, looking at the other man in the room.

Wesley blushed a little at being addressed by the object of his affections and so informally at that, it’d been years since she called him by his given name. It did sound wonderful coming from her mouth, though, he sighed dreamily. “Y-you are right, of co-course, La-lady Winifred,” he stuttered under Spike’s amused stare.

Love, it turns even the most literate men into blabberin’ fools. Spike shook his head, vowing he would never be one of those. “And to what do we owe the pleasure of your company, sweetheart?”

“Well, I was visiting with the Marchioness Di Mera and lo and behold she lets me know my dear brother is getting married at the end of the month. Imagine my surprise—which I managed to mask, thank the heavens—especially since the man in question had neglected to tell me, his only sister and only living relative by the way, about this.”

“I apologize, pet. I just… It’s all been so fast, her father and I reached the agreement only last night and Wes and I have been busy finalizin’ the details today. There simply has been no time.”

“Hmmmph, you forget I know you, William. If you truly had wanted to tell me, you would’ve found a way. But enough of that…” She waved her hand dismissively. “What I truly want to know is when am I meeting the girl responsible for the miracle of making my younger brother give his bachelorhood up?”

“Miracle? Don’t you think you’re bein’ a tad dramatic?” Spike raised his eyebrow inquisitively.

“No, I’m not. Now tell me,” she pressed.

Wesley, who had been busy staring at the lovely Lady Winifred, finally intervened, “To-tonight. Spi—I mean William,” he amended at the Duke’s pointed look. “A-and I are invited to dinner at the Clarence townhouse.”

“Oooh, that’s perfect. I don’t have anything planned for tonight, so I’ll join you then.” She clapped her hands enthusiastically, her smile never wavering, not even when Spike tried to dissuade her.

“Fred, dear, we couldn’t impose on the Summers like that.” He didn’t care about the soddin’ Summers, except for their daughter, of course. Didn’t mean he wouldn’t do everything within his power to stop his sister from coming with him, though.

“And you think that’s going to stop me? This is one of the most important moments of your life and you want to deprive me from the pleasure of being there with you, for you?” Her lower lip quivered and her eyes filled with tears.

“You forget I also know you, pet. And ’m not fallin’ for the crocodile tears act again.”

“But William… you can’t expect me not to go.” She pouted.

“I said no and that’s final!” Spike said resolutely.

*~*~*~*~*~*

“But Mother…” Buffy whined while she tried to plead her case.

“Elizabeth, darling, I’m so very sorry, but you should know by now that when your father makes a decision, there are not many things which will prevent it from coming to fruition.”

“I don’t even know the man, for all I know he’s old enough to be my grandfather. How could he do this to me?”

“Now, now, child.” She patted her daughter’s hand softly, trying to offer her some measure of comfort. Not an easy task when she had her own reservations over the marriage. “Remember, the older the husband the younger the widow… and then again, you don’t know if he is. Perhaps he’s a young handsome man. Don’t do this to yourself. You’ll see everything will be alright.”

“You say that because you weren’t forced to marry a man you didn’t even know.”

“Oh, but I did, sweetheart,” Joyce clarified. “I met your father the same day we married.”

“Great! And just see how well that turned out.” Buffy refrained from the urge to roll her eyes. She was well aware her mother was not at fault here, but God couldn’t she at least try to talk with her father?

“Please, darling, you have to be aware as women we have little say in our futures. Your father decided this is the best course for your life and well, there’s not much we can do about it. You should be thankful you are to marry a man as rich as the Duke of Aurelius, though. I’m certain he’ll keep you in lavish splendor.”

“What about love, Mother? I want to be loved and love in return. I want to be someone’s whole life.”

Joyce smiled wistfully. “Oh honey, you’re so young. Love can develop with time, too. It’s not always the all-encompassing emotion books and poems talk about, but a serene, placid feeling which sprouts from living together, from co-existing with the other, it’s friendship, it’s being there for one another.”

“If you say so,” Buffy replied. There was nothing she could do right now, talking with her father would be an exercise in futility and who knew how he might react to that. Tonight would be soon enough for her to start her campaign to make the Duke desist from marrying her.

“I say so, sweetheart. Now go and get ready, we expect you downstairs at eight o’clock sharp.”

Joyce Summers sighed miserably as soon as her daughter left the room. She wished there was a way she could prevent this marriage from taking place. It wasn’t that she didn’t like the Duke, how could she when she hadn’t even met him? It was the fact her darling daughter was being forced into marriage just like she’d been.

A long time ago, in what seemed to be another lifetime, she’d known a love like that. All-consuming, intense. And while she’d been forced to give it up, she had hoped her Elizabeth would have more luck than she. Then again, she didn’t know what the future might hold; it could very well be that the Duke of Aurelius was the perfect man for her daughter. Stranger things had happened.

*~*~*~*~*~*

Bloody buggerin’ hell! He should’ve known Fred would end up convincing him that she join them. She always did. As if he needed the added complication of worrying over what his sister might say or do, not that anythin’ will change my mind or stop this from happenin’, he thought as they followed the butler to the drawing room where the Summers were already waiting for them. And it wasn’t like Fred was there to create any troubles, really, she just wanted to meet her future sister-in-law or so she claimed.

As soon as he crossed through the door, his eyes were immediately drawn to her, to Buffy. He noticed her surprise when she recognized him, in the way her eyes widened, in the pallor of her skin, in how one of her hands stole to grab the back of a nearby chair as if to steady herself.

“His Grace, the Duke of Aurelius, Lady Winifred Williamson and Mr. Wesley Wyndham-Pryce,” the butler announced, before extending his hand to allow them into the main salon where Buffy and her parents were waiting for her.

Buffy’s eyes widened as they settled on the man leading the party into the room, her breath catching in her throat and for a second, she felt as if she were about to faint. Oh God, no, please, this can’t be happening to me.

tbc

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I was having a very bad day while I was writing this chapter, at home sick and worried even sicker for my dad’s health when my lovely hermanita came to save me from myself with her wit and wonderful sense of humor. I had sent her the first part of this chapter up to the part before Buffy learns her betrothal was going to be announced that night and after I returned from having lunch, she told me she had added some stuff in to the chapter, which is not new, so I thanked her and started reading. She reeled me in, hook, line and sinker! Needless to say after reading this bit, I just couldn’t breathe for a good while, too busy laughing to bother with that little detail or the fact she’d tricked me. After much begging, (well, maybe not that much *lol*, but there was a bit, I swear *winks*) she allowed me to share it with you, I’m sure you’ll all love it as much I do. So without further ado, I leave you with IBE’s version of Buffy’s reaction to the news they were marrying her off to the Duke of Aurelius (aka her translation of the scene from Old English to Modern Day American English ghetto-style titled “Buffy from the hood”) *lmao*

Oh God, oh fuck, oh shit! What the fuck is wrong with these motherfuckers?

She had to formulate a plan to bust outta this joint and fast. Maybe if she went to the po-po and cried child abuse, they’d come and take her good for nothing gambling, drunken bastard of a father away. And if not, she could always go to court, divorce herself from her parents and become emancipated. God Damnit, she forgot they weren’t in America anymore and to top it all off…. wrong fucking century. Bloody-fuckin’-British.

Ewwwwwww, married to some perv of a Duke who was probably in his late sixties? “Mmmmphlp,” she began gagging when thinking, old man balls, wrinkly raison, more foreskin than dick, cradle robbing, Viagra poppin’ addict. “Mmmphlp-blahhrghhaaaghhh.” Great, now she’d gone and thrown up on poor Willow. Green skin soooooooo did NOT go with her red hair.

That’s it, she was tying some sheets together, heaving it out her window and climbing her way to freedom. Oh, but not before grabbing a couple extra pair of her self-embroidered thong bloomers. Nope, not going without those. They’ll be all the rage in New York. She would have said 'watch out Versace' but the dude hadn't been born yet.

Willow was still busy cleaning up the vomit, hmmm, milk really does resemble cottage cheese when it comes back up, when Buffy slung a red and white polka dot sack over her shoulder, her body halfway out the window. “Willow? Do be a dear and tell my parents I hitched a ride back to NY to become some pimp daddy’s bottom bitch, will you? Oh, and be sure to inform the Duke from me personally that he can take his withered, sagging, leathery ole ass back home and fuck himself.” But then she had second thoughts. “Now that I think about it, never mind. I’ll tell him myself,” she chirped and disappeared from view.

Buffy was gonna give the Duke the 411 herself, you better believe that for rizzelll, right after she slapped him around a bit. When she got through with him, she’d make him HER bitch. Kidnap his lily white ass, make him work the streets so she could buy herself some gold teeth and a cherry red drop-top. Yeah, that’s right… Ho better have my money, shoooooooooot. Bust a cap in that wrinkly ass.

She wasn't going to play Buffy the home-maker, she was to become the chosen one of her decade......... Buffy... the Ho-maker.

Remember, laughter is good for the soul. ;)

 

PreviousNext


Submit a Review!

:

:

: