Midnight Surrender

#1 In a small town, young Daisy endures a life of suffering under the tyranny of her stepfamily and the neglect of her father. Her once loving home now a prison, she and her mother are forced to serve her father's new wife and daughters. When a proposal arrives from a wealthy but disfigured nobleman, her father, eager to protect his other daughters, condemns Daisy to a seemingly bleak fate. #arranged marriage

JasmineJosef · Fantasy
Not enough ratings
88 Chs

A Veil of Thorns - Chapter 14

"Father, I have spoken to Lord Blackthorne, and he has agreed to delay the marriage," Daisy said hesitantly.

Her father looked up from his desk, his brows furrowing. "Why would you do that?" he asked.

"It was going too fast," she replied.

"I thought you wanted it fast."

Daisy took a deep breath, knowing this was her fault, but that day she had been angry, hurt, and desperate.

"Besides, what would you do if you delayed it anyway?" he asked. "You will only give more room for him to change his mind. You have found yourself a wealthy man who doesn't require a dowry, and you are behaving like this."

Yes, she knew she looked and sounded crazy, and any other woman would not miss such an opportunity. But how was she supposed to explain? She wasn't even sure herself.

"Nothing will go wrong. Lord Blackthorne is a man of his word, and he agreed to delay it," she assured him.

A man of his word? She knew nothing about that man, but she knew he wasn't going to let her go. He had those eyes that, once he set his sight on something, he wouldn't let go. They held a calculating intensity that disguised a single-minded perseverance.

"I hope you are right Daisy, because you are risking a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity." Her father pointed out.

Maybe she was, or maybe not, and she might never find out.

That night, Daisy couldn't sleep again. Lord Blackthorne's presence haunted her sleep. In her dreams or nightmares, he was a mysterious figure that loomed over her, casting an imposing shadow.

His calculating gaze seemed to penetrate her very soul, as if he was trying to uncover her deepest fears and desires. His eyes held a cold, predatory glint that both intrigued and terrified her, and though she couldn't see his face clearly, the aura of power and control that surrounded him was undeniable.

Daisy opened her eyes. No, she couldn't live like that. She couldn't live under another controlling person, expecting her to do as he pleased. If he was already like this now, then how would he behave once they married?

He would show his true colors, the darkness she already sensed he kept concealed. And if his family were the likes of Edric, she shivered, remembering his gaze, then she should run fast.

Katherine and her daughters seemed to tiptoe around her the next morning, much to her surprise. She had expected them to be crueler, but this made sense. If she were to marry Lord Blackthorne, then they wouldn't want to be on her bad side. If only she would marry him, but she could enjoy this while it lasted.

She took the opportunity to visit her neighbor and friend, Anna, whom she hadn't spent much time with for a long while. After grocery shopping, she went to her home.

"Daisy!" Anna beamed as she opened the door and saw Daisy standing there. Without any hesitation, Anna enveloped her in a warm hug.

"Anna, it's been too long!" Daisy exclaimed, returning the embrace.

As they pulled away, she took a moment to look at her friend. Anna's dark hair was pulled back into a loose braid, her eyes sparkling with joy as usual. She always made Daisy smile.

"Come in, come in," she said, ushering Daisy inside.

The cozy home was filled with the scent of freshly baked bread, and the walls were adorned with colorful paintings and embroidery. It was a warm and welcoming space, just like Anna.

As they sat down with cups of tea, Daisy and Anna chatted about the events that had transpired since they last met.

"Ugh, the witch is still the same," Anna muttered, speaking of Katherine.

Daisy chuckled and then thought of bringing up the subject that weighed on her heart. She could use a friend's insight. Anna was married and lived happily with her husband, a skilled carpenter who provided well for their modest household.

"I need to tell you something," Daisy began. "I might be getting married."

Anna's eyes widened. "Might? When? Who?"

Daisy chuckled at the way her friend's eyes almost popped out.

"You won't believe it," Daisy said.

"Oh," her curiosity was piqued. "Is it someone I know?"

"You have heard of him."

"Heard? Then he must be a man of wealth and status. Is it the baron? The viscount?"

Daisy smiled, enjoying the guessing game because she knew her friend's eyes would pop out once she told her. "No," she said, shaking her head.

"Oh no," Anna dropped her jaw. "The Earl?"

If she couldn't believe this, then what would she do if Daisy told her it was the Marquess?


"No…?" Anna looked confused, the excitement leaving her eyes. Then she looked horrified. "Don't tell me…" She began and Daisy became confused. Could she really guess who she meant to say? "Don't tell me it is Philip?"

Daisy almost spit out her drink. Philip was the town's blacksmith, a man well into his forties, unkempt, with a bushy beard that seemed to house the remnants of his meals. His crass manners and frequent altercations with the local tavern patrons were notorious in their small community, and he was loud. He had come to their home once, asking for her hand and bringing daisies he had plucked on his way, after harassing her a few times in the market.

"No!" Daisy exclaimed.

Anna breathed out in relief. "Then who?"

"The Marquess," Daisy revealed.

Anna was quiet for a moment, her eyebrows raising. "The Marquess?"

Daisy nodded. "Yes."

"THE… marquess?"

Daisy held back a smile. "Yes."

"Isn't he… sick?" Anna whispered.

"It is not contagious, as they say."

Anna frowned, and Daisy went ahead to tell her how she had bumped into him in the woods and touched him, but nothing had happened to her. Then she told all that happened after their meeting.

Anna's eyes widened and widened, her jaw dropping as she listened. Daisy hadn't told her certain details yet.

"Oh, Daisy… then… you will become the Marquess' wife!" She beamed, still surprised but excited.

Now was the time to reveal the details that bothered her. "Yes, but… I am not sure I want to marry him."

Anna tilted her head, her eyes narrowing. "Why?" She wondered, with a slight concern in her tone. She was a friend who took her seriously, which was one of the many things Daisy loved about her.

Daisy told her what transpired between her and Lord Blackthorne, only leaving out the odd detail of how she felt alert around him. She just couldn't describe that dark aura that surrounded him.

"Oh…" Anna said, nodding. "That isn't surprising, Daisy. He is the Marquess. The wealthy believe they can buy anything. If you want a wealthy man, that is

what you will have to put up with, but I understand that it annoys you." She thought for a moment longer, "Although I must admit that he is … very bold. If he didn't insist on marrying you, I would think that he only wanted to exploit you and leave."

Yes, that was also confusing. "I don't know what to do," Daisy admitted.

"You don't want to marry him?"

"It just... It doesn't feel right. There is something about him, Anna, I can't put my finger on it, but I know it is there, and it is not good."

Anna furrowed her brow in thought. "Perhaps it's not as complex as it seems, Daisy. Wealthy individuals often have a tendency to treat people like pawns in their games, and they can be quite thoughtless in their actions. It could simply be a reflection of his upbringing and social status."

"Maybe, but that would still bother me. I already live with inconsiderate people. No need to trade a Katherine for another."

Anna chuckled. "And with the new Katherine, you would be stuck with her for the rest of your life."

Daisy shuddered. That was true. With Katherine, she could at least get away at some point, but if she married the Marquess, her fate would be sealed.

"What should I do?" Daisy asked.

Anna became thoughtful. "Even if you bought time and married someone else, I am not sure that would be a wise choice."

Oh no, not at all. The man who told her he would get what he wanted would certainly be offended and try to ruin her.

"I am damned then…" Daisy sighed.

"Well, you could try changing his mind without angering him. Change tactic. Cling to him, but shed your beauty. Show him ugly."


That meant embarrassing herself. Oh, Lord, help me!