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 7

Daisy arrived back home, and as soon as she and Thomas walked through the door, her stepfamily crowded them.

"How did it go?" Katherine asked, with a pretentious smile.

"It went well," Thomas replied simply, and left to go into his office.

Katherine turned to Daisy. "How was it, dear? Did he repulse you?" She asked, trying her best to look sympathetic.

Daisy didn't want to deal with this right now and needed to be alone, nor did she want to share anything with Katherine. "He did not. It is just skin color." She tried to walk past them, but Lila and Cassandra blocked her way.

"Was he frightening?" Lila wondered.

Daisy didn't want to admit that. Why exactly would she be frightened? She couldn't understand it yet.

"No. He is perfectly normal."

Cassandra frowned, as if having a hard time believing her words. Well, Daisy didn't believe her own words. There was nothing "normal" about Lord Blackthorne.

"Do you plan to accept his proposal?" Katherine asked.

Daisy fought not to show her annoyance. She was exhausted already from the long journey. "Do I have a choice?"

"Of course, you do." She smirked.

Since Katherine seemed to hope she would not accept the proposal, Daisy decided to say the opposite. "I see no reason not to accept his proposal."

Her eyes widened. "Oh, dear! You can't possibly mean that?"

"I do," Daisy said, straightening her shoulders. "Now, if you will excuse me," she pushed past them and went upstairs.

She could hear Katherine mutter. "She is already beginning to think highly of herself."

Daisy went into her room and shut the door. She was feeling anxious for some odd reason, her heart was still pounding, and her body was still burning. She took off her dress carefully, not wanting to have Cassandra yell at her, and as she looked for her own clothes, she realized just how old and ugly all of them looked.

There was a knock on the door, and Helena stepped inside. "Daisy," she breathed, approaching her, her face etched with concern. "Are you alright?"

"Yes, Mother. I am fine."

Helena sat on the bed, watching her daughter closely as she looked for a dress, as if she had many to pick from.

"How was your meeting with Lord Blackthorne?" Helena asked.

"It was good," was her short reply.

Her mother tilted her head, her eyes prying for more.

Daisy stopped looking inside the chest, and her shoulders dropped with a sigh. "I don't know what to think yet. He was very polite and.." mysterious, alluring yet frightening.

"And?" Her mother raised a brow.

"I don't know." She was confused.

Her mother reached for her face, touching her cheeks. "You are flushed, my dear."

Daisy panicked. "I am fine!"

Her mother looked at her suspiciously, and then her gaze softened. "I understand. You don't have much experience interacting with men. You are flustered."

"I am not!" Daisy refused to believe she would be flustered.

Her mother knocked on her head—something she did when she thought Daisy was stubborn and then she smiled.

Daisy turned to her mother, now suddenly willing to share some things but mot the things that made her feel all… flustered. "Mother, have you ever seen him?" She asked.


"Well, you know his skin; it is not just gray. It is not dull and ashen like people say; it actually shifts and glows. It is like molten silver. Isn't that strange?"

Helena became thoughtful. "I wouldn't know."

Daisy gave her mother a desperate look, her eyes wide and imploring. "Mother! That is odd. It is as if he is… another being."

Her mother chuckled. "A ghost?" She joked.

Ghost? No. He wasn't frightening in a haunting way. It was more… predatory. Ravening.

Daisy shook her head. "I don't know."

Helena gave her a pat on the shoulder. "Have you decided what you want to do with the proposal?"

She shook her head again. "No. I need more time."

Helena nodded and then reached inside the pocket of her apron. She pulled out a pouch, and Daisy could hear the clinking of coins. She took Daisy's hand and placed the pouch in it.

Daisy looked at her mother questioningly.

"Buy something nice for yourself." Her mother said.

"Where did you get it from?" Daisy wondered.

"It is some money I saved. Buy something nice, a beautiful dress or anything you like for yourself. Maybe some scents or…"

"No!" Daisy said, giving the money back. "What will I do with such things? Besides, if father wants this proposal to succeed, then HE should pay for any clothes or jewelry I wear." And if he was just going to make her borrow her sisters' clothes, then so be it. More reason for them to be annoyed.

Helena took the money back and decided not to argue with her stubborn daughter. Daisy went ahead to wear her dress, and then both of them went to work.

Katherine and her daughters wouldn't stop pestering Daisy about Lord Blackthorne, and Katherine would make snide remarks about him in hopes of changing her mind.

Daisy enjoyed their attempts and the way Katherine was becoming more and more frustrated, and then at the dinner table, she had to bring it up to Thomas.

"Thomas, have you thought about Daisy's dowry? It will be expensive to marry her off to the Marquess himself."

Of course. How could Daisy forget the dowry?

"He seems interested in her. If he wants her, he will have to negotiate." Thomas spoke calmly.

Her father wanted to negotiate?!

Daisy's eyes widened, and she looked over at her mother, who was also surprised.

Anyone getting such a proposal would be seen as luck and a huge honor, and they would try their best not to do anything to ruin it, but her father wanted to negotiate?!

Maybe that was his way of getting out of this, and Daisy had worried for nothing. Of course, there was no way she would marry the Marquess.

She felt a sting in her chest that she couldn't understand and then went on to do her nightly duties before going to bed.

Falling asleep had become a difficult task, as Diasy couldn't help but recall her meeting with Lord Blackthorne earlier that day. The way he had looked at her, the intensity in his golden eyes, and the words he had spoken seemed to replay themselves in her mind over and over again.

"I assure you, Daisy, that I have no intention of marrying you without the intention of touching you," Lord Blackthorne's bold statement echoed in her thoughts, causing her heart to flutter strangely in her chest. He had said it so confidently and unapologetically.

Restlessness coursed through her as she tossed and turned, her bed feeling unusually warm and confining. She tried to push the thoughts away, but they clung to her like a persistent shadow, refusing to let her find peace.

Why did he talk to her like that? So… intimately. So… seductively. It was worrying how much effect he had over her, and now she did wonder about his odd skin. It didn't feel like a defect.

She shut her eyes, ignoring the warm sensation in her body, and forced herself to empty her so she could sleep.

The next day, as she worked in the kitchen, she heard the loud voices of her stepfamily from the hall. She went to see what was going on and found them surrounding a large bucket of flowers on the table.


Red and white ones, beautifully arranged in a basket and adorned with lace and ribbons.

Her mother appeared to take the basket from them. "This is for Daisy," she said, and as she tried to walk away, Cassandra pushed past her, making her drop the basket, and then Katherine walked all over the flowers.

"Oh," she said, placing a hand over her mouth, pretending to be surprised. "I am sorry. I didn't see."

Helena's face reddened, but before she could say something, Daisy hurried to her side. "It's alright," she smiled. "Lord Blackthorne's grandiose garden is filled with roses. It's a shame you didn't see it, and now the little you got to see is ruined." She told Katherine.

Katherine's eyes blazed with anger, but Daisy ignored her and put her hand through her mother's arm, leading her away while gushing about the garden a bit loudly for Katherine to hear. She expected Katherine to yell at her to bring her tea or anything else, but nothing of the sort happened.

As they went to the kitchen, away from them, both of Daisy and her mother giggled at how angry Katherine looked. But then, slowly, it dawned on Daisy that she wouldn't marry Lord Blackthorne. Was she disappointed or relieved? She had never been so confused before.

Later that day, her father announced at the dinner table that they were all invited to Lord Blackthorne's estate on the weekend, meaning in two days. Daisy felt nervous again, butterflies attacking her stomach.