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BHM The Honorable [bhm, ffa, historical romance]

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Well-Known Member
Oct 23, 2019
United States
Happy Valentine's Day! This felt like the perfect time to release the first half of a little period drama I've been working on. Disclaimer that this tale (and the longer ones I'm planning to put out there in the future) may not always line up as being perfectly historically accurate, but much like Bridgerton, I think it can be more fun that way. Horror and historical romance are my two greatest loves, and since you've already gotten a glimpse into the former with Skeptical, I hope you enjoy The Honorable!

The Honorable
by Ghostboo

Dovecoats Estate - May 23rd, 1901 - Thursday, 8:42 am

As the Baron Angkatell tapped carefully into his soft-boiled egg, a golden center was revealed right as a platter of Vienna rolls appeared by his side. After serving himself one, then another after a moment’s thought, the platter was smoothly offered to the next person at the breakfast table - Lord James Angkatell’s eldest daughter, Rose Angkatell. Rose, at hardly over 150cm tall and waif-thin, refused the rolls with a wave of her small white hand.

“Will Hester be joining us this morning?” James asked, turning to address the estate’s butler, standing right behind him.

“No, my lord,” replied Thomas Allen with the smooth professionalism of a man used to delivering bad news. “I believe the maids that checked on her found her still sleeping.”

“Naturally,” sighed James. “Thank you, Allen.”

“Has Grandmother Shirley spoken to her yet about the importance of decorum while at Dovecoats?” Rose asked with a frown. “Single women should be eating breakfast in the dining room, and that’s all there is to it.”

“I believe Shirley’s exact words were, ‘I can enjoy my vacation, or I can try to control Hester,’” James replied. “‘But I cannot do both.’”

This elicited a snort of amusement from Rose’s younger sister, Louise, as she sipped out of her teacup.

“Did you have something to add, Louise?” Rose snapped, turning her beautiful dark head from looking at her father at the head of the table to glare at her sibling across from her. “Or will you be fine when Hester embarrasses the family in front of Viscount Owen and his family?”

“I’m not certain it matters either way,” Louise answered. She was a stockier, plainer version of her sister, with frizzy mouse brown hair (where Rose’s was sleek and dark), hazel eyes (where Rose’s were deep blue), and a noticeable bump in her nose from profile (where Rose’s formed a perfect button). “It’s not Hester - or me, for that matter - that they’re coming to see.”

“Rose, darling,” James interrupted, trying to divert his oldest from her warpath. “Hester - and Shirley - understand the importance of this visit. I’m certain your cousin will not do anything intentional to make us look foolish.”

“And what about unintentionally?”

“Well, we’ll speak to her about it if the occasion arises. But I do not think the Owens will be so easily dissuaded by something like middle class American conventions. We all have unusual relatives, after all.”

“What if she brings up her…books?”

“I doubt the Viscount and Viscountess are familiar with many American romance novels,” James replied, a bit dryly. “And I believe Hester knows not to bring up the…specifics…of her writing in mixed company.”

“It simply feels inconvenient that they couldn’t come after Grandmother Shirley and Hester board their ship back in a few weeks,” Rose said, her tone lowering into what one might call a “grumble” if it weren’t spoken by such a lovely upper crust British accent.

“The Viscount is extremely busy, especially in this season. We’re lucky they could make it at all, and especially the entirety of the family,” James said meaningfully. “Speaking of - Allen, what is the status of the rooms for the Owens?”

“The Caroline is ready for the Viscount and Viscountess, my lord,” Allen answered. “And I’m told the Armada is nearly there for The Honorable Theodore Owen. I can assure you it will be ready by the time they arrive.”

“It had better be,” Rose said. Louise barely constrained rolling her eyes as she finished up her Vienna roll.

“Rose,” James spoke up, his voice taking on an even more gentle tone. But Rose cut him off before he could continue.

“You needn’t bother, Papa. I know mother will give me the same lecture when I see her, and I can assure you both that I do know the importance of this visit. Theodore Owen will be Viscount one day, and as you have no sons, a strong match is a necessity for the Barony at Dovecoats. I will make a good impression.”

“I never doubted it, my dear,” James replied, but the relief in his voice was palpable.

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