Esther Linford

"And they lived happily ever after... the end."

0 · 249 views · located in Melbourneshire, United Kingdom

a character in “You Are Cordially Invited”, as played by Princess Silkiesoft




I believe those old stories of true love.

|| Walking in the air- Celtic Woman ||

|| Name ||
Esther Grace Linford

|| Nickname(s) ||
Essie, her family calls her this.

|| Age ||

|| Gender ||

|| Sexuality ||

|| Face Claim ||
Anne Hathaway


|| Personality ||
{Compassionate} | {Reserved} | {Humorous} | {Imaginative} | {Absent-minded} | {Shy} | {Insecure} | {Friendly}

|| Image ||

Esther is very thoughtful and compassionate towards just about anyone. She just naturally cares for everyone around her. She even worries for the servants that work for the Linford family, something she is often looked down upon for by other more closed minded people in the town of Melbourneshire. However this does not detour Esther from doing what she feels is right.

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Esther is a quiet young woman that keeps to herself most of the time. She is thoughtful about her behavior and how she might appear to people outside of the family, so she subdues herself well as to not embarrass her parents. Now this doesn't mean shes a stick in the mud and doesn't know how to have fun, she just knows there is a time and a place for everything.

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Any opportunity Esther can find to laugh at herself she takes, she tries to find humor in everything, feeling it is better to laugh about something than to become angry. She also likes to goof around with her sisters, at least when they aren't in front of a bunch of people. This trait comes out more around her family and close friends, just because she is concerned that she will appear silly, if she exhibits this around someone she is not familiar with.

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Esther's mother always says she has her head in the clouds, stories she's read running through her head all the time. This is something that the children in town love about Esther she can always manage to come up with a good story that draws their attention and pulls them in. She has thought about writing stories, but she lacks the confidence in her abilities to move forward with it.

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Absent-Minded? This is usually connected with her imagination, she'll get to thinking about a story she's reading. Or an idea for a story pops in her head and that she only thing she can think about at that moment. This usually comes with humorous results, like over pouring tea cups or missing a stitch in her knitting.

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Esther is terribly shy, finding comfort in her books more so that talking with other people. Often times she can become so frightened of talking with other's that she becomes so embarrassed she completely shuts down and can barely manage a squeak in response to someone. Part of this stems from experiences she had as a child where she was made fun of for having a lisp in her speech.

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Esther is very insecure in her abilities in just about anything, she always felt as a child that she was terribly out-shined by her older sister Eliza. She desperately wanted to be as confident and productive as her older sister, and looked up to her. Esther's parents always praised Eliza and encouraged her to be just like her. But Esther always felt she could never live up to the expectations of being like Eliza. This is why she feels that even though her parents are going out of their way to try to find a suitable husband for her, she will probably end up an old maid, because she doesn't see how any man can choose her as his wife. It would have to be something like a fairy tale for that to happen. True love at it's finest.

|| Image ||

Esther is always friendly to those around her, it doesn't matter if you're a maid, or if you're a duchess. She is equally kind and caring towards everyone, even though it isn't always viewed as proper.


|| Likes ||
* Knitting
* Fresh baked bread
* Cricket
* Reading
* Telling stories

|| Dislikes ||
* Cruelty
* Bullies
* Alcohol
* Talking to large groups of people
* Being forced to marry


|| Bio ||
Mr. and Mrs Linford were an interesting pair to say the least, the couple was described as being completely the opposite of each other. Mrs. Linford is thought of by most as a strong willed woman who would stop at nothing to get what she wanted. And when she set her eyes on young master Linford there was no turning back, he was the youngest of a wealthy family she should have know better. Her parents warned her but she insisted that she was in love. Love, such a silly word it didn't put food on the table, and it definitely had nothing to do with the class that one should marry into. Love was something for poor fools that had nothing to begin with. But the pair was married despite the odds and they started a family.

Everything was right as rain at first, nothing seemed to be wrong with the Linford's their wealth seemed to grow as did their beautiful daughters. The eldest Eliza was considered to one of the most beautiful young women through out the town, her beauty was said by many a suitor to be only rivaled by Aphrodite herself. The second daughter Esther was the sweetest most loving and considerate child you would ever meet. Well behaved and well mannered who would think anything ill of such a sweet girl. And Rowena as strong willed and lovely as her mother, who would ever have a inkling that underneath the pomp and circumstance that they were one of the poorest families in the whole area. The patriarch Mr. Linford, was desperate searching for a way to keep from being tossed in debtors prison. Everything they owned was owed to someone ten times fold, his affinity for betting on card games and loosing took a toll on the meager inheritance he had received. Also with the burden of keeping up appearances, it was all coming to a head and he didn't know what to do. All he knew is that he had to do something to make sure his daughters were cared for.

Not a soul but the bill collectors themselves, even their own daughters where not privy to the true depth of trouble their family was in. That is except for Esther, she saw her mother was rushing her sister Eiliza to be married off. And now she fears that she will be next, Esther believes in that silly little thing called love. And cringes every time her mother tries to encourage a suitor to come to call for her. Mrs. Linford one of the most proper women in the area, who loved nothing more then to throw grand balls and parties. Why would she want to marry her daughters off like cattle, perhaps it is to save them from the fate that will soon befall her. So get that silly notion of love out of your head Esther and prepare yourself, to find a wealthy husband to take care of you. Cause God forbid anyone ever knows the truth about the Linford's.
|| Other ||

So begins...

Esther Linford's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Peter Ambrose Shaw Character Portrait: William Nash Character Portrait: Rebecca Upton Character Portrait: Rowena Linford Character Portrait: Esther Linford Character Portrait: Leonard Corvus Character Portrait: Ernest Davies Character Portrait: Ephraim Davies Character Portrait: Rosalynn M. Ann Character Portrait: Eliza Linford Bellview Character Portrait: Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Linford - W.I.P.

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It was early morning at Willowcrock Manor, it was early spring and the grounds were full of life. The birds singing, bees humming, the tree budding with the signs of life that had been diminished all winter. That time of year that always brings the promise of new life, and possibly new love. Naturally the world outside the house was buzzing just as much as the world inside of Willowcrock Manor. It may have been quite early but the whole household was already up and moving preparing for that evenings events. A grand ball, put on by Master Thomas Linford on the behalf of his two lovely daughters. Eligible young bachelors from Melbourneshire and the surrounding areas, were invited along with some of the ladies that were around the age of the young Linford girls. To most it was just the Linfords being their typical hospitable selves. They were well known all over Melbourneshire for throwing some of the most lavish parties, and then inviting the whole town to join in the festivities. This was how they appeared on the outside, on the inside however was a completely different story.

With the over spending of Mrs. Linford, combined with the bad gambling habits of Mr. Linford they were terribly in debt. Not even their daughters were privy to the extent of the families financial troubles. Their first try at easing the debt had been to drop many of their servants, now left with only their butler, the cook, the maid, and the stable boy who had begged the Linfords to stay that and practically works for room and board. If you can call it that, he sleeps in the lofts over the stables, the Linfords of course had to step in themselves to cover the duties that the dismissed servants had left. Meaning the aristocrats had to learn to do menial tasks that they would never think to sully their hands with. The next to be limited was the girls clothing, now this was something that didn't bother their daughter Esther much, she was never one to worry too much about keeping up with the fashions. However her sister Rowena was devastated with the fact that in order to keep up with the other girls. She had to rework many of her old dresses in hopes that no one would notice that she was wearing the same gown that she had worn to the last cotillion.

The next step was to start cutting down on the amount of gatherings they were having, at one time the Linfords were having parties at least once a week at their home, ladies that had once come to call on Mrs. Linford regularly for tea were now only called upon once a month. But no matter how much the tried they couldn't manage to make up their debts, now Thomas was sure that he would be put in irons and sent off to Debtors Prison. Now his concern is for his wife and daughters, Eliza his eldest he had just managed to get married off to a nice young man, but that still left his two younger daughters, Esther and Rowena. So in a last ditch effort to insure his daughters happiness, he and his wife decided to throw a lavish ball. Inviting some of the most eligible bachelors, in hopes that his daughters would catch at least one of their eyes. Even if he could manage to get Esther married his daughter Rowena could go to stay with her eldest sister till a suitable match was made. He was also hoping that news of this would not get to one of the most powerful men in Melbourneshire a man that Thomas owed money to, Mr. William Nash. However news travels fast in this town.

So as the servants and the family flitted about getting ready for the evening, food had to be prepared so Mrs. Linford was busy in the kitchen helping Mrs Cuthboard. The girls Esther and Rowena were helping each other do some last minute work on their gowns, and trying to get decorations in order. Mr. Linford had just come in from the stables helping young Leo, prepare for the buggies and horses of the guests. Artemis the butler was going over all the families silver to make sure it was polished and in tip top for the guests, when a knock came from the door. The butler was puzzled, it was far too early for guests to begin arriving and the Linfords had made sure to tell everyone not to come till preparations were finished, they didn't want to deal with the scandal that would follow if anyone knew the family was doing such menial tasks. But as the butler it was his duty to answer the door. He straighten the tails of his coat as he made his way to the door, the bell outside began to clang just before he went to turn the knob. Whomever they were, they were quite impatient to say the least, he cleared his throat and opened the door and before he could say anything the person on the other side pushed his way through the door into the foyer. The man removed his hat, and when Artemis was certain who it was he swallowed nervously.

"Good day to you sir, how might I help you this fine morning. I'm afraid the house is in sorts right, and there was no announcement of your arrival I'm afraid, we are unable to greet you properly". Artemis said with a nervous tone is his voice as he took the mans coat and hat.

Mr. Linford must have heard the door because he stepped out, still covered in sweat and hay, he looked quite a sight indeed, but he stood tall in front of the visitor. "Artemis... please send...our guest to the study".

Artemis bowed respectfully as Mr. Linford headed into his study, "Yes, sir of course", he turned to the guest. "Sir, if you would please follow me". After hanging the coat and hat, he lead the man to the study where Mr. Linford waited.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rowena Linford Character Portrait: Esther Linford

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#, as written by girlwt
Upstairs in the Linford home, the youngest of the three girls sat at a small table in front of a window. She was dreadfully dreary, as she looked outside at the green grass and the sunny sky. The dress she was "working" on looked slightly better. She had to admit, sacrificing her second to last pair of gloves had been well worth the fit she knew her mother was going to throw. The other pair had been set upon the grass that morning to whiten. The sleeves of the pail green gown now had a lace addition to them, she could always say she liked the style so much she had two of such a dress made.

Rowena sighed like it was no use in fooling herself.

She looked again to the outdoors, longing a feel of the grass in her hands. She had also wanted to take a trip to the stable, to see her horse before the guests arrived. Yet upon hearing the bell downstairs, she knew that escaping was now a very slim chance. She also knew that she was as done as well as she could have on the dress. She knew that her natural assets would have to be the main attraction. She called the maid, and asked her to hang up the dress, flexed her fingers as they had begun to crap, and slipped from her room across to her sister's. "Essie, I need some ribbon for my hair, do you have anything." She had to wonder what state she would find her sister in, lost in a book, writing, doing something other then working on her clothes. Rowena knew it didn't really matter to Esther what people said behind her sister's back. She wished she had half as much tolerance for the little comments they liked to throw around when they thought no one was listening.

She started to rummage threw her sister's ribbon drawer without waiting on an answer. She was trying to be tolerable to everyone today, but her lack of freedom had been waring on her. "Essie which do you think," she held two colors up, one that would make the green of her dress and the other was more of a off-white. It would go good with the one piece of jewelery she had to wear.

She really didn't know why she was asking, because she actually thought she would just take both in the long run.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: William Nash Character Portrait: Rowena Linford Character Portrait: Esther Linford

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Esther had been dealing with Rowena and her expectations for her gown that evening for the good part of a week now, and frankly she was growing weary of it. It always seemed like her little sister was changing her mind and wanted more added to it, Esther on the other hand was just fine with wearing the same gown she had worn for the past several months. Her sister would go on, about how her shabby gown was probably the reason she wasn't married yet. Not that Esther was in a hurry to do that sort of thing, but she didn't see how her gown had anything to do with whether a man enjoyed her company or not.

"Essie, I need some ribbon for my hair, do you have anything." Rowena went rifling through her ribbon drawer drawing her attention from the book in her hands.

"Essie which do you think," she held two colors up, one that would make the green of her dress and the other was more of a off-white.

Esther looked over the two ribbons her sister had picked, then stood up from her window seat. She took each ribbon from her sister and smiled. "Row why don't you wear both we can always braid it it into your hair I'm sure that would be lovely, the green will bring out your eyes wonderfully and the egg shell color well it goes good with just about anything. It's entirely up to you dear but I think that would be just beautiful, surely you'll catch someones eye with that". Esther placed the ribbons in her sisters hand and smiled. "I'll be back in a moment I'm going to go make sure father doesn't have something else that needs to be done before I start getting myself ready". She pecked Rowena on the forehead and then headed to her fathers study.

She heard a male voice coming through the door and she thought nothing of it really, her father often would have someone over to talk business with. Mr. Linford had always been very comfortable with his daughters so it was nothing for her to gently wrap on the door and then walk in. However when she stepped in she was surprised to see Mr. Nash, a young man she had not seen since her sister Eliza's wedding. He was very well to do in the shire, but she knew the list her father had sent out invitations to and Mr. Nash was not one of them.

"My apologies Mr. Nash, Father". Esther curtsied trying to be apologetic. "I didn't mean to interrupt, Father did you invite Mr. Nash to the ball tonight? Surely you must have forgotten. I apologize if my father offended by not sending you an invite Mr Nash, and I would like to personally invite you myself. Dinner should be around five, and dancing should start around seven". Esther started to go on, not really noticing her fathers worried look.

"Esther enough now, why did you interrupt us? Mr. Nash is a busy man you should not be wasting his time with your idle chatter". Esther stopped herself when she heard her father reprimand her behavior. She found it odd, he would never say such a thing unless she was truly in the wrong.

She looked at her father then to Mr. Nash, then down at the floor, "I'm sorry father, I'll take my leave then. I just wanted to make sure I didn't need to do something else before Rowena and I started getting ready". She curtsied again and swiftly left the room and closed the door behind her.

After his daughter left the room Thomas rubbed the bridge of his nose and sighed. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean for this all to get out of hand, if you can give me a little more time. I'm going to get you what I owe, feel free to take my daughters invitation if you like, that's all I have to offer right now. I've been trying to contact my brother in London in hopes that he might be able to help me, if I don't have to arrange marriages for my daughters I'd rather not. It was bad enough that Eliza felt obligated to marry Mr. Bellview. I just want my daughters to be taken care of Mr. Nash and to be happy, I could really care less about the pomp and circumstance. I've just been a fool of a man for too long and it caught up with me, I know you're a businessman and I'm not asking pity for myself. However I ask pity for my daughters for having such a man for a father". He looked up at Mr. Nash from his desk.

Esther knew she should have done it, but she had stayed just outside the door and eavesdropped ever so slightly. She gave a slight gasp, her hand reaching up to her mouth she knew her parents where having some financial troubles but this sounded much worse than she had thought before. She swiftly walked down the hall to Rowena's room knocking lightly before entering. "Row.... we need to talk, I've heard something dreadful".

Characters Present

Character Portrait: William Nash Character Portrait: Esther Linford Character Portrait: Leonard Corvus

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#, as written by Dumisa
Mary rolled over in her bed, hoping to grasp the sculpture body of her husband but got nothing but bedding. She groaned a little, wanting to wake up one morning and be held in his arms - Instead of him being out in the damn stables. She sighed softly as she threw the covers from over her body as she then stood up. A gasp came through her parted lips as she remembered what today was. The night of the ball - Or as her and her husband like to call it "Let's get our daughters out of our hair dance". She snickered lightly at the little name for the ball then walked over towards the bathroom, prepping herself ready for the day.

After a quick shower and changed of clothing, she tied her long, brunette locks of her up in a ponytail then walked out of the room. She didn't bother putting on any shoes, since she was in the comfort of her own home and knew that no one was going to say anything to her. Mary was smiling as she walked down the stairs but there was something behind that smile. She was in debt. Well, the whole family since she was a shopaholic and her husband had a gambling problem. When she reached the bottom step, she could help but notice that Artemis was escorting Mr. Nash towards the study. 'What was her husband planning now?' She thought with an eye roll while walking towards the kitchen, seeing Delores shouting orders out at almost everyone.

Mary smirked a little. Delores wasn't not a mean person but when a big event was coming up, Mary knew she could count on Delores to have things ready to go. Her eyes scanned the kitchen as she went up beside Delores, smiling brightly. "Good Morning, everyone. Delores." She nearly squealed at the mere sight and presence of Mrs. Linford. "Mrs. Linford, a woman like you doesn't need to be in the kitchen. Scoot! Scoot!" Delores waved her off as she chuckled. "It's quite alright." Mary grabbed an apron and wrapped it around her.

She was really fond of helping out since telling someone what to do twenty-four seven was very boring, and tiresome.

Her eyes fluttered up and seen Leo rear his head into the kitchen. She smiled towards him and would often glance at his features - Since he wasn't a bad looking male. But he was a little bit too young for her, or was he. She shook the thought of sleeping with him away as she looked up at him, seeing that he had been working in the stables. "No thanks, Leo. Are you hungry though?" She asked him with a raised brow as she turned heel and grabbed a knife, cutting off a medium size piece of bread. Mary walked towards Leo and placed it in his hand then slapped him playfully on the shoulder. "Now, get out of here." She winked. "Alright, I can see you have everything under control so I'll go see what my darling daughters and husband are up to." She said towards Delores, who nodded her head and said Yes Ma'am.

She took the apron off and placed it back on one of the wooden hangers.

Mary walked past one of the hallway mirrors and reviewed herself before entering the study, knocking lightly. "Hope I am not interrupting anything important." She said softly. Her husband turned around after rolling his eyes. "No, not at all." He said as she waltzed over and grabbed a hold of her, kissing her lips lightly. "For once I would like to wake up and not see you in the stables." She elbowed him lightly then turned her attention towards Mr. Nash. "Ah, Mr. Nash, I haven't seen you since the wedding, how have you been?" She asked while walking up towards him, giving him a small hug before breaking it with a smile, clasping her hands with his as she waited for a response. "Well, I can see you guys are talking business, so I'll leave you to it." She waved cutesy towards Mr. Nash then kissed her husband's cheek before exiting the study.

Her eyes went over towards her second oldest daughter, Esther as she scrambled over there towards her. "Everything alright, dear?" She asked her while running her hands over Esther's hair and grasping her face. "What's the matter?" She asked in a tone that she demanded an answer and demanded one fast.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rowena Linford Character Portrait: Esther Linford Character Portrait: Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Linford - W.I.P.

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#, as written by girlwt
If Esther knew how she really felt about marriage, maybe her sister wouldn't think so badly of her. But hearing Esther just give in on the ribbons made her feel really bad. Had she really been that much of a headache all week, and as Esther left the room she again sighed.

I will not start crying...no I will not. I can be braver than this.

Of course that had become her mantra for pretty much forever, she knew that things weren't right. She wasn't so self-absorbed in her own world like everyone thought she was. She noticed things, she was intelligent enough to put two and two together. The one thing that people forgot to do around Rowena was really see her. Of course they noticed what a pretty young thing she was, but they never asked her what she thought. She was the youngest of three, so the others had to take precedent.

First is was Eliza, and no one even bothered to ask Rowena how she felt about her oldest sister being gone. She always knew that her sisters would marry, it was a fact of life. In fact, she dreaded the day Eliza left, from that day forward she knew that nothing would be the same. She wrote to her sister often, mostly about trivial things, but she was scared that Eliza would forget her. It was a silly notion, one just didn't simply forget about her sisters. However life seemed to have a funny way to take over.

Then it was Esther...and why couldn't she be more like her sister. The daughter whom never complained and was complacent with everything. Rowena was probably always going to be jealous of her sweet natured sister, until the day she was gone. It was a common thing to happen when a parent told one sister to be like the other. She loved Esther, loved her as deeply as she should a sister. However, sisters can be the bain of each others existence as well. She hated how she acted out, but it seemed to be the only way for anyone to see her.

She began to lose the battle with her tears, one streaked down her face in an absent trail. She quickly brushed it aside, and turned to go back to her room, she put the ribbons on her bed and settled again at the table there. Along with scraps of material she had been drawing the sprawling oak tree outside her window. It had given her mind something else to concentrate on other then the dress. Every stroke was in a painstakingly earnest manner, as it seemed to be made from an artist trying to give the tree a soul. It wasn't just a drawing, it was an emotion. Every pencil stretch on the paper was made from fear, hurt, perhaps even joy at one point.

She heard the knock and quickly hide the picture "Row.... we need to talk, I've heard something dreadful".

She turned hoping the look of concern on her face hid her own emotions well, "What is it Esther, did something happen with father." She was surprised to see her mother standing there also, "Mother, is everything ok"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Peter Ambrose Shaw Character Portrait: Rowena Linford Character Portrait: Esther Linford

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I dream because I can meet you in dreams

The sounds of the bustling square filled the air. Children giggling as they tramped around the square. The women laughing on the sides of the square and the occasional round of gasps. The click of hooves and the thunks of wagon wheels as they hit the stone path. The street was slightly wet and the puddles gave off a rainbow which was soon ceased by the children scampering across them, not bothering to look at the beauty in things. Men could be heard loading things onto wagons and even a few sheep could be heard. The sun was shining beautifully, caressing the tree branches and the flower petals. Dew still set on some lily petals in front of a young woman's house. The tree branches flowed in the wind, a few leaves and flowers flying here and there. A young girl ran down the street, seeming to be chasing something. That something was a thin piece of parchment that was gliding through the air being stolen by the wind. A young man riding a beautiful white horse with a black diamond on her muzzle, came from the other direction. The paper flew through the air as free as a bird. It flew straight at the gentleman and landed in his face.

The large hand reached up to grab the paper gently, making sure not to damage it. He slowly pulled it away from his face and then clicked his tongue, signalling his horse to stop. He read the paper and on it was printed the most lovely story. It concerns a heroine who, in order to save her inheritance from her guardians, must marry a man who will take her name. He looked down at the girl and dismounted his horse, handing her the paper when his feet were firm on the ground. He spoke with the woman, having a delightful conversation as he continued down the street. He led his horse and occasionally turned to give it attention as well. They continued to talk as they strolled down the streets of Melbourneshire. They had a grand time and the man even wondered why he was here but when she asked for his name, he quickly remembered. "My name is Peter Shaw." He responded and bowed lightly to the woman as his manners intended him to. She gasped lightly then curtsied herself, a strand of her platinum hair falling to cover her ivory skinned face. He set his hand on her shoulder and pulled the hair out of her face. "No need to act that way milady. Please, allow me to escort you to your destination."

The woman did not protest and they halted on the side of the street. He grabbed her by her waist, lifting her onto his horse and letting her sit cross saddled as he stayed on the ground, escorting his horse. They made slight conversation as he walked alongside his horse with the new lady. She instructed him on where to turn and where to stop. When they came to the destination, he assisted her in getting off the horse. He bowed to her and when he stood back up it earned him a slight kiss on the cheek. He grinned at this, his pearly teeth shining like sun on the snowy landscape. "Adieu, milady. May blessings fall on you and your family." He mounted his horse and clicked his tongue yet again while the girl stood in front of her home, waving goodbye.

The wind was nice as it blew through him as he rode rather briskly to the estate he was invited to. The Linford estate, 674 Light Lane in Melbourneshire, United Kingdom. That was his destination. As his horse galloped through the square for the second time, he turned left after a few meters. His horse then slowed to a small trot as they approached the large house. He saw the silhouettes of two young women in the upstairs window, they were speaking and by their body language they were worried. He dismounted his horse, still gazing up at the window. He made his way over to the door and held his horse close. Where was his old mare going to go? He approached the door and knocked, hoping to get an answer soon.

[ OOC: If you want the girl could be an actual character, I left it open but I just wanted to show Peter's character a little bit. ]

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Peter Ambrose Shaw Character Portrait: Rowena Linford Character Portrait: Esther Linford Character Portrait: Eliza Linford Bellview Character Portrait: Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Linford - W.I.P.

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Esther hurried herself and her mother into Rowena's room, it concerned her because it looked as though her little sister had been crying before she came to the door. However there was another more pressing matter at hand...

"Mother... why didn't you tell us how bad off father was with the money. We could have done something to help, I could have helped tutor children in the shire, Rowena is an excellent seamstress. Anything but.... just marrying us off like.... this, poor Eliza no wonder she felt so rushed". She was sure Rowena was totally in the dark as to what she was going on about.

She sighed frustrated and turned to her sister, "I over heard father speaking with Mr. Nash you know who he is basically the lord of the shire. Seems father owes him quite a bit of money, and not only him, he so bad off now he wants to ask uncle in London for money to pay Mr. Nash so he wont be turned over to the authorities". She had never thought something so horrible was happening.

Esther turned back to her mother, "I can only guess that this whole ball is all in hopes that Row and I find husbands quickly so that we don't have to suffer the shame of our father possibly going to prison. Mother... I beg of you to let us help, I would much rather work or sell some of my valuables then to be rushed into marriage". Esther practically begged her mother.

Now she wasn't sure at all if she wanted to go through with this silly, party and she certainly regretted inviting Mr. Nash. "I swear I'm such a dunderhead here I thought father had made a mistake in not inviting Mr. Nash and turned around and invited him. Only to find out that father didn't invite him out of fear Mr. Nash would out him in front of all the shire". Esther could feel the sting of tears in her eyes as she sat down on the edge of her sisters bed.

Esther began to wring the skirt of her dress in her hands, "Mother we shouldn't go through with this, there are so many other ways than this".

Artemis had gone back to polishing the silver when the knock on the door was heard once again.

"My word...does anyone know how to read invitations anymore". With a heavy sigh he went to the door opening it to another young man.

By now it was coming on to mid day so it was understandable for some of the guests who had to come from further distances to begin arriving. They would typically be sent to the parlor to converse with Mr. Linford, activities like cards, smoking, and a bit of brandy were usually involved, at least for the men that is. The ladies would be sent to the sitting room to have tea, and talk over last minute sewing, or gossip depending on the lady of course.

Artemis cleared his throat, "I will take your coat and hat sir if you like and if you would follow me to the parlor, Mr Linford will be with you momentarily he is dealing with some private business and will soon be down. I apologize Sir for the state of things, we are all still quite busy preparing for guests, I will have the maid bring some good brandy in for you sir. Also may I have your name, so that I might address you properly to Mr. Linford" just as Artemis was hanging the new young mans coat and hat, there was another knock.

The usually stoic Mr. Artemis Corey looked frazzled for a moment, but in a flash and a bit of a huff he straightened his coat tails again and opened the door. This time it was to a familiar face.

"Ah Miss Eliza... oh terribly sorry my lady I suppose I should address you as Mrs. Bellview now, as for your mother I believe she is upstairs with your sisters". He nodded to Warren who naturally handed Artemis his coat and hat. "Good day Mr. Bellview, I was just about to escort our other guest here to the parlor, to await Mr. Linford". He said respectfully to Warren.

Warren nodded, "Yes, yes of course Artemis". Mr Bellview walked up to the other man standing in the foyer to introduce himself. "Warren Bellview, I don't believe we have ever met sir?". Warren held out his hand to the stranger.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Peter Ambrose Shaw Character Portrait: Rowena Linford Character Portrait: Esther Linford Character Portrait: Eliza Linford Bellview

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#, as written by Dumisa
Mary eyes went towards the door when it had opened and seen Rowena behind it. She stammered when asked if everything was okay as she shook her head. "Yes, everything is fine. Are you okay?" She asked with a lifted brow then heard Esther speak as she grabbed her by the arm and nearly dragged her into Rowena's room, closing the door behind them. "Will you keep your voice!" She snapped while going back over towards, cracking it open and looking to see if anyone was around to hear. She sighed then closed the door again, still listening to Esther.

"He told me not to tell anyone. I wouldn't want to tell anyone either." She said while folding her arms over her chest and leaning up against the dresser. "I know, I know you guys could have helped but this was his decision, not mines." She made that perfectly clear though it kind of was a lie. Mary eyes glared towards Esther as she sighed softly. "Hush up, Esther!" Her voice roared as she was starting to get frustrated. "Your father is not going to prison. No one is going anywhere." She raised a hand up to her forehead and began rubbing it. "Well, the decision has been made and it is final. If you want to help so bad, just with this idea for right now. Okay?" Mary said without waiting for them to say anything else as she left the room, closing the door behind her as she leaned up against it before running her hands over her clothing and walked off towards the stairs, seeing Eliza and Warren.

"Ah, my dear, Eliza." She said while walking down the stairs and grasping her in a soft hug. Her eyes danced over to Warren as she gave him a hug as well, kissing both of his cheeks in the process. "Wow. So many visitors today." She laughed while looking over at Peter now. "Ah, hello there, Peter." She spoke softly while giving him a hug as well. "Mr. Linford is currently..." Artemis cleared his throat. "I've already taken care of the matter, Mrs. Linford." Mary turned back towards Peter with a smile. "Well, alright."

Her eyes fluttered towards Eliza as she walked up towards her with a smile. "So, I heard that you wish to speak to me?" She asked. "What's wrong?" She questioned towards then leaned in, whispering. "You and Warren are not getting a divorce, are you?" Her eyes glanced over to Warren with a killer expression plastered on her face then turned back towards Eliza, wondering what was going on around this house today.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Peter Ambrose Shaw Character Portrait: Rowena Linford Character Portrait: Esther Linford Character Portrait: Eliza Linford Bellview Character Portrait: Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Linford - W.I.P.

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#, as written by girlwt
Rowena had moved from the table to her bed as she listened first to Esther then to her mother. Her look though never altered, it was a stoic look showing no emotion on her face. As her mother had her say and reasons, Rowena found the pattern on the floor quite fascinating. It wasn't until her mother left that she looked up at her older sister.

She had to wonder if Esther was right, could they have truly helped. She quickly went over certain events in the last month, and everything seemed to add up. She was surprised Esther didn't have her own suspensions; because if she had, Rowena had no clue. Yet Rowena didn't know what to say, so she got up and took to looking for her undergarments to wear that evening. She had to distract herself to figure out how to put her words to Esther, because she was sure Esther wasn't going to like what she had to say.

"Esther," she started looking at something in her drawer, "there really is no use."

"If there was any possibility of doing anything, it should have been done already. I don't like it as much as you, but at least father and mother didn't just marry us off, they are giving us a chance to meet someone." She sighed, "I know you hate these social events, but please can you not go bother father about this, he has enough to worry about. We do have to still show people that we are a family."

"As for Mr Nash, well if an invitation was what your offered him and he comes then we must treat him with extra care." She closed the drawer and turned, "We can still find a worthy match, maybe not one that we love immediately, but maybe one we can grow to love. Look at Eliza, she is happy, we can make our lives the same way. I know you are standing there most likely thinking how I could be so accepting of everything. Its because what is the use of throwing a fit, it won't help the situation."

She glanced out the window again, "I am need of some fresh air, please Esther, if anything can you at least think about everything."

She had placed the items she had in hand on her bed and left Esther in her room. She didn't really have the strength to actually argue with her. She knew that she should be getting ready for the dance but she had to leave the house before she suffocated. She still had her everyday dress on and was all ready to sneak out the servants entrance when she heard her sister and husband downstairs.

In that moment of weakness, she decided against using the back way, and walked really fast down the main stairway. "Eliza," she exclaimed, practically throwing herself into her big sisters arms, not realizing that they had another guest in the room. "Forgive me mother, I didn't mean to interrupt, I just got excited." She turned to give Warren a sisterly welcome when she found herself sort of staring at Peter. "Oh forgive me, I didn't know a guest had arrived."

Of course she knew who Mr. Shaw was, all the girls in the shire talked about him. She hadn't the actually pleasure though of meeting him. While her parents might know him, she had just started being able to start socializing outside of her female friends. She quickly looked away realizing that she had been looking a little to long, a slight blush coming to her cheeks. Well at least the rumors had actually been true about how handsome he was, but she didn't really take stock in just looks. It was easy to be handsome and pretty and probably to be just swept away with that, however one could be a complete idiot underneath the outside covering. She had learned this the hard way.

She waited on an introduction, hoping that her mother might come to her rescue.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Peter Ambrose Shaw Character Portrait: Rowena Linford Character Portrait: Esther Linford Character Portrait: Leonard Corvus Character Portrait: Eliza Linford Bellview Character Portrait: Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Linford - W.I.P.

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I dream because I can meet you in dreams

He allowed the stable hand to take his horse, nodding curtly. "Thank you young sir." He replied then received a hug from Mary which he returned. "It's nice to see you again Mary. It's been a long time." He said almost sadly then he had a slight chatter with her and the eldest sister before the ladies he had seen in the above window came down the stairs. He immediately took his hat off and bowed to the women. "It's nice to finally meet the legendary daughters of the Linford family. I am Peter Shaw." He saw the closest woman, a dark hair beauty which seemed to be polar opposites from the sister behind her. He moved for her hand, took it and pressed a small kiss to it. "Au chante cherie."

The woman behind her reminded him of his late wife but he wasn't going to show weakness and he was to be the nice young gentleman he was raised to be. He rose, catching both of their eyes then moved towards Artemis, a personal friend of his. They shook hands and caught up a little before he turned back to Mary and her daughters. "So Mrs. Eliza or should I saw Mrs. Bellview? How are you now that you have married? I hope Warren is good to you. You deserve to be treated well, as do all ladies." He believed that with all his heart and if the lady's feelings weren't mutual, he would never force anything.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: William Nash Character Portrait: Esther Linford Character Portrait: Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Linford - W.I.P.

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It was rather unusual form for a woman to simply step into an office where two other people were discussing business, but the Linfords, while society here in Melbourneshire, were not exactly part of the ton, and he supposed standards were a little relaxed in the country. So William did not comment on it, though he did quirk an eyebrow ever-so-slightly when the young Miss Linford invited him to the evening’s festivities. He was of half a mind to decline, as he had other business in the town and no real wish to linger where he was not wanted. Though sociable when he needed to be, Will was at his core a rather reclusive person, and preferred the company of his sister and his few friends in the world to meaningless dances of manners and flattery as all such events inevitably became.

Nevertheless, he did not immediately decline, mostly because Mr. Linford cut off any reply he might have made by reprimanding his daughter for being in the room in the first place. More in keeping with what he was used to seeing, but really neither here nor there as far as Will was concerned. This was really all a waste of time—he’d said what he came to say, ad the rest was simply a delay. He suppressed the urge to sigh through his nose, and waited until the girl had dparted before returning his attention to Mr. Linford—though not without noting the slight shadow under the door. Someone was quite curious. He neglected to mention this to the other man, however.

When it finally seemed that he would be able to get a word in edgewise, he took the opportunity to fold his arms behind him, a posture reminiscent of his time with the navy. It was almost unconscious, but then nothing he ever did was every truly without realizing. At least not that he’d ever encountered. “You will find, I think,” he said deliberately, though not with excessive dramatics, “that I am a man rather bereft of pity. I do, however, possess a modicum of patience, and more than my share of discretion. You have a year from today, Mr. Linford. I believe that should be a reasonable amount of time to at least secure engagements for your remaining daughters—I am given to understand that they are young women with much to recommend them.” He was not overly inclined to elaborate further, as beyond that, it wasn’t really any of his business, but it was at this moment that Mrs. Linford swept into the room.

Honestly, has the man no control over his own privacy? William wondered. It was a small miracle that his troubles were not the talk of the town already, if people were so often allowed to intrude on private conversations of a sensitive nature. If any of this had been confidential on William’s end, he would have taken offense—and he did anyway, when the woman had the nerve to embrace him as though he were a nephew. He stiffened under the touch, and bit his tongue to keep from saying something he might regret later. Part of being a gentleman was taking offense with as much grace as possible, at least when the offender was female. Even so—one did not speak so familiarly with one’s social superiors, and one did not lay hands on a mere acquaintance in this fashion. Was this family truly as well-to-do as their reputation indicated? If this was how they acted, he did not see how it continued to be so.

He managed to murmur a polite answer to Mrs. Linford’s inquiry regarding his health, discreetly averting his eyes from her rather forward display of affection for her husband—in front of a visitor and a debt-holder, no less!—his posture straightening until it was near-ramrod, and then she, too, swept out of the room. Dark green eyes sought and found his debtor, and William took a breath, largely to make sure that he really wanted to say what he was going to say.

“Very well, Mr. Linford. I will attend, and as I have already mentioned, I will not be so indiscreet as to reveal your plight to any of the other guests. I daresay, however, that you ought be careful that your family does not do so themselves.” It was a subtle, but quite pointed, indication of his displeasure. “As I understand it is not due to start for another hour, however, you will forgive me if I depart to take care of some business in town first.” With the other man’s acknowledgement, he inclined his head faintly and exited from the room by turning crisply on his heel and striding out the door. Donning his hat and coat, he checked his inside pocket to make sure his documents were still there, and headed for the road, this time without his horse. Town was only a short walk, after all, and he could rather use the opportunity to gather his thoughts.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Peter Ambrose Shaw Character Portrait: William Nash Character Portrait: Rowena Linford Character Portrait: Esther Linford Character Portrait: Eliza Linford Bellview Character Portrait: Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Linford - W.I.P.

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Esther sat on the edge of the bed what felt to her like forever after her mother and sister left the room. Why was she so shocked and Rowena seemed to take it with stride and move on so quickly. Ester supposed it was one of her own short comings that made her worry so. Then again Rowena's personality was so much more like their mother's, and it seemed the older she got the more Row mirrored her. After gaining a bit of composure, she stood and went to her room how time flew. She could hear the commotion going on downstairs, familiar voices conversing one distinctly being her mothers and one being distinctly Eliza's. However Esther just decided it was best if she just started getting ready for the party. She didn't feel confident enough yet to greet everyone without breaking down into tears and making a terrible scene of things. She found the maid who was down the hall trying to peer down at the people in the foyer.

Esther walked over and tapped her on the shoulder then whispered in her ear so to not alert anyone downstairs to the fact she was donning her undergarments. "Katy.... come here I need help with my corset". The young woman snapped out of her own little world when she heard Esther's voice.

"Sorry Miss, I was just looking to see who was all here, of course I'll help". Katy followed Esther to her room and closed the door behind her. "Your sister should be getting ready as well, but I think she's gone down to greet Miss Eliza". Katy helped Eliza slip her day dress up and over her head after unhooking a few buttons.

"That's quite alright I'm sure she'll come up when she's ready, I'll help her cause I'm sure Mrs. Cuthboard is going to need you in the kitchen". Katy nodded as she helped slip the corset on next.

Esther leaned against the post of her bed, bracing her hands as Katy started to tighten the laces. Now neither she nor her sister wore their corsets terribly tight. But enough to look nice under their gowns was sufficient, Esther had heard from many girls how theirs were so tight it made it hard to breath. She never understood such a thing, she was never they type to sacrifice her own comfort for something as silly as the fashion. Once the laces where tied, Katy made her way to Esther's wardrobe.

"Which one is it going to be tonight Miss?". The maid asked.

Esther was in a mind to wear the funeral gown in protest of the whole situation, but she didn't want to be scolded again by her mother, and possibly embarrass her parents any more than they already were by being difficult.

"The newest one I have I suppose...". Esther sighed as Katy nodded and pulled out one of the gowns hanging.

The dress had come from her grandparents over Christmas holidays, both she and Row had gotten a lovely new gown as a present from their grandmother. The colors were definitely more for the winter than spring, but Esther wasn't really concerned about that. She was more worried about her father and Mr. Nash. After helping her into the dress, and quick pin up of her hair, Esther felt she looked acceptable for the evening. She hooked a lovely satin bag onto her wrist that held her fan, gloves, and a small book. Just in case she found herself bored out of her mind in a corner somewhere, this was something that typically happened to her at balls, and parties.

"Thank you Katy, you can head to the kitchen if you like". Katy nodded and respectfully curtsied then stepped out the door.

Esther gave another sigh as she looked out her window to see who all was coming up the walk. She managed to see Mr. Nash, go up the front walk and the head with a quick stride towards town. For a fleeting moment Esther felt that maybe he wouldn't accept her invitation to the ball. However as quickly as that thought crossed her mind the reality of the truth set in, if Mr. Nash was not returning... then he would have taken his horse.

"I guess he is coming to the party after all..... enough of that now Esther..... whats done is done. Lets just get tonight over with and then you can work on finding a way out of this mess tomorrow. Been going to these sorts of things for a while now, if I haven't found a husband by now I'm certainly not going to find one now. Can't expect a man to just fall in my lap and save me like in the books... now can I". She sighed again and sat down on the bench in front of the window.

"It will work out.... you're smart enough... straighten your back... chin up". Esther stood up again and made her way through her door to the stairs to try to encourage her sister to come and get ready.

Thomas sighed after Mr. Nash had left, running his hands through his hair in frustration, he decided it was time to put his face despite everything that had just happened. Between his wife and his girls, sometimes he felt like he really didn't have charge of anything around here. Sometimes he felt the only one that understood him was the stable boy. He got up from his chair and made his way towards his room to clean up and dress for the evening. He could hear they commotion beginning to brew downstairs that signaled that guests were beginning to arrive. After he felt he was ready he made his way out his bedroom door towards the stairs. There he spied his daughter Esther leaving her room as well, she looked somewhat solemn for some reason. But terribly lovely, how she favored her mother he thought.

"Essie you look beautiful dear". He said with a smile.

Esther gave a weak smile "Thank you father". Thomas smiled and offered her his arm as they started to walk down the stairs.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rowena Linford Character Portrait: Esther Linford

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#, as written by girlwt
Rowena's initial reaction to Peter greeting was to blush profusely. Her mother hadn't spoken up, and yet the gentleman came forward. Firstly she had somewhat embarrassed about the show of affection in front of a stranger, now she was even more so. She tried to hide it though through a smile that she had a hard time keeping on her face.

When Peter it seemed quickly moved on, Rowena escaped silently and even more confused up the stairs. She had wasted the little time she had in greeting her sister, now she did have to get ready for the events tonight. She thought her confusion was because of her naivety, yet she found Peter Shaw to be very...standoffish (well she couldn't clearly think of the word she wanted to say, standoffish did sound way to harsh). She sighed, but gave a smile to her father and sister as she passed them. She stopped them but for a second, to quickly peck her father's cheek and give an encouraging smile to Esther. And asking silently if Esther could send Katy her way to help her dress.

She knew Esther would probably insist on helping, but Rowena made sure her point was clear that she didn't want her sister's help. She didn't need Esther thoughts on the evening to invade her mind anymore then possible. She wouldn't keep Katy long, she just needed someone else other then her sister.

A few minutes passed, when the maid appeared looking a little frazzled, "I am sorry Katy, I will make this quick, I think I will leave my hair down too, there are some ribbons there. However I can do that, just help me with the dress." Her dress was a little plainer than Esther, mostly because of the fact she was younger. The Green Dress though was very pretty. Rowena dressed in record time, and dismissed Katy so she could be alone for a second. Her hair was down and braided, perhaps it was a little young little for her. However it was one of her best features she thought and take away from the plainness of the dress.

Putting on her shoes and picking up a fan, she realized she was really hungry and hoped her stomach would not growl until dinner. She exited the door again, silently praying at least for a bit of courage to get her through the night. She walked down the stairs on her own. She went slowly as if trying to get the moment before the ball to last longer.