I despised the Patron’s Daughter for many reasons. For starters, she was as beautiful as I was ugly. At least, on the outside, she was.
Her hair was as black as a raven’s wings; creamy, alabaster skin was flawless and unscarred. Her features were aligned in almost perfect symmetry.
The only flaw in her face was the only asset in mine. Her eyes were small, and I found her limpid blue gaze simpering.
But that was no consolation because everybody waxed eloquent over her startling coloring, her shining black hair, her blue eyes, and her perfect white skin.
Her figure was rather voluptuous for the highborn class, but that only added to her appeal.
She was celebrated as a beauty far and wide, and I absolutely hated her.
It didn’t help that we were the same age, our birthdays a few weeks apart.
I couldn’t stop myself from comparing the hell of my life with the heaven of hers, and the differences made my bones quake at night.
As self-defeating as it was to brood on that, I couldn’t help myself because I saw her every day on her rides.
I was hardly alone in my hatred of her. But I was alone in my obsession with her life.
All the workers scowled when the Patron’s Daughter made her appearance, but they had the good sense to forget about her after she was gone.
Not me. I tracked everything she did.
Because she was so spoiled, the Patron’s Daughter threw temper tantrums well past childhood to satisfy every whim that crossed her mind.
It was through a tantrum that she was able to make her debut a year earlier than her peers.
It was the custom for young ladies to come out in Society when they were eighteen, unless they were exceptionally accomplished, which she wasn’t, or they had older sisters who had already married, which she hadn’t.
So the Patron’s Daughter was still presented at court right after her seventeenth birthday.
Then the rampage began.
Because of her celebrated good looks, many eligible young men called on her. Yet beauty on the outside was a beast on the inside, and the Patron’s Daughter discovered a new source of happiness as she spurned suitor after suitor.
Vanity being a puckish pervert, the men came in droves.
Once word spread that her heart was not easily won, the hand of the Patron’s Daughter became the most valuable trophy to boast of that season.
There wasn’t a highborn gentleman for fifty miles round who could resist the challenge to master the she-devil.
I was mystified at the sheer numbers who came.
All of them were noble and many were desirable. Some were handsome, several had wealth, others had power, quite a few were charming, and one was even celebrated for his comical wit.
But no matter how desirable the match, the Patron’s Daughter was more enamored of the malicious glee coursing through her veins every time she rejected a would-be fiancé without giving him a sliver of a chance.
She loved cruelty, and she became more adept at degradation with each dismissal. Her reputation became so notorious, even her parents were embarrassed.
The Patron’s Daughter was making enemies of other patron families for humiliating their sons.
The next year, everything would change when we were eighteen.
This excerpt is from my WIP, “The Shepherd and the Courtesan.” If you’d like to read the previous excerpt, Ugly Addie, click here.