Ms. Austen (Chapter 1, page 1 of 3)

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Chapter 1

London, 1816

Had he truly loved her? Of course he had. But misfortune stood to tear them apart. Because fortune was the largest factor of them all. On that bitter and lonely day she had said goodbye. And with good reason. It seemed that they were to never be married within the confines of such circumstance. As he watched her ride away he knew he must move on and fulfill the duties that bound him. How could he love another, a woman for which he had no true feeling? Because that is what a man of such circumstance must undertake. He must be dutiful to his uncle or suffer the strongest consequence, self ruin. There was no other way. Should he employ his feelings for her, and the very means for which his family survived would be taken away without a sympathetic nod.

And so, Tom Lefroy did what any noble and upstanding man would do. He married another. And though it shattered his very being, he slowly and regretfully allowed the passage of time until one day it would become easier. He moved through the days one by one in the beginning, loving her while making love to another. Soon he became a man of good fortune and stature by the means of his world. He learned to love this woman, to show her kindness and caring. All the while haunted by Jane. By the memory of the softest, most sweet smelling hair he had ever employed by a woman, and by the ivory silk that was her face. He often beseeched upon God to end it all, to spare him of his agony. But by then, he was bestowed a daughter. He could not leave her for the sake of a memory that had by now, burned itself out slowly but surely.

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