mother had always defended their friendship to her father, Lord Percy viewed their relationship as improper. Genevieve believed most of his disapproval stemmed from his troubles with Lord Ashwood, Ethan's father who had always tried to help and protect Genevieve's mother, brothers and herself during her fathers frequent fits of anger.
"Luckily for me, father is often away at court and I am well liked by most of the servants." Genevieve smiled as the thought passed through her head.
Passing under several of the larger trees in the garden Genevieve turned north and came to a grand elm tree. Ducking under the elm's majestic branches, she circled the trunk, and gathering her skirts in her hand she proceeded to pull away the vines covering the hidden tunnel out of the garden. Crouching down, she began to carefully make her way through the tunnel towards the rays of light penetrating the other end.
The sound of her skirt ripping overpowered the sounds of her footsteps as her skirt became caught on the stinging nettles covering the tunnel. Gently it from the nettle, she continued the short distance to the end of the tunnel and proceeded to survey the damage.
"Damn," she thought, "This is the second skirt I've ripped this month. I'm going to have a lot of mending to do." This path, while not the only one toward her and Ethan's meeting spot was and certainly not the easiest, was the only one that was unknown and out of sight to anyone walking by.
Walking down the gently sloping hill through a small clump of fir trees she began to anticipate her meeting with Ethan. "I always told mama that I would never fall for Ethan when she teased me." Back then boys had never occurred to her in that mindset. "Little did I know how right she would be."
Coming to the edge of Balyfern Pond, she circled the rim of water until she came to the large fir elevated slightly over the pond. It grew on the edge of a large boulder which protruded out into the water. Settling herself down on the pristine layer of needles covering the top of the rock, she leaned back into the smooth na´ve of the tree and settled down to wait for Ethan.
Around ten minutes later she heard some rustling in the trees across the pond and awoke from her daydream to see Ethan running around the pond toward her. Leaping up she quickly dusted herself off and threw out her arms to greet him. "Ethan I so glad to see you! I--" she said as she was cut off by Ethan as he kissed her passionately before wrapping his arms around her and swinging around in the air.
"Genevieve, I cant stand not being able to see you more often." Ethan said as he carefully placed her down on a soft patch of clover a short distance from the tree. Plopping himself down on the ground beside her he turned to her and said with excitement evident in his voice, "I think we should take a trip, sweetheart. Think of all the adventures we could have. We could make our way through the country and end in London. I have enough money so that we wouldn't be lacking in the necessities and you know I would protect you. This is the perfect solution to our problems. By the time we reach London, our father's will have called off the search and we can begin a new life there together." He finished looking into her eyes with a questioning glance.
Glancing down into her lap she began in a quite voice, "Ethan it seems a little improper. Not that I really care what everyone says, but still it is a big step. I'm not sure I can leave my brothers here, they need someone to defend them and protect them from father