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In the previous episode, after discovering Rupert alive in the stable, Clarissa’s father asks her what happened. Readers voted that Clarissa lies about her affair with Richard but admits that he attacked Rupert.
In the moment, Clarissa didn’t know why she decided to lie about the affair. In some way, she thought she was doing it for Richard, although if she was being honest it was probably the fear of her father’s glaring eyes that made her say what she did. So without fully knowing why, she found herself inventing wildly.
She had been asleep in her room, she began confidently, when she was awoken by noises coming from the stable. Her curiosity piqued, she had crept downstairs and outside to see what was causing the disturbance. She had entered the stable to find Richard trying to tame one of the horses, who was having some kind of fit. It was Dorchester, Clarissa said smoothly, his glassy eyes wild as he snorted and stomped. She had lingered to watch because the scene was riveting – majestic horse rearing up, neighing loudly, and Richard, facing him hands out, murmuring soothing words. He finally managed to subdue Dorchester and the two were about to leave the stable when Rupert walked in and, seeing them alone in the middle of the night, made the assumptions he had.
Clarissa paused here. Her father was looking at her skeptically. Richard betrayed no emotion as usual. She couldn’t think of any way to lie about what happened next – the finger marks around Rupert’s neck and the way he had fallen backwards so hard left little to invent. She cleared her throat nervously.
“And then,” she said haltingly, “Rupert starting saying how he was going to tell, how Richard would be fired – he was calling him awful names, oh it was horrible Father! Richard tried talking sense into him, explaining the situation, but Rupert wouldn’t hear it. Then Richard, well,” Clarissa looked away from her former lover. “He was angry, rightly so. But he didn’t mean to push Rupert into that metal bar, it was an accident! I saw, the bar was hidden under some hay -“
“Alright, Clarissa,” her father interrupted. “Thank you. I’ll think about what you’ve told me, you may go.”
“Father…” Clarissa looked up beseechingly. “None of this is Richard’s fault.”
Her father’s eyes narrowed slightly.
“Clarissa, please leave us.”
Clarissa nodded and left the room, exhaling shakily as soon as the door clicked shut behind her. She thought she had done the best she could for Richard, hopefully he would understand why she hadn’t lied completely, why she hadn’t said Rupert had fallen down on his own. Clarissa paced nervously around her room for the next few hours, counting down until her parents went out and she could slip down to see Richard. She loved him so much, and besides without him her life would go back to being the dull, predictable monotony it had been before he whisked her off her feet. The thought of losing him terrified her and she badly needed his reassuring arms around her, his deep voice telling her that everything was ok. Vote below on what will happen next or if viewing from email, click Take our Poll.