Maria was born into aristocracy. Not the traditional monarchs of that had lived in Venice, but a different sort of aristocracy, this sort was of the undead variety. Maria was beautiful from the day she was born. The seventh and last child of her mother's, she had long, black hair and big dark eyes. She was mischievous but not bad and was kind and loving, and as she grew her beauty only deepened until finally, for her own good, she was sent to a convent school to live and be educated until it was time for her to marry.
This convent was austere, cold, dank, and before too long she was pale and sickly. Her parents visited her irregularly, her most frequent visitor was her Father's best friend. It was he who got her transferred to a more comfortable school, this one "family" owned. The head of the church and convent was a Father Gianelli Giovanni and her quarters were comfortable if small, and warm and near the sea, close enough that she could smell it. After a time, she fell for the church, and came to her cousin, Gianelli to tell him she wished to take her vow and become a nun..
Not two days later, her Father showed at the convent, her baggage's were packed into the carriage and off she went for home. She sat in shock now, her Father's words ringing in her ears, "Your duty is to marry, and not marry the church. You are set to be wed this coming Saturday. Tonight, you will meet your husband, your cousin, Joseph Giovanni.
Joseph! Not him! He was a small boy, she remembered, small, effeminate and there were rumors he was not quite..manly. She began to feel ill at the thought of marrying him, but what could she do? It was not her place to deny her parents..
Her wedding day came and went in a blur of fevered activity. She barely remembered any of it as she stood in her wedding night nightgown, staring out at the canal below. She couldn't even recall if she had spoke the vows, but she must have or she would not be waiting on her husband...
And she heard he door open and close and felt a presence behind her, approaching with soft footsteps. Then hands were on her arms and soft lips on her neck..but these were not the lips of her husband nor was that his scent, it was a familiar, masculine scent she knew well..and she turned to see not her husband, but his Father, her own Father's best friend.
"You are mine..." he said..and she smiled, and nodded, "Yes, I am..my husband..."
((If anyone is interested in playing this out and continuing the story, let me know.))