An Arranged Betrothal
With a Blind Duke


Adrian’s love for Annabelle remained as potent as the day they exchanged their vows. The flickering candlelight bathed their modest drawing room in a warm glow, casting shadows that danced in rhythm with the cracking fireplace. A gentle smile graced Adrian’s face as he looked across the room to where Annabelle was seated, a hand resting on her swollen belly, expectantly carrying their second child. Their young son, Nathaniel, played at her feet with wooden soldiers, his cherubic laughter filling the room with joy.

“Annabelle, my love,” Adrian began, his voice tinged with emotion, “It seems only yesterday that we stood before God and pledged our eternal love.”

Annabelle looked up, her eyes sparkling with a warmth that matched his sentiment.

“Indeed, my dearest,” she said. “Time has flown, and yet, my affection for you has not waned.”

She rose from her seat, and he hurried to help her, always attentive to her condition. They stood close, their hands entwined, each heartbeat a testament to their undying love.

Adrian’s mind wandered back to their wedding day, the nervous excitement in his chest, the soft sigh of her whisper in his ear promising lifelong devotion. Those memories were still as vivid as the present moment, a living painting of their love story.

“You have made me the happiest man alive,” he murmured, his voice thick with emotion, pressing his forehead to hers.

“And you, my love, have filled my life with such joy and purpose. This family we’re building…” she trailed off, her voice breaking.

He understood her emotions, feeling the weight of them in his own soul. With a young son who was a perfect blend of both their characters and another child on the way, they were building a future, a legacy. And it was all rooted in the love they shared.

“You needn’t say more, Annabelle,” he whispered, brushing a stray curl from her face. “I know.”

Their lips met, a kiss filled with the passion and tenderness that had defined their relationship. They parted, but their eyes remained locked, each soul laid bare.

A sudden cry from Nathaniel broke the spell, and they both turned, smiling at their son’s antics. The little boy had toppled his soldiers and was demanding they stand again. With a shared glance, Adrian and Annabelle returned to their parental duties, their connection unbroken, their love undiminished. They knew that no matter the trials and tribulations they might face, their love would endure, as vibrant and powerful as the day they had become one.

Meanwhile, their friends Henry and Penelope were also reveling in marital bliss, the joy in their lives amplified by the presence of their little daughter, Amelia. Henry’s laughter was hearty, and Penelope’s eyes sparkled with a mischief that made her husband’s heart swell with love. Their lives, too, were painted with the broad strokes of joy and affection, made complete by their daughter’s innocent giggles.

The annual village summer fair was a tradition, a time for celebration, merriment, and camaraderie. And this year, it held special significance for these two families, their lives intricately woven together by enduring friendship and mutual happiness.

Adrian, watching Henry and Penelope dancing to the lively music of the village band, was filled with contentment. The bond between the two families had grown stronger over the years. Their shared experiences, the birth of their children, their love for their wives, had all conspired to deepen their connection.

“Adrian,” Henry called, beckoning him over, his voice loud over the music and laughter. “Won’t you join us? The dance is incomplete without you and Annabelle.”

Adrian looked to his wife, who was engaged in pleasant conversation with some village ladies but still ever aware of him. Her eyes met his, and she nodded, a warm smile lighting her face. She was as eager as he was to partake in the joy of the dance. He extended his hand to her, and she took it, allowing him to lead her to the dance floor. The four of them moved in unison, their bodies swaying to the rhythm, their faces aglow with sheer delight.

As they danced, Adrian couldn’t help but reflect on the paths that had brought them here. The shared trials and triumphs, the laughter, and tears. Henry and Penelope had been there through it all, steadfast and true. Henry caught Adrian’s eye, understanding his thoughts as only a true friend could.

“Here’s to friendship, Adrian,” he said, raising an imaginary glass.

“And to love,” Adrian replied, his voice full of emotion.

“To love,” Henry echoed.

The dance continued, the music lively, the sun warm on their backs, and the laughter of their children filling the air. The four of them, along with Nathaniel and Amelia, created a picture of happiness that was envied by many in the village.

The day wore on, filled with games, food, and merriment. The children played, their faces sticky with sweets, their laughter music to their parents’ ears. The families sat together, sharing stories, teasing one another, and reveling in the simple joy of being together.

In that moment, Adrian knew that they were all truly blessed. The love they shared, the friendship they nurtured, was a rare treasure, something to be cherished and never taken for granted. Their lives were full, their hearts content, and as the day gave way to night, they all knew that they had everything they could ever wish for. In love, in friendship, in family, they had found their true wealth.

As the fair unfolded, Adrian’s senses were filled with the sounds and scents of the lively village celebration. From his sightless vantage point, his world was composed of laughter and music, the fragrance of roasting meats and fresh flowers, the distant neighing of horses, and the occasional bark from Patches, their faithful dog.

He stood a little apart from the crowds, leaning on his cane, his mind alive with images created by sounds and memories. His family was there, his beautiful Annabelle, Nathaniel, their unborn child, Patches, and their dear friends, Henry, and Penelope.

“What are you thinking, my love?” Annabelle’s gentle voice broke through his reverie, and he turned towards her, recognizing her soft footsteps.

He smiled, his face alight with a realization that had struck him like a thunderbolt.

“I was thinking about love,” he said. “About how you once told me that it’s not determined by the clarity of sight, but by the clarity of the heart. And about how we found the first threads of our love at that fair three years ago.”

She took his hand, her touch familiar and comforting.

“Tell me more,” she urged, her voice filled with curiosity.

He drew her closer, his words carefully chosen, the depth of his emotion evident in his voice.

“I may not see with my eyes, Annabelle, but I see with my heart,” he said. “I see our son’s joy in his laughter, I see your love in your touch, I hear Patches’ loyalty in his bark, and I feel our friends’ warmth in their words. And I couldn’t do any of those things, if not for you.”

Annabelle’s eyes welled with tears, the profundity of his insight touching her deeply. She pressed her hand to his cheek.

“You see more clearly than most, Adrian,” she said. “Your heart sees what truly matters.”

He nodded, his own emotions rising to the surface.

“I used to mourn the loss of my sight, but now I understand that it’s allowed me to see the world in a way I never could have before,” he said. “I see the essence of things, not their appearance. I see love, friendship, trust. I see you, Annabelle, and our children, and our life together, and it’s beautiful.”

They stood together, the noise of the fair fading into the background, their hearts connected in a way that went beyond mere physical presence.

“You’ve taught me a great deal, as well,” she whispered, her voice choked with emotion. “Your strength, your wisdom, your love, they are my guiding light.”

He pulled her into his arms, his voice thick.

“And you are mine, Annabelle,” he said. “You are my eyes, my heart, my soul.”

They remained like that, two souls intertwined, their love transcending the limitations of physical sight, a testament to the power of the human heart. The fair continued around them, a celebration of life and community, but for Adrian and Annabelle, it was a moment of profound understanding and connection. Love, they both knew, was not about seeing with the eyes but feeling with the heart. And in that space, they had found a richness and depth that many could only dream of. They had found their true vision, and it was beautiful beyond words.


In a quiet corner of the bustling village, a sanctuary of learning thrived, a shining beacon of education for the less fortunate children. Annabelle’s school was not merely a place of learning; it was a haven of hope, a testament to the love and generosity that defined Adrian and Annabelle’s life together.

Adrian’s pride in his wife’s endeavor was boundless, and he often found himself standing at the gates of the school, listening to the chatter of eager young minds, feeling their enthusiasm and curiosity as a palpable force.

“What dis?” Nathaniel’s voice, filled with the innocence and wonder of a child of nearly three, pulled Adrian from his thoughts.

He smiled, bending down to his son’s level.

“School,” he said, beaming with pride. “We are here, Nathaniel, to see the magic your mother is creating.”

“Magic?” The boy sounded shocked, and Adrian chuckled.

“Yes, the magic of learning. The magic of giving every child a chance to dream and to become whatever they want to be.”

Adrian’s heart swelled as he thought of all the children who had passed through the doors of Annabelle’s school, their lives transformed by the gift of education. He thought of the young girls and boys who had come from poverty, from despair, and had left with the tools to build a brighter future.

“We go in?” Nathaniel’s voice, filled with excitement, brought Adrian back to the present.

“Let’s,” he agreed, taking his son’s hand, and leading him towards the school.

Inside, the walls were alive with the sounds of learning. Laughter, questions, the scratch of pens on paper, the encouraging words of teachers. And at the heart of it all was Annabelle, her face glowing with love and compassion, her hands guiding, her voice inspiring.

“My darling,” she exclaimed as she saw him, rushing over and enveloping him in a warm embrace. “What brings you here?”

“Magic,” Nathaniel piped up, his face serious.

Annabelle’s laugh was like music, her joy infectious.

“And magic you shall see,” she said.

She took them on a tour of the school, her voice filled with passion as she described the various classes, the children’s achievements, the dreams that were being nurtured within these walls. Adrian listened, his heart filled with pride and love. Annabelle’s vision had become a reality, and it was changing lives. Her generosity, her belief in the potential of every child, had created a place where hope blossomed.

“You’re doing incredible things here, Annabelle,” Adrian said, his voice teeming with pride.

“It’s not just me, Adrian,” she said. “We have excellent teachers and staff. And the children are so eager to learn. It’s also us. It’s our love, our belief in the goodness of people, our faith in the power of education. We are doing this together.”

He nodded, knowing that she was right. Their love was not confined to their home, to their family. It was a force that reached out, touching lives, making a difference.

As they left the school, hand in hand, the sun sinking low in the sky, Adrian reflected on the beauty of their life together. Their love was a living thing, a force that had grown and expanded, encompassing not just their family but their community.

Annabelle’s school was a symbol of that love, a beacon of hope and possibility. And as they walked home, their hearts light, their spirits buoyed by the knowledge that they were making a difference, Adrian knew that their love would continue to shine, illuminating the path for others, a legacy of generosity and compassion that would endure long after they were gone.

The End


This is the end of my novel “An Arranged Betrothal with a Blind Duke”. I hope that you enjoy it! Your effort to read it means a lot to me and I have to thank you for your love and support these difficult days!

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