Emmeline DuPont wasn’t the kind of girl that cared much for the lavish lifestyle she was born into, but she kept that fact away from her parents as she had no choice but to follow their commands. She didn’t understand what was so grand about living a life of being stared at or placed on a higher pedestal than the rest of the world below their Château, but being the richest family in Baccarat, France, it couldn’t be helped. Her entire life had been planned by her family, who didn’t believe in anything but the best for their daughter, so at the moment she was being waited on hand and foot by her personal servants that attended to her in her room.
She was fretting around her room, pacing the floor, both wanting to disappear so she wouldn’t have to go to the ball and anticipating if she was going to find someone to spend her life with tonight. Her mother and father decided that since she was coming into the age of consent, she needed to find a husband and have children to pass on her family’s wealth to. The theme of the ball was a masquerade so she could make her debut in the comfort of wearing a mask, but Emmeline was concerned about the status of the other masked attendants. “How will I get to know my suitors if they are all in costume?”
Madame DuPont was placing the brush that had been passed down from generations before on her daughter’s night table and scrunched her nose at how unorganized it was. “Why are you worrying about that? This is for the best.”
Emmeline wanted to believe her mother, but something inside was telling her that something was going to go wrong with this entire ordeal. She wanted to please her parents’ wishes, but it was nearly impossible for her to be able to handle this kind of social event with her ever increasing anxiety. Usually she would just cure her anxiousness with the food of her choice, but her parents found that highly unladylike and unattractive, so she made sure they weren’t around when indulged in the delicacies of the kitchen. Even now, just talking to her mother, was making her want to dive into the dessert cart outside her room door.
“What do you expect to accomplish with the masks? Isn’t the point of this ball for me to find a man worthy becoming my husband?” She continued to pace the floor, thinking about the dessert cart so calm her nerves, and then turned back to her mother with confusion written on her face when she didn’t answer her right away. “Well, isn’t it?”
Sighing, Madam DuPont stood up and walked over to her daughter with the grace Emmeline had always wished she could achieve. Kissing her forehead, Madame DuPont spoke softly into her daughter’s hair, “This tactic will ensure that you marry for love and substance, rather than a pretty face.”
The idea of the concept did in face intrigue her, but still, her parents were picky about the kind of man she was going to marry, more or less meaning how much money his parents had. “What about their wealth? How will I know who has more to offer?”