Chapter 1

Danielle looked out the carriage window and wondered where she was going and what it would be like when she got there. She had no warning that this was about to happen. As far as Danielle knew, she was going to stay in her father’s house forever, sharing her life the three servants who had brought her up. She would miss her best friend, Gustave, the orphan who had been adopted by Auguste and her mother Nicole after she had discovered him begging in the street. He was only four years old at the time and she had just become pregnant with Danielle soon afterward.

She had no time to think and therefore had no time to even cry. She watched as they passed chateaux and manor, each one as big and beautiful as the one before it. Danielle found herself becoming bored with the surroundings and finally fell asleep only to be jolted awake when the carriage came to a halt.

Danielle slid over to the other side to get a good look at the chateau she would be living in when the doors opened. She stood up reluctantly, grabbed her bags and stepped nervously out of the carriage. She looked up at the building in front of her. It was a beautiful country house. It was large and looked as though it contained at least fifteen rooms inside.

“Excuse me, but are you an angel?”

Danielle turned to find a small boy looking at her. He appeared to be about her age, maybe a little older, she wasn’t sure yet.

“My aunt told me to expect an angel, but I wasn’t sure…”

“That’s enough out of you, little one Run along and play. Go on, find your friends.”

Danielle had watched a middle aged woman come out of the house. She went directly towards the boy and took his hand, ignoring Danielle for a small second.

The little boy shook his head. “No, Antoinette, not yet. He looked at Danielle again. “Will you come with me?”

Danielle shook her head. “I’m sorry, I can’t today. Perhaps tomorrow, if I can.”

She smiled and the boy smiled back. “See you tomorrow then,” he called, releasing Antoinette’s firm grip and ran into the woods.

The servant watched him with a smile, and then she turned to Danielle.

“Ah,” she said, beaming. “You must be Danielle de Barbarac. We have been waiting for you. Come in the house, child. You must be tired and dusty from your trip.”

Danielle smiled and nodded.

“Good then,” Antoinette said, “just follow me. I have someone who wants to meet you.”

Danielle picked up her bags and followed Antoinette up the walkway, not knowing what to expect.

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