Charles Astor, more fondly known as Charlie by those closest to him, had all but given up. He was meant to be a hero, savior even. But all the young duke wanted to do was crawl into a hole and let life continue outside. That wasn’t in the cards for Charlie, and his mother had sensed his hardship. When the city was attacked, Charlie had been giving a speech to the local university. The blast took out part of the lecture hall, and Charlie was forced to run the streets alongside his people. Truth be told, that’s exactly where he belonged. He did much more good than he’d thought, and morale had never been higher in Veneto. The residents of the city were proud of him and his government for acting fast, but Charlie’s mind couldn’t be reconciled. He could still hear the buildings coming down, the screams of his people dying… it kept him awake at night. His once giddy and boyish personality had all but vanished overnight.
Prior to the attack on his city, Charlie went through a nasty divorce. His now ex-wife, Kathryn DeMarco, was a perpetual cheater. He thought he was in love, and he thought she was another person. For a long time, they were content. They had two daughters together, Luciana and Magdalen. After his second daughter was born, Charlie had had enough. He’d threatened to divorce before, something taboo and frowned upon not only in the family but in the nobility as well, but Kathryn’s actions had pushed him too far. No one but Henry Westmore, his childhood best friend, knew that Charlie wasn’t sure he was the father of Magdalen. Charlie did not care, and he was awarded full custody of both girls. He keeps Kathryn far away from them in hopes that they’ll grow up to be nothing like her, but he has his doubts. Like it or not, the public would only accept the wartime single father for so long. He needed a wife and duchess to care for his daughters and hopefully keep his name out of the tabloids for good. Unfortunately, Charlie is doing a poor job at keeping up appearances. He’s tired and fearful that his children are going to inherit the war that’s just getting started.