Loading... Chapter Forty Eight
"You got this," Daniel whispered to Amilia, who was doubled over in a breathless panic. The first time it happened Daniel wasn't sure what to do. To be honest, he didn't do anything of real help for the first month. But as time went on, he found that holding her hand, and reminding her to how to breathe evenly, was all he could really do. It was a simple thing that ended up working after other simple things didn't.
Shortly after Amilia's return, they had to pick things up and travel to France for Lance's wedding. Daniel offered to support her staying home if needed, but Amilia assured him that it would be fine. Now he wasn't so sure, even though where she was hardly seemed to matter.
She clutched her stomach as she stood. Her breathing still mimicked a stone skipping across water. Daniel watched silently before opening up his arms, an invitation Amilia sometimes took. Today, the hug was welcomed. "Thank you," she managed.
She didn't have to explain how or why the tension of the wedding, stress of traveling, or having to meet so many new people had gotten to her for him to understand. "Is there anything else I can do?" he offered.
Amilia shook her head. "No. I'm okay," she said, convincing herself.
Daniel was just glad he was around to help. "I love you," he reminded.
"And I love you," Amilia whispered back. "You should go help Lance get ready."
"Yeah, I'm fine now."
Daniel kissed her hand before he left. She was due somewhere else too, and after taking a centering breath, she headed out of their room to find Chloe.
"Sorry I'm late," Amilia said, as she squeezed into the room that Chloe was getting ready in.
"It's okay, dear," Chloe said, turning back as far as she could as Lily fastened her corset. "Somebody thought they could squeeze the truth about how I met Lance out of me."
"I've seen the lives those boys lead." Lily grinned as she finished up with an extra little tug. "And here you tell me this causal story about the power of chance."
Amilia nervously turned her hands over each other. Chloe had been more than sweet, but Lily hadn't warmed up since her return. "I actually haven't heard that story."
"It's nothing real exciting, you know nobles and their politics," Chloe said. She reached a hand up to work on her hair. Lily shooed her hand away, and after a half-second pout, Chloe went on. "Our families do business together, and some time ago there was a health scare with Lance's father. During that time, Lance came back home, and that's when we met."
Lily gave a glance to Amilia, who was still standing by the door. It was meant to silently ask 'can you believe that?' Which Amilia did, so she just pulled on a quick smile.
"Lance's stories are so full of adventure." The admiration was clear in Chloe's voice as she spoke. "Most soldiers only tell tales of their own glory, but not Lance. It was from his stories that I first heard of you. I think he even included the painful stories, the ones where things weren't so perfect, so I wouldn't fall for the grandeur of it all.
"When Daniel came to visit, I did not know if I would never see Lance again. But, I knew one thing. I wanted to be a part of those stories, good or bad. I have no craft like either of you, so hid in their carriage as they traveled to London. Or tried. I swore Daniel was going to throw me out on the street for hiding away."
"But why so soon?" Lily said, as she placed a final pin into Chloe's blonde locks.
"Oh please," Chloe said. It was the roughest tone Amilia ever heard from her, and while still kinder than most people's default, it made Amilia's heart race a little faster, as if she was the target. "I've written to him for almost a year before meeting, and we were in England for quite some time," Chloe continued. "And while playing house there was fun, Lance has always wanted to start his own family and I couldn't be more excited."
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