Proper Picnic Preparations

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"Blue." Poke... "Blue." Another poke, "Come on, Blue!" A forceful shove that pushed me off the bed.

I swear I heard my ribs crack for the third time in 24 hours.

"Come on you lazy bones. We're about to leave and with how distraught Theo was last night after dinner I think it best you don't show up late."


"Oh, don't huh me." I cracked an eye open to see Annalina standing over me with a disapproving look settled across her petite features, which was very out of character for her. She crossed her arms. "I did not appreciate what you insinuated last night about my brother." Her cheeks turned an adorable red. "Nor the innuendos you implied about Kingsley and myself." Her face darkened even further.

It took my mind a long moment to catch up, and then suddenly everything made perfect sense. I was being scolded for what happened at dinner, the whole debacle where I implied that I was Theodore's whore.

Oh yeah, that time you were a bitch... yet again, said the small, but accurate voice in my head.

I tuned back into Annalina's ramblings. She was pacing back and forth while wringing her small hands together, "Now word has spread and oh dear, what everyone will think." She tugged on her perfectly situated curls and pressed her small lips into an even smaller line.


I stumbled out of bed towards Annalina. I reached out and pulled her hands from her hair and clasped them in my own. "It will be alright. I'll personally apologize to Theodore as well as Hazel and her family. And, I'll... I'll try to behave."

"Pft." Annalina ripped her hands from my grasp and flung them into the air as she started her pacing once again, "You? Behaving? That's like asking a bird to stop flying or a monkey to stop eating bananas. Impossible I tell you, impossible!"

"Annalina I-..." I was cut off as the door burst open and my room was effectively invaded by the rest of the levington sisters and a bundle of servants, one of whom was Anne.

"Come on Annalina, there is much to do. You still have to get properly dressed and Cleo here wants to recite some poetry with you before we are depart." Rose had her hands clasped together in a stance of finality. Much unlike how I caught her in the early hours of the morning.

Cleo looked like she wanted to protest about the apparent poetry readings, but one seething look from Rose and Cleo was quick to clamp her mouth shut.

"More poetry." Annalina produced a small pout accompanied with a moan. "Must we. It is so very dreary."

"Not now Annalina! Come, I have a particular passage in mind that I think could be very useful in today's outing. You know Barron Hastings is supposedly making an appearance."

The servants bustled around me, yanking me here and there, tugging at my clothes and pulling at my hair. It was hard to keep listen to their conversation as the servants whispered about which color, style, and jewelry would make me look the best today. They scoffed at my trousers and wrinkled their noses at my just-as-wrinkled shirt. It was very annoying and on top of it all my ribs ached with the constant motion. 

I strained my ears to listen to the rest of their conversation but Rose was very good at sweeping Annalina away while simultaneously shooting me small seething looks.

It felt like ages before Anne, who I had been unsuccessfully trying to make conversation with, stepped away from my vanity with a proud smile settled across her face.

She swiped a piece of her own wild curly hair away from her forehead before meeting my eyes in the reflection of the mirror.

"Can everyone please give Anne and I a moment?" The other ladies, who I did not know the names of, quickly left the room, allowing me to properly deflate in what felt like hours.

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