"Come along, now. We are going out." Agnes says.
I am stood in the study which has Agnes, Henry and Bastian in. I have been called here and I was afraid that I had done something wrong.
"And where, might I ask, will we be going?" I ask politely keeping my manners.
"I don't think you need to know that. Do you think that?" Henry says.
"Yes. I do." Agnes answers.
Bastian is sat reading some papers and without looking up he says "Would it really be too much for her to know where you are dragging her today?"
"It most certainly would." Henry barks.
"Very well." Bastian says. He is not much of a fighter is he?
We are then interrupted by the guests walking in. Elizabeth ambles over to Bastian, obviously feeling more at home and talkative. "Good morning, Bastian. Isn't it dreadful?" he gives her a quizzical look. "The weather I mean. It's simply horrendous."
I arch an eyebrow at the twins who just look between themselves mischievously. "I hadn't noticed." Bastian says. I notice he has now put down his papers and is acting like he actually cares, I dare say he might.
"And what a shame, for I had hoped we might go on a walk together." he looks at her intensely. This must be what the other servants were saying. These two are likely to marry, for she has money and is beautiful and Bastian is rich and handsome. Just a shame for his appalling lack of manners. "Must that servant always be here?"
"Forgive me, miss, the twins asked for me."
"I didn't ask you to speak." I blush a little.
"Elizabeth, don't be harsh. She was simply answering your question which, in her defense, wasn't directed to anyone in particular." she turns to him. Defending me again? He better stop, anyone could think he cared. "And she is only simple." There's the Bastian I know and sometimes loathe.
"You are right, as always." She comes over to me holding both my hands. "Dear, do forgive me. I must be tired, I spent all night with dear Bastian talking." Bastian? Voluntarily contributing to a conversation without making snide comments? What is going on?
They carry on talking and in the room doing nothing, but listening I feel awkward, until I feel a small hand in mine pulling me towards the door.
It's pouring down with rain, as Elizabeth said, but I only know this because I am being soaked through. I am walking down the road with the twins who don't seem capable of feeling the cold.
"Must we walk through this horrific rain?" I ask already knowing the answer.
"Every cloud has a silver lining." Henry says.
"Don't say that, Henry." Agnes says.
"Why not?" Henry asks.
"That's what mother used to say." They both fall silent. I then hear the sniffing of one of them crying.
"I lost my mother too." They both turn to me looking shocked.
"Then you should understand." Henry says before wrapping his arms around me and crying. Agnes soon follows suit.
I don't quite know what to do other than hug them back. Then they step away smiling. Not their evil 'we are planning something' smile, but a genuine smile. "We're sorry for how we acted." he says.
"That's OK. But would you mind if we cold go inside again, now?" They lead me back to the house.
When we go back to the study, it's after lunch and Bastian and Elizabeth are sat talking alone. Whereas Elizabeth looks angered by our intrusion, Bastian looks relieved to see his siblings. "My, my. Those children are soaked through. They are likely to catch their deaths!" Elizabeth exclaims no doubt pretending to be worried for their safety. "How incompetent are you, girl? They are children and they are delicate!" She basically yells at me. "Seriously, Bastian. Is this the standard of staff you like to hire?" I don't know what to do other than look bewildered.
"I will thank you not to question me, or my father's, judgement again. Do not yell at my staff; they were hired for good reason." Bastian says standing from his chair and leaving the room. Elizabeth soon follows.
Later that day, I am cleaning the study, when Bastian walks in. He takes no notice of me. He just goes and sits in his chair and reads.
We stay in silence for about ten minutes before he starts talking. "This is ridiculous." he says and I turn to him, but he seems more like he's talking to himself than me. "How can I be expected to marry someone like her? She has money, granted, and lots of it. But she lacks feeling. She doesn't care for anyone but herself." Hypocrite. "What's more, she genuinely believes that I wish to marry her, which I do not." he stops.
I wait about a minute, before answering, wondering what to say. "Then don't."
He looks at me with raised eyebrows. "You do not wish me to?"
"Well, I wish that you are happy and if she can't do that then, don't marry her."
"Oh poor, Miss Ignorant Montague. You are oblivious. Nothing in life is a book from a story. We do not all have good hearts in the end and we do not all get happily ever afters. In fact. It's quite frequent that a good soul should go unnoticed, for that is the way the world works. There is not good or bad. It's not just black and white, so I implore you, learn about the world around you before judging the world around another." he says. Less angrily, more like he was begging. Then that's that. He gets up without another look in m direction and leaves the room. I stand dumbfounded. That's nearly exactly what my father said.
YOU ARE READING
A Tudor Girl named Ethelreda lives as a maid in a grand house. But things do not go to plan. The master's son- a spoiled, arrogant, rude man with no regard for anyone but himself- and two mischievous children make her life extraordinarily difficult...