•F O R T Y - O N E•

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♪ So explain to me, how it came to this                                    Let's take it back to the night we kissed ♪  {The Script—Before The Worst}

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♪ So explain to me, how it came to this
                                    Let's take it back to the night we kissed ♪ 
{The Script—Before The Worst}

The flame from the torch by the kitchen door flickered. Its yellows and oranges danced, hypnotizing Marguerite, making her unable to pry her gaze away as she waited.

And waited more.

She rubbed her biceps as a slight chill cruised through the landing. She hesitated to reignite her candle resting on the ground by the stairs.

Why hadn't he sent a page boy to warn her that he wouldn't join her?

It had only been fifteen minutes since her arrival, and yet it felt like hours. She grew restless. Exhausted. Wary from the events of the evening and the need to discuss them with her King.

In her mind, images of Antoine swam; him ignoring her note, wondering why she would dare summon him. Or worse—Clémentine intercepting the letter and coming in his stead. Or Antoine on his way to meet Marguerite and being stopped by the Dowager and her ferocious gazes.

Maybe this was not a good idea.

She knew the risks, but it was essential to tell Antoine what she uncovered. And though she wasn't sure of his knowledge, she couldn't ignore the issue. Despite the pain he caused her... she still owed him the truth, and to make him aware if something was wrong.

And something most definitely was.

The service stairs behind her creaked.

Visions of Clémentine filled her mind. Her heart pounded with such intensity she was sure whoever just arrived heard it. Holding her breath, she pivoted, staring at the worn-down stairs, unsure who would appear. And starting to believe she should hide—

When he emerged, holding a candlestick similar to hers, she released all the air she held in.


He winced, his head covered by the same old tricorn hat he always wore, his brown wool cloak flapping as he descended the last steps. Beneath the worn-out fabric she caught sight of the bright red trousers and frock coat he wore at the Ball. When his hazel gaze connected with hers, shivers raced down her spine.

"Your Majesty." She lowered into a quick curtsy. "I did not expect you to come."

He approached, uncertainty lingering in his expression and his steps hesitant. "You realize the risks you take by summoning me? Especially so late." He blew out his candle and marched past her, sticking his head behind the kitchen door. "Especially here." After a few moments, he pulled out of the doorway, closing the door as gently as possible. He turned to her. "Mother has ears everywhere. She told me she warned you yesterday."

The Golden Girl (#2 in the GOLDEN series) ✔Where stories live. Discover now