•F I F T Y - F I V E•

133 13 6

♪ Is everybody out here crazy?                                         Anybody want a war, war? ♪{30 Seconds to Mars—Hail To The Victor}

Oops! This image does not follow our content guidelines. To continue publishing, please remove it or upload a different image.

♪ Is everybody out here crazy?
                                        Anybody want a war, war? ♪
{30 Seconds to Mars—Hail To The Victor}

Unable to return to her room, her nerves forcing her to stay active, Marguerite went to the Library.

She remembered the Duke's eyes—so dark, so fearful... but so enticing. She shook her head, willing the image of the horrid man out of her thoughts.

As she proceeded inside, she scurried towards her favorite plush chair near the fireplace. The perfect place to ponder. Instead of sitting, however, she paced. Back and forth, back and forth. Her lower limbs shook though her upper limbs tensed and twitched every few seconds.

Clémentine. Cornelius. Adelaide—they were all connected.

It became more obvious by the minute that Adelaide was united with Clémentine; Antoine said so, anyway, claiming the Queen worked for his mother. Perhaps against her will, or perhaps in some agreement that benefited her, Marguerite wasn't sure.

But she was now positive something linked Clémentine to Cornelius, thanks to the information she extracted from him.

Her fingertip rested on her chin.

Did that make Adelaide connected to Cornelius by default? Or... was there more to it?

Her heart pounded as she slowed her paces.

She thought of the Inauguration Ball. Cornelius, wandering among the contenders as if he were about to choose one, and yet... he did not. He appeared uninterested though he stated otherwise when he danced with Marguerite. And while they danced... his gaze wavered over to the dais more often than not, though Marguerite hadn't been able to see who he focused on.

But it was certain someone royal caught his attention.

She doubted it was the young Cordelia, though he had pranced about with her on his arm, misleading all those in the room.

"Oh..." Recalling who else stood on the dais, her lungs constricted.

All the connections. The answers. She realized the truth; an epiphany she hadn't expected, but now feared.

Cornelius already made his choice, possibly before arriving in Totresia. His views were already on someone—someone taken.

She halted, her hands shaking as she clasped them and covered her mouth.

An actual alliance with Giroma...

The triangle was so clear to her now. Clémentine was the middle-man—because she plotted to give Adelaide... to Cornelius.

Could it be that simple? She huffed as she dropped into the seat, unable to stand. Thoughts flurried in and out of her brain, causing her internal organs to ache.

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