•S I X T Y - S E V E N•

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♪ It's so clear now that you are all that I have                                               I have no fear 'cause you are all that I have ♪{Snow Patrol—You're All I Have}

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♪ It's so clear now that you are all that I have
                                               I have no fear 'cause you are all that I have ♪
{Snow Patrol—You're All I Have}


Through her tear-filled eyes, Marguerite saw Céleste standing in awe, feet away, her arms falling to her sides. Her ravishing dress sparkled in the dark, almost giving her the allure of an illusion. A figment of her imagination.

"Marguerite?"

As strands of hair fell over Marguerite's face, she struggled to visualize Céleste. Though the girl's voice was loud, Marguerite had cried so much her ears were clogged, and she battled to differentiate reality and fiction.

She sank back into the pillow, another wave of uncontrollable tears attacking her, plunging her into the misery she had no idea how to escape.

Her parting words with Antoine and Sébastien had been short and quick; and she had never run so fast in her life, especially while wearing a flowing ball-gown and one of the tightest corsets she owned. She'd never been so eager to leave the castle or its schemes and plots, and never needed comfort as much as now.

Céleste is the only one I can trust.

The bed moved as Céleste sat beside her and placed a hand on her arm. "Marguerite... what is the matter?" Her timbre was so hesitant it sounded distant. "You... disappeared... what happened?"

Marguerite sniffled, reluctant to pull her eyes off the warm material of the pillow, unwilling to show Céleste just how damaged she was, how ruined her usual poised composure was.

"Marguerite... talk to me. Tell me," said the girl, a sweetness and innocence in her tone that shook Marguerite's core.

She should know the truth.

Finally, forcing herself upwards as Céleste moved out of the way, Marguerite sat up, wiping her cheeks though more fresh tears continued to cloak them.

The girl's flushed skin and comforting gaze coaxed her into finding her voice. "The short version is... I... believed the Duke of Terter was here to... take Queen Adelaide away from Antoine." Céleste nodded, apparently unfazed by the news. "And then... I thought he would help Clémentine take Antoine's throne. But... Antoine and I realized that..." She sniffled, unsure how to formulate the rest. With a sigh, she looked up at the ceiling. "... that it is King Romain who is here for Adelaide."

Céleste's brows scrunched, the flickering lights from the hearth making her face appear almost fearful. "But... he pursues Julia, no?"

Marguerite sniffled again and shook her head. "No, it... appears he does not. He is here to... help Clémentine annul Antoine's marriage and then... by default, trigger a vote to... remove him from the throne... because... he is heir-less." She suppressed a shiver.

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