Chapter 11

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Lady Abigail gripped Kats arm and dragged her along behind, muttering under her breath. Her face was red with anger and it seemed she was not even breathing. When they approached Kats bedroom, she was shoved into it. Maids awaited her with a gown, a hairbrush and rouge to tidy her up, Lady Abigail placed her hands on her hips.
"How dare you! You are not to go into that room ever again! You have embarrassed me and our family, your kind brother and sister are down there entertaining your in laws and your sister in law is acting as host because you couldn't even follow simple instructions to get ready for their visit. I am extremely cross with you, I should have to treat you as a child anymore!!!"

With that she took a key out of her little purse that hung off her wrist and closed the door. Kat heard the click of the lock, and began to sob uncontrollably. Her maids took no notice of her visible distress and began to pretty her up for morning tea. They removed the paint splattered white dress and replaced it with a plain baby blue silk dress. Her hair was taken out and restyled. They washed her face of the tears and applied makeup and rouge to cover her tear stained face and the finger prints on her arms. Soon she was ready to present herself in the withdrawing room physically but mentally she wanted to curl up on her single bed back in London 2019 and cry. Then her real mother would come and comfort her by cuddling with her and then they would order Chinese and watch a movie, that always made her feel better. She decided that she would try harder than ever to escape this horrid place, but as soon as those words were thought in her mind she felt like pinching herself, it was a lie. She loved it here and she had many things to keep her here. The only thing keeping her in the modern world was her mother, but she followed the maids to the withdrawing room and pushed her conflicting thoughts out of her mind, trying to smile.

The maid announced her presence and as she walked in everyone stood up to curtsey or bow. Her mother,  brother, sister and sister in law sat on one side of the coffee table on the sofa and stool and on the other side sat Lord Eric and his mother and father, the Duke and Duchess. Kat curtseyed back and apologised with a small smile on her face before scanning the room quickly for a place to sit. The duchess saw this and patted the sofa in the space next to her, between her and Eric who refused to make eye contact with Kat.

As soon as she sat down, Lady Abigail smiled and took. Sip of her tea before announcing;
"Now we must cut to the chase. We have a date set for the wedding?"

The Duke cleared his throat.
"Yes, in three months time, October 11th."

Lady Abigail raised her eyebrows at the season chosen and the Duchess spoke up.
"I would have preferred a summer wedding to an Autumn one but someone-"
She paused and glared at her husband.
"-had to go and make arrangements and threats to our son without me."

The Duke looked at the floor, evading the scolding from his wife. Kat tried to get Erics attention but he sat playing with his pocket watch and not paying attention. Kat felt her heart sink but she kept the smile on her face.

"Now I shall take care of the venues, we were thinking Saint Etheldras for the ceremony and we shall have the wedding breakfast at our Townhouse in the large dining hall. We have decided that they shall honeymoon at our Manor in Scotland."
The Duchess said, Lady Abigail listening intently.

Kat noticed everyone looking quite bored at these discussions and she didn't know why her siblings were needed for this conversation, but knowing Lady Abigail it was probably for some petty reason. The Duchess and Lady Abigail discussed every detail of the wedding save for the dress, for when the Duchess brought the subject up Lady Abigail refused to talk about it in the presence of the groom and they agreed to finally let everyone leave the room.

Everyone except the two mothers went to the billiards room which looked rather old and unused. Kat sat in a corner watching the game between the men of the group before gazing off into the distance and thinking in her own little bubble. She was to be married in three months!? She was only 18, she had only ever had one relationship in her life, but it was when she was only 13 and they didn't even talk.

She realised she had once again been staring at Eric as he played and when he turned his head to look at her she held his gaze with a glare before turning to look at her brother as he tried and failed to get a ball in.

Soon it was time for the family to leave, and they all grabbed their bonnets and cloaks. Kat stood with her family on the steps to their house, waving as Eric and his family piled into their carriage. He put one foot on the steps into the carriage before looking down as if he was thinking and then rushing back to Kat and taking her hands in his.

He leaned towards her ear.
"I think I must apologize for my behavior earlier today, jr was not gentlemanly."
He whispered before quickly pecking her on the cheek, rushing back to the carriage and hopping in. As the carriage drove off, Kat felt her face go warm and she saw Eric wink and smile genuinely at her.

Adelaide burst into a fit of giggles.
"Look she's gone bright red!"

"Leave her be Adelaide, it was a sweet gesture."
Scolded lady Abigail before turning and stepping back into the house.

Kat followed her in a daze.
Was she falling in love?

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