It’s been a week since the twins came, and we’ve grown used to them, I think. Well, I have, I wonder if Aaron will ever grow used to Lady Athena. He spends a great deal of time trying to get her attention, and she either ignores him or says something sarcastic to him.
It’s very amusing.
Tonight we are sitting in the large receiving room, I’m trying to learn the embroidery that Lady Athena was teaching me, but it isn’t going well.
“I’m pretty close to hopeless myself,” she admitted, “but I think it will help in Dovetail to know a little.” I smiled and nodded as we both struggled through it. “And it’s something to do.” I glanced up and noticed Sir Tristan writing a letter.
“Who are you writing to?” I asked. He looked at me.
“M-Lady Marina Sanpierre,” he said. Athena snorted. “I told her I would!”
“I’m sure you did,” Athena said, “she’ll probably drop dead of joy when she receives it.” Olivia glanced at her.
“Be kind, Athena,” she shook her head, “I’m sure Lady Marina is very lonely and very afraid at the moment. Hearing from a friend will likely do her good.”
“Why would she be afraid?” I asked. Athena shook her head.
“Because she’s always afraid,” Athena said. “It’s irritating. She’s a silly girl.”
“She isn’t,” Tristan cut her off. “Lady Marina is very powerful but has little understanding of her power, so she gets nervous. Also there’s that business with Brayton.”
“That isn’t what Lisette was asking,” Aaron said. Lady Athena stared at him.
“From everything I’ve gathered, Lisette can speak for herself,” she said simply, “however you continue to try to speak for her.”
“I surely wouldn’t be the first spokesperson for the royal family,” he grinned. “Not even the first of Pantona to fill the role. Like the Dugarry’s it’s our lot.”
“We’re not spokespeople,” she said through her gritted teeth. “We’re protectors.”
“Six of one, Lady Athena,” he shrugged. She stood up and marched out of the room. “Does your sister dislike men, Sir Tristan?” Tristan looked over at him and smirked.
“No Viscount,” he said standing up, “she dislikes you.” I giggled as he got to the door. “With your permission Princess?” I glanced at him.
“Huh?” I responded.
“He’s asking if he can leave, Lisette,” Olivia coaxed.
“Oh,” I said, “of course. Thank you, for a wonderful evening.” He bowed slightly and left.
“Mother,” Aaron said and leaned back, “I think Lisette has made a conquest.” I stared daggers at him and Olivia shook her head, laughing quietly. “He’s clearly in love with you.”
“That’s ridiculous,” I said softly and blushed.
“It would be an impressive one,” Olivia said with a gentle laugh. “Tristan is very focused, and quite popular. Lady Marina is just one of his admirers. If you’ve turned his head it is quite exciting.”
“I don’t think he is,” I said quickly. “Not that it matters, I have other plans.”
“Oh, are we going to hear about Prince Eric again?” Aaron said. “Have you Seen him in your salt basin lately?”
“Don’t mock Lisette’s visions, Aaron,” Olivia said softly. “I know you have thoughts about Prince Eric, love, but life tends to laugh at such plans. If love adhered to them, I’d have been queen rather than your mother.” I smiled. I stood up and walked out to the terrace. Tristan was sitting looking at the mountain.
“It’s beautiful,” he whispered. I nodded. “Is there something I can help you with Princess?”
“No,” I said softly. “What’s she like? Is she wonderful?” He looked at me confused. “Lady Marina?” He smiled.
“She’s,” he whispered, “she’s not like anyone else. She’s very brave, and kind and wise.” I nodded.
“Is she beautiful?” I asked. He smiled.
“You look quite alike, actually,” he said. I cocked my head. “Your eyes are different, though, hers are dark.” I wanted to ask him which he preferred but that felt petty.
Besides I can’t fall in love with him. I really need to make sure I marry strategically, to strengthen Cammadan.
“You didn’t answer my question,” I said. He looked at me and then at the mountain.
“Yes, Princess,” he said softly. “Both you and your cousin are incredibly beautiful.” He walked back into the house and I noticed the letter sitting on the table. It was mostly about me, well, about Lisette, who we say I am.
Will she know? I wonder sometimes, who knows and pretends they don’t.
“Lady Lisette?” Margie, one of the maids walked up to me. “I have a note for your.” I nodded and took it. I smiled seeing it.
As tomorrow is your usual market day, I was hoping to see you for tea. Your usual place will be set at the inn. I understand you have visitors at the manor and I’m eager to hear all about them.
I laughed. I hadn’t seen William in ages, and I am eager to catch up with him. I walked up to my room and Athena was sitting on my bed, sharpening a knife.
“Good evening?” I tried. She looked at me and nodded. “Why are you in here?”
“Because you have the good weapons,” she said. I laughed. “Is he always like that?”
“Who?” I asked. “Aaron?” She nodded. “No, sometimes he’s worse.” She snorted. “He likes you, and he can tell that you do not like him, so he’s deflecting. He’ll move on in a week or so, he always does.”
“I don’t not like him,” she said, “he’s just so,” she frowned. “Forget it. Are we training tomorrow.”
“I’m going into town tomorrow,” I said, “it’s market day.” She blinked at me. “You understand that part of being here and being Lisette means I have to do the sort of things an orphan farm girl would do, yes? Go shopping, talk to the townsfolk, etc.”
“Hm,” she nodded, “I suppose. Still,” she grinned and tossed me the knife. “Wouldn’t you rather?” I laughed and she stood up. “Sleep well Princess.” I sighed and flopped on the bed.
I dreamt of a blue ship, crossing the sea. Standing at it’s bow was a boy my age, dark skin, and hair cut short. He smiled.