Lia tied and re-tied her shoulder-length hair for the fifth time now. She was jittery since the night before for this anticipated meeting with the Alderidges. Charlotte may not act like the noble that she was, but Lia could not say for sure that the rest of the family would be like that too. Dread filled her as the days went by and now, she was full to the brim.
Weekends were usually the time scholars spent to themselves or to their families. This is the time when friends hang out together too. Lia had none of those so she would just laze around her room. Sometimes, she would play with Gab. But his weekends were centered with more gatherings and hunts and whatever princely things princes did. Gab did not want to talk about things like that as he would rather laze around with her in the garden with their plants.
Speaking of Gab, Lia was only able to play and plant with him once this week. Ever since the meeting with the queen, he had not been going to the garden so much. The only time he did, Lia noticed that his hair was newly colored. The tutor and his guards kept on popping in and out that Lia felt anxious and kept her to be constantly on the edge. She felt more like the one being guarded instead of Gab.
\tShe sighed and gave up with her hair. ‘Is this right? Is this gonna work?’ What if the Alderidges is another villain in the story that she might have missed? These thoughts circled her mind all week, making her doubt her decision to meet them. What if she was only a pawn? She watched in her small mirror as her mouth curved to a sardonic smile.
\t‘Who are you kidding? You’ve always been a pawn. Nothing but a disposable piece in this story.’
\tShe laughed despite herself. She should not care too much about it. This was just a fictional world with fictional people… or so she wanted to think. But she knew she cared about her mother, about Yolly and Frankie. And, okay, even that cute little bun named Gab.
\tRapt knocks on her door brought her back from her thoughts. She took one last look at her modest clothes and hoped for the best as she followed Charlotte to her carriage.
\tThey were quick on their feet, careful not to let anyone see them in case of spies. Once settled inside, the hammering on Lia’s chest tripled. This was really happening. She did not know what she expected to find out after this meeting. But she knew that it would change her life.
“My family doesn’t bite,” Charlotte said without looking up at Lia, her hands sliding up and down her sketchbook and drawing lazy lines that formed nothing but mess on the page.
Lia felt like her heart would jump out of her mouth if she attempted to speak so she only tilted her head in recognition.
“Seriously, you don’t have to be nervous.”
“I didn’t bring anything to your family.” Lia managed to find her voice. She did not know if she was trying to distract Charlotte or herself.
Charlotte waved her hand as if to dismiss Lia and continued drawing if anyone could call that drawing while sitting in a moving carriage.
“So,” Lia started but did not have an idea what to say next. She tried again, “So, you like arts?”
A/N: Hi hi! I'm sorry for the sudden MIA. \uD83D\uDE13 I recently got a job, and it's a full-time position. The transition is going to make me busy for a while so I decided to put this series on hold for the time being. At least until things calmed down. TCM will return on either May or June 2020. For more news and updates, you may check out my blog - https:// [remove this space] emeryli(dot)home(dot)blog. Thank you for reading this series, and I'm really sorry for this hiatus.