Sisters of String and Glass, Part 13

Chapter Five – continued

“Do you have any plans to see Adrian again?” Camille asked innocently as she idly peered at her red and raw fingers.

“No. Why would I?” Abigail asked, the rustling of bed sheets telling Camille her sister was preparing for bed.

Camille shrugged and dropped her hands. “Just curious. You two were friends once.”

Abigail made a face. “That’s only because you and Andalissa kept abandoning me.”

“We didn’t think you’d want to pester the knights for sword fighting lessons.”

Abigail’s jaw dropped. “You didn’t! Mother and Father were very clear on that, Camille. Ladies do not do sword play.”

Camille waved her hand dismissively. “Mother and Father had outdated ideas.” She sighed. “Not that it mattered. None of the knights were interested in disobeying rules. As Duchess, Andalissa was supposed to have more important things to do. Like learn to be an ambassador. The King was hoping to send her to the Land of Mist, so she was supposed to be studying everything there is. But then he and the Prince argued and they went back to Murant Holdings.”

“Well, Adrian didn’t actually mention if his sister is back as well, but I’m assuming she is. It’ll be lovely to see her again. I wonder how she and Madeline will get on.”

Camille inwardly groaned. “I’ll tell you. Andalissa will eat our new stepsister alive.”

Abigail gasped. “Camille!”

“It’s true, Gail. Madeline is so…awkward.”

Abigail glared at her. “She’s suddenly part of a royal family. She’s getting used to her new life. She doesn’t know either of us at all because, until now, we’ve been of such distant classes that it was impossible. No matter what we think of her mother, Madeline is really very nice. Muriel has you busy, so I’m taking her under my wing, so to speak.”

Camille couldn’t stop the brow that lifted. “You? Well, that’ll be interesting.”

“Madeline and I are getting on just fine,” Abigail seethed. “Just because I don’t like the balls and parties doesn’t mean I’m completely incapable of making friends or talking to people.” She turned her head away, suddenly making Camille feel very small. “I’m tired, Camille. I think I’m going to go to sleep.”

Camille bit her lip, but only said a quiet good night before leaving, quietly shutting her sister’s door behind her. Then she scurried down the hall to her own room, reluctant to have another hallway encounter with Muriel.

With a sigh, she closed her door and leaned back on it. Abigail was right; she was perfectly capable of enjoying the company of one or two people. She had survived for years tagging along with two boys.

For a moment, Camille toyed with the sea glass hanging around her neck. Then she lifted it to her lips and whispered, “I’m sorry, Abigail. What I said was mean. I didn’t mean it.”

She held her breath, until she heard her sister’s soft voice respond, “Thank you, Camille. Good night.”

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