Sisters of String and Glass, Part 21

Chapter Seven – Continued

Camille smiled as she watched him whirl out the door. He’d been with the family for over twenty years, and hadn’t exactly been young when her father had hired him, but he always seemed to be sprier than even she and Abigail. Her smile dimmed a little as she realized just how difficult it must be for him to watch the two girls he’d help raise to be ladies to be treated as little better than himself. Muriel would pay.

Pressing her lips into a thin line, Camille stalked over to where her sister and Madeline were working on the bread dough, pushing it into a large, smooth lump.

“Abigail,” Camille said.

Her sister’s head shot up and she wiped a flour coated hand across her forehead, leaving a white streak and powdering her hair a little too much like Muriel’s for her liking. She tossed a small hand towel at Abigail as Madeline drew herself back, bent her head down a little, and clasped her hands together.

“Don’t worry, Camille,” Abigail said as she wiped the flour from her face. “I’m keeping out of the way. Haven’t even seen Muriel in days.”

A small smile cracked Camille’s face. “Good. I’m glad. She, uh, probably isn’t in the best mood right now.”

Madeline’s head jerked up. “What did you do?”

Camille looked away and scratched at her neck.

“Camille,” Abigail said softly, urgently with rising panic in her voice. Her sister knew her far too well. “Camille?”

“Well, it’s Andalissa’s fault,” Camille groused, stalling.

“Andalissa? She was here?” Abigail asked in surprise.

“No. She sent a card over, asking to come by for tea tomorrow.”

Camille didn’t miss the quick look Abigail shot over at Madeline, who was intently watching Camille, her body tense and her knuckles turning white.

“Just her and me,” Camille said quickly. “Like we used to.”

“I see. And Adrian?”

Camille shrugged. “Andalissa didn’t mention him.”

“My mother saw the card, didn’t she?” Madeline asked, her voice almost too quiet for Camille to hear her squeak.

“I, er, may have-“

“Acted like your usual self,” Abigail finished. She shook her head. “Camille, we’re supposed to be trying to stay out of her way.”

“No,” Camille corrected. “You are supposed to be staying out of the way. This is war between Muriel and me. I’ll see her out on her behind as soon as Father comes back.” She cut a quick glance at the now pale Madeline. “No offense, Madeline, but you know your mother.” She looked back at her scowling sister and straightened her spine. “I will do what I need to do and you will keep your head down, Abigail. Now, I need to see about the tea menu for tomorrow. Have you seen Helene?”

Wordlessly, Abigail, her face full of shock, pointed to the opposite side of the kitchens. Camille nodded and walked off, her back straight and her head high. No matter what, she was still the daughter of a Count and Countess, still a relative of the king. And now she was about to see one of her childhood friends, her co-conspirator. Oh, the things she and Andalissa could come up with to destroy Muriel…

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