Chapter Seven – Continued
“Well, Adrian intends on formally courting Abigail as early as my soiree when they’re back in the same room together. He was quite taken with her when we were young and hasn’t even looked at another girl in the past ten years. It’s always been Abigail for him.”
Camille’s eyes widened. “Truly? Well, I have something to share with you. Abigail intends on seeing our new stepsister, Madeline, married to Adrian.”
A disgusted look flashed over Andalissa’s face. “I’ve never met her, but I’ve heard of her. Muriel, too. I will not tolerate that woman joining my family. Keep an eye on her, Camille. Madeline is craftier than she looks.”
“She looks rather meek to me,” Camille said dubiously. “I think I would know. I live with her.”
“Just watch out, Cam.” Andalissa took a bite of cake, completely foregoing the sandwiches and soups just as Camille suspected. “But that’s not all. Adrian has apparently met a lady at the markets. She’s helped him pick out some gifts for me and for the mermaid princess. He’s started talking of her with fondness and looks forward to the markets now, hoping to see her.”
Camille nearly choked on her sandwich.
“Camille?” Andalissa asked, quickly going around to thump on her friend’s back. “Are you all right?”
Camille coughed and gulped down her tea before taking Andalissa’s and gulping that down as well. “I’m fine,” she finally wheezed.
“Perhaps you shouldn’t finish that sandwich,” Andalissa said as she went back to her seat. “The cakes are much better.”
Camille laughed, but the rough sound grated on her ears. “That’s not it, Anda. You won’t believe it, but Abigail is the woman Adrian has been meeting in the markets.”
Andalissa paused, another cake hovering in the air. “What?”
“Apparently Adrian hasn’t recognized her, but that makes sense considering Abigail has grown up and keeps the hood of her cloak over her face. Abigail, though, recognized him. He thinks she’s called Gail.”
“Yes, that’s the name,” Andalissa said, holding her cake aloft. “He said a lovely young lady named Gail has been a great help and he looks forward to seeing her again next market day.”
“Abigail hasn’t changed, Anda. She’s still painfully shy.”
Andalissa waved her cake around. “Don’t worry so much about her. She’ll have Adrian to lean on. Besides, with James getting married soon, an heir is imminent. It’ll let Adrian off the hook. We’re newly arrived in the city, but he’s already ready to head back to Murant Holdings. I must admit, I am as well.”
Camille nodded thoughtfully, taking a cake as her friend suggested. “I do look forward to when they come face to face at your soiree. To see Adrian’s face at understanding Abigail and Gail are the same.”
“Well, I can tell you he’ll be relieved. Poor man has been driving himself crazy thinking himself in love with two different women.”
“Shall we take odds as to how mortified my sister will be?” Camille asked with a sly smile.
“Oh, I have missed you so much, Cam! If it weren’t for you being here, I’d have run away back to Murant Holdings by now.” She giggled. “Yes, we shall. I will bet a rosy red.”
Camille laughed. “I’ll go with turning and running out of, not just the room, but the Manor!”
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