Sisters of String and Glass, Part 121

Chapter Twenty-Nine – continued

She frowned as she noticed several missing books. Abigail hadn’t been home since she’d left with James and Poppy. Lawrence certainly hadn’t taken any with him into war.

A frustrated huff escaped her as she spun away from the shelves and stalked up the stairs. For some reason she couldn’t fathom, Muriel and Madeline had removed several books of folk tales, fairy tales from the linked world, and history books.

She wasn’t sure what she was going to say to demand the books back since they were technically family and technically had a right to read the books, but her ire had been raised. Her mood darkened as she approached Madeline’s door since the two had taken to spending their days in there and her hands clenched around her skirts.

Camille raised a hand to knock, but the voices within stopped her.

“Yes, Muriel,” she heard Madeline said, exasperation in her voice. “While you were off playing around in the linked world, I was making connections. I would trust him with my life.”

“He’s a dotty old man, Maddie,” Muriel said, an unfamiliar youthful quality in her voice.

She heard a growl and then Madeline said, “Madeline, Muriel. You’ve spent too long over there; you’ve picked up bad habits.”

“It’s not a bad nickname.”

“Muriel!” Madeline hissed.

“What?” Muriel asked defensively. “You can’t deny my expertise hasn’t helped. You can’t deny I didn’t come back here to help you. When you summoned me, I came as soon as I could.”

“Yes,” Madeline said, excessive patience in her voice, “and I am thankful, but I need you to trust me, too.”

“I just want to make sure we won’t be caught. I have a career back there, you know. An important one.”

“Oh, yes,” Madeline said, her voice dripping with sarcasm. “Do go on more about all those gowns and shiny awards. Your movies and TVs are meaningless here. I don’t even know what you’re talking about half the time!”

“That’s because you’re not listening,” Muriel snapped. “Look, the least you could do is listen to me. I came back when you called. I got rid of Mother and Father. I married the man you targeted for me. I’ve done all this for you, endured all this for you. It’ll serve you right if I just walk out of here right now and leave you to it.”

“Go ahead, then,” Madeline said. “I don’t need you anymore.”

Camille didn’t hear anything past that. Her heart pounding, her head spinning, she backed away. She was barely drawing breath when she turned and ran down the hall towards her own rooms, her blood pounding in her ears. What was going on?

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