Her dress billowed in the brisk autumn breeze as she picked a delicate rose from a bush on top of the hill. The fragrance seemed to hypnotize her as Alexander wrapped his warm, muscular arms around her slender waist. She could feel his steamy breath on the crux of her neck and it cleared everything from her mind. Suitors, family affairs, schooling, even her mother’s illness, didn’t exist in this moment. In this moment only Alexander remained.
She spun around, making her long, raven black hair surround her, and met those demanding green eyes that had captured her since their first meeting. They were as green as the massive forests that surrounded her family’s estate, but more intimate, like they were meant for her to wander through and her alone. She could hear her heart pounding in her ears as she gazed into Alexander’s deep green eyes. Nothing else mattered to her right then, in that moment the world seemed to stop spinning, causing time to freeze just for them.
The wind picked up causing wisps of hair to dance in front of her face. Alexander, without looking away, brushed them aside and in one swift movement tilted her chin up and just as he leaned in off in the distance she could hear the church bells chiming as the clock struck six, as if disapproving of the thoughts in her head, signaling that dinner would be ready soon and her father expected her home. Time no longer stood still for her and Alexander, and they both recognized it.
With a heavy sigh she pushed away from Alexander just enough to see his eyes one last time before life moved on again. He met hers and he smiled, “Katherine we must return before anyone realizes our extended absence.” Alexander removed his arms from around Katherine’s waist and grasped one of her hands. Katherine willed her feet to follow him back to the estate she called home.
Back to the suitors and schooling, back to her dying mother and busy household. Back to what normal people of pedigree are born for, back to the life that said she couldn’t be with Alexander. But she knew if she didn’t return by the time her father got home she’d lose her chance at learning anything aside from how to keep a clean house and run a kitchen. And if she lost that chance, she’d lose Alexander.
Katherine wouldn’t risk losing the man that she believed she loved even if that meant living a life that would make her miserable, as long as she had Alexander she’d do anything to please her father, as long as she didn’t have to marry for anything other than love.
As the two of them strolled closer to the monumental estate they slowly drifted apart, creating the appropriate space that was required between a tutor and his pupil. To the outside world that’s all they were, but Katherine could still see his devilish smile lurking beneath his professional facade, and her heart throbbed for the moment gone by.
In what seemed like no more than a blink of an eye they found themselves at the back entrance that led through the kitchen. Alexander rapped on the door and one of Katherine’s handmaids, Madeline, answered. “You are late m’lady, your father arrived early.” Madeline grabbed a hold of Katherine’s wrist and pulled her through the door. She wisped past Alexander and time slowed down just enough to see his coy smile showing through that mask of his. Katherine’s heart skipped a beat just as Alexander slipped from view.
“We need to get you cleaned up ma’am, before your father sees you.” Madeline fretted as they wound through the servant corridors. An endless maze of tunnels and passageways but Madeline knew them well so soon enough they emerged into Katherine’s bedroom. When Madeline let go of her wrist and rifled through Katherine’s wardrobe. “Maddie I told you to call me Kat, or at the least Katherine. Ma’am makes me feel old and we’re the same age.” Katherine rolled her eyes as she rubbed her wrist.
“My apologizes Kat, now let’s hurry, your father said that you should be dressed properly, whatever that means.” Maddie kept pushing dresses aside until she found the one she’d been looking for. Kat huffed as she stripped out of the gown she’d been wearing and tossed it across the room. Now in just her undergarments she flopped onto her magnificent bed and sunk into the fluffy down pillows. She closed her eyes and let herself drift back to the hill, letting herself enjoy the moment over and over again before Maddie pulled her back to reality.
“C’mon Kat I have to get you ready, please don’t get me in trouble.” Maddie tried desperately to bring Kat down to Earth, but all Kat wanted to do was dance around her room. Maddie grasped both of Kat’s wrists firmly and looked her straight in the eyes, “Katherine please I can’t risk getting in anymore trouble. Your father will be furious, plus if you’re late he’ll send Alexander away too. You don’t want that to happen to us now do you?”
Katherine straightened up, shocked, at how blunt Maddie was being but soon relaxed and gave in. “No I don’t want that to happen…to either of you…especially you Maddie, I don’t know what I’d do without you.” Kat raised her arms and let Maddie dress her in a soft blue gown that seemed to highlight her sapphire blue eyes. “Hunter says that this gown was brought here all the way from Paris Kat, can you believe it, Paris.” Maddie cooed on as she laced the strings in the back making the dress fit her perfectly but still allowing Kat to breath without hassle.
“Paris really, then maybe after dinner you should try it on.” Kat suggested as she stood in front of the trio of floor length mirrors that seemed to capture every detail of the dress. The way it shimmered in the light, the way the sleeves hung just slightly off her shoulders, the way it accented every curve on Katherine’s body elegantly, the way it made her look womanly but still innocent. “Do you really mean it?” Maddie finished with the corset and looked at Katherine through the mirror eagerly. Katherine spun around and hugged Maddie tight, “Have I ever lied to you?” Maddie shook her head no and smiled, as she ran a brush through Katherine’s wind blown mane.
They’d been friends literally their entire lives. Maddie’s mother was Katherine’s mother’s handmaid and they’d been pregnant at the same time. Katherine and Maddie were only a day apart in age and have played together ever since. It wasn’t until Katherine’s mother remarried that there was any difference in treatment between Maddie and her. <em style=