Greetings once again fair Adventurers,
Another Saturday. Another post. BUT TODAY. Today (as promised) I bring you the next part of the story! *claps hands gleefully* The next two Saturday’s will be more bookish things, and supporting indie authors, but stay tuned. 😉
Smallest Moments isn’t over yet. There are more roses to come. lol
Clip. Clip. Clip.
Three dying roses fell to the ground beneath her feet. Their petals were turning brown around the edges and the leaves had started to wilt. The newest bush in Master Dublin’s grand gardens hadn’t been doing well recently. It appeared like it hadn’t been getting enough water.
Roquian seized the unwanted flowers, and stuffed them in her skirt pocket. She’d hang and dry them later. Then she turned to the water pail by her side and swished the refreshing liquid over the thirsty plant. That’s the tenth one this week. I wonder who’s been neglecting the bushes. . .
Scurrying toward the little shop, she put the clippers and the water bucket back in the tiny, rusted shed. It stood slightly behind the quaint store. “Master Dublin,” she called through the back door, hoping he wasn’t speaking with a customer. “I need your assistance.”
“Be right there, Roquian.” He stepped out a few moments later, a booklet held in his left hand. “What’s the matter this time, my dear?”
“It’s the newest rose bushes. They aren’t getting enough water.”
His eyebrows shot up. Roses were one of the few types of flowers that normally didn’t have water issues. “They only need two inches a week.” He murmured, stuffing the little book in his shirt pocket.
She gestured to the back of the gardens. “Come take a look.”
They moved toward the end of the property. When they reached the troublesome roses, Master Dublin bent down, studying them carefully, brows lowered. “It does indeed look like they are thirsty. I will have a word with the Oopla boy. He’s been helping me around here when your busy. Perhaps they’ve just been neglected.”
She forced a smile to cover her concern. He never just neglected roses, or left their care in someone else’s watch. “Of course.” Perhaps he had been working late the last few weeks.
“You run along home now and get ready for the evening festivities.” He motioned her back toward the shop.
She raised a brow. “I only arrived an hour ago, Master. I’m hardly done for the day.”
He chuckled. “You shouldn’t have shown up at all. It’s your sister’s engagement party tonight. It’s top secret isn’t it? Shouldn’t you be helping with the preparations?”
She ambled along beside him. “Sir Ramond is designing the whole thing. He has plenty of help.”
Master Dublin’s eyes twinkled. “Go or I’ll be forced to give you the boot.“
She smiled teasingly at him, scarlet eyebrow raised. “Forced?” He waved his hands at her as she reluctantly headed for the gate. “Your not getting away with this. I’m working extra hours tomorrow!”
“Oh, I forgot to tell you. You’re off for the rest of the week.” He called after her.
She growled in response. “Still not getting away with it!”
~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~
“Why are you back so early, Ro?” Aquinette peeked around the corner, tying off the end of her braid.
“Somehow Master Dublin found out that Matthias and I have and evening arrangement. So he sent me home to get ready.” She sighed, hanging the dried roses above the kitchen window. “He’s not getting off the hook that easily.”
Her sister smirked. “An evening arrangement?”
Roquian glanced at her, merriment dancing in her eyes. “Yes.”
Aquinette dropped the subject and grabbed a slice of bread from the pantry. “Pa and I are going into town this evening for supplies. Do you need anything?” She queried, spreading golden butter across her piece of wheat toast.
“I don’t think so. . .”
A few hours later Roquian had changed into her best dress and freshened her hair, then slipped the silver rose necklace back into place. She pulled white stockings over her pale legs before pushing her feet into the most uncomfortable pair of boots she owned. We’ll see how long they stay on this time. Pattering through the hall she checked the room for Nette. No sign of her. She slipped to the front door, and checked outside.
Matthias was coming down the lane in his new carriage. Her heart rammed against her chest as a giddy laughed bubbled inside. “Matthias is here. I’m heading out, Nette!”
“See you later!” she called back.
Roquian slipped down the porch steps and half ran over to the carriage. He had barely brought it to a halt before she was climbing aboard. The nervous laugh escaped her lips.
Matthias smiled broadly at her, then slapped the reins. “She doesn’t know?” The horses took off quickly.
Roquian shook her head, biting her lip as she glanced back. “I can’t believe she didn’t suspect anything. Nothing ever surprises her.” She let out a breath and fell back against the seat. “Is everything ready?”
He nodded, glancing at her again. “I can take a scenic route if you think we have enough time to spare.”
“They won’t leave for awhile yet. Pa wants to give us enough time to get everything set up.” She murmured.
They took their time getting to Hidden Waterfall Park. A place well-known for harboring many secrets and stolen kisses. They were early enough for Roquian to help with food prep. She darted around amidst the servants, adding sugar and spices where she thought necessary. Matthias chatted with Sir Ramond, glancing her way every five seconds.
She ignored him. Or tried to. It was hard not to feel the pull of his gaze.
Finally, there was nothing more she could do to. She was forced to sit and wait. One of the hardest things ever asked of her. She kicked her boots off. That didn’t last half as long as it was suppose to. She sighed.
Sir Ramond made his way to her, eyes dancing with suppressed excitement. “Do you have an idea of when they’ll arrive?”
Her grin stretched as wide as his own. “Soon. Pa wouldn’t make us wait forever.”
He exhaled in relief, brushing his dark curls back in place. “I was afraid it might be an hour still.”
She laughed, “Heavens no. I wouldn’t survive.”
Candles flickered on every table, shining brighter as the sun passed beneath the earth. A young man servant darted up to Sir Ramond and whispered something in his ear. Excitement stirred around the gathered people. “They’re coming.”
Everyone moved out of sight, leaving Sir Ramond alone to greet his fiancée.
She could already imagine the delight and surprise that would coat her sister’s face. Matthias came to stand beside her. He murmured near her ear, keeping the comment between them. “I claim the first five dances.”
Her heart leapt into her throat, cheeks heating. She berated herself. Pull it together, Roquian. The night has only begun!
To Be Continued. . . .
More roses to come. Oh, and Matthias and Roquian too. 😉
Tell me what you thought in the comments below! I’d appreciate it.