"Where is Thomas?"
"I do not know, my lady. I have not seen him since yesterday evening."
Well, I was not exactly lying.
Charlotte sank onto the bed and I went over to her side and knelt beside it, putting my hands on her knees.
"Myra, why does everything happen?" She spoke softly. "I do not understand."
"Do not worry about it. What happened today was... terrible. I am sorry you are affected, milady. I truly am."
"Thank you for comforting me, Myra."
"Its my duty, milady," I replied, slightly bowing my head.
Suddenly, a sharp knock on the door interrupted the conversation.
I got up and walked over to the door, opened it.
The maids bowed their heads to me. "The Peelers have arrived, Ms Allen."
"Young lady will attend to them shortly," I replied curtly. She gave me an affirmative nod and left.
I went to the bed and knelt in front of Charlotte, "
Please let me help you get ready, my lady. You know that there is nothing to be afraid of. Everything will be alright."
She gazed at me for a couple of moments before smiling faintly, "You are correct, Myra, nothing to fear, I assure you."
I smiled back.
After a brief silence, Charlotte asked quietly, "Do you have anything to say to me before I talk to the Peelers?"
"I do not, milady."
She nodded, "Good. I have something important to ask of you."
I felt a little nervous but listened. She stared at me, and I stared back. I noticed that even though she looked quite exhausted, there was no trace of sadness on her features. If anything, she appeared determined to deal with whatever comes her way. I found myself admiring her bravery and tenacity, and I was reminded of why I thought of her as Lucia.
"Where were you yesterday night?" She asked, breaking the silence.
"I beg your pardon?" I questioned.
I took a deep breath, "I was meeting my lover, milady," I lied looking at her straight in the eye.
Her eyes widened, "Oh? Were you planning on telling me about him?"
I nodded slowly, "Yes."
"When did you meet?"
"Yesterday, about nine oclock."
Her eyebrow quirked in curiosity as she questioned, "Is he handsome?"
I swallowed hard, "Very."
"Tell me about him."
I hesitated for a moment, unsure how to describe my love interest to her. But finally, I decided to go with the truth.
"His name is Will. He is tall and muscular, with brown hair, hazel eyes, and a strong jaw." I explained, unknowingly describing the features of the man she met yesterday.
Her mouth gaped open slightly, "Really? Well, what a wonderful man he must be then."
I couldn help the small smile forming on my lips because, yes. He has a wonderful aura. One that makes me want to kill him.
"He is," I answered honestly. She looked like she expected something more to come out of my mouth. "Is there something else you wish to discuss?" I added hurriedly. I did not want to continue to talk about this man.
"No." She said after a few moments of silence.
I nodded, standing up. "We need to greet the Peelers, milady. Allow me to dress you."
I waited for her to stand before proceeding to take off her nightgown and put it into her wardrobe. She remained silent, watching me in the mirror as I dressed her. After I was done, I turned to look at her, and when our eyes met, I saw something flash in her eyes – something I could not quite read.
Something like regret or sorrow.
Before I could question her, she cleared her throat and said, "Let us go."
She is quite calm. This is unexpected. She should have been wailing, rejecting reality because of her fathers death. Yet here she is, talking about my lover. This is unlike her. Did she change without me knowing?
Is something wrong? Are all of my observations right?
I sighed and stood in front of her as she adjusted her corset. I helped her fasten it, ensuring her safety and well-being until they arrived, although I still wanted answers from her. Questions swirled around my mind, making me anxious. It was only when someone knocked on the door that I snapped out of my thoughts.
The door swung open and the marchioness waltzed in, her eyes red from crying.
It is as if the mother and daughter pair changed roles. I expected the Marchioness to be calm, but in the end, it was Charlotte. She seems to be better now, though. Perhaps her anger at the loss of her father had subsided some. Whatever happened between those two, it has given both women something to keep them going. That is good. It is best this way. The last thing either one needs right now is to be vulnerable. Especially Charlotte.
"Good morning, Madam." I greeted her, bowing.
"Its a bad morning, Myra." She sniffed. The Marchioness turned towards Charlotte. "The Peelers will surely have many questions for us. Be sure to answer them to the best of your abilities. We need to find out who did this to your father. And..." She stepped forward and hugged Charlotte. "Im sorry, Lottie."
Charlotte buried her face in her mothers shoulders. She was probably crying too.
The marchioness took a step back, wiping her tears away, "Come along now, darling. There will be time later for all that."
I led the pair out to the foyer where we found our guests waiting.
Dressed in blue tailcoats and top hats, they were men of age 20 - 27. They stood by each other as they watched us come down the stairs and bow low to the ground, the Marchioness next to me.
As I raised my head, I looked into their faces for a moment before glancing over at the Marchioness. She was staring at the floor, her hands gripping each other tightly.
I inwardly sighed.
Two more men, older followed the Peelers in trench coats. They too looked very intimidating. A dark haired man with a long moustache and a stern gaze came forward. I recognised his face from somewhere. His eyes narrowed at the sight of the marchioness.
I quickly scanned the rest of the room. Two more men followed behind him. These were different. Both had thick eyebrows and sharp looks. Their clothing looked expensive and stylish, which made me wonder how they had the money to afford these fine clothes.
I returned my attention back to the marchioness. She was trembling slightly.
With the arrival of the Peelers and Investigators, the interrogation began.