I had mused on the question to be asked. Of course there were ways to leave court, but no so many that we would all have an excuse. And we couldn't hope for the war to be over and for us to be able to leave peacefully, even if that was our goal. It was a tough one.
Alexandra was the first to leave us. I had wanted to be first at court, having been a lady myself, but Jon had insisted. I was better placed to be the second arrival according to him, plus waiting would give Moira time to recommend some households our 'servants' could apply to join. In the ways of servants, Moira knew much, and so we would wait.
A little way on from where we left Alexandra the guide turned to me. "We are about to continue to our safehouse, but this is where you leave us. I was told you two already have a residence in town. If you come with me while the rest of you wait here, I will escort you a little up the road where your butler awaits you."
I nodded, then looked at the others nervously. "Will they be alright without you?" I asked, nervously.
The guide looked at them. "Yes. This spot is isolated. Your butler will grow suspicious if he sees them. He believes you travel by night in order to not make your presence at court known just yet, that while it was your father's dying wish for you to come to court and find a worthy husband, you are reluctant and nervous," the guide explained. I nodded. It was all part of the coverstory that had been discussed for me. It allowed me to reside in town, without having to appear in court just yet, and provided a reason for my sudden appearance now in court.
We left the girls, and hurried along a little. Not far down the road was a man standing alone beside a carriage. He peered at us nervously himself.
"Henry I presume?" asked the guide. The butler nodded. "And you are from the household of the St James?" he asked in return.
The guide nodded. "Yes. I have Miss Olivia St James with me. I trust her luggage has arrived already at her abode?" The guide had of course introduced me by the name I would now be going by.
"It is all there in preparation. The housekeeper has begun to unpack it already,"
Moira let out a breath at the mention of the housekeeper. We had had little say in the hiring of these two servants, the butler and the housekeeper, and Moira was of course nervous about them.
"Very well. I leave them in your care. I must get back to the household. With the Mr St James gone, it is up to me to ensure young Olivia's heritage does not crumble into ruin," the guide explained, before turning to depart. The butler opened the door to the coach he had hired and soon we were on our way into town, and our new role. In 3 or 4 days I would make my first appearance at court, where Alexandra would already be ensconced. The two of us were to pretend to have never met each other before, but were expected to slowly include the other within the circle of friends we would surround ourselves with, as ladies of the court, so as to maintain contact.
As the carriage took us towards town I was both nervous and excited about the hard work that was to come.