A Letter

We broke from our small meeting; the night was approaching, the sunlight slipping from the windows and candles throwing shadows about the room. Guillame called for tea and biscuits, and we maneuvered our way into the small parlor room, a fire cracking as it licked about logs in the fireplace.

Many were silent, tired from the day of travel and talk. I lingered about the parlor, restless, my eyes drifting over the small collection of things in the room. A maid-girl entered the room, offering me a porcelain cup, which I took from her, “Merci,” She turned to walk away, curtsying slightly, but I caught her arm, murmuring under my breath in French, “Would you find me a pen and ink and some parchment, Mademoiselle? Quite taken aback by my gesture, she nodded briefly and hurried out of the room to complete my order.

The young girl returned, her arms full of what I had requested. I took them gratefully, making my way to the small billiard table tucked away in the corner. Pulling myself a chair, I laid out the supplies and began to write feverishly.

It was not long before Guillame made his way over, bending over my shoulder. “It may not be the time to be writing letters, Annette.” he murmured cautiously. “The times are too dangerous at the moment.”

I did not take my eyes off the parchment, continuing to stream words across the paper. “Non, Guillame, this is not the kind of letter. It is for Gerald and Adele for when they journey to England. It is for them to bring to my Father, who has residences in both London and the countryside, in case they may need his assistance or to use his home.”

Guillame hesitated, drawing out his own chair a few spaces down. “Hmm,” he slightly smiled.

I glanced up at my work to him. I remembered Abrielle’s words, that she said I “fancied” him. Louis had told me that he and Guillame had been close friends since boyhood, and trusted him with his life. He had helped Guillame in the beginnings of the Blanche, and had been a piece of it for the longest time. Over time, I had learned to trust him very much, and find a kindly and honest companion in him that I could always turn to. But did I have any other feelings for him…..I shook the thoughts from my mind, murmuring, “What of your cousin, Marie? You say that Clara, Marie, and I shall journey to Versailles. Is she prepared for Versailles and the intensity of this...job? Clara, I have observed, will be very useful-her small, quiet countenance will aid us as a servant or something of the sorts, lurking in the shadows and hearing secrets. You must tell me more of your cousin, though, as this has been our first meeting and I have not observed much of her. Will she be able? ”

He was thoughtfully quiet, looking down to the game table. Guillame gazed back up, holding my own with a determined glint in his eye, “Yes-she is intelligent and quick. She shall be just fine.”

“Are you aware of the danger you are putting her in? I am aware of the care you have for her. Will you be willing to allow her to leave for Versailles when the time comes and be able to sleep easily in the night?” I inquired even more quietly.

His face hardened, his eyes flickering. “I do not sleep easily any longer.” Guillame paused, running his hand over his face, showing the exhaustion in his expression. His voice softened, “I am fully aware of the danger, Annette. We are all in danger. All of France is in danger.”

                                                                               ~~~~

I folded up the letter, standing from my seat and walking across the room to where Gerald stood with Emmanuel, speaking in soft undertones. They silenced as I approached. “This is for you,” I spoke my own language, holding out the letter. “If you run into any trouble in England, my father will willingly help and offer you lodging. He has houses in London and the countryside. Beware, he knows nothing of my participation in the Blanche, and according to him I am in my country estate and you are a close friend.”

“Thank you, Annette,” Gerard bowed his head slightly, taking the parchment gently from my hand. I smiled slightly and made my way over to Clara, who sat herself alone in the corner, her arms wrapped around her as in a hug.

“Are you cold? Do you need a seat at the fire?” I inquired gently. Silently, she shook her head. I sat myself next to her small form, looking over her child-like features. “I am Annette, and I am told you will be accompanying Marie and I to Versailles.”

The End

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