Chapter 33

" suddenly," Lady Edwina shifted in her chair as she gazed over her former-student suspiciously. "Well, give my best to all. It shall not be long until I am there to bid them well myself! Return home, finally."

Giddeon smiled mildly, swirling the wine in his glass before sipping from it.

"Have you made your farewells to the Royal Family?" she pressed him.

"You could say that," laughed Giddeon grimly.

The governess allowed a pause to linger for a second. She gave him a searching look, "What of Princess Cassandra? Did you bid her good-bye?"

"You could say that," he replied more quietly this time, appearing distracted by his own thought.

Another pause of silence. Curious, Edwina grimaced to herself. Once again she broke it, "The two of you seemed to become quite close...and you did not allow her a proper good-bye? Not only is it in unmannerly toward a person of moderate station, but also it is something of a crime to ignore a force such as hers that will soon be quite prominent with your life and with such station..."

"Edwina, you are quite a conversationalist, are you not?" Giddeon interrupted her, irritated slightly, his annoyance showing through in his voice.

She leaned back in her chair, folding her arms over her chest in a cross manner.  "You're in love with her, aren't you?"

Not answering, he turned his face away so that she could not discern his expression, his eyes lingering at the window.

"Well," sighed Edwina, continuing shortly, "It is something you must stop."

Still, Giddeon refused to look her in the face, or acknowledge her with a response. She took her own glass, taking a heavy gulp. "It certainly makes sense. I have trained the both of you, yes?" she said. She could see how the two had fallen for one another. She was sweet, clever, with graceful airs, and he was kindly, witty, and extraordinarily dashing. It was too bad that Cassandra was....who she was. Edwina would have been very happy with the pairing if it was the right path for the girl.

She sighed again. "You should get some sleep, Giddeon," she said gently. "You must wake early, having such a long journey ahead of you."

The Duke snapped to attention, facing her finally and setting his glass upon the table. "You are right, as always, my Lady," he smiled, though it was not the genuine, beaming smile that she knew. Standing, Giddeon bowed towards his former-governess, who stood as well. "It was so good to see you over the duration of this visit."

Lady Edwina smiled in return, "And I as well."  She opened her arms, "Here, I am allowing you to set aside the formalities for the current time."

They embraced briefly. As they pulled away, Edwina looking his face over one last time with maternal warmth. "Do not worry, dear Giddeon. All shall turn out well in the end,"

"No it won't," grinned Giddeon sadly.

Lightly she laughed, "Yes, you are probably right."

The End

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