Pluck. Pluck. Straighten.
The sweating lawyer next to me shuffled uncomfortably. I would have too, but I daren't move for fear of breaking the equilibrium in the room. Currently, I was surrounded by teddies of any kind imaginable, and each and every one of them was staring right at me. Well, except one.
Pluck. Pluck. Straighten.
The only one I was staring at was the fluffy bear who rested upon the lap of a small child. The girl couldn't have been older than five, and looked quite small for her age. Comparatively, she was not unlike a doll, nomatter how overused that phrase may be. She was a typical kid; baby-faced features, slightly rosy cheeks, white-blonde curls that had been elegantly styled into two ponytails on either side of her head.
But, it was that activity she busied herself with that was even more intruiging. With precision and delicacy, she was plucking hairs from the teddybear with what seemed like childish malice, but her face bore no expression, as though the whole practice was utterly dull. I didn't notice another servant enter the room behind me until he began to speak.
"You called for me, Miss Lydia?" He announced whilst watching me cautiously. The girl looked up at him, her temper displayed perfectly in the form of a moody pout.
"Yes. Get rid of these people, they're idiots." She growled.
The poor man blushed, then looked sympathetically at me.
"I'm afraid they have come to resolve an issue you brought up, Miss." He tried. She shot him down with a loud 'Ugh!' and an evil glare. By now I was firmly on the manservant's side, but she turned to us swiftly and I flinched.
"Well?!" She huffed.
My lawyer stumbled over his words, but finally managed to explain the situation. Basically, we were there because - for some unfathomable reason - this 'Lydia' had reported me on the grounds of assault. Sure, I pushed her, but otherwise we'd be mulched into the tarmac. Throughout the explanation, her frown only deepened.
"And what do you have to say about it?!" Lydia threw. I almost jumped off the sofa in surprise.
"I-I....well....what do you want me to say? I apologize for saving you're life?" I asked.
"No, but maybe you could ask before throwing me over the road with no warning!"
"I never threw you anywhere!"
"Oh really? Can you prove it, you stupid woman?"
I launched to my feet, forgetting my fear. How dare she call me 'Stupid Woman'? I'd done more in my life than she could ever dream of doing - and I'd done it all on my own, unlike her. She could probably buy her way into anything!
However, it seemed my reaction was just the thing she had been looking for. She grinned and turned back to plucking her teddybear and left me, the manservant (now almost cowering to one side) and the cowardly lawyer sitting (or standing) in complete silence.
'I'm so sorry." The manservant mouthed to me. I nodded politely. Children will be children, right? It just happened that this one was a twisted, conniving little wind-up merchant. I sat down. This had probably been just a waste of time. Perhaps she wouldn't even press charges...
"Fine, then. I will come to a compromise, if I must." Lydia grumbled. She seemed to be considerably more settled now we'd argued. I looked over at the manservant, and he looked back warily.
"Ok. Anything." I ventured, wondering if I would regret it later on. She looked back, and smiled softly.
"I'll drop the charges if you become my permanent babysitter. If not, prepared to get you're stupid bum sued." Lydia chuckled. I gulped. Just the kind of thing I wasn't expecting.
"I'll pay you of course, and it doesn't mean you have to do everything I say," She grinned again, "but you will have to take me places and look after me and play with me whenever I want."
Ok, I thought, sounds easy enough. But the prospect was still enough to make me gulp loudly.
"Sure. That's easy." I nodded.
"Agreed. You'll start tomorrow. Don't make it harder for yourself." She chuckled, sneering.
And with those words, I regretted it.