A/N: Ok...I have some bad news for readers...I'm extremely sorry about it and I hope I can make it up to you later this year. I won't be able to update properly anytime soon. I'm going away for this medical thing for ten days...then camping and an amusement park for another week. I get two nights at home for the next...three weeks. At the end of August I'm going away for the big family trip for about a week.

Had these been the only things that were going on I would have been able to update more often. However, I'm loaded with AP and English homework. While I have about twenty pages done already I have about a hundred and something more to write up...I'm serious about that...You see...my teacher gave us this huge packet and 188 pages to read and take notes on. Well I just saw that there are about 30 mini essays in that packet...that and I have to do one big research style essay. I have to visit three forts and do a project on them as well...Then for English I have to read three books and do journals on them...I have till September to do all of this..but my parents want most of it done by the third week of August.

In short, I won't be able to update more then once during the summer. Maybe twice if I have the inspiration and I have enough work done. I hope everyone understands that I have no time to write until all this homework is done. I DO, however, know where I want to take the next chapter and therefore I do know what to write on.

To follow fanfiction rules and not completely disappoint you guys, I'm giving you what I have done of Chapter 9. It's short and my beta hasn't checked it. It will be checked when I write the rest of the chapter.

Thank you for understanding. I really hope everyone stays with me. This is hard for me to do. I much rather be writing than doing AP American History and English homework.

I'm so so so sorry for disappointing you guys. This story is by no means abandoned though. It will be updated sometime in August or early September.

Chapter 9

Christine nearly collapsed on the dirt ground in exhaustion. The summer sun beat down on her, causing layers of sweat to form on her face. Usually she liked working outside, but today seemed unnaturally hot.

"You're not going to get any work done when you're on your bottom," scolded Lucie from the other side of the garden. Her face was tight with frustration, both from the weeds and the heat. "Get up or I'll find something else for you to do after this."

Christine glared at Lucie before getting back on her knees. She hated weeds with a strong passion. She especially hated the combination of weeds, heat, and Lucie. Of all the servants to get stuck with outside, it had to be the slave driver herself!

To make matters worse, two o'clock was coming too soon. Lucie knew about her trips in the afternoon. Unlike Marthe, she disapproved. A servant, she argued, had a duty to the household, not to her friends. Christine knew she wouldn't let her go if she asked.

"Could we take a break for water?" complained Christine, looking up at Lucie. Perhaps she could sneak away… She was willing to take the punishment when she returned. She just couldn't be late for a lesson! Erik would be furious!

"After we're done," said Lucie. Christine groaned, causing Lucie to look up at her.

"Now don't give me that, girl. I know very well you want to go off with your friends. I'm going to make something very clear to you right now. There is not going to be anymore of this 'socializing'. Your job is here."

Had it been cooler, Christine might have argued with her. But the heat kept her mouth shut and her back bent over her work. She didn't want to miss the lesson. Erik had said they would start a new aria today, seeing as how she had almost completed the one she had been working on. He had seemed rather excited when he spoke of it. Christine was curious to which piece it was.

She only hoped she would get a chance to find out.

"Lucie! Christine!"

Christine's head popped up hopefully at the sound of Marthe's voice. Marthe's wonderful, straight from heaven voice!

Marthe opened the gate to the garden while pulling out something from her pocket. Letting out a sigh, she wiped a handkerchief across her forehead.

"I don't much recommend running in this heat," she said, placing the cloth back in her dress pocket. She pointed a finger at Christine, shaking it slightly. "What are you still doing here? You're usually gone by now. And look at you! Your face is as red as a tomato!"

Lucie stood up, shaking off some of the dirt that had gathered on her dress. Straightening herself, she placed her hands on her hips. Christine almost smiled at the way she was trying to gather dignity and authority. Marthe wouldn't care. She wasn't intimated easily.

"I'm just teaching this girl the meaning of work. She's not going to learn anything if she is in town. Why! When I was her age, I was breaking my back over all sorts of work. Never once did I complain! Never once!" Lucie shot an accusing glare at Christine. "It's about time she learned the meaning of sacrifice!"

There was complete silence after Lucie's short speech. Christine looked back and forth from the two ladies. While Lucie appeared to be fuming with her red, sweaty face, Marthe was looking at her quite dully.

"Are you done, Lucie?" asked Marthe, calmly. Lucie only responded with a cold looked. A smile broke out on Marthe's face. "Good! Then you can finish up the weeding while Christine takes a break." Lucie opened her mouth to protest but she quickly shut it as Christine hurried over to Marthe. As Christine opened the gate to let them out, Marthe turned back to look at Lucie.

"Youth only comes once in a life time. Don't be jealous of Christine when you wasted away your own."