Hello everyone. My name is Scarlet Rebelle and I am the author of this story. I hope you enjoy it!
"Jenkins will see you to the airport in the morning." Ariana's father told her. "Be good for your aunt and uncle."
"Yes, father." Ariana replied dutifully.
"We will miss you, dearest." Her mother said from behind her father, making a big show of wiping away non-existent tears. "But we will see you again after summer break." She stepped forward and brushed the air on either side of Ariana's cheek, careful to not smudge her perfectly painted lips.
"Come, Aubry, the car is waiting." Her father said impatiently.
"Of course. Give your father a kiss good bye, dearest." She flashed Ariana one of her plastic party smiles and Ariana kissed the cheek her father presented her.
"Have a nice trip." She called from the steps as the sleek black car pulled away from the house and down the long tree lined private drive. She watched until the car passed the black iron gate before going back inside to double check her luggage before supper and bed.
The plane ride was long and uneventful and Ariana was grateful when it finally landed. she walked into the lobby of the airport and was almost immediately assailed by a pair of teenagers.
"Ow, you guys! Get off!" she laughed along with her two cousins as they apologized and helped her up from where they tackled her to the ground.
"We missed you!" Scarlette, her cousin exclaimed.
"I can't believe that you didn't come last year!" her other cousin, Will added.
"It wasn't my dumb idea to get sent to acting camp!" Ariana protested. "My mother thought it would give me more poise." She struck a pose, mimicking her mother and scrunched her nose up, making them laugh.
"Come on, I want to get my bags and get going, I'm tired." All three walked to the carousel to pick up her luggage and transfer it to the car waiting in the parking lot.
"Why didn't you rest on the plane?" Scarlette asked, struggling slightly with the bag she was carrying.
"You know I can't sleep on planes. Besides, it is only 1:00 according to my biological clock." Ariana answered back.
"But you're in first class, its not like coach." Scarlette tried to reason.
"All the same, I just can't." Ariana swung her bag into the back of Will's truck.
"Well, at least if you're tired right now, the time change shouldn't effect you too much." He said, also tossing the bag he was carrying into the truck before helping his twin sister with hers.
The ride to their small village town took a good hour and a half, but riding with her cousin's always made it seem shorter. The hour and a half drive went by swiftly as her cousin's traded stories of British life for stories of her American one. Both were 17, same age as Ariana, and fraternal twins. Their mother had been obsessed with the movie Gone With the Wind when she had seen it while on bed rest during her pregnancy and decided she would name her children after the main characters. Scarlette loved her name, But Will didn't. That is why he went by his middle name, William, after his grandfather, rather than by his real first name, Rhett.
"I'm so glad you're back." Scarlette started off. "Amalie won the archery contest last year because you weren't there…"
"And she's been lording it over everyone ever since." Will finished for his sister, they were forever completing each other's sentences.
Ariana's aunt and uncle loved reenactments and renaissance faires. There was a huge three day long faire right at the beginning of the summer and Ariana always joined them in going. The past seven years she won the archery contest, except last year.
Her relations weren't as wealthy as Ariana's parents, but they where a tight knit family and Ariana would have given up every penny of her future inheritance if her parents where more like her aunt and uncle.
Soon their house came into view and her aunt came out the front door to embrace her as they pulled up in front of it.
"Aria! How have you been? My have you grown, I'll have to find you a different outfit for the faire tomorrow, that old one won't fit you anymore. Have you had anything to eat? I made those cinnamon rolls you love so much. Though you should probably have something a bit more substantial and save those for the morning. Don't worry about your luggage, I'm sure Will wouldn't mind bringing it up to your room." Her Aunt Sarah kept up the chatter as she ushered Ariana inside, the door shutting just after she heard Will groan behind her and she had to stifle a giggle.
Aunt Livia sat her down at the well worn oak table and set a plate with a turkey sandwich and chips in front of her. "Here you are dear. Eat up, you are much too skinny." Ariana had just taken a large bite when her uncle walked in.
"Where is my favorite niece?" he called. Ariana smiled up at him as he came into the room and he gave her one of his famous bear hugs, he smelled of hay and horses.
"I'm your only niece." She mock scowled at him. "How's Caramel?" she asked after her favorite horse, a four year old mare, bay with a white blaze.
"Very sore about you not coming last year." He teased.
"Not you too!" She complained. "Will and Scatlette have been bugging me about that the whole way here."
"But I'm sure if you apologized real nice like, she'd be willing to let you take her out for a nice little run." He handed her a small bag of sugar cubes, Caramel's favorite treat with a wink and a grin.
"I may just do that." Ariana replied with a of her own and pocketed the bag.
Half an hour and a full belly later Ariana was racing through the English country side on Caramel's back, relishing the feel of the air rushing over her skin.
She was surprised when she came upon the small spring atop the hill that overlooked the faire grounds from a distance. She could envision the tents and pavilions, she saw where the market would be, the sword fighting ring, the jousting lists and her favorite, the archery range.
With a start, Ariana noticed the sun's rays stretching to touch the tops of the trees. After a quick drink from the icy spring for herself and Caramel, Ariana checked the tack to make sure it was still properly secured, mounted and pointed Caramel towards her relatives home. She urged the horse to beat the sun and promising her the rest of the sugar cubes if she did.
Ariana slowed when the barn came into view to allow Caramel to cool down. They reached the barn the same time the long shadows of the treetops did. Ariana led Caramel to her stall, removed the tack, rubbed her down and made sure she was settled in for the night with enough feed and water before heading towards the house and paused at the sight before her.
Her tow cousins, aunt and uncle could clearly be seen through the large bay window at the back of the house, they each had a hand of cards they were all laughing and talking. Ariana smiled a smile that she would be with these wonderful people for the rest of the summer, she really did love them.
She retracted some of the sentiment the moment she set foot inside. Her aunt descended on her with arms full of cloth. "There you are, sweets. We need to see which one of these outfits will fit you for tomorrow, I'm afraid that two years have made you grow, in more ways then one, that lovely piece you wore two years past simply will not fit. Here," she shoved the first little bundle into Ariana's arms and spun her towards the bathroom with a little push. "try this on."
The dress was pretty and deep gray. But Ariana couldn't lace the back all the way closed and stepped from the bathroom with a sheepish grin.
"Oh, no. that will not do at all, try this one." Another outfit was shoved into her arms and she was once again spun towards the bathroom. It took seven different changes of clothing before her aunt was satisfied. This year, instead of her usual lady-like dress, Ariana was going to be a gypsy, which she had no trouble with, these sleeves would not get in the way of her bow.
By that time it was quarter after ten and since the whole family would start out early in the morning, they all said their good nights and went to bed.
That morning, Ariana was rudely awoken by her cousins turning over her mattress. She groaned, she should have remembered the first morning ceremony of "Ariana dumping". She pushed herself up off the floor and chased them down to the table where aunt Livia was just setting out a plate of fresh waffles; which made Ariana forget her cousins and dig in. Waffles were her favorite breakfast food, and she always smothered them in whip cream and strawberries. After three waffles, all similarly smothered, she was sent up to her room to change into her faire clothes. She was just done changing when a knock came on the door of her little bedroom.
"Ana?" Scarlette poked her head around the door. "Oh, good you're dressed, I was supposed to give you these to go with your outfit. You look great by the way." Ariana spread her arms and looked down at the deep blue skirt and whitish beige peasant shirt that stopped just before dropping off her shoulders and with laces going three inches down the front.
"Thanks." Ariana took the jewelry Scarlette was holding out to her, numerous, thin, gold colored bangles for her wrists, gold hoop earrings and a delicate gold chain with what looked like an old coin hanging from it.
"You look quite smashing yourself." Ariana said, slipping on the jewelry.
"Do you think so?" Scarlette had on a princessly dress that matched her name and it was trimmed in gold thread. "I was wondering if you could help me with my hair, you always seem to be able to make it behave." Scarlette threw her cousin a beseeching look.
"Sit down." Ariana pointed to a chair in front of the quaint little vanity set against one wall. Scarlette beamed and did as Ariana said. Ariana twisted and clipped her cousin's hair into an intricate design and sighed.
"What are you so down about?" Scarlette inquired Ariana's reflection in the mirror.
"Just wish I had hair as nice as you." She continued working on the hairdo.
"What?!" Scarlette stared at her. "I know hordes of people who would kill for hair like yours. Its so thick and pretty."
Ariana picked up one of her locks of elbow length hair. It was brown and slightly wavy with a healthy sheen to it. "Its not as nice as your perfectly blond locks." She sighed.
"Blond would most likely make you look washed out and would clash terribly with your eyes." Scarlette reminded her and she had to agree. Blond definitely would not go with her darker skin, courtesy of some Spanish ancestor, or with her eyes the color of amber.
"Whatever. Your hair is done, lets get going before we make everyone late." Ariana grabbed Scarlette's hand and pulled her off the chair.
Well, that's it so far, what did you think?