Hello everyone. Thank you so much for all the follows and reviews...they're all awesome. I'm so sorry that it's been so long since the last installment, but I'm very grateful for all the things that everyone has said. Thank you for reading! I hope you'll continue to stay with me as I (sluggishly) post more chapters. Enjoy!
Things were coming to a head, and everyone knew it. Elizabeth's wedding was in a mere two weeks, Annabelle's situation was wearing on everybody, and a strange tension had arisen between Ben and Felicity. No one could understand why; Felicity had been completely enthralled with his return one minute and now she couldn't help but turn away when he was near. Chess games were stopped, friendly conversation was down to nil. Denial, denial, always denial.
Felicity spent her afternoons at Elizabeth's house. Elizabeth, especially, had noticed the change in her friend. She didn't laugh as easily as usual, not even when Elizabeth joked about the "thousands of millions" of guests that were coming. It was Annabelle, though, who really set everything in motion.
It was not common knowledge among the town that Annabelle had been interested in Ben before she had run off with her duke, but had scorned him after she found out how poor he was. But things weren't the same as before—she had absolutely no hope of money now, and she found that he was still good-looking as ever. It happened that Felicity and Elizabeth were sitting in the parlor, pasting scraps or some nonsense, when Annabelle passed by the door in her best. Felicity looked up as she saw the feather go by.
"What on…Annabelle, is that you?" she called out. Annabelle peeped her head in at the door, smiling.
"Hello Felicity. I thought you'd notice my hat…I purchased it at your father's store," Annabelle replied.
"Did you now? I always thought that you disliked our hats," Felicity retorted with mock amazement. Elizabeth sighed, figuring that the quarreling had begun again. Annabelle's smile became pasted.
"Well, they're not so bad after all, when the right person wears them," she said, twirling a little.
"Where are you going?" Elizabeth piped up. "I'm glad to see you up after you've been moping around for so long."
"Oh, nowhere…" she said. "Just to go pay Ben a little visit. I haven't seen him in so long, after all. He came back before I did, so I haven't been able to make a proper call." Without warning, Felicity's temper skyrocketed. The sudden blush that crept over her cheeks alarmed Elizabeth, who knew that her friend was upset, but wasn't quite sure why. Felicity was also alarmed—she had no idea why she should be upset over Annabelle going to see Ben. Perfectly natural, it was, anyway…they were about the same age, and of course there had been the Christmas ball…but…
Felicity was ridiculously close to saying something, but she didn't have time before Annabelle skirted out of the room. She started up and paced around the room, what she always did when she had to cool off.
"What are you doing?" Elizabeth asked. "What's wrong? Goodness, you're going to wear a hole in the carpet." Felicity ran a strand of hair around her finger.
"I'm being a maniac, Elizabeth, please don't bother me," Felicity murmured. "As if! Annabelle and Ben, I should have seen it coming! But why would I care? I don't care. Right, and here I am pacing the room. Alright alright…"
"Calm down and tell me what's wrong or I'm going to call the doctor," Elizabeth said, coming up and taking Felicity's arms in her hands, forcing her to stop pacing.
"I'll tell you what's wrong, Elizabeth. I'll tell you what's wrong. I'm in love with Ben!" she admitted. Elizabeth let go of Felicity's arms.
"This is why I'm your best friend, otherwise you'd go crazy," Elizabeth said, then laughed in exasperation. "All this time, and you finally admit it to yourself."
"Don't rub it in," Felicity said, collapsing into a near-by chair. "I'm miserable enough already."
"You're the strangest girl I've ever known."
"Because you're not supposed to be miserable when you're in love, Felicity. But knowing you, something drastic is going to happen before you'll be able to tell Ben."
Ah, the infamous temper. Drastic, yes...