Izzy came down the stairs the next morning, running a hand down the side of her skirt to smooth out the wrinkles.
"Izzy," her father called from his study.
She walked to the study and stuck her head through the door "Yes, father?"
He motioned her forward "I need to speak with you about something."
She went and stood behind him, her gaze casting down on his work "What are you working on?"
He waved his hand dismissively in the air "Never mind that, I have something important to talk to you about." He sighed and Izzy leaned on the corner of his desk.
"Where were you headed this morning?" he asked her.
"To meet Cecily at the lighthouse. We were going to bike to the lake."
"What did you want to talk with me about?"
"Isolde," Clive began "you're not a little girl anymore. You've put your trouser days behind you, and you've grown into a beautiful young woman." He took her hand "Instead of playing with the boys you're going to be chasing them off." He sighed again.
"Father what is it?"
"Izzy you're not going to like me for this, but it has to be done." Clive said.
"What has to be done?" Izzy asked.
"You spend too much time with that King boy. One would -"
"Yes, Felix. One would think you two were courting. Now after -"
"Father, Felix and I are just friends." Izzy said crossing her arms over her chest.
"Stop interrupting me child. After what happened the night of the blizzard, I'm forbidding you from seeing Felix unless you're accompanied by a chaperone."
Izzy's eyes widened "Father you can't be serious."
"I'm afraid I am Izzy." Clive rose from his seat "Starting today I don't want you near that boy unless a chaperone is with you. If word spreads about that night, your reputation will be ruined."
"But we didn't do anything wrong. Felix saved my life."
"I'm putting my foot down on this, Izzy. It's for your own good. Besides, you're getting too old to be around young men without a proper chaperone. While I'm home, I will chaperone you and Felix, but while I'm away Hetty King will do the job."
"Ms. King? Oh Father please don't do this, it's not fair. Felix and I are best friends, that's all. We don't need a chaperone."
"You need a chaperone because I say you do, and that's the end of it." Clive sat back down at his desk and promptly ignored all of Izzy's protests.
"You can't do this." Izzy said "You think you can dictate who I'm friends with just because you don't like someone I do? Well I won't accept that." Izzy turned on her heal and exited the study in pursuit of Muriel. This wasn't right, and her father knew it. If anyone could change his mind it was Muriel.
Muriel tied on her store apron in preparation for opening time. "I'm sorry Izzy, but it won't do any good. Your father is as stubborn as a mule. I won't be able to change his mind."
"Why does Father have to do this? Felix and I are only friends." Izzy said.
Muriel picked up a duster, "Your father cares about you very much, Izzy. Perhaps when all of this dies down he will let you see Felix on your own terms."
Izzy shook her head "Father is set in his ways, and he doesn't bend easily. He'll never let me see Felix alone again."
To be continued in a sequel called "Courting Days"
~ The End ~