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Inspirational Song: "Born for This" - Paramore

. . . . .

"Ooh, Faith, look at that one!"

"Ohh, Fiona, I told you I prefer the taller ones."

"But his face completely makes up for his lack of height!"

"Oh, I suppose, but you know I could do much better."


Faith and Fiona Chataway, the two most beautiful twins of high-class society, were sitting at the front of a garments shop that held for them rows and rows of the most fashionable party wear. Sitting next to them were their many bags full of goodies that simply defined the word trendy.

They didn't feel their usual air of impatience at their stagecoach's tardiness due to the spectacular weather of that day. The two were completely at ease and relaxing in the fine breeze.

The sightseeing was certainly fair, as well.

"Is that Robert, over there?"

"Where? Where's Robert?" Faith asked excitedly.

"Oh, no, I was mistaken." At Faith's frown, she quickly added, "But he's not at all bad-looking, either. Take a gander."

Faith looked the blonde man up and down and nodded appreciatively. "Yes, I suppose he'd do."

This went on for a quite a while and neither bored of it with time. The city was rather busy that day, it seemed. They were still preoccupied with that favorite hobby of theirs until a familiar face with a familiar voice obstructed their view. "Morning, ladies."

"Hamish!" the girls exclaimed. Fiona patted her hair for no apparent reason; it was still perfectly curled.

Lord Hamish Ascot grinned and placed his hands on his hips. "How are we doing on this fine, fine day?"

"Fantastic!" Fiona gushed.

"Brilliant, really," Faith added hastily.

"Spectacular," Hamish stated with greedy eyes. He truly seemed to like being accepted into easy conversation with good-looking girls. It wasn't too hard usually, with him being a Lord and all, but his oversized ego had recently been damaged by the eccentric Alice Kingsleigh after a declined proposal. Not to mention the fact that an entire crowd full of spectators was present.

"So, Hamish," Faith started. "What's your business down here today?" Fiona nodded along imploringly.

"Delivering an official document for my father." Hamish puffed up his chest with importance. "It's a rather unusual résumé for his trade business."

The twins' brows furrowed. "However do you mean by 'unusual', Hamish?" Fiona asked.

"Well, I suppose it couldn't hurt to tell you. . ." Although, Hamish did seem too eager to spill the details. Yet, his dramatic tone certainly caught the girls' attention. They both leaned forward in haste with wide eyes, reassuring him to 'please, go on.'

"Our little Alice. . . " he dragged out. ". . . is going to China."

The twins' jaws dropped. They gave predictable exclamations of "No!" and "What!"

Hamish nodded, clearly basking in their responses. "Says it all right here." He indicated the object he was carrying, but narrowed his eyes slightly as the girls' greedy gazes burned through the folder. "Of course, it will stay in here." Fiona frowned and Faith actually seemed a bit hurt.

"But," Faith stammered. "Why is she going to China?"

"My father offered her a job as an apprentice to the company. She had the peculiar idea of traveling to China to make trade with their leaders, and that's what's bound to happen. Or," he added hastily. "What they'll attempt to make happen. I suppose it depends on how things go, correct?"

"Well. Look at that," Fiona said, her eyes wide in surprise. "Your father actually offered her the job? Her?" Hamish inclined his head as if to say, His choice, not mine.

"But this is so. . . So odd!" Faith exclaimed. "She is genuinely interested in that sort of thing?" Her tone indicated how unbelievable the situation seemed to her, and none too many would probably disagree with her.

"Apparently so," Hamish said. "They don't leave for a week."

"How long will they be staying in China?"

"Well," Hamish pondered. "My father says that after adding the actual amount of time in China with the time they'll have to sail, they should be gone for about four years in total."

Again, the girls' jaws hit the ground. Hamish had to suppress his grin. These were exactly the reactions he had been hoping for. He silently applauded himself for asking his father for details on the matter.

"And. . . And will your father be going? To keep a watch over her?"

Hamish shook his head. "He says he believes Alice can manage everything on her own."

"The other businessmen can't be fine with this?"

Hamish grinned. "They don't know yet. But I can imagine you'll hear it when they do."

Faith and Fiona nodded, their hungry eyes looking somewhere far-off.

"Of course," Hamish began, his tone much more serious, "you can't relay this to anyone. You understand this, I'm sure?"

Again the girls nodded. They seemed to be in some sort of state of shock. Faith shook her head, evidently clearing some meddling thoughts away.

"Well, thank you for informing us of this, Hamish. And quite honestly," she whispered to him, leaning in closer. "I think you're much better off without her, being that sort of type." She turned to her sister. "Wouldn't you agree, Fiona?"

Fiona, just now coming back to life, nodded vigorously. "Of course! Much better off, yes."

A patch of red was creeping up Hamish's neck as he looked down sheepishly. "Yes, well." He cleared his throat. "All is fine by me, ladies. It's no matter."

Their conversation was suddenly interrupted by the arrival of the Chataways' stagecoach. They could heard the driver's racking smoker's cough from where they stood.

The girls thanked Hamish again for his wonderful and insightful conversation before the three of them departed. The girls loaded themselves and their bags into their stagecoach, with the helpful hand of Hamish, of course, and drove off, leaving the whistling redhead behind.

. . . . .

Rachel: Just a one-shot, of course.

Insanity: And a giddy and shallow-filled one at that! I could practically hear those gals giggling in mypart of the mind!

Rachel: It was from their point of view!

Insanity: Well, their point of view is giddy and shallow!

Rachel: Did I ever say it wasn't!