Adriane gave a contented sigh, turning the page of her book. She was curled up in the window seat of the Apothecary shop. An odd place for light reading, but she wanted to be somewhere she felt comfortable.
"Adriane," she was pulled away from the world of Jean Lemaire de Belges with a start. She glanced over her shoulder, eyes narrowed in suspicion, but soon found herself face to face with the gentle features of Carolyn. Emily's mother, who had watched over Adriane for a number of years now. "I brought you some tea,"
Turning, Adriane shifted her legs off of the window seat, moving into a proper sitting position. She folded the corner of her page, and tossed the book aside as she reached for the flower-printed tea-cup. "Th-thank you," Adriane said all too rigidly, causing the Apothecary to frown.
"Adriane, you don't have to be so formal," she said with a hopeful smile, "you're part of this family,"
Adriane gave her a weak smile, staring up at the woman as she sipped at her tea. Carolyn was a tall, twiggy woman with curly red hair and an adorable spattering of freckles across every inch of exposed skin. Her eyes were deep chocolate brown, and were warm and inviting, but shone with some inner turmoil. Her husband, the original apothecary of the shop, had died years ago. She never remarried. Despite the evident hole in her heart, she was incredibly kind, and loving to anyone who stepped through the shop's door. She was intelligent and, while she was not formally educated, Adriane often found herself marveling at this woman's amount of knowledge.
Adriane savored the sweet taste of the tea, prepared exactly how she liked it, as she watched the woman head into the back room, just as her daughter exited. Emily immediately began straightening the front counter. Organizing and tidying as Adriane sipped her tea and returned to her book of poetry. She curled her legs beneath her, returning to the world of sonnets and rhyme scheme.
"What are you reading?" Emily questioned after a moment.
"Poetry," was Adriane's simple reply, her eyes glued to the page.
"Mmm," Emily hummed, eyes cast downward at the drawers below the counter.
Should I organize those? Would that be alright? Is there anything important in there?
She wracked her brain for the contents of the drawers. "Could I hear some?" she asked, half interested.
"Within this tomb, which is a harsh, locked cell," Adriane began without warning, picking up where she had just finished reading. "Lies the green lover, a very worthy slave. Whose noble heart, drunk with true, pure love, losing it's lady cannot bear to live..."
Emily's eyes widened for a moment, "That was... pretty. What is it about?"
"It's about a parrot," Adriane drawled.
Emily glared down at the drawers. "A parrot?"
"Yes. It's a kind of bird," Adriane stated matter-of-factly. She put her book down, turning her head to glance over her shoulder. "How long are you going to be?" she questioned.
"Oh..." Emily glanced up at her friend, not having realized that she was waiting for her. "I don't know... why?"
"Want to go out for dinner?" she asked. "When you're done of cour-"
The bell above the door dinged as it swung open. "Adriane!" came the hurried call of an all too familiar voice. "I have been looking all over for you!" the blond exclaimed. "Hello, Emily," she squeezed in.
"Oh, how ever did you find me?" Adriane mewled, rolling her eyes.
"I saw you through the window," Kara explained, tilting her chin up as she adjusted her frilly purple dress.
"That's fascinating, Kara,"
"Ohh, somebody got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning,"
Adriane pursed her lips, a small sigh escaping threw her nostrils. She stared at the ground for a short moment before redirecting her focus to the girl before her. "I'm sorry," Adriane admitted. Kara was the daughter of a wealthy land owner. He owned most of the town, and even had a spot in court, though Adriane didn't know his official title. Kara knew everything there was to know about everyone, and although the pair were unlikely friends, they had gone to school together. They had grown close, despite their differences—and fighting—and Kara felt obligated to inform Adriane of any new rumor that cropped up about her. It was no big deal really. Some name calling and false accusations of witch-craft were a daily occurrence for the Charday women.
"Heather told me that she saw you harassing a man yesterday," Kara stated breezily, picking at her finger nails.
"I wasn't harassing him," Adriane grumbled, rolling her eyes once more.
"Who?" Emily's face turned a unique shade of crimson.
"That's not was Heather told me,"
"Who?" Emily pushed meekly.
"He was harassing me," Adriane huffed, her cheeks colouring until they matched Emily's.
"Who is he?" Kara asked with a sly grin.
"Yeah, wh-who is he?" Emily asked, leaning over the counter.
"He's nobody," Adriane insisted, standing.
"I barely met him a day ago. We don't even really know eachother. I don't see what the point of this conversation is," she rolled her eyes. Kara always had to be the center of everyone's business.
"I'm just telling you what I heard," the blonde stated with a shrug of her shoulders. "My father thinks you're a menace," she added, joking of course but Adriane still crossed her arms with defiance.
"Your father also believes that werewolves exist. Consider the source," Adriane scoffed.
"Werewolves do exist!" Kara insisted. Emily nodded as well.
"Woah, woah, girls," Carolyn stepped through the back door, walking in between the pair. "What's all this yelling about?" she asked, holding her hands up defensively.
"Carolyn, tell Adriane that werewolves exist," Kara demanded, pointing an accusing finger at the brunette.
"Kara's right, Adriane. There have been so many sitings in the past couple of months," She paused, taking in Adriane's skeptical frown, "Who's to say that there aren't creatures of mystery lurking in those woods? Just because you cannot see them..."
"What, like vampires and werewolves?" Adriane scoffed, "They don't exist,"
"Werewolves or not, the woods are getting more dangerous. Especially at night. I wish you'd come live with us, instead of making the trip through the woods every night. It's just not safe, really,"
"I'll be fine," came the brunette's offhanded reply.
Carolyn frowned, crossing her arms over her chest. After a long, tense moment between the group, she spoke "Kara, would you like some tea?"
"That would be lovely, Carolyn," Kara responded with flourish, bringing out her best diplomat's voice, the one her mother had taught her at a young age. She held herself with perfect posture, born by years of back braking ballet lessons. She raised her chin a millimeter, staring down her perfect ski-slope nose at Adriane.
Carolyn planted her hands on her hips, glancing between the pair with a curious expression. With a sigh, she turned towards the back door, and headed up the stairs towards the suite she shared with Emily.
The trio stood in silence. Kara stuck out her tongue teasingly. Adriane puffed out an upward sigh into her long bangs, locks dancing in every direction as her eyes narrowed. Emily just rolled her eyes.
The bell above the door dinged, and the intruder stopped in his tracks, startled as he met the annoyed glares of the trio.
"A-Adriane, I've been looking for you," Zach huffed, out of breath. Perhaps he had been running.
"Let me guess, you saw me through the window" She replied coldly, crossing her arms.
"Y-yeah, how did you know?"
The girls exchanged glances. Emily's face burned bright red, while Kara's eyebrows raised in innuendo. It was as if they were sharing secret, telepathic messages. Zach was becoming increasingly convinced of the presence of a certain witch-girl, though he pushed the thought aside, returning to his past stance of skepticism.
"What do you want?" Adriane tilted her chin expertly.
"I-I just want to apologize," he began, fumbling as he tapped his fingers together anxiously, "For yesterday,"
Adriane shot Kara a look, another secret message that he could not decifer.
"I didn't mean to upset you, and you left so quickly. I was wondering if there was anything I could do to make it up to y-"
"No," Adriane examined her fingernails, one arm still clasped around her torso.
Kara glanced between the pair as a long silence filled the air. She stepped forward, holding out her hand for him to kiss.
"My name is Kara," she said as if she were the most important individual in the world. She moved herself between her friend and the man.
Zach shook her hand awkwardly, looking past her to Adriane, who simply flipped her hair and turned away. "Zach. Nice to meet you," he replied, just as awkward as the hand shake
Kara gave Emily a look, before taking him by the arm. She pulled out her fan, covering her mouth coyly. She stared up at him through thick blonde eyelashes. "I think Adriane is busy," her voice was soft, comforting "Come, let me show you around town," He stumbled after her, as she pulled him out the door. Through the window, Kara could see her dark-haired friend crumple back into the window-seat.
"So, Zach, what brings you to our humble town?" she asked, raising the hem of her purple velvet dress off of the ground. Zach couldn't help but wonder if she were a princess or something.
"Just... passing through," he squeaked meekly.
"And you're interested in my Adriane, I see," this time she was definitely mocking him.
"W-what? How-no!" Zach stole a downward glance at the girl now clinging to his arm. She was beautiful, with demanding blue eyes that seemed to pull the information from his mind. He nodded helplessly.
Kara tossed her head, blonde curls bouncing adorably. "She likes purple iris'. There's a shop just down the street that sells them," she smiled.
Chapter three! So... yes. This is a very long, boring chapter who's only purpose is to introduce Kara. I also tried to highlight the fact that, despite Adriane's mature, serious personality, she's still a teenager. And teenagers are often annoyed, stubborn, and petulant (not all teenagers, though). I also wanted to bring light to the gossip in the town. Gossip was a huge part of the 16-17th century French lifestyle. Everyone did it. There are a few hinted at things that you may or may not pick up on, but I'm not going to point them out as they will be fully explained in the chapters to come. I hope you enjoyed! Review if you'd like.
Kara is awesome, by the way 3