The dress that Daniel had thrown at me was a bright golden-yellow. It was only slightly darker than my school shirt. I looked at it long and hard, still failing to see how to get it on. It looks like I have to ask for help.
"Erm… Daniel?" I shouted as loud as I dared.
"Yes? Have you put it on yet?" He sounded excited.
"No. I need a little bit of help." He opened the door and peered around, his white ears bouncing slightly as he did so. He took one look at me holding the dress between my fingers, and sighed. He walked in, his suit jacket rustling as he closed the door behind him. A strange look crossed his face as he started removing his gloves. He had the most delicate hands. He walked closer to me, dropping his gloves on the bed beside me. He bent down and started unlacing my boots; he gently placed his hand in the crook behind my knee, and started bulling the boot off. He continued to undress me in this manner, never once rushing, never once taking any notice that I was in my underwear. He picked up the dress, pulling it over my head and lacing up the back. Daniel pulled the lace tight enough to make me gasp. He took the boots, placed them back on and laced them up. When he finished, he stood up, patted himself down and replaced his gloves. When he had finished he looked at me and smiled.
"There you go, you look beautiful." The look in his eyes told me that he meant it, even though I knew it to be a lie.
"You know, when I asked for help, I didn't actually mean that you had to undress me." I blushed. He looked surprised.
"I'm sorry, I'm just so used to undressing my customers, that I did it without thought. I'm sorry if I embarrassed you." I shook my head.
"No, you didn't. You were a perfect gentleman. Although you were a little… almost cold towards me."
"Well, one does always strive to be a gentleman." He smiled at me, his ears twitching slightly. He held out his hand.
"Come, we should find your friend." I placed my hand in his, feeling very guilty. "What's wrong, a strange look passed across your face."
"I couldn't find him, and all this time I spent having tea with you I could have been searching for him." Daniel continued to lead me away.
"Well, you are much calmer now. I think that the tea may have helped." His ears bounced slightly as we walked. When we reached the street I ran down earlier there were considerably less people. I looked around, seeing people with ears like Daniel's, or cats ears, or mouse ears. Suddenly I felt a bit like a freak.
"Where did you see your friend last?" I looked up at Daniel, he looked down at me with a smile in his eyes.
"This way." I pulled ahead, leading Daniel to the woods.
"Here? He was in the woods?" Daniel asked with disbelief in his voice. I looked at him in confusion.
"Yes. Is something wrong?" Daniel looked scared.
"The humans live through there." He whispered, his eyes widening. Hope fluttered in my chest. I started running into the woods. Daniel followed, shouting at me, trying to get me to stop. I kept running until I reached the other end of the woods. I breathed heavily, looking at the cliff edge.
"We can't be in here!"
"Why not? What's so bad about the humans, anyway?" I asked my hands on my hips.
"They're monsters; did your parents not tell you horror stories about them? How they come into your room at night and take you away, or how they eat you alive." He shook with fear and I could tell that he meant every word of it.
"Well, they aren't!" I started to run back into the woods, but Daniel caught my arm before I could. I turned towards him, to find him blushing again.
"What do you mean?" He asked quietly.
"I'm human." I replied weakly.
"But you look like the Hatter."
"Who, the hell, is the Hatter? And what does me looking like him have anything to with anything?"
"He's one of my wealthier customers, and he's not human!" This is when Damien started dragging me through the woods again. I protested, strongly, but his sense of chivalry had obviously decided to go on its own walk. I only realised that we had gone a different route when we ended up in front of a mansion. Damien continued to drag me to the front gate. The gate guards tipped their hats and let him in. His hand released my arm when we entered the mansion itself. I rubbed the sore spot. A young man wearing a top hat similar to the one that Daniel had earlier walked in the entrance room.
"Daniel White. It is rare to meet you twice in one week." He was a couple of inches taller that Daniel, making him around 6'2, almost a foot taller than me. He wore a red suit and a black shirt, his hair was long, almost waist length and in a braid.
"And you brought a guest, even rarer." He smiled at me, although it wasn't a nice smile. He bent down so he could get a better look at my face. I noticed that he didn't have any noticeable ears of any kind, my first instinct was to lean over to look at the side of his head, but I managed to barely stay still.
"You're a pretty little one, aren't you? You don't say much either, wherever did Mr White find you?" I gritted my teeth, fighting the urge to kick him in the shins, until he started insulting Daniel.
"You often find such pathetic women; it's probably because you are more pathetic than them." So I kicked him, hard. When he was crumpled on the floor, clutching his left leg in agony, I smirked and looked at Daniel, who looked horrified. The young man moaned behind me.
"Oh, shut up. It's not broken, merely bruised. I didn't even kick you hard enough to break the skin. Suck it up like a real man." I looked down at him and he looked back up at me astonished. He held out a hand, I looked at it suspiciously.
"My name is Altany Hatter, it is a pleasure to meet you." I refused to take his hand, so he let it drop.
"May I have the delight of knowing your name?"
"Andrea Liddell. You may call me Andy." He pushed himself up and started walking away, although with a slight limp.
"Come with me, Miss Liddell. We shall be more comfortable in the library."
I looked up at the three floors of books. My mouth was hanging open slightly.
"It is much undignified for a woman to stand with their mouths open." Hatter teased, so I shut my mouth. Daniel stood to my right, looking slightly uncomfortable.
"How many books do you own?" I asked, curiosity getting the better of me.
"I'm not sure. We have librarians who care for the books, but they have been passed down for generations, so no one really knows. Books don't take my fancy, actually." He looked at me. "You are free to look around once we have taken care of business." He led us to a small area with two sofas, facing each other. Hatter sat on one sofa, and Daniel and I sat on the other.
"Why did you come here today?" He asked Daniel, voicing the question in my mind.
"Andrea seems to think she's a human." Hatter chuckled quietly. A maid walked in with a tray, setting down the china tea set.
"Of course she is. Have you no idea who the Liddell's are?" Daniel looked surprised, and opened his mouth to protest, I cut him off.
"You know my last name already?"
"Why, of course. You do not know who you are here, do you?" He asked amusement in his voice. I looked at him, until the point got across. He turned his head to shout over his shoulder.
"March! Bring me a copy of the scroll!" He returned to drinking his tea. We all sat in silence until a short man ran in, holding a scroll. He had brown rabbit ears, wore a brown suit and had the brightest green eyes I had ever seen. He passed the scroll to Hatter, before bowing slightly and running away again. Hatter indicated in the direction he left.
"James March, the head librarian. He doesn't like other people much." He slowly put down the china teacup and rolled out the scroll. At the bottom were many signatures, one of which I recognised.
"Hey, that's my Gran's signature." I pointed out. Hatter responded.
"Hay is for horses, my dear. And, yes, that is your Grandmother's signature." Daniel frowned.
"This is a copy of the agreement between the Red and White Lords and Ladies, this scroll ended the war between them."
"Then why is Gran's signature on here?" Hatter smiled his evil little grin.
"Give me a kiss, and I will tell you." His face grew closer, but stopped a few inches from mine. Daniel drew in a breath. I sighed, and leaned forward, at the last minute veering sideways, giving him a kiss on the cheek. Hatter grinned even wider.
"I see that the two of us can play this game." He whispered into my ear. I pulled back, sitting further back on the sofa. He cleared his throat before continuing.
"The Liddell's have always been one of the greatest White families. They were the first to rebel against the Red Queen, the first to nominate the White King and the last to fall during the war."
"That means that Andrea's Grandmother was a Lady." He blinked a couple of times. "Which also means Andrea is a Lady." He ran a hand through his hair.
"Correct. However, Alice Liddell, Miss Liddell's Grandmother, went to the human world to search for something. Only she didn't return." I frowned, remembering the story slightly.
"Granny always said that she had come for a reason, but never told us what it was. She would always just look at me and say 'You'll see one day, then you'll never come back.'" I had starter fiddling with the bracelet she had given me when I turned eighteen. Hatter noticed the movement.
"May I?" I held my left arm out so that he could get a better look. He smiled.
"Looks like she found it after all."