Memories Lost in Time

Katirina Hartford is a 16 year old girl from Gold Gait High. Everything is fine until she discovers a family secret. Soon she finds herself in a sticky situation in the past, trapped. She must find her way home and while fighting for her life and for the love of her life. There is mystery, deception, and high stakes. Will she make it home, or will she be stuck in the past?

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7. Marcell’s Secrets

CHAPTER 6

Marcell’s Surprise

    Later that day…

I arrive at the manner shortly after she left me, I can still picture her in my arms. When she looked upon me, her brown eyes faded, no longer brown, melting into rays of golden sunlight like copper and honey. I don’t think I could ever tire of her eyes. Nor the way her brown hair parted from her bun flowing down to frame her face. Her scent still lingers on my shirt, the smell of blossoming flowers, and a fresh rain in spring time, yet like cinnamon dark and dry but sweet and warm.

“Sir your father is expecting you in the study.” Edmund brings me out of my daze with a gentle touch.

“Hm? Oh yes, I’ll be right along.”

“If you don’t mind my inquiry,” says Edmund.

“Yes Edmund?”

“Where have you been? I haven’t see you this happy since you switched the name cards at your 8th birthday ball.”

“Ah yes, those were the days. But I am always in a good mood, am I not?”

“Well, yes sir, but this is like a whole new you. You have a new pep in your step.”

“Now Edmund, I wouldn't go as far as to say that, it’s not that unusual for me to be happy.” I wave him off and head toward the study. I stop by my room. I remove my tailcoat and waistcoat, grab a fresh waistcoat from the wardrobe. After washing the grit of the morning from my face I head to the study. The study has always been one of my favorite places mostly because it isn’t used much. I  would sit in the window box on the balcony so contently reading my book. No one knows about the window seat, I found it when I was little. It was rather a miracle I found it really, I had just climbed the ladder to the second story of books when I tripped and moved the bookcase. When I looked up there was light coming from behind the wood work. Prying the panel open I found a walkway. I ventured into the walkway, it smelled of rotting wood and dust. Gradually the path got wider opening to this little room with a box seat window. Whenever I need space to get away I come here for hours at a time. After a while I brought pillows and other decor to the room to make it look lively. As I walk into the study I am greeted by a group of people. My father at the head of the group, next to him my mother, then there was Priscilla and her brother Nigel. Priscilla sees me, and in a flourish she comes to my side.

“Hello darling, how’ve you been?” she says with a broad smile.

“Fine, and you?” I say with a slight bow

“Oh just wonderful, the planning is almost finished. But I must say I am rather upset with your abrupt exit at the ball the other night.” Her face is joyful but her eyes hold anger and annoyance.

“My beloved…” I choose my next words carefully. ”Would you join me outside for a stroll through the gardens?” I offer her my arm. Priscilla hesitates.

“That is a lovely idea darling, while you’re gone we shall talk to Nigel about the hunt.” Mother smiles at me with a small wave.

Reluctantly Priscilla takes my arm and we leave the room. We walk through the manner in silence, only when we arrive under the cover of the trees, at the entrance to the garden does she say something.

“What's the matter with you?” she says, harshly releasing my arm.

“What do you mean darling?” I say in an easy tone keeping my face neutral.

She takes her fan in her left hand and fans herself, meaning “leave me” in the code of the women.

“First off you missed your tailoring appointment this morning and you were due to have tea at the manner with our parents. I had to sit there in the middle of their blabbering and hold the conversation myself, it was rather a bore, and Nigel wasn't much fun either. Not to mention that you still haven’t finalized this engagement with a ring as I was assured by your father you would by now.”  She shuts her fan abruptly, meaning “hate.”

“Darling I--”

“Don’t.” She cuts me off and walks away. I sigh audibly and go after her.

“Persi,” I shout, starting at a light jog, if she thought I am to run in these pants she is wrong. After a minute I catch up to her. I decide using nicknames  might soothe her anger.

“Persi it's not what you think, I just went on a walk to clear my head and-” She turns to me with big eyes and  pouting lips.

“Then who is the wretched girl you were dancing with? Did you think she was prettier than me?” She looks at me as I think. “YOU HAVE TO THINK ABOUT IT?!” she fumes. Tears start to stream down her face as she gives me her shoulder walking by. I catch her elbow and draw her in a embrace, a cold one, but an embrace nonetheless. But she will have none of that. She immediately pulls away.

“You have nothing to fear, Persi: they don’t call you the Crown Jewel for nothing.” I give her a slight smile. It isn’t a lie: she is remarkable standing before me she wears a simple gown. Her blonde hair is pulled back in a simple braid around the crown of her head. Her sunkissed skin gleams in the golden rays that break through the trees. Her eyes are the deepest blue of the darkest seas as the storm in her eyes brew. She looks at me pointedly with her straight nose. She smiles a cruel smile flashing her perfect teeth and sticking her chin forwards with a renewed boldness. She gives me a cool confident sneer and grounds herself saying, “That's right chuckaboo, I’m bricky and I know it.” She gives me a cold stare.

I can’t remember the last time I had been called “chuckaboo”, it is the name all of us kids these days call our close friends. I mentally scoff at her, calling herself bricky like that, thinking she is brave and beautiful is only the tip of the iceberg with her and I carry the mild interest to fish out the bottom.

“Oy!” she yells hitting me with her fan stopping my inner babel. “Are you even listening?”

“Yes, dearest,” I grumble being as polite as I can. I am not one to hurt people, Priscilla on the other hand has a knack for it.

“Ugh. I don't know why father had to choose a gent such as yourself, I mean not that you aren't appealing and what not but to be honest you are not my type. But don't let that fool you, instead let it be known that I will let nothing break this betrothal. But also know …” Her blue eyes lighten at the break in the storm they carry and her tone softens “Know that I do care for you, my Marcellus, and I should want nothing and no one to come between us my love.” She holds her hand to my cheek, and I lean into it.  I care for her, I do, but there is something behind those eyes that makes  me weary, and after last night I don't believe I care for her the same as yesterday. In those few minutes I had spent with Katirina I feel a different sort of connection with her than Priscilla.  If I am being true to myself I won’t be with Priscilla in the first place, but my father insists that it is tradition that I'm betrothed. It is my duty he tells me, it is an honor. If one more person speaks to me about duty and tradition I do believe my head will explode.

“May I escort you indoors my dearest? I find myself with the beginnings of a headache.”

“Anything for you darling.” And like that she is the sweet girl I had grown up knowing.


 

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