Eliza dipped the cloth into the cold water, drenching it before dabbing it on Rose's forehead.
Rose had come down with some sort of flu, a reaction to some foreign material the physician said. She lay in bed, red hot, fatigued and shaky. It had really upset her missing a tea party with her friends and a floral display at the gardens, but there was really nothing she could do until she was better.
"Is that better sweetie?"
Rose nodded. She was better than she had been, it was really only the fever and a bit of tiredness that remained. Nobody liked seeing the youngest Greystone ill, she was usually so sweet and happy. At least she'd be well soon enough.
They were all taking it in turns to care for her, even taking over from servants. Heck, even the servants were worried about Rose- everybody loved her.
"Do you want me to plait your hair?"
Eliza clambered into the bed beside Rose, taking her sister's lovely blonde hair and starting to brush it. She'd always had that special bond with Rose. The two sisters understood one another, they were the most alike- most at home at tea parties, dances and doing ladylike activities. Eddie was a man and well, Hannah preferred reading alone. Eliza remembered holding Rose when she was barely an hour old, completely entranced and glad she was no longer the baby of the family.
"You are going to be so popular when you attend society. Won't it be fun when we can go together? We'll dress up and dance."
"You might be married by then."
"I do hope so."
"Henrietta's brother likes you."
"Lord Gerald? Hmm, he seems nice, I don't know him so well but they're a good family. Mama thinks the Duke of Rutherford's son may be interested but she also heard that he's hoping to marry one of the girls who the prince is due to wed. I wouldn't mind marrying his son, I'd be a Duchess one day which would be nice. Marrying well means prospects for you and Eddie, which is important. Hannah, well, I don't think she needs my help."
"Why doesn't she want to get married?"
"I don't know sweetie, but there's no point trying to persuade her. Maybe she'll join a convent."
"Don't tease, I'd miss her terribly."
"As would I."
There was a knock at the door.
"Come in!" Eliza called.
Eddie and Hannah both entered.
"Room for more?" Eddie asked.
Rose nodded, so the siblings grabbed some seats and joined her at the beside.
"I thought you might want to hear about my morning with Sir Archibald's eldest daughter?"
They all laughed as Rose nodded excitedly, straightening up.
"If I'm honest, I would have liked to see more of Miss. Maria, she's the middle one, but I'd offend the family if I didn't choose the eldest so Miss. Jane it was. Anyway, we took a walk around the gardens. It was pleasant. She's a nice girl, good family and good at conversation. I didn't feel my heart pounding with excitement but it's not all about love, is it? I'd like to see more of her, so we're attending a play."
"What did she wear?" Rose asked.
"A burgundy feathered cap and matching velvet dress. Before you asked, I complimented her outfit, I'm not stupid. I'm still disappointed Lady Millicent was taken off the market before I had a chance to ask, I must admit. One must move quickly in these matters as mother is always reminding us."
YOU ARE READING
An Inconvenient AttractionHistorical Fiction
Lady Elizabeth 'Eliza' Greystone is summoned from her finishing school to enter society. She catches the eye of the heir to the throne, Prince Alexander, but there's a problem. He must marry a girl from one of the old families. As Eliza attempts to...