Chapter 16

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*Elizabeth's P.O.V*

I get out of the bathtub, grabbing the towel that is half hanging on the rack and start to dry myself off. The cold has seeped into the bathroom through the windows and I find myself shivering even though I try to dry myself off as quickly as I can. I think I actually manage to irritate my skin with how quickly I was drying myself off.

"Stupid hot water making it feel like it's freezing out here," I mutter as I wrap my towel around myself. I walk out of my bathroom, pausing when I saw a nightgown laid out on my bed for me. It's one of my warmer ones, the fabric thicker to help resist against the cold. My eyes flicker around the room and I notice that there is a tray sitting on my nightstand.

I walk over to it, starting to take the pins out of my hair since I don't feel like sleeping on them. There's a teapot sitting on top of the tray, one of the matching cups sitting next to it. There is a tiny note tucked under the teapot and I move the pot to pick up the note.

'Your mother says that you enjoy Chamomile tea but I didn't know if that was because she enjoys Chamomile or if you actually do. In any case, I couldn't find any so this isn't Chamomile tea. You'll have to tell me your favorite tea soon but for now I made you one that I think will help. It's called Passionflower, I find it to be quite helpful in aiding one to go to sleep,' the note reads. It's unfamiliar handwriting but I quickly deduce that it's from Zelene.

I pour myself a cup of tea, adding in some honey since it was sitting on the tray and I figured that I had to add it then. I sip the tea, my nose wrinkling up slightly at the taste. It's kind of floral but it has an intensely sweet aftertaste that takes over my mouth for a moment. It fades quickly and I sigh softly as I set the teacup down. It tastes quite good so I decide I'll drink more after I get dressed.

I move to get dressed, dropping my towel to the floor as I pick up the nightgown. I don't mind wearing it but I'm thankful that Zelene didn't pick out my underwear for me. I move over to my dresser, grabbing my underwear. I slip it on before putting the nightgown on.

The nightgown goes just past my knees and I smile slightly, looking at myself in the vanity mirror. I hum to myself as I fluff my nightgown out, debating on whether or not I should take the braid my mother had done out. I kind of wanted to keep it up but I didn't know if I should.

I'm pulled out of my inner debate by a knock on my door and I glance at the door, furrowing my eyebrows. "Who is it?" I ask instead of going over to the door and actually answering it.

"Your mother," Mother says, making me huff softly as I grab my cup of tea before slowly walking over to the door. I open the door, staring at my mother with a frown as I raise an eyebrow.

"Can I help you?" I ask after a moment, taking a sip of my tea as I tilt my head.

"Don't be like that," Mother states as she shakes her head slightly, walking into my room. I huff as I throw one of my hands up in the air dramatically before turning to look at her.

"What do you want?" I ask, barely keeping myself from reacting when she raises an eyebrow. It's just a way for her to silently show disapproval as she doesn't say anything, pointing to my vanity chair instead.

"I don't need you to do my hair," I say as I move over to the chair, sitting down after a moment. I can't help but listen to her, I mean she was my mother and she did kind of scare me. Okay not kind of, she definitely did scare me. I nibble my bottom lip as I look down at the floor, a frown on my lips.

"Stop doing that," Mother says as she reaches around me to tug my bottom lip free from my teeth. I click my teeth together in annoyance, only pretending like I am going to bite her thumb for touching my lip.

"If you bite me Elizabeth..." She lets the threat hang in the air and I sit back, watching her as she starts to unbraid my hair.

"Why are you being so insistent on doing my hair? You never ever used to do this," I state, watching her lips as they twitch into a frown. She couldn't get mad at me for saying that though, I was just speaking the truth and I think she knew that.

"Is there something wrong with me wanting to help my daughter with her hair?" Mother asks and I shake my head quickly at her words. There was nothing wrong with her wanting to help, it was just weird of her to help after so long of her not doing it.

"Just be quick," I huff after a moment, squeaking when she taps my shoulder with the hair brush. She had stolen my hairbrush off of my vanity and I hadn't even noticed. Had she taken it just to tap my shoulder with? How rude.

"Don't rush me," she says sternly as she starts to pull it upwards. Her hands are gentle yet show experience. I watch her out of the corner of my eye, wanting to make sure that she isn't plotting something. Also so I can maybe get my hair up like she always used to do hers.

"I see Zelene brought you some tea," Mother comments and I glance down at the teacup that I am holding. I nod as I sip the tea, trying to ignore how tired I am. She grabs a hair tie from off of my vanity, tying my hair up so that I won't lay on my curls when I sleep.

"Are you done? Can I go to bed now?" I ask after a moment, rolling my eyes when she grabs my bonnet from off my vanity.

"I can put that on myself you know," I comment as she puts it on for me, rolling her eyes when I immediately get up.

"Lose the attitude Elizabeth, I'll be here for most of tomorrow and I would very much like not to have to scold you again," Mother says, making me huff as I walk over to my bed, blowing out the candle that was lit on the nightstand.

"Oh no, a scolding. How terrible," I comment casually as I set my teacup down, sitting on the edge of my bed and looking at her.

"Duchess Grey will also be back tomorrow so I suggest that you mind your manners or else I think you will find that she still does not tolerate disrespect," Mother states before she turns and leaves.

"Stupid, bossy women that feel the need to obsess with my life and always tell me what to do," I mutter as I swing my legs up onto the bed, wriggling to get under the covers as my eyes close. I'm pretty sure I imagine it but it sounds like my door opens once I'm nearly asleep and I hear the sound of footsteps.

"Goodnight Elizabeth," Mother whispers as she cups my face, her thumb stroking my cheek. I assume a maid had to have come in as well since I can almost see the fire grow brighter even with my eyes closed. I can certainly feel the warmth that now radiates from it and I sigh contently before I am finally left alone. My eyes open for the briefest second but she's already gone so I bite down whatever I wanted to say and turn over, letting myself fall asleep.

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