1618: i

Aimée sat in her room alone twisting the bobbins of her lacework. It was tedious work, but the pressure of the throwing knives in her sheepskin and lacework garter was reassuring. A secret she kept that reminded her of the power she still retained over her fate. She had heard a wagon on the road below and had thought nothing of it. It was about the time for supplies to arrive from town anyway. However, it wasn’t long before Sister Teresa was at her door.

“Mademoiselle, there is a woman here to see you. She is awaiting you in the Abbess’s study,” she said. Aimée began to carefully mark her place in her work.

“Do you know her? Is she a messenger from the Count?” Aimée asked. Sister Teresa shook her head.

“Neither. She is a sister from a convent in Paris.” Sister Teresa waited patiently by the door. Aimée laid her bobbins in preparation for her imminent return and rose from her seat.

“Well then, how can I resist a mystery?” Aimée said. She exchanged a smile with Sister Teresa and followed her obediently to the Abbess’s chambers. Sister Teresa slowed her stride and walked next to Aimée.

“How long has it been…” the nun began. She saw Aimée’s eyes dart at her in warning. “…Since you’ve had word.” She was referring to Gilles, who had left Aimée to cool her heels in the convent before winter set in. His letters had grown sparse. His tone weary of her constant badgering to join him where ever he was. Aimée frowned.

“Ten weeks, three days.”

“I do hope you consider me your friend, Mademoiselle. You can still find joy here in our quiet life if you choose to stay with us,” Sister Teresa whispered cautiously. Aimée bit her tongue to keep from laughing.

“You wish me to stay?”

“Yes, very much so. Please say you’ll at least think on it,” she pleaded. Aimée nodded.

“I will, but first let us see what this stranger is all about.” Aimée gestured at the study door as they came to a stop. Teresa nodded and reached for the latch.

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