1619: iii

Once the Queen was settled in her chambers, Aimée excused herself and returned to the rooms she shared with her aunt, the Countess de Lannoy. The common room was empty as Aimée crossed to the writing desk and sat down. She laid the letter before her with her hands resting on top of it, the writing still obscured. She sat for a few quiet minutes trying to slow her heart as she took several deep breaths before she dared herself to look. She pulled her hands away and gasped. It was not familiar handwriting that spelled out Mademoiselle de Lannoy. Her hesitation stopped as curiosity rose to take over. She hastily picked up the letter and broke the seal.

Mademoiselle,

It has been a long time since we last met and enjoyed an evening of games and conversation before I introduced you to my cousin, Teresa. Please oblige me with a private audience tonight in the Tuileries gardens at half past nine. Keep nearer the Seine and I will find you.

M. Jacques de la Houdinière

He did not admit to what the meeting was to concern and the evening at the inn after her escape from the Dowager had been an enjoyable one. She did not have many friends in Paris and Sister Teresa rarely had much to say due to the quiet life of the convent and perhaps some sore feelings from being left behind for Paris.

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