Thursday, April 2, 2009

Katharine and Dane - Chapter 7 - Elizabeth's Arrival

The very next day Elizabeth arrived at Charland Castle. She was greeted like royalty. Even though she knew it was all a ruse, it still felt so real! She has always wondered what it would be like to be Katharine, and now she would get to find out.

She knew she looked enough like Katharine to fool the people of Charland, and Oswald’s spies, but having never met the Duke or the Prince, she could only hope that they were similar enough to fool Oswald’s men.

There was a lot resting on this meeting, and the next few days. If Oswald’s spies suspected that Dane and Katharine were not in Charland, or knew of Edward and Douglas’ plan…there would be trouble, lots of trouble.

Edward could see so much of Katharine in Elizabeth, the way she walked, and held herself. He was impressed. She had the same chestnut hair, pale skin, slim figure. It was only up close that the illusion began to fail. Elizabeth had a slightly curvier figure, was about 3 inches taller. Katharine’s eyes were blue, while Elizabeth’s were a warm brown. The biggest difference Edward could see was that Elizabeth had a loud, kind, happy voice. Katharine had always had a more mellow, gentle quality to her voice, and rarely spoke. Elizabeth hadn’t stopped talking and asking questions of Christine since she had arrived. Edward smiled, and Christine patted the young woman’s shoulder.

“Child, child, please slow down… All will be answered shortly.” Christine soothed. “All your bags are already being taken to your quarters.” She motioned for one of her ladies to come forward. “This is Sarah, she will attend to you while you are here. She will arrange for anything you need.”

Elizabeth was speechless, looking back and forth between Sarah and the Queen. She got a servant? But…how would that work? She didn’t know how to order anyone around…

“Thank you, Your Majesty.” She finally got out. “I would like to go freshen up before I meet…”

“Dane?” Edward interrupted. “Oh yes Katharine, of course you would!” Oh, yes, Dane, she thought to herself.

“Your highness?” Sarah asked meekly, “May I show you to your bath? I had one drawn for you, it should be ready now. Please, follow me.” Elizabeth nodded, and followed. This would certainly be interesting. She rarely got a real bath, though Katharine had insisted that Elizabeth get a nice bath as often as she could get away with it. Elizabeth realized just how much like sisters the two girls had become, and yet how different they still were. Elizabeth remembered sharing a bath with Katharine when they were little, splashing each other, and getting in trouble for making everything in the bathroom wet. She smiled…

“Here are your quarters, m’lady.” Sarah gestured, “Shall I assist you with your dress?” Elizabeth paused. Then nodded. She felt odd being helped. Not having to do so much for herself. She had always had some help, but not like this. The young servant girl undid the stays on the back of the dress, and Elizabeth stepped out of the simple green riding dress. She felt so naked in just her chemise, but she knew that it was normal to see Katharine in hers… and that the girl helping her would not feel at all awkward. “ The bath is this way m’lady.” There was a beautiful screen, and behind it a tub, much like the one in Katharine’s room. “Can I assist you further?” The young woman asked cautiously. Sarah was not sure how to handle the Princess. She had been told that Katharine was cranky, and could fly off the handle at any moment, yell and scream over the smallest misstep. She had seen no indication of this so far, but didn’t want to chance it.

“No, thank you Sarah. I’d like a little privacy.” Elizabeth said, gently. She smiled gratefully at the young servant girl. Sarah excused herself, and left very, very confused.