Orb's Year 945
"Nothing," Gwendolyn answered quickly, praying her twin just walked past them and went to her room. If not, she was sure Gwenivieve would pick a fight about something small and trivial! And she was not up to that tonight...
Thankfully, luck was on their side. Gwenivieve passed by with a snooty sniff and slammed the door to their room.
"I'll be back later," Gwenivieve said some time later when she finally emerged from the room.
Dresden glanced up at the wayward daughter. "Where are you going?" he asked.
But Gwenivieve ignored him and hurried from the house.
Gwendolyn patted her father's shoulder in comfort, but the truth was that not even she knew what plagued her sister!
"Of course not!" Gwenivieve snapped. "I came to get answers!"
"You foolish girl!" Gwen growled. "We need that money!"
Gwenivieve shrugged, "Well, your threats never reached father... or should I say the cuckold Dresden! First I want answers. Who is my father? Where have you been? Why didn't you take me?!"
Gwen slapped her mouthy daughter. "Enough!" she yelled. "You have meddled enough in business that doesn't concern you!"
Gwenivieve held her cheek, teetering between rage and self-pity. "You slapped me!" she said in shock.
Gwen brought her finger to her chin and tapped thoughtfully. "Although... perhaps you can be of use..."
"...you slapped me!" Gwenivieve repeated.
Gwen irritably raised her hand. "And I'll do it again, girl! Now pay attention. Are you listening?" At Gwenivieve's nod, her estranged mother continued. "We are seeking revenge against those who conspired against your father, Prince Geoffrey L'Adventurer - rightful heir to the Kingdom of Franco! Gather any information you can. We are going to destroy Celestia..."
Quietly, she searched through the scrolls on the desk, looking for any information that her mother would find useful. She would not fail her now...
...but that didn't make any sense...
Perhaps he just needed help organizing all the information he'd amassed. And it was time for young Holden to begin showing some initiative!
"Cataloging your scrolls?" Holden asked. "Isn't that menial labor? Scribe's work?"
"Well, you must start somewhere!" Dresden said diplomatically. "Just remember that all the information you see is top secret..."
Orb's Year 946
Alessandra Knowles & Eleanor Knightley glanced at each other, slightly confused. Gwenivieve had always seemed to disdain them...
Alessandra frowned. "I don't really listen to gossip..."
Gwenivieve locked her jaw. "Well, but certainly you've heard something!" she pressed.
Gwenivieve hadn't much luck pushing the girls for information, so she moved to another tactic.
Spencer chuckled nervously. "No need for that! Can you believe that the Prince of Thieves is actually a girl?!"
Sheldon's chest puffed with pride as he wracked his brain for any information that would keep Gwenivieve in his arms.
Callum scoffed. "My da said the thieves only steal from the Royales. Nothing we would need to fear!" he bragged.
Hmmm... so the thieves have something against the Royales... perhaps that could be useful...
Callum reached around and pulled her closer, mumbling against her lips. "Why do we need to go to the woods when we can just visit the back of the Taveryn's Kitchen?"
Gwenivieve smiled against his lips. "Oh, I just couldn't!" she said, pushing away. "But perhaps if you can bring me information about the thieves..." she trailed off.
BJ smiled wickedly. "Impressed, eh?" he asked with a wink.
BJ cocked an eyebrow. "Well, I'll just have to skewer them with my sword!"
Gwenivieve gasped and placed her hand on her throat. "You'd kill a man?"
"Of course I would if it meant me staying alive!" he boasted.
"How positively manly!" she returned as she fluttered her eyelashes.
Getting down to the purpose of her visit, she fluttered her eyelashes. "I can only hope you won't be away too long. You simply must write to me about any villains or pirates that you meet! That way I can swoon at the thought of your manliness!" Gwenivieve almost cringed, thinking she was laying it on too thick, but BJ's poor ego was eating it all up!
Gwenivieve snuck back up to her father's room. She wasn't getting much useful information from her paltry attempts. She was sure there would be something more useful in her father's notes...
And her father had made it easier by having Holden index and catalogue the scrolls! She reached for one and read the first few lines, growing more and more excited.
Dresden snored loudly and rolled to his side, so Gwenivieve snuck back from the room.
Gwenivieve sighed. "There's a rumor of thieves in the woods that have a grudge against the Royales. There's the possibility of allaying ourselves with Prince Scott Trottier. He apparently bears a grudge against the late King Alexander for giving his daughter, Princess Daphne, to a nobleman instead of him." She shrugged. "And there's a rumor that Prince Earl had an affair with a pixie..."
"A pixie?!" Gwen snapped. "That's ridiculous. I told you to find secrets that would bring down a Kingdom and this is the drivel you give me?"
Gwenivieve crossed her arms. "I've been trying!" she growled. "I don't know what else to do!"
"We'll return in a year's time," Gwen said snidely. "Have something more useful for us then!"
Orb's Year 947
And his nephew Finn had chosen his bride...
Gwenivieve was actually eager to report to her mother that she would soon be married to the Chief of Intel's son. She would be privy to all the secrets in the kingdom! There was no way her mother could find fault with her now!
She wondered what he wanted.
Finn sighed heavily. "Gwendolyn! Thank goodness you came!" he said, pacing across the lawn. "I need you to tell me everything about Gwenivieve! What she likes, what she wants - I want to make sure I can be a good husband to her!"
Gwendolyn's heart sank a little. She wondered if any man would ever care enough to find out her likes and wants...
Gwenivieve reached back for the note, tugging on it with both hands. "It's not nothing if you won't show me!" she snapped as she pulled.
"Gwenivieve, no!" Gwendolyn gasped as her twin sister pulled the note from Finn from her. As Gwenivieve read over the note, she began to blush furiously.
Gwendolyn held her hand out for the letter. "Just give it back, Gwenivieve," she whispered. "It's not like that!" She'd begun writing to Finn to tell him the things that her sister liked, but somewhere along the way, they'd become friends. And she'd fallen in love with him...
Gwendolyn shook her head. "No! I promise, it's not like that! Just give me back my letter!"
Gwenivieve smiled cruelly and ripped the letter to shreds, letting them float to the ground. "Stop writing love letters to my betrothed, dear sister," she said snidely before flouncing from the room.
Gwenivieve dropped to the ground in tears, gathering the pieces of the letter... and her heart...
There was no answer.
Orb's Year 948
Cirdon nodded gravely.
And it was done. They were married.
Gwendolyn nodded, too overcome with emotion to say anything at all.