Taryn held back a shudder when his hand brushed over hers. Seeing him in bed with her, it-…she couldn’t describe the feeling of being at peace it brought. It was as if she could wake up and pretend everything had become as it should be overnight, a dream within her reality.
All dreams much come to an end, however, and it seemed hers was at the just about there. Rosalie ordered a servant to bring tea upstairs to them, as Taryn would never do such a thing, and she happily let herself wake up as Bruce went about the bathroom. Within an hour she’d done the same, Bruce leaving as she had help getting dressed. It was a dress she would have normally protested putting on, but since it came with being Bruce’s fiancée, no complaint was made.
Breakfast was, of course, wonderful. She ate like a bird in front of the others, ignoring the never-ending growls of her stomach. The conversation was relaxed, more or less, compared to the party yesterday, and it actually made Taryn like being there. When the men left she gave a fake smile in response to his kiss blown, her mind having pushed the possibility of him romantically so far away that it was almost painful to see.
But the women were good at getting her mind off things. With the men away they gossiped like they were the only perfect souls on earth. Rosalie threw in her two cents about everything she heard, almost feeling dirty for how judgmental she sounded. Really she was jealous of Titus for getting to hurt, but that wasn’t something she’d ever say out loud. And if she had to stay here, she really wanted to talk about political issues, where everyone stood on the church and King issue, but it was never brought up. Ah, women…
Needless to say, Taryn was more than relieved when Titus came back. She gave him a pleading look, one he recognized in a heartbeat. Just as he’d told everyone that morning, they left just after lunch. “I’ll plan a morning where we can chat over a cup of tea, Rosalie,” Nigel’s wife commented, to which Rosalie accepted graciously.
“I’ll be able to have get-togethers at Bruce’s place before you know it, and we’ll have everyone over, won’t we darling?” she added, looking up at her fiancée expectantly.
And just like that, they were off. Seeing the familiar parts of London brought her back to reality. The dirty alleyways, Norm’s, the crowded streets filled with people who had just about as much income as she. “Titus?” she asked, staring out the window of their carriage. “How will I make money? I-…I’ve been stretching out what you gave me, but I have to admit it won’t last much longer. Do I get paid for my work, or do I need to invest in a business like you did?” she asked, watching as they pulled up to her home. She was more than relieved to hear that starving wasn’t going to be an issue, and she didn’t need to become tight with what she had.
The carriage came to a halt and she sighed, getting out with a small frown. The party was over, as was there charade. At least…for now.
It occurred to Taryn how much this lifestyle meant to her, how much she loved it. The double, or rather triple life, her career as an assassin. Long ago Titus had asked her what she would be, if anything were a possibility. Helping Titus with his invention…that was a laugh now. This was all she wanted: to be the best, and to be at his side while doing so. And that…that was only possible if she were to rise in rank. The faster that process went, the more her chances were of being on top, just as Titus had dreamed of.
“Titus, before I go upstairs and pray Natalie’s there to help me get out of this thing…I know this is the last thing on your mind, but- Titus, I think I’m ready. I know I am. For my first job, I mean.” They stood in front of the inn, a certain commitment and certainty in her eyes. “I know I don’t look it in this frilly dress, and I’m pretty young, but…I want this really bad, and if you think I’m ready then I am. I’m ready to move on…” To be able to go with Titus on missions instead of waiting back home, praying he isn’t dead. “I’m ready to become an assassin.”
The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.