“Nana!” Rosomon exclaimed as she ran into Lady Faulkner’s arms.
“Ah, my little Rosomon,” she said, holding the girl tightly. “What have you been up to of late?”
The girl’s nose scrunched as she looked at her grandmother, “Studying, mostly.”
The older woman laughed, “Ah, well best not show your father this, then.” She pulled a wrapped gift from a nearby shelf.
“Thank you,” the girl said before running off to the other side of the sitting room to show Maegi her gift.
“Mother,” Isamina chastised.
“Oh hush now, girl, neither you nor that husband of yours is going to prevent me from spoiling my grandchild.” Sitting down primly on the settee she continued, “I still cannot believe, after all these years, that you were able to convince your father marry you off to that man.”
“Love, mother. Love is how I convinced him.”
She harrumphed, “Money is more like it.”
“Have you heard of this day’s Parliament yet?” Isamina attempted to change the topic.
“Nay,” she said. “But I suspect we will at the Gale’s party tonight. Hah! We are not even in North Pass and they were able to put together an event!”
She looked over at her granddaughter who was in the middle of sorting the gifts and heard her say softly, “Look at this ribbon, Maegi! Here, it matched your eyes!”
Rosomon looked around the room crowded with imposing, well-dressed figures.
She felt a hand at her back. “Don’t wander off tonight,” came her father’s voice. They made their way to Viscount Gerald and his family. “Gerald, I was pleased to see you did not yield to Lord Bradford’s demands this time.”
“The man simply does not know when enough is enough,” he replied.
As the men talked, their wives caught up on the day’s ventures. Lady Peronell had found a lovely shop by the harbor with all of the latest imports from Hestralia.
Rosomon’s mind drifted off her gaze wandered. She spotted several other children around, most her age or older. She saw one girl with long brown hair and a pretty red dress. She looked down at hers – her family’s colors – and wondered why none of her dresses were red.
“There you are,” she turned at the familiar voice. “Kirk, you remember Rosomon,” Gunter told him.
“Of course, how could I forget your little thing.”
Gunter chuckled. “How have your lessons been going?”
“Very well. I have been studying the history of Rogalia.” She did not mention that she was mostly learning about where everything was located and other basics.
“Oh? Seems a heavy topic for a girl, especially one so young. What are you now, five?”
“Nearly seven,” Rosomon straightened. “Pardon me.” She turned around and walked a table with an assortment of treats on it with Maegi in toe.
“Those boys do not seem very nice.”
Rosomon looked up to see the girl in the red dress. “You are not entirely wrong,” she said, glancing behind her.
“I am Lady Alexandra Gale,” the other girl said.
“A pleasure to meet you, I am Lady Rosomon,” she replied. She paused for a moment, but could not hold back, “I love your dress!”