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Sugar Without Spice | 4pm April 4th

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In the middle of the Strand, one of the largest attractions was the French candy store. Particularly famous was the French nougat, the sugared almonds, the honey cakes and of course the lemonade, sold in bottles.
The candy shop awaits in all its glory. In the window they displayed a variety of tarts and especially Honey Cakes. There were also a variety of ornaments made of sugar, some of them very clever. There was a white coach with white horses and a lady in a light blue dress with a little sparkling tiara. The tableau was incredibly life like. 
Chocolate in small doses as bonbons like the French called them or truffles. And, of course, a multitude of different kinds of nougat.


The recently labelled eldest Dunbar had taken it upon herself to continue to see more of the city that she would be residing in for the season, a wise move if you asked her! 

She began her stroll through the heart of the bustling city, tiptoeing across the cobblestones as she took in the sights of ladies and gentleman dressed in their own finery. She was aware to dodge the great steeds which carried goods or people within the carriages that they pulled. Taking her time to marvel at the variety of shops littering every edge of the pathway. 

In this sense she did feel far from home, for her sea faring abode was not in abundance of shops. It did not mean that she preferred one place, for she found herself admiring London for its accessibility and her homeland for cloak of serenity that it wrapped her in. 

Iona grasped the bonnet that sat atop her head as the wind blew, her blonde locks blowing into her face and almost making for a very hairy supper. She did not quite fancy eating her own hair so she blew outward in return as she battled the prevailing winds that had decided to disrupt the good weather that they had been having for the majority of the day. With her petite frame, she was becoming frustrated as she felt as though she could quite possibly blow away and thus decided to retreat into the closest place that would accept her. 

She readjusted herself and raised her head to glance around the surroundings of her sanctuary. The Lord must've been on her side! Her mouth fell open and her pupils increased in size as she took in the mouthwatering delights that begged to be bought and devoured completely. By herself. 

"Hello?" she called out as she grasped her purse with every intent of buying the whole shop if she could. 

Edited by Iona Dunbar
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Nobody answered Iona's call. It was as if the candy store was deserted.


At least until the door opened again and the tinkling bell heralded the arrival of two young ladies and their chaperone. Both girls were very pretty and finely dressed. They appeared to be in their early to mid teens and looked enough alike that they were probably sisters. They held their hats in their hands and their curls were tousled from the wind. The eldest frowned as she gazed toward the empty counter while the younger perused all the sweets upon display.


“Good day,” the older girl said to Iona. Her hazel eyes shone with curiosity and her expression was friendly. “Are you waiting for your order?” It was the only explanation she could think of to explain the shopkeeper's absence. Perhaps this girl had made a special request and had come to pick it up.


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The blonde stood in the centre of the shop, fidgeting with the material of her purse as she waited for assistance to come. 

But it didn't. 

She thought it to be slightly odd, but perhaps the owner of the shop had not heard her correctly. "Hello?" she spoke once again in an elevated voice . 

Iona's eyebrows twitched and she scrunched up her face, titling her head as she tried to look for any signs of life. The shop wouldn't be open if they were not going to be serving, it was all very peculiar. 

She was about to take her leave back into the wild winds when she was stopped by the sound of a light ringing accompanied by footsteps. A bright smile took hold of her features as she was addressed by one of the owners of the footsteps. "I  was going to try to order something, but there seems to be no one serving," she explained to the girl.

Surveying the two, she could see very clearly that they were a small bit younger than herself and thus she felt terribly sorry to have to crush their hopes of acquiring some satisfying treats! 

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  • 2 weeks later...

“That's odd,” the oldest girl replied. “I've never been here when there wasn't someone at the counter.”


“Maybe they're baking new treats,” the younger speculated without taking her eyes away from the sweets.


The elder shrugged and smiled at Iona. “While we wait, we might as well become acquainted. I'm Lady Margaret Cavendish and the girl drooling over the candy is my sister Catherine. We've come to buy some candy for our youngest sister. She's feeling under the weather today.”


“I'm not drooling. And I still think you bribed her into faking an illness to avoid that meeting about your marriage prospects.”


“I did not, Kitty. I'm looking forward to getting married.” Margaret changed the subject. “Are you new to court?” she asked Iona. “I don't remember seeing you at any of the balls last season.”



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Iona's head nodded enthusiastically in reply to the girl's declaration. She had never been to this particular shop, however she assumed that nearly every shop would not be open if there was not someone providing service behind the counter. 

A small titter of laughter was emitted from her lips as she gazed softly at the younger lass who appeared optimistic that the shop would soon be bustling with the arrival of more delicacies. 

Iona was somewhat amused by the correspondence between the two sisters, it reminded her of a time when she was younger and she gulped down in hopes of escaping the familiar pang that plagued her days.

"I'm Mistress Iona Dunbar, pleased to make your acquaintance in this unusual situation. I am sorry to hear that, I'm sure the treats would have cheered her up too. Nonetheless I wish her a speedy recovery," Iona dipped her head as she delivered her pleasantries. She hoped she had not made a mistake in her introductions for she was still becoming accustomed to having to introduce herself in full. 

"I am new indeed," she offered Margaret a smile. "Did I miss anything interesting at those balls?" she inquired with sheer curiosity. 

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“It's a pleasure to meet you as well,” Margaret said. Catherine echoed her sister's greeting and finally left the display of candy to join them. “Thank you for your kind words,” the elder girl continued. “Bella will be fine. She's only four and she'll probably be running around as usual tomorrow.”


“Of course she will,” Catherine muttered darkly, “since she was never sick in the first place.”


Margaret ignored her and answered Iona's question instead. “I actually only went to one. I wasn't supposed to debut until this season but I begged my parents to let me attend the New Years Eve Ball. It was quite exciting. Nothing out of the ordinary happened while I was there, though. Just a lot of music, dancing, drinking, and other forms of merriment. I hope there will be more of them this season.”


Catherine looked over at Iona. “You're Scottish, aren't you? I can tell by your accent.”


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The flaxen haired girl positively beamed at the elder girl's words, the disappointment of being unable to gain access to confectionery displaced by the thrill of meeting new people. "Ahh, she sounds just precious!" she cooed, clasping her hands together as her cheeks ballooned. 

Iona noted the discord between the two siblings, although she was not going to get involved in the bickering that often went on between relations. She did however wonder what Catherine had meant by her declaration.  

She had to admire the young lady for her perseverance which lead to her being permitted to attend the ball she had spoken about. Iona herself had never attended a ball quite to the scale of what she imagined ones at court to be like and yet this girl a few years younger than her had already accomplished that! 

"Oh my, they do give the impression of being absolutely wonderful affairs. I am sure that there will be plenty this season," she gleamed. 

Iona glanced delicately at Catherine "Why, yes I am," she giggled. "Although I have to say there are those Scots with much stronger accents than I," she nodded. She was a lowlander and she knew from experience that the Scots who hailed from above the River Forth could be incredibly hard to understand even for a native Scot.

"Where do you two hail from?" she included Margaret in her query, she knew that they were English although she considered it polite to show an interest in their whereabouts. 

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“She is sometimes,” Margaret agreed about her youngest sister. “But she can also be annoying, just like all my sisters.” She cast a pointed glance at Catherine and the younger girl rolled her eyes. Luckily, their governess didn't see her momentary lapse of decorum.


“I hope you're right,” Margaret said with a little sigh. “So far, this season has been rather quiet. Everyone is probably preparing for the House of Lords tomorrow. After it's over, there will probably be plenty of events to attend.”


Iona admitted that she was, indeed, Scottish. Margaret spoke again. “I can hear your accent, but you're quite easy to understand. I've met some Scots who sound as if they are speaking another language. I hate having to ask them to repeat themselves and speak slower. None of them ever seem to mind.” Which, she knew, was one of the privileges of being the daughter of a Duke … instant respect.


“We're English,” Catherine answered the blonde woman's question and then asked another of her own. “Did you come to court with your family or did they stay in Scotland?”


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