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The Boyling Point (April 27)


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It had been a long time since Peter Boyle had seen his daughter in an obedient fashion, without threat of a beating. It had been longer still since he had seen her smile. He had caught her smiling once in the past day. The only other time she had smiled in the weeks before was when she had some plot brewing against Charles Whitehurst. She had an unnatural fascination with him; but, the soldier had gone to her father each time she had thought to best him. Interestingly, there seemed to be a more carefree nature to her leisure. She even had a lady friend calling regularly.


Upstairs, in the confines of her room, Wilhelmina Boyle was brushing her coppery hair. She was staring into the vanity mirror as she brushed. No maid was present to help her -- only the female visitor that had come from the palace. The humor had been drained from her eyes, replaced by something more familiar.


"Are you sure?" Mena asked with iron in her voice.


"I fear so. He stood up to the King and the entire court, offering himself in marriage to the Halifax girl. In fairness, other lords did so. The King offered a barony as a dowry for some reason," came the report from feminine lips.


The brushing became more rigorous, if not more passionate. "I suppose that Whitehurst stepped forward too. They are all the same," Mena almost spat. She was never good enough for men that thought their blood blue when, instead, it was the same as Mena's hue.


"No, he did not."


"No matter," Mena lied. "Thank you for coming. You are a good friend." Other women sat in their towers dreaming of their princes. Mena knew there were no such things as princes. Ever cynical, she had hoped to keep an eye on the man that claimed that he was different.


The door shut behind the departing guest with little more than a click. This allowed the Irish lass to rise and surround herself in the splendid isolation that seemed her best attire. Over at the window, she gazed at the moon that was emerging from the clouds. At first glimpse, it was stark and cold, much like its audience. Then, the sight of it became blurry. A stray finger went to her eye, for something must have gotten into it.

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