Wrath (3 of 6)

(simonprocter.blogspot.dk/2012/09/simon-procter-portrait-of-astrid-berges.html)

(simonprocter.blogspot.dk/2012/09/simon-procter-portrait-of-astrid-berges.html)

The slap echoed down the hallway. The maid stepped back, hand to her cheek, her eyes were wide.

‘How dare you?’ said Aurelia. Her cheeks were pale in stark contrast to the rouge on her cheekbones.

‘But ladyship,’ said the maid.

‘How dare you!’ Aurelia raised a bejewelled hand again. The piles of hair gathered on her head resembled a storm cloud, complete with pearl droplets.

‘But it really happened,’ said the maid.

‘Slander!’ Aurelia shook and a pearl fell. Her blood felt aflame, ‘I’ll have you flayed!’

‘I’m telling the truth!’ The maid fell to her knees and covered her face with her arms, ‘Lady Laura kissed Henry on the cheek. I saw it!’

‘My daughter would never.’

‘I’m sorry m’ ladyship,’ said the maid, ‘she did. Gary saw it too.’

Chest heaving, Aurelia lowered her hand.

‘Was anyone else there?’ she asked.

‘No,’ said the maid in a small voice, ‘just Lady Laura, Henry, Gary and me. And I wouldn’t have been there if I hadn’t been told to clean the drapes.’

Aurelia stared at the trembling figure before her, jaw clenched.

‘If I find out that you’ve lied to me,’ she said.

‘I swear,’ whimpered the maid.

Aurelia gathered her skirts and swept down the hallway towards the servant’s quarters.

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