Ari considered the dress laid out, ready for her to be dressed in. Unfortunately, she was not the empty-headed, obedient little doll her mother wished her to be. She dismissed it with a wave and a grimace and turned to her wardrobe.
The maid, a devoted sycophant of her mother protested. Ari froze her with a look. “I intend to go into this meeting looking like an adult, not some overgrown child who can’t bear to leave her fantasy fairytale land.”
The woman continued to protest, Ari strode to the door and threw it open. The guards outside startled as she snarled. “Get this woman and her frilly monstrosity out of my rooms and fetch Rosa.”
The two men looked past her and cringed at the sight of the dress. The older one looked at the younger, who sighed. “Very good, Your Highness.”
He ambled into the room and steered the goggle-eyed, gabbling women out. “Off you go now love, pop that thing off to Princess Esterelle, she’ll love it.”
Ari raised a brow, it was a good observation and a good suggestion. Her mother would barely bother to notice which daughter was wearing the thing until it was too late.
The maid seemed to come to the same conclusion, she shook out the dress and knocked on the door opposite Ari’s.
Rosa answered the door, good that saved time too. Ari beckoned her over. “My mother had Esterelle’s dress delivered to the wrong room, could you come and help me with mine?”
Rosa suppressed a smirk as she looked over the dress and bowed her head. “Of course, Your Highness.”
From the other side of the door, Esterelle’s voice could be heard. First querulous, then enthusiastic as the other maid shuffled inside with the pink-and-white pouffe held high.