WARNING: Some might consider the following risqué.
Cardelia should have known that her maid servant, Helena had ulterior motives when she agreed to help her escape. She hid under her own bed, in her own room, thinking that they would do only a cursory search of her quarters. She was right. Cardelia stifled a laugh when Helena was the one ordered to search her room.
Later, when Helena brought her food, she told her how Dianthe had been ordered to play-act as Cardelia for the nobleman, Xavier, who had just arrived. Cardelia knew of Dianthe, the healer, who rumored to have magical gifts, just like her mother before her. They were close in age and similar in colouring. She’d heard the whispered rumors, just like everyone else. No wonder they’d immediately thought of Dianthe as a substitute. Nevertheless, she felt bad that Dianthe was forced into a deception and vowed to make it up to her once she returned
Cardelia was surprised a nobleman had arrived a complete moon’s cycle after the invitations had been issued, but the visitors had unknowingly provided the perfect means for Cardelia’s escape. She’d slip away when everyone’s attention would be focused on the departing visitors.
Helena had arranged a horse for her and helped her cut off her hair and bind her breasts. It was dangerous to be a women traveling alone. All she had left to do was wait out the night.
Helena’s boisterous laughter outside the room roused her from her fitful slumber and she knocked her head on the underside of the bed. She gathered her wits and curled into herself as she made out the legs of Helena and a man and then heard them crash down together on the pallet above her.
Cardelia tried desperately not to hear or to imagine (although it didn’t take much) what was going on above her. It was obvious that they both found pleasure in their…exertions.
She was going to rip into Helena once she got back. She wondered if Helena had used her bedroom for her ‘activities’ in the past. The thought made her nauseous.
There was a brief time of quiet overhead and then someone lit a candle. It was only as the man, Xavier (Helena had shouted it aloud several times) walked towards the door that she risked a look. The licentious lout was gorgeous.