Secrets That Children Keep (Book 2 of the Secrets on the Walls series)

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Chapter 16

“Ouch,” I muttered, rubbing my aching feet. All day was nothing but practicing for a dance that Lady Faye wanted me to participate in for the wedding. I wanted to decline, but it was apparently a tradition for all the nobles and royals to join in. It was fascinating to learn more about the culture of this particular world. But some traditions were a bit too tiresome -- especially after endless hours of practice.

“Your feet are killing you too?”

Dem limped across the parlor, but he sustained a smile that excused the pain that he must have endured. He fell into the chair across from me and huffed out a sigh.

“Yes,” I said, “though I hope you’re not complaining too much, you’re not the one in heels.”

“Not currently, but everyone will have to wear them at the wedding tomorrow,” Dem stated. “So yes, I can complain.”

“Ah.” I breathed in as a flash of pain coursed through my toes. “Please tell me we get to sit after the dance.”

“We will, it’ll be dinner time.”

“Good.” I rested my head back on the cushion.

“If your feet are still hurting tomorrow, you don’t have to dance.”

“No, I don’t want to be rude,” I said, “and I especially don’t want to face Lady Faye’s wrath.”

“Yes, she’s quite—” Dem paused to steal a glance over his shoulder, “—demanding.”

I leaned my head to the side, almost anticipating Lady Faye to burst through the door, but when only silence followed, I smiled, grateful that Lady Faye didn’t have the hearing capability of an owl.

“Well, tomorrow’s the wedding,” Dem continued, “aside from the fear of losing your feet, are you looking forward to it?”

“It’ll be nice,” I said, “Sybil picked out a wonderful dress for me to wear.”

“Hopefully Lady Faye doesn’t get jealous of it,” Dem said. “She made sure that she had the perfect dress. Immediately after the engagement, Lady Faye ordered her servants to search the world for the rarest materials for her dress. There’s a rumor that she secured her dress in a glass case underground until the wedding to make sure nothing happens to it.”

“I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s true,” I said, rolling my eyes.

“Adrian jokes that Faye will throw him in the case when they become king and queen,” Dem added with an airy laugh.

I frowned, I was about tell him exactly how true that joke might have been, but the image of the dagger that Lady Faye threatened me with played in my mind, causing me to freeze up.

“Suzette?”

“Hmm?” I blinked to see Dem now standing in front of me, giving me a concerned look.

“You blanked out for a moment, are you okay?”

“Yes,” I said, rising to my feet. “I’m tired, that’s all.” I really was tired but. . .I didn’t want to say anything to Dem, I could only hope that nothing bad happens tomorrow.

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