Upstairs, opening her wardrobe for the seventh time, Kyra stared at the lifeless dresses she possessed. Shutting the door with a heavy heart, she finally resigned herself to the fact that she had no suitable attire for tomorrow's welcoming party.
Perhaps she could just stay in bed for the day. It wouldn't be that hard to feign an illness. But, what could be done throughout the following days while Blake Ryder's party remained in residence? It was unlikely that Caleb would believe she had contracted such a devastating illness. One look from a doctor would prove she was lying to him, and he was already disgusted with her again as it was.
Sitting down on the bed, she sighed sadly. What had she done to incense him so in Cassandra's room? His icy stare had been almost unbearable to behold. Why had he become so angry with her again? And, what was his relationship with the woman she'd met? They had called each other by their first names, which meant they were quite close. Plus, they had mentioned marriage. Were they engaged?
Pursing her lips, she crossed her arms wondering why she even cared. Her mind wandered back to that brief scene in the garden behind the manor. She was startled to realize her mind was replaying the memory of Caleb's kiss. It irritated her all the more, because it hadn't even been a nice kiss.
Even so, it had been the first kiss she'd ever received from a man. She wondered if that kiss was what people referred to as passion. If it was, how could Serena have ever tolerated being kissed by Andrew? It had bordered on feeling painful, not something she'd ever care to feel again. Yet, when Serena recalled kissing Andrew she'd said it brought butterflies to her stomach. She'd said Andrew's kisses were sometimes so passionate that it unnerved her. Yet, she didn't seem averse to being kissed again.
What a thought! The idea of repeating that kiss in the garden brought butterflies to her stomach, just as Serena had described, but it wasn't a pleasant sensation. Still, she had to wonder what it might have been like if Caleb had been in a less provoked mood.
Allowing herself a moment to daydream, Kyra let herself wonder what it would feel like to be kissed lovingly by a man. Not angrily... Would it have felt wonderful? Would it have brought a warm feeling to her as it did when she'd sometimes dreamed about it at night? She had always imagined that her first kiss would have come under much different circumstances than that scene in the garden. She had always dreamt of it happening under the soft sun or on a windy moonlit night. Images of a man taking her so gently in his arms had often brought her to sigh aloud. Now the reality of it forced her to rethink her flowery notions. Passion from a man was something she couldn't ever picture herself desiring.
Enough! She huffed and sat up. These pointless thoughts were getting her nowhere. Shoving herself off the bed she lifted the mattress enough to slip her hand underneath. Her hand came in contact with a small bundle and she dragged out. Placing the jingling pouch on the bed, she knelt down beside it and unraveled the string. It opened to reveal her savings.
After counting the money, she knew there wasn't very much. She might be able to afford a few lengths of fabric if she wanted to fashion a dress on her own, but then she'd be broke. The problem was it might take her the entire night to accomplish the task of creating a dress of that magnitude. Even if she worked through the night it would take a miracle and then she'd probably pass out from exhaustion for her efforts. But, eyeing the closet with a grimace, she knew there was no other way around it.
Biting her fingernails as she attempted to make the decision, Kyra grew nervous. What if she couldn't finish piecing a dress together by morning? She had never attempted to craft anything so huge. She had been taught the art of quilting and mending socks, but a dress was an awfully big project. There was little hope of pulling it off, and in the end she might spend her savings all for nothing. Then she would still be forced to beg Serena for a hand-me-down.
Well, she thought optimistically, if she worked towards creating something pretty, but not too fancy, maybe she could manage to pull it off. But whom could she ask for help? She refused to even think about bothering Serena with this. Frowning, she racked her brain trying to think of the servants that she'd met who might be able to lend her a sewing kit. Then it hit her. She knew exactly who to ask. Jacob was the last person who would refuse her. She was sure of it! And if she made him swear to keep quiet about it, she was certain he would.
There was a writing desk downstairs. If she could manage to scribble out a note for him to understand, she might even get started within the hour. It was still early enough. All she had to do was find him and ask him. He had to be in the manor somewhere.
She'd spent most of her life learning to spell words, so she was sure he would have no trouble understanding her plea. He wouldn't refuse her. He just couldn't... Kyra quickly retied the pouch and left the room.
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