“Lucinda my dear, where are you?”
“I’m just checking that the twins are settled in their beds, one moment.”
She peered around their bedroom door, where they were sleeping, their minds deep in a dream world. Satisfied, she pulled the door to, returning to her room,seating herself at her dressing table. Slowly, Lucinda removed her earrings, unpinning her long hair.
“All is well.”
“Good. You seem a little happier now.”
“I am. I’m not unwell Edward, as Annabella thought me to be. I just found her company a little overpowering. Still, I can’t help but feel embarrassed.”
“Well, I suppose that I over reacted.”
“I think you managed her splendidly.”
“Yes. It cannot be helped that you are complete opposites, so I do suppose that it is only natural that you have little disagreements.”
“But how is it that George is so amiable? Do you find him so?”
“Yes, I always feel comfortable in George’s company. He’s a good man Lucinda.”
“Indeed. Perhaps we should inquire about a nanny.”
“Yes, I would think it to be a good idea, but don’t dwell on it any more tonight. Goodnight.” He tenderly kissed her cheek, glancing at her with his reassuring, dark eyes.
“Rupert ssssh! Go back to bed.”
“Oh Diana, don’t be such a silly coward!”
“We might wake Mother and Father.”
“Not if we’re quiet! I’m hungry.”
“But Rupert, cook wont be awake yet, it’s too early!”
“We don’t need cook, we know where the kitchen is don’t we?”
“Well then, let’s see what we can find.”
“Al right then, but we’ll only get into trouble again.”
“Diana, I’m only going to get a biscuit.”
“And maybe some cake.”
“Cake? At this hour?”
“I’m a growing boy! Bring that candle will you?”
Carefully, they snuck downstairs into the darkness of the kitchen.
“My! It’s as black as can be, I can’t see a thing, give me that candle Diana before you drip wax all over the floor. Oh do look at that fruitcake on the side!”
“It’s a big, new fruitcake!”
“They’ll notice! Can’t you just get a biscuit, that’s what you said you were doing.”
“There’s no chi-.”
“No, you’re a chicken silly!”
“Don’t be so horrid, I’m going upstairs and taking the light. You can say here in the dark all by yourself and then the goblins will get you! Goodbye Rupert!”
“Diana! Wait, I’m sorry, please don’t go!”
“You’re scared and you’re a boy!” Diana laughed.
“Yes, well done. Do you want a biscuit or not?”
“Here you go then, they’re just on this plate. I just need to pull it closer to me, I’m too small, I’m not sure if I can reach.”
“Stand on your tiptoes.”
As Rupert slid the plate of biscuits towards them, they slipped over the edge of the counter falling to the floor with an almighty crash.
“Rupert how could you?!”
“I hear footsteps already! Quick we have to hide!”
“Did you hear that?”
“That noise, I could have sworn that it came from downstairs.”
“Don’t worry, if anything has happened, the servants will see to it.”
“But Edward! What if we are being burgled?”
“Lucinda, don’t fret, I can hear the servants.”
“Well, we should go and see too. I’m rather frightened.”
“Here, I’ll go first, take my hand.” Edward pulled on his dressing gown, handing Lucinda her shawl.
The twins huddled in the corner, before darting under the small table, unaware that they were completely visible. Already ahead, one of the scullery maids tiptoed into the kitchen, holding out a candle to guide her way, which created a large glowing circle upon the ceiling.
“What a mess it is in here and I bet I can guess who the culprits are!”
Lucinda and Edward entered. “Annie what on earth is going on?”
“I couldn’t tell you sir, except your children are huddled under the table there and the kitchen is in the most terrible state.”
“Good heavens! Children come out.”
“Yes Daddy.” Gingerly, they crawled out from under the table.
“Why are you downstairs and awake at this time?”
“We couldn’t sleep. We were hungry.”
“I see. Annie, were the children fed?”
“Of course sir.”
“We were Daddy, but we were hungry again.”
“Hmmm. Annie would you see that the twins are tucked safely back into their beds.”
“That’s quite enough excitement for one night.”
To be continued…