She was sitting straight in the soft armchair, watching the performance on the privately set stage.They were in one of the Royal Family's manors in London and the chairs were nearly ordered in a semi-circle so that the small private audience could well enjoy the act. She crossed her legs and saw the disapproving look of the lady sitting close to her and the way her eyes fell directly on her now showing ankles. Henriette readjusted her position and let the skirt fall freely, touching the ground and covering everything. It was suffocating.She placed her hands over the bottom of her corset, but nothing would make the whale boned piece loosen even the slightest a bit. And there she'd thought the metal- held ones would be tighter. The man next to her tilted slightly in her direction and asked in a hushed voice. "Do you like the play, Lady Henriette?" "Yes, I... Yes." She glanced towards the closed wooden gate of the big saloon, then towards the window. It was raining and foggy outside, but it still felt like a better place to be. "Do you like Shakespeare, or do you prefer..." The man continued asking questions and Henriette got up. "Excuse me, Sir Belcroft." All the men got up, as the polite manner required of them when a lady deserted her seat and she reassured them everything was fine. They sat back up and she went out. Henriette's hands directly went for the buttons of her dress, but she couldn't reach them up to her back. Besides, she couldn't exactly be walking shedding clothes off in the hallway, and she went straight to the door, leading to the back yard. A servant rushed towards her. "My Lady, umbrella." "No, I just need some air. It's only a drizzle." He nodded but still didn't leave her out of sight in case she needed him. She went down the stairs leading to the garden, her dress already soaked wet at the bottom rim, but she continued walkingHenriette hugged herself against the chill, as she had been so quick to go out she hadn't picked up a scarf or anything. She walked blindly ahead among the greenery of the gardens, water trickling down her neck. Her hair that had earlier been braided into a fashionable hairstyle, was now disheveled because of the rain, the water falling heavier by the minute. Henriette stopped and ran his hands through her hair, her fingers getting tangled in the jeweled pins holding the hairstyle.
We didn't save him. I didn't.
She had been thinking about the man, about her being too late to do anything or talk to the queen.
"He was right. Callum was right." She dropped her hands and said, almost aloud. "There's nothing worse than feeling powerless. "
It's still not too late, she thought. We can still do something.
It was then she took the decision she knew she would've taken a long time ago. She hurried back to the main house, passing the startled servants.