Welcome back! I have another excerpt from my summer regency, Love's Refrain. This time we meet the Montgomery sisters, Lady Laura and her stepsister, Lady Juliet:
Lady Laura Montgomery, eldest daughter of the Earl of Norwood, hurried up the staircase to answer her stepsister's frantic calls for help. She truly loved Juliet, but she knew the young lady often found a crisis where none existed. As she hurried toward Juliet’s room, the wails became louder and more insistent.
"Laura! Where are you? I need you desperately!"
Before opening the door, Laura braced herself for what she might find. Past experience told her it was probably something trivial. But if Juliet was truly injured and she didn’t come, she’d never forgive herself. Her father and stepmother had entrusted her with Juliet’s care, and though it was often a trial, she’d vowed to do her duty. Juliet was beautiful and witty, and hopefully someone would offer for her quickly, putting an end to her responsibility. Cousin Reginald Montgomery, Lord Norwood's relative, had graciously invited them into his home and with his widowed elder sister Augusta, lent a measure of respectability for the two women.
Lady Juliet Montgomery sat at her dressing table, a vision of loveliness in her new day dress. But upon closer inspection, Laura observed the vision was somewhat marred by the messy state of her stepsister's coiffure, and the fact that her right hand lay atop her head.
"What took you so long? I called and called," the younger girl whined. Laura supposed some might construe Juliet's pouting lips as adorable, but to her they were an indication of her pettiness and incessant pampering as the youngest in the family.
"Forgive me, Juliet. I was in the study. What do you need?"
"Can’t you see? I’m stuck! I tried to fix my hair, and my bracelet caught."
Laura took Juliet’s hand and stilled it. "Juliet, please stop wiggling so I can untangle it. What happened to Francesca?" The ladies’ maid had come highly recommended and Laura was quite happy with her, but Juliet could be stubborn.
"She disappeared somewhere after making a mess of my hair. Oh, Laura, help me!" She tried again to pull her hand away, only to tighten the strands of hair around the beaded bracelet.
"Juliet, if you don’t stop struggling, I’ll never get this untangled. Your hair is wrapped around the bracelet. Now be still." She concentrated on releasing her sister’s fine tresses from the jewelry then set about finding Francesca.
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