Lady In Waiting Rewritten: Chapter 5

Jules Hopkins

Lady Anne Bennet lay on the couch, staring at the ceiling. She had attempted to sleep but Anne Rolfe (who will henceforth be known as commoner Anne) had spent the whole night tossing and turning. Typically, each lady had their own bed and the forced sharing had resulted in more than a few nasty glares. The only one not sharing was their dear leader Kate, who had insisted that she should sleep alone and refused to listen to Lady Anne’s warnings of coups. 

Of course, Kate wasn’t the only one in danger of revolt. Lady Anne knew from the way the other ladies had surreptitiously glared at commoner Anne that they wanted to enact some sort of punishment for her. All whispers were silenced with little more than a look. If Lady Catherine Kimbell had still been with them, she would have slept beside Anne and it seemed right that Lady Anne would take her place.

Anne Rolfe was so different from any of them. She had no noble blood nor had she married into a noble family. She had never so much as looked Lady Anne in the eye but showed no fear when talking back to their captors. She was clearly Kate’s favorite, never mind that Lady Anne had known Kate since they were children nor that she had done anything to earn that place. It was a sad reality that not even their argument could allow Lady Anne to fulfill her purpose.

Kate was Lady Anne’s world. Kate with her stunning gray eyes and sharp temper. Kate with silky blond hair and the finest silks. Kate who, for all she seemed royal and pristine to the common people, had less manners and training than any noble women Anne had ever met. Kate was perfect beside it all.

The royal family was supposed to be trained to remain well-mannered and calm throughout any situation so as to better lead their people. Kate’s younger brother was a fantastic model for that. Lady Anne was dearest friends with George’s wife, Mary, and if what she said was true there was no doubt he would make a grand king one day.

Kate had none of his tact or manners. She threw fits when she didn’t get her way, and had no control over her emotions. The rumor was that her 1st birthday party had nearly become a funeral and King William had been so terrified by it that he let Kate do as she pleased.

Lady Anne lived and breathed politics. She was born into it, born into mind games and pleasantries. When she was younger,  she had been envious of Kate. The beloved princess who regularly broke the rules that held up Lady Anne’s world.

Lady Anne Bennet of Castle Redwood embodied everything that Princess Katherine was supposed to be. Once, she would have given anything to be her. It had taken Kate having a mental breakdown that resulted in several broken windows before she saw the way the King’s eyes slid up and down her body and the way her husband always slept in a bedroom across the castle. Now she sees the way Kate forgets her son’s name and flinches at quick movement. 

Maybe Princess Katherine didn’t have to follow the same rules she did but Lady Anne’s fiance loved her in a way Kate didn’t understand. 

Lady Anne Bennet did not envy Kate but sometimes she would stare at the ceiling and dream of a simpler life, like the one Anne Rolfe had left behind. She would pretend that her only role in life was to bake and smile and, sometimes, just maybe, that was enough.