A Temporary Truce (2/3)
OQ Week, Day 2: Fake Relationship. Regina and Robin have been adversaries for years. Perhaps it’s time to find out if they know how to be a team, too. Nearing M-rating due to some heavy making-out and language. Also, have some OQ dancing.
It’s a long hike from Regina’s corner of the forest, but she makes it past Firefly Hill by midday. There’s a brook for her to refresh in and a sheltered glade to change.
The scoundrel’s left a dress, and it happens to be a periwinkle blue she secretly fancies but has no use for in the forest (not that she has any use for gowns as such). It irks her, the fact that Robin Hood’s pick is to her taste, but having been tired and bruised and not at all in the mood for more plundering, and in dire need of a bath and a good long sleep, time was of the essence. Grudgingly, she accepted.
Her hair is now tangle-free and the silkiest it’s ever been, her skin squeaky clean and her nails still chipped (something that can hardly be helped) but rid of every last remnant of splinter, bark, or dirt. The dress fits as though it was meant for her (unlike the heels from hell, which definitely weren’t meant for her), and for the briefest moment she imagines half a dozen busy hands measuring and adjusting, nimble fingers wielding needles and scissors. Nonsense, of course, she scoffs and smooths away the wrinkles on the skirt.
The hustle and bustle of grand gatherings awaits her at the manor. Regina slips from the shadows and mingles with a group of new arrivals, thus avoiding suspicion over her lack of travelling means. Affected laughter and well-rehearsed courtesies are exchanged all around her, fans spread open and porcelain skin sheltered from the scorching sun by monstrous hats and satin gloves and layer upon layer of jewellery.
Regina smooths out her side-swept hair (must it always be so unruly?), fixes the simple necklace already sticking to her sweat-sheened skin (the heat is even more unbearable in this ridiculous gown than her usual leather, skins and furs), and surreptitiously wipes her palms on the skirt. Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea. Maybe she cannot fake her way through the afternoon in a world so distant from hers. How soon before someone points out the fraud in their midst? Maybe there’s still time to—
“Whom shall I announce?”
The man at the door is watching her with a practised smile and a rather judging look—or perhaps that’s just her impression. Well, if she was hoping to observe a few more ladies before it’s her turn to enter to improve her act, nothing will come off it now—she’ll just have to rely on her observation and improvisation skills. And luck, sheer luck.
Regina straightens her spine and raises her chin, and the man deflates somewhat. With a tug at the corners of her lips, she opens her mouth, ready to blurt the first name to make it to the tip of her tongue, when—
“Earl of Huntingdon and Lady Regina.”