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So this is something I dug out of my "random writings" file. Is it something I should think of finishing, or is it not worth it? Lemme know what you think....this is all I have, but if you all think it's worth it, I'll write more. :) Pardon sp. errors! :)
--this is not the full chapter btw
“Put it down!” Henrietta Wycliffe edged closer to the defiant three-year-old who stood across the room holding a pair of silver sewing shears precariously close to her brown ringlets.
“Amelia, give the shears to Miss Henrietta …” She moved in another few inches.
“No!” Amelia pulled a chunk of curls away from her neck and gave Henrietta a malicious look.
“Amelia Chevalier, give me those shears.” Henrietta held her hand out cautiously.
The three-year-old’s face clouded and her eyes slammed shut. Her little mouth, puckered in fury and she let out a screech high enough to deafen anyone…anyone except her unfortunate governess. “Paaaa-paaaaa!”
Henrietta took that moment and lunged forward, snatching the shears out of Amelia’s hand and sliding them into her pinafore pocket. Kneeling on the rug she attempted to quiet the angry child.
The thundering of adult feet climbing the stairs sent Henrietta’s heart to her throat. It was her third day at work in the Chevalier home, and already she’d had three incidents like this. Edmond, the one year old, had refused to eat his food…and smearing it all over her smock after screaming bloody-murder. Amelia, hiding in the closet and refusing to go to bed. Diana, the five-year-old, sassing her at dinner and throwing peas across the table when her father wasn’t looking.
Henrietta blanched as the nursery door flew open. Oh joy. She turned her head to see Raoul Chevalier standing on the threshold, his look thunderous.
“Miss Wycliffe, are you completely inept at dealing with children?” Her employers thick, shaggy blonde waves slid into his eyes as her glared down at her. His eyes, the same green as Amelia’s, darkened as he took in her disheveled appearance.
Henrietta stood to her feet and brushed the lint off her pinafore, her brown eyes studying the wrinkles in his skirt as she tried to hold back her temper. “No sir.”
His jaw clenched, “Then why may I ask, are you having so much trouble with my children?” He motioned for Amelia to come to his side. “At one, three and five, they are merely babies. I would think since you came so highly recommended, you would be able to take care of them.”
She held her breath and counted to five before responding. “Yes, sir. And normally I would be able to, but Sir, your children are lacking discipline while you are away on business, thus making them extraordinarily…” she hesitated on the word. “Unruly.”
She watched as a vein in his forehead throbbed at her proclamation. “Yes sir, unruly.”
Mr. Chevalier took a deep breath and then looked down at his young daughter who was latched onto his leg like the littlest leach. “Amelia?”
Amelia batted her tear-filled eyes up at her father, “Pa-pa,” she pointed a dainty finger at Henrietta, “She’s mean.”
Raoul’s eyes narrowed as he looked between his daughter and the new governess. He patted his curly-haired angel on the head. “Amelia, go find your sister and brother.”
Amelia’s face brightened. “Yes Pa-pa. You’ll make the mean lady go away?”
Raoul glared at the woman across the room, then looked back to the child clinging to his leg. “We shall see.” He untangled her stubborn arms from his thigh. “Go now.”
“Yes Pa-pa.” Amelia’s eyes looked up at him adoringly as she released his leg and scooted out the door.
He turned back to the governess and allowed his eyes to survey her. From her mud-splattered hem to her hair messily caught up in it’s net, Miss Wycliffe was the epitome of disorder.
Dark eyes sparked at him from her oval face. “Mr. Chevalier, if I can just explain –”
Raoul waved his hand as if he had all the time in the world...which definitely wasn’t true. He had a thousand things to do before nightfall. But this incident, being the new governess’ third, needed to be taken care of. It was ridiculous that every time he sat down at his desk, he was interrupted by his children screaming about their new nanny.
He crossed his arms across his chest. “Please do, Miss Wycliffe…and make it quick. I have work to do. I can’t afford all these disturbances.”
The governess’s chin tilted up a fraction of an inch. “As I said. Your children are unruly and unmanageable. Your daughter was just trying to butcher her hair,” she reached into her pocket and pulled out a pair of sewing shears, “with these. Her screams were a result of my coaxing – gentle coaxing, mind you – to get these back before she cut her fingers off…or worse.”
“She’s three. Give her some grace. Certainly you were not a perfect little angel at that age either?”
“If she’s old enough to know she is doing wrong, she is old enough to be disciplined for it.”
“She’s just a baby.”
“Baby my eye.” She slapped the shinning metal object into his palm. “Consider discipline, or consider me gone, Mr. Chevalier.”
He rolled his eyes, “And where exactly will you go, Miss Wycliffe? Back to the orphanage you were working at before the Reese house? I think not.” Raoul snorted.
Her eyes lit with fire. “I’ll have you know, Mr. Chevalier, that I have plenty of opportunities. There are plenty of well behaved young children who need governess’s, positions as mail order brides…and frankly – I’d rather be poor and in the street than mollycoddle three little terrors by order of their rich overbearing father.” Miss Wycliffe’s cheeks pinkened with the excitement.
He snorted again. The foolish little woman. “Poor in the street, Miss Wycliffe? I was hardly suggesting that.”
“Sir, what you are suggesting is that I let three young children trample me into doing whatever they want. Serving their every wish and command – letting them grow up like common hoodlums.”
Raoul studied the woman before him once more, sizing her up. “Miss Wycliffe, I will give you ten days to straighten up, or you’re fired.”
(c) Micah Widdis 2009
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