The Taverner Chronicles: What Gianna Did, Three

Fiction By Marlene E. Schuler // 1/10/2013

If there was one person that Gianna could not stand, it had to have been Alex Rawlings. But if she had to pick someone else, the honor would have fallen upon Lord Anthony Lang. At first, she thought that he would have been an interesting person. She didn't know many people of the nobility, and this fellow had rank and money. He also had a singularly slicked-down hair style that was hard to ignore.

But things really started to go downhill in her eyes when he started flirting with Millie. All his former virtues were tossed to the wind when his designs upon her sister were made known, causing Gianna to view him as an odious, slippery fellow. What right had he to do so? It was little wonder that Millie did not want to return to the past- Anthony kept on sending her letters and hanging around the house.

On a cold April day, Gianna was dressed in the usual shirtdress and was preparing to go to the past when Andrew stopped her in the ballroom.

'Gianna, wait. I need to talk to you.' he said, stopping her in her tracks as he crossed the room. 'It's about Millie.'

'A lot of people are concerned about Millie.' Gianna said disdainfully, rolling her eyes and wishing that the name of a certain lord hadn't crossed their acquaintance.

Andrew gave her a wry look before continuing.

'In all seriousness, have you noticed that she hasn't gone back for weeks?'

'Well, if you consider the fact that she has a bum foot...'

Another humorless expression.

'She's been walking around for the last week. Look, do you think it has something to do with the Doctor?'

Doctor Rawlings? What difference did he make?

'Don't you mean Lard?'

'Lard? Who's Lard- oh. Gianna... you have to be better your name-calling. Which brings up another point; could you please stop referring to Alex a wonker? It's really bad form, you know.'

'What, don't you think it's the truth? I believe we should all speak the truth.'

'Sometimes, my dear, it hurts, even if it is true. But that's not the point, tell me what you think about Millie.'

Gianna paused. Millie had seemed a little low over the last fortnight; though she really hadn't noticed before, it was glaringly obvious now that she questioned it. She ran through her thoughts to try and scrape a reason up, but nothing save Anthony seemed to be turning up.

'I still say it's Lar- Anthony. Besides, what would Millie want with the Doctor? He's much too old for her. And he's got a beard.'

Andrew almost burst out laughing, but retained his serious composure.
'A beard? What's that got to do with things?'
'Clean-shaven men are easy to rely upon because their faces aren't clouded with hair. But men in beards? Not to be trusted at all.'

Her brother's eyebrows shot up, but he added nothing to her statement, instead continuing with his former dialogue,

'Well, I don't think it's on Millie's side, so much as it is... you get what I'm saying?'

Gianna's open-mouth expression must have betrayed some form of disbelief, so he regrouped and tried to phrase his sentences more carefully.

'Look, I'm not saying that she likes him or anything... but I can't help thinking that maybe he feels something for her.'

Gianna shook herself.

'Are you trying to say that-?'

He nodded. She blinked a few times.

'Good gravy, of all the things to do, Millie! Older siblings can be so silly sometimes. I mean, besides you. You're fine.'

'Thanks... I guess...'

'If you're right, though, what are we supposed to do?'

Andrew sighed and dug his hands into his pockets. Gianna noticed that men did that when they were confronted with a question that was far beyond their power of reasoning.
'I was kind of hoping you had a few suggestions. I mean, you're a girl and everything.'

Gianna rolled her eyes. As if that were supposed to help matters.

'Well... maybe we should see what Millie thinks of everything. No, don't give me that face, I don't mean ask her right out, but do it... discreetly. Mention his name, see if she blushes, that sort of thing.'

Andrew looked incredulous for a moment, but sighed again presently.

'I suppose that's a good idea. But for now, do you want me to come with you?'

Gianna smiled but shook her head. She would be perfectly fine.

'See you in a few minutes, 'Drew.'

With that, she turned and disappeared behind the curtain, not without a few thoughts vehemently opposed to Millie, Doctor Rawlings, Lard... the whole lot of them. Were it not for them, they wouldn't be in such a fix. Wonks, all of them.

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