The sound of the knocks reverberated throughout the hallway, and into the room beyond the door, announcing the arrival of Liliana Catherine McClellen, and her intent to meet the owner and occupant of the room, the enigmatic and peculiar woman known as Lucie Ruzicka.
For several long moments, silence reigned, the owner of the room beyond the door either absent, or refusing to answer the knocking.
Just then, the shuffling of feet sounded from beyond the door, along with hushed, indecipherable voices. Two occupants in the room, then. Whatever discussion occurred within, it soon ended with one huffing, and then more shuffling of feet.
The heavy lock clicked, and the door was pulled open, though only enough for a pale face, adorned with bright green eyes and red painted lips to peek out. The hints of an apron and the simple, blue dress visible through the cracked open door, gave away her station as that of a maid.
“Miss McClellen!” The maid exclaimed, eyes widening in recognition. “I, uuh, Miss Lucie is present, but… I am not certain that now is the best time.” She smiled apologetically, only for something of a wince to cross her features as Lucie’s voice came from farther within, sounding somewhat strained.
“I told you, Anna,” Lucie said to the maid, just loud enough that Lily herself could hear as well, “to let her in. You’re the only one here bothered by it.”
Chagrin edged in every line of her face, few though they were, the maid — Anna — opened the door further. “Come in then, Miss McClellen.”
Lillian raised an eyebrow and hesitated, unsure what she was about to find beyond the door. As usual however her curiosity, regarding both the questions she already wanted answered, and the sudden appearance of even more, drove her to enter the room.
She was met with a sight that was both expected and unexpected. The luxurious furniture was much within her expectations, given Lucie’s previous indications of having quite expensive tastes. The outrageously large bed and sinfully sized wardrobes were both within expectations as well; Lucie was nothing if not ostentatious, and it showed.
Bookshelves lined the half of the far left wall that her bed did not take up, books filling it from end to end, with topics that, from a cursory glance, seemed as varied as the stars in the sky.
Lucie’s maid, who apparently was named Anna, stood by the far wall by the window, cheeks red and looked pointedly away from the floor area beside the bed. Naturally, Lilian herself looked, and was faced with Lucie on all fours, pushing herself from the floor with but her arms, and then rising to her full height.
Anna’s reactions, however, began to make sense as Lily noticed what she wore: A simple piece of cloth wrapped around her chest and securing her modesty, and a pair of otherwise long trousers that had been rolled up to the knees. What’s more, she was covered in a light sheen of sweat, something she did not attempt to hide as she met Lily’s eyes and smiled.
“Good evening, Lilian.”
Lily blinked, and remained still, unsure how to proceed. She turned her head slightly to look to Anna and found that she seemed to be in a similar state of mind. Lillilian returned her gaze to Lucie and looked over her body, taking note of the defined musculature that Lily had only ever seen on men. As with most aspects of life she found herself unable to resist the temptation to study something knew and began to mentally take notes on the other woman’s body. She had been planning to trick the other woman into a more revealing situation for observation regardless, so it seemed like a waste to not take advantage when the opportunity presented itself on its own. Her eyes moved over every inch of exposed flesh, face flushing as she did so, her analytical side unable to overpower her own shyness. A full minute passed before Lily realized she had not responded to the other woman’s initial greeting. “G-good evening. Miss Ruzicka. You appear… healthy and attractive. Congratulations.”
Lucie, who hadn’t said anything since her initial greeting, reacted with a raised eyebrow, and one corner of her lips turning further up than the other. “I think ‘attractive’ is an understatement,” she said, fluttering her eyelashes. “But I appreciate the compliment.” She looked away from Lilian and towards Anna, who was already bringing a tray with cups and a pitcher of water. “Something to drink?” She offered.
Lillian took an empty cup. “Yes. Thank you. Would you?” She took a sip from it, only to immediately realize that it was empty, and grabbed the pitcher so she could fill it. She took a large gulp of water, taking a moment to clear her head, and turned to the maid. “Anna was it? Would you be so kind as to run to my quarters and locate some bandages, and a salve in a small tin box? I will be needing them quite soon.”
Anna’s brows furrowed, her mouth working soundlessly for a moment. “I had a feeling you would ask that,” she said as if it were but a simple matter of fact, “but I am Miss Lucie’s personal attendant.”
“Anna, please do as she requests,” Lucie cut in, waving off her maidservant with a smirk. Anna gave her a look, then a single nod and was off, lifting the front of her dress as she hurried along. When she was gone Lucie went to the washbasin, on the dresser by the window behind Lillian, and dipped a cloth in it before starting to slowly wash her face and neck. “So, what brings you?” She asked, running the cloth over her arms once each before depositing it beside the basin, turning to face Lilian.
“You look quite healthy for a dead woman.”
This time, both eyebrows rose, her mouth forming a small ‘o’. “Ah,” she said at length, “right. You don’t know who I am.” Her brows furrowed. “Matter of fact, only Mister Ware does. That is besides the point, however.” She fixed Lilian with a stare. “You, however, have been sticking your nose where it does not belong. I should be proud,” she added, crossing her arms and leaning against the dresser, “but yes, I am supposed to be dead. How did you find out?”
“I stick my nose where I please. In this case however, it was rather accidental,” under her breath, she added, “In a fashion.” Noticing Lucie’s change in demeanor Lillian took a few steps backwards towards the door, doing her best to make it look like she was simply moving for the sake of it. “I was at Town Hall to forge the relevant documents for the young girl we plan to rescue. Imagine my surprise when I retrieve the future mother’s documents for relevant information, only to find she’s been dead for around sixteen years.” Lillian looked Lucie up and down, remembering that according to the documentation she was supposed to be nineteen. Lily scoffed.
“Town hall?” She asked, head cocking to one side, and ignoring both the scoff and the analysis of her physique. “You mean to tell me that you found documents, matching my name, to the very letter?” She hummed, then paused, brow creasing in thought. “Then you do not know who I am, and yet, you do?” She looked once more upon Lilian, eyes narrowed, but unthreatening. “Tell me what you know.” Almost as an afterthought she added, “please.”
“I found documentation for Lucie Ruzicka.” Lillian spelled both names out, and Lucie nodded to each name. “The only person in the entire city with that name. I had guessed at least one of your parents might be an immigrant based on your physical features, which matched up with what I found. However the age seemed several years off, and of course there is the whole dead factor to take into account. So no. I do not know who you are as you have clearly stollen the name of someone else. You say Adam knows about you, I wonder which you it would be.” Lillian took another step back and instinctively moved a hand towards the pouch that held her firearms. Of course she found no such pouch as both it and the pistols within had been left with her mother.
Lucie shook her head. “No names were stolen. Not by me. But,” she said and let her arms fall to her sides, looking out the window with a myriad of expression crossing her features, “it seems that we misunderstood one another. You still don’t know the truth, a small relief perhaps.” She looked back, her eyes flitting towards Lilian’s side and her hand grasping for a weapon that wasn’t there. “If you need a weapon to feel safe, there’s a knife and a revolver under the pillow,” she said, pointing to the bed. “But I’m not going to hurt you. You can relax.”
Lillian frowned and made a point to move away from the bed, not trusting the offer.
“Right,” Lucie continued, dryly, and sighed. “Let me clear something up. Lucie Ruzicka is my one and only name. It has been mine for as long as I can remember. When I was young, I got lost, hurt, and a man found me who took me in. To my knowledge, he gave me this name when he found me. This happened sixteen years ago, when I was just three.” She drew in deep breath, and slid down the dresser until she sat on the floor, hands on her knees and looking up at Lillian, for a change. When she continued speaking, it was with a much more somber tone.
“I thought you had discovered that I faked my own death, just a year ago, something I did to to escape this man. But if you found documents of a girl who supposedly died that same number of years ago, then that name, was mine before that. Before him.” She paused, biting her lip. “It seems I have died twice in one lifetime, and yet my heart still beats,” she muttered with dry humour.
While a great deal of information had just been given, Lillian found herself drawn to one specific piece. “You’re nineteen?”
Quirking an eyebrow, Lucie looked back up. “You thought I was older?” She asked, sounding amused.
“I would find it difficult to accept you were younger than twenty-four without sufficient evidence.”
A smile showed up alongside the quirked eyebrow, a bit of humour returning to her previously sombre expression. “You are the one in possession of my birth records, are you not?” She chuckled. “It is the one thing I have always certain of. I am no more than nineteen years of age. Does my height and looks truly make me appear that mature?” She fluttered her eyelashes with the last few words.
Lillian frowned deeply. “Truly?” She did not wait for an answer, instead she crossed the gap between them with a few long strides to stand before the other woman. “Open your mouth, please.”
She blinked. “Pardon?”
“Your mouth. Open wide. Come now we don’t have a great deal of time before Anna returns.”
“You sent her away so we would be alone.” It wasn’t a question. “I don’t know what you intend, but very well.” Keeping her eyes on Lilliana, Lucie opened her mouth.
Lily bent down and got close enough to Lucie that she could look in her mouth unimpeded. After a few moments she spoke “Hmmm… do not bite.” Then, unceremoniously, she stuck her thumbs into Lucie’s mouth and spread her mouth a little wider, she also leaned closer still, ignoring the restrained gag, and subsequent glare she received from Lucie. After studying the woman’s mouth for a moment longer she removed her hands and stepped back, a surprised look now on her face “Well… I’ll be. You are nineteen after all. That is… surprising to say the least. It also means that what you are saying is most likely true. Those documents I found, regardless of their incorrect time of death, do seem to be yours.”
Lucie did not reply immediately, instead working her jaw and rubbing the side of her face. “What in the blazes was that about?” She demanded, grimacing. “For the record, your nail polish is not palatable.” She stood up and went to pour a cup of water from the tray, emptying it in a single gulp before pouring a second one, only sipping from this. “Are you satisfied now?” She asked, nose wrinkling in distaste. “Were there not simpler methods?”
“I will inform my mother as to the palatability of her nail decoration. And no, not really. Without access to equipment and a few days to analyze some of your material, the quickest way was to check your teeth. The average child loses the last of their baby teeth at around twelve years of age. It takes many years for the gum line to acclimate to its new teeth, and for the usual build up of grime to accumulate to noticable levels. Your age affects the look of your gums, and the healthiness of your teeth. Tooth care affects this somewhat, but not much. Your gums and teeth appear relatively fresh and healthy, which means you are likely not older than twenty.” Lillian wiped her hands on her dress. “The smell of one's breath is also helpful as even a non-visible build up of bacteria still has a poor effect on the smell of one's breath. Yours smell about average for someone who is young and well-off.”
“I shall take that as a compliment, then,” Lucie consented, still looking none too pleased about the whole ordeal. “I take it you are convinced now? That I am Lucie Ruzicka, dead twice over yet breathing still.” She hummed. “Still it is difficult to believe, that this name has been my own since my birth… It gives me a link to my parents. My real ones. Not him,” she said, the last words coming quieter than the rest. “So what now?” She inquired, turning on a heel to face Lily again. “I seem to have convinced you of my age and the legitimacy of my name. Though I should let you know, that I am not supposed to exist. My second death was quite a deliberate affair, done so that I might come here undisturbed, and with no one looking for me.”
“I am somewhat convinced, not entirely mind you, but I do not feel the need to push the matter. If Adam trusts you, than so do I. Though I will admit resolving your apparent first death has quelled my concerns considerably.” Lillian had calmed down a great deal and once again felt she could trust Lucie. Though she made a mental note to dig into the other woman’s past to find out more about her; one does not fake their own death without good reason. “That said,” she continued, “I will not spoil your plan, in fact what I did today will probably have helped you in that regard. You have a new identity you can use at any time should you desire to enter the world. Lucie Anastasia Romanchuk, from the Ukraine. You’re twenty-nine, an age I think you’ll find will raise less questions when you reveal you have a daughter. You were born in Zaporozhye, and have no living relatives. Your daughters father is Doctor Wallice T. Brodsky, a man I invented some time ago for… reasons. I did not fabricate a marriage for you as that would have been a lot of extra paperwork. So your daughter is technically now a bastard, I hope that is acceptable.”
“I suppose I should thank you for that, then. Although you and I both know I am recognisable, so a false identity would not be foolproof. I could be rather easily recognised, were I not careful.” She blew air through her nose, shaking her head. “Truth be told, I had not thought much of the future beyond giving that girl a safe place to be, with people who understood… Why Ukraine, however? I know neither the language nor do I possess and accent.”
“Making you an immigrant saved some paperwork. You possess a few subtle features that are distinctly Ukrainian that you could point to should you have to. And frankly, your place of birth will never come up outside a governmental capacity, and I assure you even a weak explanation as to the loss of accent is enough to satisfy them. They’re typically so over worked they won’t make extra work for themselves if they don’t have to.” A sudden twitch of pain in her legs reminded Lillian she should have sat down some time again. After locating a chair she gingerly lowered herself into it. “Besides, I did not really expect you to make use of it personally. But should the child want to make her way in the world, being able to point to a mother who exists is quite the boon.”
“Indeed it would be,” she replied thoughtfully, rubbing her jaw with her thumb. “Though I should be able to take care of basic educations. I may not be an expert like yourself, but I do possess general knowledge on many subjects, from politics to mathematics.” She pursed her lips, eyes trailing towards the windows and the moon outside. For a while she said nothing, seeming content to just stare out into space.
Only when a full two minutes had passed did she speak up, her tone more jovial than before, mischievous even. “You seem to no longer be so flustered about my appearance,” she noted, and turned to face Lily, hands on her—now that Lilian was paying attention—very wide hips. “Did you grow used to it so suddenly?”
“I uh...ahem.” Lillian fidgeted in her seat a bit and brushed her dress to remove a few wrinkles, wincing as she pressed a touch too hard against her legs. “Y-yes well. As I said before… you have a fine body. It is an acceptable specimen. I do so rarely see women of your… build.” Lillian pulled her glasses from her face and busied herself pretending to clean them to avoid eye contact.
“Aaaaw, she’s blushing.” She chuckled, stepping closer on light feet and crouching in front of her chair, looking up at her with the look of a cat who caught the mouse. “I hope I am not making you uncomfortable,” she said innocently. “That wouldn’t do at all, would it?”
“N-not at all.” Lillian returned her spectacles to her face and adjusted them “I am merely, flushed with blood. It’s probably happening all over my body and you can simply only see my face.” Lillian grabbed her cup of water and took a big drink from it.
“We should find something for that blush, then, shouldn’t we?” Lucie asked, the cheshire grin still on her lips. She stood up and went to her wardrobe.“I assume your entire transformation is your mother’s work—you mentioned her earlier; she is good, you know—and it reminded me of something,” she said over her shoulder and threw open the doors, revealing the sheer size of her collection of everything from dresses to shoes, and even extended to a few articles of men’s wear.
The clothes were not her goal, however, as she withdrew a large, polished, wooden box from the bottom of the wardrobe, and, muscles in Lucie’s arms straining slightly against the weight, carried it over to the dresser where she set it down. “Behold,” she said with a smirk and a glance thrown Lily’s way, and opened the top of the box, revealing a mirror, then started folding open to box.
It wasn’t an ordinary box, for with every moment that passed more compartments and drawers came into view, the contraption unfolding and revealing a veritable bounty of cosmetics, of every kind and shade imaginable.
Once she had fully opened it, Lucie stepped back, giving Lilliana a knowing look. The thing, now that it had been opened properly, bore some resemblance to an amphitheater in a way: With the floor as the centrepiece, and ‘seats’—in this case lipsticks, powders, and more—rising in tiers the further away they got from the centerground.
Lillian’s eyes widened at the sight. “Oh my goodness. That is...that is a collection. And I thought my mother’s to be extensive, yours is in a league of its own! I can’t even begin to imagine how long it took to acquire all of that. Or the cost!”
“I don’t mean to brag, but, well,” she adopted the look of one who very much was about to brag, “so far as I know, I own a sample of every product in Prague, including the various shades thereof.” She leaned over it, visibly searching for something. She plucked a few boxes and tubes from it, placing them on the dresser beside. “As to the cost, more than I am willing to admit,” she said, looking at Lily through the mirror. “So if you ever wish to experiment, I would be glad to help you. Same goes with clothes, although I think you would be too small for most of mine.”
“And just what do you have planned? I am currently wearing more than enough makeup at the moment. I had to fend off my mother and three maids to escape my home with this much on.” She huffed, trying to stay offended but deflated in the end. “And while I might not be… entirely dissatisfied with the effect, I think I am quite makeup’ed out.”
If earlier she had been a cat who got the mouse, the grin that Lily was met with when Lucie turned around to face her, was like that of a tiger who got the gazelle. “Not entirely dissatisfied you say?” She chuckled. “Then you will have to allow me to dress you up one day. Your mother may be good, but I can make you look like an entirely different person.” Her cheshire grin somehow widened even further. “We’ll need to schedule an afternoon, it should be fun!”
“Fun? I think you and I have a different view of what constitutes fun. And I happen to be rather fond of how I normally look… that is to say I think...I normally look… acceptable…” Lillian frowned, using her cup to hide it. “But,” she pressed on, “I suppose it could not hurt to see what you can do. Considering how I barged in here, one could argue I owe you a crack at this canvas.”
“We probably do,” she replied with a shrug, plucking a few more pieces from the box before setting about closing it. “Teasing others, I find, is a great pastime. And don’t think I didn’t notice your offer,” Lucie added, looking briefly at Lily over her shoulder. “I do intend to take you up on it. You won’t regret it, I promise.”
“Just don’t allow your feelings to be hurt if I’m not taken with the look. I’ve never been one for dressing up in any fashion. My current appearance is so I don’t embarrass Adam tomorrow. “
Lucie let out a decidedly un-ladylike snort, which then turned into a chuckle. She closed the lid-mirror over the box and turned around, offering a wry smile. “When you grow up being told you are to be a tool for someone, because you owe it to them for rescuing you, hurt feelings become a secondary concern. I’ll manage, in the impossible scenario that you dislike my work.”
Lily’s eyes narrowed and she once again looked over the other woman. Everything about her was odd and was contrary to what she herself had learned about people. “You’re like someone out of a story book,” the words left her mouth unintentionally.
“Every life is a story. What we do with this story, and how we try to direct its narrative, is what matters,” Lucie answered cryptically.
“Well spoken for someone so young. It’s good to see your colourful past has not cast shade on your future, or on your present. Not everyone is so strong.”
“I am not sure I would say it was colourful, but definitely eventful.” She didn’t elaborate, but looked towards the door. “And it seems that Anna is about to return. Right about… now.” The final word had not left her lips before there came a knock on the door, and the sound of it opening.
“I returned with the salve and bandages,” Anna announced as she entered, closing the door behind her, and approached. “I hope these are the correct ones for your burns?” She held out the tin box and a roll of gauze.
Before Lily could answer, Lucie had already taken, and opened, the tin box, inspecting the contents. “I may be no expert, but this is not your standard mixture. Smells and looks different.” She looked hard at Lily, the intensity of which was lost on her, as the unbidden announcement and thievery of the tin took precedent. “Sit,” Lucie told her, pointing to the bed. “I will help you, make sure we get it done properly.”
“I will not! Th-that is MY business. This is a private matter!” Lily’s face, even through her makeup, was bright red. Caused by both anger, and more so, embarrassment. “I will be leaving and I w-”
“A private matter announced by you being carried into the manor, your dress half burnt off? I was there, I saw it, and I know how to dress wounds.”
Lillian glared at Lucie, “You..I will NOT….this is!” She gripped her dress tightly with shaking fists.
“This is… what?” She asked, putting one hand on her hip while the other still held the tin. Sighing, she continued. “You lose nothing by accepting an offer of help, Lillian. If it is out of embarrassment, then consider that I am standing before you lighter clad than some courtesans. But if you still adamantly refuse, I will let you be. However, maybe next time don’t request medicinal items be brought to someone else’s room while they’re there, if you don’t want their aid.” She closed the lid on the tin and looked meaningfully toward the bed.
There was a very long period of hesitation before Lillian moved to the bed and sat on the edge of it, making a very clear effort to look neither Lucie nor Anna in the eye.
She could practically feel the smile that crept over Lucie’s lips, though she looked away. Lucie stepped over and knelt in front of her, unscrewing the tin while Anna deftly rolled up the edges of Lillian’s dress, revealing the old bandages from shin to upper thigh. Anna strangled a gasp before it could mature fully, while Lucie muttered something inaudible under her breath.
At an unspoken command, Anna also procured a thick piece of leather and offered it to Lily. “For the pain,” she said. Lillian accepted it and bit into it just as Lucie started peeling off the first bandage causing her to groan in pain, the sound muffled by the leather.
“You know,” Lucie said after re-applying the salve and bandage to the first leg, “you are far stronger than I thought. Surprisingly lean muscles in your legs,” she elaborated, looking up with a smirk. Anna peeled off the last of the old bandage from the second leg and Lucie started applying the salve. “You don’t have to be ashamed of your scars. Everyone has them. Wear them like a badge of pride, I was once told. I don’t have many, but the ones I do…” she shrugged, and continued her work.
Lillian mumbled something about “Lots of walking,” through the leather strap, but otherwise remained quiet beyond the odd groan or whimper. Beyond the simple, though extreme, embarrassment to having two women focus so intently under her dress; she was also embarrassed that the results of her biggest blunder were on such a display. The pain she could bare, the shame was another story, regardless of Lucie’s words.
Several minutes of careful work later, Anna rolled down the dress to cover the bandages again, and she and Lucie stood up. “There we go. How are you feeling?” Lucie asked, leaving Anna to discard of the used bandages.
Lillian took the leather strap from her mouth and placed it to one side. She straightened her dress, but remained laying down. “I am… feeling better. The salve is rather good at soothing pain, at least on burns. Hopefully its ability to speed healing is as effective; hard to tell with experimental medicine how it will work out.”
“One can hope,” Lucie mused, accepting a cup of water from Anna, who also held one out for Lillian. “Did you,” she continued a few sips of water later, “perchance take inspiration from my dress earlier in the day?”
“The dress was not my idea. I was rather content with the purple one I had on earlier.” Lillian accepted the cup and leaned up enough to take a few sips. “My mother insisted I needed something more befitting Adam if I were to accompany him. Turns out she had this one saved for my birthday but felt it was worth giving it to me now. I can’t imagine why she’d buy me something so nice.”
“Motherly love, one presumes.” Lucie smirked then, carefully looking Lillian up and down. “Do you dislike nice things?”
Lillian carefully sat up in bed, and took a large drink from her cup. “I find most nice things frivolous, however, I... simply think they are a waste on me. I don’t appreciate them, and often find them a hindrance to my work. I also—” lillian cut herself off abruptly. She remained quite a moment, taking a small sip from her cup before she continued.
“I used to exclusively wear white. I liked how it looked on me quite a bit and it allowed me to easily collect stain samples. Anytime I got a stain I took out my pen and wrote on my dress where it came from. There was a strange beauty to it, having something I found lovely also serve an important purpose. My mother stomped that practice out not long after I started doing it.” Lillian finished her cup and placed it on an end-table. “Funnily enough, her objection wasn’t that I was ruining nice clothing, or even that I was walking around in stained clothes… it was that white is for poor people—her words, not mine. White clothing is cheap because no dyes are involved. I liked how I looked in white, and she knew that, but she took it away from me regardless so some stuffy buffoons, whose only contribution to society is the fact they don’t contribute to it, wouldn’t think our family low class because I wore cheap clothing.”
Lillian stood and once again straightened her dress, which at that point was in no need to any more straightening. “It’s not motherly love, its protection from rumors of poverty. I know why she would buy me a nice dress, I don’t know why she’d do it for a birthday gift. She knows I won’t like it and will probably ruin it, but she did it anyway.” Lillian shook her head. “Thank you for your time, and your help. Both of you.” She bowed her head to both Lucie, and then to Anna. “I will see you in the morning.” With that she made for the door.
Lucie let out a derisive snort, her expression set in disbelief. “White is a sign of poverty? Please.” she waved her hand in front of her face, as if to dispel some foul odor. “Forgive me, but I question your mother’s intelligence. White has been in fashion for the last century. Go ask the aristocracy of France, and you will see the staggering volume of white they employ in their clothing and fashion.” She smiled and sat down on the bed, Anna suddenly hurrying to procure night clothes from the wardrobe. “If you ever wish to delve into fashion properly, with someone who can be trusted on the matter, do not hesitate to ask.” She nodded. “Good night, Miss McClellen.”
“What matters is that it is expensive, and everyone knows it,” Lilian replied, not turning around. “If she buys what's popular, it’s more to do with the price than fashion sense.” She shrugged “Wealth changes people.” With that she exited the room and ventured to her personal quarters in the manor.
Lillian locked the door behind her, pulled the drapes across her window, got a fire going in the fireplace, and sat in a large cushioned chair in front of the fire. Concerned she would be unable to replicate her mothers work should it be undone while sleeping in bed, Lillian opted to sleep in a chair. She rested her head back into the softness of the chair and closed her eyes, letting the warmth of the fire lul her to sleep. Her mind wandered between the events planned for the next day, but more so on Adam and Lucie.