Brielle was sitting by the bar in the Rejected Gear, morosely sipping on a glass of sweet white wine and contemplating how her life had been going  lately. She was feeling down on several counts.
 
For starters, Felix had been preoccupied with finding Tura' lu and when he wasn't off meeting with people trying to make a break through, he was often in the basement training. Even when he was with her, he wasn't really present the way he used to be-his mind was very obviously elsewhere.
 After their first night together which came on the tail of Tura lu's threat to her safety(which Felix took very personally) and Ara nearly having succeeded in taking her to a Dorian Grey party(which most likely flared his protective instincts), Felix had treated her like a delicate flower that could easily be crushed and hadn't touched her but for several kisses. The way he looked at her-a mixture of self disappointment(from feeling like he failed to protect her, she wagered) and a hint of fear and helplessness, broke her heart.  The state of their relationship and his absences left her feeling bereft. Perhaps he cared for her. The worried looks and gentle treatment certainly bespoke of that. Yet there was that nagging voice in the back of her mind that sounded suspiciously like her mother- "Men become disgusted with girls who become ruined. They won't ever marry you or even look at you again." Perhaps she had been no good. Perhaps she was ruined. Perhaps the looks were not of worry for her, but of disgust, and the frequent absences were a means to avoid her. That being said, that was only a fraction of her worries.
 
The next issue on her mind was training. It was going abominably. She couldn't shoot worth anything, which had been made painfully obvious during one such incident when she had nearly shot Sarah in the foot. She had a weak arm for swordplay, and any kind of man to man(woman to woman?) combat left her smushed into the ground, dirt all over her carefully made up face and ground into her hair.Her and Sarah most definitely did NOT get along, and quite frankly it was making her life hell. She hated the god awful uniform, she hated being left without her corset, she hated the physical training(while her posture was impeccable, being waist trained since a young age had left her with a weak core, something Sarah was making her personal mission to fix), and to top it off, her over sensitive personality did not work so well with Sarah's callous one. On top of this, Sarah often made distressing comments about Brielle which left her greatly confused as well as upset due to the abuse that often preceded the comments. Not a day went by that she did not end up going back to the Gear in tears, sobbing the way home and scurrying up to her room to blot her eyes and fix her kohl liner before heading back down to the bar and having several glasses of wine. It was only this afternoon that she was wiping smudged dirt, kohl, and tears from her eyes as she mumbled to herself in a mocking voice a litany of things that Sarah had said. Her favorite Sarah comment of the day was "God dammit child! Stand up and fight! How can you let your ass get whipped by a little girl?" Absolutely humiliating. Brielle was FULLY aware that Ellie could beat her in just about anything. She shook her head and continued pulling herself together.
The last pressing issue was that of her sister, the only family member that she regretted leaving behind-her comrade in the subtle acts of rebellion they pulled against their parents. Most memorable was the time she ran away and rode her father's horse down to London the night of her engagement party. It never would have been possible had her sister not distracted the stable boy with some sweet words and that cup of tea laced with the sleeping medicine their parents thought they didn't know was used on them when they refused to follow to the letter the hundreds of rules imposed upon them. In any case, she had been writing her sister for a few weeks now. Lately, the letters had been slow in coming and she was anxiously awaiting the next one. She went out to check the mail, and was happily rewarded with a letter from her sister.
 
Dearest Bri,
I am terribly sorry about the slow correspondence, but I must write to inform you of the wonderful news that Phillip and I are now engaged. We are to be married when I reach my majority in two years. Please come home to celebrate as soon as you can!
Much Love and affection,*
Your Dearest Madeline
 
Brielle read through the letter with confusion-her sister had always been  the first to come up with dreadful names for Phillip! Had it all just been jealousy? Then Brielle realized what had been bothering her. The letter had not been written in their code. Phillip was watching over her while she wrote the letter and her sister most definitely did not want this engagement. She must go save her sister! It would have to be done in secret though....Felix would never ever let her go home and risk herself! She started planning and packing to leave on the morrow.

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