758 - Emma
I feel strangely calm. Sure, I had my little meltdown when I first saw the pictures, presented to me by Eschieve who had found them first, but this isn't the first time something like this happens to me, to us, so I found myself trying to fix the situation quickly.
Without Lucien here, that's a little harder, because although I know he's with Matt, I have no clue how he's dealing with things.
Not a single article has coined the possibility that the mystery girl by Lucien's side might be Eschieve, his little sister, and that's the only good thing coming out of this. Half the articles suspect it's me, because it would logically make the most sense.
The other half say that it can't be. The girl in the pictures is built differently, and after the miscarriage news breaking last year it wouldn't make sense for me to be anywhere near an abortion clinic.
It makes me feel a little desperate, because in this current moment, I see no way out. We can't ignore the rumours, because they have gotten intense and in no time, everyone will start questioning the pictures.
We have to kill them off before Jacques du Castellon decides to pick up the phone, or even worse, fly over to confront his son with this possibly image ruining stunt.
And so, whilst Eschieve is rummaging through our kitchen cupboards to find something to eat her stress and feelings with, I pour myself a glass of wine and stare out of our living room windows. Edinburgh is stretched out in front of me, its possibilities endless.
"Eschieve?" I call out, my voice ringing through the otherwise silent appartment. Even Frank and Lance have realised that this is not the time to be loud or annoying.
She wanders into the living room, a handful of oreos in one hand, a glass of coke and probably something stronger in the other. She looks a little frantic, her shoulders raised and tense.
"We'll figure it out," I smile. Even though I have no clue how, I know we'll find a way to make sure this gets fixed and forgotten about.
She shrugs. "I just wish...." her eyes wander, not staying in a single spot for long. "If I had never bothered you two with this, we'd never be in this situation."
"You did what was best," I know she still has trouble believing that, especially after this entire circus. "We'll find a way. Speaking of which..." I breathe. "I guess I should grab the bull by the horns."
She raises an eyebrow.
"I know Lucien is too busy focussing on how not to fall apart, so I'm calling Eailyn. She can advice us. Which reminds me - can I... tell her? It'd make it much easier."
Eschieve just nods, taking a big gulp from her drink. "Take however long you need. I might head out for a bit... get some fresh air."
I'm in the home office, spinning slow circles on my chair before I even dare press the call button. Eventually I do, petting Frank who has taken it upon himself to lay in my lap to calm me down.
She answers before the phone can even ring three times. "Emmeline, I'm glad you called."
Before I can question how she knows it's me, I hear a little chuckle. "I have most of Lucien's close contacts' numbers saved. For times like these. Tell me, how are you doing?"
The fact that she doesn't grill me immediately on what is happening or what is true makes me comfortable enough to let out a sigh before answering. "I'm okay. A little worried, but... okay. I just wanted to call to see what we can do."
"Of course. So, tell me what's really going on, and we can go from there."
"It's not me," I assure her. "And it's not... some random girl, or anything like that. The girl... it's Lucien's sister."
"That sure does explain a lot," Eailyn answers on the other end of the line, and I can hear her typing. "I assume we want to keep that under wraps, yes?"
"Yes. She never asked for any of this, just got unlucky. But I also want to debunk the cheating rumours. They're right, the girl in the pictures can't physically be me, but it'd be so much easier if that's just what they believed..." I let out another loud sigh.
For a good hour after, I talk to Eailyn whilst simultaneously scrolling the internet and doing some damage control. She tells me not to post anything yet, to let the worst go by before doing so. I delete some comments that merely add fuel to the fire after Eailyn's advice, and together we plan out something to post once the worst panic dies down.
"I'm going to contact some people and we'll be in touch, okay?" She concludes. "No matter what happens, I'll make sure Eschieve stays out of this, and the cheating rumours get killed off. Now, all you need to do is continue living your life as usual, and try not to worry too much, no matter how hard that is."
"I'll try my best. Thank you, Eailyn."
"You're welcome, Emma."
After I've hung up the phone and have carefully lifted Frank off of my lap, I go to open the door. There, I find it blocked. I can peek out a little, and see one of our dining room chairs placed in front of it.
"Eschieve?" I call out, confused and slightly worried.
"Yes! Not to worry, no one's robbing the house, I just need you to stay in there for a little longer," she calls back.
"What are you doing?" I ask, trying to move the chair after managing to get my hand through the crack in the door.
"Nothing bad," she chuckles. "Don't try to get out through the guest bathroom either, because I've blocked that one too. But... I could advice you to take a nice shower there, and put on the dress I've put on the counter."
I know not to question the du Castellon family when they have a plan, even when it's as vague and slightly worrying as this one, so I just pull my arm back in.
"How long until I can come out?" I ask, hearing her footsteps come closer. Her face peeks in to the room, a smile around her lips.
"An hour.. maybe two. I've come to get the cat so you can fully relax," she moves the chair away slightly so Frank can walk out, "and give you this."
She hands me the bottle of wine I've opened previously and a glass. "The rest of the necessities can be found in the bathroom. Outfit, make-up, shoes, perfume.. Now.. I'll come and get you when I'm ready."
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