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Underestimated

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"You've heard him say what? " Kate looks startled at her sister, her ears ring and it's beyond her imagination Edwina doesn't seem to be bothered by the things she just told her sister. "And you still want him to court you?!" 

"Come on, Didi, you yourself were eavesdropping, why do you want me to repeat what Lord Bridgerton said?" Edwina grins amusingly at her. "It was just tough talk between gentlemen, he wasn't completely serious." Edwina clearly doesn't get why Kate is unhinged by her unspoken desire to still get courted by Lord Bridgerton.

Kate tries to contain herself, her vision is blurry and her head is full, almost too full to comprehend words but she makes an attempt anyway. Kate is aware how young her sister still is, how little of the world she's seen. While all this is true and Kate wants to help her sister, at the same time something is gnawing at her. The way Edwina stands before her, with an obvious air of what only can be described as arrogance, she gets on Kate's nerves. 

"I'm just worried, I don't think the way you interpreted his words is correct…" Kate tries to say it as convincingly as possible.

But her words don't hit target, Edwina just winks and shrugs.

Is her sister really this oblivious?

It fits in the developments Edwina undertook the last weeks, since their arrival in England she was acting spoiled, like a child who still expects the world to revolves around her. 

Even Mary told her to cut down a little when she blamed a maid for bringing her the wrong clothes

This, to be honest, surprised Kate a lot. Never in her live would she thought to live to see the day her mother snap like that at Edwina. 

But she was under the impression Edwinas annoying behavior could be subscribed to her be anxious. For the better part of 3 years they were preparing for this season, and it was understandable Edwina felt nerves.

But seeing her sister now, Kate is not so sure she could blame it all on nervousness only. The woman before her looks like a complete stranger and it scares Kate tremendously.

With this character change unfolding before her eyes, her usual confidence is no where to be found and she has trouble staying on her feet. To steady herself she spread her legs a bit and takes a few deep breaths. It takes some time because the image of Lord Bridgerton courting her sister is revolting in more ways than one… 

If it were any other man, would you act the same? She asks herself, thinking about her rendezvous with Lord Bridgerton earlier this morning.

Never had she met such a beautiful, witty, interesting man and it is safe to say she herself was disappointed when she heard him speak about woman like that. Not that she thinks she has a shot, but she was somewhat intreged by this Lord Bridgerton. Nevertheless, she would prevent herself and her loved ones from being humiliated, even if it was the last thing she did. So yes, she would do the same.

I still want what's best for my sister, 

"You heard him say he doesn't want to love his wife, right? And that he isn't opposed to a mistress? You're not talking about some secret conversation I wasn't aware of?"

Edwina finally sees the earnest in her expression and opens her mouth to protest.

Kate lifts her hand to cut her off before she could start.

"I want to protect you, Bon. To prevent you from getting hurt."

"Didi," Edwina waves her hand to enhance the mood. " You don't have too. As always, you only see the worst in people, I need you to have an open mind this season, for my sake and to make sure I get the future I always wanted, the future we always wanted me to have. You know how wealthy he is, how he provides for his family, my life would be good, and I'm sure he's going to love the diamond eventually, I'll make sure of this. Why would you be opposed to that?" She winks again, but Kate takes a step back, and another one.

She's offended, to say the least. Blood rushed rapidly through her veins, anger wells up from deep within and for a change, Kate doesn't plan to hide it.

She always thought of her sister as a compassionate person, a person who was living, just like her, for her family, the way their appa told them to. But if that was true, how dared she insult her this way? How could she, so easily, choose her prospect over a relative? That's just wrong! Kate wouldn't have believed her sister actually uttered those words if she didn't hear her say it herself. Her hands tremble and she clenches her fists to regain some control.

"Is that what you think? About me?" She keeps her voice as even as possible and looks Edwina straight in the eyes.

"You know you have the tendency to overbearing, smuttering me with your concern, even when there is nothing that you need to worry about, and as much as I admire your involvement and determination, if you're going to be against my highest most desired prospect, I do not need your help."

"Edwina…" Kate cries out. "Please, you don't mean this." But if she did, well, than there was no way in hell Kate was going to dance at her feet, Kate respected herself to much to do so. If Edwina saw her as a fool, she would prove how wrong she was.

If Edwina decides to walk into this dead trap with this much disdain she could have it her way and Kate wasn't going to stop her.

"But I do mean it, I think I can manage my own season. I was already called the Diamond, I suppose things shouldn't be complicated for me."

Kate can't hide it, nor does she want to, she rolls her eyes and frowns deeply before she smiles amusingly at her sister.

Edwina looks confused, but she shakes her head briefly. 

It is like she can't even believe someone would dare cross her path like this. Kate thinks, and if Edwina is about to say what Kate predicts her sister is going to say, than she would go on with the plan that just enters her mind.

It all depends on her sister's next sentences.

"I don't need your judgement, Kate, I suggest you focus on yourself, maybe we both can marry, then you wouldn't have to return to India. I would love having you around." Edwina grabs both of Kate's hands to force her to meet her gaze.

And just like that, Edwina changes back into the sweet, little girl Kate always thought her sister to be. "Kate, you are beautiful, please don't be a wallflower, there will be a nice second son, or third that will try to court you! I know there will be."

She has no idea how incredibly vile her

words are… so Kate has made up her mind, she has to swallow a few times to make her mouth moist enough to talk without a crackling voice and she narrows her eyes to make sure Edwina understands her completly when she speaks. She needs to be as thorough as possible, after she's done there will be no room for doubt and Edwina knows how serious she is.

"I don't care for a second son, or third, I think I just go for Lord Bridgerton instead." 

It pleases Kate more than she cared to admit when she sees Edwina's mouth drop open.

"You don't have a chance, you're six and twenty! You… you're.. you wouldn't!!"

Kate laughs smugly, for a second she's tempted to tell Edwina about her meeting with Lord Bridgerton this morning, but at the last moment she keeps it to herself. Kate's convinced there will come a better moment to play this card. 

Today is not going to be the day she does, the initial shock on her sister's face is fulfilling enough.

For now.