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From Chapter 7 –
“Emma of Foreli…” Bette said softly, crouching down to trace the ‘X’ at the base with her fingers. “She was a noblewoman, Tee. Apparently heavily involved in the politics of the court, she loved the intrigue of castle rumor, the back stabbing, the way a look carried more weight than a word. She worked behind the scenes, skilled in battle formation and maneuvering, her Lordly husband taking all the credit. She was known for her leadership, her cautious nature and her uncanny ability to feint and draw the enemy into a surprise ambush or trap. They never lost a battle.”
Tina stood next to Bette, her fingers winding through the mane of hair and she crouched down next to the Captain, resting her chin on Bette’s shoulder. “What did they call her?” she asked softly, not daring to breathe, waiting for the answer.
“The Hellcat of Foreli…” Bette looked at Tina, tears on her eyelashes. “I was thinking too literally, Tee. A Hellcat could just as easily be known as a…”
“…tigress…” they both said at the same time. They stood and looked the statue up and down, their hands feeling for any loose piece of marble, any chink in the cold stone.
“There’s nothing there…” Tina said, her hands on her hips. She blew some hair out of her face, her cheeks pink. She was so beautiful, Bette thought, distracted for a moment as she took in Tina’s scarf over her bra, the leather pants still undone, the belly tight.
Going to again kneel in front of the statue, Bette kissed Tina’s belly then used the thumb of both hands to push on the “X” and they both heard a groaning sound, a panel in the wall behind the statue opening up, a small hole appearing.
“Tee…” Bette breathed, “you found it…”
Neither moved, the significance of this moment almost overwhelming. Just the mere possibility of what may lay in the small hole settled over their heads in the chapel like a cloud. Bette stood, her eyes focused on the hole and she glanced at Tina quickly before reaching in, never one to wait before taking action. She reached in almost the entire length of her arm before her hand closed on a pouch and she pulled it out carefully.