Vote on what will happen at the end of this episode!
Previously… Jade agrees to speak with Sebastian’s sister, who is testifying for the prosecution. Readers voted that the woman Jade approaches isn’t actually Sebastian’s sister.
The woman turned around, placing a hand on her horse’s neck to steady him.
“No,” she said, with a strange look on her face, “I’m not Ms. Downing.”
“Oh, I’m sorry,” Jade said quickly. “Do you know if she’s here? I need to speak with her and was told she’d be taking her horse out today.”
“Who are you?” The woman continued to look at Jade with a mixture of politeness and suspicion.
“I’m…” Jade hesitated. “I’m her brother’s fiancée.”
The woman’s face darkened. “If I knew where she was, I wouldn’t tell you,” she snapped. “Sybil called yesterday and asked me to take her horse out today, said something urgent had come up. I haven’t heard from her since. Now if you’ll excuse me -”
The woman turned and began to lead the horse away.
“Just a minute!” Jade hurried after her. “Please, I really need to find her, it’s important. Can’t you tell me anything else?”
The woman stopped walking, sighed, and turned to face Jade again. “She might be at the family estate,” she said coldly. “But that’s all I know. And if you’re trying to get her to change her mind about testifying against that horrible brother of hers, you’re wasting your time. God knows what you see in him.”
The woman turned away, mounted the horse, and rode off at a steady clip. Jade sighed. It seemed as if the whole world hated Sebastian Downing. She was getting less and less excited about being his betrothed. She returned to her car and put the Downing estate into her GPS – luckily, the location of the family property was well known. Twenty minutes later she was there.
An old-fashioned butler answered the door, all dark eyebrows and pressed cotton.
“Is Sybil Downing at home?”
The butler gave her the same strange look that the woman at the stable had. Beginning to feel slightly disconcerted, Jade pressed on.
“I only need a few minutes to speak with her, it’s a matter of some urgency. Could you tell her it’s Karen Rice, her brother’s fiancée?”
At this, the butler’s bushy eyebrows creased significantly. “I’m sorry,” he said, “Ms. Downing isn’t at home.” He started to close the door.
“I’m sorry,” said Jade loudly, “can you tell me how to reach her?” She wasn’t sure why she was trying so hard, after all she could just tell William that Sebastian’s sister hadn’t been at the stable and that would be that. But his handsome, worried face kept swimming before her eyes, and besides, where was Sebastian’s sister anyway? What was the urgent thing that had kept her away from the stable that afternoon? For some reason, Jade felt like finding Sybil Downing was of the utmost importance.
Unfortunately, the butler slammed the door in her face.
She started to walk back to her car when she noticed a small face peeking out from the bushes.
“Hello,” Jade said to the little girl, maybe six years old, peering out of the leaves. “What are you doing back there?”
“Hiding,” the girl said matter-of-factly. Then – “do you know where my mother is?”
“Your mother?” Jade looked at the girl. “Is your mother Sybil?”
The girl nodded.
“Isn’t she at home?” Jade moved closer to the bushes and knelt down to the girl’s level.
“No,” the girl said. “We don’t know where she is.” Vote below on what will happen next or if reading by email click view poll.