"Of course, you're quite right." Arabella was almost appreciative of the apparent sensitivity of her husband around her private things. But then again she knew better. Besides, Christian was no stranger to prying in her private things while she was out. Always looking for something, hoping to catch her in some sort of act. But at the moment Arabella's mind was generally clear of suspicion. The list of things Arabella should question, but actively chose not to was long. Indeed she simply hoped that she would be remembered fondly in history, anything save being forgotten.
"As for the matter of the trial. I think it will lift the nation's spirits. To see some good justice done, and our children protected, especially during these holiest of days." Who didn't love a good execution? Well, generally speaking Arabella did not, but at least in this case it would be warranted. Too long have those two gotten away with such cruelty, such horrors and called themselves Godly. Even Arabella for all of her sins was kinder than they.
Regnal names, of course, Arabella knew that. But she had never considered that Christian would name his children anything other than Christian, it seemed an odd test of sorts. To be worthy of such a name. Arabella herself then wondered what Christian was like before he was Christian. Was he same as he always had been? Probably. Or perhaps even for just a moment in time he was a much kinder, softer man. It seemed like it could have been a possibility. Could have. But Arabella would never know. At least not really. "You did not fail my love. You raised that beacon of honour and chivalry. Unfortunately the power of the devil is strong. Sometimes too strong to resist." When in doubt, blame failures on Alex. Yes, that was the trick.
"Henry." Arabella said rather firmly, but with a hint of softness, kindness in her voice. Like she had been thinking about it for ages... and indeed she had. Arabella had picked out her son's name years ago, back when she was a child first learning about her duties. Richard always enjoyed the idea. Of course, if he ever had a son, he would have let Arabella name him anything, he would have been so grateful for the gift.
As the couple chatted and ate, time was passing and it seemed to be a relatively quiet evening. However, trouble was up when Carson entered the private dining room and bowing deeply. "Your Majesties." Arabella looked up and smiled, even if she knew whatever was about to come out of his mouth would be bad news. It was extraordinarily rare for someone, anyone to interrupt the Royal couple, and whenever they did it was seldom pleasant.
"What is it Carson?" Arabella finally asked, angling herself slightly in her chair to better face the Butler.
"The maids and footmen have concluded their search of your chambers, and the choker has not been found." There was a stern and austere quality to his words. Almost as though he feared what was coming next. Arabella seemed now to look puzzled.
"You're certain, Carson?" She asked once more, just to be certain herself.
"Yes ma'am." The Butler repeated, awaiting further instruction.
Arabella rose from her seat and turned properly now. Matters of the Royal Household were the one area in which Arabella held true authority. And she was almost certain that Christian would not counter her on this front. "That's so very strange... you don't think it could have been taken? Do you?" This question was not really directed at Carson but rather at her husband. "Well, this is rather unfortunate." Arabella shook her head as she began to think.
"It couldn't be a servant, they're far too loyal for such petty theft. They know the penalty." Arabella was incredibly trusting of her maids. In fact Mercy was about to be given promotion to her chief maid. "No, no. Not one of them." It didn't dawn on Arabella, that this was unfolding exactly as Christian wanted. She was acting like the perfect doll, as though he had handed her a script. "It has to be one of my ladies." Arabella curled her gloved hands into a fist. She was clearly upset by the matter.
"Very well... gather the guards, I want the ladies rooms searched immediately. All of them, and all at once. Give no time to allow one to pass anything off of their person to another. Top to bottom. Send the maids in after to clean it all up." Arabella was now, it would be safe to say, sufficiently enraged.
"Of course, right away ma'am." Caron bowed his head and left.
"Can you believe it? To steal from the Queen? What audacity, what nerve." Arabella returned to her seat. "Have we not given them everything? Have I not blessed them sufficiently? Have I not properly thanked them for their service?" Arabella felt the heat rising within her. "They should be kissing my feet with how lucky they are. Worshipping at the altar of God, praising him for my grace, my virtue, my fucking dignity." Arabella then seemed to calm down rather quickly, and took a sip of her wine, setting it on the table. "Forgive me. I lost my temper." Arabella looked down, though a part of her, a small part of her hoped that little show was enough to convince her husband she was of his caliber.