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Lilly and Edward into the past, into the future.
He resumed burying his nose into the newsprint. Visibly annoyed David cast his paper aside
"Don't concern yourself with idle gossip Mary." It's unbecoming for a lady of you station."
"That hussy is of no concern to me dear brother. Edward Kahn had been deeply attached to this Kayla woman for quite some time! You don't find it strangely coincidental that he pushed this woman aside after he's set his sights; way to high I might add, on Lilly? Such an unsuitable match! He is an unquestionable blackguard! I am relieved father didn't push for a marriage contract after they appeared at dusk together...and from the forest no less!"
"Such coarse words, Mary! David scolded. "Muttered from a ladies mouth! You'll not speak of Lilly's unfortunate encounter with Edward to anyone. Am I understood?" David threw his newspaper to the carpeted floor in disgust.
"I'm not a child David and I don't expect to be treated as such." Mary sat primly in the chair removing the pins from her straw bonnet.
"Aren't you the least bit curious why your best friend would drop his long time companion so quickly? He told her to leave the cottage by summers end. She cashed a substantial check from him just this morn."
"No, Edward Kahn's love life is not my concern! As for our friendship, well that is certainly in a precarious state." David barked as he fretted about the room upended by the conversation.
"Even if this involves Lilly?" Mary inquired.
"What involves Lilly?"
The subject of their great debate entered the room. Although Lilly looked ravishing in a beautiful pink sateen gown, dark smudges cast an ominous shadow under her eyes. They were puffy and red. Clearly she'd been crying.
Lilly hung in the doorway a moment waiting for someone to speak but the room was silent. Lillian sighed knowing the conversation ended abruptly because she appeared. She sat near Mary. Her sister petted her hand and looked at Lilly with a pitying expression. Her blood boiled. Didn't they realize she wasn't an insufferably weak female? Lilly blew out a deep breath.
"It's disconcerting and also rude to be shut out by my family. I assure you I won't shrivel away and die from whatever topic is being discussed."
"We're sorry Lilly. I guess we aren't sure...what..." Mary stalled.
"...what we should say? I was mentioning that Edward Khan, his um what's the a proper way of putting this delicately?"
"Just use plain words, I'm not a shriveling emotional basket case. I can handle whatever news there is about Edward Kahn."
"Are you insinuating something in your retort, Lilly?" Her brother asked boldly.
His blood was heating as he wondered a bit too much what transpired in the forest that night. She was still his "Little Lilly." He'd always picture her as his sweet, virginal sister. If Edward had compromised her, he no doubt would want to murder the letch.
"No, David. I mean that women are much stronger then men give them credit for so please don't treat me with the kid gloves. Also, understand that I've been to college and I'm not na__ve to the ways of the world. I understand how men like Edward Kahn operate." Lilly's expression matched his sneering countenance.
"See this father? This is the very reason Lilly shouldn't been allowed an education. It's warped her mind and she's become hardened. She should've been under our protection until marriage and then under her husbands firm hand after that!"
"That's utterly ludicrous and insulting! Lilly bolted off the chair, fists clenched at her side ready to launch at her chauvinistic brother.
"Woman are equal in intelligence to men. You'll see David once woman gain the right to vote we won't be silenced any further. We will be seen and heard!"
"Ha, nonsense!" David spat. "As if men were daft enough to allow such a travesty!"
"Ok, you two that is quite enough!" David Senior interjected. "You two rapscallions are entitled to your opinions."
Lilly glared at David but he turned his back to her. She wanted to slap him hard. Lilly was shocked her brother was filled was such misogynistic arrogance.