Meet the Bandit Girls, aka the Mederos sisters, side by side, ready to take on the world of Port Saint Frey.
“Can you help me with my buttons?” Tesara said, her voice plaintive. Jalana abandoned her stockings and buttoned up the back of her little sister’s dress, and then took her brush and began to work on her tangled hair. As always, they both received a little staticky shock.
“Did you get up the stairs all right?” Jalana said in a low voice.
Tesara nodded, squeaking a little as the brush caught on a snarl at the nape of her neck. “Not a peep from anyone. I had to put my wet clothes under my bed. I hope Jenny doesn’t look under there when she cleans. What about you?”
Jalana pretended to concentrate on a tight snarl.
“All right for me too. Now listen. If —when Mama finds out, I’ll come clean and tell her I wrote the letters. That way the servants won’t get in trouble.”
“What? Ow!” Tesara squeaked again.
“Sorry… no, we have to.” She turned her sister around by the shoulders and faced her. Tesara was so pretty; it wasn’t fair. She had Brevart’s dark hair and deep blue eyes and her skin was pale and with rosy cheeks. Her lips, too, were not straight and thin like Jalana’s but curved like a little bow. And she was curved, too; she looked like a pretty girl, and she was only going to get prettier. Whereas Jalana was straight as an arrow, Brevart said. We don’t have to worry about the boys around you, he told her once with pride. That had gratified her when she was younger. Now…she flushed and tried to put the thought behind her. “The servants can’t suffer,” she said. “It’s not fair. I’ll take the blame and say I dragged you into it.”
Tesara looked skeptical. “All right, but you know they are going to be mad.”
“Well,” Jalana said, and made a twirling motion with her finger. Tesara turned back around, and she began brushing again. “Mama shouldn’t have decided such a stupid thing.”