Honestly, for such a simple venture, Annabel really shouldn't have given it such momentous importance in her head. Nothing was going to happen today. She was simply going out into the countryside around Venice with two of her students for a deeply involved lesson. She was being accompanied by a colleague. A very handsome English colleague whose voice gave her shivers and whose eyes made her heart pound. At least she could admit that her anxiety was frivolous, but that didn't stop it from existing.
For the thousandth time since arriving at the edge of the city an hour earlier, Annabel ran through her mental checklist to make sure all was as it should be. Transportation: There was a simple four-wheeled cart, its attached horse, and the paid driver right beside her. Check. Sustenance: Within the cart was a sturdy basket comprised of woven reeds stuffed to bursting with simple fare of all sorts. Check. Miscellaneous: Another basket carried a burden of blankets, textbooks, writing slates and chalk, and a large umbrella meant to protect them from the sun's heat lay beside it. Check.
Everything was in place. Then why did she feel like something was missing? Looking down at her person, she admitted that it was undoubtedly due to the fact that she felt horribly under-dressed. Which was just silly, it wasn't like she was wearing less, simply.. different. While her normal attire was somewhat delicate, designed for a safe interior environment, it was hardly practical for such an outing. So instead, she'd donned a plain but hardy white blouse, and a pale green skirt of similar make, beneath which were a pair of worn boots. Equally unusual but far better for the day's activities, her golden hair had, rather than being tamed into its habitual coiffure, been woven into a braid that fell nearly to her hips.
Fortunately, she wasn't given more time to dwell on the fact that she felt extremely out of place, as the families of Narcisa and Lino arrived at that moment to hand off the troublesome pair to her care for the day. Once bundling them up into the cart -- and noting with some amusement how they sat apart from each other and tried to ignore the other existed -- she withdrew the pocket watch which had, naturally, been tucked into a pocket of her skirts, and withdrew it, popping open the cover to note the time.
Robert should be arriving any moment.
The knowledge filled her with a combination of excitement and severe anxiety, enough so that her hand trembled slightly as she snapped shut the watch and tucked it back into her pocket, before raising her head to look around for her colleague. Friend? She didn't even know what to call him. The conversation she'd had with Edward a few nights prior continued to haunt her thoughts, making her consider again the course of action she'd been pondering without end ever since, wondering if she should take such a daring chance.
All such thoughts were sent flying out of her head the moment she saw him. Unable to help herself, she felt a bright smile spreading across her face, and unconsciously folded her hands against the delighted fluttering that sprang to life within her stomach. Oh, she was in so much trouble...
"Good morning, Sir Castle. Are you ready to depart?"