She knew they were watching her. They were always watching. It had been eighteen days since she arrived at Bayview Residence. Of course, she would never let any of the others know she was keeping count of the days.
“Lilly? Where are you, Lilly?” The voice was warm and inviting. Too much so. It always made Lilly uncomfortable.
“Coming, Miss Bradshaw,” Lilly called out as she turned off the lights in the lavatory. Lilly stepped into the hallway and closed the door.
Dollie Bradshaw was slightly shorter than Lilly. Or at least she would be if had not been for her lively blonde hair that always defied gravity. Dollie scoffed and shook her head. Not a single hair went astray. “Come on now, dear.” The woman glanced at her wristwatch. “It’s three minutes past seven and we have a guest for dinner. This is very poor etiquette, Lilly. Be sure to apologize before introductions.”
“Yes, ma’am,” Lilly said with a bow of her head.
Lilly followed Dollie past the reading area and to the stair case. A male voice carried up from the first floor.
Oh, goodness,” Dollie whispered, “we’ve missed Monte’s prayer.” Dollie cast a look of disapproval at Lilly. “We’ll let him finish.”
And they did. Dollie led the way to the dining table around the banister of the staircase. Monte Philip Bradshaw sat at one end of the elongated table. He was a tall, lean man with prominent cheekbones and he was dressed all in black. Creating a stark contrast to the elaborate colors of his wife’s outfit. The chair at the other end of the table was vacant, awaiting Dollie.
On the broad sides of the table there were three chairs to each side. Three young women were seated facing the staircase. The three were very similar to Lilly: height, weight, hair color, and features would cause anyone to assume they were related. A fact that had made Lilly uncomfortable since she arrived. The three had been there longer than Lilly and they spoke very little to one another. The Bradshaws liked silence.
There was only one young woman with her back to Lilly and Dollie. Her blonde hair was in a braided ponytail.
“My apologies for my tardiness,” Lilly said with a curtsey. “I am Lilly.”
Lilly tensed as a familiar giggle came from the table. Her heart leapt into her throat as her twin sister turned to look at her.