I returned to Place to Plume spent and road-weary. I ate enough to empty our larder twice. I could sense the Sophie’s propinquity, as if she was calling to me. I was more anxious than I had been in a while – see where asking questions gets you? The only details I knew for certain is that I still did not have the Sophie Tiara back in her case and that perhaps I should rethink my lovers’ vetting process.

I did everything I could think of to take my mind off of the Sophie. My disquiet turned to frustration when none of my capricious lovers cum secret-globetrotting-ne’er-do-wells had the common courtesy to drop me a note. Honestly, you would think with their mounting transgressions, they would at least remember their manners.

Then, one day last July, as I was wearing a rut in the floorboards, Mr. Brown, in an attempt to head off a staff rebellion with my sudden involvement in their day-to-day activities, told me I should take moment to literally smell the flowers and shuffled me off to the Conservatory. I sought solace among all my exotics and luscious’ in my Conservatory (since my exotics and luscious’ in my Stable were proving troublesome.) I was admiring a particularly fabulous Phaleanopsis equestris when I realized I could not feel my toes. It wasn’t long before the familiar tingling started in my ankles and began creeping its ascent up my legs. For the first time in almost a century, I fought the inevitable; somewhat out of defiance but mainly out of a newfound fear – with all that had happened, would I actually wake this time and when? I tried to will myself to see my extraordinary life before my eyes when the darkness overtook my mind like a veil. My last thoughts were hope; hope that I would see those I loved again, hope that the Sophie would come home, hope that this wasn’t the final period to Naomi de Plume’s story – one never knows.

Mercifully, I woke in my bed only 3 months later. There was a warm spot on the other side of the bed and a whisper of Raven’s perfume in the air.   I rang for Clarice who seemed overly excited to see me awake after such a short Nap. Mouffette had woken as well but refused to get up, the lazy pooch. Clarice entered my boudoir with a tray of breakfast and that stupid Entitled Alley Cat at her ankles, both of which were placed on my bed. Sitting next to my café au lait was a note from Adonis stating simply, “We must get you to Paris, but not yet.”

And now I am forced to do what I hate the most: wait. I wait to see if I go down for another Nap. I wait for my presence to be requested in Paris. I wait to see if Romeo or Persephone or Adonis or Raven comes to call and if they do, do we pretend none of this happened? I wait for that idiot across the way to come home and tell me what, if anything, he knows (because I still cannot believe someone that simple could possibly be a witting participant in this.) I wait for the siren’s call of my beloved Sophie and wonder why to all of it.

Or do I?

My point is, darlings, other than a Nap, there is little I take lying down.

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