There was a tapping on the Chateau’s door the minute Thursday gave way to Friday. I was in the drawing room watching the last flickers of fire spring from the glowing embers in the fireplace. A sad trumpet told sadder tales softly from the phonograph. I heard the door and assumed it was Opie checking on my mood after one of his dates. I had instructed Clarice, thank goodness she was still awake, that I was not to be disturbed and that he could come around the next day for lunch, if he was so inclined. When I heard Clarice’s voice say “she’s in the drawing room,” I began searching for heavy objects to club her with. But at the sound of the first heavy footfall, I knew who it was. I remained sitting with one hand resting on my book, the other along the back of the settee. I felt his warm breath on my ear when he whispered, “I have returned.”
I had planned a few scenarios for when Adonis finally graced me with his presence; one rife with aloofness and disinterest, one with fiery demands of where had he been and why he had made me wait so long? In a particularly dramatic moment, I perfected a foot stamp combined with my finger jutting towards the door. When he pleaded (which of course he would) the snap of my head in the opposite direction would tell him he was no longer welcome.
But he was welcome and my body betrayed any wish I had to punish him. My arm moved around his neck and pulled his lips to my cheek. His hand ran along my other arm until his fingers laced with mine. He was here, as it should be.
Somewhere into the next day, when Mouffette wailed outside my bedroom door, bemoaning his expulsion, we called down to the kitchen to replenish our overworked systems. I nibbled on soft-boiled eggs with toast points and fresh melon when Adonis pushed a tendril of hair away from my face and commented on my slight pallor. Most others would have been shown the door for such temerity, but Adonis is not like the others. His tone conveyed a tenderness that generally passed between us unspoken. Laughing it off, I reminded him after the amount of physical activity this 142-year-old woman had just encountered, I should be expected to be a bit peaked. But I saw in his eyes that he knew of larger issues – sleeplessness, anxiousness, and nightmares of the Sophie being snatched from my grasps.
As I have mentioned before, I know not what this return to a “normal life” will ultimately do to me or how I will hold up. I have a passing concern for the puzzle being laid out before me, but have spoken of it to no one. What can be done? My type doesn’t appear in medical books.
We spent the chilly weekend inside doing all the things we enjoyed; mostly each other. Two curiosities of note: I slept in Adonis’ arms without fret. On one particular occasion, my sleep was so sound; it resembled preparation for another Great Nap. The other curiosity of note was as Adonis left the comforts of our tent I had recreated in the drawing room to put another log on the fire, I saw a scar on his shoulder; one that looked extremely familiar.
“Have I seen that before?” I inquired.
“No.” He said.
“It looks… menacing. How did you come by it?”
“You should have come to Liège.”
And that ended the discussion.
His packed bags on the foot of the bed announced his departure. He kissed me passionately but said little when he left. He turned once more before he entered the cab and gave a brief wave as I shut the Chateau’s door. Passing the hall table, I noticed a small box sitting atop unopened mail. I read the folded note attached to the string around it.
To help you rest was all it said, written in Adonis’ hand.
I stared at the box for the longest time trying to imagine what possibly could be in it. When my curiosity got the better of me, I slowly removed the lid and pulled from a cushion of satin a brooch. The brooch is beautiful beyond words. It is a circle of 24 carat yellow gold with four flawless white sapphires denoting the four cardinal directions. In the center, suspended almost as if by magic, are two exquisite red diamonds, identical to those on the Sophie Tiara.
I meant to gasp but there was no air to be found so I remained perfectly still except for my trembling hand. When Clarice came up behind me , I told her to get my travel agent on the phone.
My point is, darlings, sometimes it’s desire and some times it’s necessity.