It had not even been two minutes since she granted him peace and he was already saying ridiculous thing. Of course they had not held hands. She was not even sure they should be right now. Though as he made mention of wanting to stay here with her, just to talk, and his thumb ran over her skin, she too thought the gesture pleasant. [+mediumseagreen “I suppose I have a few questions, but you should not stay too long.”] In part that was because she was tired, but also she knew her luck. With him here, this would happen to be the night someone walked in and saw a man, a war criminal no less, in her bed. And while she was sure her friends and family would believe her story, she also knew that they would never let her live it down. If at all possible, she wanted to forgo that shame.
As nice as the touch on her hand felt, Florence pulled it back to herself. Instead she used it to push at Nicolai’s shoulder, prompting him to move. Under normal circumstances, she would have said excuse me, or asked him to scoot over, but this was her room and her bed, and she did not feel the need to be overly polite when he was the one intruding. Once she was satisfied with him being back to the to the other side of the bed, she went ahead and took a seat. There was no point in standing if this was going to take more than just a little while.
Bringing her legs up, she turned so that her back was against the pillows and headboard, but she was slightly skewed towards the elf. Now comfortable, she readjusted the falling blanket that she continued to use as a covering. [+mediumseagreen “So, when you left, where did you go?”] Florence was rather curious where he and Elizabeth set their sights. [+mediumseagreen “As I recall you mentioned wanting to see the Elfin ruins in Calista.”] She might have been off there, but it was definitely something in that country. [+mediumseagreen “Did you get the chance? Or did all your time go into… whatever this is.”] She gestured to all of him. He had a very different look than when they last met. Not to say that it was bad, quite frankly she thought it suited him, but admitting that attraction was perhaps not the wisest move. And so she kept that to herself.
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat Although his face did not show it, Nicolai was actually very nervous about this moment. In his original plan to come to Astoria he had thought this would be impossible. To even get to her bedchamber's would be unfathomable and to have her listen to him sincerely a task thought only right for a heroic act. For all the flaws and barriers she had however, he had thought it worth taking the risk to make the offer. It was like stepping back to that time all those years ago but with the wisdom of the years that had come and gone. And when she placed her hand in his he hesitated, this was how it had gone last time.
When she spoke he let out a held breath quietly, body losing its tensity and rigidity and as she nodded down to their hands he followed her direction, looking at them also. Her skin felt so smooth and soft and incredibly warm. She reminded him of what this meant but he would have taken any stipulations she lay out, no matter how wild, though in true Florence fashion she had remained on point.[+royalblue “Understood. I never expected you to place aside my actions on the mainland or with Adrian. They are things I must answer to and I will in time, you will see.”] His fingers and thumb curled around her hand and again he felt a strong memory of that night return. He had to push it aside and focus on the moment now, which was a little difficult until he looked up.
So close to her and able to see her face in the flickering light, it was awfully tempting to lean forward and be rather brash. It would have returned him to that past Nicolai, one who wanted to rush things and cement a relationship. Yet as she stated it was only a chance at redemption and forgiveness. And he smiled lightly instead knowing he had caught himself before acting or saying something out of line.[+royalblue “You know, I never did get to hold your hand like this.. I rather like it.”] He did not have to speak loudly being right before her but he did not want to whisper as if what they were doing was wrong or needed to be hidden.
[+royalblue “I would like to stay, like this, talk more and answer any questions you have. But if you would prefer I can return to my room now and leave all that for another time.”] His thumb ran across the back of her fingers, caressing her hand gently as he moved his head to try and lift and catch her gaze in his own.
Once her words were out, Florence fully expected to be met with opposition. To be aggressively told about all her own shortcomings that had contributed to how things turned out. She knew they were there; no one was perfect. But instead he conceded to everything she had to say. In fact he went a step further and admitted how much of it was intentionally done as a ploy to draw her in. That bit made her stomach turn, but for once she stayed quite, choosing to let him finish what he had to say.
As he continued, his eyes came up to meet hers. It was a sorrowful gaze that matched his words. In a way, it was spellbinding. Those purple irises darkening as he moved away from the light and towards her. It was there at the edge of the bed that he gave his final plea; hand offered to her much like the time of their parting so many years ago. And once again she had a decision to make, only now it was a hundred time more difficult.
Florence was not a woman who forgave easily. When truly hurt, she found that the damage, and the effects that took up in her because of it, lingered and so she thought it only fitting that her animosity should as well. Those feelings were like a friend to her, she took comfort in them even when others might not. This situation, however, was a little bit different. She could not recall a time when someone came to her and so vehemently begged for her forgiveness. And what’s more, she felt his sincerity… yes, this was most definitely a difficult choice, but she knew which way she was leaning.
Closing her eyes, the dark haired woman let out a long held breath. When she opened those dazzling green eyes once more she looked to his palm, still waiting for her. Slowly, almost cautiously, Florence placed her hand on his. [+mediumseagreen “A second chance is more than I usually give anyone. Keep in mind that there will not be a third...”] She continued to keep watch on their hands, not entirely sure she wanted to see the expression on his face at the moment. [+mediumseagreen “Also, I should mention this,”] the woman nodded down to their hands for emphasis, [+mediumseagreen “is only in regards to seven years ago. Vollenberg and Adrian are still on the table, and until I know exactly what is going on, I cannot trust you completely… but I will say, the more I see of it, the more it seems that you may have a chance at redemption.”] Florence was of course speaking of what Adrian had said, but there was no way he could possibly know that.
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat Knowing she did not like discussing her feelings was a big part to his question. He had always had difficulty reading her and so this was his means of getting around that, and if she disliked it she did not show it too well as she answered him rather swiftly. And it was an answer he both expected but did not really wish to hear.
To have seven years worth of doubt confirmed was not particularly positive news. But what she did say had him nodding along with it one piece at a time, each point, one after the other and all perfectly understandable. He had had so long to think over this that she just affirmed what he had come to understand himself.[+royalblue “I was thinking of that when talking to Augustine I believe, that hindsight is rather beautiful in that way.”] It was an oxymoron in this sense, but the remark was valid.[+royalblue “When you revoked the oath I just wanted to hurt you as much as I could. I felt I had given you an ultimatum between not just me and him, but between your past and your future. I wanted you to come crawling after me, to beg for me to stay, to tell me how much you needed me and wanted me. I was to put it simply a stubborn infant holding his breath and calling mothers bluff.”] Although his face broke into a smile, it was not one of those facial smiles. The eyes, staring down the bed and not at her, did not show the humour at all.[+royalblue “I tried all the usual tropes to.. trick, would be the word, to trick you into loving me. I used pity by saying I would go back and die fighting a pointless rebellion by myself. I used fear, of losing protection for Augustine, by threatening to stay at the farm. I used threats of abandonment so often it became like one of Gregory's sickly songs.”] He had never quite picked up the ear to listen to the mans playing. It was fine, but only ever that. Perhaps he had improved since last time.
Looking from the bed to Florence he did not ogle her figure or steal a glance, rather met her eye directly. This was a quite serious conversation. One that could not be held in a dungeon with him hanging on a wall.[+royalblue “I used to think you were quite stubborn and emotionless, especially back in Wistina. But now I see you just were waiting for someone worthy of earning your attention, to justify you letting them in and seeing your true feelings. Patience was the key. Trust needed to be built. And there I was, trying to force you to open up in a few days, unable to wait.”]
Voice coming to a quiet end he ever so slowly pulled his legs up the bed and moved onto his knees. Whilst maintaining his eye contact with her, he slowly moved across the bed and stopped before her, perhaps a head taller than her. His hand extended out to her, palm up and open, hovering before her.[+royalblue “I cannot hope to move us along and try to start again without first acknowledging my mistakes in the past and asking for your forgiveness. I know you care even just a little about me because otherwise you would not talk to me. You would have left me in that dungeon for Augustus to deal with.”] It was a little surreal to be in this moment, quite similar to how they had left it all those years ago.[+royalblue “Florence, I still care so deeply about you and I would not be here before you if I did not. Please forgive me.”]
There he went toying with her again. Hinting around whatever it was that he and Augustus spoke of, but still keeping it concealed from her as he had promised. To keep one’s word was an honorable thing, this was just obnoxious, though she only felt that way as it was used against her. Then as soon as he’d come on the topic, he pressed forward. That was fine by Florence; she did not particularly care to talk about Adrian right now anyway.
His next initial question was perplexing. As in she had no idea what he meant, but it was not long before he went on to elaborate. This was almost worse than the last topic; he wanted to know about how she felt and why. They both knew that was not her strong suit.
Taking a moment or two to gather her words, the woman eyed the comfortable looking bed and wished that she might have been able to sleep through the night instead of having to endure this. An exaggeration, as she was doing this of her own volition. She could at any given moment have him removed from here. [+mediumseagreen “Nicolai, if I hated you, you would be dead by now.”] There was a weight to her stoic words, one that implicated just how serious she was. [+mediumseagreen “But you are right to think I am unhappy with you, and for more than Vollenberg and for more than Adrian. That night you made a mistake, but it was more than just that… I do not think you understand just how hard I worked to keep you with us. Hell, half the stress of that trip North was over you. You were focused in on your own self-destruction that you would even openly admit you had plans to march back to the castle and see your end that way. So in order to stop you from that, I had to make sure you continued on. That is what it took to keep you alive, so I fought you the whole way… We were supposed to be friends after all.”] Those last words came out bitter. She was still angry about it. [+mediumseagreen “And I understand that you were hurting that night, both physically and emotionally, but when I gave you what you wanted, you left anyway… I could not understand it. We were so close to making it to Astoria. We almost all made it, but you gave up.”] Taking note that her volume was growing, she paused and brought it back down. [+mediumseagreen “So you may look back on it as just one mistake, but for me it was more. You broke so many things when you left. And I was the one who had to sift through the pieces to see what could be salvaged.”]
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat Nicolai smiled when she made note of whom his source was. He had tried to keep the boys name out of this but it seemed he had tried without success. Oh well, it would teach him not to gossip as he took his mothers hand to his backside a few times. Hopefully she did not give him a closed fist like he had endured the day before last.
Although she refrained from telling him that she had sought his jealousy, he knew not to take her directly at her word.[+royalblue "Yes, I was quite petulant and childish in the past. Not an endearing thing, I can see why you thought of me as just another man but you are right in that I have changed and grown."] He brushed at her bedspread with an idle hand, smoothing out the creases as if it calmed him, though really he disliked talking of himself that much.
[+royalblue "I wouldn't call it a little white lie however. Given how I attacked him, and how angry that seems to make you, only makes the information I have given Augustus all the more.. delicious."] It was not a most appropriate word to use but the feeling of joy that he had gotten one over on such a difficult woman was nice.[+royalblue "But let us put the red-eyed buffoon to one side."] He was keen for them to move along from that man. Let the talk move back to each other.
[+royalblue "When did you mind change?"] His question came from a light pause but he looked up at her with true wonder.[+royalblue "I mean about me. Take away Vollenberg and Adrian, and you still seem rather upset at me. As does Augustine."] He laughed a little, more a chuckle.[+royalblue "Seems everyone does. But,"] the smile faded,[+royalblue "what happened Florence? I understand I made a mistake that night and I have made penance for my choice. Yet when I look at you I see more than just anger.. why do you hate me?"]
Florence huffed at the compliment. This was neither the time nor the place… well, perhaps that was not true as a rendezvous in the middle of the night and in a woman’s bedchambers was most certainly the time and place to compliment her, but given the situation, no. As she went to chastise him, he backpedaled himself and apologized again. She nodded at this and nothing more.
At present, the blanket draped woman was trying to figure out how he could possibly look so content to be sitting a den of lions and ask such a pointless question. Though at mention of his source she rolled her eyes. [+mediumseagreen “You have already told me that Augustine visited you, there is no need to be coy.”] She very much doubted that anyone else would have offered that information. She was going to need to have a talking to with her son in the morning. This was absolutely unacceptable.
[+mediumseagreen “I would not be so excited if I were you. I promise the truth is much less hopeful than you are thinking.”] Florence rolled her eyes, still rather irritated to have been caught in her lie. [+mediumseagreen “Technically yes, although it is not for the reason you might think… You look very much different from you used to, and you claim to be different as well. I wanted to see how true it was. Surely had I insinuated something of that nature or been so blunt with you in the past you would have lost you temper, or at least sulked about it for a great length of time.”] It was a test of sorts, though she had chosen to drill him on nothing but a whim. [+mediumseagreen “I cannot believe you would come all this way, risking life and limb, just for a chance to confront me about a little white lie. With all that has changed about you, it is good to know your foolishness remains.”]
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat Keeping a close watch of her, primarily so he could roll out the way of an attack from some hidden blade she kept about her chambers, he watched her contemplate her options. He had no issue with her calling for help or even just running away. This was not an interrogation, he would not stoop so low as to tie her up just to talk with her. But he wanted her to stay and to speak to him, this being his only chance at leaving his shackles and moving about this castle.
He had forgone his escape to talk to her and at length she took up her blanket from the bed to cover over herself.[+royalblue "Apologies, I was a touch more worried about hidden daggers than I was about your attire. Though very beautiful by the way."] He smiled as she stared back and he held up a hand in further apologetic manner.[+royalblue "No, sorry, my bad."] He looked quite relaxed despite the fact his life hung on one yell.[+royalblue "Firstly, and this has puzzled me all of yesterday; why did you imply Adrian was still your lover when he is not? From my.. reliable source, I'm told you two barely kissed and after three months it fizzled out. Were you trying to make me jealous per chance Florence?"] He was both intrigued and a little titillated to know if he was right. Likely not, but she would always say he was wrong - she liked telling him he was wrong.
He watched her with a look of amusement in those shining violet eyes. It very much felt like a game of cat and mouse. Unfortunately, this time she was the mouse. Not a role she cared to play, least of all half dressed. When it felt like the fog in her brain was just starting to clear, he answered her questions in rapid succession. Florence was not entirely sure all those qualified as suitable responses, but she was not going to ask again. It would likely be more of the same.
Just as the idea to yell, or make some sort of fuss creeped into her thoughts, the elf spoke to dissuade her. It was a one-two punch sort of method where he assured her safety then threatened that she might regret it. And with how things had been going lately, he might be right. That left her with a very difficult decision to make. Was she going to hear him out, or not? Mostly she wanted to have him hauled back down to the dungeon, but a very tiny voice was telling that she needed to listen. So, taking a step back closer to the bed, she sighed and grabbed the blanket to wrap around herself. [+mediumseagreen “I am not going to sit down… but what is it that you want to talk about?”] She spoke in a defeated tone, still very much tired with this being her second night of poor sleep.
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat Nicolai smiled as he saw her coming around, his hand slipping away from her as she blinked and tried to clear the fog of waking up. He did not move as she shot up and out of bed, rather he crossed his ankles and clasped his hands atop his lap. A daft smile was on his lips as he watched her manage to throw out some semblance of words.
[+royalblue "Yes it is me, I am quite sneaky and elusive when I want to be, I came so I could talk to you and right now because I did not want any distractions from anyone else whilst we did. There we go; how, what and why."] He remained sat in her bed, a light smile on his face illuminated by the candle across the room. His amethyst eyes crackle in the light, positively shining - something they often did on their nights by the campfire on the way up here.
When she stared at him in disbelief he sighed, a light chuckle from his lips as he watched her.[+royalblue "I won't hurt you, like I said last time we spoke I am still very fond of you. If you want to scream then go ahead; but perhaps when they come and kill me, you may come to see your mistake and regret such a choice."] He pat the bed beside him, fluffing her pillow a touch.[+royalblue "Come, sit, relax some. It is very early in the morning and we have time to talk."]
Dinner came and went without a hitch, all of the adults and older children making sure to stay clear of less pleasant conversation. It really was not difficult with Eugene and Gregory around. They could go round and round about the silliest things and be content in just that. It was great for the youngsters, and Abigail always seemed to get a kick out of it too. Florence more often than not found it grating, but tonight it was just fine. She might even go so far as to call it pleasant. After food there was a bit of time to relax and wind down for bed. With the day she had had, the green-eyed woman was thoroughly worn out. She was confident that she might actually get some sleep this time around. And she was right. As soon as her head hit the pillow she was out. But rest came and went quickly; she woke feeling horribly groggy and not entirely sure how she had been roused from her sleep.
Eyes opening slowly, they met the light and shut tight again. The woman groaned unhappily, but then something clicked… there was light. It could not be that early already? Not so astute in this condition, it took till right that moment for her to noticed the slant of the bed. That finally setting off a sense of alarm in her, Florence’s opened again. It was difficult to stand even the low light, but she pushed through it as she sat up. Next to her was none other than Nicolai.
Having entirely no idea how he had got there or why he was there, the woman swiftly moved to push herself out of bed and away from the intruder. [+mediumseagreen “Nicolai?”] She exclaimed more than asked. [+mediumseagreen “How… what… why?”] Her brain cycled through all the questions she wanted to ask without fully completing any of them.
Now standing at the edge of the bed, she tried to put a bit of distance between them. Though she was not entirely sure what to do with it as he sat between her and the door. Florence definitely was not confident enough to think she would make it there before he made it to her. So now she was just standing there in her nightdress trying to put together a coherent thought, you know like maybe to scream for help.
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat It was gone midnight by the time the door clicked open and the same man from earlier had come back in, slipping in through the small gap he made for himself. Nicolai had almost fallen asleep and aside from the sound of the door opening, had been laying in silence in the dark. The guards within the room had left an hour or so ago, blowing out the candles and leaving him in the darkness. It was marvellous for the elf who felt quite adept in the shadows after his years outside, but he did feel a little longing to just stay and rest in the bed. However his plan needed to be enacted now, tonight, it could not wait.
The figure slithered across to his bedside once more, hands reaching down and grasping the elf's forearm to use as a point of location to find the shackle. From his other hand he produced the required key and with a little trial and error, given the darkness, he felt the metal loosen and come free. Nicolai felt relief like he had not known in days, nodding for the man to quickly move over to do the other, though he clicked his tongue when he realised the man could not see him too well. The other shackle was easier to remove than the last, left to drop on the bed and Nicolai sat up to gingerly touch his wrists. The skin was still raw, but the salve had done wonders.
Taking only a few moments to rub at particular aches, he swung his legs off the bed and moved over to the doorway. Using the little light coming through, he looked over to his accomplice.[+royalblue “Remember, I need time to get there and some more to get me in. I need you to distract the guards. Do you have the map I requested?”] There was a nod, then a shake of the head.[+royalblue “So you know what to do, but you forgot the map. Lovely. Fine, just tell me where to go from here.”]
The next thirty or so minutes were quite eventful for Nicolai. Having been given his directions he allowed the conspirator five minutes to get the attention of the guards in the way of his destination before leaving himself. With no shoes or socks, his feet were very light and silent on the flooring. He moved quickly at first but on entering some of the longer halls and pathways, he had to stop and start as necessary. Only a few servants were awake, cleaning up or preparing for breakfast and the new day ahead. They were distracted and therefore simple to navigate around. The one or two guards unable to be distracted by his friend would take a little more time and guile – a noise here, a call for help there. It dragged them from their posts and he was through.
By the end he was at the door of the room he needed and he was very careful to open the door quietly. Having taken a candlestick holder and its lit candle from a nearby stand, it gave him means of seeing inside – and as expected it was only his target in sight. Closing the door gingerly behind him, he moved to place the candle on the nearby desk where it gave a soft golden glow to the room. Moving across to the targets bed he was careful to move to one side, picking a good spot.
[+royalblue “Come now, time to wake up.”] Voice barely at a whisper as he slipped onto the bed, atop the sheets and sitting up with his back to the bed board. His hand reached across and with a gentle touch he brushed back several loose strands of chestnut brown hair with stripes of silver. She was quite serene and peaceful and he hated to wake her – but he did not do all this to watch her slumber.[+royalblue “Florence, wake up for me dear.”] He spoke a little louder, hand brushing her shoulder and rocking her very slowly.
Accompanying the teenagers all the way back home, it almost felt more like she was a chaperone than an extra member of their party. After getting over Augustine’s reaction, Flora took it rather well. It made sense, she was generally a sweet girl, albeit a little mischievous at times. Florence thought it added to her charm. Her son on the other hand seemed more irritated that his parent was interrupting time with his girlfriend. He took every available chance he was given to let her know that too. Whether it was a dirty look, or a comment under his breath, he was not shy about it. He was just lucky that Florence found it more funny than actually insulting. Flora, not so much. She grew tired of it and eventually chided him for being rude to his mother. Honestly, the older woman thought it was interesting that the fiery haired girl would take her side in this situation. It might have been an act to try and garner her favor, but Florence seriously doubted it.
When they did finally make it back to the main wall, the middle-aged woman decided enough was enough and gave the pair their space once more. It would not be quite the same seeing as this area was much busier, but they really did not need true privacy anyway. They were still young, not to mention she knew it drove Augustus mad that they were so often unsupervised. She did not recall him being such a prude when they were that age, but it seemed becoming a father changed that about him. It was laughable, but she would keep it to herself for now.
The rest of the day passed in a quiet and leisurely way. Florence spent most of it on her own, but every once in a while someone would pop up and ask her a question. Having something to do helped the time pass all the quicker and before she knew it was time for dinner. It was the one formal meal that the family took. Breakfast and lunch were given little to no ceremony, but for dinner at least they all sat down together. As far as royal dining went it was fairly plain, but it was a time for them to enjoy one another’s company. Generally the table seated the King, Queen, and their slew of children, but in the time since his sister and father had returned they and Augustine came too. The invitation was always extended to guests and friends, however Augustus decided to go home early for the day. Despite all the time he spent in the castle, he and his kin lived in his family home back in the town. For the longest time Eugene tried to get them to move in, but Julia refused. Not for any prideful reason, but because that house doubled as her bowyer shop and it had been in Augustus’ family for generations. It would have been a shame to let it go now, so he made the commute daily. She always said it was good for him anyway.
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat Nicolai had enjoyed some sleep before waking up near mid-evening. It was odd that he would wake up from a wonderful dream he was having, but his innate sense that someone was in the room with him as he slept woke him. At first he had thought it just one of the guards left to watch over him, but looking around he found the room quite devoid of these men. A few candles had been lit on a nearby mahogany dresser and unable to rub at his eyes he had to squint as he looked about. It was only when he looked to his side, where the curtains had been drawn, that he jumped a little and swore under his breath.
[+royalblue “[i Merde!] You bloody bastard, how about a more normal entrance next time?”] Seeing the man stood there so casually he fell back into the comfort of his bed, lifting a hand to grasp his forehead but finding it still shackled and he sighed as it whipped back to slap the bedspread. Thankfully due to the doctors work it was no longer painful, just annoying. Moving his head across to meet his hand he rubbed at his eyes and took a moment to ease his fast heart.
The man stood there only smiled lightly and nodded, waiting for Nicolai to regain his composure. It took a minute or so for his violet eyes to turn to the figure and he lay his head back on the pillow.[+royalblue “Well, you have completed the first part of the plan. I'm out of the dungeon. But now we have the more difficult part. Did you make the necessary arrangements for tonight?”] Looking up he saw the man nod again, quite respectful in that manner.[+royalblue “Good. And Adrian, is he dead?”] A shake of the head.[+royalblue “Even better. Now go about your day as usual. Check in on him, feign some of that pity and concern for him, really butter it up. I can't have you being found out just yet.”]
The man gave a final nod of his head as he moved forward to head out the door, though a click of the tongue brought his attention back to the bed and Nicolai was staring across at him.[+royalblue “Remember tonight, I will need time. Make some kind of distraction just in case things get a little.. loud.”] Both men grinned at one another before parting ways, readying for the night ahead. Now where was his food? He was feeling rather hungry from his planning.
The tired looking man seemed to be in a deep state of thought before he answered her question. And when he did, it was all very vague, but that was about what Florence expected. In the end, she was just glad to know he knew what course he would take when the time came. Which was closer at hand that she thought. The doctor knew his stuff, even if he was a sneaky son of a bitch.
At his mention of sending a guard to look over Adrian, Florence nodded. [+mediumseagreen “I am sturdy, so I was fine, but I think if he would have grabbed that poor nurse she would have cried.”] Smiling, the woman made light of the situation. She omitted the fact that the incident had nearly put her in hysterics. It would only make her feel worse if she knew more people were worried for her. Besides, a bruised arm and a minor break down were the least of their problems right now.
[+mediumseagreen “I guess not.”] As much as she wanted it to be simpler tomorrow, the woman was not so optimistic. It was definitely a good idea to be prepared for it. She just hoped they were able to sleep better this coming night than the last. [+mediumseagreen “Perhaps, if we are lucky, the exhaustion will help us out with that. Because, quite frankly, we both look terrible. I would not be surprised if Julia left you with a face like that.”] A grin grew on her lips as she poked fun at the man. He rolled his eyes but inevitably joined in with her fun and they fell into a bout of insulting one another. It was all in jest, but from the outside looking in it probably looked pretty mean spirited. By the end of it they were both laughing. It was a nice distraction while it lasted, but like all good things it came to an end and the pair said their farewells for the time being.
There was not a tremendous list of things for Florence to do that day. So she found herself going for a walk near the fields. The air helped to clear her mind and the clouds in the sky gave her something new to look at. As beautiful as this place was, and all the love she had for it, she did like to have a change of scenery every once in a blue moon. That was what was so nice about the sky; it was always changing. And on this warm summer day there was a light breeze to move things along just a little quicker.
As she was thinking about turning around to wander back home, Florence caught sight of Augustine and Flora. They looked to be on their way back from town, hand in hand as it so happened. Smiling, the woman waited for them to come a little closer before calling out to the couple. The simple greeting caught them both by surprise and just as soon as Augustine heard it he sidestepped and let go of Flora’s hand. Really she did not know why he was so embarrassed. It wasn’t as though she did not know what they were up to. He had told her himself in fact, which only made it all the funnier. Though the girl at his side did not find it quite so humorous. She shot him a look that could have frozen the rivers over.
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