Days fly by. Lots accomplished, but nothing to show apart from a variegated production of didls. In other and exciting—for me—news, I have a brand new workstation! Also, outside it’s frigid but sunny.
From X. Allegra interacts some more with Julius and his family:
“Why didn’t you leave?” Allegra asked Julius’s father.
“I can’t leave the King alone, and Caterina and the kids didn’t want to listen to reason. I gave the staff permission to leave, but Chef insisted she wouldn’t abandon us. So, here we are.” Carolus’s eyes went back to the mansion.
Only then, Allegra noticed how far into the gardens they had walked. The lights spilling out from the majestic windows illuminated the immediate surroundings, but ahead of her it was barely possible to make out the silhouettes of the topiary. She shivered.
“Let’s go back inside.” Carolus took off his jacket and draped it on her shoulders.
She accepted with a thanks without explaining she wasn’t cold. The darkness swallowing the night had frightened her. Not for the first time, the thought that Julius could only see a black canvas if left alone made her feel hollow.
They walked back to the house in silence. Not a sound interrupting their thoughts.
“Is it cold outside?” Clarissa was at her side as soon as they entered, one hand on hers to steer her away from the glass door and her father. “Come to the fireplace.”
Julius, who was still talking to his mother, excused himself and without faltering reached for Clarissa still looking at her. “You look pale.”
His sister immediately lowered her eyes and Allegra repressed a gasp. Julius had breached one of the unspoken rules among unseers. The act of looking at someone to talk to someone else was considered one of the worst faux passes. He had never done that. He wasn’t the type to forget about social dictates.
And he didn’t seem to realize what he had done. “You look distressed.”
“It was cold outside,” Allegra lied.
Julius left Clarissa and took Allegra’s hand in his. She couldn’t help to glance at the girl and see she was trying to disappear into the background.
His fingers circled her wrist in response to her pulling away.