What say we try and kick start this one?
Anne was sitting on the edge of the bed waiting to be called downstairs for the arrival of the carriage to cart her from Kellynch back to Mary's, when there was a short, sharp knock at the door; and before she even had time to draw breath and call "Enter", the door had swung open and Frederick had walked in.
He had been the last person she had been expecting to see today, given that he had gone to great lengths to avoid her yesterday, and after their discussion last night. She had even managed to convince a small part of herself that she no longer wanted to see him or have anything to do with him.
It was a very small part though.
So there she sat. Feet dangling slightly of the edge of the bed, chest packed, ready and waiting to be taken away and placed on the carriage. Her coat lay folded neatly beside her, her gloves resting on top of it.
"What are you doing?"
"Sorry?" she asked, still slightly shocked from his entrance.
"Why are you leaving?"
She swallowed. "I…I think it best."
"For whom?" he asked, pacing in the small confinements of the room.
She watched him walk back and forth. It reminded her very much of a similar situation eight years ago when he had been unable to control his emotions and had paced the drawing room at Kellynch, continually throwing looks and remarks in her direction.
"Stay," he said firmly. "Sophia wants you here, so stay. I will go."
"You shouldn't," Anne began, but he cut her off again.
"No, I shouldn't, but Sophia has decided that your wellbeing is more important than mine at the moment. So you shall stay and I will go."
Silence fell upon the room and Anne could almost feel the resentment coming off him in waves.
"I'm sorry," she said quietly.
He shook his head and headed to the door, "You always are," he said before walking out and closing the door behind him.
He never turned round, had he done, he might have seen the tears raining down her cheeks and the sorrow crowding out all other emotion in her eyes.
As Frederick hurried down the stairs after running to his room and grabbing a hastily prepared bag stuffed with a few changed of clothes, he began to feel a pang of regret at what he had said to Anne. His anger was still strong however, and it quickly washed away all other feeling.
"Well?" the Admiral asked as he entered the drawing room. "Does she stay?"
"She is staying," he said, "And I am going."
"Going?" Sophia asked, looking up from the morning paper. "Where? Why?"
"Lyme," he replied. "To see a friend."
"Yes Sophia, now." He said sharply.
"Frederick," she began, but he cut her off.
"It is decided Sophia." he said angrily, raising his voice slightly. "She is staying and I am going."
"But Frederick," she tried again.
"No buts Sophia," he said. "It is settled." Clearly ending the ending the conversation.
As he stormed out of the room, Sophia turned to her husband, her brows raised in question.
"George," she said slowly, "Do you have a feeling that something is going on here that we are not aware of?"
The Admiral didn't answer verbally, but gave her such as look as to suggest that he agreed wholeheartedly.
Perhaps an additional letter to Edward was in order?
Anne remained seated where she was for a long time after Frederick had left. A lot of that time was spent trying to regain her composure. She knew she should have protested more against returning here last night, then they would of never have been in this situation and could continue to be distant with one another till either he left or she travelled to Bath; whichever came first.
It wasn't until lunch time that a maid stuck her head round the door to ask if she heading downstairs to eat, or if she would prefer a tray brought up. Being a bit of a coward and not knowing what Frederick might have said to his sister and brother in law, Anne asked for a tray.
The next time there was a knock at the door she expected it to be the maid with her food. It was her lunch, but it was not brought to her by whom she expected. When Sophia Croft entered the room, balancing a tray in her hands whilst using her body to keep the door open as she entered, Anne tensed. She was not quite sure of what to expect from his sister. What had he said to her?
"How are you feeling?" was the first words that Sophia spoke. Setting down the tray on the end of the bed, she took a careful look at her young friend. The signs that she had had some sort of encounter with Frederick earlier on this morning where evident on her face and although Sophia did not want to pry, hoping that either one of them would let their guard down long enough for her to understand the situation, she did find both her curiosity and anger at brother, peeked.
"I think I should be apologising for my brothers behaviour." Sophia began, stopping when she saw Anne shake her head. She sat down on the bed and watched the young woman. Anne sat on the window seat, her injured foot resting up beside her while the other trailed on the floor.
"I am intruding on him here." It was all she felt comfortable saying about the situation, not knowing what Sophia already knew nor what she had been told. How was she meant to explain the situation without rehashing the whole terrible experience? Anne had decided that perhaps they did not know of Frederick and hers past encounter, and to make them aware of it would only anger him even more. She could not even begin to imagine what Sophia and the Admiral might think of it.
Sophia listen to all that was being said, and to all that wasn't. She could tell that Anne was not comfortable with the way that the conversation was heading, nor from being in the situation she found herself in. Sophia could only imagine what it must be like being cared for in one's former home that had to be given up due to mounting debts, not to mention there seemed to be an underlying problem between Anne and Frederick, where neither one felt comfortable in the others presence.
"Well," Sophia said, "You wont be bothering him for the next day or so, or him you. He has gone to see a friend, at Lyme, and is not expected back for a day or so."
Anne nodded, looking back out the window. "I saw him leave."
"Shall we see you at dinner then?" Sophia asked hopefully. She really did enjoy Anne's company, and the poor girl did seem to be more cheery and talkative when Frederick was not around.
"I think it would be better if I stayed here for the day and kept the weight of my ankle." Anne said, hoping that Sophia would not argue with her. The older woman merely smiled and nodded. Standing, she ran her hands down her dress, straightening it out.
"Then we expect to see you for breakfast in the morning," she said to her guest before departing.
Anne let out a sigh. She had been expecting more specific questions from Sophia on what she and Frederick had talked about, and felt as though she had got away easy there. Perhaps the next day or so would not be too bad.