A/N: Dear all, I admit this is a very short update - meant to be more or less as a sign that I have NOT forgotten about this story and will hopefully update with something more substantial, soon. In the meantime, I hope you will enjoy this little something, as well...

I must confess it took me some moments to recover from this rather strange blow! What on earth might have happened to the man to cause such a strange behavior? Was it just grief over a personal loss? I was not sure, but I had perceived something in his voice that sounded very much of guilt.

I knew I should have felt hurt, perhaps even angry about being… well… rejected in such a fashion… but no… no. I understood he had not really rejected my friendship, or at least would not have in a more sober mood. Anyway, there seemed nothing I could do for him right now, so I finally decided to go home.

I spent a quiet evening. Godfrey had sent a long letter from Paris, and I eagerly sat down to write him an answer. We were accustomed to the fact of not being together every day and a part of me enjoyed the freedom and independence this arrangement granted me. But he had been gone for several weeks now, and I was looking forward to seeing him, soon.

Later I took my sheets of notes to the piano and tried to get ahead with my composition, but I only ended up in recollecting this afternoon's strange conversation, and my concentration on the musical task vanished again. That was when I finally got angry – angry, though, with myself, for letting the private matters of a more or less stranger that far into my mind! I should prepare for another concert or see my tailor over a new collection of winter dresses or start on my list for Christmas shopping in Paris or something in that direction! Pacing the drawing room like this and ruining the carpet as well as my nerves simply would not do!

I therefore retired for an early night.

The next morning found me in much better spirits, and I spent the first part of it lazily lounging in my bed with a cup of chocolate, the morning papers and a novel. When I finally got up, I took a long relaxing bath and got dressed for the day, and it was almost noon when I finally considered myself presentable.

Downstairs, I settled down at the piano again to study a new set of songs, when the maid came in and presented a visitor's calling card. I held it in my hand, considering and wondering, until I told her it would be all right and I would receive the gentleman.

A few moments later he appeared in the door, elegantly dressed and well-groomed as ever. But his face resembled the color of white ashes and the eyes were bloodshot. When I rose from my piano seat he bowed and looked at me quietly, obviously insecure how to begin.

"Mr. Sigerson." I sighed. "Forgive me for saying so, but you are looking terrible. Please, do sit down, and let us have some tea."