Chapter 2

Satine sat in melancholy in her chambers. A window seat provided sunshine into an otherwise bleak room. Her room was her prison; the duke would enter promptly each night. It was almost as bad as gothic tower. Rich silk hung about the bed; the curtains were closed. At least she couldn't see it. A bed of pain laid down each night, it had become the only silken bed in the world which was a bane to her, the only silken bed that she wished wasn't hers. Luckily, the curtains would be closed for a time. The Duke was in Paris on business, leaving her and the servants alone in the quiet country. She could rest, finally. Satine looked over the rolling hills, they seemed to wish to roll her all the way to Paris. She would go willingly, if only. Drowning in a velvety sea, she stood up. Amato wanted down, and began to whine at the door. She opened it, and stood in the doorway. Lucille and Aimee stood up from their chairs outside of her room. Like prison guards, they always were near her, or outside of her door. They bowed.

"Madame" They said in unison.

Satine nodded.

"I think I would like to go outside."

Lucille looked over at Aimee and nodded

"After you Madame"

Satine knew with certainty of their spying, but couldn't help making friends with her stalkers. They were the only women that would speak to her in the house, and she needed some appropriate conversation. Lucille was the kinder of the two maids; she was timid, caring, and intelligent. Aimee on the other hand was civil, but often wouldn't answer questions or reply in conversation. She had been demoted in rank after Satine had arrived, and she blamed Satine. It was also key to fool the maids as well. Them being spies, the duke would rely on their womanly understanding to discern her actions and conversation. She had to dupe them into thinking that she whole-heartedly loved the Duke. As if anyone could.

"How long is the Duke gone?"

Lucille replied quietly, "Two weeks, Madame."

"I do miss him. I wish he would hurry himself. What business is he on?"

"He would not tell us."

Satine nodded and kept walking. Amato pranced at her feet. She smiled, thinking of Christian. Her plan was becoming a bit clearer, but she still had the kinks to bump out of it. She descended the staircase slowly, the Duke's 'love' surrounded her in layers of fabric, leaving little room for her feet to move steadily. As she reached the bottom, she noticed a servant hurriedly turning a corner. They all fled from her in the house. The Duke no doubt had disclosed her past, and they did not want to be marred by her 'uncleanliness'.
"I think we might go around to the yard at the back. The yard at the front is rather boring when there is no one to greet."
Aimee and Lucille nodded and made their way down two halls and then turned left into a study with large windows. At the right were French doors. Lucille and Aimee walked and opened the doors for Satine to walk through. Amato yipped with happiness and started in an excited trot towards a tree. Satine laughed happily and walked after him. The ladies followed 5 feet behind. Satine picked up her large dress and began a fast walk to attract Amato's attention. Amato yipped at the motion and started to run around barking at Satine. After a few minutes, the weight of the dress was too heavy, and despite the lack of corset, she began to be short of breath. She started to cough, and slowly made her way to the outdoor patio where a wooden loveseat had been placed.

"Madame, are you alright?" Lucille asked.

These coughing fits after minor exertions had become common. The consumption had almost healed, but the damage done to her lungs was permanent. Her lungs also had not completely healed yet, and though the sickness went away, her lungs were still raw from the infection.

"No, no, I'm fine, just a bit too much playing I'm afraid. Let's just sit, Amato can play on his own"

Aimee and Lucille nodded and sat on chairs on either side of the couch.

"How have your families been doing lately?" Satine asked. She turned to Aimee in an attempt to prod some friendly conversation out of her. Aimee, as always, replied curtly.
"Very well, Madame. My family had a good harvest this year."
Satine, nodded and smiled. "I'm glad to hear it."
"And your family, Lucille?"
"Well, Madame. We earned enough money to buy a new horse and buggy." Lucille said happily.
"That is wonderful."
Amato got tired from chasing his tail and walked over and laid down on the layers of Satine's dress on the ground.
Satine smiled and bent down to pet the puppy, who promptly rolled over.
"It's such a wonderful day outside. I hope it's this nice in Paris, Paris is always beautiful in good weather and it puts him in such a nice mood. It's such a shame he's on business though. Having to be inside so often."
"I'm sure even if its good weather in Paris, he'll be ready to come out to the country. He always misses you, Madame. " Lucille said.
"Really? I would hope he misses me so much. I miss him so very much."

Christian had downed his second glass of absinthe for the day. He had not become a drunkard, but it had been a daily ritual of his to at least have one glass every other day and sit on the old window sill. He looked at it again, the dilapidated old building which had once been his favorite place in the world. He tried to take another drink but found the glass empty.
Today had been a particularly bad day. A year ago exactly he wrote Come What May for Satine. Humming it to himself was both comforting and torturous. Little did he know that at that time, what would come would be worse than storms and mountains. That it would truly separate them forever and he could sing all he wanted, but she would never be by his side again. He would still love her until his dying day. He didn't mind if that came sooner than later now.
A knock interrupted his thoughts.
"Christhain! Are you there? Please open the door!"
Christian sighed and set down his empty glass. He stumbled and opened the door to find Toulouse in his finest suit waiting at the door.
"Hello Toulouse. Come in"
Toulouse walked in and sat in a chair in the corner.
"I see thoday isn't such a good one. What is ith?"
"The anniversary of 'Come What May'." Christian replied stonefaced.
"Oh. Maybe I should come back on a happier day then."

"No, Toulouse. Stay. Company can actually be good on days like this."
"Wewll. You thsee, thats actually what I didn't want you to do. I wanted to invite you down to the theatre where we are rehearsthing."

"No." "Toulouse, I'm sorry. No"

"I asthked the director and he is happy to let you thsit in. Maybe it will help you."
" I don't think it will, Toulouse."
Toulouse looked around and saw a flat in shambles. It had been bad before even a year ago when Satine was alive. It was after all in Montmartre. However, after Satine died, it had deteriorated quickly. On good days, it looked halfway presentable. On bad days it was an artistic dump of bottles, glass and ink. Today it looked bad, but it was not the worst he had seen it.
"Christhain, come pleasthe. The whole castht really wants you to thsee it. They know you will not come opening night."
The words echoed a bit in Christian's mind. It hurt every part of him in more ways than one.
"No, Toulouse."
Toulouse sighed. He had tried as he had promised. Not even the strongest absinthe he could find could numb Christian enough to come sit in on even the production of the play.

"Alright Christhain. Good bye."
Toulouse hopped off the chair and hobbled to the door and left.
Christian sat back on the window sill and watched as Toulouse got a cab. He decided he might have a third absinthe. It was after all a special occasion.

Christian laughed at the thought of opening night.
He remembered how upset he had been last year when Satine had lied to him about not being in love with him. How he had gotten drunk on the last night he would see her alive. That truly was the only reason he still drank. The taste of the absinthe reminded him of that night, and the taste made him believe it was still that night and he could just walk into the Moulin Rouge and see her alive in her costume.
It never made the dream come true though. Even believing in green faeries didn't bring her back.

I'm not sure I can say how sorry I am for the hiatus that has happened.
Its been almost three years.
Between writers block, getting older, and more homework, this update has been long overdue.
I'm really sorry it took this long. This is just a taste I could come up with quickly though.
I will try HARD to update and write more often now.
I hope you enjoy this.
Reviews please! : DD