Despite my protests, Evangeline and I eventually settled on going back to see the aloof, rude Leo Caprico. And although I feigned an ever increasing dislike of the man- there was something about him- and his work- that continued to haunt my thoughts. The way his green eyes had followed me as we'd left the house, dark and with a look so intense I was almost unsure of how to meet his gaze. I'm sure I'd just glanced at him with as much confusion as I felt.
We managed to re-enter his apartment without catastrophe- Leo had kindly swept up the broken bottle from the road since then. Evangeline sniffed when she saw the sparkling pavement, but her hazel eyes stayed wary as she picked her steps to his door. I smiled at her caution, and strode forward confidently. I was in a better mood that day, having concluded that 'free-spirited' was exactly my flaw- because I was too stiff! I wanted this character to open me up, to let forget my life in Britain. And as he met us at the door, unsmiling but not unfriendly, I knew he was exactly to person to let me do that.
He nodded at Evangeline when we got to him. "How's the foot?"
She rolled her eyes, "Functional. I've decided I deserve a payment, however, for your stupid bottle that might have cut off my entire foot!"
. "That's a bit dramatic," He sighed boredly.
I smiled a little at his oh so disinterested expression- and suddenly his attention focused entirely on me. The change was so sudden Evangeline stopped her fiery comeback midway to observe the exchange curiously. He kept staring at me with no regard, green eyes unreadable.
I stepped back unconsciously, and he didn't miss the movement. In a flash he was back to normal, looking bored and carefree as ever. "Hmm." His glance flickered back to Eva. "Are you coming inside or not?" He asked flatly, turning around without an answer and making towards the door.
She nodded, and looked at me with a sudden nervous touch to her serene features. I lifted my shoulders in response and she looked away hurriedly, following him indoors.
After a few minutes of their seemingly harmless banter, Evangeline abruptly insisted that she had to go meet up with an old friend she knew from school—and with just a small little look of aknowledgement from him and she was off in a flounce of lace and pearls. I glanced at him. He was leaning, one hand against his wall, the other holding a cigarette to his mouth, exhaling slowly.
I paused uncomfortably, "Well then, can I see what your working on?"
He shrugged. "Sure."
We spent hours up in that attic as he silently splashed vivid colors across the , red, black- so much black. I watched in silent fascination, floods of unbearably strong emotions overwhelming me on every stroke. I couldn't even hardly comprehend the way his art moved me- especially watching it come to be. Those were the hours in which I slowly, irrevocably fell in love with Leo Caprico.
After Evangeline dragged me off to go into town with her for coffee and chocolate', I was so imprisoned by the effect of his talent that I could hardly focus on my cousin- who irritatedly snapped a fan in front of my face. "Madmoiselle, are you in love with my ex?" She demanded.
I blinked, blushing into the depths of my coffee cup. "No, of course not."
"Then WHY are you staring into space like a lovesick child?" She asked me airily, winking conspicuously at the waiter as he set her down another latte.
"I was just thinking about his art, is all," I lied.
"Mmm," She didn't believe me for a second."He is a very handsome man."
"I know," I shrugged.
"But he's a piece of work- a bad one. Trust me." Her face was suddenly very serious.
I knew that he was a 'bad boy' but I had no problem with that whatsoever. There was something about him that compelled me- whether it be the way he could entrance me by colors on a page- or just some deep essence of him.
"Hmm," Her eyes narrowed as she watched me, "You know, there's this boy."
"What?" I said, a little confused by the change of subject.
"His name is Philip- and I like him very much." She fanned herself as she explained something I found rather irrelevant to the previous subject.
"Oh…" I furrowed my brow, utterly puzzled to the reason she was letting me know whom she fancied on such a random note.
"So we're going to see him," She clarified. "Tonight. He's having a party."
My instant thought was whether or not Leo would be there, but she quickly dashed my hopes. "It's not an artist's circle of friends though- Philip's an aristocrat."
I'd had enough of those in my lifetime, I thought to myself, irritatedly. "I thought you were…" I looked at her. "Opposed to all that."
"Oh, no- I'm very tolerant of everyone. Yes, generally I favor the Bohemian lifestyle- but of course, Philip is an exception." She grinned wickedly.
Utterly put out, I sipped my coffee. "And you want me to come?"
"Yes." She said with so much conviction I doubted I had much of a choice.