sealed lips

She raises a finger, dainty and peach and plotting, to her lips.

He doesn't know how he should respond – for her eyelids butterfly just enough, and the golden brown ringlets frame her cheeks in a criminal way. He lowers himself next to her armchair throne and lends her his attention, wondering what dire secret she has to share with him.

"I have had a most… terrible impulse recently," the princess whispers into his ear, and he has to tighten his grip on his pocket watch to steel himself. He pushes his spectacles, but they fall back into place a few moments later, and he can't quite collect himself enough to say something apt.

"Should I act on it?" The girl shifts away from him and attaches her finger to her chin.

"Lady Caitlin, my sole purpose is to ensure your contentment. Whatever it may be, I trust you will find the appropriate judgment within yourself," he manages to say as he straightens his back, stepping back in reflex.

But an unprecedented situation manifests when the young lady takes his hand and laces her fingers through his. His glove suddenly feels warm, and the man can no longer level himself – no matter how hard he tries.

"Must judgments always be appropriate?" she asks in blank verse, more for the sake of stunning him than to receive an answer – that much, he is aware of.

He wants to nod his head, there is no question. And yet, in the sight of her gaze, her firm lip; even Darach has to stop and stare, just for that second.

And Caitlin closes her eyes (leans her head).