There is sunlight streaming through his curtains when she wakes up. Caroline stretches her toes and fingers before reaching out to where he should be lying next to her. Her fingers meet only cold sheets and her body tenses as her eyes open in panic. He left her. He got what he wanted and then he left her to wake up alone. It wouldn't be the first time this had happened to her.
Her lower lip is trembling when, finally, she hears his voice. "Don't move," he commands softly, "your position is perfect."
She obeys the command even as her eyes follow the sound of his voice to the chair in the corner of the room.
Klaus is wearing only a pair of boxers and a t-shirt and his hair is all messy. His focus isn't on her but at the object in his lap—his sketchbook—and what he is holding in his hand—a pencil. She has seen his sketchbook before, he is often drawing in it when she comes over, but not once would he let her see what was inside. "I've seen your artwork before," she remembers telling him once when she was trying to convince him to show her the book, "and one of your drawings is on my desk at home. Why can't I see what's in there?" All he would say at the time was that what is in there is more personal and that she should just let it rest, so she did.
"I thought you left me," she whispers, the panic she felt when she couldn't feel him next to her still present in the forefront of her mind.
His attention shifts to her immediately and he sets both the pencil and the sketchbook on the table next to him before leaning forward in the chair to be closer to her. "Now, why would I do that, sweetheart?" he wonders seeming unsure of the answer himself.
Caroline averts her eyes and stares at the sheets as she answers, "You got what you wanted. I thought, maybe, you got all that you wanted."
"Caroline," he whispers on a sigh, the word she has heard countless times in her life sounding for the first time like a breathless caress. His right hand reaches toward her and brushes a stray curl that had fallen into her face—she couldn't move it herself as he had told her not to move. "I would never do that to you."
She knows she probably shouldn't believe him but she does and she lets it show. "I'm glad."
He leans back in his chair a small smirk forming on his face. "I'm surprised you haven't up and left by now," he tells her. "I didn't figure you for the morning after type."
She raises an eyebrow but otherwise doesn't move. "You told me to stay where I was," she answers truthfully. If he hadn't spoken when he did, there was a great chance she would have run before even spotting him in the corner, too hurt to pay attention. But his voice held her in place.
Now his smirk is full out. "The one time you listen to me," he teases as he reaches for his pencil and sketchpad again.
"What are you drawing?" she asks, eying the pencil as it moves across the paper softly.
"Something I don't wish to forget," he answers evasively.
Caroline sighs and stares at the sheets again. It's just so hard to get him to be honest with her. "Do you think you'll ever show me?" she tries not even disguising her saddened tone.
"When it's done," he answers. Her eyes travel back to his face now and she studies him for awhile in silence, noticing the way his eyes travel between her and the paper. "Now, smile, love. You're too beautiful to let your own mixed up feelings interfere with my viewing pleasure."
Finally understanding what is going on, she beams at him.
"How long have you been drawing me?" she asks, curious as to how long he's been out of bed.
"Weeks now, love," he answers truthfully, albeit misunderstanding the question.
Her smile widens at this inadvertent admission. She may not know at the moment what, exactly, is pictured in that sketchbook, but she knows what to expect.
"Why haven't you shown me any of them?" she wonders absently.
"You weren't ready to see them—to understand the meaning."
Remembering the night of the ball, she presses on. "But you gave me that picture of me and the horse."
His head cocks to the side as he considers her rebuttal, but his attention doesn't waver much from the sketchbook. "I drew you and a horse, a scene I made up in my mind. Everything I haven't shown you is real—memories I wanted to keep. You wouldn't have understood the significance before."
She doesn't have to ask what he means. She has now accepted him, reciprocates on some small level what he feels for her, which has enabled him to share what he felt he couldn't to someone of whose feelings he wasn't sure of.
"Why this?" she then asks. Understanding that he is, in essence, making a book of his memories of her, she wants to know about this one. "Why is this moment special?"
"You're here. You stayed. I want to remember this, the way you looked when you woke up with me for the first time, the way you look in the morning—your unguarded beauty."
She loves that about him, that he always calls her beautiful, as if reminding her so that she can never forget. She used to wonder if he could sense that about her, her insecurities and her fears; because he always seemed to work to reassure her that she was perfect. That is why she is with him. He sees her as beautiful when no one else ever has.
It doesn't take him much longer to finish the drawing, and when he's done he joins her on the bed, the sketch book in hand.
Caroline leans her head against his shoulder as he shows her page after page of memories of his 'courtship' of her through his eyes. In each of them she is smiling, and in each one she is beautiful.