the gaps remain to be unfilled
“Have you heard, Edward?”
He barely glanced away from the paper, eyes glued on the numbers in concentration and something else. “Hm?” After all, it had been a thousand and ninety-five days since he last looked at her directly in the eyes. The absence of his attentive gaze, a fading image in her memory, was her constant reminder of her brother’s estranged affections.
She smiled secretly, if not a little coyly. This little secret of hers, whose secrecy is in expiration -- she knows even before her brother did. What would he give the world to force the news from her should she keep the truth from him?
But what would she give the world for the forgiveness of her brother?
“Sean told me that the Viscount Bridport has come back.”
She was staring at him intently and she knew that the eyes that were lingering on the paper were now staring at something else -- something farther and more intangible. Something that even she could not and will never be able to completely understand.
His heart pounded strongly like the horse’s hooves on a race. Like a startled deer he turned his head to face the woman who lost him his friend.
For the first time in a hundred and forty-four weeks, Edward looked directly into the eyes of his sister.
“When?” The question was dropped in a volume almost inaudible but what sister would not understand the feelings of a brother?
Please, this time, forgive me. “This morning.” Love me again.
A smile broke his stoic face and she knew that smile was not hers to claim. “Thank you, Lucy,” he said with a gentleness that broke the heart, before leaving the room carrying with him an expression she could only describe as stupid and hopeful.
He had left the door open and Lucy laughed, deep and mirthful, for the first time in three years.