Chapter Eleven continued
As much as jumping up and running out of this circus was starting to become more and more appealing, Robert was proving to be a conundrum that fascinated her brain. How he could go from being upset with her for acquiescing to his mother to wanting to repaint some room she’d never seen before eluded her.
“Yes,” he said, somewhat more enthusiastically as he finally finished heaping root vegetables on his plate, which she thought was odd since he was definitely more of a carnivore than plant eater. “Typical man” was the only thing that ran through her head.
“Is there something wrong with it?” she ventured when he failed to go on and would only look at her with wide, oddly lit eyes.
Robert frowned. “Well, even I have to admit all the brown is a little…dull. And maybe a strange color for a study.” He shrugged. “I guess I’m moving on and need a new color.”
She blinked at him. “The brown?” Her brain was furiously thinking, and then finally hit on it. “That monstrosity of a room is your study?”
His frown deepened. “You didn’t know? I didn’t tell you?”
“Even you have to admit that evening was…not exactly normal. Well, not at all normal for me. I have no idea what passes for normal in your world. Besides, I haven’t been in there since that night.” She shrugged. “Maybe you called it your study, maybe you didn’t. Obviously, I don’t remember.”
His eyebrows rose a fraction as she spoke. She abruptly snapped her jaws shut. Where had this sarcastic streak come from? She was never this spirited. This Hall was doing something to her. Unfortunately, she wasn’t sure if it was a good thing or not.
She waved a hand as though she could disperse the words they had just exchanged. “Never mind. I haven’t painted anything in ages.” She paused and cocked her head to one side, deep in thought. “Actually, change that to ‘never’. I’ve never painted anything. But what color were you thinking?”
Robert turned to peruse his dish. Or, at least, that’s what it looked like to her. It was impossible to figure out this man’s brain.
“I don’t know,” he admitted. “Maybe orange?”
Her eyebrows shot up. “Orange?”
He shrugged. “You have to admit orange is a lot brighter than brown.”
“Robert, almost anything is brighter than brown. But orange?”
“Or maybe a dark orange. Something reddish-orange.”
Her face fell into her hands. Was this man color challenged? “No, no no,” she moaned into her hands.
“Well, what color would you paint it?” he asked, a trace of defensiveness in his voice.
She looked up. “I don’t know, but probably a softer, brighter hue. Like a pastel. A lovely Spring green would be nice, or even a soothing sky blue. Even white would be a welcome color.”
Robert winced, but she wasn’t quite sure why. “White might be going a little too far.”
“Well, then, what about the blue or green?”
“No? That’s all?”
He shrugged and turned back to his plate, poking at his food with his fork. She felt her lips press into a thin line. What on Earth was wrong with this man? Surely being locked up for so many years couldn’t have turned him into…this. Could it? She felt a lurch in her heart as she suddenly wondered if this was her future if she were to stay.
Perhaps it was time to run away as fast as possible.
But the library job, the little voice whispered in her head.
Was it worth it? Would she even be sane by the time she married Robert? Heck, would Rose even let her out of the mansion to go to work?
Too many questions. But the hardest part was that she couldn’t seem to get this bite of chicken past the lump that was growing exponentially in her throat.
Catch up on the story here.