~Chapter Twenty Six~
Sir Heart had been mistaken, and Scarlett had won the wager she had tried to get him to agree on. Her hands fisted a bundle of her dress as she smiled at his last words. Never in all of her life had she ever expected for Dathan Heart to fall madly in love with her. Her feet moved towards him but the old man’s words reminded her of their agreement. She cursed herself for ever agreeing to his demanding wishes. All she had wanted was to finally have the opportunity to be in his arms again.
Her mouth opened to speak but Dathan interrupted before she could get any words out.
“With the upmost respect Lady Worthington, would you be so kind as to finish the painting? I went ahead and got what you needed, if you don’t mind.” Dathan said
Her heart clenched to be addressed with distant words now, she was no longer Scarlett to him, but instead she was a woman whom was taken.
“Of course,” she replied. Her throat shut as he walked out of the living room area to bring what she needed. She watched as he set the stand before her, placed the painting over it and laid on a small platter everything she needed to mix and brush. Sonia entered once again to remove the tray of tea and in the process suggested that Scarlett take her apron so as to not dirty her beautiful cream colored dress.
Sitting down in front of the canvas, she tried to remember her garden the way it used to be. All she could picture in her head was how it looked now; it was difficult to remember it like it once was. Every flower and every vine she had worked so hard on was completely gone; it had died with the change of climate. Her hand began to shake as she stared at the unfinished canvas, standing she walked towards the window and took a deep breath.
Dathan was right next to her as soon as she had stood; placing his hand over her shoulder he turned her to face him.
“Are you alright?” he asked, searching her face.
“I just can’t believe it’s really gone, I poured my heart and soul into that garden,” she whispered.
“Do not let the memory of it die, bring it to life,” he replied, leading her back in front of the canvas.
Sitting down she closed her eyes and took a lung full of air trying her best to remember the rich greenness it had once held. Picturing the color of the water that flowed from the peak of the fountain brought a refreshing memory to Scarlett of it all. Lifting her brush she began to paint the rest of the canvas as a smile grew at the corner of her lips.
Dathan stood behind her watching her work, pretending to be a ghost in the background. She got lost as she painted, her mind somewhere else imagining herself actually in her place of solitary.
It took her what seemed like an eternity to finish that painting, but Dathan had cherished every second of it. She stood and stretched as she observed it. It was the best one she had ever made. Lifting it in her hands she turned to face Dathan who stared at her with a longing in his eyes.
“What do you think?” she asked, to break the silence.
“Beautiful,” he responded, his eyes still lingering on her own.