I was passing through the halls one morning, looking gloomily out the windows at the pouring rain. I had intended on taking my daily walk, but the rain had made that impossible. Every time I tried to sit down and read or do a bit of stitchery, I found it hard to concentrate. I was just about to go in search of Maria, in the hopes that she would have an idea as to how to spend our afternoon, when the maid entered.
"There's a gentleman at the door, miss," she said, curtsying. "He's inquirin' after Miss Maria."
"Tell him he may come in," I said, curious as to who this gentleman may be. I knew that Edmond was out of town for a week on business, and besides, the man was here to see Maria and not I.
"Mr. De Johns, miss," the maid said softly, interrupting my scattered thoughts. A tall gentleman with dark hair stood behind her.
"Pierre!" My voice was shocked.
"Miss Wickham," Pierre said politely, removing his dripping hat and bowing. "I, er... would Miss Maria be in the house?"
"Yes, she is here," I responded quickly. "Please, do sit down. I will go and fetch her."
"Thank you," he said, taking a seat by the fire.
I turned and left the room quickly, trying to think where my sister might be.
I soon found Maria in the bedroom we shared, reading a book. She looked up when I entered.
"What is it, Eva?"
"Mr. De Johns is here to see you."
Her face colored. "Here? To see me?"
I nodded, then took her hand. "Come, he's waiting."
Maria allowed me to drag her along the halls until we reached the parlor once more.
"My sister, Mr. De Johns," I said politely, curtsying.
Pierre rose from his seat, a wide smile on his face. "Miss Maria!"
Maria's cheeks turned pink once more, but she smiled a small smile. "It was good of you to come, Mr. De Johns, especially in such horrid weather."
"I didn't mind the rain a bit," Pierre assured her. Then they fell to conversing like old friends. I slipped out of the room quietly, a smile on my face.