The young woman settled herself on the stairs in that moment, tentatively wrapping a swollen and red joint in white cloth. Her hand shook unevenly, slightly darker in complexion from the rest of her arm, as if bruised. Mr. Tromell had been kind enough to lend her the material– after-all, it was her fault for slamming her wrist in the door, right? Right.
Part of her felt incredibly small, the way he’d just stared at her like that. As if she’d done something wrong… no flicker of enjoyment whatsoever, a frigid glare that had captured her in an ice storm. How was she to react to that? Her stomach had sunk so far down into a pit that she barely even noticed the stinging of the wronged appendage. It was weird, how easily he was able to make her feel like garbage. Trash. Like everything she’d done was grotesque in some way, all with a single look. A gaze that cast the pseudo-monarch down in her confidence, leaving a quiet, pensive woman.
What on earth could he possibly want her to join him in his chambers for? No doubt the conversation could have taken place anywhere else, though he’d specifically invited her into the heart of his home– a place where he could even be considered his most vulnerable.
She’d redressed into something less torn, particularly one of the robes given to her for such things as casual day and night-living. Children’s sized, true, but able to hug her waist when tied correctly, even if it did allow her shins to show. Once at the doors that would open into his chambers, she braced herself for what she might see. He didn’t seem the type that would decorate humbly, nor did he seem the type to allow her into a space that wasn’t immaculately checked-over. However, her expression faltered as she knocked, a noise of discomfort sounding in the open hall.