tucks a fresh gardenia into his lapel.
the gesture –––& inevitable PROXIMITY––– are gratified by a melancholic glance ; weight on his shoulders momentarily lifted when ivory flower is attached to ebony jacket. white has always been CLAIRE’S COLOR / but they got married in white. & for a split second, he wonders if her mother has ever mentioned it. TALES OF OLD, memories slowly fading but never forgotten, her very age a reminder of HOW THEY’VE AGED… but just as she is to him, he remains certainly a taboo subject, to be tackled carefully when breached –––if at all.
& as though a white flag, the flower begs for a momentary truce HIS BURDENED MIND will readily grant, dark eyes lingering on the delicate petals before meeting hers ; no smile, however, will DIGNIFY THE RULER’S composed mask, years of war waged on all fronts have further toughened a ruthless heart. ❝ i’m glad you came, anne. ❞