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Friday, January 4, 2013

Dogged by the Curse 17

It was at moments such as this
That Dietrich most appreciated
Pieter. His servant’s steady hands
Pushed buttons into buttonholes
When Dietrich’s clumsy fingertips
Struggled just to feel them. Every
Muscle ached; every joint felt stiff;
His head throbbed with every heartbeat.
But under Pieter’s skillful care
He slowly started looking like himself.
He stood, still a bit unsteady,
Just in time for Benedict’s arrival.
The Father nodded his approval.
“You’re looking better, Dietrich, my friend –
Much improved since yesterday.
Tell me now; how do you feel?”

“Better, Father,” Dietrich said,
“Thanks to your kind care –“ And then
He stopped mid-sentence as Miss Devin
Stepped into the tiny room.

And she, she likewise halted as
Her eyes met Dietrich’s. Neither said
A word, but none was needed.

Benedict glanced back and forth
Between the two, a twinkle in his own eyes.
“Apparently you feel quite well,”
He said. “This lovely lady is
Miss Devin, secretary to
The Cardinal Jarvik,
A most unpleasant man sent by
The Church in search of answers
To our current situation.
She’s only just arrived, and given
What discomfort she’s endured
In Jarvik’s presence, I thought she
Might find you better company.”

“H-hello, Miss Devin,” Dietrich said.

“And y-you, Mr. Bonham,” she replied.

The corners of the Father’s mouth
Crept upward as the two said nothing –
Not with words, that is.
Their gazes never wavered as
They stood there motionless.
“So talkative,” he mused out loud.
“I promised I would walk Miss Devin
Into town. Perhaps the walk would do
You good, my friend. What do you think?”

“I’d like that,” Dietrich started –
But stumbled as he stepped toward her.
Pieter and the Father caught him
As Miss Devin quickly knelt before him.
Her hand caressed his cheek; then,
Embarrassed, she quickly pulled it back.
“Are you hurt, Mr. Bonham?”
She asked, her voice trembling slightly.

“I-I’m fine, Miss Devin. Thank you,”
He replied. “But it appears
My knees are weak right now.”

“Indeed,” Benedict said
With a knowing smile.

Dietrich shot him an irritated look,
But Miss Devin’s most ladylike giggle
Finally brought a smile to his face.

Benedict clapped his hands. “Wonderful!”
He said with a laugh. “I thought
The two of you might lighten
Each other’s day. You’re welcome to stay
As long as you need, my friend.
I’ll see Miss Devin into town this time.
Perhaps she’ll come and visit you
Later, after she’s settled in.”

“I’d like that,” she said.
“Later, Mr. Bonham?”

“Later, Miss Devin,” Dietrich said.
“I’ll look forward to your visit.”

“As will I,” Benedict said…
And laughed again.

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