“You needn’t go to the trouble. I’ll turn on the steam heat,” Sophia argued.
“Steam heat?” Eden shook her head a little and left the room.
Sophia just smiled after her. It was dark outside and Sophia knew Eden would want candles and kerosene lamps too, so she walked about the room and began lighting the various ones she had collected in the past few weeks. They had just had tea at the cafe but now Eden had promised they would study, if only Sophia wouldn’t send her home.
Eden returned with the kindling, removed her coat, waistcoat and tie, rolled her sleeves halfway up her arms and set about starting a fire.
Sophia looked at the girl kneeling on the floor in shirtsleeves and braces. “I think I can finally imagine you out in the desert as a cowboy, now,” she teased.
“You have a vivid imagination. A Cambridge boarding house is hardly the desert,” Eden said without turning from the hearth. Then, “It’s going nicely now. Play some music for us on that machine?”
“Phonograph,” Sophia reminded Eden as she turned to it and set it playing.
“Phonograph,” Eden said and stood, the fire growing bright and high in the little hearth. “Come and kiss me.” Eden reached out her hand. “You’re so pretty in the firelight.”
Sophia stepped to Eden and smiled into her eyes. “We have reading to do,” she said half-heartedly, but let Eden kiss her.
Eden ignored the comment about studying. She swept a loose lock of hair from Sophia’s face and tucked it behind her ear. “Take your hair down for me,” she whispered.
Sophia reached behind her head and began pulling pins from her chignon. Slowly her hair fell down around her shoulders and Eden buried her face there, grasping Sophia’s waist as she did and sighing.
Eden looked up.
Sophia held her eyes for a long moment. “What do you want from me?”
“I want to make you happy,” Eden said.