Eden spent the holidays at Eleanor’s house again. She painted a half-dozen dreary scenes of the winter garden through the dining room windows, and a portrait of Mrs. Williams knitting before the fire in her room.
Sophia came when she could, but even when she did, was preoccupied with her hopes about the medical school and spent most of her time lost in a pile of books and papers in the library. Eden asked once if she might paint Sophia at work, but the very suggestion nearly made the girl jump.
“I’m far too busy to sit for a portrait,” she said quickly.
“I can just hide in the corner of the library and paint as you work. I won’t even speak to you—I promise,” Eden tried.
“No, Eden.” Her tone was as sharp as Eden had ever heard it. She did not ask again.