Eden 42:4

Sophia rushed through the upstairs hall. It was seven o’clock and she was half an hour later than she had intended to be in leaving for the hospital.

Passing Eden’s door she glanced in to see an open trunk and Eden standing over her bed folding shirts.

“What are you doing?” She had not expected to find Eden awake.

“Packing.” Eden told her without turning to look.

Sophia stepped into the room now, her hurry forgotten.

“Packing for what?”

“The cape. Now the weather’s broken, I want to go out there to work for a while.” Eden glanced briefly at Sophia, then went back to her careful folding. She had recently found and purchased, on Eleanor’s authority, a cottage in a town on the cape where some writers and painters Eleanor knew had done the same.

“For how long?”

“I don’t know.”

“Eden?” Sophia felt a chill and wanted to see Eden’s eyes.

But Eden kept her eyes on the shirt she was folding. “You won’t notice I’m gone, Sophie. You do nothing but work. You leave the house most days before I’m awake and go back to work directly after dinner—if you come home for dinner at all.”

“The research is nearly finished, but Claire only gave the last of the data to me yesterday. We won’t make the deadline if we don’t work every minute we have.”

“I know your work is important.” Eden met Sophia’s eye for a fraction of a second, then dropped her gaze.

Sophia felt a rush of courage. “It’s Paris, isn’t it? You want to go back, but you are afraid to say it.”

Eden was silent, refusing to look up.

“I’ve already arranged for Vivienne Webb to meet me at the cape for her portrait.”

“Of course,” Sophia said. “Naturally, you should go.”

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