"Oww! That hurts!"
"Stop being such a baby, and hold still!"
I pressed the disinfectant soaked cloth to Chauvelin's wound again. He winced, and tried to pull his arm away again.
"Complain all you want, this needs to be done. I thought you were supposed to be this big tough guy," I smiled, and pulled clean bandages out of the first aid kit.
"Why do you always have to be right?" Chauvelin replied, returning the smile.
"Because I'm the woman," I quickly answered, without thinking. His smile faded, and a dark eyebrow was raised. "Oh, sorry. I forgot that you haven't had much experience with women of the 1900s."
Chauvelin looked at me funny.
"You didn't believe me when I told you where I was from, did you?"
"I believe you, it's just...it's...well...it's hard to explain. I'm still trying to get over the shock."
"I can understand that."
I put the first aid kit away, and sat down on my cot. The sun was setting over Paris, turning the sky different shades of pink and purple. The evening sun silhouetting the buildings. I stared out of the window.
"Paris is so beautiful," I said, sighing.
"I really don't notice," Chauvelin replied, walking over to his desk. He started looking through some papers.
"That's too bad. You should try star gazing sometime. It's quite calming."
"Mmmm," Chauvelin said, his back to me.
"When I was a little girl, I would just lay in my front yard, watching the stars. When my grandmother was still around, we'd sit on her porch, waiting for them to come out."
I sighed at the happy memory.
"How long have you lived in...umm...Where was it again?" asked Chauvelin, putting away the papers and walking to his bed. He kicked off his boots and put his feet up on the bed, leaning up against the headboard.
"New York City. Oh, I don't know, four, five years. I was originally from Pennsylvania. I used to take trips to New York all the time. I fell in love with it. Especially Broadway."
"It's where all of the new plays and musicals are produced. Some of the most talented people in America perform on Broadway. If you really want to get into musical theatre, you go the Broadway. You usually need years of training to get into a show. It helps if you have a lot of experience on stage. A lot of people have become famous by being on Broadway. As a matter of fact, the guy who plays you in the show is quite famous."
"My part?" I had Chauvelin REALLY confused now. "What do you mean?"
"In the musical I was in, aptly named The Scarlet Pimpernel, you just happen to be a main character."
"Are you famous in America?"
"Hardly," I said, looking out of the window again, "I was hoping to be. It was my first show on Broadway, and I got very lucky. I got the female lead...Marguerite," I said, carefully. I glanced at Chauvelin. The loneliness was back in his steely eyes. I felt bad for him.
"The funny thing is," he said, "I can see you as Marguerite. You're both very..." he searched for a word, "...liberated." He sighed, and avoided eye contact. "I'm pretty tired. I think I'll turn in early tonight." Chauvelin got up and headed for the washroom.
The next morning, I woke to find that Chauvelin was already up and about. I changed in the washroom and headed for the kitchen.
"Finally decide to join the rest of the living?" Chauvelin said.
"Wow!" I said sarcastically, clutching my chest in mock surprise, "He does have a sense of humor!"
"Oh, ha ha," he said, smiling a little, "I'm glad you got a good night's rest. We have a long day ahead of us."
"What's going on?" I said, sitting at table.
"I'm taking you on a little tour."
"Really?" I said excitedly.
"Yes, really," he replied, and walked to the stove. He suddenly remembered the last incident with the tea. "Could you perhaps..." his voice trailed off, not wanting to ask for help.
"Come on," I said, coaxing him, "you can do it. Come on...ask for my help."
I started to laugh. Chauvelin sighed, shook his head, and then looked back to me, "Could you please...help me with the tea?"
"Sit down," I said, still laughing a little, "I'll do it."
Chauvelin let out a great sigh of relief, "Thank you," he said, sinking into his chair.
"Now was that so hard?" I said, starting the tea. He just looked at me. I turned to the teapot, trying not to laugh.
"How's your arm?" I inquired, making breakfast along with the tea.
"Fine. Still a tad sore though. Is there anything I can do to help?" Chauvelin asked, trying to see what I was doing.
"You could set the table."
He got up and started bustling about, finding the plates, forks, teacups, and anything else we might need. He looked to relieved to have something to do. I had to smile.
...to be continued.
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