Invasion of Privacy
Vestian stood sketch book tucked under his arm and a satchel full of
various colored pencils clamped under his chin while his free hand
worked the key and latch on his studio door. Soon as he was able to
push it open, he slipped in and locked it once more behind him. He
shoved the key into his pocket as he moved across the room to deposit
his sketch book in the middle of his work table. But as he set the
pencil case down on top of it, he froze.
Something was out of place.
And yet nothing was _ever_ out of place in his studio. Everything was
always put back into its place when he was finished, and he knew where
everything was set in it's proper order.
What was that stack of hides on the end of the table doing there? They
had been on the other end of the table when he left it. He knew that
because he always worked on the side with the best light, and kept that
space clear by putting things only on the opposite end.
Someone had been in his studio while he was gone. "_Porenne_!" he
roared, retracing his steps with angry stomps. "Porenne!" he shouted
again as he threw open his door, though he took care pull out the key
and lock it again before anyone else could think to get into his private
She'd hoped it wasn't going to happen but she should have known
better. So, when he bellowed she came running. "Yes Vestian?"
"Have you been in my studio?" he asked, not bothering to adopt anything
other than an accusatory tone. It was his space, and _none_ was allowed
but him. That was where he kept his work, the evidence of his deepest
and most private thoughts. To enter that space without his permission
was more than just a violation of trust, it was a violation of his
innermost being in his mind. "You _know_ you aren't to go in there!
Did you? Did you go in there?"
"No, I..." but he'd interrupted her with his second question.
"Vestian," she said finally and stepped back. Her hand went to her
throat and she blinked several times. "I would never go in there
without your permission."
When she put space between them, it struck him just how menacing he must
have looked in that moment. She said it was not her, and he believed
her. Porenne knew better, and while for a moment he had doubted her, he
took a couple deep breaths and got the worst of his temper under some
control. But his anger was not appeased. Looking down at the ground
rather than at her he said very carefully, in a rather quiet, tight
voice, "One of the children then. I _know_ someone was in there
Porenne. Things have been moved. I want to know who it was. No one
belongs in there. _No_ one."
"The children have been in class all day," she said as she shook her
head. "Well except Aponia. But a three turn old couldn't open that
door." She couldn't imagine how he'd even known that someone had been
in the room. Yet she knew she'd have to come clean. She had seen the
door ajar slightly and called his name thinking he'd come home early.
But it was the new maid that had answered her. She'd just called back
through the door and told her to put everything back where she'd found
it and get out of the room.
"Perhaps it was the new maid," she offered.
"Who?" Vestian usually didn't concern himself too much with domestic
matters. Porenne usually handled those things, and was quite competent
at doing so. She may have mentioned at some point that she was hiring
someone new, but it obviously had not registered with him. "What
happened to the old maid?"
"She had her baby?" Surely he'd noticed how big her belly had been
getting and realized she wouldn't be around for awhile after the child
"I... It... It..." It flustered him that he should have known that,
and now he had been caught asking a stupid question. But it didn't
change anything! "It doesn't matter! Whoever this new girl is, get rid
"I will not," she said firmly. "It took me ages to find her and I will
not just let her go for entering the wrong room. She knows better now
and won't do it again.
"For just entering the wrong room?" he spat back at her. "She didn't
enter the wrong room, she entered my _studio_! Do you even know who
this woman is? The damage she could have caused? The things she could
have stolen? The _ideas_ she could spread around to all my competitors?
You think she just 'entered the wrong room'?!"
"Vestian!" Porenne stomped her foot which was a very rare occurrence
in their household. "Stop this instant," she said in her best scolding
mother voice. "You are behaving like a child! She did _not_ bring
anything out of the room but her duster. I was standing right here."
At first her admonishment took him aback. He didn't like sudden loud
voices, especially raised in anger. But then his own indignation won
out. "You were standing right there? You mean you _saw_ her, and then
you just played dumb? You thought you could just make a fool out of me
in my own home?"
"I saw the door open and though it was you!" Her eyes were ice blue
in the face of his rage. When she bowed to his authority it was
because she elected to not because she had no iron in her backbone but
he was pushing her to the brink. "I called out but it wasn't you and I
told her to come out immediately." As far as her opinion of him was
concerned. "I don't have to make you a fool Vestian, you already are
one and as far as I'm concerned you can sleep in your sharding room."
He let out a mirthless laugh. "I am indeed a fool, madam, and have been
since the day I agreed to this farce of a marriage. Now give me the
sharding key. You can't be trusted with it." Vestian, too, could be
stubborn when he chose to be, and he would make sure that he had that
key in hand.
Porenne's fingers trembled as she separated the key from the bunch on
her chain. She placed it in his hand. "I hate that room Vestian, she
said in a soft voice. "I hate what it stands for. It takes you away
from us, away from... me." Why couldn't he see his beautiful children.
Why could he not see _her_ as his hiding place. But no he called their
marriage a farce and that hurt. Her shoulders slumped slightly as she
looked at him. She couldn't make him see anything he didn't want to
see, he was like a ghost in the home she'd tried to make for them and
a ghost in their marriage.
Vestian took the key from her and stared at it as he turned it over in
hands, almost as if he were inspecting to make sure it was truly the one
he was looking for. But his mind was a whirl, thinking about what had
been said between them. So many times he just wished she would speak
her mind plainly. Well, she certainly did today, and it made less sense
then when he was left guessing. She was admonishing him for hiding in
his studio instead of being with her, and yet she reviled his every
touch. She thought him a fool and yet she wanted more of him. She was
angry one moment and close to tears the next. Porenne made no sense to
him! Which was it? What did she want from him?
Not knowing how to respond to her words he finally just mumbled, "I'm
going to make sure nothing's missing," and turned back to the safety of
his studio, where he could think in peace and quiet. And if he couldn't
come to any real answers, he could just draw and draw, and that would
make this whole argument disappear from his mind for a while. Yes, that
was what he would do. He would draw. After he made _sure_ everything
was back in it's proper place.
Porenne turned away somehow more sad about the state of her marriage
than at any time before that she could remember. She obviously didn't
know how to make him happy since everything she tried failed
miserably. And now, he would never trust her word again.
Last updated on the July 20th 2013