Hands, large and familiar, jostled Saraida from her sleep. The room was chilly, and the faint glow of a lit candle greeted her when she opened her eyes. Abdel, his face shrouded in shadow, stooped over her.
Saree! Wake up! Come, I need you!
His voice had an urgency that roused her far faster than any shaking could manage. Abdel? What
? She reached out for a shawl, but Abdel grabbed har wrist and tugged her up, pulling her through the castle barefooted and dressed only in her nightgown. He pulled all the way up to the castle battlements, where the wind blew softly but with a chill that smelled sharply of frost. There was a carpet and other items a little way out on the ground, but Saraida couldnt see them because Abdel was dragging her along fast enough that the stray wisps of her hair blew into her eyes.
Abdel! she finally managed to gasp. What is going on?
I need you to sit here.
Sit? Abdel, what
Just sit, Saree. Right here. He put a hand on her shoulder and pushed her down onto the stone, plucking at her skirt for a moment before setting the candle down beside her and nearly prancing off to his rug, shrugging a blanket up around his shoulders. Saraida rubbed her eyes, finally seeing the items on the rug. Abdels paints and a hastily constructed canvas filled her teachers hands. Shivering, she glanced at the candle next to her, the flame of which promptly sputtered out and died, leaving a trail of smoke. Saraida frowned at it and turned to Abdel.
Abdel, what are you doing? She glanced at the moon. It was far past its zenith.
ainting a portrait.
Of me? Out here? Now? Abdel
.its freezing! He twisted around and glanced at her, his eyes flicking aver her quickly. He wasnt listening. Under that blanket and the warm clothes he wore, no doubt he felt just fine.
Is it now? Saraida could tell he was enjoying himself. She only just recently retrieved his paints for him, a hobby he enjoyed more than any other shed observed. Starved of his creative medium, it didnt really surprise her that he found such an inopportune time to have her sit for him, but she was still only in her night shift, and was beginning to shiver! Her face set into a scowl as she opened her mouth to scold her teacher, but at that very moment, he turned to glance at her again. Seeing the condition of her mood, he grinned, chuckling to himself.
Dont frown so much, Saree. Its only for a minute. Besides, I could hardly help myself. Its not as though it would have been proper for me to go and wake our hostess.
Is it any more proper to drag me out onto the roof in the middle of the night in my bedclothes? Honestly, Abdel. Is it customary for artists to drag their pupils out of bed every time they feel such whims? No wonder the true master painters are so few and far between!
Abdel was silent for a long moment, his brush moving over the canvas in light, flicking movements of his wrist. Then he suddenly stopped, stared in realization at her, and immediately his face fell. His hands dropping to his sides, he afforded her a guilty glance before staring dejectedly at the stone floor.
You can go back in if you want, Saree. Im sorry I got you out of bed at this hour. I wasnt thinking. Saraida huffed and rolled her eyes, her shoulders sagging. Getting up, she crossed to where he sat and set a hand on his shoulder, gazing down at the picture he was painting. It was the image of a maiden sitting on a stone battlement, her hair shining like silver in the moonlight, her skin pale and smooth. Saraida blinked. The girl was wearing her nightgown. Sighing and crossing back over to the candle, she sat back down and rearranged her skirt.
I dont know who that girl is, but it had better not be me.
At once Abdel brightened, and turned away sharply, just late enough so that Saraida saw the mischevious grin he wore on his face. Immediately he resumed his work. Her face setting into a frown in spite of his mirth, Saraida settled herself for a long sit in the midnight chill as her teacher joyfully labored away, her only thought: That girl had better not end up looking like me.
of her characters Saraida and Abdel. Not the best coloring job the world has ever seen, but I like it. This is a picture of the moment where he turns and says, Dont frown so much, Saree. I imagine him so wrapped up in his work that he doesnt even notice his young student his freezing while he is contentedly laboring away. I do that often enough, unfortunately my clock is the thing that goes unnoticed. *sigh* Oh well. I love art too much to care about waking up so exhausted I cant even prop my eyes open. *cough* Or not. Hehe. Hope you like it.