That evening, Isadora dined with Julien in the grand dining room at the Bellon estate. They sat facing each other on either side of a polished wooden table that stretched from one side of the room to the other. She was wearing a borrowed gown, not nearly as fine as those she'd worn in the palace, but worlds nicer than her clothing of late. As she and Julien chatted across the table, servants brought course after course to the table. She had instinctively returned to her castle manners, and acted as she had as a princess rather than a wandering girl in the forest. Daintily lifting a piece of beef stew to her lips, she suddenly thought of Quin, of how she might have had a nearly identical dish curled up next to him in front of the fire in his cozy home in the woods near Tennur. Jodra would join them for a time, and when she left, Quin and she would talk for hours, and she would gaze into the chocolate depths of his eyes, willing him to lean over and--
She shook her head and returned to the conversation at hand. Julien was looking at her, having just asked a question that he obviously expected an answer to. After a moment he said, "Your majesty seems a little bit distracted tonight. Are you thinking about your friend from Tennur?"
"Yes." She smiled softly. "Well - no. A different friend from Tennur." She laughed a little, and said, "I hope he's okay. But it is nice to be here. I must thank you for your kindness."
Julien, smiling back at her, said, "It is no trouble at all," and lifted his glass to her before draining his wine.