The cottage was mysteriously dim when Louisa returned from a diverting day of seducing handsome men, be they single or married. The only sources of light were the fire in the hearth of the room containing the sofa and a flickering candle flame she saw on the table in the kitchen as she moved around the cottage, looking for her brother. As she walked into the kitchen, where she discovered another fire - this one used for the siblings’ meals - she smelled a roasting rabbit and haunting music produced by a violin emanated from the deepest of the shadows in the room.
“Daniel?” said she, amused.
Daniel stepped out, continuing to play the gleaming stringed instrument he was holding. His form was as shadowed as the rest of the cottage. His gaze became intense as it focused on his sister and she noticed that his hair was oiled and that none of the buttons on his black silk shirt were done up. Saying nothing, he stood there, making stirring, disturbing music, watching Louisa intently.
Louisa leaned against the nearest wall of the cottage and listened.
When Daniel finished, he put the violin down and approached his sister. Pushing her against the wall slightly, he kissed her, hands sliding to her hips. Louisa allowed him to caress the curves of her figure for a moment before taking his waist, spinning and pressing him to the wall, none too gently.
“Brother, have you seduced that stupid princess?” asked she impatiently.
“I have,” murmured he. “The roast rabbit is for us to celebrate.”
“And proof? Did you collect proof?”
“A ribbon the colour of her eyes. Have I pleased you, sister?”
Louisa stepped backwards teasingly.
“Hm, the rabbit will have to taste perfect first, brother.”
She took a seat at the table.
Daniel procured magically a dark green glass bottle of red wine. He fetched two glasses from a cupboard and put them on the table. He poured out the wine, not restricting himself on the quantity. In a little silver dish that had been standing on the table awhile was the rabbit’s heart in a deep pool of blood. He offered the muscle to Louisa who took it happily as a starter course and then poured the blood into each glass of wine.
Raising his glass, he said, “To the end of an engagement.”
“To the enjoyment of Prince Robert,” said Louisa, also raising her glass, and together they drank the vile mixture as if it were the most delicious concoction in the land.
Presently the rabbit finished roasting on the spit in kitchen hearth and the pair dined. Louisa did enjoy the meal and when it was over, she tugged Daniel from the room, beginning to kiss him passionately. The fire between them grew so fast that they had not time to reach the bedchamber. Instead, they fell upon the sofa and committed their act there.
The following morning, as soon as the pair had finished their breakfast of raw swan meat, Louisa took the ribbon presented to her by Daniel and captured a wild horse of the forest, bewitching it and riding for the kingdom where Prince Robert lived, already envisaging the nights she and he would share when she replaced the pathetic Violeta (pathetic because Daniel had relayed to her how the princess had cried when she realised what had happened). Some humans were simply ridiculous. She hoped that Robert would not be so silly.