Rumold climbed into his seat. “I do not get the chance to go to many balls.”
“Have a good night. I will see you in the morning.” Siegfried nodded and gave the horse a gentle pat on the flank just before the coachman pulled away. As he turned around, he saw Katerina approaching. “I thought Doctor’s orders were for you to rest?”
“Rest is not having to deal with my husband’s associates,” she said turning her sights to the moon hanging full in the sky with a soft blue glow. “Full moon tonight.” When he raised his head, she studied the veins in his neck. Her body trembled with hunger; however, this was not a man she was quick to harm.
“There is an old fairy tale about the moon,” he said gazing upward and smiled in Katerina’s direction. “The story goes four young men found the moon…a lantern hung from an old oak tree. They stole it and took it back to their country where there was no light at night, only complete darkness. They hung the moon on a tree lighting the night. When they died, they each took a quarter of the moon with them to their grave. Underground, the pieces of the moon united giving just enough light for the dead where the sun’s light is too strong. When St. Peter found out the dead were moving about under this light, he ordered the dead back to their graves and took the moon and placed it in the heavens.” He nodded toward Katerina. “I find it curious that only lonely, desperate people gaze at the moon as if it holds all the answers to our dreams and possibilities.”
She lost interest in the moon and rested her sight solely on Siegfried.
He grinned awkwardly and chuckled. “Or so says my mother, who told me that story as a boy.”
“It is beautiful,” she said, catching Hagen watching her from the entrance of the chateau. “I must go.”
Siegfried extended his hand. “Yes, your Countess duties await.”
She shook his hand firmly. “Unfortunately,” she said and paused, not letting go of Siegfried’s grasp. “When will be a good time for me to stop by?”
“Anytime tomorrow will be fine,” he replied casually.
Katerina smiled, released his hand and slowly returned to her husband.