Craft – Someone Being Convinced of the Unbelievable

Sarkin stood quietly in the shadows, watching the table where Emily sat.  The waiter had come and gone twice.  Emily had cut a piece of bread, but only nimbled on it.  He would join her soon.

Emily folded her hands in her lap, then placed one on the table and leaned back.  The tension around her eyes was joined by a finger stroking the velvet trim at the table edge.  Sarkin moved forward at a suave, unhurried pace.  He aproached from her right, so she didn’t see him coming.

His voice was charming but cool when he spoke.  “Sorry to keep you waiting.  Truly unreasonable traffic out there.”

Emily started.  “Oh!  Hello, Mr.- Mr. Sarkin.”  She stuck out her hand and tried to rise, bumping into the table as she did.

Sarkin smiled, just parting his lips over even white teeth.  “Sarkin.  Just Sarkin,” he said.  He stepped behind her chair and held it, as if assisting her.  

As he came around the table he flicked his fingers at the waiter and gave the man both their orders.  When he was seated he leaned forward and pitched his voice just below the general noise in the restaurant.

“So, you have considered my proposal?” he asked.

Emily tried to laugh, but it came out a weak and timid thing.  “M- Sarkin, I’m really not sure why I came.  Surely this is a joke . . . of some sort?”  She flicked her eyes anxiously around the room.

“Emily.”  Sarkin let her name stand alone until she met his eyes.  “Do I seem a jesting man?”

She flushed, looking away again.  Quickly he touched her fingers with his hand, closed his hand over the tips of her fingers and drew her shivering palm into his.

“You are the king’s daughter,” he spoke in gentle, caressing tones.  “It may seem unbelievable, and yet it is so.  You have his quick wit, his dark eyes and curly hair,”  His voice dropped a notch.  “His royal birthmark.”  He went on quickly, sensing her weakening.  “You have been watched over since your birth by me and by my men.  It is time for you to be watched more openly.”

“But- ”  Emily gave a feeble tug, then left her hand in his. “How could I not have known?  Why was there never any sign?”

Sarkin smiled, wrapped his fingers firmly about her hand.  She had begun to question, now she would begin to believe.  He set his voice at an intimate pitch, the better to explain persausively. 

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