Ellen turned into Master’s Road. She was in a contemplative mood as she moved steadily in the early spring warmth. Not one to be a closed book, she was never-the-less hard to read, looking at the cover was never enough. There was a depth to her that was not apparent to other than the most thoughtful and patient of observers.
Ralph was just such a one. He squatted beside the tabac, idly rolling leaves of lavender between thumb and forefinger, lifting the bruised fragment and taking a deep draught – without once taking his eyes from the woman swaying his way, crowned in a halo of morning light. He shifted his buttock slightly as the exigencies of age prevailed over the passions of youth.
He knew the person walking toward him, the figure beside her, too.
From the corner of his lips, he acknowledged the tinkle of her fingers at hem-length.