Mireille loaded her bowl with greens as Margeaux took her seat.
“Glad you could join us, dear,” Charlotte intoned, leaning forward to fill Margeaux’s glass.
“My pleasure. Where is Queen Celeste?” she asked, looking around.
“The Queen pardoned herself for other matters,” replied Vario. Mireille rotated the greens to Margeaux’s place and dipped into the capers and onions.
Charlotte smiled, and asked “Have you spoken with Soleil in the last couple days?”
“Yeah!” Margeaux flashed a grin and laughed. “What a relief it is. I expected her to sound croaky, but it’s her very same voice, only a little quiet.” Charlotte nodded.
Mireille sampled her melange. “She hasn’t been eating with us,” she shrugged, “so.”
“Oh, I know. It makes sense she’s withdrawn, considering. It’s strange as to when Soleil started speaking again, isn’t it.” Margeaux sipped on her drink. “At least that’s all there was to it, and he’s off to get what he deserves.”
Charlotte pressed her lips shut and looked at her husband. “It was a surprise, yes,” said Vario. “One that I was glad to see. I was only expecting she would learn from the encounter as necessary, but her speech at that moment was revelatory.”
“Can’t argue with that,” said Mireille. She tipped a ramekin of honeygrub dressing over her bowl and cracked pepper over it. Everyone continued to help themselves.
“It had been a while since we two caught a sunset together.” Margeaux smiled as she nibbled.
“Here’s to many more,” toasted Charlotte, raising her glass. Vario returned the gesture, and the girls followed suit.