It was silent.

Not deadly so, but silent nonetheless.

From time to time foot steps would echo in corridors, and once and and a while a servant would drop a tray, and it would clatter. Though, apart from that, Gillans was enveloped in an eerie quiet. People talked in hushed voices, with heads bent low, and hands held behind backs. Everything about Gillans seemed to be muted, and dull, as if a fairy had placed a spell over the enter estate. Truth of the matter was that there was no fairy, and no magic dust had been sprinkled about. Though, Gillans was cursed.

Very much cursed with its own sleeping beauty.

Mary walked into Quinton's office, her face grim. She loathed having to say what she was going to say, but she had no other choice. She approached the desk, and bowed her head slightly.

"Good morning, Sir." Mary said.

"There's nothing good about it." Quinton said tersely, not looking up from the documents he was overseeing. "What news do you have for me?"

"There's been no change, Sir."

"I see."

"Is there anything you require of me?"

"No that is all."

Mary looked over Quinton, with pity, but bowed her head and left him in the office where he had seculded himself.

Quinton only raised his head once he heard the click of the door. He let go of the papers, and leaned back against his chair. He was tired. So fatigued and drained, and exhausted. Every time he shut his eyes to get a moments rest, he could only see her face behind his lids and it tormented him more than the worst possible dream. When he did manage sleep, it was restless and short-lived. He was damned awake, and he was damned asleep, all due to the motionless body in the bedroom of the second floor.

She made no sound, yet distracted him anyway.

She called to him like a siren and yet she did not speak a word.

It was enough to drive someone to madness.

Then again, he was certain that he had gone over the brink woman who lay upstairs could not be called Nora. That was not his mate. That person was jst a casing - a shell. The she-wolf formerly known as Nora had climbed out of her body, and escaped somewhere that no one could follow. She had left on that blasted day, when his greed had over powered his judgement, and he was afraid that she would never return.

Two weeks passed, and she was still missing. When they had first been aware of her disappearance, all of Gillans was in a panic. The physicians were summoned immediately, and Mary's agitated pacing had nearly worn a hole in the ground. Cora and Harold had left the room, faces glum. They had told Quinton what he had expected: she was listless, and non responsive to anyone really. Her eyes were open, gazing out a window at God knows what, or she would stare at Mary with dull eyes.. She would fidget now and again, and change position, but asides from that, she was a mummy in a tomb. Occasionally she would sob or cry. In that first week, her already petite frame grew thin and frail. Her hair became frizzy, and dull; her eyes lost their gleam and sparkle; her skin was dry, and blanched. She looked wasted. Like a rag doll that was discarded, and left to collect dust in a corner - its stuffing falling to the floor. Mary had tried every strategy to coax her into eating that first week, to no avail. She had the cooks cooking meal after meal, but she could not urge Nora to open her mouth for even a drop of food or water. The physicians had said to give her time, that her wolfen body would spare her from any significant harm, but she would have to be injected daily to ensure that she was receiving the proper nutrients. There was nothing physically wrong - it was her soul that had been damaged.

Mary had prayed that it wouldn't come to that, but her prayers were not answered, and after after a second week, they were left with no choice. Her metablosim expended more energy than she was recieving. Mary, who was in charge of her care, had to inject her once daily with two solutions of vitamins and nutrients, but that didn't prevent her from deteriorating before their very eyes. Eventually, all the clamor died down, and there was nothing to do but wait, and hope that she would recover from the state she was in.

Mary had been designated her primary care taker, and unofficially became a nurse - doing everything the physicians said in order to make sure that she maintained her health. She was dazed seemingly unaware of the world around her, and every time Mary reported, "There's been no change," the hope that Quinton had of his Nora finding her way back faltered.

There was nothing he could do but work, long, hard hours, in order to stop himself from creeping into her room every hour, on the hour, to make sure that she hadn't returned. He sequestered himself behind mountains of paperwork, and files, day in and day out. It was his only relief from the reality that existed in the room next to his own. It stopped him from considering the very vital part he knew he played in her ruin. He couldn't bear to think of it, for everytime he let his guard down, and allowed his mind to wander, guilt began to constrict his airways and threaten to suffocate him.

No. He couldn't allow his mind the luxury of rest, for an idle mind is a dangerous one.

Back by popular demand!

Now everyone take a deep breath. This is just a small taste - a glimpse - as to what is to come. I was bored, and my fingers were itching, so I came up with this. I still have to get back into the swing of things, but this is the beginning of Flicker, the sequel to Flutter.

I hope this amuse-bouche tingled your taste buds. :)

Stay tuned for the main course.

AND don't forget to take a peek at, Uncertainty, my other ongoing tale!