"If I decide to run away, will you help me?"
"If I decide to run away, will you help me?" she asks.
He frowns slightly. "Catherina--"
"Don't worry," she interrupts. "I wasn't serious."
She flops down rather on the garden bench with a sigh. "It's just... I'm so tired of everyone telling me what to do--when to wake up, when to sleep, what to wear, what to eat, what to say. I mean, it's my life. I should have some say in it, right?"
She looks up at him imploringly, and he gives her a sympathetic nod as he takes a seat beside her.
"I'm sorry," she says with the wave of a hand and another miserable sigh. "I'm sure you're tired of hearing me complain. It's just so..."
"Frustrating?" he supplies.
For a moment, he is silent, absently fingering the petals of a nearby rose.
"It almost makes you feel as if you're something less than human, doesn't it?" he says thoughtfully.
Caterina blinks at him, surprised to suddenly hear a feeling she hadn't quite found words for so aptly described.
"Yes," she says. "It does."
"And sometimes you hate them for making you feel that way, don't you?"
She almost denies it, but then he looks at her.
She drops her gaze to her feet.
"Yes," she whispers.
He places a hand on her arm, and she looks up at him. His expression is as serious as she has ever seen it, and his voice is quiet but intense as he speaks a single word--an unquestionable command with a pleading edge.
A/N: More little!Cat and Abel. I just can't get enough of them! And the image of them sitting together in the garden is near the top of my list of "Things I Would Draw if My Drawing Skills Were Not So Lacking."