Layton was observing carefully how Bruno was maintaining one of his creations. It was unsettling to watch, but also fascinating. He felt they shouldn’t be allowed to open someone’s back this way, while he knew it was the only way. No one should be allowed to spy our hearts.
Bruno checked cogs and strings, ratchet wheels and pinions, some pieces were of steel, a few of brass. He put his ear closer to listen.
Tick tock tick tock he should hear, but, illusion or not, Layton heard a beating heart.
Was his own?
“Everything works fine, as it should.”
He closed the little cavity from the back. The figure was sleep against a table. Or was she unconscious? Did she felt any pain? No. Bruno assured him she wouldn’t. Bruno assured him she was perfectly fine, and there was no need of this. But he insisted.
She was sleeping peacefully. He heard her breathing softly.
“So you managed to discover she was like them.”
He could ask so many things. How this was possible? Had there even been someone before her? Were her memories her own? Had Bruno been the only human since the beginning? How? Was the Baron real? Nothing made sense. Some things he had asked. The answers were elusive.
But did that matter? No.
“Will she be fine?”
“She is not made of crystal or porcelain, she should be fine. You don’t make her any good by leaving her behind.”
“But you always had to fix the others.”
“She is not like the others.”
Why? He wanted to ask. But would he get an answer?
“What makes her different?”
“She won’t break any soon. I made this just because you insisted.”
Why is she the only one allowed to live outside?
Since he came his impression of Bruno was very different from his first one.
“But what if she does… and you are not longer here.”
“It would be as if you couldn’t find the right doctor for you.” He sounded a little sad.
I don’t understand any of this.
“Can I tell her the truth?”
“How would you react if you heard the same about you?”
For a brief moment of panic he thought… how ridiculous. How would he react if someone told him his life was a lie? Or someone else’s life? But unconsciously he put a hand over his chest, fearing he might be part of an experiment.
Ba dum ba dum. His heart was beating. He knew for a brief moment what losing his sanity felt like.
“What if she finds out by herself?”
“You will only find out if she does.”
How will she not? How could she possibly not?
They saw her stirring and hear yawn. She looked at them and blinked.
“Oh, did I sleep for too long?”
“No, just a couple of minutes.” Are you feeling all right? “Did you sleep well? You can go to the Inn if you are tired. I will follow you soon.”
“What are you going to do?”
“I just wanted to have a few words with Bruno.”
She left without too much questioning.
“What else do you want to ask? I won’t tell you so much more.”
“I don’t understand. I wasn’t supposed to find out? Is there a purpose for this?”
“What would change if you knew? Would you abandon her?”
“Then it doesn’t matter.”
He left with more questions than before. Perhaps he shouldn’t have come.
But what if she ever needs help?
I could try to find Don Paolo… or my brother.
“Could you talk with Bruno?” She asked her while she offered him a cup of tea.
“Yes. Thank you.” He told her while he took the teacup.
Beatriz came to take the cups later, but one fell.
Layton offered to take the pieces; he couldn’t forget to be a gentleman.
“Oh, Professor, you are hurt!”
“It’s just a small cut.” And it was indeed, just a drop of blood.
Blood. He bled. That meant he was human. What a weird thought. Would she had bled too?
“Flora, dear, I’m afraid this visit has to be short. We are going back to London tomorrow. I forgot I have a reunion.”
I shouldn’t lie, but I really want to leave.
“Professor, you are so disorganized.”
I will take care of you the best I can.