"Come, join me," Ratcliffe half-ordered, half-invited, his hand making a sweeping motion over the table at which he was seated. It was early in the morning, yet, and his face seemed to have more lines and shadows to it.
Wiggins fidgeted from his usual place, not sure that he had heard correctly. Ratcliffe rolled his eyes.
"Sit here, sir? With you?"
"Don't tell me that your condition has made you deaf, too. Yes, here with me."
Wiggins moved hesitantly toward a nearby chair, and sat down so carefully that if one could not see him, one would never have known he was even there.
In as many years as he had stood by, serving his master, cleaning up after his every meal, he had never once been invited to join him.
"Thank you, sir."
"Eat," Ratcliffe ordered in the same strange, hasty manner. "It'll do you some good."
Wiggins eyed the spread with the look of a wild animal being set before a trap with something delightful at the end; unsure, nervous, yet all at once eager. To deny t