This excerpt from Water Waltz is after Triste's ex-lover makes an appearance, reminding Varun that he had lost Triste.
Triste found Varun in the study sitting in the leather chair with his violin in his lap. He plucked at the strings and stared across at the bookshelf without seeing anything. Triste cleared his throat and gained Varun’s unhappy stare.
“What is it?” Varun questioned. “Is my guest here?”
Triste remembered Fremont’s appointment at nine. “No. I’m here to ask about your other guest.”
“The stray is to remain in the guest room until you’re told otherwise, Triste.”
“I know. But this human knows STAR. He refuses to tell me why, but clearly—”
“Do you still love him?” Varun interrupted.
“Who?” he questioned carefully.
“Zephyr.” Varun stood up from the chair and walked around it to the desk where he placed his violin into its case.
“Why would you ask me that?” Triste whispered. “Have I ever betrayed you?”
“I didn’t ask if you would betray me. I asked if you love him.” Varun looked up and caught Triste’s gaze with his. “You and I are over. If you love Zephyr, it isn’t betrayal.”
“You believe I still harbor something for Zephyr. After everything. After staying at your side—”
“Your reason behind removing yourself as my lover was never clear. Maybe you had always wanted Zephyr.”
Triste stared incredulously at Varun. Anger swelled in his chest. “How dare you suggest I longed for my ex-lover during my time with you.”
“Do you love me, Triste?” The latches locking on the violin case seemed to echo in the silence that followed his question.
“Even if I did,” Triste said in a hushed whisper, “it would change nothing.”
“How are you so sure?”
“Fremont should be arriving soon. Shall I show him into the study or bedroom?” Triste asked in a tone far from respectful.
Varun studied him for a moment before replying. “Are you upset I replaced you?”
The question stuck Triste, causing him to take a single step backward. “Is that how you see Fremont?”
“You can leave, Triste. Nothing is holding you here. Is it pride that keeps you at my side?”
Triste knew Varun was aiming to hurt him now. “What makes me remain is the same thing that keeps you from sending me away.” Triste didn’t know what bound Varun to his butler, but it fit his lie well enough. “Now, I came here about Elden. Why are you keeping him?”
“That isn’t something a butler needs to know.” Varun turned his back toward Triste. “Prepare dinner and dessert. Fremont will arrive close to nine.”