I didn’t dare that room again till dawn, when the shift changed and the pages who saw me return could not be the ones who had seen me leave.
It was the first night I had lain alone since I put my arms around him, and my bed felt cold and musty with the smell of disuse.
I was accustomed already to the scent of cedarwood and of perfume mingled with clean sweat. I got little sleep, but clung to my bed till the cold light came creeping into my room.
Then I rose and washed and dressed with care, and lingered over my paint-pots and perfumes: he had a taste for beauty embellished but not disguised.
The coats he liked were too heavy for the day, but I donned my lightest linens—fine enough that the light shone through them, and a yard of cloth clutched up into my fist.
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