Wednesday, April 27

She went back to her own rooms.

As soon as the sound of his footsteps died away into the blue darkness of the upper story, she began to walk more slowly, trailing a finger along the wainscot. The candles had not yet been lit, and all the doorways were dark. The window at the end of the passageway was a grey shape of moonlight.

Two more doors down, a touch on the doorknob, and the hall was flooded momentarily with a golden light. There was action within the room; oh yes, Fiona. Fiona was cross with her for being one of the last ones in; her touch was not gentle or kind as she put away shoes (clucking at the blisters on her lady's feet), removed the fancy dress, and excused herself from the room. She'd left a bath of warm water near the fireplace and laid out some plain nightclothes on the bed.

The curtains were drawn and the bed clothes turned down, but by the time the exhausted young woman had made herself ready to sleep she found herself restless and wakeful. She put on a robe and blew out the lights before stepping back out into the hallway, carefully and quietly shutting the door behind her.

"I was just coming to see how you were." She turned quickly in her surprise.

"Mother!"

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