Sunday, January 14, 2007
New Beginning 189
"You're going to wear that page out, you know. The ink will rub off from being read so much."
Saraid started and clapped The Book closed, then scowled at her older sister. How had Ninieth managed to tiptoe in here without her hearing?
"Ha ha. Very funny," she said, trying to casually slip her book behind the cushions on the window seat where she huddled. "What are you doing sneaking around in Mama's room?"
"I might ask the same of you." Nin leaned past her and fished the book out of the cushions. "Ah, The Book. Just as I thought. So how many copies of "The Flower of Royalty" do you own now? Do you ever read anything else? I mean, it's good, but we studied a lot of other good books too--"
“Deflecting unwanted conversation is an art well to be cultivated in any situation, but especially in the confines of a royal court.” The quotation sprang to Saraid’s mind unbidden. She thought it might be on page 77, somewhere near the bottom.
Ninieth perched on the cushions beside her, one leg tucked below her bottom. The other swung up and down against the windowseat. A most unladylike posture.
"I know why you like Mother's copy best," Nin said, while allowing the book to fall open where it would upon her lap.
Saraid kept her features still. Page 32: A lady keeps her emotions to herself. She knew where the book would open: Page 93, the etching. A little sisterly bribery would shortly be afoot.
Grinning, Nin glanced at the page and read the caption. "Hmmm, the Royal Bud Opens. Do you suppose Mother would mind if she found out you were reading her copy--the one with pictures?"
"Not if I tell her I was just trying to put a name to what I'd seen you and Derrick the stable boy doing in the woods." Page 109: A lady holds her most powerful ammunition in reserve until needed most. Seeing the shock on Nin's face, Saraid used her most courtly smile full of charm and poison. Unlike her sister, she really had been reading the text. Mostly.
Now she'd have Derrick all to herself.
Opening: Marissa Doyle.....Continuation: writtenwyrdd