Lady Sophia sauntered through market square. She usually sent her servants to shop for her, but on this day she didn't know what she was looking for, only that she needed a distraction. That morning a letter had arrived, bearing the news that her husband was lost at sea. She didn't understand how he could leave her – the most beautiful lady in the land – in the first place. She placed a hand on her swollen stomach. Had he found her pregnant form ungainly? She shook her head in disgust. She carried his burden alone.
A glint of gold caught her eye. A merchant from the Outer Isles was setting up his wares. His dark hands held an elaborate golden frame of a mirror. He turned and the mirror faced her directly. In her reflection from the front you could hardly tell she was pregnant. She flushed, pleased at her still apparent beauty. She had to have the mirror. The only ones in the manor were small or handheld. This full-length one would do justice to her glory.
The merchant took her money and watched her saunter away, then picked up a much smaller mirror and fiddled with the curious nobs set around its frame."Lord Orris . . . come in, Lord Orris," he whispered into it.
The mirror brightened suddenly, and a man's face came into view. "You called?" he said.
"She bought it! My servant is bringing it to your house right now."
The man's face creased in a grim smile. "Did you direct him to set it up opposite her bed?"
"Of course, milord."
"Excellent. I'm sure we'll know who the father is inside of a week."
Opening: Mary.....Continuation: Marissa Doyle