“Would you like to try one of these on today, Melina?”
Fair green 'gainst alabaster flesh, dark eyes
and gems played like cold truths and the warm lies
that guard them. Words dance, considered replies
bring dulcet tones instead of frosty sighs.
The offer was too good to be true and Melina had not spent as much time as she had in d'Argent's household to be caught by such obvious tactics. Her Ladyship had far too much business to attend to a silly serving girl playing dress-up. Even if it was with her own clothing.
"My lady is too kind." Melina lowered her head. "but I do not wish to inconvenience you."
D'Argent nodded once, accepting the answer. "Prudent." she said, almost more to herself than to Melina. "All decisions--even the slightest--must be made to appear effortless in the making, and once made, must be as the stone beneath your feet. Implacable."
Melina nodded and removed the green gown from the wardrobe. It was light on brocade but had a daring gather in the front which focused the eye to the drape of the fabric, and the promises within.
"Now. Why this one?" D'Argent asked, shimmering into the under-dress with a litheness that Melina envied.
"Green to match your eyes, My lady, but darker, more reserved." Melina said, fitting the gown and starting in on the complicated lacing up the back. But d'Argent said nothing else, and Melina felt compelled to fill the silence. "You are meeting with the Pastor today. So, only modest brocade to appear conservative, but not enough to appear as if you are trying to sway his opinion."
D'Argent nodded again, a subtle smile playing on her lips. She stuck her arms out for the armings. Melina worked silently, her cheeks flushing at unvoiced d'Argent's approval. Until d'Argent asked, "Have you worked on your letters today?"
"No, My lady." Melina gasped. In the luxury of the previous night, she had forgotten her lessons.
D'Argent levelled a cool gaze as Melina finished the armings and reached for the hairbrush "Life is a balance between obligation and desire. One depends on the other. Desire is the foamy-mouthed dog and Obligation is its' leash. You will have your lessons done before the Pastor leaves." And with a swish of fabric, she went for the door.