The dreams…they come every night now. Maybe if someone is there with me at night, I’ll feel safe enough to sleep the whole night through?
The last one I had, there was someone else there. He terrified me.
Someone with evil eyes. All I could see were the eyes.
I felt a strong male chest beneath my hands this time. But I am almost certain it wasn’t a Dardaptoan. Silly, right?
When I woke, my fingers were curled in the fabric of my pillow as if I was clinging to him.
Even though I’m not sure who the him actually is. Or what he is, for that matter.
Maybe the nightmares are my subconscious self fighting the idea that I don’t have a Rajni?
No doubt, it’s because Maryin Sebastos was in the office yesterday. Maryin is the epitome of the word bitch.
She has regular meetings with Theo; most of the office staff avoid her when she comes in. I was filing at the time. She looked at me and smirked. She always smirks at me.
Like she’s so superior.
I know what she sees when she looks at me. I was in the gray of my uniform—all who work as servants or support staff in the resort wear gray—and my hasha scarf was one of my older ones, handed down from my mother more than twenty years ago.
It wasn’t fancy or silk or adorned with anything. It was just a regular cotton Woald yellow hasha. One you can pick up anywhere in the city. Or make from yellow cotton purchased anywhere.
My mother made it when she was a girl. It isn’t perfect. There are missed stitches everywhere. She was not the seamstress two of my sisters are. But I don’t care.
It was my mother’s, and that is all that matters.
I was feeling particularly low yesterday morning after the nightmare kept me up most of the night. I’d needed to wear the scarf that had been my mother’s, despite how worn it was.
But Maryin is always so well put together. She doesn’t wear white—she isn’t royalty, just as close a cousin on Theo’s father’s side as I am to him on his mother’s—but her vestis and pardus are always of the highest quality.
I always make a point of changing out of my servant’s clothes before I head to class. I have told them I work at the resort, but not that I am a servant.
I am not ashamed of the work I do. I’m far too old for that, and I’ve made my peace with my life.
I just like my privacy.
I work for the greatest seer of our Kind. I don’t want people trying to use me to get to my cousin.
Maryin made a snide comment as she left about me needing to find a way to make my very existence worthwhile. Since I’ll never have a real family.
Considering my particular plight. I took it to mean my lack of Rajni. Do you realize how much of Dardaptoan society circles around mated pairs? It’s ridiculous. Especially considering that we often don’t find our mates into well into our hundreds. Mated pairs are in the minority!
I’ve seen the census numbers; I know this for a fact. Our society really needs to wake up and move into modern times.
Theo didn’t hear her, of course. He was still in his office on the phone with Cormac Jareth.
I knew what she meant.
What I don’t understand is why exactly she has to rub it in? What pleasure can she get from it? Just stabbing the knife in and twisting cruelly?
I’m not going to let her get to me. I have too much going on now to worry about Maryin Sebastos. Period.
But…the knowledge that I’ll never have what our society aspires to, the longings in every females’ heart…it hurts. On the deepest level possible. And sometimes I want to scream out to the goddess, and demand to know why.
Why am I fated to die alone? What have I done to deserve this?