“You came with the Princess Alia, didn’t you?” says a tall man with an understeward’s chain. “They must have low standards up north if you’re the sort of thing she brings along.”
I shake my head; the world slides in and out of focus. “I didn’t come here for that. I’m not — help.”
He raises his eyebrows. “Oh, so you’re not with the help? You must be one of the nobility, then?” He tweaks my skirts, and a ragged hem tears. “So what did you come here for, if you’re not with the princess?”
The words sound wrong even as I think them, but I say them nonetheless. “To be married.”
He bursts out laughing. “Poor girl,” a woman at the back of the servants’ hall says. “She’s simple. Can’t tell between herself and the princess.”
Rated PG. Contains sorcery, blood, and theft of memory.