“Well? What are you waiting for?”
“Everything off. Hurry! We haven’t much time.”
As Chaya undressed, a knock came at the door.
“It’s Yemina,” a voice called out, “here with the bath.”
How Chaya withstood the next hours, she could never recall. Her only connection to anyone who’d ever looked after her, who’d ever cared for her, was gone. What had Tanith done to Ophelie? And why now, when Ophelie had been so close to taking her away?
Willing herself not to cry, she withstood her handlers.
Sabra bathed her, none too gently, scrubbing at her skin until it went pink, then washing her hair. After brusquely wiping her dry with a rough towel, the maid massaged into Chaya’s skin, a spicy perfumed lotion. Its intense scent left her head reeling. Then she slipped a robe over her, just as Bisma arrived.
Chaya hugged the covering close to herself. She felt violated and vulnerable in her state of near undress.
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