CARLING DECLINED SUPPER WITH her friends, preferring instead to retire to her room and be alone with her thoughts. Flickering flames danced in the fireplace, coloring the room shades of yellow and orange and sending shadows deep into the corners. Carling was grateful that an unidentified Centaur had been thoughtful enough to light a fire for her.
She walked across the large, elegant room, past the carved canopy bed that formed its centerpiece. She approached the double glass and metal doors and placed her hands on the curving knobs. Releasing the latch, she pushed the doors open. The cool, night air washed over her, and she smiled, breathing in the sweet scent of the apricot and cherry blossoms just making their first appearance on the trees below.
She stepped out onto the small balcony shaped like a half moon and decorated with a metal railing made to look like twisting ivy. Above, the stars held undisputed dominion over the night sky as they twinkled in silver and gold.
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