Mara stood and stretched, then took in a deep cleansing breath. She cocked her head. “What is that?”
“That . . . smell.” The Oathtaker’s brow furrowed.
“I don’t smell anything.”
“Can’t you smell that?” Mara sniffed. The scent grew stronger by the moment.
“What does it smell like?”
“I don’t know. I guess it smells like . . . hmmm . . . it smells like—purple.”
“What exactly does purple smell like? Grapes? Eggplant?” Nina smirked.
Mara scowled. Then she touched her lip with the tip of her tongue. “I can taste it too.”
“You can taste purple.”
“Really. What does it taste like?”
“Ahhhh . . . Well, I don’t know how to describe it.”
“Stop it, I’m serious.”
“All right. So what does it taste like?”
“I don’t know. It tastes . . . rich. Yes, that’s it. It tastes rich. That’s the only way to describe it.”
Nina shook her head. “Mara, I think you need some rest.”
“Maybe.” The Oathtaker walked around the room, then toward the door. Whispering now, she said, “Come here.”
The bed squeaked. Nina approached.
“There. Smell that?”
The young woman sniffed a few times, then inhaled deeply. “I don’t smell anything. What do you think it is?”
Mara drew closer to the door, then turned back. “It’s just as I said—I smell purple.”
Nina giggled. “Mmhmmm, I know. But it makes no more sense this time than the last time you said it.”
“No, listen, it’s true. And I smell and taste yellow too. It’s very faint . . . it’s not nearly as strong as the purple.”
“Really, what are you talking about?”
Mara’s expression turned serious. “I know it sounds ridiculous, but it’s true.”
“What does the yellow taste like? Banana? Lemon?”
“No, it’s more like . . . light.” The Oathtaker’s head shot up.
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