Mara’s guest, moving with extraordinary grace, took a single step inside. Her dark mink brown hair was burnished with highlights of copper. Her skin, creamy with a hint of rose, was flawless, but for a small jagged scar across her forehead. She stood with her hands loose at her sides, exhibiting no fear.
Mara could still smell and taste, faintly, the colors purple, yellow, and blue. The lingering scents reminded her of cooking smells left hanging in a kitchen hours after a meal had been prepared therein. As they dissipated, she made out another—it was the one she’d earlier identified as delicate. It was a soft combination of water lily, apricot, amber, apple, guava, mandarin, wild tuberose, vanilla, tiare flowers and—yes, very vaguely—dark chocolate. It was the woman’s scent of the Select.
In a glance, Therese’s eyes took in the details of the room.
Again, Mara noticed something vaguely familiar about her.
The two young men remained at Therese’s sides. They might at first glance have been mistaken for twins, due to their similar size and coloring. On closer examination, their features actually shared little in common.
The woman gestured to her right. “This is Jules.”
He nodded. His sandy blond hair was cut short around his ears and was squared off at his neck. He sported a square jaw, a broad nose, and eyes the green of a peacock feather.
“And this is Samuel.” She nodded to her left.
Samuel’s deep brown eyes were flecked with gold. Like Jules, he wore his hair clipped short. His muscles tense, his jaw set, he nodded at Mara, then at Nina.
“What can I do for you, Therese?”
“I wondered if I might speak with you.”
Mara hesitated. Meeting the woman’s gaze, she said, “Go on, then.”
“Jules, Samuel, I’ll find you back at our rooms shortly. I think this young woman may feel more at ease without you in attendance, and I’m perfectly safe with her.”
After a moment’s hesitation, they left. Therese closed the door behind them, then turned back.
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish