Lizzie bright in the solarium, shining, her gold hair unbound and tempting me above her sewing, reminding me of it tangled with the hay and the meadowsweet and the ringing of bells as she cries out beneath me. My blood makes raspberries across the fabric and the nurses scold me as I bend my head and she laughs and laughs, light and teasing, her eyes flashing as she does up her braids and coils them close beneath her fig-embroidered wimple.

Pluck and pluck, thread and thread. Wind and wind, until my thoughts are as twined with the stitching as with Lizziebeth's golden hair wound about her fair and moon-bright face. And then she draws me up by the hand as the nurses chatter together like magpies, and we go dashing off, summer children to the market, stolen kisses like sweet dates in the shadows of the manor.

And Lizzie, and Lizzie, with her mouth agape and laughing there in the sunshine bright and warm and melting.

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