Tuesday, 6 August 2013

The assassin and the princess EXCLUSIVE bridge scene


Read previous parts of this scene here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4
“Let’s just enjoy ourselves,” Celaena said, taking a long sip of her jasmine tea, almost groaning at the sheer perfection of it, then adjusting the folds of her forest-green gown. A piece that had been made in this very shop—a fact that she was certainKavill had already noted.
The five other customers cast only a few curious glances their way before they finally left the shop in a flurry of fur cloaks, kidskin gloves, and moans about the endless winter. The slave girl never once looked up, and Celaena could have sworn that Nehemia’s hand twitched when she walked by—as if the princess had contemplated reaching for the girl, and then thought better of it.
When they were at last gone, Marta shut the curtains on the front window, lit a few more sconces, and escorted them to the silk couches before the dressing room curtains. Kavill himself bought them another ornate pot of jasmine tea, and then refilled both their cups.
After Celaena explained that Nehemia needed at least four dresses, two of them to be ball gowns, and all fit for Adarlanianroyalty, Kavill crossed his arms behind his back and paced as he inquired after the colors and fabrics that Nehemia preferred or hated, about her feelings toward low or high necklines, how much mobility she desired, and on and on until Celaena started wondering if Nehemia would snap.
But the princess just smiled at the slender man, answering him with the thick, hesitant accent she used for everyone butCelaena. And then she patiently sat through Kavill and Marta’s presentation of color, cloth, beading, and stitching. It wasn’t until Kavill and Marta went into the back—to get a sample of the blue ball gown in the window—that the princess sagged slightly.
“I think I prefer just having the royal dressmaker bring me something,” she said quietly. “This is truly what you—you enjoydoing?”
Celaena winced, but smiled. “When the mood strikes me, yes.” And now that she had the king’s gold burning a hole in her purse, she was more than happy to spend most of it. “I’ve always liked pretty things—dresses, jewelry, shoes… I suppose it’s easy to dismiss it as frivolous, but a gown like the onesKavill makes is art. It’s art, and mathematics, and economics.”
Nehemia’s brows lifted and Celaena shrugged, but turned to point to the red velvet sheath dress in the window display.
“That gown in the window—think about how Kavill had to first come up with the design, then get the measurements just right to match the image in his head, then find the right vendor to supply the perfect red velvet and black lace. Think about where that velvet and lace came from—the velvet from the port in Meah, the lace from Melisande, the thread that holds the whole thing together from a spinner in Fenharrow. Think about where the dyes for the red and the black came from, too—think about all the people and places that had a hand in that dress coming together. It’s like a map of the continent, and every part of it tells a story, and—” Celaena trailed off and snorted. “Well, map and story aside, it’s also pretty as hell.”
Nehemia chuckled quietly. “I think I’m beginning to understand. Though I think you also just like to look better than everyone else, my friend.”
Celaena laughed, “I wish I could deny it.”
Nehemia grinned. “Don’t bother. It’s why I like you.”
Celaena’s heart tightened at that, her smile growing even wider.

Continue reading at http://vivalabooks.wordpress.com/ tomorrow!

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