After breakfast Tirena returned to her room, where she bathed with scented soap in perfectly heated water. Lera helped her wash her hair as well, and once the clanlord’s daughter was wrapped in a dressing gown she spent time brushing and styling it in a fashion common to their people. Tirena admired herself in the vanity mirror, amazed at her reflection.
“In the village, I dressed not unlike the boys, really, except I wore long skirts instead of trousers,” she said when Lera laughed at her amazement. “I’ve never looked so pretty.”
“Well, you’re pretty now, doma. Now come and get dressed,” commanded the girl kindly. “The Marshal will come fetch you for your ride soon enough, and you don’t want him seeing you in your nothings.”
Tirena laughed, blushing at that. “No, no I do not.” she insisted. Lera opened the wardrobe and withdrew a riding frock, deep forest green except for the front, which was a paler hue. Once Tirena slipped on her delicate undergarments Lera helped her into the fashionable gown, lacing the cording at her middle that kept the gown closely fitted without the use of a corset. She then helped the her slip on comfortable riding boots and then stood back.
“You truly do look like your mother, doma.” said Lera softly. “It’s no wonder Dom Talven is recovering so well.”
That was a curiosity to Tirena, that her presence alone had, for all appearances, caused her father’s illness to completely turn around. She didn’t have time to ask Lera about it though, for just as the maid finished pinning a brooch to her gown and fixing a small ornament in her hair someone knocked at the door. Lera hurried to open it, smiling brightly and bobbing a light curtsey to the man in the hallway.
“Is she ready?” It was Rafel’s voice, and Tirena felt her stomach flutter a little.
“Yes, Marshal. I will leave her in your capable hands.” Lera turned and curtsied to her then before moving swiftly out of the room.
Rafel hesitated a moment, then stepped inside. He’d never been in this room before, and now that it was Tirena’s he was even more anxious about his presence there. Those worries were pushed aside however when he caught sight of Talven’s beautiful daughter. “You are stunning, doma-sha.” The softness in his voice caused Tirena to blush a little more, and she smoothed her gloved hands over her frock anxiously. “Come, let us go find a mare that will suit you,” he said, offering his arm to her.
The two of them walked through the keep at a deliberate pace, with Rafel explaining what certain passages ld to, and what the rooms they passed were for. The staff paused when she would come near, and would offer a smile or a greeting, and Tirena smiled back. She knew she’d never remember everyone, but she wanted to try. As they stepped outside the sunlight startled her, but then she grinned and looked up to the sky, delighting in the feeling on her face.