What It Means to Be King:
He called for Jenks, to no reply; it was late, and he’d probably gotten sick of waiting, thought Temmin. The windows were open. The music had begun again, no longer merry but slow and wistful--the last dance. The faint tune blended with the song of the crickets as it flickered in and out of hearing.
Temmin stretched. He took off his coat and laid it over the back of the green velvet couch. Tomorrow was an official day off from his work at the Temple, but he hadn’t been back since Nerr’s Day. His accepted excuse was the Queen’s illness. But in truth, he couldn’t face his duties, or Issak. Issak is not Nerr, he reminded himself; even at a distance it was easy to see when Issak was himself or when the God had taken him. Even so. He unbuttoned his waistcoat, pulled his shirttails out, and shambled into his oddly dark bedchamber.
He caught a toe on a chair leg, and cursed as he stumbled. The lamps were irritatingly low; how could anyone see anything, let alone the furniture? He turned up the lamp on the console table. Off came his pocket watch and waistcoat. His cufflinks were following when a soft sigh from his bed startled him. The bed’s curtains were drawn, another oddity that raised the hair on his forearms. This is ridiculous, why am I afraid of my own bed? He stepped up and gingerly pushed a curtain aside.
On his bed lay a faint, slight figure, sound asleep.