When I travel to the monastery for the first time after our marriage, I bring Lilist with me. She has traded her silk gown and velvet cape for wool and furs at my advice, and only a jeweled broach, hairpin, and rings betray her status. The wind in the mountains is harsh without the shelter of the monastery’s walls and the heat of dragon breath. Thankfully, though, there is a well-traveled path.
When Beatrix leaned forward, a story playing around one corner of her mouth, the dust came alive, the tower full of held breaths. When I sat at prayer, long hours of silence, the angels laughed at me from the windows of the chapel. I wandered through my thoughts like trees. Behind every tree an angel waited. They winked at me until I lost the path, until I couldn’t bear it, until I went back to the tower to meet her again.