Emily watched her sister-wife move through the assembled throng smoothly and missed the days when that was her role - and her thoughts strayed, bringing a smile to her face even as it bought a bitter edge of sorrow, and Honor's head snapped round, her eyes meeting Emily's.
She shook her head and her sister-wife returned to her task amid the aristocracy of Manticore, so different from them in her Grayson gown and Emily allowed herself to sink into the fantasy briefly - the one where she moved just as smoothly, where she followed their Honor out into the crowd and kissed her in front of the gathered crowds, and later kissed her far more intimately.
"What ever do you find so fascinating, Emily?" The smooth voice of her cousin and her queen startled out of her fantasy.
"Honor, your majesty."
"You'd look good dancing with each other." Elizabeth sat beside her. "And I think now at least you're happier for her presence in your life." The queen smiled mischievously. "I better get back to my courtiers, Emily, but I'll be leaving you in safe hands."
She watched her cousin walk away, and almost failed to notice Honor's approach as the younger woman approached from her right side with her armsman and tree cat in tow, and then they were arranged as they often were, Honor lent against Emily's chair, positioned so the older woman could stroke her hair gently. This was a form of contentment she hadn't realised she was missing, but she still wished ...