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“Jules,” she said, raising her head from the pillow and looking down at him. “I need for you to understand something.”

He looked up at her, his dark and serious eyes drifting across her face. He reached up with a tentative hand and almost touched her.

“C'est mal. It’s wrong. What you did … it hurt me.” She paused. “You see, my voice is me, it’s mine, more than anything else that I have or am. And no one has the right to take it, take any part of me, without permission, even though you never meant for anyone else to hear it. Do you understand?” She laid her head against her palm, elbow resting deep in the pillow, and ran the fingertips of her other hand across his pale chest.

“Cynthia … I am so sorry. Je suis désolé.” He looked miserable, his hand dropping down to the bed, and she felt her heart flutter deep inside.

“I forgive you. Je pardonne. ” She leaned down then to kiss him, and he rose eagerly to meet her lips. “I know how obsessive opera fans are, after all.” She quirked an eyebrow. “Ce que je veux savoir ce que tu fait avec ma robe bleue?”

Jules blushed, covering his eyes with the back of one hand. “Non, absolument!”