Jenny: Sacramental

The Guttersnipe frowned as Domitia bent again to the hem of her dress. In ways they each had the advantage over the other. Bred among the stalwart, the almond girl was accustomed to men and their ways, how they thought and why they did the things they did. Domitia was not so fortunate. But Domitia, raised with a harper's fingers and bred to be a lady's maid, had about her that pale, almost timid sort of gentleness that a woman ought to have. The Guttersnipe lay calm only when the fitful winds that blew her happened to linger on their way to her mind. But in this she had the upper hand, and tucking up one foot mare-ishly, she said,

"No, but you're wrong. Cathair is a fine fellow - " she lied a bit, having never cared to look into the man's eyes to see if he was a fine fellow or not " - and he holds you in perfectly high esteem. That is the Erin-blood in him. But at his core, you must understand, he is a man just like any other man, and he needs you more than he consciously realizes. He is always going to have that gnawing ache inside him which he can never quiet, which he will never quite understand, until you are his own. Not for conquest, not for power, but because he is not himself without you. Why do you think he sought you so long and hard all these years?" She put down her foot so that Domitia could straighten the skirt. "I doubt he's taken the thing up and turned it over and over, looking at it clearly, but he knows as one knows a fundamental - an undisbutable thing: he needs you, and needing you he will neither break this faith nor postpone it any longer than is necessary. Which is to say, no longer than he can hold it at arm's length in his sense of pride." She smiled encouragingly. "Pride is a faded, patchy blanket held against the solid, warm promise of a wife."

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