Today the dancer’s knees hurt, but she held her pose with the seeming effortlessness that cost so much.
Her mind slipped away, back to the young musician she had so loved. Father had forbidden the match, only to suicide himself six months later leaving her to be sold with his other goods to meet the demands of his creditors.
A servant approached.
“One would have speech with you. It is permitted.”
She entered the pavilion, where a man she thought lost to her forever stood alone. He held out his arms.
“My heart. Will you marry me? The Emperor permits.”