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Scandal: Chapter Three - navessa allen
London, April 1804 “Too tight, Your Grace?” Harriet, my handmaid, asked as she stuck the final pearl-tipped pin into my hair. I turned my head, inspecting her handiwork in my vanity mirror. The low chignon she’d coiffed my unruly mane into appeared effortless and elegant, and I was loath to tell her that it pulled mercilessly at my scalp. If anything, I welcomed the pain to come, hoping it might keep me conscious throughout the banquet I was about to attend. Dreadful business, banquets, but rendered even more unbearable when hosted by a man with political aspirations. “It’s lovely, Harriet. Thank you,” I told her. She brightened at the compliment, her eyes creasing at the corners, a shy smile tugging at her lips. “You’re welcome, Your Grace,” she said with a quick curtsy. She turned away then, to open the top drawer of my bureau and begin sorting through the innumerable ribbons that crowded inside. Knowing that it might take her some time to find what she sought, I closed my eyes and let my mind wander to the novel I had been reading before she arrived at my door. My imagination – judged to be far too overactive throughout …