The glow dies down, and she’s standing at the end of my bed–the one who’s been following me around leaving feather messages. I take in the torn fishnets, plaid mini-kilt, shiny, riveted breastplate with leather straps at the sides and a worn Great Temolo decal near the left shoulder. Her wings are a crazy black-and-white-checkered pattern, like they’ve been spray-painted at a body shop to look like hipster sneakers.

I know. And I’m Sorry. People will disappoint you, Gemma. The question to ask is whether you can learn to live with the disappointment and move on. I’m offering you a new world.

I feel a tug in the air. The magic. When I look over, Felicity has her eyes closed in concentration, and a faint smile curves those full lips. Suddenly, Lady Denby breaks wind with an enormous crackling sound. There is no hiding the shock and horror on her face as she realizes what she’s done. She breaks wind again, and several women clear their throats and look away as if they can pretend no to notice the offense.

I should like to make my mark. To venture opinions that may not be polite or even correct but are mine nonetheless. If I am to be hanged for anything, I should like to feel that I go to the gallows on my own strength.

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