The Steward's Lady

He gave me a pearl necklace in the morning, to wear to dinner.

I roll the rich white globes between my fingers, feeling their unmarred smoothness. No doubt he gave very precise instructions as to the size, colour and shape of each pearl, and had this brought for me. The necklace must be costly, for the beads are simply perfect; but who could expect cheapness or imperfection from my dearest husband?

I heard a court lady say that pearls are cold. Mine are not.

And neither is the light that shines in his grey eyes as he looks at me.