A/N: This was inspired by Lenidrabble's ABC drabbles. I decided to find my own source of inspiration, and I found the Merriam Webster's Word of the Day. I've decided to write a fanfiction around these words, though probably not every day (and maybe not even every month). The word today was marmoreal (adj): of, relating to, or suggestive of marble or a marble statue especially in coldness or aloofness.

In the recesses of the Temple of Asherat, Melisande Shahrizai sat staring at a letter laid out on the desk before her, her almost unnatural stillness and alabaster skin giving her a marmoreal look. From a hidden trap door beneath a rug, a man emerged, dressed like a common stable hand. However, as he stalked across the room in perfect silence, it became obvious that this was not a man to be underestimated. Kneeling behind Melisande, he waited to be acknowledged, nervously fingering the dagger hidden up his sleeve. Minutes passed, one waiting, the other lost in her own world of thought. Finally the man spoke, unable to remain silent anymore.

"My Lady?"

Melisande never turned around; instead she picked up the letter and folded it up, and the man saw that the crease marks on the paper were already well worn, leaving him to assume the letter had already been read and re-read several times. She began in a deceivingly calm voice, "I asked you once if he was safe, Stephan. I asked you and you assured me he couldn't be more cut-off from the world and my enemies unless we sent him to The Lands Beyond the Seas. I asked you not three weeks ago for a status update, and you told me how everything was right on track, that no one had realized who he was," at this she turned and stood up, her gaze piercing through the man before her, who flinched away as though her gaze burned through his soul. "You have disappointed me," she stated, her voice cold and cutting. Melisande turned away once again, opening up her closet and pulling out a large box.

"These are letters of the highest importance," she continued, "It is my will for you to deliver all of them to the appropriate recipients." She kicked the box near him. Pointing at the box she caught Stephen's gaze and proclaimed, "This is the most important order I have ever given you. Fail at this task," her voice dropped to a dangerously low level, "you shouldn't expect to see the next sunrise." She turned and sat back down at her desk, picking up the letter once more. Knowing he was dismissed, Stephen stood, bowed to his mistress, picked up the box, and left the room the same way he came in, silently and swiftly. Melisande remained, praying her associates responded to her letters, some of which were filled with reminders of old debts, others filled with scathing threats, while some were filled with desperate pleas for help and promises of extravagant rewards for finding Imriel. Yet two letters remained on her desk, one from Brother Selbert, the other a letter addressed a person whom she would turn to only once she hit rock bottom, having followed every other path, every other scant clue or rumor, to the very end.

Wouldn't that be Kushiel's Justice? An anguisette, one who Melisande had once viewed as a toy to be abused, being able to do what Kushiel's greatest scion could not.