Her hands quiver uncontrollably over the page, eyes fixed on the words.
Footsteps in the hallway bring her back to herself. Scrambling, she shoves the book back inside the cupboard and clicks the lock closed.
A hand jiggles the door latch and the young woman throws herself under the nearby bed, shuffling aside old shoes and a trunk.
The door opens. Ma Doran bustles in, cracking open her doctor's case. The jostling of glass signals an exchanging of empty vials for fresh ones.
The young woman under the bed hardly dares breathe.
More footsteps ring in the hallway. Both women glance toward the door. The doctor sweeps a low curtsy. "Majesty."
The woman under the bed trembles.
"Have you seen my daughter this afternoon?" The Queen strides into the room. "She has become so secretive of late."
Ma Doran returns to her work. Something in her movements makes the Queen ask, "Do you have any idea what might be the matter?"
The young woman under the bed slides her palms over her mouth, desperate to h