The whistling stopped.

The whistling stopped only long enough for the silversmith to call, “I come, I come!” The banging never stopped at all. He had such perfect time that when he picked up his tune, he simply skipped the notes he meanwhile ought to have trilled.

Estrid shuffled closer to the back of the shop, intrigued—even drawn by the sound. A man whistling merrily: a merry man. It was like waking to unfamiliar birdsong in a foreign country. It was like the spring.

He whistled and clattered a riotous conclusion to his song, and Estrid hurried to step behind the low wall before he stopped. She wanted to see. She caught only a glimpse of him bent over his table, seated on a low stool, before he leapt up and turned to her in a flare of kilts.

For an instant he looked almost savage, but in a glance he took in her height and color and pale face, and then he threw out his arms and cried aloud as though she were long-​lost and at last coming home: “Princess!”


Her body braced itself for a crushing hug, for these days the only man who ever greeted her so gladly was her boisterous brother.

But the smith simply peered past her into the front of the shop and boomed, “So, you came alone! Your friend hasn’t forgiven me yet?”

Estrid drew up her shoulders and pressed her arms tightly against her sides, shrinking and puckering with all her body. Little ringed wavelets of loneliness lapped at her heart like his wake.

Little ringed wavelets of loneliness lapped at her heart like his wake.

The smith plucked a towel from a rusty hook and began to wipe his hands. He smiled at first, but he watched Estrid warily as the silence deepened like a flood at their feet. His left eye seemed unnaturally keen and cutting, for it shone out of the swollen darkness of a bruise.

It shone out of the swollen darkness of a bruise.

Estrid murmured, “What happened to your eye?”

The smith came back to boisterous life and laughed grandly as he smacked his fist into his palm. “That Welshman surprised me in the dark! Just like his weaselly race!”

Estrid quickly thought through all the Welshmen she knew. “What Welshman?” she asked, mystified.

'What Welshman?'

“That secretary! Addonwy!” He paused to pronounce an impressive Gaelic curse before continuing in Norse. “Course I called his race a race of women,” he confided. “But you have to admit I was at least half right!” He grinned and winked at her out of his right eye.

'But you have to admit I was at least half right!'

Estrid giggled, strangely flattered to think that his wink had been meant and made for her alone.

“Not quite half,” she corrected him. “It is also a race of little boys and girls, and not a few babies.”

The smith laughed deeply as he wiped the sweat off his face and neck. His towel was old enough to be frayed, but it was clean, Estrid noted approvingly.

“I’ll tell him so and tell you what he says!” he offered.

“Oh, no! He might hit you again!”

'He might hit you again!'

“I’ll gladly take a pounding for you, Princess. At least I could wear that bruise with pride.”

“Then I shall keep an eye on your other eye,” she smiled.

He wiped the back of his neck and tossed his towel conclusively onto the table behind him.

“Anything else I can do for you while I am at it? Orrrr… to you?” he smirked.

'Orrrr... to you?'

Estrid’s hands fluttered up to her collar and dabbed shakily at her scarf, unsure how to proceed, though it had seemed so very straightforward at home before her mirror. She had felt so cool and clever then.

“I… have a necklace. I… need the chain shortened.”

'I... need the chain shortened.'

“So, and you came to ask me where’s the nearest jeweler?” he chuckled. “There’s one just across the road, Princess, and another across the court. I can point them both out to you from my door.”

He lifted his arm and pointed it over Estrid’s shoulder towards the jeweler’s shop across the street.

Estrid did not even turn her head. She knew the street perfectly well, but this arm was a foreign country, and her explorer’s eyes were drawn up its length. They passed quickly along the straight finger and over the stony fist and silver band, to leap and soar over the long, swooping hills and hollows of the limb, over the great mountain of the biceps, and on to the mighty shoulder and broad chest beyond.

Brede’s desultory swinging of swords had never made him such a body, even in his brief magnificence of youth. The smith’s body was a foreign land.

Finally he noticed how he had failed to turn her attention, and he wryly brought his finger up before his face to scrutinize it and shake it, as if he feared its ability to point had run dry.

His face was comically grave, but Estrid thought he was laughing inside. At her.

“So, aren’t you a silversmith?” she demanded.

“Aye, but I aren’t a jeweler, Princess,” he corrected her. “I only make big, clumsy things with my big, clumsy hands.”

'Aye, but I aren't a jeweler, Princess.'

He wiggled all ten fingers between their faces. They seemed permanently stained and had a dully metallic sheen, but she thought she had never seen fingers so confident and strong. They could fashion anything they wanted to make, she was certain of it.

“Didn’t you make the jewelry you’re wearing?” she asked.

'Didn't you make the jewelry you're wearing?'

He bowed his head and flicked one of the silver pendants away from his chest with his thumb.

“So, that’s a different story, since I made them for myself. I’m trying to tell you, Princess: I just moved in here, and the last thing I need is to make enemies of my new jewelry-​making neighbors. I wish you’d ask me to make you a cake or something instead.” He swung wildly at the air with his fist. “I could probably take on the pastry-​cook.”

'I could probably take on the pastry-cook.'

Estrid was startled by the girlish laughter that had burbled out of her before she knew it was coming. She was so accustomed to straining herself to laugh.

“I don’t know…” she teased, “you got a black eye from a Welsh secretary!

He shook his fine finger at her. “I guess you haven’t seen what I did to his lip!”

“I shall keep an eye on his lip!”

'I shall keep an eye on his lip!'

“Just so long as you keep your lip off it!” he countered.

Estrid gasped before she felt it coming. The smith spoke again before she found anything clever to say.

“Is it even silver?” he asked dubiously.



“Your necklace.” He folded his arms and looked over her body from face to feet, as though a necklace could be found elsewhere than around her neck. “I don’t see any necklace.”

'I don't see any necklace.'

“It is under my scarf!” she huffed.

“So, am I supposed to go in after it, too?” he asked. “I don’t know what a jeweler’s supposed to do.”

“I can certainly remove my scarf myself,” Estrid scolded him roughly to hide the nervous quaver in her voice. She turned her back on him and walked towards the fire to hide the shaking in her hands.

She turned her back on him and walked towards the fire.

It was not at all what she had imagined before her mirror, any more than she had imagined while embroidering her bridal nightgowns how it would feel to undress before a man.

She did not feel grand and cool and in control. She felt weak and waxen. She felt his eyes on her like heat. Every coil of scarf she unwound slipped away like sheltering shadows.

She did not feel grand and cool and in control.

She folded her scarf and laid it neatly on the arm of a chair. She slid her finger beneath her collar and lifted the necklace out of her cloak. Then she had nothing left to do but return to him.

“So, it’s silver,” she announced.

'So, it's silver.'

The smith neither confirmed nor denied this statement, and he stared at her with such immobile intensity that she could not tell herself he was merely laughing at her on the inside.

She did not know what to do next. The jeweler would have made some comment about the necklace. The jeweler would have come around to unclasp it for her.

She did not know what to do next.

“Is it too fine for you?” she suggested. She was beginning to hope he would say it was, and give her an excuse to snatch up her scarf and flee.

His stare only deepened. She could see how he breathed by the twinkling of his amulets. They rose and fell slowly like leaves on a lakeshore lifted by waves.

“The chain?” she whispered.

He came back to life, awkwardly banging the back of his hand against the table as he lifted his arms.

'I think I can manage.'

“So, as long as you want me to make it shorter and not longer, I think I can manage.”

“Shorter,” she agreed.

His hesitant hands moved no closer than halfway to her collar.

“So, do you…” he began. “Ah, how much shorter are you wanting it?”

Estrid laid her hands shyly over the pendant.

'So, it gets lost in some of my gowns.'

“So, it gets lost in some of my gowns—too short to wear overtop of them and too long to fall above them.”

“Hmm, tricky,” the smith said. “That’s going to be hard to measure with your coat there.”

Estrid wrapped her hands over the thickly rolled collar of her cloak and curled away from him like a flake of paint. She found the skin of her breast steaming with sweat. She could feel her heart banging against the backs of her fingers. She had not imagined it this way.

Estrid wrapped her hands over the thickly rolled collar of her cloak.

What had she been thinking? Did the man know enough of great ladies to realize that not one in her right mind would go to market in such a gown as this? Would he look at the silk and wonder how she had not slipped off the saddle?

And yet she had felt so cool and fine before her mirror! She had seemed the icy perfection she wanted him to see. And she had laughed deeply as the gelding began to trot and she realized her danger, and then she had clucked him to a canter, and ridden whooping, and frightened flocks of geese along the way.

The smith asked worriedly, “You are wearing a dress under there aren’t you?”

Estrid burst into breathless laughter. “At last your dream comes true!”

He groaned, “I knew I should have been a jeweler!”

'I knew I should have been a jeweler!'

Estrid tossed her head at him and turned sharply about on one foot. She heard her wooden heel scraping hard grit and shavings into the stone floor, and she hoped he would not notice the incongruity of riding boots and dancing gowns. At least she had assured herself before her mirror that her gown was too long to let them show.

“So, you should have been a dressmaker,” she corrected him as she began to unhook the loops of her cloak. “If that’s your dream.”

'You should have been a dressmaker.'

“Is it too late?” he laughed.

“How old are you?”


“Then it’s twenty-​three years and nine months too late,” she said pertly. “You ought to have been a girl.”

“Only if you were a boy, my handsome Prince!” he crooned in a hilarious falsetto.

Estrid clicked her tongue at him, since he could not see her wink, and she dropped her shoulders and held her arms helpfully out to her side.

Nothing happened right away.

Nothing happened right away, except for the sound of fidgeting behind her, and she realized too late that the apprenticeship of a silversmith might not include instruction in such crafts as helping a great lady with her cloak.

She turned her head just in time to see him toss the towel back onto table. He had only been wiping his hands again.

Then she saw him coming at her, and she panicked and shrugged. Her softly-​lined cloak slid off her silk dress like water, and the smith simply caught it—he did not touch her at all.

The hot air of the room struck the sweltering skin of her breast like a cool breeze, but she could feel his gaze burning steadily on her back even as he flapped and folded her cloak between his hands.

“This isn’t my usual going-​to-​market dress!” she blurted.

“Leave your good one at home?”

'Leave your good one at home?'

She laughed shrilly to show him how foolish he was. “No, of course not! This is my good one—or one of my good ones…”

He laid the cloak on the chair beside her scarf and stepped up behind her again. Now he was close enough that the heat on her back was radiating from his body.

“Ooh, I’m flattered!” he cooed.

'Ooh, I'm flattered!'

“Not for you, you—stupid man! This is the gown I shall wear for the—for the next time I go to a party. When I shall wear this necklace next.”

She folded her arms and clawed convulsively at her sleeves, remembering suddenly how she hated the dress.

This was not how it was supposed to be. It had seemed so beautiful when she had first tried it before her mirror and called it cool and green as the sea. But Brede had raged at the price of it, and now he never missed an occasion to rage that it had never been worn. If she did not conveniently come down with a sick headache before a party, she would often feign one. Her husband always embarrassed her wherever there were wine and witnesses.

The smith shrugged and said simply, “So, you look like a Princess to me.”

'So, you look like a Princess to me.'

He laid the heel of his hand on the back of her shoulder, and his fingers fell one by one like a row of gentle hammers until he clasped her firmly between his fingers and his thumb.

A finger of the other hand slid up along her naked spine, softening her like wax as it went. It slipped beneath the silver chain, and she felt her pendant skip and bob like a hooked fish.

A finger of the other hand slid up along her naked spine.

“Tell me when to stop,” he murmured.

The pearl slid slowly up her breastbone, and she felt a second finger and a third stroking the back of her neck as they slipped beside the first.

Suddenly the chain ran out and drew tight around her throat. She had not been paying attention at all. He let it fall.

“Princess,” he sighed into her hair, “we can do this all day if you want, but I was meaning the necklace.”

'I was meaning the necklace.'

“Oh, sorry!” she laughed shakily. “I was thinking about—something else.”

“How odd!” he cried. “So was I!”

“Not the same thing as I!” She strained her laughter until it was shrill, but she only felt more foolish herself.

'Not the same thing as I!'

“Should we start again?” he suggested.

“No no! I fancy one finger will do.”

He grunted and brushed her hair aside to find the clasp. “Good thing they don’t put you in charge of weights and measures around here.”

'Good thing they don't put you in charge of weights and measures around here.'

His sensitive fingers opened the little clasp on their first try. He lifted the necklace off over her head and carried it away. Tiny as the pendant was, Estrid felt far more naked than before. The smith was holding her very pretense in his hands, leaving her only a silk party gown she would never wear to a party, a linen slip of translucent fineness, and a pair of burly riding boots on her feet.

He squatted over his low stool, and with a sweep of his hand he arranged his kilt beneath him before sitting. The gesture fascinated her. His every gesture fascinated her as he unrolled a pouch of small tools and set to work. Here was a man who knew how to do something well. A woman could be proud of such a man.

“I hope this is not—” He pressed a tiny blade down upon a silver link and sliced through it. “—some kind of trick,” he muttered.

'I hope this is not--'

“A what?” she tittered. She thought uneasily of the foggy windows… of the people on the street… of Brede bursting in. But Brede was out hunting for the elf girl, and Estrid was free for a day…

The smith lifted a glittering snippet of silver chain from the table, scarcely long enough to be seen beyond the tips of his fingers.

“You’re not going to take this back to Sophia and tell her you used it to measure how long or how big around, are you?”

'Of course not!'

“Of course not!” Estrid scoffed. “I intend to use the remaining part of the necklace for that.”

He tipped back on his stool and laughed aloud. “The devil you are!” He picked up the chain on the table and let it hang straight down to inspect its length. “Princess, I couldn’t even wear a kilt with that. I’d look like a bell and a clapper!”

“I shall tell her you tie it in a bow!”

'I shall tell her you tie it in a bow!'

“Don’t tell her that!” he groaned. “I can’t be jeweler to every lady in Lothere.”

Estrid giggled and swayed and hugged herself while he bent to reattach the clasp to the end of the chain. She was strangely flattered to think that he was willing to be her jeweler alone.

He rose suddenly and stepped high over his stool, kicking out his leg as he leapt to straighten his kilt. Even the kilt settled gracefully. Estrid was as awed as if it had been some fair-​time feat of acrobatics, so accustomed was she to a man who tripped over chairs.

“Let’s try it now,” he said.

'Let's try it now.'

She bowed her head, and the smith passed the chain over it. The backs of all his fingers brushed the back of her neck as he closed the clasp. The pendant slid suddenly down to the length of its line and hung dead. All the pretense had drained out of it. It was done.

Then she felt the man’s warm breath exhaled slowly upon her spine. Her skin tingled and tickled all over like the surface of a pond in a drizzly rain.

“Better now?” he murmured.

'Better now?'

She lifted a hand and dabbed at the necklace. “I suppose so…” Her own breath was sharp and shallow.

He leaned over her, attempting to see over her shoulder. His warm breath flowed down into the hollow of her collarbone and spilled across her breast. He paused a moment, breathing faster as though his breath was twining with hers.

Then his hand slid off her arm and over her bare skin in search of the pendant. His fingertip found it—she felt him rolling the dark pearl experimentally beneath it—but the palm of his hand lay over her ribs, and she knew he could feel her heart’s thudding echo like a drum.

His fingertip found it.

She threw back her head to protest or to squirm away, but it bared her neck to him, and he dipped his head down to plant a kiss on it.

They both held their breath for a moment, but Estrid could not hide the galloping agitation of her heartbeat. She did not know what to do. Her pretense was spent.

They both held their breath for a moment.

The smith seemed to decide her immobility was assent, for he exhaled deeply a last time and began kissing her neck truly: hot, wet kisses with dabs of tongue behind her ears; firm nibbles of his lips down her neck and shoulder; and when her awkward writhing turned her head towards his, hungry kisses to her jawbone, as though he longed to reach her lips.

Estrid melted. She felt like a fat candle long abandoned to devour itself into its own deep hollow, suddenly turned over to spill out its pent-​up inner lake of molten wax.

Estrid melted.

She had forgotten how her cheeks could burn, how her heart could gallop, how her belly could spin, and how she could ache and throb between her legs. So often she had desperately focused on vague, faceless fantasies, frantically rubbing herself beneath the sheets while Brede staggered about and undressed, trying to get herself at least wet enough that he would not hurt her. She had thought her ability to feel desire had run dry. And now she was liquid, melting…

“I don’t even know your name!” she whispered.

'I don't even know your name!'

“Call me K,” he murmured between kisses.

“Just K?”

“Just K.”

He slid one hand across her lower ribs, and she felt the weight of her breasts settle on the back of his arm and strain against her gown. The linen shift that had seemed of such silken fineness now chafed her nipples into an exquisite sensitivity.

“Is it short for something?” she panted.

'Is it short for something?'


She squirmed and squeaked and laughed to prevent herself from giving in. She had not thought it would be like this. Her vague and faceless fantasies were never so breathtaking.

“May I try to guess?” she giggled.

“You won’t.”

“Knut? Kormak? Does it start with K?”

“Don’t try,” he whispered firmly.

'Don't try.'

“But what will happen to me, if I don’t?” she gasped. “Krumplestiltskin!” she laughed. “You will come to claim my first-​born son!”

“Your next-​born,” he corrected.



His arm tightened suddenly around her waist, pulling her back against his naked chest. She felt the taut strength of his biceps drawing on his forearm, and knew it could have been tighter. Her belly seemed to swell out beneath the pressure of his arm, and she thought she felt the weight of her womb within it. Between her legs she throbbed so hotly that she spread her feet farther apart on the floor to seek some relief.

The smith caught her off-​balance and spun her around to face him. He kissed her at once, as though it was just what he had been longing to do.

He kissed her at once.

Estrid struggled weakly and squealed into his mouth, but it only made him moan. Then she was moaning too.

She had forgotten why she had ever so enjoyed kissing that she would risk being punished to sneak away and partake of it. She had forgotten why she had ever willingly taken a man’s tongue into her mouth. She had forgotten that men’s mouths did not universally taste like sour ale or partially-​digested wine.

The smith was strong and steady on his feet.

The smith was strong and steady on his feet, and she could lean back in his arms without fear that he would fall on her or drop her. She had forgotten how it felt to trust a man with her body.

“K!” she whispered when he moved on to kiss her breast. “I feel silly calling you just K,” she giggled.

'I feel silly calling you just K.'

“I feel silly calling you Princess, but I do it anyway.” When he did not try to make it mocking or gentle, his low voice was as deep as a growl.

“Why do you?” she asked softly. “My name is Estrid.”

“Does anyone else call you Princess?”


“That’s why.”



He adjusted his arms around her, gathering her up and settling her down, until her arms were around his shoulders and his hands on the backs of her thighs. He kissed her again, but less passionately, as though his mind were elsewhere and he only meant to distract her.

Meanwhile his hands were passionately squeezing her hips and thighs and behind, stroking her silky dress over her curves, teasing her legs apart. The weight of his kilt was no longer enough to hide his erection from her, and she felt it pressing against her thigh or jabbing the fabric of her gown and shift between her legs.

This was not how it was supposed to be.

This was not how it was supposed to be. She had not imagined this. She felt as she had on horseback, her body perilously slipping around inside her cloak, perhaps to slide out at any moment and fall in a shattered-​legged heap upon the snow… and yet she had been laughing…

Then she felt a breeze on her bare calves, and she realized he was slipping her gown up her legs with his squeezing and rubbing.

She was horrified—not at what he was doing—and she did not even think of what he intended to do—but because she feared he would see her ugly boots after all.

She was horrified.

“Wait!” she panted. Vainly she lifted one foot high in search of her disappearing hem. “I’m not—”

The smith caught her off-​balance and lifted her up by her thighs to toss her onto the edge of his table. He pushed her skirts all the way up her legs, and with a sweep of his hand lifted his kilt up over them to make a tent. For an instant she held his naked hips between her knees.

For an instant she held his naked hips between her knees.

“Wait!” she squeaked. “I’m not—”

With his first thrust he found her. She was so wet he slipped easily where he was supposed to go, down into her molten hollows. Their bodies had been made for this.

With his first thrust he found her.

With his second he sank all the way into her. She cried out sharply, not because she felt pain, but because she felt pierced. She knocked over a jug or pitcher of some sort with her elbow as she tried to struggle into a position to hold herself up.

Then came the third, just as deep. She cried, “Wait!” and scrabbled to get her arms beneath her. She thought he ought to stop a moment and hold still, simply savoring her. She thought he ought to at least let her get her balance.

She scrabbled to get her arms beneath her.

Then came the fourth, and the fifth, the sixth. She twisted her hips and arched her back, and nothing could make him falter. He had perfect time.

Seventh, eighth, ninth came, and she gave up counting. She gave up struggling too, and she threw her arms around his back, trusting her balance and body to him.

She threw her arms around his back.

He pressed his cheek against her cheek and moaned, “Princess…” but he did not lose his rhythm. She tried to lose herself to it, but she could not. She thought only of the fogged windows and the door. She thought of her clunky boots wagging in the air behind his back.

She felt a man slipping in and out of her, and though her body had so desired it that she felt her desire dripping down onto her gown beneath her, she could not bring herself to feel any pleasure in it now. This was not how it was supposed to be.

This was not how it was supposed to be.

She tried moaning his name, but it made her feel silly. She kissed his cheeks and clean-​shaven chin, but his eyes remained tightly closed, and his rhythm never altered. He scarcely knew she was there.

Finally she arched her back and lifted her knees, trying to pull him farther in for herself, as if there were something there he had not quite reached. On his next thrust he slid deeper and pressed against something in her depths, but he darted away again; nothing could hold him or even slow him, it seemed.

Finally she arched her back and lifted her knees.

The next, and next, and next came, and Estrid tipped back her head in defeat. Abruptly he stopped. The muscles of his shoulders tensed into hard knots. Estrid had an instant of panic, fearing she had hurt him.

Then he breathed shakily in her ear, and she felt him twitching inside her, immobile. He took another breath and moaned, “Princess…” She felt his pleasure rippling into her in concentric waves.


Brede never stopped grunting and slamming into her until he was well finished and ready to roll directly off her or fall asleep on top of her. She had never known that a man could simply hold himself still inside of her at that moment—that she could feel it. He had let her feel. She felt strangely blessed, and she wanted to kiss his face, and she did not dare. It looked so helpless and pained.

'It looked so helpless and pained.'

At last the pleasure she had not felt began to swell up in her, spreading out in interlocking circles like ripples reflected from a shore. The mere fullness of his motionless girth and weight inside of her was more pleasure than she had felt in years. She wanted to hold him still and savor him.

But he had finished, and he stepped back and slipped out of her. His kilt flapped neatly down over the naked front of him before she even saw.

His kilt flapped neatly down over the naked front of him.

Estrid remembered her boots and slid herself off the table and onto the floor with a tell-​tale clunk of wooden soles. The smith did not flinch at the sound. She realized he was not thinking of her shoes.

He swallowed and wiped his hand over his face. His breathing was heavy, but slowing. She waited for him to say something to her. She wanted to know whether he had felt the same thing she had at the end.

At last he folded his arms and opened his eyes to look at her. His chin jutted out defiantly. He only said, “Anything else I can do for you today?”

'Anything else I can do for you today?'

Estrid was so shocked she smiled. When she felt unexpected tears in her eyes, however, she turned and tottered over to the chair to take her cloak. She did not know whether she was more humiliated by the clacking of her boot-​heels on the floor or the shakiness of her strained legs.

“Need some help with that?” he offered.

“No.” Her voice was oddly cool. She dabbed at her hot tears with the collar of her cloak as she pulled it on.

She hooked it closed and then returned to him, walking calmly and quietly. She told herself she would give him a last chance to say some thing that would be the right thing.

She told herself she would give him a last chance to say some thing that would be the right thing.

He only stared.

Estrid slipped her necklace out of her cloak and patted the pendant pearl. It felt slightly out of place. Even after she would have sat down in a bath and washed herself clean, even after she would have laundered the spots out of her gown, she would not be able to believe she had imagined this.

She would not be able to believe she had imagined this.

Suddenly he smiled at her—a keen, cutting smile that was incongruous with the helpless look that had remained in his eyes. His medallions twinkled savagely, borne up by the shallow panting of his breath. His face and neck were shining with sweat.

“What?” he asked. “My fee?” He flicked the back of his hand at her. “Don’t worry about that. It’s free.”

'Don't worry about that.  It's free.'

He grinned mockingly at her, in spite of his eyes. Estrid thought she had been more than seduced—she had been tricked. Her spine snapped straight, drawn tight at both ends like a chain.

“Your fee?” she asked coldly. “I certainly hope it is free.

She curled her fingers around the necklace and gave it a sharp yank. It snapped neatly somewhere behind her neck. She flung it down on the table.

“What shoddy work!” she shouted. “I certainly will not pay you for that!

'What shoddy work!'

The smith’s mocking expression crumpled into raw confusion and dismay.

“I shall return for that before the end of the week! And I expect you to do a far better job next time!”

“But, Princess!” he whimpered.

Estrid snatched up her scarf and stalked out. She banged her wooden heels on the floor like hammers, in perfect time.

Estrid snatched up her scarf and stalked out.