by Fabrisse

Thanks to Jackbugger for the stringent and enthusiastic beta.

He tries to avoid coming here too often. She's still his only weakness. Even now, the room smells like it's hers. Beeswax and poppy oil; if he opens the drawers, vetiver. He knows why Lex uses it -- to remind himself of the scent of her clothes.

But not her scent. Copal had warmed her fair skin. The oil seemed too sweet when she was ill without the sharpness of the jasmine-water she'd used to perfume her hair.

Her hair's the real reason he hasn't touched this room. It was sleek and dark. Fanned out on the pillow, hidden red depths welcomed him -- flaring with a passion that was usually bound in dark coils at her neck. In his arms, Lillian was unbound.

All her depths had been plundered by him. Her mind, which was quick and inclined to philosophy, had astonished him. Her soul, his other half, had held a beauty he'd never before known possible. Her body had delighted him; her laughter and wit and inventiveness when they made love had let him know the joy of their coupling was mutual.

This remains hers. The rich, antique furniture, the room set up in the French way so that the bureau mirror reflects the bed, the stark white of the walls and the bedlinens, all enhance the warm mahogany of his memory.

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