Camilia gave a gurgling laugh at the sally and laid a hand on the Lord Magistrate’s shoulder. She saw him appreciatively following the line of her neck and long bare arm and smiled. He had known her father too well to be genuinely swayed by her femininity, but she found that very few men actually minded being charmed by the Empress. She crinkled her eyes at him in parting, and turned away to find the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
He was standing on the balcony, the last echoes of sunset on his face. He was, as ever, slim, tall, and elegantly dressed, the note-perfect performance of a man who had been at court since long before she’d been born. He had been appointed to his position by her grandfather and had not been young then, but of course that was nothing for the Tevalle.