"You live to serve me. You live to please me. Now come here. Lay across my lap."
Amina is nervous. Tonight is her wedding night. Her new husband is the Sultan, a man reputed to have insatiable and ferocious carnal appetites. Amina is unversed in the ways of passion, but tonight she will learn that to be the Sultan's new bride, she must first submit utterly to his will.
~~~~~ PG Excerpt ~~~~~
My handmaid and her entourage circled me, helping me into an ornate gown that had been decked out with all sorts of jewels and precious stones. As was to be expected, it was heavy, and my legs instantly grew weary of supporting the thick layers of fabric. I did not know how I was supposed to carry myself in a light, womanly manner when I was dressed to the nines in what may have been my fanciest burden yet.
That wasn't all, unfortunately. To my great irritation, I was flanked by the two girls who had held the makeup. They began to go to work on my plain-looking, naked visage. I was dabbed with lavender oil to draw a seductive scent out of my skin, my already-pale face was powdered with something whiter than anything I'd ever seen before, and I felt kohl being smeared liberally onto my eyelids. I grimaced at the garish version of myself that they were most likely creating. They colored my lips a bright red, powdered my cheeks until they were pink, and slathered my eyelashes with something dark until they looked like the legs of spiders.
Upon glancing in the mirror, I was shocked to find that I didn't actually look half bad - it was definitely the first time that I'd looked this nice with makeup on. I supposed that the girls had taken their sweet time applying the stuff since it was all leading up to a ceremony that was undoubtedly very important. The dress, albeit very heavy, flattered my figure to a surprising degree. I actually very much enjoyed the way that I looked - my long, dark hair had been done up into a dignified bun on the top of my head, a few stray tendrils of hair framing my delicate face.
I gave myself a once-over. Then I gave myself a twice-over. I looked like someone who belonged here, although if the servant girls could hear my thoughts, I'm sure that they would be able to tell just how bewildered I felt about this whole thing.