((Chocolates can be gotten from the heart-printed box in the chocolate shop in Clockhaven. Give them to your lovers. Or, perhaps, to someone you wish were your lover. Be careful who you give it to, sometimes the effect you get is not always what you hoped, and enjoy it while you may, effects vanish at midnight on Valentine’s.))
Delicately, and with a smug smile on her face, Phaedra slipped from Lapis’s sleepy grasp and pulled on her dressing gown. He was a deep sleeper, as always, and it amused her to take the little golden necklace he always wore while he slept. She fingered the charm dangling at her throat as she descended the stairs, humming to herself as she went. She wondered how long it would be before he noticed she’d left a shade in her place.
She righted one of the stools in the kitchen and closed the window that had been left open, forgotten the night before.
The problem, she’d realized, had been in her insistence on using one primary ingredient to achieve her goals. The new formula had worked a charm on Lapis, at last, the right combination of passion, admiration, stamina, and reckless abandon.
She cracked the heart-shaped chocolates out of their moulds and started depositing them in little red satin bags that she nestled in a brightly colored box, readying them for sale. She put a few in a bag and set them aside to send to Junie.
Wrapped up as she was in her work, she was startled when she felt Lapis’s arms around her waist. He pulled her tight against him, nibbled her ear.
“Come back upstairs.”
She chuckled. “Don’t you have matins to sing and hammers to bow to?”
“I’ll tell them I was occupied elsewhere, wrestling to save someone’s soul from sloth.”
“Then who am I to keep you from such work.” She picked up a heart and bit it in half, savoring it. She passed the other half to him.
He took it from her and ate it, closing his eyes briefly. “Do you really think you are the first witch to seduce me?”
Phaedra blinked. The thought had not crossed her mind before.
“The Fast begins soon. I will need memories to sustain me.”
Phaedra slipped his grasp, walking toward the stairs and dropping the dressing gown from her shoulders. “Best enjoy your freedom while we may, then.”
Lapis smiled and followed her up.