10.11

The room felt smaller with her in it, and the bathroom doubly so as Sarah set up a chair in front of the mirror.

“There’s a suit that should also fit you for dinner, you’ll only have to wear it the one time but please try not to damage it. It’s in the closet.”

“Suit?” Jerret sat down and slumped in the chair. Sarah pulled him upright and the light on her wristband flashed.

“Sit up straight please.” She slipped gloves on both hands and rubbed them together, starting a gentle foam in her fingers.

Jerret shut his eyes as her hands touched his hair and thought about the book he had been reading. The sensation was distracting though, and the smell of peaches brought him back to the present suddenly. She’d pulled away, and the nervous look on her face relaxed a little.

“What?”

“Nothing, you were just” She put her hands in his hair again, “growling a little.”

“Sorry.”

In the silence that followed the sound of scissors cutting through his hair had him gripping the arms of the chair. Usually whoever was trying to civilize him just used a sturdy razor and removed most of it. Somehow having her carefully shape it one bit at a time was so much worse. The snipping stopped and the scratch of a comb against his scalp startled him.

“I’m nearly done so please try to sit still.”

His heart was beating fast again and he tried to slow his breathing as she stepped away from him. The smell of her persisted, as strong as ever and he cleared his throat, risking  glance at her in the mirror. Their eyes met and she smiled just a little.

“Alright, that’s the worst of it. I’ll send someone to fetch you for dinner, so all you have to do is wear the suit in the closet until afterwards.” She backed up and opened the closet door, glancing in. “I’ll see you at dinner.”

“Ye-” He stood up and turned around. She was closer than he thought, and Jerret quickly looked away. “Yeah.”

She waved a little as she moved out into the hall, smiling and smelling of peaches still. As the smell faded he regained his focus and looked in the closet at the suit. It was probably the fanciest thing he’d worn since right after he’d been freed. He pulled the suit down and looked it over, trying to remember how the parts fit together. The tie had a clip at least, that was the part he’d never figured out how to do. Janet had always… he set the suit down carefully on the bed and headed out into the hall to walk and clear his head.

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