There is the impending guilt of sins past committed, the worry of what people think and what they know, and the awesome power that the priest manages to hold over the entire congregation. I supposed that we are fortunate to have an enigmatic priest; we are literally gripped to the seat by his sermons on debauchery, lust and the disintegration of society as we know it. Because I have my own enclave to hide behind and I am never without some sort of head-dress to disguise my features, I do not have to to withstand what feels like the Inquisition from our priests stare, it really is a look that legends are made of.
This disguise is a feat I have been using for many years, sending one of my handmaidens in my stead so that I could sneak away with the Duke during the summer months. Yet now that I am an adulterer I fear that going to church is my one saving grace. It is the least of the penitance that I should do, but I dare not speak of the affair down here in my own province. If my name be sullied in the North, so be it, at least my reputation here with my own people is still safe.
I have replied to darling Harlequin's letter/parcel with just a small quip that the affair means nothing to me and I expect nothing from him other than to go back to his wife. It is as it should be. I did no wrong for I am only the other woman, not the adulterer.
(I know this is quite contrary to my own opinion, but I feel that I have to put on a brave face, to no one else can I admit my shame.)
Then I thanked Harlequin for his gifts and told him to expect me back within the week as long as this snow subsides.
My lovely ladies have abandoned me in the Shire to go to their relevant places of general accomplishment. So here I am alone, just waiting, once again, for my life to begin. This is supposed to be a new year, but so far I have not needed any of my resolutions because my life has been so quiet.
I have heard through the grapevine that the Duke has made it back to Scotland, yet no direct word from him that he has arrived. I will be put out if our correspondence diminishes this year because of my letter. It isn't as if it's the worst letter I have ever sent. I don't even dare remind myself of the disastrous love affair with the Baron two summers ago. There was a letter that I will always regret sending, this one is nothing in comparison.
I feel that I am going to have to redecorate my home shortly, I might draw up some designs in the next couple of days. I'm quite inspired by this French Queen Marie Antoinette, she sounds delightful if the rumours are true. But if she is anything like me there is another world behind all the rumours, and a face and smile that live up to the reputation.
I think I'm going to go and play in the snow with my brother. It is barely light enough but I will have the servants hold torches while we play.