There are some things about Myrrh’s past she never intends to reveal to anyone. Some of it is painful. Some of it is horrifying. Some of it is happiness that would never make sense to anyone not born of that time.
And some… well, some is just embarrassing.
Slave? Oh yes, she’s been that, in the wake of conquered cities. Usually not for long, but there were times it had taken weeks or even months to squirm her way into a situation where she could get enough lead time to make a clean escape. Sometimes she hadn’t – and those had been painful months in lead shackles until she’d managed a backup plan.
Slave-owner? Yes, Myrrh’s been that too. Sometimes there had been no other way to get a wounded soul to safety. A freewoman, all too often, was property of her nearest male relative. A slave woman could be owned by anyone, even an eccentric odd Egyptian lady too wealthy to mistreat like most females.
But most of the past centuries Myrrh’s scraped along getting by like anyone else. Demon-slaying may be a holy calling, but it rarely put denarii in her pouch, or even beans on the table. Raising chickens, mucking stables, fixing plumbing, even salvage diving – if there’s an honest job Myrrh hasn’t tried or at least met in passing, she doesn’t know about it.
She’s never telling Aidan about being an ornatrix, though. Never, ever, ever. It’s just too embarrassing. He might realize that while her soul loves his as a brother, steady as the tides, her small talent for artistry squeaks like a kitten over his hair.
Lovely, thick, lion-strong fiery hair. Red as the best madder, the most prized kermes. Hair too thick to ever need falls woven in from captive braids; too gloriously colored to ever bleach with ashes or drown in walnut and cuttlefish ink. Certainly hair that would never need rotting leeches!
And modern-day hairdressers thought their working conditions were onerous. She’d love to hand them the leeches. Really. Never mind the nit combs.
Aidan’s sensitive about his looks – as anyone would be, who found out they took after an unexpected father, demon or otherwise. She doesn’t want to stir that unease. Not until he’s had a bit more time to adjust to being a breathing soul again.
But sometimes, just sometimes, she really would like to comb out his hair.
(Nope. Way too embarrassing. Ever.)