Passion Restrained


They say I am the most beautiful woman in the land, though no living man can state that with authority.  You see, no man living today has seen my face in many years.

I was born to a rich, powerful man, and a beautiful, intelligent, spirited woman.  In a land known for its beautiful silks, my father is the dean of the silk trade.  His father was a silk trader, as well.  My mother was the only child of another silk family.  Their marriage consolidated the holdings of two families into the power that it remains to this day.  Befitting the daughter of the most powerful silk merchant in the land, I have spent my entire life wearing the finest of his silks.  No other fiber has yet touched my skin.  It is a feeling of luxury like no other.

Though I say that my mother was beautiful, I rely only on the reminiscences of others and a single painting of her as a bride, as she died giving me life.  They say I have her eyes, and her sharp wit and spirit, as well as her beauty.  My father still lives; he is strong and dark, and honorable.  He also tells me I am the fairest in the land, though he knows this not for certain, either.  From the day I first bled as a young girl, I have lived life beneath a veil. 

My sister, ten years my elder and my surrogate mother, also lived her life veiled.  Only we saw each other uncovered.  We veiled before all, even female relatives—even our father.  He felt it only proper that a widowed father protect his daughters, even from himself.  Not even the servants who care for me truly know my appearance.  The young girls who bathe me and care for my room are by accident of either birth or life, unseeing, though their hands and other senses know me intimately.  My dresser, my confidant, my friend, the only one alive today who has seen my naked body, is Ahmad.  Ahmad was brought into my father’s service mainly for his artistic abilities with silks and decoration.  What brought him to serve me was an unfortunate incident in his youth that left him without his manhood.  Though he admires my body aesthetically, and has intimate knowledge of me (only for my pleasure), and loves me like his own sister, he carries no lust for me—nor for any other woman—as he is incapable of those feelings.  He despises the word “eunuch,” though he is indeed that.  We have still not come up with a satisfying descriptor, so he is simply Ahmad.  But though Ahmad has seen my naked body, and used it as a canvas for his art on many occasions, even he has never seen my full face.  Even before him, my lower face is always hidden behind a silken veil.

Any time I leave my private chamber—or whenever someone comes to me—I am protected from others’ eyes by a large silk veil.  My indoor veils are of a lightweight but shimmery silk that allows me to see out, but blocks the view of those around me.  They are somewhat oval in shape, covering my bosom in front, my shoulders to the sides and most of my back behind.  Sewn into each veil is a comb that is secured into my hair atop my head to keep it in place.  Beneath my outer veil, should a breeze or my own movements ever raise it from my face, I wear a double-layer chiffon veil that covers me from below my eyes to the base of my slender neck, and from ear to ear.  This is the veil that usually stands between me and Ahmad.

My daily wear usually consists of a snug beaded bodice that leaves my midriff and its sapphire-filled navel open to view, with either short sleeves or billowy sheer long sleeves.  Below my waist I wear either loose flowing multi-layer skirts or sheer harem pants and silk slippers.  My charms are hidden beneath either shimmery panties, wide belts or artfully draped scarves, all arranged and coordinated by Ahmad.  At night I wear soft silk gowns and robes, a simple scarf tied about my hair, another by my bed should I need to cover myself unexpectedly.

My attire when I leave our compound is usually more complex.  First, I travel in a sedan chair shrouded in silk curtains, with several guards and Ahmad.  At the same time another similar entourage will exit, with one of my servant girls impersonating me.  Though they all recognize the danger of being a decoy, the assignment is nevertheless popular among them.  Though they also wear beautiful silk clothing every day, they love the sensual treat of wearing even fancier silks and veils, and being treated like a princess by their peers.  As this duty rotates among them, none bear jealously toward the others. 

Within the sedan chair, in addition to the double-layer chiffon face veil and the larger head veil, I (we) wear something akin to a burkha, though in chiffon to obviate the need for an eye screen, and a lined, hooded silk cloak—satin or crepe in warmer months, velvet in cooler.

My father knows that I am a woman of great passion, as was my sister before me.  He allows male callers to visit, and grants us our privacy.  He does, however, screen all callers to protect me from assassins or those just trying to woo my wealth.  As I said earlier, my father is an honorable man, but he is neither naïve nor particularly merciful to pretenders.  And while I may be alone with my male callers, I am never by myself.  Men are escorted into the outer room of my quarters, where introductions are made, and food is served.  We are able to converse, though not privately, as our servants are always nearby.  Should we desire the conversation to become more intimate, we retire to my inner chamber for more privacy.  Once there we can become more comfortable with each other.  To this point no physical contact has occurred between us.  Should I desire the evening to go further, I will excuse myself briefly to replace my outer veil with one that allows the viewer a glimpse of what lies beneath.  I will then share a story with my suitor, and perhaps dance for him.  If I deem him worthy of having me, I will then touch his shoulder or hand, and beckon him to my bed.  It is a beautiful, huge bed, covered in the finest silk sheets and comforters, draped on all four sides by layers of silk curtains of different levels of opacity, with plump pillows all over. 

Once on the bed, I allow myself to be touched and caressed, though still clothed and veiled.  Should he be skilled in his ministrations, I will allow him to proceed to remove my clothing, and even my outer veil, and continue to warm me.  I am very responsive, and willingly reward the skillful with cries of ecstasy and multiple orgasms.  Once the truly skilled enter me, I am usually beyond control, and will give them an experience to carry with them for life. 

For the greatest of the great, at the conclusion of our lovemaking I will favor my suitor by lowering my face veil and allowing him to gaze upon my uncovered face.  It is the least I can do, as mine will be the last face he sees.  After a long passionate kiss, he will exit to his fate.

After my suitor has excused himself, my servants enter to assist me in preparing for bed.  The most important part of this is a thorough cleaning inside and out, in order to protect me from disease or other inconvenience.  They are quite skilled in this, and work diligently to satisfy my desire to be cleansed.  A frequent effect of their ministrations is further stimulation and release of passion, the sounds of which echo down the corridor after my lover as he leaves me.

Rumors abound as to what happens in my chamber, and what lies beneath my veils.  Some say that some horrible accident rendered the formerly beautiful child that I was into some hideous monster, and that those who have taken me and discovered this have thrown themselves in horror off some cliff.  Others say that I am so beautiful as to make men drop dead on the spot.  Ahmad has heard that I am so skilled as to love a man to death.  The most popular rumor by far is that I am some sort of black widow who kills her lover after consummating the act.  I can categorically state that there was never a horrible, disfiguring accident, nor am I so beautiful as to make men die on the spot (though some of the weaker ones have fainted when they were allowed to see my entire face, perhaps finally realizing their fate).  I am a skilled, responsive lover, though I have never loved a man to death.  And while I do have a golden, scimitar-shaped dagger always close at hand, I have never used it.

The reality is sadly much more mundane and somewhat tragic.  As part of the deal my sister—and later I—made with our father, while we are allowed lovers and other suitors, they must never be allowed to make claims on us or our riches, or to tell stories of their exploits.  And of course, there is only one certain way to guarantee this.

Though I will surely someday marry in order to continue our bloodline and possession of our vast wealth, this will not be the way it is done.

Like me, you are also a person of power and wealth. Also like me, you have taken many partners, all rich and beautiful.  Though some women have returned from trysts with you, none had ever been taken by you—as a matter of fact, none had even had the slightest physical contact with you.  Though many reached out, you held back.  This has fed the rumor that you are either cold, or not interested in a woman’s touch, possibly preferring the touch and love of someone stronger.  There are more than a few families who suspect otherwise.  They are families whose beautiful, talented daughters left home wearing their best clothing, stating they were to meet a friend, yet never met the friend—and were never seen again.  Among the servants of the various houses of power there are rumors.  It is said that on the nights when one of the mistresses of one of these houses disappears, the servants of your house hear wonderful sounds of a woman’s passion being brought out like most only wish.  But none of them have seen the maiden you have brought to such heights, and none have heard the same voice more than once.  Though occasional inquiries have been made, money and power in this land are great protectors of discretion.

As always on the days I plan to meet with you, I rise early in order to prepare.  After a breakfast of fresh dates and yogurt, I bathe.  My maidservants gently wash me outside and in using delightfully warm water and scented oils to make my skin silky smooth.  As they are unable to see, they must work only by touch, smell and taste, moving their hands across my skin, and pressing their noses and tongues close to detect even the slightest impurity.  Of course some areas require closer attention than others.  And sometimes when these areas are being cleaned or inspected, the girls’ hearing also plays a role, as they can hear whether I desire a certain area to be given more attention.

Once I have been thoroughly cleansed, my skin is shaved bare from below my eyes to the tips of my toes, the better for Ahmad’s ministrations later in the day.  Again, being unable to see, they must proceed slowly and with care, constantly running their hands over my skin to detect even the slightest burr.  And they must also take care around sensitive areas, usually placing one or more fingers against areas that need to be protected from the razor’s edge.  Finally, my skin is massaged to wondrous softness with more scented oils, and I am tucked between sheets of the finest silk to sleep away the morning’s fatigue, a small chilled silken sachet laid across my eyes to prevent puffiness.

When I awaken, I am subject to one further thorough inspection by my most trusted maid.  When she is satisfied that all is well, my artist makes up my eyes.  Though she also cannot see, she was a renowned artist before being stricken, and is still gifted in her field, remembering the exact location of every stroke of her pencil or brush.  She does the same with me as her “canvas,” lining my eyes and shadowing my lids beautifully.  Today at my instruction she uses a palette of frosty blues and lavenders to compliment my ice blue eyes and the outfit that Ahmad has planned for me.  She slips the post of a diamond-encircled sapphire through the piercing in my left nostril, allowing the slender white gold chain attaching it and its partner earring—larger but of the same design—to lay across my cheek, before placing the earring in its piercing.  As a final adornment, she takes an almost invisible silk thread strung with small shimmery metallic disks and attaches it under my hair by each temple, so that the disks lie across my forehead.  A larger cascade of disks is attached to the string on the right side of my face, covering the right side of my forehead, temple and cheek, disappearing beneath my hair in front of my ear.  They all tinkle gently as I move my head from side to side

Finally, my veiler enters with a pale blue scarf of the sheerest silk.  Working strictly by touch, she lays the wide oblong over my head, allowing the front edge to cover my face until she folds it back over my hair to softly frame my eyes.  The left end of the scarf is loosely looped across my neck and allowed to fall over my right shoulder onto my back.  Next, she takes the right end of the scarf and crosses it over my lower face, pleating the fabric such that many folds shield my smile from view—barely allowing a peek of my nose ring--tucking the end beneath the scarf on the opposite side and securing it with a small clip on my left ear.  After several moments spent making sure all is secure and in place, she unfolds the single layer of silk from atop my head and allows it to fall in a sheer curtain over my eyes.  Only now am I ready to be in the company of the sighted world, and only by Ahmad.

Now that my face is suitably covered, though I remain naked below my soft blue veil, the first member of the sighted world to care for me will come in.  Ahmad enters my chamber and prepares for his work of the day.  He lays out brushes and paints, small shiny beads and bits of glitter.  In a matter of hours I will appear to any fortunate enough to see me to be clothed in a beautiful jeweled bra and bottom, my arms and legs wrapped in shimmering gold and silver.  In reality, I will be clothed only in paint and glitter, expertly applied by he who knows my body better than any.

Ahmad begins by first studying his canvas (me) from a distance.  Then he more closely examines the curves and textures to which he will soon be applying paint.  Though he has painted me many times before, he always does this, as his “exams” tend to be quite enjoyable for me.  Once he has planned out his design, Ahmad draws the outlines of his designs onto my skin with a fine brush.  Though this tickles—in some places more than others—I must hold very still so as not to disrupt his lines.

It may seem odd to some for a woman of my position to be standing naked, save for a sheer scarf wrapping my head and face, in front of a man, but Ahmad has neither the interest nor the ability to move beyond critical study of my curves.  When I first did this for Ahmad, I was quite embarrassed, appearing in such a way before a man, even though I was always veiled.  Now it is as natural as standing before a mirror, with the advantage of not only my own critical gaze, but Ahmad’s as well, evaluating the reflection.

Once I have been fully outlined, a process that sometimes takes up to an hour, the painting begins in earnest.  I must assume several different positions as Ahmad progresses, to allow him to properly garb me in paint.  Especially tonight, I must be fully painted to mimic clothing for my ruse to work.  For starters, I must lie on my back on a table padded with silk cushions, with my knees bent and my feet spread apart.  With deft strokes Ahmad begins to paint what will appear to be silver and gold, jeweled panties.  As his soft brushes work ever closer to my most sensitive areas, he occasionally must stop to blot up beads of moisture that would otherwise make the paint run before it is fully dry. 

My next position is standing, bent forward over the table, again with my feet spread apart, to allow Ahmad to complete what he started in front.  Again he must occasionally stop to blot up beads of passion evoked by his soft brushes.  Now I stand before him, with my arms lifted to raise my breasts away from my chest, to allow application of my painted “bra.”  My nipples rise to the touch of his soft brushstrokes as he spreads swirls of color over them and the rest of my breasts, extending them up to my shoulders to form straps.  As the paint below my slender waist is not fully set, Ahmad tucks a small pad of softest silk within me to prevent any juices his brushes might evoke from ruining his work.  This, though, is a double-edged sword, as jus the touch of the silk against my most sensitive area frequently brings me to climax.

While my “bra” dries, Ahmad begins work on my legs, making diaphanous swirls in silvers and pale blues to mimic the colors of silk that I will wear over them.  Then once I can lower my arms, he will do the same to them, as well as my back and belly.  To accentuate the large sapphire residing in my navel, he creates a dramatic pattern not unlike a butterfly spreading its wings across my abdomen, such that its wings will appear to flutter as I dance later this evening.

When Ahmad has completed painting my costume, he goes back and with small bits of adhesive attaches over 100 bits of glitter and small gems to further accentuate the look of his artwork.  To finish the look he has created for this evening, Ahmad produces a small box containing several items made to exacting measurements he himself took several nights earlier.  The box contains three items:  a set of three slender chains trimmed with small jewels, connected at each end by small golden rings, and two identical U-shaped rings trimmed in a like manner to the chains.  Ahmad takes first one of the large rings, followed by the other, and places them under and around my breasts.  When I shimmy from side to side, the trim moves and jingles softly, while the rings hold snugly to me.  Taking the small ring on one end of the treble chains, he holds it in front of my left nipple, then gently teases it into erection, right through the ring.  Though I can feel the ring, it is neither tight nor painful.  He then does the same with the other ring and my right nipple.  Though I must keep thoughts in my head that will maintain my nipples in their current state, the effect is worth it. 

Finally, it is time to dress for the evening.  First, Ahmad gently removes the now sodden silk pad from within me.  Though its removal provokes further passion from within me, as my body paint has fully set, he is able to blot up the resulting fluid without marring his work. With Ahmad’s assistance I step into a pair of very sheer pale blue silk harem pants with a silver and gold swirled waistband that perfectly blends with my body paint.  Both legs are slit down the sides to allow peeks of my painted skin to show through as I move, though the pattern is plainly visible through the sheer fabric.  Next he places a blue ombre silk poncho over my head.  The neckline is large enough that if I move in the correct way, the poncho will drop down over my arms to my hips, so I must move cautiously.  Silver and gold slave bracelets are placed on my arms, again blending perfectly with my painting, such that one cannot be certain where one ends and the other begins.  Around my hips we tuck a large silk veil in a slightly darker shade of blue to form an overskirt atop my harem pants.  Before I dress to leave the compound another similar veil will be draped over my head and shoulders.  The final touch before I dress to leave is my small jewel- encrusted, scimitar-shaped dagger that Ahmad places inside the waistband of my harem pants in the small of my back.  As with all of my other adornments, it is perfectly camouflaged by Ahmad’s expert painting. 

At last I am ready to don my outer garments and leave for our meeting.  Over the sheer veil that has protected me from direct view by anyone, I place a heavier veil.  This is a double layer of heavier chiffon in navy blue that resembles a large headscarf folded into a triangle and laid over my head and shoulders.  Attached to it in front is a smaller doubled rectangle of the same fabric, designed to veil my lower face.  The two are attached at the sides of my face near my ears, and in front by a thin chain that extends from the center of the head cover to the face veil at the bridge of my nose.  Now only my eyes, covered by a single layer of sheer silk, are visible from beneath my silken veils.  After enveloping me in the large blue veil that matches my overskirt veil, Ahmad assists me to place my large sheer blue burkha over my head, allowing the folds to fall to my feet. 

Before my vision is severely limited by the next layer of my wrappings, I see one of my servant girls led into the room.  Though she is not painted like me, she wears similar harem pants and a sheer poncho over a sparkly bra and panties, as well as veils about her hips and head, and a double chiffon mask like mine.  She also wears a chiffon burkha like mine.  As we stand next to each other, Ahmad lays a large creamy white square scarf over my head and shoulders.  It was given to me by my beloved sister before she left the last time I saw her.  She told me it was magic, and wearing it over my head when I left our compound would protect me from harm.  I only wish she had kept it long enough to so protect her.  As a similar scarf was placed on my “alter ego,” a large blue satin hooded cloak was draped over me, with the frogs at my neck secured, and the hood pulled far forward to shield from even a passing glance my silk wrapped face. 

Tough I am able to see shapes and light, I can no longer move independently.  Several moments after another guard similar in stature to Ahmad (though better “equipped”) leaves with my servant girl, Ahmad guides me to a secret passage that leads underground, beneath a wide boulevard, and out the back of a small cottage many feet from the safety of our compound’s thick walls.  Now we begin the circuitous route to a similar secret entrance to your palatial abode.

We walk cautiously, but quickly, my hand on Ahmad’s strong arm.  He guides me through dark alleys and along the sides of wider boulevards.  Unbeknownst to any who might follow us, a small cadre of my father’s guards follow at a discreet distance, though Ahmad could render all but the strongest attacker ineffective.  After several minutes, we arrive at another small cottage, similar to the one we left, and knock once, thrice, and once again.  The door opens and we step in, Ahmad first, then me.  Inside there is no furniture, and we see no one.  Dim light through the heavy window covers illuminates a narrow stair, and we start down into darkness.  Once Ahmad’s eyes accustom to the dim light of the tunnel—all is dark to me beneath my veils and shrouds—we walk forward, then up another stair into a room bright enough that I can discern light.  As Ahmad steps back, another hand guides me forward.  We stop in front of a door, and my guide knocks.

Heeding your harsh "Enter!" in reply to the soft knock upon the heavy door, I noiselessly slip into your chamber.  At first all you can see in the shadows away from the central skylight under which you sit is an amorphous column that seems to move toward you.  Instantly on your guard for possible violence--you are, after all, the most powerful man in the city--I see you relax slightly when you see that your visitor is too slender to be a man, and clad in a long, flowing, dark blue silk cloak.

I slowly approach the couch that holds your reclining form; it is, after all, difficult to see with the hood of the cloak almost completely covering my face.  As you strain to decipher who your visitor is, even though deep inside you already know, with a toss of my head I allow the hood to fall back from my face.  Now you are faced with a blank visage shrouded in creamy white silk, the large scarf that covers me from head to chest—my magic scarf.  Only I--and soon you--will know who your late evening visitor truly is; though many may suspect, the secret is shared by us alone.

  You see my hands move beneath the heavy silk of my cloak as I reach up to undo the clasp at the neck.  I turn my back to you, shrug my shoulders, and the cloak falls in a soft, silky mound at your feet.  I again turn to face you, still faceless under my enveloping white shroud.  Now I bow over you, allowing the huge square of softest silk to fall into your lap.  Even before you look up to me, you take it in your hands, bring it to your nose, and inhale deeply.  The familiarity of my scent contained within instantly relaxes you further.  Finally, with the loss of my white face shroud I am able to see more clearly.  You now look up to see familiar pale blue eyes looking down upon you, still barely visible under several layers of the finest silk veils in the land.  You can, however, see those eyes are smiling.

As I step back, your eyes take me in fully, and you study my attire--always new with each visit, always mysterious, never bland or boring.  You see my sheer, pale blue burkha, covering more silky layers beneath.  How many layers, you are unsure.  I begin to pirouette slowly in front of you, allowing the hem of the burkha to rise from the floor, and giving you trace glimpses of what lies beneath.  Still, all you are able to see is more pale blue silk and the occasional glimmer of some type of polished stone.  I slowly raise my hands up as I spin, lifting the burkha ever higher from the floor.  I also slow my spinning until I again face you.  Now I flip it forward over my head--always keeping one layer of silk between our gazes--and you allow it to fall over you.  No longer holding my white scarf to your nose, you are again surrounded by my familiar, yet still intoxicating scent, a combination of my perfume, my own body, and my anticipation of what is to come. 

You are able to see better, through the haze of your sheer blue shroud, the next layer of my wrappings.  A sliver of my raven black hair frames my face, visible from under at least one huge blue veil.  A thin gold chain appears in the center part of my hair from beneath the veil, running down to the bridge of my nose, where it attaches to an opaque dark blue silk veil.  It then continues over the veil, across my left cheek, and disappears beneath my head veil near my left ear.  My eyes are lined in kohl, and shadowed in shades of blue and lavender, making them appear even paler than they are, but at the same time accentuating their subtle differences in color.  Still, though, you are unable to see them clearly, covered as you are by my sheer burkha, and as they are by the sheer silk of my inner veil.  Though my lips remain hidden under their veils, you know they are smiling at you.

The large head veil I am wearing covers most of my torso, but you are still able to see the large sheer poncho draping me to below my waist.  You are also able to see more glimmers on my body, emanating from beneath my draped clothes.  They seem now to be concentrated over my breasts and, in lesser quantity, my abdomen.  My long tanned legs peek from my sheer harem pants and their overskirt.  Again you can see more shimmering from beneath, especially below my slender waist, and less so on my legs.  My feet are clad in the blue silk slippers that allow me to move about you without discernable sound

From somewhere in the distance soft music begins to play, and I begin to slowly move with it.  Thus begins a dance, sensual but not erotic.  Even as the beat picks up and with it my movements, you remain transfixed, yet only mildly aroused; any more might cause us both great grief.

I continue my dance, my eyes closed, not seeing your keen interest.  I raise the large blue silk veil from my head and segue into a veil dance.  The blue veil swings rhythmically about me, between us and then enclosing us within its confines.  With my hands holding the veil before me, I reach down and loosen my blue overskirt, which it is now evident is a second veil.  My movements become more complex--possibly more erotic--but almost always sheltered from your gaze by thin silk.  

You can see more clearly now my torso and legs.  It appears that I am wearing a tight-fitting body suit, covered with sparkly stones and gold and silver paint, you think.  But possibly are my arms and legs really the canvas the artist used to create such scintillating designs?  You are mesmerized at the thought.

Now your attention is drawn to my torso.  At some point my poncho has slipped from my shoulders and now rests around my waist, exposing more silver and gold swirls and sparkles to your intense gaze.  Though I still occasionally spin about before you, now I mostly keep my back to you, smiling over my shoulder at you as I dance.

Presently, the music begins to fade into the silence, and my movement slows, then stops.  Before I sit at your feet, I have again moved the poncho back up to my shoulders, masking my decorated breasts behind sheer silk.  My dance veils now fall in cascades about me to the floor, ringing me in a soft blue cloud of silk. 

As you watch, I slowly lift my face veil over my head, and slide the jeweled veil/head covering back, placing it in my lap.  You can now see my inner veil, the pleated fabric over my lower face, and the single layer of sheer silk that protects my eyes from your intense gaze.  My lips are now clearly visible to you through the sheer silk that covers them, and you can finally see the loving smile that only my eyes were earlier able to convey. 

Now that I am comfortably seated by your feet, and comfortable with your presence, I unveil my eyes and slip the scarf from my head, letting it fall about my shoulders in a cloud of soft silk, though my lower face remains covered.  And I begin my story. 
I tell of wonderful encounters and marvelous events, weaving them all into a never-ending saga of love, adventure, and wonder.  As I speak, I notice your eyes grow heavy, and as the shadows lengthen, you sleep.  Though it pains us both, you--better than I--know this is how our encounters must end. 

Though I know only rumors, you know that even a touch of my skin would prove fatal to me.  No, you are not toxic; you have no disease.  Nor do you lack for connubial contact.  Many of the fairest women of the land vie for your attentions and your touch.  It is a great honor to be taken by one as great as you, as schooled as you are in how to please a woman.  But before meeting you, they all suspect--and eventually discover for sure--that the evening of their contact with you will be their last in this world.  None leave your chamber of their own accord after being loved by you.  Rumors circulate that your passion is so great as to render the woman incapable of ever loving again.  Others say that you literally love them to death.  The more sordid say that to prevent unnecessary battles for your tremendous fortune, you stab them through the heart as they climax.

So we must never touch, as even the most fleeting contact might lead to passion.  You admire me far too much to cause my premature departure from your company.  The dances, the attire, and especially the stories, all serve to grant you the most peaceful sleep you are able to capture.

Now as it grows dark, I rise from my soft pillows and prepare to leave your presence.  I refix the soft veil around my hips, enveloping my legs in another layer of silk, and pull my sheer head scarf back over my head and eyes.  I silently draw my blue hooded veil from my lap and rearrange it over my head and face, feeling the chain lay neatly in the part of my hair.  I take my other veil and place it over my head and shoulders, feeling the warm rapture of being wrapped again in layers of the finest silk.  I cautiously lift my sheer blue burkha from you, careful to not wake you, and again place it over my head and body. 

Finally, before donning my heavy blue silk cloak and leaving, I reach for the creamy silk scarf that is my final defense against discovery.  Though you sleep, your hands are not yet fully relaxed, one on the hilt of your ever-present dagger, the other gripping my scarf to your chest.  A gentle pull fails to release it.  A stronger pull causes you to shift on your divan and begin to stir.  Fearing that I might wake you and thus cause you great displeasure, I reluctantly leave you with one of my most cherished possessions, the magical scarf given me by my sister as she left to meet you many years ago. 

Though I recognize the risk I am taking, I again slowly lift the edge of my sheer burkha back over my head and undo the double-chiffon veil that masks my face.  Bending forward over you, I release the sheer pleated scarf from the clip on my ear that holds it over my face.  I bear my face to your sleeping visage and gently plant a soft kiss on your furrowed brow.  Though your hand does not relax its hold on my beautiful scarf, your face is now relaxed like the rest of you.

Quickly but quietly, I replace the sheer scarf veiling my face, and refix my face veil to its head cover. I pull the burkha forward to once again envelop me in sheer blue silk.  From beneath the burkha, I lift the top fold of fabric of my double-chiffon head scarf forward to cloak my face in impenetrable silk.  Finally, I slip my cloak about my shoulders, lift the hood forward to completely cover my face and slip noiselessly from your presence until next time.