Rose woke with the echoes of bad dreams like cobwebs in her mind and the memory of a kiss still upon her lips. Through slitted eyes she could see only the gauzy haze of dim lights, and when she tried to move every inch of her protested with an ache that went down to the bone.
A soft moan escaped her as she blinked away the brightness. Disoriented, she lolled her head to the side and at last could make out the shape of a person standing not far from her bed. The blur to her vision began to diminish and the shape came slowly into focus until she could make out a middle-aged woman with soft cocoa skin staring at her with wide eyes.