A little something from Bax's POV:
Caoya stood with her hands clasped as if afraid to touch anything. “I’d rather you answer.”
Baxente turned full circle, trying to find something positive to say, but the impeccable tidiness of the garden oppressed him in a way it never had before. Finally, he settled on, “The Hexad likes order, I would say.”
The dohan ducked her head and continued walking. “At least their gardeners do.”
Gravel crunched under her tiny feet, and the breeze flirted with the black and gray banded feathers dangling from the clip that kept her hair off her brow. The clip seemed to be made out of dozens of tiny bones, worked into a mosaic of a bird with outspread wings and bizarrely-long claws.
Something about it made Baxente’s skin crawl. He drew even with her so that he did not have to look at it. “Will you honor our marriage contract?”