Chieri longed to go to her rooftop chambers, to immerse herself in the rituals that would bring her peace. The tea ceremony had helped a little, even in abbreviated form, but tonight she needed more. Needed to kneel on the raw slate, wrap the cords around her arms, tilt her head back and gaze up, through the stained glass star on her ceiling, to the real stars beyond. Acera lo siqueriel, diantha re zarim. Even now, surrounded by people, she felt the chant bubbling in her throat, longing to be released, and it took all her strength to restrain it. Chieri's toes curled into the plush fibers of the rug; her thighs tensed, gripping the silken cushion of her chair. The woman was talking, Amara. She had to focus, to listen. Rasti re sempervens, acera lo acera re acera ever�!