Rina and I had shared blankets for a week, much to the relief of everyone else. Windy ended my lessons a little early each night, allowing more time for me and Rina. Markun gave us his blessing, though regretted he had no beer to make it official. Alistair smiled and made sure Rina and I spent the night's watch together, where we could talk and share before heading off to our blankets.
And as Rina toyed with strands of my hair, threatening once again to braid it, I changed the subject. "How is it you always smell like roses? And how did I not know this before?"
She giggled and pulled up the silver locket from where it nested between her breasts.
"My mother made perfume. She was an apothecary and knew potions and such, but her real joy was in making perfumes. She didn't have opportunity to sell it much, since only the wealthy could afford it, but once in a while a merchant would come asking for what she had."
She pulled up and opened the locket, which was fatter than my thumb and nearly as long. "She had this made a long time ago, just for me." She opened the tiny door to reveal a tiny metal vial inside.
"She wanted me to always remember home, and the best way to do that was through her rose oil perfume. It's a special rose she found and grows in her garden. It doesn't grow anywhere else that she's found, and I always loved the smell of it. It's better than a normal rose. Here," she pushed the locket my way, and I inhaled.
I had smelled roses before, but this one was different, lighter, somehow. Not that it was faint, but it seemed to make me feel better, lifting my spirit.
"And that's with the cork in. If I uncork it, the whole camp will smell like roses in a few minutes."
"Mother made sure I took several vials with me, in case I needed to sell any, but I think she just wanted to make sure I'd always remember."
"Now I will, too," I smiled."Oh, I have better ways of making sure you remember me," she slid the locket back between her breasts.