Artemis stared into the flame.
The fairly spacious bedroom was lit only by the embers of the fire and a single candle upon the desk.
Moving to the desk in the dark had taken some considerable effort, and removing himself from the bed even more.
The flame flickered fitfully a moment. the wax slowly dripping and collecting at the base.
He shivered. Lately, he almost always felt a little cold... he knew why.
His gaze drops for a moment to regard the object on the desk before him. A ring. it glittered in the soft light, tiny lines of gold etched into the strong mithril winding sinuously around it in patterns that would be hard for most to discern.
Then his gaze moves to a book nearby. a dark thing that seemed to draw the light rather than reflect it.
He considers the book a moment before glancing again at the candle.
Lower now, still guttering a bit as the flame slowly burns it down.
The inexorable creep of time. an inevitable conclusion.
the candle is snuffed abruptly.
The ring stowed carefully in the first place anyone would normally look for such a thing.
which meant Ioe would only find it if she was looking for spoons.
He had a lot of work to do in the morning.