In her dream, standing at the bottom of those winding, endless stairs, Zora frowned and muttered under her breath. It was always this way: the white marble stairs, the door locked behind her, the balcony looking out over the cliffs and then, below, the crashing sea. In the past, she’d always stayed in this hallway, standing by the French doors watching the waves grow higher and fiercer, watching the sun fall and the clouds move in to cover the dark spread of sky. When the rain came, she’d go out onto the balcony and stand against the rail, tipping her head back and letting the wind tangle her chestnut hair. The rain would blow into her, beat down against her until her long white nightgown was soaked through and plastered against her. Her nipples would tighten under the icy drops, pressing hard and sensitive against the stretch lace bodice. Cold rivers ran down her stomach and slid between her thighs. She would awaken when the thunder crashed overhead, her breath coming in gasps, her fingers scrabbling for purchase against the damp heat of her yearning.
This time, wet between her legs before the sun was even down, she frowned and muttered under her breath. Then she began to climb.