Slavery’s affect on a simple look admiring beauty.

“Drums Of Autumn (Outlander, Book 4)” by Diana Gabaldon –

“Ulysses came down the stairs above me, impeccable in his livery. I moved, and he turned his head, catching the flicker of my skirts. His eyes widened in a look of frank appreciation as he saw me, and I looked down, smiling a bit, as one does when being admired. Then I heard him gasp and jerked my head up to see his eyes still wide, but now with fear; his hand so tight on the banister that the knuckles shone.

“Your pardon, madame,” he said, sounding strangled, and rushed down the stairs and past me, head down, leaving the door to the cookhouse breezeway swinging in his wake.

“What on earth …?” I said aloud, and then I remembered where—and when—we were. Alone for so long, in a house with a blind mistress and no master, he had grown careless. He had momentarily forgotten that most basic and essential protection—the only true protection a slave had: the blank, bland face that hid all thoughts. No wonder he had been terrorized when he realized what he had done.

If it had been any woman other than myself to have intercepted that unguarded look … my hands grew cold and sweaty, and I swallowed, the remembered scent of blood and turpentine sharp in my throat.”

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