The oracle - stony, pale, impassive - sat all alone except when addressing the selected few with vague answers to their worries.

I attended these drafty chambers, cleaning or bringing her daily meal.

I peppered her with small-talk or flirtations - a smile would flutter over her lips though it quickly melted away to a cool, placid mask.

"In the future, I will kiss you," she predicted one day, her cheeks rose tinted.

It was worth the wait.

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