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Veronika didn’t look up when the library door opened. “It took you long enough to get back,” she said.

Really?” Simon asked.

She jumped up, her book sliding out of her hands to the floor. “I thought you were Evgenii.”

Simon raised both brows. “You were arranging a tryst in here?”

Veronika felt herself color and was glad the room was lit only by the hearth and a small oil lamp beside the chair. “No, of course not! I—” She stopped. If she told Simon that Evgenii had walked his betrothed home, would he misunderstand? Get angry? Or would he get angry that Ev had left the house at all?

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