Drifting through the house, Raphael passed the kitchen table where a wreath encircled four candles propped in brass holders. One of the candles had been burned, its tapered contour lined with a hardened flow of wax. By custom he knew the candle to be violet and the wreath pine, but in his spiritual form he could not distinguish such features.
Maggie brushed her palms across the gray hair above Duncan’s ears. She cherished the contrast between his boyish barber cut and his bristly old-man hair, between his soft skin and sandpaper stubble. As she pressed her lips to his cheek, she tasted the remains of aftershave and bourbon, a carnal melody as stimulating as it was indecent. He smelled like her father.