Cleopatra lies asleep. One white, rounded arm makes a pillar for her head. The web of her dark hair falls over her like lace. Her limbs are draped in a robe so thin that the gleam of her flesh shines through it. Her rich lips are parted in a smile.
Harmachis looks down on her, and the sight of Cleopatra’s beauty strikes the young Egyptian with all the power of a mortal blow. For a moment, Harmachis aches with grief—that he should have to kill a thing so lovely!
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