If the Duke hadn't known better - or perhaps if her wings weren't quite so conspicuous - Joscasta would have passed for a dead body. Beautiful, sure, but pale enough to suggest gravity was pulling blood away from her face. She had no heartbeat, her chest did not rise or fall with breath, her skin was cold. She was dead during the day, and at the first call of her name, she didn't move. Not a twitch, not a blink, nothing… not until James' gentle prompting triggered the panic center of her brain that called Jocasta back from the reaper's chamber.
So she had panic, but not clarity, and certainly not strength. Jocasta rolled over, struggled to stand - then, failing, to sit - and ended up just sprawling pathetically…
James: "Jocasta....where are your sisters, why are you alone?"
The first question, Jocasta completely missed in her obvious daze. The second, though, she answered in a groggy wistfulness that suggested she might well still believe she was dreaming.
"I wanted the dress. Isn't it beautiful…?" Joscasta mumbled, barely coherent, but she gripped the fabric of the red gown lovingly. Its soft texture sent a vague smile of pleasure across her lips. And there was the subtle scent of blood - from the lady who had once worn it, now dead at Joscasta's hands - that brought her special delight.
Squinting made her vision blurry as Jocasta looked up at the man who had roused her. She recognized him, when her vision managed to center on his face, and she frowned in confusion. "If you were a changeling, you'd let me sleep…"
And as if intending to return to exactly that activity, Jocasta tugged the stolen red gown to her chest… and found it stuck. The hem had been caught in the carniflower's sticky saliva. She pulled harder, but it wouldn't come, even after the grunted "come on, please, no…" that she whined out in her efforts. Any more force - not that she had it - would tear the fabric and ruin the garment's loveliness.
"I guess you're both traitors," Jocasta complained, like a petulant, overtired child, seeming to lump James in with the inanimate creature at her side as she reclined on the forest floor, spent.