This usually isn't my sticking point. I know I have some, but I really have to search for improper apostrophes. I could probably find some missing words, but I'm actually worse about slipping tenses recently.

Original (420 words):
I was back to my impeccably groomed shell, all that ebony hair in several long, thin braids, swirled around the crown of my head, ends tucked away as I hadn’t been able to find all of my own pins and I refused to take any from this place--who knew what enchantments might linger on them? Satisfaction that I had avoided having to borrow clothes added a lovely glow to my copper eyes. I know, because I checked, that that was all that was glowing out of them. The Hellfire was safely banked, sated for the moment.

Little sates a demon like a healthy dose of innocence, which is why I am always careful how much temptation I allow myself. That kind of thing gets addictive very quickly, and innocence lasts only so long in a person. An addiction like that ran to trouble. An addict would very quickly run through the available pool of adults and have to resort to a wider territory, or younger prey.

Either of which brought far too much attention of the wrong kind. Being reasonably intelligent, I enjoyed less destructive prey. Straying husbands or wives, inquisitive explorers, and jaded conquerors seldom brought a flicker of attention, beyond the relief or jealousy of long-suffering spouses. They were not, however, anywhere near as filling.

A sigh slipped out and I pulled my thoughts back to the present with a snap. The problem with filling meals was that they tended to focus the body’s energy on digestion and I could not afford to be at less than my sharpest while here, even if the surroundings seemed innocuous.

Which was the moment Armand made his entrance, all smarmy smiles, with only a hint of annoyance and leftover anger. He’d obviously worked things out to his satisfaction. I wondered how long that would last once I got through with my buying spree.

When he asked if I was ready to go, I practically bounced out of my chair. “Oh yes. I’m looking forward to this. I do love shopping when I have an almost unlimited budget and no specific constraints.”

The smile I got from Armand was almost real this time. “Unlimited, you say? I have at my disposal the best and most extensive stock available on this continent since the Emancipation. You will not find another who can provide you with the quality and variety of chattel I pride myself in. I shall be happy to help you spend as much as you desire, my dove. Most happy.”


Edited (424 words):
I was back to my impeccably groomed shell, all that ebony hair in several long, thin braids, swirled around the crown of my head, ends tucked away as I hadn’t been able to find all of my own pins, and I refused to take any from this place--who knew what enchantments might linger on them? Satisfied that I had avoided having to borrow clothes added a lovely glow to my copper eyes. I know, because I checked, that that was all that was glowing out of them. The Hellfire was safely banked, sated for the moment.

Little sated a demon like a healthy dose of innocence, which was why I was always careful how much temptation I allow myself. That kind of thing gets addictive very quickly, and innocence lasts only so long in a person. An addiction like that will run to trouble. An addict would very quickly run through the available pool of adults and have to resort to a wider territory, or younger prey.

Either of which brought far too much attention of the wrong kind. Being reasonably intelligent, I enjoyed less destructive prey. Straying husbands or wives, inquisitive explorers, and jaded conquerors seldom brought a flicker of attention, beyond the relief or jealousy of long-suffering spouses. They were not, however, anywhere near as filling.

A sigh slipped out and I pulled my thoughts back to the present with a snap. The problem with filling meals was that they tended to focus the body’s energy on digestion, and I couldn’t afford to be at less than my sharpest while here, even if the surroundings seemed innocuous.

Which was, of course, the moment Armand--ever the showman--made his entrance, all smarmy smiles, with only a hint of annoyance and leftover anger. He’d obviously worked things out to his satisfaction. I wondered how long that would last once I got through with my buying spree.

When he asked if I was ready to go, I practically bounced out of my chair. “Oh yes. I’m looking forward to this. I do love shopping when I have an almost unlimited budget and no specific constraints.”

The smile I got from Armand was almost real this time. “Unlimited, you say? I have at my disposal the best and most extensive stock available on this continent since the Emancipation. You won’t find another who can provide you with the quality and variety of chattel I pride myself in. I shall be happy to help you spend as much as you desire, my dove. Most happy.”