Sneak Peek Sunday: Love by the Book

Here's something different for Sneak Peek Sunday - a glimpse into the futuristic dystopian world of Love by the Book.  This novella was my NaNoWriMo effort from a few years back, and as I still love it, I'm finally getting around to polishing it up. These 6 paragraphs appear at the very beginning, so shouldn't need too much introduction.

Something had changed.  Susan felt it instantly.  The darkness was as dark and the stillness as still as the night before, yet she woke knowing, without knowing why, that everything was different. 
Things had changed a little when she joined the main House, and a great deal when she became the Guardian, but she was used to those changes.  They had to do with where she lived and what she did and how people treated her.  This change went deeper.  It crackled like radioactivity around the edges of her awareness and vibrated somewhere inside her with an excited hum. 
She lay in silence, feeling out the change, as dawn broke through the dusty air and settled onto the grey stone walls and floor like a rosy blanket.  Around her, the usual morning sounds began. 
In the kitchen across the courtyard, the staff were preparing a breakfast of toast and dandelion coffee, with much clattering of plates and humming of kettles.  No voices, though.  There would not be conversation until Susan and Jack put in their appearances.  Now there was only the sound of the well-practiced routine of moving around the kitchen, and Emma stirring in the ante-room. 
“Breakfast?” As if on cue, Emma’s sickly-sweet enquiry floated through from the side room.
“Sure.” Susan made her voice match it in sugariness.  “Just give me two ticks to get ready.”

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