So I’m writing…
Happy holidays, and enjoy this unedited snippet from my current WIP, Victorian paranormal romance Shadow of the Swan. Yeah, yeah, I know, but at least I’m writing something.
“Tell me that I’m imagining things. Tell me that there’s nothing between us, that everything I feel is some sort of foolish dream kindled by my own imagination.”
He opened his mouth, intending to assure her that what she felt was one-sided and fleeting. What came out was, “No, you’re not imagining things.”
She nodded. “Good. I’d hate to think that I was that self-deluded.”
If you are, my treasure, then I’m equally deluded. “But we can’t act on it,” he added heavily.
“I know. The queen has decreed that I marry Richard Bolton, and you—” She gave him a sidelong glance. “Can you marry? Legally, I mean?”
“You mean, will I burst into flame if I set foot inside a church?” He squinted up at the weak December sunlight. “Another myth. I can go into a church, hold a crucifix, be splashed by holy water without harm.”
“You’re not answering my question.”
Damn her perspicacity. “I can marry, yes. Many vampires wed, for various reasons. But it carries certain complications when we marry a human.”
“An immortal being marrying a mortal one. It must seem like a human marrying a butterfly.”
“Not quite that unequal, I assure you. But it’s painful to know that you’re guaranteed to outlive the one you love.” Memories of Anne crept forward, sweetly harrowing. “At least humans know that they will both age and die at some point, ideally to be reunited in the afterlife. Vampires cannot indulge in that comfort.”
“Do vampires usually marry each other, then?”
He wondered if she truly wanted to know, or whether it was a ploy to delay their return. “Sometimes, or other creatures with extended lifelines. But those unions can also be problematic. The married couples I know often spend large periods of time apart.”
Louisa was silent for a moment. Then, to his surprise she said, “Yes, I can see how an eternity together might begin to pall after some time. Still, they do reunite eventually, don’t they?”
“The ones I know do, yes.”
“Well, then.” They continued around the curve of the pond, the December breeze chilly as it riffled the water’s surface. “Perhaps absence makes the heart grow fonder.” Another of her solemn glances. “Although that doesn’t bode well for us, does it?”
Once again, she cut to the heart of the matter. “I’m afraid not.”
She let out a soft sigh. “At least we’ve had these few days together. That’s something.”
Relief that she hadn’t asked to be turned warred with an urge to snarl. Moments walking side by side or talking weren’t nearly enough; all they did was whet his appetite for her. “It is nothing,” he ground out. “I have spent nearly five hundred years working to protect the monarchy. I have witnessed momentous events, seen fools and wise men ascend the throne, and have done whatever was required of me to make sure that this green land and its people remained safe. And in all that time I have never been tempted to shirk my duties, until now.”
She stopped and stared at him, eyes huge with wonderment. “I don’t know what to say to that,” she whispered.
“You needn’t say anything. You shall marry and, with Bolton’s help, produce the next generation of Britain’s leaders. Meanwhile, I shall continue in my position at the Ministry. My consolation is that my duties will now include protecting you and your children.”
One hand rose, fluttering to a rest at the base of her throat. “I—I wish—”
He stepped closer, acutely aware of her scent on the crisp air, the warmth that emanated from her body. “As do I. But it’s not to be, my lady.”
He would never forget how she looked in the swiftly fading daylight, how he would have given up his immortality without a second thought, if he could only take her in his arms and kiss her. Finally, she nodded in resignation. “We’d best get back. Pandora will be wondering where we are.”
Posted on December 24, 2019, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.
Rich and pithy! Nothing like showing a noble-minded being that they’re wrong and love will triumph!
Oh, it’s gonna triumph, all right. Over and over again…