959 words long
Even a secret love can fade with time.
Notes from the author:
Imagine if Romeo and Juliet survived past the end of their play. The priest’s message got through, Romeo knew Juliet wasn’t really dead, she woke up to find him alive and happy to see her, they absconded to some other city-state. THE END.
Would they, in fact, live happily ever after? Or would they, given time and familiarity, fall out of love? Not every relationship outlives its participants. Break-ups and divorces happen even to marriages that began under the best of circumstances. And this star-crossed couple were hardly given the best of circumstances. For one thing, they’re both young. We don’t typically make good life plans when we’re fourteen and infatuated. As that heady flush of new romance fades, they might come to regret having eloped and left behind their families, their plans for the future, and their high-society privilege. That regret might turn to resentment, and there’s nothing like resentment to kill a relationship dead.
So, pretend they live. Pretend they get safely away. Pretend they marry. Let them say their vows, let them kiss—then bring down the curtain. That’s how you ensure a happy ending. What happens after may or may not be happily ever after, but by then it’ll be another story and someone else’s problem.
"My whole life is here," he said. "You're here."
"I could come to you anywhere," Emrick reminded him. "All places are alike to me, save for the place where you are, where lives my heart."
Richard tried to smile. "You bring mine back to me whenever you come." He dropped the letter, reached for Emrick's hands, clasped them, drew him down to the bed. "Come to me here."
They made the darkness thick and sweet between them, filled it with that old familiar song whose rhythm was Richard's labored breathing and whose melody was the vampire's controlled grace. They had memorized every line years ago. Their performance tonight was, as always, note-perfect. That very familiarity, usually a comfort, filled Richard now with doubts. He will grow tired of me, Richard thought. He has already grown bored. He used to offer every night to turn me, like the Beast nightly asking Beauty for her hand. He used to say he feared the thought of my dying and deserting him. Does he now fear the prospect of being stuck with me for eternity?
I'd say no, of course. But he never asks anymore....
This has been an excerpt from the Friday Fictionette for February 2, 2018. Subscribers can download the full-length fictionette (959 words) from Patreon as an ebook or audiobook depending on their pledge tier.
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