Efia was in the library, reading a illustrated Medieval History book, totally rapt in the tragic story of a knight who after returning from battle wasted no time seeking out his beloved Lady. He climbed up the trellis leading up to her balcony but somehow lost his balance. He fell and death was instant. He lay there, his neck broken and beside him lay a red rose which he had picked from the garden only moments ago. Overcome with grief, his Lady drank poison. They found her in her chamber, her blond hair splayed across the pillow and holding a hand written informing her of her loyal knight’s tragic death.
Efia closed the book and placed it back on the shelf, blinking back the tears. Just then, Cassius walked in and he stopped in his tracks when he saw her. A curious expression came over his face. She raised her chin and met his gaze squarely, although her heart was pounding. She wished he didn’t have that effect on her. He was nothing like his younger brother, Cedric who was such a nice guy. She enjoyed his company and cherished their friendship. He was the reason why she was there now at the manor. He had invited her to spend the afternoon with him. While she was waiting on him, she popped into the library to browse through the shelves when she came across the book she had just replaced.
“Good afternoon,” Cassius said stiffly, his light brown eyes flickering over her. She was glad that she had chosen to wear a dress instead of jeans. He looked like he was dressed to go out in the charcoal grey suit. The white shirt looked stark against his olive complexion.
“Good afternoon,” she replied. She couldn’t help wondering who the woman was that he was obviously on his way to see. Envy and jealousy filled her. Turning away, she walked over to the window to look out at the immaculately kept grounds. It was looking upon a scene from a Jane Austen novel. This was how the rich lived. She could feel Cassius watching her and stiffened when he appeared beside her. She turned her head and their eyes met.
After what seemed like eternity, he broke the silence. “What were you reading when I walked in?”
“A Medieval History book. I was reading the sad story of the knight who fell to his death when he was climbing up to his lady’s balcony.”
“I suppose you think that climbing up to her balcony with a rose between his teeth was romantic.”
“Yes, I do,” she replied defensively. “I’m sure most women do.”
“Would you put gallantry before safety?”
“Of course not,” she retorted.
“But such extreme displays of love impress you.”
“Yes. I think what he did was very romantic. It’s too bad it turned out badly for him.”
“What other kinds of attention from a man would impress you?”
She wasn’t sure where this conversation was going but it got her pulse racing and the room seemed a bit warm all of a sudden. “Why do you want to know?” she asked.
“Maybe I want to impress you.”
“And why would you want to do that?” Yes, things were definitely heating up between them now.
“Why do you think?”
“Why don’t you tell me?”
“Better yet, why don’t I show you.” Before she knew what was happening, she was in his arms and he was kissing her. At first she stood there, nonplussed and then she responded. Her arms went around his neck and for several minutes they stood there, kissing. Then, he drew back to look down at her. His face was flushed and his heavy breath mingled with hers. “I’ve wanted to do that for a very long time.”
“What stopped you?” she asked, trying to catch her breath.
“I thought you didn’t like me.”
“When we first met, you rubbed me the wrong way.”
“Why don’t I show you?” She reached up and pulled his head down to hers.
Cedric observed them from the doorway and his face broke into a smile as he quietly pulled the door shut.
This story was written in response to the Thursday Photo Prompt at Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo. For more details click here.