A Short Romance (about a long romance)
Lady Sarah put down her cup of tea and pondered the meaning of her life. According to her father she shouldn’t be doing this. First of all she shouldn’t be using her brain (according to her father) and second (according to her father) her life had no meaning until she became a wife. That would be a wife to a man of her father’s choosing.
The first time she was engaged it was to George. They’d grown up together. The prospect of being George’s wife was exciting. They’d been friends forever. But he grew distant and then one day went away and came back a week later with a beautiful wife and a tiny newborn baby. The baby had been named Sarah.
The second man she had been engaged to was Percy. He was quite wealthy, good looking and said “Sarah, dear Sarah, I am enchanted by you.” They spent long hours walking and talking about all sorts of things that made Sarah use her brain. And when he kissed her (her father did not know) she wanted to use the rest of her body too. Unfortunately a month before the wedding Percy fell from a horse and was immediately killed.
Sarah thought she would die that day. She went into mourning and thought she’d never see the sunshine again.
Six months later Sarah’s father, against her wishes, her father arranged for her to be married to Jonathan, a young wealthy titled widow. His beautiful, rich and pregnant wife had thrown herself from a bridge one cold winter morning and sank down under the ice. It was horrible. But Sarah came to realize that it was a fate better than living with the abusive Jonathan. He already hinted at how Sarah had to change and conform to meet his standards. He told others how he would mould her and whip her into shape. The first time he slapped her and called her weak she said nothing. The second time she called off the engagement, telling her father that she’d rather jump off a bridge than marry a monster.
Now, two years later, she was engaged again. She remembered the night that awkward Sebastian was introduced to her. He was nice enough to look at – more than nice. But he was quiet, not the usual loud boisterous kind of man her father would bring around.
One day she’d seen Sebastian in the stable after a rain storm removing his wet clothing. Now at night she closed her eyes and imagined him in her bedroom, without the wet clothing and without the awkwardness.
One day Sarah was having afternoon tea with Sebastian – it was one of those rare times when they were alone. She looked at the young, rich, handsome, quiet man that she was going to marry and realized she hardly knew him.
“Have you always been so quiet?” She knew it was rude and improper but she had to ask.
“I’m, uh, not always so quiet dear Sarah. It seems as if this engagement was thrust upon us, this union, this contract… I have become so very fond of you. I will love you. I promise you that I will. I will adore you. You are everything I dreamed of. The fact that you ask me about my quiet nature shows you have an active mind. I like that. I’m not always so quiet. I promise you.”
I will love you. It was an odd thing to say. It was true, maybe. But he didn’t love her yet. He hardly knew her. She hardly knew him.
Sarah finished her tea, put on her coat and went out for a walk. She wished she was in the city right now. It would have been nice to see people.
In the morning fog she was a figure on the path. It was Sebastian. She ran to him and then took his face in her hands and kissed him.
He put his arms around her and kissed her again and again and again.
“We need to make it work. We’ll be happy. We won’t be strangers who live together for years. We will be friends and partners. You will be my equal. Our love will be true and strong,” he said to Sarah.
She looked into his eyes and wondered, “Who is this man?”
Sebastian put his forehead against Sarah’s and said, “I want to marry you Sarah. I see your independence, I see your spirit and your passion. Our parents think this is a good match. They see our union as good business. They also have given up on our prospects of marriage. I see this as a union of souls and of like minds. Sarah, marry me. Let me grow to love you with a passion that will last for a thousand years.”
They kissed again, and then he said, “But, I have a secret that even my family doesn’t know. Hear me out and if you don’t want to marry me feel free to leave and I will be gone from your life forever.”
Sarah listened and pondered the weirdness and then the reality of the secret. It could have been worse. So she decided at age 26 that her prospects were zero. She didn’t want to be a pathetic old maid to be pitied by others. She didn’t want to be married to a pompous ass or a man who didn’t understand her mind. It would mean a life of adventure and passion and risks. She was willing to do that. What did she have to lose?
Thinking back on those days Sarah had to smile. She was planning a special anniversary dinner. She and Sebastian would be celebrating their 200th wedding anniversary. What a special time November 1814 was for them! For you see, Sebastian was a Vampire. But I’m sure you’d already guessed that.
And yes, they did live happily ever after.
Note: Now that I am finished with my coffee I’m finished with this story. Yes, most Short Story Sunday stories are written on Sunday. I write romance because it is easy and everybody loves a good romance story. I write about Vampires because… well, look where we are. This is fast business, but I hope you enjoy these short, fast tales.
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman