Sometimes I wonder what would happen if I just wrote to relax with characters I know.
This was the result.
She’d written three times in as many days.
Gabiee twisted the letter between her finger and thumb until it had rolled into a tube she’d easily hide up her sleeve.
Asif on cue – and an ominous cue at that – the grandfather clock in the atrium struck. She unearthed the chain from around her neck – from it dangled a pocket-watch, battered but carefully strung. A gift from her husband, and from his father to him. Seven exactly. Home-coming, in so many words.
“What is it that gentleman normally say when they return from the town?” echoed a voice through the atrium.
“Friedrich,” she called. They’d recently okayed a renovation of the blue room into the atrium and Gabiee’s voice travelled even when she couldn’t move more than a waddle.
“Cara Spousa,” he boomed, storming through the open-plan house as he did.
Gabiee swallowed. A moment later, her husband swanned into the blue room, and Gabiee collapsed onto the chair. The letter slipped into her silk sleeve.
“In time. For once,” he interrupted with more than a hint of condescension.
A smile slipped her over lips. Gabiee coyly murmured. “I was not about to say that.”
His eyes floated across the desk. Papers – his, mostly – lay adrift the desk, with the stray book or two she’d sneaked it when borrowing the firm back of his arm-chair, and curls of parchment. One had been torn, by her own fingers mere minutes ago, and it was the more restless of the papers.
The tear lay like a crack across the wood. He’d notice it.
Gabiee edged closer to her husband, and skimmed a hand over his chest.
“But you are home, sir, and that I appreciate. I was about to give order for dinner, though I might craft of my own a dessert for us. You would like that?”
Their eyes met, strong, piercing, warm. Oh, so warm that Gabiee filled with tingles from her toes to the tips of her ears. Before any thought had even verbally stretched between them, Freidrich leant in. His hot breath, tinged with tobacco, danced over her lips, before it was joined by his tongue and lips. Gabiee stretched onto her tiptoes and kissed him in return. This was almost relief.
The kiss had only left her lips when Freidrich’s expression darkened. His hand scrabbled, searched up and down her arm. Then, he stopped.
Gabiee’s cheeks burnt. She prayed he’d decided she had nothing to hide, rather than that he’d uncovered exactly what it was.
Their fingers met. Gabiee thought he was pulling away—but the rough bristle of parchment between her middle and index finger made her blood freeze for a second. An ache ripplied through her belly, and Gabiee drew her eyes up her husband.
“Gabiee…” His tone had already darkened, his jaw had already hardened. “Give me the letter, wife.”
She squeezed her chubby fingers closer over the slip of a message. He’d prise it from her without any effort – so why did he ask?
Gabiee protested, “It’s not her fau—”
“Damn it, stop defending her. Give me the letter.”
Wilting, Gabiee released the scroll from her fingertips, and folded her arms over her distended belly. He might demand words of her, but he’d never demand anything of her child.
A quick Google search found me an image of Gabiee’s dress. I like it.
As proof of my lack of time, I haven’t actually had the time to finish off this extract, so I will get back to this vignette next week. Have a lovely rest of your weekend. 🙂