Written January 18, 2012
Clever Fiction writing prompt: Darkness/Faith/Perplexed
Claire whimpered in her sleep. Erik, still wakeful in the darkness of the Place des Vosges townhouse boudoir, drew her close to him. He whispered words of love and reassurance into her ear, breathing in the scent of her chestnut hair at the same time. She calmed almost immediately; Erik’s one true beauty was the power of his voice.
He was perplexed by this woman he held in his arms. She had been through so much, losing her fiancé to wounds from a fire, losing her home to a dreadful cousin who was given control of her inheritance: she should have been angry with the entire world. Instead, she faced it with a brave countenance. She feared little, it seemed; heaven knows, she should have been terrified of his hideous visage.
Instead, when Erik took off his mask in the carriage that day, she had touched his ruined face with a gentle hand: just as though he were one of her frightened horses, he thought. He had seen her with the high-strung animals many times, watching her from afar. He’d convinced her to care for his own horse by means of anonymous notes and payment, which allowed him more opportunities for observation.
How he loved her.
She had allowed him to kiss her that day in the carriage – and to kiss her again. How had the Bard put it? “Oh, trespass gently urged, give me thy sin again.”
Eventually there had been lovemaking, which was beyond Erik’s ability to imagine. No amount of reading could have prepared him for the pleasures he had never experienced before. Her gentle hands on his whip-scarred back. Her tears. Her unexpected, astonishing tears.
Claire turned over and put her arms around Erik’s neck. Still asleep, she entwined her fingers in his black hair and sighed. He hoped that her faith in him as a protector was not misplaced.