Written January 18, 2012
Clever Fiction Writing Prompt: Grateful/Stranded/Dream
Gilbert awoke and looked around the bedroom in the cozy Avignon farmhouse. The little iron-framed bed covered in a warm boutis quilt. The pitcher and ewer on a stand. The armoire.
Oh, God in Heaven, Claire. His precious, widowed Claire.
His Claire. Asleep in his arms. In her bed.
It was no dream.
Gilbert had been like one stranded when Honor died of typhus. He remembered his long-ago promise to Erik, to come to Claire if she needed him. Claire had not asked for him, and he did not know whether he was welcome. Instead, Gilbert wrote to Antoinette Giry that he was returning to Paris. She had helped him prepare for this journey, and he was eternally grateful.
He stroked his dark bronze Van Dyke beard, which Claire had sworn to shave away after that kiss in her garden because it tickled. He brushed his lips across her forehead and vowed to strop the razor himself.