cuimhinliom: (I'm not that girl)
It was at least an hour before the sun would be up. Kathleen stood shivering in her cape, down where the boats were docked. A few boatmen were out, getting ready for the morning trade. They looked oddly at the well-dressed miss. One or two called out rude comments that she ducked her head and pretended not to hear.

She shouldn't be here. She was supposed to be married in ten hours to Lord Kearney. Her father had been so pleased when she'd accepted the man; her mother had been so proud. And now she was risking it all, for what? A golden haired stranger with emerald eyes who'd swept her into a waltz at the stroke of midnight the night before?

He was handsome, aye, and his voice sang with the music of home rather than the harsh English notes that surrounded her in a ballroom in London. His eyes spoke of forests and secrets buried in them. All day the thought of him had haunted her, until she'd slipped away, midafternoon when she was supposed to be napping, to meet him in the park in the center of the square. He'd kissed her and spoke of destiny and love and souls in a way that no man ever had. Her fiance was far more staid. A good man. Solid. A powerful leader in Parliament.

But he had none of the romance that thrilled a young girl's heart.

She shouldn't be here, clutching a note in her gloved hand. What sort of girl eloped on the eve of her wedding with another man? But she couldn't make her feet turn around and go back home as they should.

She shivered again as the cold morning wind whipped her cape around her. There were footsteps and she turned, smiling, expecting her lover. It was another woman though, hair black and eyes the color of amethysts, a color no one's eyes should be. She gave the woman a nervous smile and moved to step out of her way, but the woman grabbed her, eyes glittering strangely, spinning her, pressing in close and hissing in her ear, "Whore. Did you think it would be so easy to take him from me?"

Pain ripped through her as a dagger slid across her throat. She fell to the ground, the world going dark, as the clock across the water chimed four times.

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Keelia Gallagher / Étáin

January 2010

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