Good morning, folks.
Sorry about the delay for this week’s sampling. Once again, I’m forced to blame it on chemicals scattering my brain. Toxic exposures have been at a ridiculous volume this week. This morning, my brain is a miasma of my usual intellect peeking at me through a swirl of coloured fog. It gets quickly swallowed up again so let’s see if I can get through this before I vanish once more into the haze.
Yesterday was another of my daughter’s dance competitions, this time in Chatham, Ontario. It’s a lovely theater staffed by lovely people (except for this one surly usher, don’t know what was up her butt… maybe it was people squishing her between the door and the wall. Of course, if she hadn’t hid behind the door she wouldn’t have been squished.) and it was less toxic than some places we have been but… it was still toxic, especially with all the people in it.
Her groups did well, though there were some mistakes in her Open group. The Musical Theatre was near flawless, IMO.
Today I am home and recovering.
Thursday was therapy, shots and a bit of a runaround trying to get a prescription refilled. It left me in much the same condition on Friday that I am today. I totally spaced on the blog. It did pop into my head at one point. We were in the car and the thought flew out the window but some dark corner of my brain did start pondering and considering the matter.
I didn’t get much writing done this past week so I’ve been trying to think of something to share with you. I figured it out yesterday, while at the theater.
GK and I were discussing the Highland Wolves books and got to talking about the people attending the wedding. This conversation came about because I was writing on my phone. Three of those people are Sarah MacLean and her fiances, Andre and Sebastian. GK wanted to know why Sarah had two fiances and how that came about.
That’s what I’ve decided to share with you, chapter one of HW3 – Sarah’s coronation and the proposal by Andre and Sebastian.
You enjoy that, it’s lovely, and I am going to transcribe the paragraph I wrote into my phone and hope I remember the rest of what I meant to write.
Have a great Sunday!
(PS. The edit isn’t perfect in the blog portion [and the chapter is a first draf] but my thinking is slipping away again so you’ll just have to deal with it. 😉 )
Present day, Glasgow
Liam Taggart and Anna Connor stood before the new Prince of Glasgow, Sarah MacLean; they were the last to speak to her in this coronation save Andre Whyte, Prince of Edinburgh. It had been just over two weeks since the bloody coup that had overthrown and killed the previous Prince and set Sarah in her place. Liam carried a chest about four feet long, seven inches high and a foot wide. There were jewels crusted in it and a scrolled SM was embossed in gold on the lid. Gold latches were placed in two spots along the length, hinges on the other side.
Liam’s voice rumbled through the large hall Sarah’s people had commandeered for the coronation. “We, the Alphas of the Four Claw Pack, pledge our friendship and allegiance to you Sarah McLean, Prince of Glasgow.”
Anna took over. “We offer you this gift of friendship, made for you by artisans unknown in this world.” She smiled at Sarah as she and Liam turned to face each other. She opened the latches and lifted the lid. Inside, nestled on a bed of royal purple silk, was an archer’s sword to rival Anna’s. Anna lifted it out and laid it across her palms before turning to offer it to Sarah.
Sarah looked at the beautiful weapon. Despite the jewels, she could see that it was indeed a weapon. The edges gleamed in the soft lights and their wickedness was evident. The blade itself was a metal she couldn’t identify. Marquis cut pink stones spread out across the guard from the mottled green and red stone in the center. The hilt was wrapped in what looked like butter soft leather. The pommel caught her attention. It looked like a sapphire but when the light caught it a star burst from the core.
Anna spoke only when Sarah lifted the sword with a smile and began to examine it. “The blade is Damascus steel forged with a small amount of ground Dragon scale to add to the strength.” There was a collective gasp at this. Dragon scale was next to impossible to come by. Indeed, Anna had called in several favours to get this sword made as she wanted it and done in a fortnight. It had taken a lot of magic to temper and cure the blade to its nearly unbreakable hardness in so short a time.
Anna smiled at the awe on Sarah’s face and continued. “The guard is the same metal. It is inset with a bloodstone in the center. We chose bloodstone because it is said that with this stone you can track the course of the sun through the heavens. We gave it to you so that you will always have a piece of the sun with you.” She gestured at the sharp ovals alongside the bloodstone. “These are moonstone, chosen because it allows you a glimpse into your future, so that you may see your enemies before they see you.”
Sarah opened her mouth to say something but Anna touched the small sapphire in the pommel. “With this star sapphire we unite the sun and the moon as you must unite the Kisses of Glasgow.” Anna smiled and stepped back.
Liam gave the chest to Sarah’s new aide to put away and lifted his voice as his eyes met Sarah’s. “May there be no equal a leader, no better a governor, no rival a judge. May your life be long, with just enough strife to make the peace always a pleasure. May there be enough pain in your life to make you appreciate the love and joy. May there be enough tears to make the smiles well earned. We of the Four Claw welcome Glasgow’s new Prince!”
Sarah cradled the sword carefully in her arms. “Thank you, Liam and Anna. I look forward to a long and peaceful relationship with the Four Claw Pack.” She leaned forward and whispered. “The sword is absolutely beautiful; I can’t believe you did this for me, thank you.”
Anna grinned. “I have a feeling you’ll prove worth it.”
Andre approached and Anna and Liam took their places to the side again. Close behind Andre was Sascha and both men were smiling.
Sarah couldn’t help it, her love for them bloomed in her face and she smiled before she managed to quickly school her face back into a neutral expression.
Both men knelt on one knee and placed their right fists over their hearts. Andre spoke for both of them. “I, Prince Andre Whyte, leader of the Edinburgh Vampires, pledge my friendship and allegiance to you, Prince Sarah MacLean of Glasgow in times of peace and war.” As Sarah opened her mouth to speak Andre and Sascha reached into their jacket pockets with their left hands and held out small, square jeweler’s boxes.
Sarah looked confused. “Andre?”
Together the two men opened the boxes. In Andre’s was a ring with a large princess cut arctic opal in a platinum setting. Small square diamonds were nestled on either side. In Sascha’s box was a simple platinum circle with small round cut arctic opals set halfway around the band. They lifted the boxes to her and spoke simultaneously. “Sarah MacLean, will you do us the honour of becoming our wife?”
Sarah looked up from the green-blue stones in the rings to the green and brown eyes of her lovers. “Andre… Sascha… I…I don’t know what to say.”
Anna, who was grinning from ear to ear, moved forward and had to be restrained by Liam. She settled for stage whispering, “Say yes!” Her actions made several people in the large room chuckle and whispers swept through to the back. The entire assembly leaned forward to hear Sarah’s answer.
“Yes! Dear Goddess, yes!” She set the sword in its case and threw herself at her men as they leapt towards her. Everyone burst into applause as Andre then Sascha put the engagement rings on her finger.
Sarah’s aide, who had been acting as Master of Ceremonies stepped forward and lifted her hands. Once the crowd calmed down she shouted, “All hail Prince Sarah!” The echoed sentiment shook the rafters and windows and the members of Sarah’s new fiefdom surged forward. Anna and Liam slipped out the side and headed home.