Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday, a weekly Sunday hop where writers share 8–10 sentences from a book or WIP. This week’s snippet comes right after last week’s, as the newlywed Imperial couple are sitting by the fireplace of the Gold Drawing Room of the Winter Palace following their wedding. Arkadiya is beyond shocked to hear her new husband telling her he loves her, since their original plan was to have a celibate marriage and adopt a boy as their heir.
Grand Cathedral of the Winter Palace, site of all Imperial weddings, painted by Eduard Hau
“I never let myself fall in love with anyone before, to try to protect myself. I wanted a wife and children so badly, to be like other people, but I had to be a martyr and put my feelings last. The thought of leaving a widow and orphans still terrifies me, and there’s no telling if my sickness will manifest in another generation. If I’m fated to die young, at least I want to know what it’s like to, you know, do certain things.”
Before Arkadiya could react, he leaned over and kissed her, softly and uncertainly. Even as a thirty-two-year-old former spinster, she could sense he didn’t really know exactly what he was doing, but she also sensed a sweetness and sincerity in him. Her skin tingled with electricity as he wrapped his arms around her, and she put her arms around him in return, being careful not to hold him too tightly.
“Will you please do me the honor of coming back to the Imperial bedroom with me to be my real wife, and not remaining in your own room?” he whispered. “I only have two conditions you need to agree to.”
Next week I’ll be taking a brief detour to celebrate the posthumous 110th birthday of a legendary comedian.