Wednesday, July 07, 2010

The Lady Vera

The carriage rattled slightly on the broad clay road, his eyes steady on his charge. She appeared perfectly at ease, a sickly bruise marring her otherwise beautiful porcelain face. Black hair, the color of the darkest night, fell in ringlets from her head. Soft sumptuous lips, red as cherry wine. Blue eyes, calm and cool. Her graceful curves were wrapped in silk and adorned by silver and jewels... They looked cheap next to her. She burned with a passion that demanded his attention. She looked perfectly at ease for someone who was waiting to die. They had rode in silence for hours but he could stand it no longer.

"I know of you, Lady Vera, but I cannot make myself believe all the tales about you. Are you not the least bit afraid?"

"Oh? Just which tales do you doubt, ser...?"


"Ser Simon... " She smiled sweetly. "Are they truly so outlandish?" He felt his face heat slightly as his name rolled off her tongue.

"I can't see you beheading the Count of Mandra... or stealing the White Lotus from Queen Iradessa." Her eyes twinkled and the corners of her lips turned up in the slightest of smiles.

"The Count was a great military man, but his weakness has always been women. It was not as difficult as you might think. Sweet 'Dessa was much more of a challenge, but worth the wait. For her and the Lotus both." Her smile blossomed into a lusty grin and I looked away chagrined.

"I wasn't always this... This facade of painted nails and painted face, of silk and lace and pearls. I have been many wonderful and dreadful things in my life... A nervous model, a tavern dancer... a singer, a killer, a whore. I have charmed kings right off their thrones and seduced the very stars themselves. No, I do not fear death. We are old lovers. He's come calling many times and I've proved too hard to get. Like any man, that made him want me all the more."

She eyed me slyly from under her curls. "We have nothing but time. I expect it to take another day at the least to reach the capital. If you would like, I can tell you about the girl called Annabelle Veraline Chambers... before she earned her infamous surname."

I met her eyes, unable to hide my interest. She smiled, for the first time sincere. Her lips moved and time seemed to slip away...


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