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The engraved mahogany wood was the length of her forearm. She knew it was too short to be a new bow. Perhaps it was jewelry. She had enough gems. Opening the box, she thought she felt an intimate look from Nicholas as he watched her as though anticipating her enjoyment. She gasped in surprise. There inside the velvet lining, laid three silver throwing daggers.
“They’re beautiful.” She picked one up and tested the weight. Perfectly balanced.
“And I’ve something else to show you.” He gestured for her to rise, then placed his hand on her back as they strolled.
She stepped away and scowled.
“I’m sorry Caroline. In your company, I sometimes forget that I am merely a servant sent to entertain you until the baron calls for you. Please forgive me.”
Still, she could not believe it. She ran her hand down the dummy’s tunic. That the baron would go to so much trouble for her when she wanted him to leave her alone or die put a lump in her throat. “What does the baron like?”
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Her favorite childhood memories revolved around creating vibrant characters for her friends, and then acting out their adventures. Inside her fantasy worlds of darkened forests, dragon-filled glades, and iced islands, nothing was banned. From the ethereal Elvin to the most maligned Vampires, all were welcome in her fictional realities, a stark contrast to her home, where the magical and mythical was forbidden.
Divorced and disillusioned of love and believing all the love songs and books exaggerated, she put aside her creativity for life. Many years past before characters, from the familiar to the freshly conceived, came to her again, but this time teasing at a new passion, the written word.
Gradually, her real life hero brought love and magic back into existence. During the time when her characters were getting reacquainted, the love of her life was showing her that true love never gives up and rekindles no matter how many times others attempt to extinguish it. Today, she is happily married with three children.
Andrea believes in the power of change and delighting in each moment. But most fervently, she believes in the magic of love and imagination again.