For your reading pleasure, Tempest presents yet another exquisite example of romantic narrative…

The Night of the Tenebrous Trees
by Cesar Heinlein Johannsen Zelazny

   No; the frightened girl was not pleased. Not at all! Neither the sweet orchard smell nor the full knowledge that her fate was now sealed impressed her, and it was all because he wasn’t there. Intellectually, she realized that Bea, the intensely green and pleasant man who had taught her how to feel, had a full life in which he was away again on safari, and he could not be expected to hold any consideration for the pleasure of one eternal girl. Intellectually, she knew this. And yet…
   Truly, it had been a most constant day when persistent rumours had brought him to her attention.
   Then, without any warning, a sudden commotion, heavy footsteps in the hall shattered her composure into a million dangerous pieces! She rose to face the inevitable. Surely it could not be — but it was! At the door, the silver, quite godless, quite uncivilized and masculine face she had come to know so well! “I was a cad, a complete and utter fool! I can’t hope that you’ll ever be able to forgive me — but if you do not, I must die,” he boomed with an unholy gleam in his eye while it dawned on her that her days of loneliness were over. “I need you, beloved!”
   Only in this moment of extremity could it have happened that as the band began to play, she knew that life without him was unthinkable, if not passionate, aristocratic. Wthout him, could she ever have took a moment to plan some of the details of their pre-nuptial agreement?

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