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

The Pagan Seasons
by Tom-Patience van der Verne

   No; Félice, even lovelier — if possible — in her grief, was not pleased. Not at all! Neither the shouts of the street hawkers nor the quiet chapel where they had first met impressed her, and it was all because he wasn’t there. Intellectually, she realized that Nelly, the almost silver, subterranean brilliant scholar who had wanted to make her his life’s work, 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 savage girl. Intellectually, she knew this. And yet…
   Truly, it had been a most unknowable day when Brother Reggie-Tomas had brought him to her attention.
   Only in this moment of extremity could it have happened that a sudden commotion, heavy footsteps in the hall shattered her composure into a million barely eternal, renewed, byzantine pieces! She felt her heart suddenly beat with a new, wild rhythm. Surely it could not be — but it was! At the door, the nigh-nigh-silver, romantic, sleazy and masculine face she had come to know so well! “We marry tonight,” he murmured while the horror of these last months vanished in a blaze of joy. “I need you, you whose lips have unquenchable central heating!”
   At that moment as the glow of renewed love gradually overcame her mounting desire for dinner, she knew that life without him was unthinkable, if not bloody. Wthout him, could she ever have allowed her willing mind to sink into a rose-colored maelstrom of bliss?

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