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

The Passionate Barbarian
by Mike Nelson

   Waiting alone in the midst of her uncle’s grotesque curios, with the bloody, unknowable far-off clamour of the playing fields wafting in from outside, Marcus thought once more of dashing Marcus Hershey, the brilliant scholar who had wanted to make her his life’s work. He was now, according to that television program, on a collision course with the High Council itself.
   At long last came a sudden clatter of hooves, and she shut her eyes tight for one moment of silent prayer. He was here! “We marry tonight, you bloody, quixotic Lolita, you!” he mumbled in one frantic breath.
   At that moment the music in her heart rose to a new crescendo of happiness, and as the horror of these last months vanished in a blaze of joy, she wordlessly let her body melt against his own.

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