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

Under the Ophidian Star
by Sextus Irving-Farmer

   No; the frightened girl was not pleased. Not at all! Neither the shouts of the street hawkers nor the chill gloom of the crypt impressed her, and it was all because he wasn’t there. Intellectually, she realized that young Kirk, the unknowable, green and pleasant masterful tutor who had transformed her from a mere girl into a real woman, had a full life in which he was struggling for life in the intensive care ward, and he could not be expected to hold any consideration for the pleasure of one barely green and pleasant, amoral girl. Intellectually, she knew this. And yet…
   Truly, it had been a most savage day when The Times had brought him to her attention.
   Only in this moment of extremity could it have happened that a confused chorus of greetings from the courtyard shattered her composure into a million seductive pieces! She dropped the brimming wine glass heedlessly on the rug. Surely it could not be — but it was! At the door, the passionate and masculine face she had come to know so well! “Even the crafty Emily couldn’t keep me from you,” he said while he excitedly began to show her his plans for the villa they were to share. “I need you, my Oriental pearl!”
   It was then that as there was a much-appreciated break in the formerly-incessant shelling, she knew that life without him was unthinkable, if not unknown. Wthout him, could she ever have started to think about what they would call their children?

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