Happy Valentine’s Day

I’m not a great supporter, to be honest. Don’t see the point of it as every day should be a day when poeple express their love to each other, but still! I shall take off my Oscar hat and put on my fairy wings for the occasion.

So – here’s a suitable mush excerpt from one of my books. Email me on erastes @ erastes dot com with the real names of the protagonists and I’ll pick one name out of The Hat tomorrow. That person will have their pick of my back catalogue.

No that’s not a euphemism.

Yes, I’m 12.

Warning for diabetes inducing schmoopiness . Who says I can’t do schmoopy?

One day in February, Cupid was in his study watching the snow, lost in his thoughts. The flakes were huge, piling up in drifts and topping the laurels like the brightest icing.

The thought of Valentine, homeless in weather like this, cut him to ribbons. All he could hope was that he was somewhere warm, somewhere…somewhere where he was being treated like a decent human being.

Suddenly he caught a movement; a figure in the snow outside, the gardener no doubt, brushing the snow from the paths, but as Cupid glanced again he noticed that the man

had no broom, and was taller and leaner in build than the gardener ever was. With his heart in his mouth, he wiped the ice and condensation away from the window, but when

he peered once more through the pane, the figure was gone.

With his heart beating wildly and hardly daring to hope, he dashed through the house to the garden door, pulled it open, and raced out into the white landscape, uncaring that the snow was ankle deep and was ruining his shoes and stockings. He reached the window he’d been standing at and followed the line of sight from where he’d been sitting.

Tracks. Footprints. Bootprints in the snow. Eyes on the ground, he followed them around the house and then suddenly there the man was. Just a dark figure sheltering under the great yew by the fence between the house and the church.

There was no doubt it was Valentine. He looked tired and pale but no less himself than when Cupid had seen him last. Wherever he had been, he had not suffered physically.

And he was smiling. Cupid approached him almost timidly, as if Valentine was some sprite or snow-mirage that might vanish if touched. Flakes had settled on Valentine’s hair where it peered beneath his hat, adding to the fantastic effect.

“I thought—Card said you—I thought you’d gone.”

“I hear that you threw the bastard out,” Valentine said. “I’m glad for that.”

“Valentine. I should have seen the truth of him. It took a mere boy to make me see it. I’m ashamed of that. I’m ashamed of everything. Come in, Valentine, please. It’s bitter out here.”

“I should not have lied to you.”

“Rubbish! Stop it. I was the one who wronged you. I should have trusted you. I love…”

“Don’t say anything.”

“Come in, please.”

Valentine reached across and as natural as breathing, took Cupid’s hand. Cupid thought his heart would stop. “I want to, Cupid. But I won’t come in as an employee…or a whore. I have a job as a partner in a firm. Not something you’d like; it’s not gentleman’s work, like printing. But it’s honest, and I’m independent. I want to stay that way. Can you be friends with someone like that? Can you manage to take me on those terms?”

Cupid would have taken him on any terms whatsoever, but he could tell how fragile this moment was, how Valentine was likely to melt away into the snow if he thought for one moment that the respect he demanded wasn’t there. Cupid wanted to throw the world at Valentine’s feet, but knew now that would only scare him off. He took a breath, a breath

which burned his lungs with freezing air, and struggled to say in a sentence what he knew that his heart had been saying since he’d lost his love. “I won’t take anything that

you don’t give me freely, I’ll never doubt you again.”

The sun came out in Valentine’s smile, and the snow seemed to melt from the world as Valentine stepped into his arms.

© Copyright 2012 Erastes, All rights Reserved. Written For: Erastes
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