This week, I'm giving readers a peek into a story I started to develop this fall. I'm not asking for critiques--this is a bare bones first chapter preview. I plan to work on it later. You can find the first part on my AUTHOR BLOG, and the second part of the chapter on my PERSONAL BLOG.
City of Light, continued
Her mother nodded, and Genna wasted no time leaving the room. Sorai followed her to the bedroom she and Aisilyn shared. It was a spacious room with two large beds against opposing walls, and a great window on the wall between them. Genna motioned for her serving maid to put the purchases on the brightly colored blanket that covered Aisilyn’s bed.
Genna moved to the trunk at the foot of her sister’s bed and opened it. Most of her sister’s trousseau had been purchased, but they did find a few more scarves and the material that would serve as her wedding veil. Genna unwrapped these items, folded them and placed them gently on top of the wrapped wedding dress and other items in the trunk. She did not turn when she heard the door open.
“Thank you, Sorai,” Aisilyn said. “You may go now.”
Sorai bowed her head in reply and left the room.
Aisilyn crossed the room to her bed and sat down. Genna looked up at her as she closed the trunk.
“I’m going to miss all this shopping when you marry Jacob,” she said. “We’ve had a lot of fun gathering and sewing.”
Aisilyn reached out her hand; Genna grasped it without hesitation. “Nineteen days,” Aisilyn said. “Jacob and I were to be married in just nineteen days. Then I would have been safe.”
Genna sat facing her. “You will still marry Jacob in nineteen days. Nothing has changed that.”
Aisilyn’s sky blue eyes sought hers. “I love him so much, Gen. How can I leave him? I’ll die.”
“You won’t,” Genna said, surprising herself with the conviction in her tone.
“Nothing is going to come between you and your destiny.”
“What is my destiny?” Aisilyn pulled away and rose to pace the floor. “Will I become Jacob’s bride, or the demon’s? What is my path?” She stopped in front of the window. “I can’t explain it, but when I heard the demon’s voice I knew he was talking about me. I still feel it, a certainty deep in my soul. Father and Mother won’t listen. They are blinded by the fear I may be right.”
“But they are right about the demon never before being able to penetrate the barrier,” said Genna. “Maybe this is another of his empty threats.”
“Does it feel that way to you?” Aisilyn turned to look at her.
Genna watched the sunlight through the window play with the gold in her sister’s hair. She looked so much like an angel, framed by the light outside, that Genna couldn’t imagine pairing Aisilyn with a demon. In that moment, Genna vowed it would never happen. No matter what she had to do, no matter the cost, the demon would not have her sister.
“It doesn’t matter what I think,” Genna said. “I’ve known since Father brought Jacob home that you were meant for each other. Your union will be blessed by God, and will be eternal. Nothing the demon can do can stop that.”
Aisilyn sighed. “I wish I had your faith.”
Genna crossed the room and put her arm around her sister’s shoulders. “You do, but right now it’s clouded by fear. Let’s pray together, and then you can rest a bit before dinner.”
Aisilyn nodded. They went back to the side of her bed and knelt together, facing one another. Genna offered the prayer, asking for God to help soothe her sister’s worries, and also to help them know what they should do. When she finished, she kissed Aisilyn’s forehead and left the room.
Her father had sent a runner to the Council building for information. Genna smiled at the thought. He did not hesitate to use his influence with certain officials to learn what was going on, at least not when it came to matters concerning his daughter. Though he may have taken a cautious, practical approach, he still wanted to know what the Council was thinking.
“Genna, dear, will you please help me with dinner?” Her mother asked. “Where is your sister?”
“She’s resting,” said Genna. “I’d love to help. What are we having?”
“Cook has prepared a lovely cut of lamb,” said her mother. “I told her I would see to the side dishes.”
Genna smiled. “What about dessert?”
The knock at the door stopped her mother’s reply. Sorai had been in the parlor and answered it.