Clutching the book to her heaving chest, Arabella ran into the garden.
Delight was written on her face in anticipation of the shower of words that would cascade from her learned lover’s tongue.
He sat alone, a dark figure, remote in contemplation.
She knelt at his feet. A supplicant presenting a treasure.
The book, bound in leather and stamped with the tatooist’s guilded crest is heavy in her hands.
He takes the proffered tome.
Opening the pages, he reads to her a story of his former lover’s treachery.
His words drip with veiled promise as he caresses her vellum hide.