|The Queen of Swords, |
a paranormal tale of undying love
“How long have you had that?”
“What?” Graham asked, the cigarette dangling from his seductive lips. “Oh, the lighter.” A strange expression came over his face as he studied it—a mixture of nostalgia and regret? “Since La Belle Époque. Catharine bought it for me. An engagement present.”
Cat felt jealousy’s hot lance, but quickly reminded herself there was no cause. She had been Catharine, after all. She studied the lighter as he lit up. It bore an engraving, but she could not make out the tiny, worn inscription.
“What does it say?”
He smiled at her, eyes twinkling with mischief. “It doesn’t speak so far as I ken.”
“Ha-ha.” She pulled a face, but liked that he had a sense of humor. “I meant the engraving, smartass.”
Something flashed in her mind. A moment in snapshot. Her giving him the lighter in a red box stamped Cartier. Then, she knew. The inscription, in French, read, “I will always love you.”
The next second, he said the words, sending a chill up her backbone. As the shiver snaked through her, he turned back to the window and looked out at the rain while he smoked. She wanted so badly to go to him, to touch him, to put her arms around him, to feel his arms around her, but she lacked the courage to initiate contact. What if he pushed her away? What if he didn’t? She was equally terrified of both possibilities.