The beginnings of relationships in fiction can be a lot of fun to write. This scene from chapter ten of Chills shows Constance hoping for a little romantic interlude to chase her blues away and getting one.
Constance slid her legs over the side of the bed and sat with her feet dangling high above the floor. No matter how hard she tried, she could not seem to fall asleep tonight. With a sigh, she lowered her feet to the floor and stood still beside the high bed.
Perhaps a glass of water would help. She stumbled across to the bureau as the moonlight disappeared and poured a glass of water once the thin light returned. The water was cold and quenched her thirst. But thirst did not seem to be the reason she could not sleep.
Outside, the moonlight flickered between the clouds above, painting the veranda in patchy light. She pressed her head to the glass pane and twisted her head from side to side, restless but unsure of what to do.
In her own house, she would wander the halls and find a book or activity that needed her attention. But she had no work to do. Her letters were finished, her reading done. She could take a trip down to the library and fetch a book, but she was hesitant about roaming this house at night. Lord Hallam practically lived in the library and Constance had no desire to converse with him alone. He would probably produce a lecture about her choice of book.
Turning, she padded over to the balcony doors, placed her hand on the latch, and pushed it open with the slightest of groans. That needed fixing. She would have it seen to tomorrow. But then again, it was not her house.
The night air was cool on Constance’s face and, although she should go back for her wrapper and slippers, she left them behind. She crossed the cold, gritty tiles barefoot, breathing deeply of the night air, and sighed at this little bit of freedom. London was so very dirty, and the abrasion under her toes made her miss the country more.
She leaned against the balcony’s railing to look over the night-shrouded gardens. Even without the clarity of day, they were very pretty. She would love to go down, to walk on the paths and grass, to lie upon a blanket to gaze up at the stars. However, when she looked up at the sky, she saw no stars. The clouds had thickened until almost no moonlight shone through. The romantic in her whispered that it was a night to share with someone you loved.
“Having trouble sleeping?” a deep voice asked.
Constance spun to face the house. Jack sat in a low chair just outside his apartment door. “Oh, you startled me.” Her voice came out as a squeak and she scowled—mostly at her own panicked reaction.
“My apologies. I did not mean to frighten you,” he whispered.
“How long have you been out here?” Constance asked in a steadier tone, pitched not to carry far.
“A while,” he answered.
The deep, rumbled response only increased her tension. As he reached down, picked up a glass, and took a long sip from it, her heart thudded. Blast. She turned and faced the garden. “It’s pretty out here, Jack.”
“Yes, it is now, certainly.”
She struggled not to grin at the compliment.
Can you remember a moment you shared with someone special under the stars? I’d love to hear your story.