Hey everyone! Welcome to another Tuesday Tales. This week’s word prompt is “chocolate”. We are back with Miranda and Thatcher in The Thirteenth Knight. And don’t forget to stop by and check out the other wonderful writers involved with Tuesday Tales!
Miranda wandered along the garden paths, ignoring the leaves on the trees blazing in brilliant autumn color or the rows and rows of late blooming blossoms. She wrapped her arms around herself to block out the chill in the air.
She was in disbelief. Thatcher was here, in the palace, serving her uncle in the closest capacity one could serve the king. He would be in the palace protecting Thaddeus, protecting her. He would be so close yet still…
“Is everything all right, my lady?”
Miranda spun around, finding Thatcher behind her. She took a moment to soak him in. He wore a gold embroidered maroon tunic and chocolate brown trousers of a knight. His short black hair, chiseled, muscular body and sapphire blue eyes were that of her Thatcher. He quickly untied his cloak then crossed the browning grass to her draping it over her shoulders.
“Miranda, you are freezing.”
“Why are you here?” she breathed.
“I thought your uncle explained it perfectly.”
“You joined the army.”
“I was that easy to forget.”
“No, Miranda. I joined to find my way to you. Even I know Thaddeus isn’t going to marry you to a farmer’s son. The only way for me to reclaim your hand is to work for it, shed my blood for it.” He opened his arms wide in presentation. “To become one of his knights.”
Tears filled Miranda’s eyes. “Oh Thatcher.”
He pulled her into his arms. “What is it, Miranda? Tell me.”
She took a deep breath to steady her trembling voice. “Thaddeus has spoken to me of my impending marriage. As next in line to the throne, I can be married to no less than a lord. I love you with all my heart, Thatcher. I will until my final breath. But by my uncle’s own words I will never be able to be your wife.”
She pulled free from Thatcher’s grasp as she heard approaching steps. Through swollen eyes she gazed up guiltily at Thaddeus.
“What is the meaning of this?” he demanded. “I sent Thatcher out to see if you were all right. I thought since you both came from the same village it would be special for some time alone with an old friend from home. But to find you in his arms…”
Miranda looked away from her uncle. From the corner of her eye she could see his glare flicker between her and Thatcher. Then his gaze softened. “Thatcher, what does your father do?”
“He is a farmer, your majesty.”
Thaddeus shook his head. “I did not realize, Miranda. I did not know Thatcher was your young man. I did not intend to make this decision I have to make concerning your marriage worse for you…”
It was all Miranda could stand. With a sob she fled the two men in the garden and sprinted to her bedchamber.
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Tags: army, autumn, black, blood, blossoms, blue, brown, chamber, chocolate, cloak, embroidered, farmer, fiction, friend, garden, gold, king, knight, lady, leaves, love, maroon, marriage, married, miranda, palace, protect, romance, sapphire, sobbed, Thaddeus, thatcher, thirteeth, throne, trousers, tuesday tales, tunic, uncle, village, wife
We’re back for more Tuesday Tales! This week our word is funny. And I have finally come up with a title for this story – The Thirteenth Knight! Don’t forget to stop by and check out the blogs of the other talented writers of Tuesday Tales!
The Great Hall of the palace was buzzing. The lords and ladies of the land laughed and ate and drank. Miranda sat on her wooden seat beside her uncle’s throne watching the merriment. Her stomach anxiously fluttered. Thaddeus would soon return with his knights. It wouldn’t be long before he would choose her husband. She glanced around at the loud boisterous men then cringed.
Not even the court jester and his funny antics could bring her any joy. She glanced up as Court Brunon strode by her side.
“Good day, Lady Miranda,” he crooned.
“Good day, Count Brunon.”
“Can I interest you in a cup of wine? A walk in the garden?”
“No, thank you.”
“Are you sure, my lady? A beautiful day like this. A walk would do you good.”
“Again, no thank…”
Miranda startles as the slamming doors of the Great Hall cut off her words. She watched anxiously as Thaddeus stormed through his court with his knights at his heels. Despite her apprehension she rose and hugged him.
“Uncle, you are back. How was training?” she greeted.
“A little more adventurous than I had planned, little one.”
“Your majesty,” Brunon interjected. “There are 13 knights in your company. I believe tradition dictates there should only be twelve.”
Thaddeus’s eyes drew to slits as the glared at Brunon. “There are thirteen because I am king and I supersede tradition. Besides I need more protection for both Miranda and I.” Thaddeus took Miranda’s hand in his. “Let me introduce you to the latest addition to my company.”
Miranda followed her uncle as they traveled through the assembly of knights until the end. She gasped as her eyes met those of the thirteenth knight dressed in his royal uniform and armor.
“Thatcher!” she breathed.
“My lady Miranda,” Thatcher replied. Miranda’s heart thundered in her chest as she was captured by his sapphire blue eyes for several moments before he dropped to his knee in a low bow. He took her hand in his and pressed a chaste kiss to the back of it.
“Sir Thatcher fought valiantly when we were attacked and protected me from those that wished me harm,” Thaddeus beamed proudly. “I am honored to make him part of my thirteen.”
Miranda felt her head swim. She thought she would never see Thatcher again. She cried every day since she was taken from her home. Now he was here kneeling at her feet, his lips against her skin. Her voice trembled as she spoke. “I think I am going to step out into the garden to get some air.”
“I will accompany you,” Brunon volunteered.
Miranda lifted her hand up in protest. “No. I would rather be alone.” Without another word she retreated from the three men and the frivolity of the Great Hall. She ran through the halls of the palace until she reached the garden.
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Tags: author, castle, count, fiction, fiction writing, funny, great hall, heart, jester, king, kiss, knight, ladies, lady, lord, love, miranda, novel, palace, relationships, romance, thatcher, thirteen, throne, title, writer
This week’s Tuesday Tales word prompt is tight. I’m continuing with Thatcher and Miranda. Didn’t think I could work the word tight into it but I did! Hope you enjoy – and don’t forget to check out the other incredible tales written by the talented authors of Tuesday Tales!
The authors of Tuesday Tales are taking a week off next week so remember to stop back on April 2nd to see what our next word prompt is (and what we do with it!)
Thatcher’s horse sauntered behind the others weighed down by the bulk of the three knight’s belongings. He walked alongside the grey steed holding the horse’s lead tight in his hand. He didn’t have the heart to abuse the animal further with his own weight. He silently cursed the oafs who drug him along on this mission.
Thatcher and his horse followed six of the king’s knights. Each had been chosen by his majesty himself to attend this training. Ahead of the entire band proudly rode King Thaddeus. Thatcher’s heart wrenched when it came to the monarch. Just like the other citizens of the kingdom he was devoted to the just and fair king. However, he was also the bastard who took his Miranda away from him.
Thatcher’s eyes snapped to attention as he heard shouting ahead. A band of rowdy cloaked marauders rushed the path approaching the group. Even from the distance Thatcher was he could see the army uniforms beneath the robes.
This was the biggest farce Thatcher had ever seen.
The knights disembarked from their horses and engaged in battle with the marauders. The sword fight was brief. The mob fled into the forest before any blood was shed. Thatcher glanced at Thaddeus. The king was far from impressed.
“Good work, men,” Thaddeus praised, his voice flat and unemotional. “Let’s return to camp.”
Thaddeus urged his own white steed to return down the path they had come. Thatcher bowed his head reverently as he passed. The group weaved their way through the countryside back towards the camp. The path grew narrow pressing the entourage through the tight wood.
Thatcher searched around as he heard a dull thud land nearby him. He looked up to the thick, tightly woven overhanging branches. Like evil, gigantic raindrops black garbed men fell from the trees. He instinctively reached for his scabbard and drew his own sword as an attacker grasped Thaddeus and pulled him to the ground.
Thatcher ran through the horses, his voice shouting in warning as he charged the attackers. He swung his sword engaging one black garbed man after another. His final blow against the assailant who assaulted the king sent the rest retreating into the wood. Panting Thatcher surveyed the scene.
Thaddeus lay crumpled on the ground, his hand gripped tight around his forearm. A thin stream of blood trickled through his fingers. Thatcher dropped to his knees next to Thaddeus then turned to the six knights for help. He froze in shock as he found them still mounted on their steeds their eyes equally opened wide in surprise.
“Don’t sit there like frightened children,” Thatcher chided. “Get down here and help him!”
The knights each slid tentatively from their horse and rushed to Thaddeus’s side to care for him. Thatcher felt a hand wrap tight around his bicep and rip him from the ground. He was slammed against the nearest tree, the rough bark scratching his flesh through his tunic. The burning furious eyes of one of knights glared at him.
“You made fools of us,” the knight growled.
“You are the king’s brave knight. Where were you when he needed you?”
The knight shook him violently. “You will regret it when we reach camp. There will not be anything left of you to send home to your father.”
“Sir William, unhand the soldier,” Thaddeus commanded.
William slowly let go of Thatcher. Thaddeus slowly, painfully stood then motioned Thatcher to him.
“Boy, what is your name?” the king asked gently.
“Thatcher, your majesty.”
“Your quick wit and courage are great assets to my army.”
“Thank you, your majesty.”
“They would be an even greater asset to my inner circle of knights.”
Thatcher’s eyes grew wide. They both turned as they heard William clear his throat.
“My liege, you already have the maximum number of knights you need for your protection. I cannot see how you can do this,” William objected.
Thaddeus’s eyes drew to slits. “I could get rid of one of you.”
William’s eyes grew wide in panic. Thaddeus laughed and continued. “There are two of us in the palace now that need protection. Another knight in our ranks would be beneficial.” The king turned to Thatcher. “Kneel.”
Thatcher dropped to his knee as Thaddeus drew his sword. He gently laid the blade on Thatcher’s left shoulder than the right. “Rise, Sir Thatcher, Knight of the King’s Army.”
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It’s my favorite time of week – it’s time for Tuesday Tales! This week’s word prompt is green. We are continuing where we left off last week with Thatcher and Miranda. And don’t forget to stop by and indulge in some more incredible stories written by the other incredible Tuesday Tales writers!!
Miranda stared out the glass of the window seat in her bedchamber. The lofty branches of the evergreen trees framed the beautiful scene below. Miranda could see acres and acres of forests, streams, villages and farms. The palace, which was nestled on a cliff to protect it from those wishing the crown harm, provided the breathtaking view.
Yet none of it was a balm for Miranda.
Miranda had not left her bedchamber since she arrived. Her nurses bathed her, clothed her in the finest silk embroidered gowns and brought her food. They could not coax her from the room. Thatcher filled her thoughts during the day. He invaded her dreams at night. Miranda had no peace.
Miranda wiped the tears from her emerald green eyes as she heard a knock on the door. “Come,” she choked.
The large wood door to her bedchamber was pushed open. A large man, similar in height to Thatcher, stepped inside. He had auburn red hair and emerald green eyes similar to Miranda. His broad barrel chest made him huge in Miranda’s eyes.
Miranda did not wonder who this man was. She knew. She stood on trembling legs then fell to her knees. “Your majesty,” she breathed.
The man reached down to her with a large hand to help her to her feet. “None of this formal address, Miranda. To you I am Thaddeus. Or Uncle if you prefer.”
Miranda shook her head. “I am afraid there is some mistake, your majesty. I am just a poor miller’s daughter.”
Thaddeus gently took Miranda’s right hand and turned it palm up. He ran his finger over a small birthmark. It was twisted in the shape of a cross. Thaddeus then turned over his own right wrist. He too bore the cross birthmark.
“There is no mistake, Miranda,” Thaddeus assured.
“The girls in the village used to tease me about my birthmark. They called me odd, strange.”
“You are not odd. You are royalty.”
Miranda shook her head confused. “I do not understand.”
“Let me explain.” Thaddeus led Miranda to the window seat then sat down beside her. “Shortly after you were born, your home was attacked by a mysterious army with dark, evil magic. Your father, my brother, sent you away with a trusted servant to keep you safe. Your parents and everyone in the castle were murdered. The servant had family in the village you were raised in. He left you with his cousin, the town miller, the man you knew as your father. The servant then came here to report to me where he left you.”
“Why did the army not attack the palace?”
“Your father was next in line for the throne. I have no heirs and at this point I will not sire any. However he did have an heir. You.”
“He sent me away to preserve the crown.”
“And to protect you. You were the world to him.”
Miranda smiled weakly at her uncle. It was difficult to feel sorrow for a father she never knew. She folded her hands in her lap. “So now what will happen?”
Thaddeus beamed at her. “First I want you to feel comfortable here. This is your home. Once you are comfortable I will find you a suitable husband. Together you will rule in my place.”
Tears rushed to Miranda’s eyes as a sob escaped her throat. Thaddeus looked down at her concerned. “You already have a young man?”
Miranda nodded. “The farmer’s son,” she whimpered.
“Ah, little one.” Thaddeus shook his head. “I am sorry. I cannot marry you to anyone less than a lord.”
Miranda buried her face in her hands as Thaddeus wrapped his arm around her to comfort her. Miranda could not be comforted. It was no use. Thatcher was lost forever.
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It’s another Tuesday Tales! This week’s word prompt is sand(y). And don’t forget to check out the other fantastic writers on Tuesday Tales!
Thatcher and Miranda talked and laughed as they wandered along the sandy bank of the stream, dreaming the plans for their wedding. Miranda felt Thatcher tense beneath her fingers holding his hand as they ascended the path to their village. She watched the euphoria drain from his eyes, the sapphire blue becoming cold.
“You have changed your mind,” Miranda whimpered. “You will not marry me now.”
Thatcher gazed down to her. The warmth returned to his eyes. “I had planned on waiting until I spoke to the commander of the king’s army before I spoke to your father. However, I cannot wait that long. I will speak to your father now.”
“But you are tense.”
Thatcher cocked a half smile at Miranda. “It is not a simple task, Miranda. I am asking your father for you, his daughter he loves so dearly. I have always believed he found favor with me. But is it enough to allow me you as my bride?”
Miranda rose on her toes and pressed a kiss to Thatcher’s cheek. “He loves you, Thatcher. He will be overjoyed for you to be my husband.”
“I hope so.”
Thatcher clasped Miranda’s hand tighter as they strolled along the dirt roads of their village. They stopped as they approached the lane that led to Miranda’s cottage. The road was filled with the king’s soldiers and noblemen. Miranda’s father was amongst them. Miranda ran to the group of men with Thatcher on her heels.
“Father, what is happening?” Miranda pleaded.
The man standing beside her father turned, his gray eyes gleaming in a mysterious triumph. “Ah, Lady Miranda,” he greeted.
Miranda looked at her father, her emerald green eyes bewildered. “Father, what is he saying?”
“I am Count Brunon,” the man introduced. “You are Lady Miranda, daughter of Lord Roderick, the late brother of the King. I am here to take you home to the palace.”
“But this is my home. And my father. “Miranda looked pleadingly at the man she had always known as her father.
“Does he look like your father? Your hair is dark, my lady. His is sandy blond. Did your mother have dark hair?”
Miranda shook her head no silently. Brunon motioned to the carriage, “Your belongings have been gathered. We must go, my lady.”
Thatcher rushed past Miranda and Brunon and approached Miranda’s father. “Sir, I have come to ask for Miranda’s hand in marriage. Please give me that reward and keep her here in our village.”
Miranda’s father shook his head sadly. “Forgive me, Thatcher. There is nothing I can do.”
Thatcher turned, his sapphire eyes narrowed in rage, as Brunon’s laugh echoed through the street. “His majesty will certainly not give her hand to a poor son of a farmer. Let us go, Miranda.”
Miranda stared at Thatcher as tears streamed down her cheeks. Her dreams were shattered. She heaved a heart wrenching sob.
“Now, my lady.” Brunon grasped Miranda’s arm and shoved her towards the carriage. Thatcher charged the tall, thin man. No man would treat his love in such a way.
A half dozen swords froze Thatcher in his place. He watched helplessly as Miranda stepped into the carriage. The soldiers mounted their horses. With a shout, the procession surged to life and disappeared around the corner.
Thatcher stared down the empty dirt road. “Then my choice is made,” he growled. “His majesty won’t give me her hand as a farmer’s son. I have better fortune to win her hand as his trusted knight.”
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It’s time for another Tuesday Tales! This week’s word prompt is the word Silver. This week I want to answer the most asked question from last week – how would Thatcher react when he learned the truth about Ewen. Well…
Miranda stumbled between Brunon’s men as they dragged her mercilessly to the throne room. She dropped her head forward allowing the oversize hood of her cloak to hide her face. The men stopped to a sudden halt as they arrived before the throne. Brunon slid his slight frame upright.
“We found the cur, Your Excellency,” the thug with the tightest grip on Miranda’s arm announced. He shook her violently for emphasis then forced her to her knees.
Brunon slowly stood taking one step after another until he hovered over Miranda.
“You insolent traitor,” Brunon spat. “I trusted you to serve me. I had hopes for you to become one of my men, Ewen. But you betrayed me.”
Miranda remained silent, keeping her head low. Brunon slowly slid his sword from its scabbard, the silver glint of the blade radiating in the sunlight that shone through the multi-colored windows of the throne room. He continued.
“I want to see the terror in your young eyes when I end your life.”
Brunon grasped Miranda’s hood and ripped it from her head. She looked up to her betrothed with defiant green eyes.
“Miranda,” Brunon breathed in surprise. The sudden deep murmurs that filled the throne room echoed his amazement. He erupted in laughter.
“You,” Brunon accused. “You have been the spy. You. You have given our tactical movements to the King. And why? For your precious knight Thatcher? Have you secretly plotted my demise so you can find yourself in his arms once again?”
Brunon grasped Miranda and pulled her to her feet. He rummaged in his linen shirt until he pulled free a vial of thick crimson liquid. The glass was wrapped in a thin strand of silver and hung from Brunon’s neck by a silver chain.
“Do you know what this is?” Brunon questioned Miranda. She stayed quiet but slowly shook her head no. Brunon continued.
“This is your brave knight’s blood. I took it from him as he hung in the dungeon. I don’t need to draw my sword to attack Thatcher. I can destroy him with his. It will be an excruciating death.”
Miranda felt her stomach turn. Her face turned a ghostly pale. “Do not please. I beg you.”
Brunon’s lips curled in an evil smile as he caressed Miranda’s cheek. “You will obey me. You will do exactly what I wish. And you will become my bride. Understand?”
Miranda’s breath trembled as her eyes filled with tears. She nodded.
“Very good. To your chambers,” Brunon ordered. He glanced at his men. “Guard her door. Do not allow her to leave.”
Miranda trudged ahead of Brunon’s men as they disappeared down the corridor towards her bedchamber.
Thatcher studied the new documents Ewen brought him. He smiled warmly. Inside the parchments Thatcher had found one of Miranda’s favorite hair ribbons. He pressed the ribbon to his lips affectionately wishing to see her again.
Thatcher spun around. He found Xavier, one of his best soldiers, scrambling down the dirt road to him. Thatcher turned to meet him.
“What is it, Xavier?”
“Brunon captured Ewen. He knows what Ewen’s been doing,” Xavier reported breathlessly.
Thatcher shook his head sadly. Brunon would punish the boy severely, probably kill him for betraying the Count.
“Ah, poor lad,” Thatcher sighed. “We could mount an attack to free him. It may be too late…”
“No, Thatcher. That is not the trouble.”
“Then what is?”
“Ewen is not real. Ewen is Lady Miranda!”
Thatcher’s heart slammed in his chest. Nearly every day his beautiful love came to him, assisted him, brought him information to end Brunon’s tyrannical reign. Yet Thatcher never knew. Those eyes seemed so familiar…
Thatcher’s nerves quaked in disbelief and panic. He did not know what Brunon would do to Miranda now that he knew the truth.
“Xavier, get the King,” Thatcher ordered. “We need to mount an attack. Now.”
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It’s time for another Tuesday Tales! This week the word prompt is “light”. I have written another excerpt with Thatcher and Miranda.
Miranda swept silently down the dirt path beneath the lush fragrant canopy of the towering pine trees. The light of the full moon above cast everything in the forest in an unearthly pale glow.
Miranda’s heart raced in anticipation. Although she had seen Thatcher several times in the past few days, the thought of his eyes gazing on her as Miranda and not as Ewen made her tremble in excitement.
A soft laugh escaped Miranda’s throat. Count Brunon was disgusted that his betrothed seemed to have such a weak stomach. Miranda did not have to fake it. Brunon craved meats and delicacies that made Miranda cringe. However, Brunon happily avoided his sick beloved in case her malady happened to be contagious. It made it easy for Ewen to appear and volunteer to gather firewood.
Miranda stopped short as the path reached the creek. Her breath caught in her throat as her eyes found Thatcher. He stood, his tall chiseled, muscular frame draped in a linen shirt and chocolate brown trousers. His sapphire blue eyes watched the moonlight glimmer off the water. He ran a strong, powerful hand through his short black hair. Miranda sighed hopelessly in love.
Thatcher’s head spun at Miranda’s whisper soft sigh. In just a few long strides Miranda was caught in Thatcher’s strong arms, his sweet lips prying hers apart in a soul-wrenching kiss.
“Miranda,” Thatcher breathed.
Miranda caressed Thatcher’s cheek, her fingers grazing the stumble there. “I cannot stay long Thatcher.”
“I know, my love. Our forced separation will be brief. I will free you from Brunon.”
Miranda smiled gently. “I know.”
The emotion in Thatcher’s eyes became intense. “I will not let him wed you. I will die before that will happen.”
“I know, my love,” Miranda assured him.
Thatcher chuckled. “I owe Ewen a debt of gratitude for bringing you to me. I wasn’t sure he would.”
“He told me you threatened his life if I fell into harm. He should not have.”
“I am surprised he didn’t join you.”
Miranda scrambled for an answer. “He is keeping watch at the edge of the forest. He wanted to give us privacy.”
“He is a good man. There is just something about him.” Thatcher gazed at Miranda. “He had your beautiful eyes. Are you related to him?”
“Perhaps.” Miranda pulled Thatcher’s face to her. She bravely parted his lips with hers kissing him deeply, possessively. The mystery of Ewen fled Thatcher’s mind as he held Miranda close immersed in the warmth of her kiss, her touch, her soft skin. He would certainly make the most of what little time they could share.
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Miranda silently paced the ghostly white marble floor, her crimson silk gown brushing against the silver veined stone. She sent all the servants away wishing to be alone for the day.
Miranda stopped to stare out the window. Thatcher should have sent word by now. The king’s army would have reached the border of the kingdom. There had already been battles. Miranda shuttered. Thatcher just could not be dead.
Thatcher was a valiant knight in the king’s army. He pledged his loyalty to the kingdom. He gave his heart and soul to Miranda. He had since they were children in the village. Had Count Brunon not unearthed Miranda’s past, not revealed her royal bloodline as a lady of the king’s court it would have been very possible the man who raised Miranda as his own would have given her hand to Thatcher in marriage. Brunon’s motives were crystal. With Miranda as his wife Brunon’s path to the crown could not be stopped.
In truth, the only obstacle standing between Brunon and the throne was Thatcher.
Miranda bit her lower lip as she remembered the last kiss she and Thatcher shared. His strong arms holding her close, his lips warm and wet pressed against hers. Miranda trembled at the memory.
Miranda turned at the soft tiny voice. Behind her a small boy knelt, his little dirty blond head bowed in reverence. By the caked dust on his clothes Miranda could tell he traveled a long distance.
“Yes?” she inquired.
The boy did not speak. He rose to his feet then pulled something from inside his shirt. He held it out to Miranda.
Miranda gently took the burlap wrapped package tied closed with a piece of twine. With another quick bow the boy scampered from the chamber.
Miranda quickly tugged the strings free and let them fall to the marble floor. She unfolded the burlap. Inside was nestled a stone just like the ones she and Thatcher had fished from the streams near their village. The sunlight through the window shimmered against the waves of coral embedded in the stone. A hole had been chiseled through the stone and a leather cord had been threaded through it. Beneath the stone necklace laid a piece of parchment. Miranda smoothed it to read the message.
“My dearest Miranda, please forgive the delay of this gift. We encountered battle early. Despite our victory the fight was difficult. Black magic is certainly working against us. I have spoken to his majesty the king and he has found favor with me. As soon as I return I will make you my bride. This I swear. With all my love, my heart, my soul. Thatcher.”
Miranda clenched the parchment in her hand and pressed it to her lips kissing it tenderly. She looped the cord around her fingers and slipped the necklace over her head. The small cool stone rested in the cleft of her breasts. With a sigh Miranda gazed out the window.
Miranda knew deep in her heart Thatcher would soon be home in her arms. Her thoughts would only be of him until then.
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