Coals Burning Bright

Snowflakes wafted and careened through the air, to swirl around and under the passage of three carriages. One, bearing Jaine and myself, outpaced the others by the natural energy of younger horses and experienced hands. We soon arrived at the looping drive of Conrad manor, its lanterns guiding our way like miniature lighthouses.

Without waiting for the footman, I opened the door and offered Jaine my arm, which she took with a delicate gloved hand. Together we ran indoors, dashing through clouds until the foyer enveloped our laughter. Ahead, the glow of candlelight and tables were of but passing interest, alongside wreathed doorways and sparkling decorations for the holiday season. The rest of our party would be right behind.

Taking the stairs, we stopped on the balcony overlooking the hall; a vantage point like the fabled star gazing upon the world. Jaine’s cheeks had flushed as red as the bows on the tree; her smile, as warm and inviting as the hearth. Drawing close, we kissed lovingly in a secret embrace.

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