“Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it for a while.” -The Princess Bride
I never expected to love him. He was very arrogant and very French. Perhaps the virtue of the fact that he was so very French is what made him so incredibly arrogant. He had the muscular body of a well-seasoned warrior and the grace of a panther, no amount of well-cut and lavish clothing could hide that fact. Truly, he was quite beautiful to observe, but far too cunning. I too wise to trust him, and I am absolutely certain that he did not trust me. For in our dealings, he constantly tested my answers to see if I would stick to my story of how I came to be at Court, who I had been with. All the while, I think he must have expected to catch me in a lie.
It was through mutual antagonism, where he would call me to task over a minor detail during a conversation at dinner in the Court of Versailles, or I would make it a point to beat him handily at chess or cards that I came to realise that I was in fact that we were both mutually enjoying the game. Our verbal and mental sparring matches turned to rides in the countryside from time to time, or discussions late night over cognac near a fireplace well past an hour that was decent. We both were fortunate that we were far enough from Court at that time, and only a few loyal servants on either side could possibly have witnessed what could have fed the Paris gossip mill. Our encounters were innocent enough, but certainly our thoughts were increasingly not. We knew, even though time and others temporarily separated us, that we were truly in love. The torturous time spent apart was barely made up for when at last we were wed. Nothing could touch us. There was nothing in all of the Seven Realms of Existence that could possibly come between us…..that is until his death.
I would wake up and dream of that love that I once had with Sebastien. It was a love that even time could not erase nor replace. Every angel, every daemon stood stock still and didn’t dare to breathe for fear it would evaporate in a single moment; and I swear that it must have. But I was not, nor could I ever be content to be his widow. I had planned it all from the beginning. From the moment of my husband’s death, I was determined to cheat Death. Did I not possess the ability. Was I not in essence immortal? Could I not use my own blood for this purpose? Every magical volume that I could lay my hands upon, every grimoire I could pour over, every Sorcerer and Magus whom I could consult, I was determined to find a way. I had loved the Comte de Rochefort with all of my heart and it was true love. Nothing would ever stop me. Nothing.
Everything was in alignment. I calculated the position of the stars and planets. I had fashioned every sigil by my own hand and I had crafted each of them to perfection. Every magical detail was seen to a thousand times over. For over four hundred years I had waited, and when everything was exactly as it should be, I worked the Rite. I shed my own blood to mingle with his, to awaken him and in all fairness it should have worked. But alas, it didn’t. For four more days I waited, and still, nothing. I was devastated. I left the family crypt. I decided that I would think about it tomorrow. Now I needed to call the one person in the world whom I trusted. Hsu Danmei and I had been friends for centuries, and in my depths of sorrow at my greatest disappointment, he came to me from his home in Toulouse to my husband’s ancestral home, the Château de Rochefort. We talked for hours, shared dinner and later that evening we fell into that familiar space of what it was to be what is called ‘friends with benefits’.
My life had not stopped, even though I had failed to accomplish what I set out to do and the one whom I consider my oldest friend reminded me of this fact. It was not until I awakened from a satisfied slumber; the bed empty, only to hear hear Hsu speaking to someone in the library that I realised something was different. It took a moment for me to actually realize who it was he was talking to.
“If you are whom I suspect you are,” Hsu’s voice growled quietly, “I know someone who will be very relieved to see you. But be that as it may, you are in fact wearing my robe.”
“Yes, however, you were sleeping with my wife. So I do believe that rather makes us even, don’t you think?”
I turned the corner and there, before a roaring fire, was my once-dead husband. His one eye assessed me then Hsu. A smirk twitched at the corner of Sebastien’s mouth.
“I trust you slept well, Faelyn, in spite of the storm?”
At that point, I wanted to take the nearest, heaviest object and hurl it soundly at his head but I couldn’t move. I was in that moment absolutely dumbstruck. When at last I did find my voice, it was not what I had imagined that I would say to him after all of these years.
“You’re late, Sebastien,” I glared at him.
“Mon enchantreusse,” he all but purred at me, “surely you know by now I tend to be a late riser.”
No. Death does not stop true love, it can only delay it for awhile.
Muse: Fanny Fae / Faelyn
Fandom: Original Character
Word Count: 970