Samantha Lee’s Picture Choice: 2
Title: A Link of Time
The box is small, I suppose, as far as boxes go. It is blue velvet with silver trim outside and I know it possesses a black velvet interior. It is too big for earrings or a ring, but too small for a necklace and the wrong shape for a watch. It looks harmless enough, but then so do I and I am anything but.
Strong arms come around my waist and pull me close against a warm, solid chest I know well. I feel a warm huff of breath against my neck just before his lips graze my neck. I smile.
"Hello, lover," I murmur, tipping my head back and purring delightedly as his lips sweep down to press against my collarbone. "Is everything ready?"
He sighs. "All work and no play, mea lumina, makes for a very dull boy."
"Are you saying you wouldn't want to chase me all through a semi-abandoned ski lodge? If I recall, the chase had a decidedly...bloody end, no?"
With a groan, he buries his face in the crook of my neck and gives me a little nip. "You are not playing fair, lumina mea, not at all."
I laugh and turn in his arms, looking up into sparkling ruby eyes that seem to sizzle and glisten with emotion all for me. Gods, I love this man. I reach up with one hand and gently brush the loose strands of hair away from his face and behind his ear. Smiling when he turns his head to nip lightly at my wrist. "You're avoiding my question."
He sighs and holds out his hand. "We are ready. Are you sure you can open this sort of portal?"
"Of course I'm not sure," I admit and roll my eyes. "I've never done this before, for one thing, and for another it's very, very far from my field of expertise. I've only ever seen Da do this and he had an advantage; time was his gift. Mine's dead people. They don't exactly compliment."
I drop the box into his hand and he flips it open, glancing inside at the antique looking charm bracelet, a mixture of miniature hourglasses and keys dangling from its links. "Remind again, lumina mea, why we risk this?"
"It's not that big a risk really," I protest, wincing slightly.
One eyebrow rises. "Oh? So the fact we may end up in the stone age and living through time to the present again does not count as a risk in your eyes?"
I bite down on my lower lip and suddenly find my shoes fascinating. "Well, we ARE immortal," I counter. "It's not like it would hurt us any to add some more years to our lives and, hey, no one else would ever have to know."
The other eyebrow joins the first. "Somehow, luminița, I doubt that."
"All we need is for this bracelet to end up in the right hands in the right place at the right time," I remind him. "And, unfortunately for us, those hands are now long since dead, that place long since turned to ruin, and that time long since past. Can you think of any other way to fix this?"
He thinks for a long moment then huffs out a breath and shakes his head. "But are you sure this is the only way? That there is no one else who could do this?"
I have to laugh at the irony of that question. "Well, of course, there's someone else, love. The woman whose wrist this bracelet needs to circle. She was the last of the time dancers until Aoife's Hunt caught up with her. Now we just need to...tweak history a tad."
"If she is already dead, does that not mean we have already failed?"
I snort. "Not if she's really still alive and has simply remained hidden all these years. I mean, heck, this will be just like all those movies where the daring couple travels back in time and has to keep events seeming to occur as they're said to have while changing them to suit our goals at the same time."
Sighing, he shakes his head. "And what does this bracelet change?"
"It's an artefact," I explain, not for the first time and unlikely to be the last. "Time dancers and the like used to use them to focus their travels and facilitate opening their portals. It essentially quickens and hones their natural abilities. If we get this where it needs to be, our girl will be able to make her escape and survive what's coming - what came? - for her."
"This is not going to end well," he tells me, but his tone's resigned.
I grin. "Think of it as a vacation. Or an adventure. Or both. Come on, love, this could be fun! And what was it you were just saying about all work and no play?"
He sighs again and snaps the box closed, slipping it inside his inner jacket pocket. "Alright, then, lumina mea, I give in. Let us be off on your little mission and, perhaps if the gods are with us, we will be spared seeing how and why the dinosaurs vanished."
I roll my eyes. Some men can be such drama queens.
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