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1701 DERAGAN - Portrait of a Wedding Night

Meadowbrook, Grier Country (Fifty-six years after lacey Marcelle dies)


Captain Deragan Black of the Forever Knights stood next to Anastacia, his new wife. The Fallen.

Red satin poured around her in glimmering folds and shined against her perfect porcelain shoulders. Molding her fine form and echoing the smooth sheen of her skin.

Which I intend to soon be caressing.

I’ve waited almost two decades to find her again.

She glanced at him in her peripheral with eyes as blue as the sky had been over their wedding ceremony earlier today. “What are you looking at?”

My mate.

As she spoke her lips moved on a sensual breath and he was nearly undone.

I want her. Now.

“Anastacia.” He growled. “My cravat itches and this coat is constraining. I can’t take much more.”

She giggled.

Knowing exactly what’s provoking me. He wore a black overcoat with swirling gold embroidering across the front. And heavy gold buttons. Black hair stylishly brushed back from his face, curling at his collar. Cut short.

Like she prefers. He stared at the intricate knots pulling her hair back. Leaving a few teasing strands along the sides of her face and falling over her shoulders. The rest curled down her back to tease his fingertips where his hand rested between her shoulder blades. Holding her before him. Already enough to make his body tense.

He was fascinated by those knots. Or more aptly, fascinated by the idea of pulling them free and watching that silky hair falling around her while her eyes turn liquid.


His gaze averted to Lucien standing patiently with a sliver of charcoal in one hand and a brush in the other. Operating both equally as smoothly, as he reminded his commander to stand still.

For the seventh time.

My patience is waning.

“How many occasions have you drawn us, Lucien?” She blurted as a distraction from the intensity of her new husband’s gaze.

Conversation isn’t going to distract me just now. His gaze remained where it was.

Lucien’s brow furrowed. “You know, I’ve no idea.”

“Twenty-four.” Deragan murmured. “Counting the stained-glass window at WaterRose.”

“So many?” Her arching brows lifted.

“Not enough.”

They console me when you’re gone.

“Had he known of my artful streak decades ago I’m sure I’d have been memorializing each of your days.” Lucien said laughingly.

Yes. He would’ve.

“Would you have?” Unable to resist she turned her head at Deragan. Who was mesmerized by the sinewy tendons of her delicate neck.

“Every moment, I could’ve.” Deragan shifted his weight. “I’m not certain how much longer I can hold this pose. Lucien?”

“Holding your wife?” His friend asked surprised.

“Doing nothing more than holding her.”

Having her pressed to my side is not enough, just now. I need her in my arms against me. I need to be kissing her. Touching her.

“Ah.” Lucien smiled as he drew the brush across his work with a last flourish. “It just so happens I’m finished.”

Thank God.

“Finally.” Deragan groaned. “Come wife.” Sliding his hand down her forearm he caught her hand.

Giggling softly, she waved at Lucien over her shoulder.

“Go with him, My Friend.” He laughed. “He has great need of you, I suspect.”

A growl as he led her upstairs was his response. “I should since it takes me decades to find her again.”

“Well, the important thing is I’m here now.” She giggled softly. “And that you keep finding me.”

“As long as the moon rises and falls, I’ll search for you.”

For an eternity.

“And you’ll find me.” She said confidently. They rounded the banister and he walked backward to guide her into their chamber as they laughed together like children. Giddy from the high of the day. From wine and merriment.

From being close to her again.

“And I’ll find you. Over and over again.”

Lucien shook his head and laughed. Rubbing cloth over the last of his brushes and closing his painting case.

“And back to WaterRose I go, with no need to hear that above me.” He chuckled to himself. “Peace with you, My Captain.”

I’d no idea when I painted that portrait for them that it’d be the last time, he’d get to stand next to her for years to come.

~ From the journals of Lucien Sabias ~

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