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L'Amour Immortel (The Love Immortal)

By Russell Xavier All Rights Reserved ©

Fantasy / Romance

Blurb

Jaems Arthur leaves his home in England and heads to Paris during one of its most turbulent times in history. Along the way, he befriends a sea captain and becomes infatuated with a baker, Alexandria, who's piercing blue eyes and bravado only serve to remind him of his own sheepishness. They both suddenly find themselves thrust into the middle of the firefight, running for their lives from Revolutionaries. During the chase, Jaems and Alexandria happen upon a ancient well, hidden among some Roman ruins, deep within the catacombs, Jaems and Alexandria don't know it yet, but from that moment on, they are no longer the same.

Prologue

Brooklyn, New York

Circa 1935

He was a writer. That was his title. That is what he had people call him and what he was technically referred to as, but the reality of it was very different. He did very little of the sort, Jaems Arthur had been writing all of his life and when he did it was always very good. To him anyway, for he cared very little for the opinions of critics, they did him no justice for the hours and days and weeks and years that he had spent with a quill in his hand had made him remarkable enough once, but now he was older, decrepit in his mind, living with his regret. The Prohibition had just ended, Al Capone was behind bars and the Depression had been survivable but it had never left him, the pain. In the midst of the pain of losing her, none of that seem to matter, for he was lost and he was lost because he had lost her. All he had was his bottle of Jack in the middle of his stuffy apartment in Brooklyn, New York. He took heavy swigs of it as he sat in front of his dust ridden typewriter on his rickety, squeaky oak roller chair. Goodness, the stuff was horrid in comparison to the French wines he had once tasted in his earlier days. All he could think of was her, she was a poison he could not drown out with enough whiskey and he had tried, which was easily noticeable given the amount of empty bottles that lay strewn across the floor of his third floor apartment. It was actually a nice apartment considering its price, polished oak floors, warm wooden cabinets and mahogany furniture, the walls were a warm sandy Brazil wood with white trimming. Within the kitchen the floor tiles were checkerboard, white and black, with polished marble counter tops. Opposite the kitchen was the master bedroom, with in contained a king bed and an oaken armoire. But, Jaems rarely left the house, or changed clothes, Jaems never slept, Jaems barely ate and had lost all interest in life, really, save for the drink. The apartment was a ghostly resemblance of what used to be, a hollowed shadow of what was but, like him, was dust covered and empty. Casted shadows of what had been, but left behind, forgotten. On the wall down the hall from the entrance, there was a portrait of a woman on the floor leaning against the wall, it was covered in a sheet so that Jaems would not have to look at her, and it was the only real memory he had left of her.

Alexandria, her name was, Alexandria Bordeaux and the finality of losing her was what drove Jaems’ alcoholic tendencies. She was the sweetest thing that he had ever seen, he could almost taste and touch her still, had she not been lost, but he hadn’t lost her in the traditional sense as in the case of sudden death or that she had left him for another man. No, Jaems Arthur had lost his soul mate in Morocco, during civil crisis and unrest. He still remembered that faithful day, it had never left him, it had been like a scar in his mind, the kind that the wound becomes infected and takes forever to heal but when it finally does, the scar it leaves behind is all the more vivid. It replayed over and over again.

They were in Morocco, it couldn’t have been too far from the 1800s, but of course for someone in his case he could not measure time accurately anymore. Days turned into hours, hours turned into seconds; it was impossible to keep accurate track. He remembered facing the levy and watching her ship sailing away, knowing full well that he would never be able to catch her if he swam and heard her voice calling out to him. He was only supposed to meet her by the dock, they were closing in on them but he had to protect her, how could he have calculated that the town was...

The telephone rang loudly, waking him from his drunken trance. He got up and wiped his nose on his sleeve and stumbled over to the telephone, pausing for a second to breathe slowly. His vision was crossed and in the dimly lit office that he had, he saw about twelve telephones ringing. He couldn’t have even begun to imagine who was calling at this hour, and furthermore in his inebriated state, he wasn’t even sure that he would recognize and respond accurately.

Arthur picked up the phone, cleared his throat and sniffed “…hello?” croaked a familiar voice, then his brain rationalized that he hadn’t spoken all day and that the voice that sounded so familiar was actually his own.

“Jimmy, is that you, bud?” scratched the voice of an older man, with a heavy Brooklyn accent that only Italian-Americans get when they are born in Brooklyn.

“Who theh hell is thiss?” spoke that familiar voice again, and again he realized it was his own but more slurred.

Arthur heard laughing “it’s Frank, have you been drinkin’ again, pal?”

His head spun and he felt the room turn for a second as he wretched all over the floor near the side table. He returned the phone, almost gagging “Yeah, Frank, yeah, what do you want?” his own voice sounded so weird to him, everyone always told him that he didn’t sound like a New Yorker or for that matter an American, he had a London accent but used American terminology and a whole mix of slang from centuries ago and spoke almost Shakespearian. Bah! Shakespearian, the thought of that character categorizing a dialect of the English language, he hated the pompous arrogance that fake playwright had and his influence!

“Jimbo, we need to talk, I heard something on the radio---ya not gonna believe it!”

Frank was always enthusiastic about things whenever he was telling him news, Frank had been his friend since he had moved to New York almost thirty years ago and but never had he sounded so enthusiastic, but Arthur never believed his news was anything other than ordinary because usually he talked about things like flash sales at supermarkets and the occasional insight on politics, but this time it appeared that he was dying to talk about something else of significant importance.

Arthur’s head ached as he was hearing his voice.

“Look, Frank, um sure whatever you’ve got to ssay is estremely important, but I--”

“Jimmy, I think I might have found her...” Frank said

Arthur became silent, he couldn’t believe his ears. “ssay that againh?”

“Jimmy, I think I might have found her”

Arthur wiped back his straight brown hair and wiped his forehead awkwardly “Frank, um drunk, don’t play wivve me”

“I ain’t jokin’ I am tellin’ you, ya pretty young gal is somewhere but she’s in England see, I heard it on the radio” he sniffed then continued “Yeah, I don’t know for sure but, they were saying that it was a young broad with, oh, whatta they call that?--Flaxen! Yeah, flaxen hair and a heart shaped burn mark on her left hand, they also said that she ate a whole lot...” Frank’s voice faded out as Arthur looked at his hand and looked at his right hand and saw his own heart shaped burn mark. Arthur thought he felt his own heart stop as he sunk to the floor, braced against the wall.

“She just swam the English Channel, Jimmy but all I heard was that. Jimmy! you gotta sober up, ya gotta get out there and find her” Arthur cleared his throat and as coherent as possible, he muttered to Frank “I’ll call you back... goodbye” he hung up the phone. Arthur heard the soft ring of the phone when the receiver hit the base and then went quiet. Jaems had spent nearly a lifetime searching for her and in the last 20 years he had given up and focused solely on two things: drinking and writing, though it was unclear which one he did more than the other.

In those 20 years he spent 365 days of each one of those years thinking of her.

“Alexandria... I found thee...” he whispered the words to the walls because he couldn’t believe he was actually uttering the words for he thought he would never see the day. He was flooded with a mix of emotions; anger, victory and happiness but they all came out as one fiery drunken explosion, he threw chairs, stumbled and growled as he picked up an empty bottle from the ground and launched it at the wall, shattering it into tiny pieces. He was distraught and beyond himself but also elated and relieved, but he had been let down before.

There were leads, there were always leads but, every single time it had let him down. He’d been to Paris, Rome, Glasgow, Cairo, Beijing, Moscow, Bombay and even fled Dusseldorf when the advent of a World War was present, he searched as far as the coast of the Japanese Island and the far corner of Northeastern bay of the Brazilian Empire but it was all for a nothing. He had been adventuring for nearly seven decades and but looked as though he hadn’t aged a year passed his early twenties.

His name was Jaems Arthur, he was born a mere twenty years before the French Revolution but didn’t look a day over 19 and for someone in his particular situation he had one hell of a story…

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