Hi, everyone. Today is the vernal equinox — the first day of spring. I agreed to participate in a Spring Fling Blog Hop started by fellow author Kirsten Weiss. It took a little while to decide what I’d share, but I finally decided on a sample from His Beloved Infidel. Why? Because this is also No Ruz (you will find many different spellings), the Persian New Year … and one of the chapters takes place on that day. Here is a snippet from that chapter. Enjoy!
Farukh stood at the center level of the Opera Garnier’s grand staircase and shot the cuffs of his shirt. He saw Catherine the moment she came in. She slipped off a black velvet coat to reveal an elegant, bias-cut dress of dusty rose satin. It had a simple, draped neckline, but when she turned around he saw that it was open to her waist in the back, with a pleat at the center creating a flowing train. It was the kind of thing a movie star would have worn in the 1930s; she was stunning.
As she continued to look around, Farukh realized that she could not pick him out of the sea of men in white tie and tails — not from that far away. He stepped down the marble stairs as she continued to look around.
“My khanum,” he said as he came up behind her.
Catherine turned around to face him, and could not immediately find her voice. She reached up to touch his smoothly shaven cheek, and he turned his head so that he could kiss her wrist.
“You look magnificent,” he said. “Your dress is perfect.”
Catherine continued to look at him in silence.
“Do you hate it? I will grow the beard back,” he said quickly.
“No, no.” She finally spoke. “You are … beautiful. The truth is, I have never cared for beards. You are more handsome without it, and I would have thought that impossible.”
He smiled and offered her his arm. “Let us take your wrap to the cloak room, and then take our seats.”
Behind them as they went up the stairs together, there were a great many murmurings about what a handsome couple they made.