Today I want to share a charming excerpt from Jeffe Kennedy’s “The Snows of Windroven” from the December 12th release of AMID THE WINTER SNOW.
“You could have danced with me,” Ami said, needling me, knowing exactly how to do it. “Then I wouldn’t have had to dance with anyone else.”
I didn’t bother pointing out that a man at arms didn’t dance with the Queen of Avonlidgh. Or that I couldn’t stay alert and protect her if we danced. Or that I’d never learned how. In Ami’s world, everyone learned to dance like they learned to walk. She forever forgot that we came from different worlds, whereas my burning shame forever reminded me of that unassailable fact.
I wouldn’t let her see that embarrassment, however. Better for her to think me uninterested in dancing than for her to glimpse the rough and desperate boy inside.
“Talk to me, Ash,” Ami commanded, all hint of flirtation vanished. “You know I hate it when you go all stoic White Monk on me.”
I swallowed a terse retort to that, searching for a diplomatic reply. “Wintering at Windroven is a romantic idea, but romance won’t last long if the volcano blows.” I cleared my throat of the choking fear of losing her in such a way. I lived with that fear daily, knowing full well I had no business thinking of her as mine in the first place. I’d lose her eventually—today, next month, or next year—but sooner rather than later. Making myself confront the eventuality of our parting had become a kind of daily, disciplined exercise for me. Like sword practice. I forced myself to exercise the muscles of loss, to contemplate that pain. I could survive it, I thought, as long as she was alive and happy.