Since it’s almost Christmas, I wanted to share a holiday scene with you. This is from the second in my Sons of the Revolution series. Armand begins the book unable or unwilling to speak and unable to tolerate human touch. He has been imprisoned for 12 years and has forgotten what it means to be human. Felicity gently coaxes him back to life.
from The Making of a Gentleman
And now that he was at home at The Gardens, he really didn’t care about The Rules anymore. It was snowing outside, which wouldn’t normally deter him from his daily walk, but Felicity had cajoled him into sitting in the drawing room. She had a fire blazing in the hearth and his Christmas present—a black mongrel puppy—was dozing on the floor at his feet. She was at the pianoforte, playing a slow, dreamy song. He loved listening to her play. And now she could play for him anytime. All the time.
The clock chimed three times, and her hands stilled. He frowned. “It’s already three?” she said. “They’ll be here any moment, and I’m not finished with the wrapping.”
No one would care. He had told her this before, but it hadn’t seemed to make any difference. She wanted Christmas to be perfect.
“Do you hear that?” Now she was up and racing to one of the windows. “Those are the horses’ bells. Yes! They’re here! Come on.”
He would have preferred to sit where he was, but she grabbed his hand and pulled him to the door. Before their butler could do his duty, she had it open and was out in the snow, welcoming Julien, Sarah, and his mother. There were words and hugs and kisses, which Armand tolerated because he could see how happy it made Felicity to have family around her. She told him she wanted a large family, and when he realized what that entailed, he was happy to oblige her.
Sarah was noticeably with child now, and he wondered how Felicity would look, her belly round with his son or daughter.
A few moments later, they were all inside, and Felicity had the housekeeper pass out warm cider and chocolate. Julien insisted Sarah lie down in her room, and his mother went to settle her in. When it was just the three of them and the dog, Felicity sat at the pianoforte again, playing quietly, and Julien stood at the large hearth. Armand went to Felicity, put his hand on her shoulder.
Felicity covered it with her own. “I can’t think of anything better than having your whole family together again.”
“Neither can I—”
“Julien, I am not going to lie down all afternoon. I’m not tired.” Sarah’s voice floated in the hallway, and Julien scowled.
“That woman refuses to rest. I didn’t even want her coming all this way in the carriage. It jostles her. I’ll be right back.” A moment later, Armand could hear the couple arguing, Julien firm and Sarah just as stubborn.
Felicity stood. “Perhaps next Christmas your brother Bastien will be here, as well.”
He put his arm around her, drew her close. She sighed contentedly, and together they stared into the crackling fire in the hearth. At one time fire had represented destruction, his life in ashes. Now, with Felicity beside him, he welcomed the warmth. He looked at his wife bathed in the soft glow of the firelight. With a smile, she kissed him. “I love you,” she whispered.
“I love you.” And he finally knew all that the word meant.