(1700, Savannah)
Prologue

A prison with no bars,
A world void of warmth and human touch.
An eternity with no love.

I, Jonathan St. James, am forced to live away from the woman I love, from the world I know. Time passes in a world of which I am not a part. Would that I had never laid eyes on the beauteous Cassandra.

Our families had betrothed us as children and she knew me better than anyone else could. We were best friends, we loved each other. How could she banish me to this cold, meaningless world?

I remember the day my world ended, as if it were yesterday. Cassandra stood before me in all her blonde beauty, her emerald green eyes flashing. I had risked life and limb to climb the rose and thorn laden trellis to her bedroom. Either the trellis had weakened with age or my adult body tested the weight of the old structure we had climbed many times as children.

"How could you?" she screamed from across the room.

I had never seen her face so mottled in anger.

"What have I done, my love?" I asked, easing away from the open window.

"You vain, selfish swine! Is there a woman in this town you have not bedded?"

In that question I sensed a trick. Since I was a boy in short pants, women had fawned over me. Only Cassandra treated me as a person and truly loved me. Every other woman had thrown herself at me, offering me pleasures, which I accepted like any other virile, unmarried man with natural urges would. Even married men took their pleasures from women other than their wives.

In my defense, I feigned ignorance to save her feelings and my own head. Cassandra held one of her father's dueling pistols and I knew she could load it and use it well.

"My darling, Cassie. I would never do anything to jeopardize what we have." I took a step toward her, reaching to ease the weapon from her hand. She snatched it back but held it steady and aimed at my heart. If I could but hold her in my arms, I could make her see reason.

"You are to be my husband. I deny myself the pleasure of giving myself to you or any other man, but you share yourself with every woman who offers her body."

Now I was angry. She knew women took advantage of me and my need to make them happy. She also knew the way of things with men. Our fathers both had mistresses but treated our mothers with respect and love. I was promising her to be true only to her, to deny myself what other men took for granted.

Staying reasonable, I responded. "I vowed to be faithful to you once we marry, to love you, to honor you, to give you everything. What more would a wife expect?"

She stared daggers at me now. Perhaps I wouldn't try to hold her. When she took a step toward me I took a step back. Her anger made her seem to grow in stature. I had seen her temper and it is awe-inspiring.

A bad feeling overwhelmed me. She had never unleashed her rage on me before. With each step nearer, she grew before my eyes, advancing on me faster than I retreated. Tonight I would not sway her with charm, or pretty words, or reason.

When my back hit something solid, I glanced over my shoulder at the cheval mirror I gave her two years ago for her sixteenth birthday.

I turned back to her in time to see her hand fly at my face, slapping me with more force than I would have thought possible from a delicate female. The force of that slap sent me backward in a sprawl.

Odd. Had I knocked the mirror with the force of my fall? I rose and started to move toward my love, but something stopped me. I bumped into a glass wall.

Cassandra glared at me, then her mouth formed an evil smile. Her voice took on an eerie quality as she chanted.

"In the mirror you shall stay.
Until there comes a day
When a woman wishes you outside,
You will abide
In your prison.
You have the power to grant her one thing she wishes,
But must return to your prison unless her wish is
That you remain with her forever."

I tried to push through the wall. "I am not amused, Cassie. Get me out. I order you." I banged on the wall I could not see at her retreating back. Maybe I should not have ordered her.

13 comments

  1. Anonymous // May 15, 2008 at 6:41 PM  

    Love the story, can't wait to read the rest! You rock girl!
    M

  2. Beth Trissel // May 15, 2008 at 6:51 PM  

    Very interesting, Mary! Different too.

  3. Beth Trissel // May 15, 2008 at 6:51 PM  

    BTW, Mary, this is turning into the Beth and Mary Blog. :)

  4. Beth Trissel // May 15, 2008 at 6:52 PM  

    Very interesting, Mary! Different too.

  5. Mary Marvella // May 15, 2008 at 11:59 PM  

    More soon! On the next day there isn't anything else posted. Yep watch
    The Beth and Mary Show for laughs and information!

    My CPs were in shock when I gave them this one.

  6. Beth // May 16, 2008 at 2:36 PM  

    I bet they were! And on with the Beth and Mary show!

  7. Beth Trissel // May 16, 2008 at 2:52 PM  

    BTW, Mary, it's your go.

  8. Nightingale // May 16, 2008 at 5:49 PM  

    Okay you two. Share the spotlight. Loved it Mary. Maybe this is your element. How much have you written on this one? Intriguing.

    Could I be interviewed on the Beth and Mary Show?

  9. Mary Marvella // May 16, 2008 at 11:22 PM  

    Linda, you are welcome to be a guest host. Just post something great and join Beth and me for the comments, even when no one else comments!

    I have a few more pages you'll also find surprising coming from me.

  10. Beth Trissel // May 17, 2008 at 11:12 PM  

    We are all amazed at this unforeseen side of you, Mary.

  11. Beth Trissel // May 17, 2008 at 11:13 PM  

    And OK, Linda, you can play too.

  12. Nightingale // May 18, 2008 at 8:38 PM  

    Oh Boy! I've brought my toys. Let's play. Beth, do you think that you and I have influenced Mary or that she has influenced us?

  13. Nightingale // May 18, 2008 at 8:38 PM  

    I want to know how to be cool and have my photo beside my comment.