A beautiful maiden. A shy, quiet monk. Two worlds that couldn't interact...or could they?
| Chapter 1
Evera felt the coolness of the wooden floor against her feet as she re-entered the cottage. She had just returned from the meadow with hopes that her mother had not yet returned. But, just as she stepped into the cottage, her mother was there, hands on her hips, waiting.
"Child, come here now! Where've ye been all day? I asked ye to stay on an' sweep the cottage, but the dirt in 'ere so deep, my feet are sinkin'!"
Danae O'Conner spoke with the Irish tongue of her homeland. They had been sharecropping in countries all over Europe since Evera was born, but had finally settled in a simple cottage in France.
Danae wrinkled her nose as she took a step forward, staring at the layer of dust that rose up around her feet. She was a small woman, with hair the color of straw, which she had pinned up with a dishcloth. She had slightly pointed features, and dazzling eyes which she had inherited in all but color to her daughter. They were blue as the vast oceans, and nearly as deep. She wore a simple, olive-green dress, with a plaid apron; but she wore no shoes.
Evera was dressed somewhat similarly. She wore a sky-blue frock with a checkered apron, and, same as her mother, she wore no shoes. It was spring time and it was warm enough to go barefoot. They would take their shoes out of their box when winter came and when there were socials to attend. Evera was thinking of this as she stared at her feet, avoiding her mother's hard glare.
"Sorry, Momma, I was-"
"Out in the field again, eh? Child, if I've told you once, I've told ye a thousand times! I don't want ye near that monastery! Monks are a deceitful lot, and don't give me that look, I know what I'm saing. And what's more-"
"But the valley has so many beautiful flowers, Momma, and it's so nice to hear the organ music from from the choir loft, and the monastery is really very beautiful with the pretty stained glass windows, and- oh, Momma, you really should see-"
"I've seen a monastery before, and I don't care to see one again! Now, take this broom and sweep before we drown in dust, if'n you please." Danae sighed as she kissed her pouting daughter on the forehead. Evera doesn't understand now, she thought, so pretty and smart. I hope she doesn't make the same mistakes I did...
Evera frowned as she swept while her mother walked out the door. She always reacted the same way whenever Evera even mentioned a church. They only went to services on Christmas, and even then her mother looked ready to jump out of the pews and bolt down the aisle. Her mother hated church; not because it bored her, Evera knew, but because the building itself seemed to bother her.
Well, I can't let it bother me now, Evera thought. She'd think of a way to sneak away soon enough. But for now, she had to finish her chores. As she swept, she began to hum a tune to herself,, and soon she found her feet moving in time with the melody, and then she was lost, in the ballroom a a faraway castle, moving gracefully across the floor in a prince's arms...
Pierre Rudolf was the most handsome man in the small French village, and he was well aware of the fact. Every girl in town's heart skipped a beat when his horse came riding by, his hair shining like spun gold, the buttons on his boots gleaming in the sunlight. Many an adoring female followed him throughout the village with hopes that he would send a smile their way. With his flowing blond hair, perfect teeth, brown eyes and expensive, fashionable clothes, he was the dream husband of every girl in the village.
That is, all but one girl. Evera didn't know much about him, but she wasn't so sure that she liked Pierre. Despite his arrogance and common rudeness, the own was still coplete putty in his hands. The milkmaids were only too happy to give the evident narcissist some fresh milk. The baker's wife, known for her wandering eye, cheerfully slipped Pierre some of her husband's delicious baguettes. The men of the village thumped Pierre on the back as he walked by, and often shard a hearty guffaw with him at the alehouse. All the younger lads wished to grow up just like him, and the older boys envied him.
Yes, and though Pierre could have been ridding with any girl he wanted that day, instead he was riding alone. Even his procession of adoring females was absent today, for he had his heart set on meeting the just one female, the most beautiful in all the village.
As he rode along the dirt path he came upon a small, cobblestone cottage with a straw roof. He looked in the doorway to see a pretty young girl surrounded by a cloud of dust, who seemed to be dancing with a broom...