by Karen Lynn
“Let’s be honest. You’re not really marrying the man. You’re marrying the library.”
My cousin knew me well. The viscount’s library was the work of generations. His family was known for the eccentricity that drove them to collect the world’s most obscure texts, and for the legendary reserve that kept scholars and academics groveling outside their doors. No one knew exactly what books lay inside Morley Castle, but everyone knew most of them existed nowhere else.
I had never seen the viscount.
Now, staring at the chained books in his library, I wondered if the engagement was a mistake.
There were rumors.
Books bound in human skin and written in the blood of murdered priests.
A viscount who got up early, and spent hours scribbling by candlelight.
A man who had not seen the light of day in decades. A man who wandered the library at night, muttering incantations and curses.
I hadn’t given the gossip a second thought before I agreed to marry him.
But now, I wondered.
“You’ll be fine,” Katrina said. Her voice suggested otherwise. “Just stay out of his way and let him read.”
Minutes had passed, or hours.
The door opened, and the man who stepped inside was just as pale as the rumors claimed.
He barely looked at my cousin. “You may go,” he said.
She did go. Without another word, she stood up, turned, and walked away.
The viscount closed the door behind her.
He looked at me as if he were inspecting fragile cargo. “The time I’ve spent waiting for you!” he half-scolded, but there was a smile in his eyes. I’d never seen the man before, but he was strangely familiar. There was no denying I was as glad to see him as he was to see me.
“I missed you.” I didn’t know why I said it, but it was true. I felt as if I had come home after years away.
In a heartbeat, he was gone. I was holding a leather bound volume as big as my torso, and I could hardly decide whether to search for the viscount or look at the book.
“Read,” he said. I glanced up, and he was standing on the other side of the room.
I tried to understand what had happened. “You’re a book?”
“I’m many books,” he said. The chains on the books around me rattled, as if a breeze had somehow blown through the library. The viscount cast his eyes toward the bag by my feet. “And I see I’m growing.”
“You’re the library.”
“Mmm.” He came closer again, and waited. “I’m the library.”
The information only took a few seconds to absorb. I settled into an armchair, and turned back to the books around me. He was the library. Of course, he was the library.
I sank into the book. The library around me faded, and I found myself on an island somewhere in a sunlit-summer. The viscount was there, too.
You’re never really marrying the man.
You’re marrying the library.
Be sure you visit some of the other stories in the blog hop!
Scary Monsters and Other Friends, by Lisa Stapp
Morning Has Broken, by Katharina Gerlach
Good Honest Work, by Chris Wight
Bad For Business, by Gina Fabio
The Last Friday, by Raven O’Fiernan
Lost And Found, by Angela Wooldridge
Bia Trevi’s Worldly Eats, by Barbara Lund
Hunting Bob, Vanessa Wells
Don’t Drink The Water, by Juneta Key
Duty, Elizabeth McCleary
The Monster Under The Bed, by Nic Steven
Field Trip to the UFO Museum, by Bill Bush