Initially she thought it was a joke, and ignored the letter, convinced it had been sent by one of her daft friends. After all, was it likely that a girl would be left a mansion and an estate of five hundred acres, by an eccentric millionaire who met her once in the coffee shop where she served him black coffee and doughnuts? That was what the letter said, but she certainly didn't remember the old man.
Evie tossed the letter and the photograph in the bin, and got on with her life. At work, she smiled at the customers as she took their orders, but the smile evaporated when she was alone. Alone, she felt sad. She wanted a man to love her, and she wanted a baby. Perhaps the former she might get, but not the latter. Chemotherapy rendered her sterile at fourteen. It was cruel for she so loved children and babies.
So, she forget about the letter, until the call came from the solicitor. The letter was genuine, and the mansion and the land could be hers. But, there was a condition. Evie could only have it if she married the deceased man's son. He resided in the mansion and was a recluse. She thought about it for half an hour, and then she packed a bag.
The mansion stood in the middle of nowhere. The track leading up to it must have been over a mile long. The taxi dropped her off, and Evie found herself knocking upon the door of the ancient building. When no one answered, she tried the door. It was locked. No matter, she would go for a walk in the grounds. It was a lovely summer's day. In fact, it was the day before midsummer. Evie left her suitcase on the doorstep and headed along the long, straight track which took her up a hillside, dotted with thousands of wild flowers. She felt excited; after all, she was walking on her own beautiful land. At least it would be her land if she married the recluse.
The sun beat down on her blonde hair and perspiration trickled down her neck. She wore only shorts and a tee shirt, and yet she was baking. How she would love to take off all her clothes and run naked amongst the flowers. She glanced around. Why the hell shouldn't she? She only had sheep for company. Grinning, she took off her tee shirt and shorts, and then her bra and briefs. She held her arms up to the warmth of the sun and sighed. It was bliss, and she felt so happy.
Singing to herself, she continued walking up the hill until she got to a fairly level field. She stopped dead in her tracks when she saw the large stone circle in the field. She had never seen one so spectacular.
"My God, does this circle have a name?" she gasped. She didn't expect an answer, but she got one.
"The Fecund Maidens."
She spun around and came face to face with the most handsome man she had ever set eyes upon. He was tall, dark, barefoot, and wore only jeans.
"Oh dear, this is most embarrassing."
"Why, because you're naked?"
"Yes," she said, trying to cover her most intimate areas.
"You don't have enough hands. Give up," he said, smiling.
She groaned, and put her hands at her sides. "I'm Evie. Perhaps I should explain what I'm doing here."
"You've come to claim your inheritance, but in order to get it you have to marry me."
"You're the recluse!"
"I live here alone, so, I suppose I am."
"All alone in that big mansion?"
"Yes, it's best that way. You see, I'm a sorcerer, as was my late father. Sorcerers cast spells, and it's best if not too many people see us do that."
She gulped. "So, why am I here?"
"My father saw goodness in you. He saw a kind heart, but a troubled soul. He also saw a barren womb."
"Oh, my God, he knew?"
"He decided you were the woman for me. He even fashioned your image for me to see, and it was a naked image. That image didn't do you justice. You are more beautiful in the flesh. So, do you want to marry me?"
She liked his smile, but her eyes didn't remain on his face. They moved down his body as he removed his jeans. His shaft was as magnificent as his face.
"Do you want me? I can't give you children."
"Yes, you can."
"No, I can't." Her breath caught in her throat as he approached her. Suddenly, she melted into his arms. "I don't even know your name."
"I am Stearne."
"That is an unusual name."
"I am an unusual person."
"You truly must be a sorcerer. You have cast a spell on me. I think I already love you."
"Evie, I want you to walk around those twelve stones. When you get to the last one, lie down on it. Day will become night. The stars will dance for you, and I shall caress you. You will close your eyes. When I tell you to open them it will be dawn. The sun will rise over the stone circle and shine down upon you."
"I will do it." She ran around the stones, feeling like some sort of nymph. When she lay down, Stearne lay beside her. The day vanished, the night came, and he kissed every inch of her body.
"Open your eyes, Evie."
She did. She saw his handsome face and the golden halo of the sun around his dark head. Then she felt his shaft sink deeply inside her, and she groaned with the ecstasy of it.
"Yes, I will."
"You will give birth in nine months."
She smiled. She knew it was the truth. Stearne had cast his wonderful spell, and she was his.
About the author: I am a writer from the UK and I live in the lovely Cotswold Hills. I am married with four grown up children and last year we became grandparents. It has always been my passion to write and I write in various genres - from historical romance to fantasy and the paranormal. My first novel, Like Lazarus, was published with Midnight Showcase Fiction and others have followed, including the sequel, Loving Lazarus. Find out more about me on my website - www.ellenmargret.co.uk