Authors: Marci Fawn
© 2016 by Marci Fawn
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission from the author, except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
arci Fawn is
a 20-something author who adores bad boys. You can keep up with her on her Facebook page.
, I think as I grip my graduation certificate tightly between my fingers, finally feeling the gravity of having completed my degree.
It’s done, my education is finally over.
I smile to myself for a few moments, happy in the knowledge that I’ve managed to achieve all that I set out to, before another horrifying thought strikes.
I’ve never really made a solid plan when it comes to what I want to do with my qualification in Ancient and Medieval History, and it’s only just hit me that the time to decide is now upon me.
I kept thinking that I would have plenty of time to decide, so I continually put it off, wanting to focus on each task as it came, but not anymore. Now the time is here, and I’m still no better organized.
I don’t want to have to go home to my parents – that’s going to have to be a real last resort plan.
Everyone that I’ve been at college with has already got something sorted – a work placement, a new home, travels…
Could I go travelling?
As soon as the thought hits me, it feels perfect.
I’ve always wanted to see the rest of the world, and there are so many places with such an amazing history that I’ve always wanted to see – Europe primarily – and I might never get another chance to do so. As soon as I get a career and a family, I’ll be stuck in one place permanently, so if I don’t go exploring now I’ll regret it forever.
I feel an intense excitement at the prospect of getting away from the small hometown in Philadelphia that I’ve spent my entire life living in. It feels good to have a plan to get me away from there, and I’m lucky to have enough of my inheritance money left to get away.
I don’t have much of a relationship with my parents because they are career types who have never had the time for me and didn’t really want me, but that didn’t matter because until recently I had my grandparents to give me the love I’ve always craved.
I practically grew up in their home, and it was them that I turned to whenever I faced any kind of issues in my life. I never felt like I was missing out on anything because I had them.
But six months ago, my grandmother passed away from an incurable long term illness, and my grandfather seemed to just give up. It was awful to lose them both in such a short time, it tore me apart, and I haven’t been able to bring myself to even think about spending their inheritance money until now, but this feels right.
I’m sure that this is what they would have wanted. They were always telling me that the world was much bigger than what lay at my feet, and I know that this plan would have been exactly what they wanted for me.
It feels right. It feels like this is meant to be.
I scoot past the crowds and return to my student accommodation to get myself organized. Once there, I glance around at all of my packed bags and I realize that it no longer matters how much I’m going to miss this place and the sanctuary that it’s provided me for the last few years. I have a new adventure planned, and I can’t wait to get started…
* * *
y heart races
with excitement as I stand in the airport, waiting to leave my old life behind. I don’t feel nostalgic or even sad, I’m just happy to see what the world has to offer me. As I booked my trip, I started to feel an anticipation coursing through my veins, and it’s still there now, spurring me on, leading me towards my destination.
I chose England as my first stop off as it’s filled with history that grips my attention – the battles, the royalty, the inventions… it’s all just so exciting.
As I was studying for my course, I found myself fascinated with all of the wonderful castles and the history that came alongside it, and I can’t wait to see it all in person. After pouring over the pictures for such a long time, it’ll be like seeing a celebrity or something.
I have a bag filled with historical travel guides to get me going, and I cannot wait for it. I’m heading straight to Cornwall first to see Tintagel Castle – the home of King Arthur – and I’m so unbelievably excited.
After I go there, I’ll travel up the rest of the country until I’m ready to move on to my next destination. It doesn’t matter where I go or how my journey pans out, it’s all about whatever I feel like doing at the time. I’m free to do exactly as I chose, which is a wonderful feeling.
It’s going to be amazing, I just know it!
However, there is the long old plane ride to suffer first. Over ten hours up in the air with only the small TV screen for company. I’m going to have to try and sleep through most of it so I don’t end up going insane.
As soon as my feet hit English soil, I feel a weight lifting from my shoulders. Sure, the atmosphere might be colder and a little greyer than what I’m used to, but it feels right.
This place already has a homely feel to it, and I can’t wait to get to know it a little better. Unfortunately, I do have a bus ride ahead of me to get all the way from the airport to Cornwall, but that’s okay because it’ll give me the chance to see the English countryside.
I think the bus even passes by Stonehenge, so I’ll be fine…
I quickly check in at my – slightly tacky – King Arthur themed hotel and I step outside back into the fresh air before I can even fully unpack my belongings.
I may have jetlag, and look a little trampy, but I’m not tired enough to sleep. I’m just ready to get this adventure started and there’s nothing that’s going to keep me inside on such a beautiful day.
So I walk through the quaint Cornish town of Tintagel, admiring all of the sweet little shops selling random history related items, and cute cafes that I may choose to eat in later.
It’s lunchtime now, but my body clock is all messed up and I don’t feel hungry at all. All I want to do is get out and explore. I’ll worry about feeding myself later.
The first thing that I notice is the hundreds of steps leading up to the castle, which I hadn't expected.
I’m all for fresh air and a bit of exercise, but… I won’t be put off now. Not when I’ve made it this far.
I huff and puff up the steps, cursing everyone and everything along the way, but when I get to the top it’s all worth it. I feel like I’m on top of the world, surrounded by the most beautiful scenery that I’ve ever seen.
This castle is amazing – and it must have been even better in its heyday. As my eyes scan over the ocean that stretches in front of me, I find myself imagining that the castle isn’t in ruins, but is still fully built, and that it’s my home.
In my mini fantasy, I’m a princess, which is silly for a twenty one year old woman, but I can’t help it. That would just be a dream come true.
“It’s beautiful up here, isn’t it?” A very posh, English voice rings out next to me.
I jump, because I was under the impression that I was alone, but when my eyes find the gorgeous man in front of me, I feel my steely resolve melt.
This man is much taller than I am, muscular and with dark hair and piercing green eyes.
He smiles at me, revealing the most amazing dimples that I’ve ever seen. He’s so handsome that I feel my face heating up with the embarrassment that comes from just standing next to him.
I’m a plain Jane as it is, but with my scruffy travelling clothes and my hair scraped back, I look even worse! It isn’t fair. If I’d known that I would be encountering anyone like this, I definitely would have made an effort.
“I… err, yes,” I stammer, wishing desperately that I could think of something much cooler to say. “It’s lovely.”
“This castle is just amazing isn’t it? It’s one of my favorites across the whole country.”
“Really?” I jump back, getting ahead of myself in my excitement.
“Me too, when I booked my trip I knew this was the first place that I wanted to come. I just love everything about King Arthur and the history of Tintagel.”
“Did you know,” he leans in closer as if he sharing a secret with me, and I can’t stop my body from reacting wildly to him.
There’s just something about this man – something that has me gripped.
“That legend has it when invaders come to Britain once more, King Arthur will rise again to defeat them.”
“I think the queen might have something to say about that,” I laugh loudly, but he doesn’t join in.
Instead a weird expression crosses his face, one that suggests he doesn’t want to talk about the English royal family. I should probably not make jokes about them – I’ve heard that some fanatics really don’t like them being insulted even though there are mostly just figureheads these days.
“Faith Harper,” I hear myself saying, desperately trying to change the subject.
“My name I mean.”
“Edward Leighton,” he grins back, making me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
Something about that name resonates with me, but I’m currently too consumed by him to focus too much on that.
“Have you finished looking at the castle? Did you want to pop down into the museum? They play a wonderful documentary film in there that I have a feeling you’ll love.”
“That sounds great,” I hear myself replying, even though I could stay where we are and look at the castle all day if I weren’t so desperate to spend some more time with this mysterious – and very gorgeous – Edward.
As I follow him down the steps, my heart is racing. I never expected to make any friends on this trip – that isn’t what it’s about – but the first person that I properly get to speak to makes my entire body flutter like crazy. This is a complete deviation from my plan. Of course, that’s fine because my plan has never been set in stone, but for it to all alter so quickly is crazy.
But all of my feelings spin to the back of my mind as Edward takes me through the museum exhibits, explaining things to me in a way that I hadn't even considered. He tells me endless facts that are interesting to me – I cannot believe that I’ve found a bigger history buff than myself, I love it. It makes me close to him in a way that I never have to anyone before.
Even the people that were studying the same course as me at college didn’t seem to have the same level of devotion as me. I always thought that I was alone.
The hours manage to spin past us quickly as we drink everything in, so fast that neither of us notices. We spend so much time chatting and discussing everything in sight, that by the time we actually realize that the rest of the world is still somehow spinning around us, the lights are being switched off and the museum is closing.
Somehow, we missed closing time, and somehow, the staff managed to miss us.
“What the hell?” I ask Edward, starting to worry a little bit.
“What’s going on?”
He glances down at his watch before commenting.
“Somehow we’ve managed to be overlooked as they locked up. They must have assumed that we left ages ago.”
“What are we going to do?” I ask as panic starts to consume me.
I think of my nice comfy hotel room waiting for me, and consider the implications of having to spend an entire night in this place. With this man.
I can’t do it! I’ll end up losing my mind over him! This day has been easy because we’ve had so much to talk about, but I don’t think that I’ll be able to survive the whole night.
“How are we going to get out?”
“Well,” he says, glancing around the place.
“I don’t think that we can move too much without setting off the alarms, so we’re going to have to stay sitting here.”
We are still in the cinema bit despite the fact that the film finished ages ago, because we were chatting, so at least we’re comfortable, if not a little inconvenienced.
“Don’t worry,” he sends me that heart wrenching smile once more, the one that leaves my body feeling like jelly.
“I have someone that I can call.”
“Will they come out on a whim like that?” I ask, panicking.
I can’t imagine anyone doing that for me.
“He’ll come,” Edward reassures me.
“You don’t have to worry about that.”
I stare at him, waiting for an explanation, but it doesn’t seem like it’s coming so I guess I’m just going to have to trust him.