Lest We Forget

In Byronic fashion, he swept the lank sable hair upward from his domed forehead with pale and slender fingers.

"Lest we forget, sweetheart," he whispered, "this orchid is a remembrance of the exotic romance we share." He placed the purple bloom on the marble-topped vanity. The fragile amethyst-edged petals fluttered in the balmy afternoon breeze.

Nervously pacing the elegant bedchamber, furnished in wedgewood and gold, he reached into the pocket of his brocade jacket and removed a thin parchment. Rolled tightly into a tube, it was secured with a crimson velvet ribbon, once stolen from her unruly saffron curls and cherished as a token of devotion and fidelity.

"Lest we forget, beloved," he sighed, "this verse, torturously wrenched from my agonized soul, is a memento of the desire and intensity of our obsession."

He placed the cylinder next to the orchid, clenching his fist. The urge to crush all life from the delicate blossom was overwhelming. Instead, he lifted from the bureau a small ebony box, intricately carved with earnest cupids and arrowed-hearts. He released the lock with a tiny brass key and, using infinite care, tenderly filled the two hollows of its ivory satin-lined interior. The perfectly-matched twin spheres, brilliant as polished green beryl in their detached beauty, regarded him solemnly from their finalresting place.

"These, my love," he murmured, "I carry with me always so we maygaze, as fancy strikes, with all-consuming passion into each other's eyes...lest we forget."

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