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    Love’s Promises – Prologue

                   Guy Tremblant sat facing his brother-in-law in the backseat of the French ambassador’s limousine. His gaze focused on the tarmac as he watched the movement of the various airport service vehicles. It wouldn’t be hard to escape on one. He had used this scenario in one of his movies. Just be patient, he told himself.


                   The French movie director had a gift for playing out a scene in his mind, knowing how everything would look before it was filmed. He could see every angle, knowing which would best show what needed to be seen and would hide the mechanics behind the action. This gift made him one of the top action genre directors in the business.


                   “Guy!” his brother-in-law Jean-Luc barked at him. Why Guy couldn’t accept the seriousness of the situation was inconceivable to him.


                   “Oui?” Guy asked as he tore his gaze away from the tarmac. His skin tingled from the anticipation of his escape, but he kept his voice dull, not wanting to give himself away. “You were saying?”


                   “I’ve called in every favour from the American government and our own. There will be no more privileges for you. Once you are on that plane, you will no longer be welcomed here. You are to stay in France and make a life with Marie. Do you understand?”


                   Guy stared at his wife’s brother. He was a smart man, as evidenced by his position as French ambassador to the United States. He was cultured and highly respected―a tribute to his French upbringing and family’s wealth. However, the poor man had no idea what it was like to have the flame of unfulfilled love burning in his heart. He had no idea of what it was like to love a beautiful woman, only to have her snatched away by another man, one who was so unworthy of her love. Guy couldn’t explain it to Jean Luc. He had tried once, but he was silenced quickly. No one cared for Guy’s reasoning including the police, the judge, or the court-appointed psychiatrist. They all thought that he was mad, a raving lunatic.


                   Guy smiled as he thought of Davina Stuart. She wanted him, but her husband, Quinn Thomas, stood in her way. She didn’t want to be married to him, Hollywood’s latest heartthrob. He couldn’t give her what Guy could give her, what he had promised her.


                   “Attempted murder is a serious charge, Guy,” Jean Luc said roughly, embarrassed that a member of his family could be charged with such a heinous crime.


                   “It was simple assault, brother, nothing more.” Guy sighed, bored with this never-ending recrimination. “He survived, didn’t he? There was no harm done.”


                   “You hit him over the head repeatedly with a steel pipe! You were trying to kill the man! All for what? His wife? What about Marie?”


                   Guy waved off Jean Luc’s questions casually. His marriage to Marie had been dead for years. It was a mutual understanding that they would stay married. Money and position always won out over divorce. “Marie understands.”


                   “Then you are one lucky man, Guy. I’ve known wives who would kill for less.”


                   “Talking about your own indiscretions now?” Guy knew he had his brother-in-law. Infidelity was one thing, but when it involved prostitutes and bondage? “Thank you for the ride, Jean Luc. I can walk to the plane from here.”


                   “I gave my word that I would escort you to the plane. That was the condition of you being released into the French government’s custody,” Jean Luc said coolly.


                   “The plane is right there,” Guy said as he nodded towards it. “Where else can I go?” Guy held out his hand to him. “Thank you, Jean Luc. I appreciate all that you have done. Don’t worry. I won’t cause you any further embarrassment.” Without waiting for a reply, Guy Tremblant exited the limousine and headed towards the private jet.


                   He timed it perfectly. As he approached the stairs to the jet, a baggage cart drove by, briefly blocking Jean Luc’s view. In a split second, Guy Tremblant was on the baggage cart heading towards the terminal.


                   Minutes later, as Jean Luc learned that his brother-in-law had not boarded the jet, Guy Tremblant walked through the airport’s service gates, heading back to New York City. This time, there would be no stopping him. Davina Stuart would be his.


                   Maggie Templeton sat in front of her stone fireplace, its heat almost burning her skin, yet she still shivered. She pulled her shawl around her shoulders, protecting herself from the cold, but there was no cold except for what she saw in her mind―the cold of darkness.


                   “No,” she cried out softly.


                   She hadn’t noticed her husband entering the room until he sat beside her and wrapped his arm around her waist.


                   “Another nightmare?” he asked. Concern filled his voice. His wife had been plagued by nightmares every night for the last week.


                   “No,” she answered as she pressed her fingers against her temples. “It’s happening, Charlie. The darkness is coming.”


                   “How do you know?”


                   She turned to look at him. “I can feel it. It’s so damned cold.”


                   Charlie wiped away her tears. “You still don’t know what it is?”


                   “No.” Maggie’s voice was soft as a whisper, as though voicing her vision would give the darkness power. “But it’s coming for Davi. It’s closer now, almost touching her.”


                   Charlie pulled his wife in tight and kissed the top of her head. “I know this is difficult for you, knowing that something terrible is going to happen to Davi, but you know it’s going to work out. Your medium friend told you so. Didn’t she say that a light will follow?”


                   “What if she’s wrong? Do you know how this is killing me knowing that the cards are showing something terrible happening to my best friend and the only way to help her is to say nothing to her? What do I say when she comes back from her honeymoon? Tell me what to do, Charlie.”


                   “Be there for her, love. That’s all you can do.”