In honor of today's fortune - and inspired by the results of my family's "Paperback Game" results yesterday - I've decided to turn My Daily Fortune into a romance novel for one day. Enjoy!
The fortune cookie yielded to Blaze Steele's muscular fingertips. He gently extracted the paper fortune from within the cookie and read the words aloud in his deep Australian voice: "There's a good chance of a romantic encounter soon."
Blaze's penetrating eyes penetrated deep into empty space as he pondered the words, but his thoughts were interrupted by the rumble of the 400-year-old door to his castle's study creaking open. He turned to see his aged butler, Worthington, enter the room.
"You have a visitor, sire," the butler whispered. "The Lady Genevieve Archipelago is here to see you."
"Lady Archipelago?" Blaze replied, standing from his antique desk. His shirtless six-foot-five frame towered over the elderly butler. "She is returned from The Viceroy's funeral?"
"Only just now, sire. The Lady is still wearing mourning colors for her departed husband."
"Tell The Lady I will see her shortly," Blaze ordered. As Worthington turned to leave, Steele looked down at the fortune in his gigantic hands and re-read the words. A romantic encounter. His eyes glistened.
"Oh, and Worthington," he called out to the butler. "Chill some champagne. This is going to be a good night."
The Lady Genevieve Archipelago dabbed her eyes with a silk handkerchief. She cried silently while waiting for Blaze Steele, who served as her late husband's trusted advisor for many years. Now, with The Viceroy dead, Blaze would succeed her husband and gain his title. The Lady had adored The Viceroy, and in this way she would always hate Blaze Steele for replacing him, but she knew he was the right man - the only man - for the job.
It was the sheaf of documents in her hand that had brought her to Steele Castle... and a strange request from her dying husband.
Blaze stepped through the side door of the massive Great Hall and held his breath when he saw the beautiful Lady Archipelago. A tight black dress hugged her curvaceous form, her beautiful black hair tied up carefully underneath a mourning veil. Blaze saw she was crying, the tears dripping from her green eyes past her luscious full lips and toward the soft tan skin of her heaving breasts. But despite the tears, the lady's face was impassive. He inhaled deeply and confidently walked toward the center of the room.
"Lady Archipelago," Blaze announced with a deep bow. "My sincerest sympathies for the tragic death of your husband, The Viceroy. He was the finest man I ever knew. My only regret is that I could not join you at The Viceroy's funeral, but as you know I was needed to attend to matters of state."
"Yes, I know, Lord Steele," The Lady replied.
"Please, Lady Archipelago, won't you please call me... Blaze?"
"Only if you will call me Genevieve." They both smiled. The Lady stood and slowly handed Steele the documents in her hand. Blaze read aloud from the papers.
"Last Will and Testament of Viceroy Winston Archipelago."
"Blaze," the widow said. "It should come as no surprise that my husband has named you as successor to his throne. Your coronation ceremony will be held immediately."
Steele dropped to his knees and gently kissed the hand of Lady Archipelago. "Genevieve, your husband was a wise leader, and hope I can live up to his legacy."
"Stand up, Blaze. For there is one more item of business to discuss. My husband left you something else in his will."
"Why, Genevieve, whatever could it be?"
At this, Lady Archipelago removed her veil and shook her long flowing hair loose from its tether.
"Me," she said, her voice not wavering.
"What do you mean?"
"Read the last page of my husband's will. You will find that he has asked us to become lovers. Every day I am to come to your castle and give myself to you, in every way imaginable. Lord Archipelago often said that by learning the art of love through me, he became a better leader. Now, it is my duty to guide you as the ruler of this noble country, and together we will find prosperity. Consider me... your daily fortune."
Blaze's loins were burning with desire for this woman, but he turned away. "I could never... it would be a betrayal of my late friend."
"It is my dead husband's last order," The Lady said, her voice as steely as Blaze's last name. "Do you choose now to disobey him... Viceroy Steele?"
Blaze turned and faced Genevieve, and he knew she was right. He realized it was his royal duty to love the woman. The sheaf of papers dropped from Blaze's strong hand and fluttered to the floor, along with the tiny fortune cookie message promising a romantic encounter. As the new Viceroy embraced his daily fortune, Lady Archipelago's dress also fell to the floor.