August Writing Challenge: Doorways

Another challenge! This one's a writing challenge, set by Sonia G Medeiros.

"Imagine opening a door in your home, or any door you've opened hundreds or thousands of times, and behind that door is not what has always been there. Instead, it opens into somewhere else. Some other part of this world or another world entirely.

What would you see when you opened that door? And what would you do about it?"

I thought of Rosa from Out of the Water as soon as I read this (yes, I'm still editing). This scene (392 words) comes after she's married Baha. Barely two days into their wedding, they're forced to live apart, as he tries to reconcile with the father who disowned him and she attempts to reunite with her adoptive family. A romance set in Constantinople, 1492...

(Peri, which means fairy, is his nickname for her)

She took a deep breath, knocked, then pushed in the door, her hand shaking, though she could not tell if it was anticipation or apprehension.

There was a narrow atrium, dim and empty, and beyond that another doorway. Behind her, the front door swung shut, and all light was extinguished. She advanced a step, and a shadow filled the doorway. A tall shadow with broad shoulders.

Her heart tripped faster, and she knew it was anticipation.

"Peri?" A whisper in the dark.

She barrelled forward as he strode towards her and they crashed together in the centre of the atrium, his arms wrapping tightly about her shoulders. He did not stop, but circled around with her in his arms, nudging her through the archway with a leg between hers, repeating her name over and over, until her knees buckled against the side of a divan and he fell on top of her across the cushions.

"How did you come here?" He bent his head, lips eager along her temple. Daylight filtered through the latticed window above them.

"Arcturus brought me. I sent him a message." She sank into the cushions as he kissed the hollow of her throat. "Baha –"

He lifted his gaze to hers. There was a hunger in his expression she had not seen before, his dark eyes burning with need, the future in their depths. Her husband, Baha, in a city she had not imagined at all; yet off the ship and in their own rooms at last. It was real and she wanted it, but was she truly allowed to give in to that want, when her family – and perhaps Santiago – would gainsay it?

"You smell of jasmine, Peri." He brought his hands to her cheeks and pressed his mouth to hers. She forgot what she'd been about to say in the delight of once more losing herself to his kisses, as her body woke to the thrill of his firm touch.

His hands roamed up and down, tugging aside her collar and raising her skirts, and she matched his urgency, sliding her hands under his shirt and across the planes of his chest. He yanked the linen up over his head, then covered her once more, her face in his hands.

"Peri." A throaty rasp in her ear. "I can't be gentle with you, my wife."

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