On the final day of our tour of Northern France, we had a sightseeing tour of Paris followed by a visit to Versailles to see the splendors of Louis XIV’s palace.
At a picture stop during the morning tour, I took pics of our Gate 1 driver, Sasha, and our tour director Anne with our day guide, Nicolas, who I think was an aristo in a past life. He had nothing good to say about the French Revolution or Francoise Holland, the current president of France. Anne and Sasha made our tour a true pleasure.
When we got to Versailles, we were given time for lunch, so Rebecca and I headed for a creperie/pizzeria. Rebecca ordered pizza and I had one last galette.
Because we were with a group we went through a separate entrance and skipped the ticket line. One of the perks of being on a tour. Inside, we went up a wide staircase an odd, modern Swarovski chandelier. It’s probably beautiful when lit and in a proper setting, like a modern hotel, but definitely seemed out of place in a 17th c. palace.
Swarovski Chandelier at Versailles
Our tour included the fabled Hall of Mirrors, which is beautiful. It also seemed crowded to me, but our guide, Nicolas, assured us that the palace wasn’t nearly as crowded as usual, tourism being down.
Hall Of Mirrors
The rest of the rooms blur in my mind, but I have visions of gilt and rich fabrics everywhere. Some of the fireplaces were very interesting. Free-standing and backed up against a wall with a small door cut into the wall, so servants could light the fires and replenish them without being seen by the aristocrats.
After touring the palace we went into the gardens, which are extensive, but we were tired, so we walked a short way and then sat on the steps to admire the view. Then we went back inside for liquid refreshment at the cafe.
Back at the Marriott, we had an early dinner, finished packing and went to bed for our Sunday morning flight to Prague.
And next week, I’ll start sharing our adventures in the beautiful Czech Republic.
Meet Carrie Pulkinen, author of today’s #EggcerptExchange, The Rest of Forever.
Genre: Paranormal Romance – Angels
Suspended between two worlds—belonging to neither—April must let go of her dreams and embrace her duties in the afterlife to win the man she loves.
April Carter is a high school history teacher who dreams of finding the perfect man to whisk her away from her small-town life. She wants it all—the husband, the house, the kids, the car. But her dreams of living the perfect life are shattered during a school shooting. Now she must learn to accept her fate if she’s ever going to find the life she loves.
Damian Perkins is April’s Guardian Angel, though no one would guess that based on his attitude. A tragic event in his past has left him bitter and resentful, and he won’t let anyone get close enough to care about him. He’s tried to make April hate him, but she sees through his abrasive exterior and awakens a part of his soul he thought had burned out long ago. Damian must let go of his past and accept his responsibilities or he’ll spend the rest of his existence alone and miserable.
Damian lay on the bed behind her with his arm across her body. God, I wish I could feel her. The memory of the way she fit in his arms tightened his chest, and he yearned to feel her warmth again. To feel her soft curves pressed against his body. She could’ve used some real affection. But as much as he wanted to give it to her, it wasn’t his place. He’d have to settle for comforting her from The In-Between.
She took a few deep breaths and slowly drifted to sleep. The tension in her body relaxed, and her pulse slowed to a steady, rhythmic beat. Rest was exactly what she needed to chase away the fear and guilt that must’ve been coiling inside her. To be betrayed by someone who was supposed to love her. He couldn’t imagine what she must’ve been feeling.
Well, yes he could…
He breathed in her intoxicating scent and closed his eyes. He was getting in too deep, and he needed to get away.
But as the last of the tension left her body, she exhaled and whispered, “Damian.”
Hearing his name dance from her lips made his heart lodge in his throat. Was she dreaming about him?
“I’m here, April. You’re safe.”
A soft moan vibrated from her chest, and she nestled her head into the pillow.
She couldn’t possibly be dreaming about him, could she? He’d tried so hard to make her hate him. What dream could possibly be twirling through her mind? She was sound asleep, and he knew it was safe to leave her alone.
But he stayed.
As much as he hated to admit it, he liked holding her, whether he could feel her body pressed to his or not. There was nowhere in the universe he’d rather be. And he desperately wanted to hear her whisper his name again.
Get it together, man. It’s not gonna happen.
The sun set, and soft moonlight filtered through the window, giving her skin an angelic glow. Even with her tear stained cheeks and disheveled hair, she was magnificent. The soft rise and fall of her chest, her gentle breath, her fragile posture. He could’ve held her forever.
But he needed to leave. To get away from her before his thoughts went any farther down the path he’d been avoiding all this time.
He pulled his arm from around her and prepared to Jump. She moaned and reached to the place where his arm had rested moments before.
“Please don’t leave me, Damian.”
He froze, his body paralyzed in anticipation, and swallowed down the lump in his throat. Did she sense him? Did she know he was there with her? No, it wasn’t possible. Charges felt comfort from their Guardians, but they never knew why.
Liquid warmth flowed from his core, out to his limbs. His heart raced at the sleepy sound of her voice. He imagined it was how she’d sound in the morning, after a long night of lovemaking.
But he could not think about her that way. There was no way in hell he’d ever fall for a Charge. Not if he could help it.
Carrie Pulkinen has always been fascinated with the paranormal. Of course, when you grow up next door to a cemetery, the dead (and the undead) are hard to ignore. Pair that with her passion for writing, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for an exciting storyteller.
Carrie spent the first part of her professional life as a high school journalism and yearbook teacher. She loves red wine and chocolate, and in her free time, she likes to read, take pictures, and spend time with her family.