Excerpt from Till the Stars Fall

   
     From the corner of his eye, he saw Danny carelessly embracing a delicately built girl with titian-colored hair spilling over her shoulders and down her back.
     She turned and Quinn stepped forward to put out his hand.
     Except he couldn't move. For one glowing moment all laws of the physical universe ceased. Gravity, respiration, centripetal force, cellular division, were all suspended. Every being on earth paused, breathless, weightless, motionless, as Quinn Hunter looked down into a pair of honey-colored eyes.
     And then, as if the cosmos needed to make up for that lost moment, everything started to spin, whirling at a fantasy speed.
     This is it. She's the one.
     They were on a carousel, riding dancing tigers, panels of lighted mirrors glittering with thousands of sparkling white lights, organ music lifting and swirling as the world spun by.
     No. It's just that she's his sister, and you're so close to him. You're making too much of this.
     She had high cheekbones and a narrow chin, her lips were soft and blossoming. Her coloring was warm—honey, sunshine, and ivory, peach rosebuds, and pale opals. Her skirt was long, swirling in a dark design of paisley and vines. She wore a full-sleeved, cream-colored blouse gathered in beneath a laced vest.
     You're not making too much of this. You will love her until the stars fall.
     She looked like a figure in a hand-tinted woodcut illustrating a medieval manuscript. Her hair should have been bound in gold cord, her arms full of lilies and myrtle, and he should have been her vassal, her knight.
     Danny had his arm around her shoulders, a gesture less affectionate or protective than presenting. Here she is, my sister.
     Quinn did not know much anthropology, but surely somewhere there was a culture where this happened. You met another young man. You liked him, he liked you, you worked well together, so he gave you his sister. Quinn wished he knew where the society was. They were at the airport. They could get on a plane and go there.
     Every instinct urged him to abandon all rules of courtship and open his heart to her, speaking to her as he had never spoken before. I felt this. I know you did too. Let's not pretend that we didn't.
     But Quinn was a WASP. Rules—all rules—were too entrenched in him for violation. He shook her hand and asked her if she had had a good flight.
 
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