She forbade herself even to think the words. But the idea itself, wordless, bubbled forth from her heart and could not be contained. Try as she did, she couldn’t suppress a sudden thought of the thick solidness of his body—tall, strong, and a little stout but sturdy—and his impish, placid expression and pointed eyebrows that suddenly made her think of a cat smiling at you with its eyes closed. She saw them with new eyes and clenched her fists at her sides.
Feeling as if her very blood had been replaced by a substance both unfamiliar and intoxicating, she went to her room to collect her sword, ready to meet him at the battlefield of her heart.
Excerpt from my novel The Second Mango. Artwork by Erika Hammerschmidt of a scene not from the book itself.