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The Truth

© Jane Lark Publishing rights belong to Jane Lark,

this should not be recreated in any form without prior consent from Jane Lark

Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 67, 8, 9, 10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18 ,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33,34,35,36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46

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Emerald

Emerald’s hands were balled so tightly into fists her fingernails pressed into the skin of her palms as she glared at Richard. Hateful man! Liar!

His expression had shifted into that look that was all business and all powerful. Not to be challenged. Richard Farrow owner of the world. He was not her owner!

He was not powerful, he was cold and and empty and cruel!

“You said you loved me!” He did not love her. He did not even know what love was. “Love protects and it cares, it does not lie and hurt!” she concluded with a desperate cry.

She stared at his brown,unfathomable, eyes as he stood as stiff as stone. Did the Richard Farrow she had known in the privacy of his cabin even exist or was he a part of the lie.

“I am going now, Emerald,” he was speaking in his curt business voice. “We will talk when you are calmer.”

He was domineering and arrogant, scolding her as though she was a child. How could she have loved him? “I do not want to speak to you. I shall not. And I shall not dine with you. I do not even want to see you!” How could she have loved him?

 

He turned to the door. “As you wish.” Then he opened it and walked out with that blank look of his, tall and stiff as a board, as though anything could be thrown at him and it would not be able to touch him.

“Miss Martin will have her dinner served in her cabin, Mr Bishop!” She heard Richard shout across the deck.

A realisation whipped hard at her. That was it. It was over. Whatever had been between her and Richard Farrow was done with.

She sat on the edge of the bunk that had been her mother’s as Rita watched her, and then the anger turned to tears. She had loved him. She did love him. But he had lied and betrayed her. She had been caught up in his whirlwind and now she had been dropped down. She did not cry because she had lost him, though, she cried because she had lost her mother and she longed to be at home with her father.

It was probably an hour later that Mr Bishop knocked, when she opened the door he held out a tray with her dinner on it. “I am not hungry but Rita will be grateful for it. Thank you,” she said as she took the tray. Then she shut the door on Mr Bishop’s guilty expression.

“Miss Martin?” Dr Steel knocked soon after that. “Mr Bishop expressed some concern…”

“I do not wish to speak to you, Dr Steel,” she responded defiantly but Rita still rose and opened the door for him. When he stepped in Emerald did not get up from the bed but only looked up. “Please leave me alone?”

“Miss Martin,” he began “do try to understand. I know why you are upset, but there was no intent to distress you. Shall I fetch you some laudanum, it–”

“I am grieving, Dr Steel, not ill, is grief not natural. I do not need to be drugged into silence.”

“That is not what I meant, I–”

“Leave,” Emerald stated impatiently, pointing at the door. “I do not want your help, you have given me enough of it, thank you.”

Her evening was spent with Rita, in an unbearable quiet, as next door the men talked. She trusted none of them. They had all played their part in Richard’s farce. While Rita ate, Emerald lay on the bunk listening to the men talk in deep tones. Richard laughed thrice, but it was only Richard laughing, the sound taunting her through the wall. He knew she could hear which meant he did not care.

When the men had retired the sounds in the dark cabin were the creaks of the wooden boards and ropes of the ship as it rocked back and forth and to and fro. Her eyes looked through the darkness to the door into the day cabin. Had Richard been arrogant enough to go in there and await her? Or was he in his bunk, naked under the sheet and fast asleep uncaring whether she was there or not.

He did not know how to love, but he had known how to love her body and how to make her body love him. Her body ached to the depth of her bones for him. But his mistress was probably still aching for him in Calcutta too. That was a part of the lies he had told. He was not real, nothing about him had been real. You do not hurt someone you love! You do not lie to them!

She did not think she would ever forget their short affair. She would never be free of Richard in her mind. But she would be physically free of him – because if she did not break this tie to him now his sort of love and desire to conquer would destroy her entirely.

It was when dawn broke that she finally fell asleep, while she remembered the nights of her illness, when Richard had held her hand as her mother lay close, still alive. Now she knew that he had sat beside her knowing her mother was dying and he had not spoken of it.

 

Richard

When the sun rose Richard had hardly slept. He’d spent the hours of the night staring at his  internal cabin door waiting for it to open – praying it would open and his siren would slip through it. The ethereal creature he would never be able to capture in his hand.

You will never have her now. His mind had continually whispered. But he refused to heed it. She had come to him before, she would come back, she could not hold out against him. The feelings they had shared could not be denied. And besides, how the hell could she be hurt by his relationship with June? What he’d had with June had been more like a business agreement a matter of the head, and other places. But what he had shared with Emerald has touched his soul not only his heart. But the girl shifted like sand under his feet. He never knew where he was with her. Perhaps that was the draw – she spoke of adventure but she was an adventure.

“An adventure that is over.” He said the words to the man who shaved his chin as he looked at himself in the mirror. No, she would break.

She did not join them at the table for breakfast. Mark said she was still asleep. But later Richard saw her walking on the deck beside Mark as he stood on the poop deck. She did not look up to see if he was there, she looked at Mark, her fingers clinging on to the cloth of his coat sleeve. Emerald was a coldly determined beast when she wished to be. Richard, however, was not inclined to ignore her. He gripped the rail and watched her as she walked back and forth.

As soon as Miss Martin’s exhibition in stubbornness was over Richard invited Mark into the day cabin and told him that for the rest of the journey he could eat with the men below deck. “As Miss Martin is no longer joining us at table.” Joseph’s eyebrows lifted when he heard about what had been said but Joseph may be the Captain, yet Richard owned the damned ship. He may not be able to control Emerald but he could control all else.

He set about stamping his authority on them all then. Ordering Joseph to tasks, just to remind the man who was really in charge here. And yes it was with a vindictive desire to make Joseph and Mark pay for the loss they’d forced upon him. It was their fault that Emerald had turned her back on him.

For God sake she could be carrying his child. The bloody woman. He doubted even if she had fallen with child that the scandal would persuade Emerald Martin into anything she did not wish.

On the second day  of her cuts his seething turned its direction on to the crew. Any man who looked at him for a moment too long was threatened with a flogging. He was also tempted to stop Mark from the duty of looking after her and setting Philip to the task. But Richard did not go that far that would have been punishing Emerald and even in his anger he knew this was not her fault.

He should have waited and not let her into his bed. He should have spoken of his feelings and not acted upon them. He should have persuaded her mother to tell her. He should. He should. He should! The words rattled through his head at night, a hundred things he should have done differently and often he physically itched to go to her, to knock on her cabin door and persuade her to forgive him. He often imagined how he would do it. How he would kiss her and feel her succumb to his pleas for forgiveness, whispering the words against her throat. He did not go, but he often woke in the night, sweating and wrapped in his sheets, with the image of  Emerald’s naked body instilled in his mind’s eye.

The days passed and she held out against him. Ignoring his existence. He watched her less, cutting her as she was slashing at him.

Occasionally as she walked with Mark she would laugh in a carefree way, as if she wanted to draw Richard’s attention. It was forced of course as his humour was when he sat at the dining table amongst his judgmental sour faced senior crew. She did not want to draw his attention, she was only doing it, as he was, to pretend that all was well.

The foolish thing was, had his men not interfered, all would have been well. She had promised to marry him. But now he had taken her innocence and that was all.

When he did watch her with Mark he could not believe but days ago she had been naked beneath him. It had become a thing of dreams and not fact . And each day they drew closer to England where he would have to let her go.

To be continued…

The Marlow Intrigues: Perfect for lovers of period drama, like Victoria and Poldark.

theauthoressfinalv2

The Lost Love of Soldier ~ The Prequel #1 ~ A Christmas Elopement began it all 

The Illicit Love of a Courtesan #2 

The Passionate Love of a Rake #3

The Scandalous Love of a Duke #4

The Dangerous Love of a Rogue #5

The Jealous Love of a Scoundrel #5.5

The Persuasive Love of a Libertine #5.75  now included in Jealous Love, (or free if you can persuade Amazon to price match with Kobo ebooks) 😉

The Secret Love of a Gentleman #6 

The Reckless Love of an Heir #7

Coming soon, the last part in the story, The Tainted Love of a Captain

Jane’s books can be ordered from most booksellers in paperback and, yes, there are more to come  :-) 

106848-FC50

Go to the index

For

  • the story of the real courtesan who inspired  The Illicit Love of a Courtesan,
  • another free short story, about characters from book #2, A Lord’s Scandalous Love,
  • the prequel excerpts for book #3  The Scandalous Love of a Duke

Jane Lark is a writer of authentic, passionate and emotional Historical and New Adult Romance stories, and the author of a No.1 bestselling Historical Romance novel in America, ‘The Illicit Love of a Courtesan’.Click here to find out more about Jane’s books, and see Jane’s website www.janelark.co.uk to learn more about Jane. Or click  ‘like’ on Jane’s Facebook  page to see photo’s and learn historical facts from the Georgian, Regency and Victorian eras, which Jane publishes there. You can also follow Jane on twitter at @janelark

 

 


The Truth

© Jane Lark Publishing rights belong to Jane Lark,

this should not be recreated in any form without prior consent from Jane Lark

Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 67, 8, 9, 10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18 ,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33,34,35,36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45

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Richard

Richard drew in a breath to stop himself from yelling his frustration into the air, then he picked up his cup of coffee and drank from it. He needed to hold back his temper.

He was not angry with Emerald, though. He was angry with Mark and Joseph, and most of all with himself. Yet he could not allow her thoughts stew on what Maria had been to him . He needed to make her understand. He drained the cup. Set it down. Then left the cabin.

It was a resigned air that took him outside as he held his emotions in check, the muscles in his shoulders and his jaw  were stiff as he cast his eyes about the deck, glaring at any man who looked at him while he walked. They had seen Emerald run from the day cabin, pursued by her maid and now him following.

He stood straight, in a formal way, as he knocked on Emerald’s cabin door. There was no response. He leant to the wood and commanded in a quiet, low pitch. “Open up, Rita.”

“Go away!” Emerald shouted, her voice coming from a distance away from the door.

He tried the handle but the door had been locked.

“Go away! I do not want to speak to you!”

He cursed on a whisper, then knocked harder, aware that his crew now also knew she was refusing to open the door to him. “Open the door, Miss Martin.” His voice had become louder. He was not going to let her cut him.

“Go away!” Her shouts had risen to a scream.

“Miss Martin…” he warned, in a voice she ought know was a threat.

“I said go away! I do not want to even see you!”

His patience disappeared like the dry dust of Calcutta blown on a wind as the ship behind him fell silent. Miss Martin, open this damned door, or I’ll kick the bloody thing in. I am not going away!”

Almost instantly he heard the lock shift and felt the handle turn within his grip. His voiced threat had worked. She opened the door slightly, only  just enough to look about it with one eye.

He pushed it open fully, forcing her to step back, and stepped in.

“I am not playing this foolish bloody game” he whispered in a harsh tone as he shut the door behind him. There were tears in her blue eyes making the colour appear crystal like. “My relationship with June can be no insult to you. There was nothing between you and me until we stepped onto this ship and all men have mistresses.”

“Not my father,” she answered, her chin tipping up.“Not all men.”

“Not all men, admittedly,” he growled, “but enough. What would you rather?”

“I would rather nothing,” she bit back at him, in hurt anger – but she had no cause to be hurt. “I would rather nothing at all.”

She would have turned away from him, but he caught hold of her wrist. “Emerald. Stop this. June and me… It is  over. You are who I want. I will not take another mistress if that is what you fear. I have told June it’s over and asked my accountant to have her leave the house. I did not know you before we boarded this ship. How was I to have known there would be this between us. There is no comparison for my feelings for you.”

“That makes no difference?”

“Does it not? Why? She is nothing to do with us.” He did not understand.

Her arm pulled against his grip. He let her go. She was trembling…

“When did you last share a bed with her?” Her gaze dropped from his eyes to his cravat pin.

“Why?” What  difference did that make?

Her gaze snapped up to his eyes again. “I want to know.”

“It is of no matter.”

“It matters to me,” her answer rang with vehemence.

“Then guess,” he shot back, irritated by her need for details that were unimportant.

“The day before you boarded,” she answered, her gaze holding his.

He look hard at her. He was not prepared to argue with her about this, it was irrelevant.

“You got out of her bed and came aboard and now I am in your bed on the ship. It matters!” she yelled her last words.

His gaze caught on Rita. The maid stood behind Emerald trying to blend into the wooden boarding of the ship.

“You wrote to her from Gibraltar!” The words were an accusation. Though he still did not understand what he was being accused of. She was implying he had leapt out of June’s bed and into hers. There had been weeks in between. And she had come to him! Begged him! He had neither planned nor intended it. Still it was hardly gentlemanly to declare that in front of her maid.

“Emerald.” His hand lifted as his pitch became a command. He needed to regain control. “This is folly. It is nothing for us to argue over.”

“The woman who shared a bed with you for three years, is nothing? I am to forget you have only just left her, without remorse, and proposed to me, and trust my life to you? Her pitch peeked, in a shrill yell at the end.

“For God sake, Emerald.”

“I am sure God does not care to know about your mistress or your profligacy.”

He caught hold of her arm again, because he could not seem to control her words or her thoughts. “Stop being ridiculous.”

“Ridiculous?”

“Naïve then. Calm yourself.” She pulled her arm free, her expression saying she was about to launch at him verbally again. But his patience was at an end. He lifted his hands palm outward. “Stop this. For heaven’s sake. The past is in the past. Your mother did not care. She did not judge me for it. She would have known of June and it did not deter her from asking me to care for you following her death, there is nothing wrong with–”

Her palm struck his cheek with a hard sharp stinging slap.

He caught hold of her wrist before she could hit him again as she would have done.

“Emerald. You mother asked me to look after you.”

She yanked her hand free and did strike him again. The cracking sound of the slap rang about the cabin as the pain burned his skin.

“You knew! You knew!” Her scream was no longer anger, it had the high note of shock and horror again.

Devil take it, why had he been foolish enough to say that, she was still not speaking to Duncan. Richard closed his eyes for a moment, pleading for patience. When he opened them she was glaring her accusation at him, anger flaring in her eyes once more as the truth clearly sank in. His damned virago. Was he mad offering to take such a woman on as a wife? No he was not mad – he was insane for her. She would, however, make a formidable business partner and he could easily picture the pleasure of experiencing her anger in a bed.

“You lied to me!” she screamed for the benefit of the whole ship

He did not deny it. There was no point. He had.

“Liar. You knew about my mother and you had a mistress. You did not tell me either thing! I shall not believe a word you say ever again!”

“Emerald.”

“You are a liar!” She declared again. When she struck him this time it was with a closed hand and it was not against his cheek but his temple.Then her other hand began raining punches at him too.

He grasped hold both of her hands. “Emerald!” her name was a bark of anger to make the girl listen. “Your mother told me, yes. She asked to see me when she spoke to Duncan. She wanted to know if she did not reach England that I would take you to your family, that I would take care of you.”

“Oh, you have been taking care of me, have you not?” she answered caustically.

“You came to me,” he whispered harshly, despite her maid, gentlemanly discipline dispatched. “Remember that.”

“Did I? I did not do so in the beginning, I went into the day cabin to be alone.” She pulled her arm free from one of his hands  and swept it at the door that went into the day cabin. “If you had been a stranger to me and your mother was dying I would have told you. Because I would have known you would want a chance to say goodbye. I would have imagined how I would have felt and told you regardless of her wishes.”

“I made her a promise not to speak of it to you. A promise she begged me to make.”

“You were willing enough to lie to me! Surely you could just as easily have broken a promise to her. I shall never marry you!” The expression in her words snarled the denial at him. “I shan’t. I do not want to be a woman left at home and made a mockery of when you are bored and play your games with someone else.”

This was feminine dramatics. June had loved to rage at him when she was in a temper. He had thought Emerald too intelligent for this behaviour. It seemed that intelligence did not smite a  feminine storm. His thoughts tore through his options. She was in no mood to listen to him. It would be better to wait until this temper blew itself out. Then he would speak to her. Once she was calm and in a mood to listen.

“What if it had been your mother?” she thrust at him.

What then? What then indeed? Emerald would have no understanding of that.

To be continued…

Thank you so much to everyone who read the post and went back to the top to score it last week, that was lovely to see. Best wishes, Jane xx

The Marlow Intrigues: Perfect for lovers of period drama, like Victoria and Poldark.

theauthoressfinalv2

The Lost Love of Soldier ~ The Prequel #1 ~ A Christmas Elopement began it all 

The Illicit Love of a Courtesan #2 

The Passionate Love of a Rake #3

The Scandalous Love of a Duke #4

The Dangerous Love of a Rogue #5

The Jealous Love of a Scoundrel #5.5

The Persuasive Love of a Libertine #5.75  now included in Jealous Love, (or free if you can persuade Amazon to price match with Kobo ebooks) 😉

The Secret Love of a Gentleman #6 

The Reckless Love of an Heir #7

Coming soon, the last part in the story, The Tainted Love of a Captain

Jane’s books can be ordered from most booksellers in paperback and, yes, there are more to come  :-) 

106848-FC50

Go to the index

For

  • the story of the real courtesan who inspired  The Illicit Love of a Courtesan,
  • another free short story, about characters from book #2, A Lord’s Scandalous Love,
  • the prequel excerpts for book #3  The Scandalous Love of a Duke

Jane Lark is a writer of authentic, passionate and emotional Historical and New Adult Romance stories, and the author of a No.1 bestselling Historical Romance novel in America, ‘The Illicit Love of a Courtesan’.Click here to find out more about Jane’s books, and see Jane’s website www.janelark.co.uk to learn more about Jane. Or click  ‘like’ on Jane’s Facebook  page to see photo’s and learn historical facts from the Georgian, Regency and Victorian eras, which Jane publishes there. You can also follow Jane on twitter at @janelark

 

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