A Lord’s Desperate Love
A Historical Romance Story
“Is there someone else? Is that it? Have you moved on from me, Vi? You didn’t have to flee London and hide here under a false name, in blacks, to do that. You have been doing it for years. I am no monster for you to be scared of. Yet I don’t understand what I have done? One minute you say goodbye to me at your bedchamber door and the next moment the house is empty. Tell me! What did I do?”
“Geoffrey…” The pain in his eyes was pricking at her soul, like he was stabbing at her conscience with hairpins, and it tore at her heart. She felt his loss too. Dare she speak? Was there a possibility for them? He had said, I love you.
He stepped closer and his fingers lifted to her face. “Violet?” They were cool and his touch feather-light. She’d never have any physical contact with him again if she did not speak.
If she did speak…?
“What did I do wrong, Vi?” His pitch softened as his anger seemed to blow out. “Tell me and I swear I’ll never do it again. I love you, I can’t let you go.”
“You did nothing wrong.” The words came out on a breathless sob as tears burned at the back of her throat, gathering in a lump.
A look of confusion creased his brow. “Is there someone else? Do you not feel the same? Is that it?”
She shook her head as his palm pressed against her cheek, offering comfort and expressing need.
“Then what, Vi?”
“Nothing,” she whispered the moment before his lips touched hers.
There had been this connection between them for weeks, this hunger and craving. They could not be together in a room and not touch.
His hand slid down her back and sought to draw her closer. But she held rigid aware of what was between them. Yet she opened her mouth to him and his tongue swept in. Longing flooded her. He was all she had missed from London, just him. But her fingers gripped his arms and set him away. She had to tell him…
His eyes blazed as they looked down into hers, shining like gold again. “Violet.” It was another plea for explanation.
She took a breath to speak but as she did his fingers lifted and tugged loose the tape tying her cloak. It slipped from her shoulders as her mouth opened to say the words. To tell him the truth. But he looked down, his gaze sweeping over her body, as it he’d developed a habit of doing all summer, and he saw the truth for himself. Her stomach was too round now for him not to see the convex rise beneath her dress.
“I was going to tell you.”
“You were clearly not, Vi.”
It was her turn to grasp his arm in plea. “Geoffrey.”
His hand lifted and swept across his face. He did not look happy… He looked shocked – and angry again.
“A child!” That was what this was all about. “A child… Good God. Violet?” Geoff knew from his sister’s pregnancies how far gone she must be. She was surely past mid-term. How had he not noticed it in London. He must have been blind. “I suppose it is mine.” The words slipped from his mouth in accusation. He was angry. Why had she kept this from him? Run from him? Hidden from him?
Horror filled her eyes. “Of course it is yours…” Then her words drifted and her eyes suggested she regretted her admission… What on earth was going on?
He touched her cheek, his palm flat against it, as his thumb gripped beneath her chin. This woman had the same face as Violet, her eyes were blue and her hair the colour of spun gold, with the perfect pale skin he knew covered her entire body. Yet, it was not Violet speaking to him. It was not the confident, dressed in vanity woman he’d known in London, who’s whole demeanour said come-love-me.
He took a breath. “Why are we here, Vi? Why not tell me this in London. There is no one else?” He was completely unable to fathom what was going on here. “Why are you dressed in black? I don’t understand.”
His touch fell to the clear outline of a small bulge beneath her gown. How had he not noticed, for God’s sake? He had made love with her only just over a week ago. But then his sister had had pregnancies like that, usually with boys, when the child suddenly turned and shifted to show more prominently.
Was this his son? His fingers spread wide over Violet’s stomach, and my God, he felt the child move.
Looking up he met Vi’s gaze and the blue shone with doubt, but even so, her hand covered his. “It is yours Geoff. I only knew for certain I was with child before I left.”
“But you must have suspected. Were you denying it?”
“Violet.” His fingers left her stomach and instead he held her, tightly.
Her face buried into his neck and then he heard her sob and felt her shoulders shake. Violet was not a woman to weep, she was strong and brash. She was known for being callous, not this.
He held her for a little while and then his fingers tucked a strand of hair behind her ear.
“I’m here, darling. No need to worry now.” She had been enduring this burden alone. Worrying. Alone. But why? Why had she run? Did she not trust him? “Darling, I’ll say it again, why are we here?”
She pulled away and her blue eyes shimmered with tears as she looked up at him. Those eyes which had always burned with self-confidence and said take me as I am or go away, now looked vulnerable and afraid.
“I will not let you take the child from me,” she whispered as his fingers cradled her cheek. “I want it, I want to keep it.”
Ah. “Violet –”
A Lord’s Desperate Love is the story of two of the secondary characters from the 2nd book in the Marlow Intrigues Series
~ ‘The Passionate Love of a Rake’.
The true story of a courtesan, who inspired The Illicit Love of a Courtesan, which I’ve been telling every Sunday, will continue alongside this, and if you fancy more reading, the 3rd book in the Marlow Intrigues series, John’s story, is out on 3rd April click on his cover in the side bar to pre-order. My lovely, moody, arrogant, fractured-golden-hearted Duke! Plus – so much going on – I Found you – my bestselling contemporary novel – is reduced to $1.99 from $7 in the USA until 31st March (it is £2.99 in the UK)
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