A Lord’s Desperate Love
A Historical Romance Story
© Copyright Jane Lark
Geoff was sweaty and hot when she curled into him. She didn’t care. Janet might be back any moment. She didn’t care. She didn’t care about anything but him.
Her palm rested on his pectoral muscle, over his heart.
He had such a perfectly defined body, cut with visible lean muscle and sinew.
She ran her fingers across his torso again.
His hand covered hers.
“I was sleeping, Vi.”
She laughed and propped herself up on one elbow, remembering doing the same the first night she had slept with him and even that night she had felt an axis shift beneath her. It had never only been sex with Geoff.
His fingers stroked over her hair, which was now unconfined and spilled on to his chest.
She could not believe the all-consuming love which brimmed in her body. Certain it shone through her eyes she said in a low voice. “I wish to stay here for a week. Would you send to London and make the arrangements for the wedding, while we get to know one another better?”
He gave her wicked rakish smile. “Get to know one another better? Do we not already know one another well enough?”
“Not as two people who are engaged. I wish to learn all there is to know about you, Lord Sparks. All your likes and dislikes, where you have been and where we are going. We shall have to make compromises.”
He laughed “You mean you wish me to compromise.”
She smiled, her fingers touching his cheek as she saw his eyes laugh too.
“Well first, I would like to keep my house. May we live there? I have always loved living there.”
His fingers stroked over her hair again, as he smiled up at her. “Yes, you may keep your house and we’ll make it our home.” He raised an eyebrow. “After all as I recall you do not like bachelor rooms.” She laughed. “But on the condition you let me at least have two rooms I might decorate with a more masculine style.”
“You may have three.”
“But, Violet, if you stay here, we shall whip up a scandal, this is a village not the capital, you’ll never hide our indiscretion here. Their sensibilities will be shocked to the core.”
“And am I known for caring what others think?”
He shook his head at her, smiling in an open way she had never seen before, as though it was reaching from his heart out of his chest and through his eyes. “I see the violet I knew in London has returned.”
Oh she loved him. “Why do you think I acquired the name the Merry Widow? Because I can smile regardless, Geoff.”
His fingers touched her cheek. “That is the woman I fell for, but you shall only be a merry widow for another week, Vi, after that you shall be my wife.”
“And then I shall be your very happy wife.”
Robert Marlow, the Earl of Barrington, probably Geoff’s closest friend, and the only one Geoff had considered for the role of groom’s man, stood at Geoff’s shoulder as they heard the sound rise like a wave through the church.
Violet was here.
Geoff’s heart thumped as he heard people turning behind him and making sounds implying she looked beautiful.
Robert touched Geoff’s arm, stirring him from the paralysis which had swept over him. He looked over his left shoulder.
Violet was walking up the aisle with Jane, Robert’s wife and Violet’s friend.
Violet wore a very pale blue. The dress was simpler than her usual style, but then she’d only had two days to find a dress once they’d returned to town, having left half of Lacock red-faced at the audacity of their reunion.
He smiled at the thought, and at her, as she came closer.
The curve of her stomach was clearly visible, and probably the real cause of the stir of sound which was following her along the aisle.
Nearly all their audience were only discovering their situation as she walked.
He saw her chin was high and a bright defiant smile shone in her eyes and touched her lips.
The simplicity of her dress only made her look more beautiful and the bonnet covering her hair was an intricate straw weave, with a shower of artificial cream flowers by her ear. That colour was mirrored in her gloves and in a shawl which draped over her arms. She looked perfect.
His heart seeped warmth as she came to stand beside him and Jane moved into a pew on the far side.
Before he turned back to the altar, in the corner of his eye, he caught the sight of his eldest sister crying. Their mother had died when they were young. His sister had played mother to him for the last of his school years.
He glanced at her and smiled, then nodded at his brothers, before he turned to face the altar.
Violet’s fingers settled over his.
She had feared his sister’s disapproval more than anything, yet Sophia had only been glad he was finally settling down. Even her husband the Marquess of Kent had cared nothing about the impending scandal Violet’s condition was going to arouse.
Geoff treasured the moment he put his ring on her finger.
Violet looked up.
There was a candle of affection burning in Geoff’s eyes and somehow she knew it would be an eternal flame. It flared in her too.
When she spoke her words, she said them to him, not the vicar, nor God, nor even the church full of people, but just to him, and his words were for her.
“I now pronounce you man and wife.” The vicar’s voice echoed about the stone church, and then there was applause, started by Lord Barrington who stood beyond Geoff.
Geoff looked back and smiled before facing her again. Then one hand lifted her chin before he pressed a chaste kiss on her lips. “Lady Sparks,” he whispered as he pulled away.
“I like the sound of that.”
“So do I.”
They both smiled as his fingers gripped hers and the vicar asked them to sign the register.
The journey to his sister’s home gave them a few moments of solitude as they travelled in an enclosed carriage and kissed more thoroughly, thinking of their private celebration which would come much later.
They reached the house barely a minute or two before their guests, who passed them with glances at her stomach. Violet ignored them all.
Jane and Robert were the last to come in.
“The Earl and Countess of Barrington,” The Marquess of Kent’s starchy butler intoned, as if they needed an introduction. Neither Violet nor Jane made any move to pretend a formal greeting. They swept into each others arms.
Violet felt very different to the women she had been a month ago.
“I am happy for you,” Jane whispered against Violet’s ear, as Geoff shook Robert’s hand.
Then as the men walked towards the dining hall, Violet caught a hold of Jane’s arm. “And I for you, I cannot believe the change in Barrington.”
“He has not changed, Violet, he is just the man I have always known. But you though…”
Jane glanced down at Violet’s stomach and she coloured a little. “Why did you not say?”
“I did not admit it to myself. I could not believe I had been so foolish, and I was terrified of Geoff’s reaction. Still, anyway, he has been wonderful.”
Violet saw fluid glisten in Jane’s eyes and then Jane said quietly. “I am jealous. It is what I desperately want, and Robert too, to make up for the years we have missed. We want a child.”
Violet gripped Jane’s hand and patted it with her free one. “I am sure it will come.” She wished only happiness for her friend.
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’
There is just one more part to share in Geoff’s and Violet’s story, but Harper Impulse have now agreed to me sharing another story!
So they will continue
Also for the story of the real courtesan who inspired The Illicit Love of a Courtesan, and for the prequel excerpts leading up to John’s story in the
The Scandalous Love of a Duke
Go to the index
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