Remembering those involved in London and Manchester
Love will always win over hatred, cruelty and violence!
Posted as a gift of my time and thoughts to the readers of my books, thank you for the lovely messages of appreciation,
© Jane Lark Publishing rights belong to Jane Lark,
this novel should not be recreated in any form without prior consent from Jane Lark
Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 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, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58
She was dreaming.
Richard’s dark eyes looked across the room towards her.
It was him.
It was him!
She ran across the cold hard tiles of the floor as he took steps towards her, then her arms reached about his neck as his arms wrapped about her, his was warm and solid and real.
“Oh Richard,” she whispered to his collar as her head pressed against his shoulder. The comfort she had known in his arms on the ship flooded her. The reassurances he had whispered in the darkness in the day cabin on those first nights that she had met him there spoke into her mind.
“It’s all right now, sweetheart. I have you,” his voice was gravelly, rumbling in his chest when he replied quietly. But then his hands settled on her waist and he set her away so she had to let him go.
Behind him The Duke’s footmen stared, wide-eyed.
She did not care.
He turned to look at them. “Is this proof enough that I am welcome?” They did not answer as Richard turned back to her and gently took hold of her arm. “Where may we talk?”
The high feminine voices in the drawing rom could be heard through the door behind Emerald.
“The terrace.” she whispered back, freeing her elbow from his grip and grasping his hand to draw him with her, “We can slip through here, through the library.” She pulled him behind her, feeling alive for the first time in weeks, feeling blood in her veins and air in her lungs. “Where did you come from? I thought you had returned to India.”
The library was dark only gilded by the moonlight spilling through the french-doors. She did not stop, if they were found in here it would be a disaster, but if they were found on the terrace she could say she had stepped out for air. “I had given up hope of you calling here.” She opened the french-doors and pulled him out into the lukewarm summer air. It was nothing like India, the heat lacked any intensity. Heat had surrounded her in India like a shawl on her shoulders.
“Emerald.” Her name left his lips with a note of pain and then she was no longer leading but his hands were at her waist and his mouth came down on hers. The kiss was like fire. It tore through her in flames, a flush of heat racing over her skin. Her fingers gripped the material of his coat over his shoulders and her tongue fenced with his. This was her Richard.
He broke the kiss and his hands slipped to hold her hips.
She looked into the eyes that she had dreamt of. “You said you would come back.”
“I said I would give you time to grieve, I asked you to wait and write if you had need. What is this nonsense with Sunderland and it is clearly nonsense if you would stand out here and kiss me.”
Her fingers cradled his nape. She could not even remember now why she had been angry with him.
“Why did you not write? Why would you marry him?” The last words were spoken on a growl at the same moment the french-doors behind him, that lead out from drawing room, opened.
They broke apart and she stepped back as Richard turned.
No one stepped out, but the sound of male voices as well as women’s voices flowed out of the room.
Richard looked back at her. “We had best go in there. But we will continue this conversation soon.” He took her hand and became the one leading her but just before the door he let her go and tugged on the bottom of his waistcoat straightening it as he stepped back so she could walk in ahead of him.
She stepped through the open french-door into a swell of people, The Duke’s guests, the people who were here to celebrate her engagement. Moments ago she had kissed another man outside, a man who stepped into the room behind her.
Her heart pounded as she looked about the room.
“Where is The Duke?” Richard whispered.
She could not see him.
“Richard. You did not write to tell us you were coming.”
A dark haired woman walked towards them. Emerald could not remember her name but she was not looking at Emerald, her eyes were focused on Richard and as she neared him are arms lifted and he stepped forward to receive an embrace.
Emerald watched, silent.
“These unexpected appearances are becoming a habit of yours,” the woman said as she released Richard, but then she gripped his hands. “Mama is here and Freddie, Alicia and Amelia. When did you come to town? Tonight, after we left home? Oh I wish you had let us know. I have been itching to come to the country just to be with you but Mama––.”
“Rose, take a breath,” Richard responded and then he looked at Emerald. “Miss Martin, have you met my youngest sister, Rosalind.”
To be continued…
The Marlow Intrigues: Perfect for lovers of period drama
The Tainted Love of a Captain #8 – The last episode in the Marlow Intrigues series
The Lost Love of Soldier ~ The Prequel #1 ~ A Christmas Elopement began it all
The Scandalous Love of a Duke #4
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)
Jane’s books can be ordered from most booksellers in paperback
Go to the index
- 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