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The Truth

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, 67, 8, 9, 101112131415161718 ,1920212223242526, 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, 5455, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 6162

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Richard

She did not believe him. He could see. She had given up on her father as she had given up on him.

Was that why she was willing to marry her cousin and sacrifice herself?

Richard did not like the way her aunt spoke for her either, it was so at odds to the strong-willed woman who had fought with him over simply being asked to go below decks to avoid the rain.

He had not really come to dispel the rumours. He had come to persuade her against her cousin. But he could hardly do so with her aunt in earshot. Yet clearly, all was not well in this room. Emerald was too cowed. He needed to get her out of here.

“I––I–” Emerald stuttered.

“He will come,” Richard reinforced, feeling a moment of connection with her, that could not be known by the others. Only he and Emerald could remember that last day on the dock in Calcutta as she had said goodbye. Unfortunately she must remember Richard’s impatience to leave too.

He did not speak for the rest of his visit, Rose held Emerald’s attention while Emerald’s aunt grovelled to his mother as they finished their cups of tea.

He had  persuaded his mother to join them with the threat of scandal, warning her he would come alone and create more if she did not accompany him. She had blamed him of course. Yet he had seduced Emerald; Emerald would not have crossed a bloody room to strike him had there been no emotional tie between them and now the whole damned ton knew what had occurred on his ship––and that previously she had been innocent. Only an innocent would be foolish enough to declare her anger so publicly. It did not help matters she had picked the celebration of her engagement to do it. But that was his fault too. He’d attended uninvited.

When he took his leave, he bowed to her aunt, and then turned to Emerald and captured her hand, holding it firmly as it trembled while he bowed again. She had lost all the courage she’d displayed on the ship.

A need to protect her swamped him, as it had in the dark cabin when she’d been ill. Yet when his thumb brushed over her knuckles in a caress of comfort she pulled her hand free as her gaze met his and flashed with defiance. His Emerald was still there, expressed in her stubborn refusal to forgive.

When he handed his mother and sister back up into his carriage, his sister smiled. “She is very pretty isn’t she?”

“And engaged,” he answered as he climbed up behind her.

 

When they reached the Mansion in Mayfair, a house he would never come to think of as his home, he climbed out first and handed his mother down, then Rose. “I am going to White’s,” he declared. His mother threw him a sharp look. She disliked him and everything he did––she always had. His absence had not made her heart grow fonder and he did not care to change it––he did not like her.

Rose––however––hugged him as their mother walked up the steps to the front door that had opened. “She is lovely,” she whispered to his ear, “you like her don’t you? You came to London last night for her.”

His fingers cupping one cheek, he kissed her other. “You have a very good imagination, Rose.”

“Have I?She lifted her eyebrows and laughed at him. “Go on, go off and do your manly things, we will see you for dinner and be prepared to accompany you to the theatre.”

Richard tapped her beneath the chin before she had time to turn away.

He sighed as he climbed back into the carriage and she ran up the steps. Emerald was younger than Rose and if a man had bedded Rose he would be furious. He had to win Emerald back. The kiss she had returned last night only underscored it. He was not listening to her denials anymore. Let her try to push him away as much as she liked he was not going.

At White’s, Richard faced his next quarry, Sunderland. “Your Grace,” Richard bowed as he interrupted a conversation Emerald’s cousin was having with a group of men. This was walking a fine line.

Sunderland turned, surprise written in his expression. “Wroxeter…” The greeting was not a welcome and he did not make a move to introduce Richard to the others, instead they stared at Richard as though he was a freak.

His father had made him this. His father had disparaged him in front of these people. They did not see him as an equal––they thought him a feral rogue. Well perhaps he was.

“I have just come from calling upon you at your home, Sunderland.” Richard began as Sunderland’s blue eyes weighed Richard up. Sunderland was a striking looking man and he held respect among his peers. He was as Richard imagined his elder brother would have been, if life had given Arthur the chance to become the earl. “In your absence I made an arrangement with your fiancée for this evening, to quell the gossip in the papers. Her chaperone indicated you would be willing…” Richard had known Sunderland would not be at home. Now he was simply tying up the loose ends.

“What arrangement?” Sunderland asked, his voice growing in pitch and depth.

“A theatre excursion, this evening, your family and mine.” Richard watched the other man’s expression. Sunderland understood. He was no imbecile. He knew when a man was stepping on his patch but Richard had no intention of stepping back.

“Very well.” Was Sunderland’s answer, Richard had manoeuvred him too well for the man to refuse. But the narrow path he walked was to ensure that Sunderland knew the rumour was true while every one else began to disbelieve it. He did not wish Emerald’s reputation destroyed, merely her engagement.

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

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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

Jane’s books can be ordered from most booksellers in paperback

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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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

 

 

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