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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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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

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Emerald

Emerald laughed as the rainstorm carried on its way leaving her behind, dripping wet. The water fell from the brim of Mr Pritchard’s tricorn hat as it dripped from Emerald’s soggy bonnet. She tried to undo the ribbons to take her bonnet off but the dampness had firmed the bow into a knot.

“Miss Martin.” She turned to discover that Richard had come up on to the deck and was standing behind her. He held up a blanket. Emerald caught Rita’s gaze across his shoulder as she was climbing up the steps to the poop-deck. Richard must have sent Rita into their cabin to fetch something to cover Emerald with. She wanted to reject the offer, she did not mind being wet, and yet Richard moved with a determination that implied he was adamant she take it.

She moved so that he could lay the blanket across her shoulders. As he did so he leaned a little closer. “Hold it across your bosom.” The words were a quiet but sharp order.

When she fulfilled his request she could see why he had said it: her damp clothing clung tightly against her skin.

His fingers were then at the stubborn bow beneath her chin, attempting to free her from her soggy bonnet. “You should have gone inside when I proposed it.” Those words were said in angry condemnation, but at least he did not say them loudly.

Emerald glanced over his shoulder again and saw Mr Pritchard staring at them with an odd expression as Richard held the ruined bonnet out for Rita to take.

“There. Now you must go back to your cabin and change,” he ordered quietly.

She obeyed only because she would have done so anyway. But she did not speak as she walked past him and then carefully descended the awkward, steep stairs back to the quarter deck, one hand holding the blanket and her shawl in place as the other gripped the rail in case she slipped. Rita followed her down and once in their cabin helped Emerald remove her soaked dress and undergarments. She said nothing as Emerald spoke of how exhilarating it had been to watch and feel the rain.

***

Later, after she had eaten her dinner with the men, Emerald returned to her cabin and lay in her bunk listening for Rita to fall asleep and for the men in the room next door to retire. It seemed to take a long time for them to finally wish each other goodnight. She waited for a little longer, in case any of them returned. Then she quietly pushed back the sheets then slid her legs out from under the covers and got up to go through the adjoining door. Richard was there, waiting. He had removed his evening coat, waistcoat and neckcloth and was leaning on the table, his head hanging forward while his hands gripped its rim. She could see all the perfect outlines of his body when he was in his trousers and his shirt was tucked in at the waist but loose at the neck.

As she walked farther into the room he stood upright and turned towards her.

His eyes looked at her with an expression that seemed hard and shallow, just as he had always looked at her in Calcutta.

“Why did you not obey me this afternoon? I asked you to go inside to avoid the rain?”

Her forehead pulled out of shape into a frown. The tone and the sentiment of his words injured her. She had never liked his orders. “Because you did not ask. You cannot command me. I am not one of your crew.”

His eyebrows lifted in a warning. She had displeased him and his look said he did not want to be displeased again. She could picture him casting that look at his agents spread all over the world if they had done something he did not like.

She walked closer, her bare feet making the boards creak a little as she walked more heavily rather than running lightly through the room as she usually did. “Richard,” her voice placated but she did no intend to concede. “You cannot bully me. I was enjoying watching the rain. Had you not told me to go below I probably would have done so. I have my own mind. I can make my own decisions.”

His eyebrows descended as his glare intensified. It was the condemning expression she had known when she had boarded his ship. She gripped his shirt at either side of his waist and tried to shake him a little. “I will not jump to your orders and you cannot mould me with your will. Even when I will be your wife I will not become your servant. You said you loved me.” It was a battle for ground she had to claim. He may own land all over the world but when they married she would not let him think that he owned her. “What did it matter if I stood in the rain?”

His arms hung at his sides and his jaw was tense. “You refused me in front of the crew. If a woman disobeys me, and one who is barely out of the school room, what message do you think it sends them?”

She let go of his shirt. “A woman who is barely out of the school room… Is that how you see me?”

“Emerald.” His voice flooded  with frustration. “I see you as you. But you have to understand how they see you – and me. I am the owner of this ship. Their employer. They  expect me to be obeyed. When I am not obeyed it puts that option into their minds. Do you wish to begin a mutiny?”

A sharp, loud, note of amusement escaped her throat.

He glanced upward, showing that he was thinking of whoever was at the wheel above them and the possibility that the sound had been too loud.

“No one shall attempt mutiny just because I chose to stay outside in the rain,” she soothed, her hand touching his arm.

He moved his arm away, his eyes challenging her dismissive response and shook his head.  “Would they not? Have you ever endured a pirate raid?”

She shook her head, uncertain now.

“No, of course you have not. Well when it happens the men need to be more afraid of me than pirates or they will hand over my bloody ship. This is not a game, Emerald. My men need to fear and respect me. They will do neither if they see a woman defy me.

She was not bending. She glared back at him. If he wished this to be an argument then it would be so. “Then do not order me about like I am one of them and I shall not defy you.” Her fingers curled into fists. She loved the man who cared for her, the man hidden beneath this arrogant, bristling, business like skin – and yet when he was like this she still did not like him. She would have turned away, but he gripped her arm and stopped her turning.

There were no more words. His mouth covered hers and he kissed her deeply, his tongue thrusting into her mouth as one of his hands pressed against the back of her head holding her to him while the other slipped to hold her at the arch of her back.

The longing her body had learnt for his swept through her, soaking her just as the rain had done. She could not be angry with this Richard. She could not deny this man. Her hand lifted to his hair, as his fingers began working up her nightgown.

To be continued…

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

IMG_6159[1]

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

The Illicit Love of a Courtesan #2 

Capturing The Love of an Earl ~ A Free Novella #2.5 

The Passionate Love of a Rake #3 

The Desperate Love of a Lord ~ A second Free Novella #3.5 

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 and, yes, there are more to come  :-) 

CompleteCollecvtion_Facebook_Advertv5

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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