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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

 

Emerald

Anger seared through her blood as Emerald crossed the room, ignoring The Duke’s guests, her heart pounding. Richard’s gaze turned to her when she was feet away. She saw the muscles in his jaw stiffen. The people about him followed his gaze as she walked the last few steps, her hand lifting.

She slapped him hard across the cheek. “You liar!” Her hand balled into a fist at her side as his fingers touched his reddening cheek. “You are the Earl of Wroxeter and you did not say!”

His eyes had become darker and his look was now cold. “I am,” was all he said.

“My dear, you are making a scene.” The words were said in a low voice near her ear, The Duke had come to her, to calm her childish outburst down. His fingers cupped her elbow to turn her away as she became aware of whispers passing like a wave about the room behind her.

“You were not invited, Wroxeter,” The Duke challenged.

Richard bowed slightly. “Your Grace, I have just returned to London. I came to join my family. I recall you agreeing to my calling upon Miss Martin. I did not think there would be an issue.”

She was not waiting here listening to Richard weave more lies about her. Everyone was played with and fooled in Calcutta, why had she thought it was different for her. She lifted her arm away from The Duke’s grip and turned.

She wanted to run upstairs but she did not. She set a false firm smile on her lips and walked over to her aunt, denying the stares of those about the room. Once she was there she glanced back. The Duke was still beside Richard. They looked like an angel and the devil. The Duke’s blonde hair and pale skin stood out against Richard’s deep brown hair and darker skin.

One of the Duke’s friends approached her, and then more of his friends gathered about like moths drawn to a flame, seeking ways to discover the cause of her argument with the man across the room. After a few moments speaking with The Duke, Richard walked out.

 

The gossip about the Earl of Wroxeter increased when he had gone. The Duke and his guests were fascinated by the prodigal son they’d carved into myth––the fraud––and now they knew that she knew him they all wanted her to tell them tales from India. She shared none.

Richard

Richard waited on the pavement at the corner of the street, the tip of the walking cane he held tapping against his boot impatiently as he looked at the house. Rosalind had gone in and if she was doing what he had asked at any moment she would come out and come out with Emerald in her company.

If the stupid woman did not refuse. But he had told Rosalind not to mention his presence. He needed a moment to speak with Emerald and he did not think she would agree to it if he had called there. He was also certain her cousin, and betrothed, The Duke, would turn him away if he called at the door.

At last the door opened and two women came out, in their bonnets and cloaks

It was them.

He moved forward instinctively. Rose glanced his way, but Emerald did not notice, her gaze was on the gate of the garden enclosed in its iron railings at the centre of the square. Her hand lifted as she neared it, holding out the key to open the lock.

His steps quickened. “Emerald.” He called as she pushed the gate open. Her head turned sharply as he walked the last few steps to join Emerald and his sister.

‘Rosalind wait here and keep a look out,” Richard said, taking the key out of Emerald’s shaking hand before she had chance to recover from her shock and rebuke him. “Take the key and lock us in.”

“No, Richard,” Emerald shook her head, her eyes casting him as guilty as they had done on the ship, with her quick judgements. Yet last night she had grasped his neck and kissed him.

“We need to talk.” He held her arm and led her into the garden.

“May we cease this nonsense now?” he opened.

 

“We may not,” she answered. “Why did you not tell me?”

“I did not tell you because I did not know. My father died the same week as your mother. I was not the Earl of Wroxeter until I came home.” His hold on her arm kept her walking farther into the garden amongst the high shrubs that would hide them from the view of onlookers peering from the windows about the square.

 

“You were a lord,” she cut back sharply as though that were a sin.

“A lord’s son.”

“A lord’s son still bears the title, my lord, my lord. Did you forget it in Calcutta? I have never heard you called Lord Farrow. Everyone thinks you a self made gentleman there.”

“It is what I am,” he answered on a growl, the thread of his patience shortening.

“It is not,” she responded. “Do you enjoy living out your lies?”

“I am the owner of a trade and shipping company. I am a man. I have established offices and suppliers throughout the world. Are you calling those things a lie?”

“Did your father’s influence help, is that your strength? Is that how you undercut and exclude people so easily in India?”

She was in a caustic mood. It prodded the coals of his anger like a poker. “The people I trade with care for the best price not the details of my birth. I pay them well.”

“And lie to them, as you lied to me.” She pulled her arm free. “I  do not wish to speak to you. Do not seek me out again.”

“So you said to me moths ago and then I return to be asked why I had not come…”

A sudden radiant––empty––smile parted her lips. A smile she had clearly become remarkably good at faking. Her eyes bore no echo of it. “I am sorry for that. But now, good day.”

This was not the vibrant beauty Richard had fallen for. She was bitter, angry and hollow in the middle. She had wilted since he’d last seen her. Emerald needed sun. She needed India. She needed to go back to Calcutta.

Let her rail now he would not be deterred, what had happened first yesterday evening had expressed the truth.

The smile still on her lips, she dropped a deep mocking curtsy. “My Lord,” she chimed. Then she left him there, like her damned fool.

He was her fool. He’d let no other woman, play him like this. She’d caught him in her siren’s snare. He did not even wish to break free. He wanted her.

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

106849-fc50

 

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

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, 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

 

Emerald

She was dreaming.

Richard’s dark eyes looked across the room towards her.

It was him.

“Emerald?”

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.”

His sister…

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

106849-fc50

 

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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