Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Temptation of a Kiss ~ Chapter 8

Chapter 8

   He took a seat at her kitchen table. The cottage he thought was larger inside than it had looked from the outside. He admired the fire place in the adjoining room. Made of all river rock. It spanned upwards two stories. The opening of the fire place itself was at least six feet tall and just as wide across. A man’s fire place, he thought to himself.

   A crash pulled his attention to where Brook was in the other room. “Brook!” He ran in there to find her under a pile of books and luggage on the floor. Landon started throwing the books off her to the side.

   Her face emerged from the pile. “I’m alright.”

   He pulled her to her feet. Landon saw her cheek begin to swell and a dot of blood was forming on her lower lip. Landon took her by the hand and led her into the kitchen. Taking the cloth in his hand, he wiped her lip gently.

   Brook gazed up at him seeing the concern in his eyes. “I’m positive it is not all that bad Landon.”

   His eyes flew to meet her. “You’re bleeding, Red and your cheek is starting to swell.”

   She could not help but smile at him. He was being so serious about it. “I don’t break that easily.”

   Landon then smiled. “Are you sure you never had brothers? Most women would be in tears and fainting by now.”

   “Well I am not most women,” Brook said softly and then winked at him as she smiled.

  He chuckled out loud. “No you are not Red.”

   The long journey to Quentin’s country estate started out smooth until they came upon the first town. Grams had decided it was time for her to stretch her legs out. Devon had commented it was more likely she needed to seek out some sweets. She had only been talking about it since they left the estate.

   They traveled in groups of three and just to mix things up Grams suggested they pair off into anything but couples. Brook rode with Quentin. Landon rode with Sarah and Devon with Grams. Devon agreed only for the simple reason he believed he was the only one to possess a deaf ear to all her chitter chatter.

   “The girls and I will be walking about for a short spell. We will return soon.” Grams said as she left with Brook and Sarah looped through each one of her arms.

   Landon chuckled as he watched Devon’s mouth drop open. “I’m sure they will not be gone long Devon.”

   “Who is thirsty?” Quentin asked as he walked towards the tavern across the street.

   “A pint might hit the spot about now,” Landon said and then followed Quentin. He caught up quickly to him. “Did you see anyone lurking about?”

   “No but that does not mean I am comfortable with the women wondering around unaccompanied,” Quentin answered.

   “Once we get inside you distract Devon and I will find the women. I don’t think we should be lingering around. If someone comes through here and starts to ask questions, it won’t be long before someone will be able to provide them with a direction to go in after us,” Landon said.

   Quentin pushed open the door to the establishment. It smelled of old ale and sweat. “Wow,” Quentin said as he got a whiff.

   “What?” Landon asked. “Oh bloody hell.” The stench hit him.

   Devon pushed past both of them and walked to the bar top.

   “What can I do you for Sir?” The short man behind the bar asked.

   “Three ales,” Devon said and place the money on the bar.

   The short man jumped down from what Devon assumed was a stool and disappeared under the bar. He gazed over to Landon and Quentin who were laughing with no control.

   They watched as three pints one by one appeared on the bar top. Devon leaned over slightly. The man looked up and smiled. “Can I be getting ya anything else Sir?”

   Devon shook his head no and reached down to hand him the shillings. He joined Landon and Quentin at a table next to the window.

   Landon took his ale and drank it fast. As he got up Devon asked where he was going. “To find our little women and get out of here.”

   The first place he stopped at was the bakery. He was positive the girls would be there. Peering through the window he only saw a little boy with his face pressed against the glass to the cookies.

   He looked up and down the street. “Where could they have gone?” Heading in the direction towards the carriages he passed by a boutique shop and gazed in the window. Inside there stood Brook in a pale purple gown. The color of it next to her red hair was stunning on her.

   Before he was noticed he turned and leaned up against the face on the building next to the door. Five minutes is all you’re getting ladies.

   Well five minutes turned into ten. Landon was starring off across the road down a ways when he noticed three men he knew from London. Two of them men had been mentioned by Quent as McMay’s thugs. He quickly crossed the street a dipped into an ally. Creeping silently down towards the men he came up behind them.

   “I have to say gentlemen, you three are the ugliest mutts I’ve run across in a long time,” Landon said with a chuckle. He ducked as one of the men’s arms swung over his head.

   Landon turned to land a punch in the tall round man’s ribs. His body fell into the man behind him. Landon then moved the opposite direction and made contact with the man’s face who took a swing at him moments earlier.

   As he swung around swiftly, kicking both men behind him hard across the chest and one in the chin. Landon was seized from behind and then quickly released. He turned to see Quent standing over the man on the ground.

   “Always in the right place at the right time aren’t you,” Landon asked.

   Quentin smiled and said, “Lucky for you I seem to be. Let’s get these guys in the end of the ally. Grab his legs.”

   Landon and Quentin had just finished removing any evidence of a struggle when Devon and the girls approached the carriage next to the ally.

   He helped Grams into one of the carriages. “I do hope you left some clothes for the locals to purchase.”

   Grams giggled. “I did not acquire anything for myself, if you must know.”

   Landon smiled at her sweetly. “No I don’t, but that won’t stop you from telling me will it my lovely.” He heard Devon laugh as he entered in from the other side. He gave Devon a quick wink and said, “She is all yours Lord Price.”

   Devon chuckled and shook his head. Grams began to comment when Landon shut the door on her.

© copyright 2012

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Romantic Story

His Fingertips Trailed Down My...

   The warmth of his breath is hotter then the night's summer air around me. He here standing behind me, waiting for my response. What am I to say to such an offer? A lady would never reply yes, but a lady was not what he wanted. Within  me she is here somewhere. The woman who can be seductive, playful, and teasing, all while remaining in control of the passion growing inside for him that had been long lost. To not let him see this side is part of the game. But how am I to shield him from seeing it in my eyes?

   Remain standing with your back to him. He is but inches away. I hear nothing other than his long breaths waiting on me. What am I to do? I feel the soft spray of it drifting down over my neck. Closing my eyes I smell the strong scent of his essence all around me hanging in the air. I want to bury myself within it, within his arms, but I mustn't. He wants nothing more then just this night. I cannot possible do this.

   "Do you?" he whispers.

   I have forgotten the question. "Do I what?" She replies with a playful tone as she turns her head slightly over her right shoulder.

   "Do you want to know how I would seduce you? There is no harm in telling you. If then afterwards you desire me to show you, I may be persuaded to do so," He said in a low tone that was teasingly pushing against her bare neck. He watches her soft ringlets of hair move with his every breath onto her skin.

   Does she have any idea what her smile does to a man? Those lips. The way those long lashes of hers tantalize thoughts of the impurest kind. The visual image she provides while she walks about a room nothing more than torturous. Hips slowly swaying. Delicate movements of her shoulders as she stands before me laughing.

   His finger moves up towards the back of her neck. She takes in a deep breath and he stops realizing she is not his to take. She is untouchable. Promised to another years before they had even met. He had nearly ruined her once and yet there was no one around to stop him from attempting it again. A foolish boys actions caused him to be banished. After all these years away she is the one thing he held to. The only desire he has never let go of. She and she alone is the sole reason for his return.

    "I think I must take my leave now." Her voice was barley a whisper in the dim lite room. She squeezed her eyes closed and prayed he would not persuade her otherwise and yet wished he would do nothing but take her.

   "You think? To me that sounds unsure."

   She hears only a hushed murmur of sound coming from him and then what followed was nothing more than the withhold of a forbidden touch as his fingertips trailed down her neck.
   The softness of his touch forces my body to acknowledge his absence as I lean into it. An unwilling motion to stop it renders me helpless underneath his spell. Strong firm fingertips caress my exposed skin tantalizing every sense within me. Slowly and teasingly, he draws out of me what has for so long laid dormant.

   Awakening is the woman I've never known. This stranger wants nothing more then to allow his desires to over take me. An unfamiliar feeling of freedom arises with a single stroke of his fingertip. A deep seeded addiction to the way his skin feels on mine is consuming my every thought. This erotic creature inside me is clawing her way out hidden in the depth of what I tried to deny.

   Lust, passion, and seduction plagues me with promises of fulfillment. As his fingertips trail down the back of my neck his wicked tongue lingers after it. Hot moist breath skims over past his lips to meet my bare neck acting as a hypnotic mist steadying my trembling body.

   I need salvation from this. I want release from his wicked graze across my naked skin. He draws out of me a panting that is tainted with sinful thoughts.

   His mouth taunts my flesh. His hands rip at my resistance. In a moment of surrender my clothing finds it's way to the floor. Puddled around my bare feet lay the only wall of safety I held. The woman who I thought to be so strange within me is now here. A heightened sense of passion is all I feel in this moment as the unwillingness to want him gives way to the buried desire for him, for his touch.


To Be Continued



Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Temptation of a Kiss ~ Chapter 7

Chapter 7

   Brook poured a cup of tea. Her stomach still felt queasy. She had managed to bathe and dress for the morning. Any other plans she had had for the day was not an option right now and maybe even for tomorrow.

   Sipping the warm tea felt soothing to her throat. The fresh morning air felt even better on her skin. A light breeze blew through the trees above her head. A butterfly fluttered in the wind.

   It must be nice to be free to float where you like. No worries or thoughts other than to make it to the next flower. If I were a butterfly I may like to be blue. The color of the sky and the ocean on my wings.

   “There you are my little girl,” Brook’s father John said. He kissed her softly on her forehead. “I was beginning to worry about you. I had stopped by the Price estate and Richards said you had left early in the morning.”

   “I was not feeling well Papa. But I am better now,” Brook said.

   “Lady Sarah and Lady Wilsbee paid a visit a short time ago. I told em you would be by when you felt up for it soon. They send their regards and hope for a speedy recovery.”

   Brook smiled. “I will send word later to them.”

   “Lady Wilsbee mentioned a trip to the country with her and Lady Sarah,” he said.

   Brook looked away from him. “Oh yes. I am going to turn the invitation down. I do not feel comfortable being away from you for so long Papa. After all who will cook and tend to you while I am away.”

   He removed his cap and scratched his head. “Well the thing of it is…I told Lady Wilsbee that you would accept. You see I have to go out of town and will be gone for a month or so.”

   Brook gazed up at him and her mouth fell open slightly. “I see,” she said slowly.

   “I would feel better if you were not alone in the woods. I asked her and Devon if they would not mind you stay with them.”

   “Papa! I am a grown woman and am perfectly able to care for myself,” Brook said.

   “Well being that as it may, you are still my girl and I need to do right for ya,” he said. “I will not be able to do me job if I’m worrying about you. Lord Price has given me the job of me dreams Brook and I must do me best at it. He depends on me to keep his estates in order.”

   He let out a long sigh. “I’ll make ya a deal. You can stay here as long as someone can check on ya every night after your trip.”

   Brook smiled up at him. “I can live with that. Thank you Papa.”

   John gave her a kiss again on the head. “I am heading out now. I will try to write you soon. Devon knows where I’ll be if you need me. I left money for you in the jar.”

   Brook gazed up at him. “Be safe Papa. I love you.”

   “Ya are me heart little girl,” John said and then left.


  Landon rode home slowly. He pondered last night’s events further in his mind. And scolded himself for it as he did. More than anything he thought about what Grams had said to him. He knew she was right.

   Upon arriving home Quentin was waiting outside his front door on the stoop.

   Landon pushed open the gate. Quentin stood up to meet him at the path.

   “To what do I owe this pleasure that is not so pleasurable old friend?” Landon said jokingly.

   “I have word on McMay,” Quentin said.

   Landon’s expression changed. He led him inside and to his study.

   “He has employed quite a few men Landon,” Quentin said.

   “How few are we talking?” Landon asked.

   “Few as in a small army. Some of the meanest men on the streets Landon. Hugh Dulling, Belford Short, Neal Maitland. The list goes on and on,” Quentin said.

   Landon walked over to the window. “Any word on their plans?”

   “No. That was all my brother had heard last night.”

   Landon looked back at Quentin. “This stays between you and me Quent. Devon is already a mess as it is. I’m not even sure he could handle this news.”

   “We should leave for my estate as soon as possible. How fast can we ready the women?” Quentin asked.

   Landon rolled his eyes. “They’re women, not fast enough. I’m going to ride back out to Devon’s and talk with Richards.”

   Quentin stood from his chair. “I will meet you there in about an hour.”

   After packing Landon rode back out to the Price estate. He came to the conclusion there may be no way around not telling Devon of McMay’s new army.

   Landon soon found Richards in the back of the house in the gardens.

   “Richards we will need to leave for Quentin’s today,” Landon said.

   “Why the sudden rush Sir?”

   “McMay is planning something big with a large group of very bad men.” Landon sighed. “Let me put it this way. The condition we found Sarah in that night will be nothing compared to what these men would do to the girls if they had the chance.”

   Richards’s eyes grew big. “Alright then I will start getting everyone ready.” He started to walk away.

   Landon placed his hand on Richards’s arm. “One more thing. Is there any way we can do this without telling Devon. I just don’t think he can handle this. Something is going on with him lately and I’m concerned about him.”

  Richards paused for a moment. “Yes I know just what to do. Leave it to me Sir.”

   Devon came in the front door to see bags lining the wall and stairs. He went hunting for Richards.

   “What is going on with all the bags?” Devon asked.

   Richards stood up straight. He hated he had to do this. “I found Lady Sarah packing her bags earlier and she had thought we were leaving today. I did not want to upset her so I just figured we could leave today instead of later this week. My only fear is Sir, she will not remember doing so,” Richards said.

   Devon nodded. “I will announce to the ladies I have decided to leave sooner.”

   Richards smiled. “Smart. I do not see them having a problem with it. Do you?”

   “No. They should be fine with it,” Devon said.

   Landon sat in Devon’s study and waited for him. He wasn’t waiting long. Devon walked over to his desk and pulled out a notebook and jotted a quick note in it.

   “I received word we had a change of plans,” Landon said from the study window.

   Devon jumped nearly out of his boots. “Good God Landon!”

   “I’m sorry Devon. I thought you had seen me.”

   Devon ran his hands through his hair. “No I didn’t.”

   Landon leaned forward off the windowsill and walked over to Devon’s desk. “What is going on with you Devon? You are not yourself lately.”

   Devon shook his head. He wanted to tell Landon what was going on with Sarah’s memory but he had promised her he would keep it quiet for now. “I will not be settled until McMay is dead.”

   Landon stared at Devon. “No, it is something else entirely Devon. I know you too well my friend.” He watched Devon gaze down at the surface of his desk. “Is there anything at all I can do to help?”

   Devon did not answer right away and Landon waited patiently. Finally Devon looked back up at him and said, “I wish there were Landon.”

   Grams and Sarah came in through Devon’s study door. “My boy you have surprised us.”

   Landon saw Devon smile. He wondered what Richards had said to Devon about having to leave sooner.

   Sarah stood behind Grams and appeared to look somewhat shy.

   “Yes well I thought you might be pleased,” Devon said. “Sarah, are ready to go?”

   Landon watched Sarah shake her head and smile with an odd expression. Almost as if she did not know him that well. Out of the corner of his eye he saw Devon’s hand tense into a fist. Landon was now really beginning to worry about Devon.

   “Well someone will have to fetch Brook,” Grams announced.

   “I will since you twisted my arm Grams,” Landon said as if bothered.

   Grams giggled. “I did not twist as much as a hair on your head boy. Off with you. Go and fetch our beautiful Brook.”

   “Oh Brook is coming also,” Sarah said with excitement.

   “Well of course she is my dear. She is not feeling that ill,” Grams said.


   Landon arrived at Brook’s cottage. He knocked on the door lightly. No one answered. He knocked a little louder with no results. Landon followed the path to the backyard. There he found Brook asleep in a hammock.

   He leaned down and whispered, “Brook wake up.” She did not move. “Red, wake up.”

   Brook heard Landon’s voice and answered him. “I’m tired.”

   Landon stood over her and smiled. He blew gently on her neck. “Red I want you to come with me.”

   “No I want to stay here with you,” she said.

   A devilish smiled crossed over Landon’s face. “What shall we do here Red?” He saw Brook smile.

   Landon ran the tip of his finger over Brook’s lips. She quickly licked them removing the tickle from his finger. He did it again and as he did she parted her lips. Landon pulled his hand back.

   Brook’s eyes fluttered open. “What are you doing here?”

   “Nice to see you too Red. I was sent by Grams to tell you we are leaving today for the country. I am to escort you back to the Price estate.”

   Brook sat up. “Today? Now? Why?”

   Landon said in a low loud tone, “Because we men say so woman.” He then smiled at her.

   Brook smiled back and shook her head at him. “It will take me a few minutes if you don’t mind waiting.”

   Landon bowed before her. “I am at your service.”

   Brook looped her arm through his and said, “Good then you can help me.”

   Landon chuckled. “I do not pack ladies things. I will carry them for you though.”

   “Ah I see Lord Fields. Fair enough then come inside,” she said.

© copyright 2012

Friday, December 14, 2012

Swoon with Gabi Daniels Reviews

EranSWOON!! So I might have a thing for angels and/or dead people. The Guardian Trilogy by Laury Falter were three books I read back to back to back. Eran is Maggie’s guardian angel and they have history. Hundreds of years of history together. Only Maggie doesn’t remember. There are major battles and when Eran expands his wings! Oh, swoooon. I’m all — It’s going down now! *Also possible in the air, clothes ripping off, wings fluttering sex.* SO HOT!
This is just one of the many swoon worthy hotties from Gabi's list. Stop by and check it out.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Temptation of a Kiss ~ Chapter 6

Chapter 6



   Landon drew back the curtains and opened both windows. The night air was cool and blew in as a slight soft breeze. A new candle had been lit next to Brook’s side of the bed on the table. It offered light if she was to be sick again.

   He removed his coat and tie hanging it over the chair to the dressing table. He then sat and took off his boots. Sitting at the other side of the room he stared at Brook. She looked beautiful in the candle light. The maids had taken her hair out of her pins. She was far more beautiful with her hair cascading down around her than he had thought she would be.

   Landon chuckled quietly to himself. The thought of pampering a woman and not receiving anything for it amused him. He had never done it before. Who is really the fool? You are going to lay in a bed all night long with a gorgeous woman and only take care of her while she is ill.

   After a moment he took a rag with cool water and lay next to her on the bed. Landon lifted the covers and then let them fall back against her body. He let out a loud chuckle.

   “Why on earth is she not dressed in anything other than her undergarments?” Landon raised his eyes to the ceiling. “Is this a test?” He asked out loud.

   He let out a sigh. Pulling back the covers he managed to get her arms out and place them a top of the thick quilt. Gently Landon laid the cool cloth to her forehead. She was cool and clammy. Removing the cloth for a second he blew softly at her moist skin across her damp forehead.

   She still had no coloring in her face and lips. Landon whispered, “Brook.” She did not answer him. He dipped the cloth and then placed it on her throat wiping away the sweat on her neck. “Hey Red,” he whispered into her ear.

   Brook stirred slightly making an m sound.

   “Red do you want some water?”

   She mouthed no. Landon blew on her neck and then her face. Brook turned her head slightly in his direction.

   “I know this feels good Red.” He blew on her neck again. Landon reached over and pulled up her hair off her shoulder. He blew softer this time as he leaned in closer. “Do you like it here Red?”

   Brook licked her dry lips slowly. Landon placed the cloth to her neck and creased her skin to her shoulder. He trailed behind it with his breath.

   She could feel how close he was to her skin. The room was still pinning and she wished it wasn’t because she wanted nothing more than to turn to him and kiss him again. His breath was cool but the heat of his mouth close to her felt hot.

   Brook felt her own breath begin to deepen and she had no control over it. The tingling she was beginning to feel was moving all over her body.

   “Do you want me to stop Red?” Landon’s voice was so soft slow and deep. It caused her to shiver next to him. Her breathes coming into her lungs were slow but they left her with gust.

   Landon ran the cloth across her collar bones to the other side of her neck. Leaning further up on his elbow, he bent over across her and blew on Brook’s neck.

   He felt Brook’s fingers rest on top of his finger tips on the bed and squeeze him gently. He paused and then whispered, “Do you want me to stop?”

   Her throat was so dry but she managed to moan no. She heard him chuckle quietly above her. If she could talk she would have said more please everywhere more.

   Landon watched her ever so slight facial expressions to his movements across her skin. He placed the cloth under her chin and moved down to the base of her neck.

   “Shall I do it again here?” He repeated it moving a little lower this time to where the top of her chest started.

   Brook let out a soft moan. Landon moved over the same spot again and blew on her softly. She tilted her head back a bit as she sighed from the sensation of it. Moving the cloth across her collar bone he pushed the strap of her gown down off her shoulder.

   She squeezed his fingers and moved her head to the side inviting him to do whatever it was he wanted to do. Landon took her hand in his and kissed her neck. He pulled back and blew over the area where his lips just were. He repeated it under her chin, on her shoulder, and then again on her neck.

   “Red can you open your eyes for me?”

   Brook slightly shook her head no. She had the worst feeling if she had the room would spin so fast that she would again be sick.

   The cool damp cloth touched her lips. It felt so good.  

   “I want you to drink some water Red and then you need to get some sleep,” he whispered to her.

   Brook wanted nothing but him and his kisses. To hell with water and sleep. She tried to moan no but before she knew it he had her head lifted with a glass to her mouth. Brook coughed up the small sip she took. Her throat was too dry. He insisted she try again. It felt cool all the way down to her empty belly.

   “Not too much. You’ll get sick again Red,” Landon said.

   He grabbed the end of the thick quilt at her feet and pulled it up and threw it off the side of the bed. Touching her leg with the back of his hand she felt hot. He then lay down beside her with the cloth. He stoked over her skin until she eventually feel asleep.

   Brook awoke the next morning curled up in Landon’s arms with her legs tangled in his. She remained still for nearly an hour listening to his heart beat. She did not want to move for several reasons. One she felt foolish for getting sick. Two because she did not want to wake him. And three, because she wanted to be in his arms. Brook knew this would never happen again.

   She squeezed her eyes shut at that thought. How had this happened? When did this happen? What was that last night? I kissed him in a room full of people. How am I going to be able to face them or him this morning?

   Landon opened one eye to see a room drenched in the morning sun. He quickly shut it. His hand brushed over the space on the bed next to him. The disappointment of empty space next to him made him think for a second.

   You are seriously hoping to wake up to her in your arms. This is going too far now. Thinking about her when she is with me is one thing, but now, thinking about her when she is not with me. No this has to stop. Get up. Get dressed and find breakfast and if you happen to see her, pretend as if it was no big deal. She is just another woman. Nothing special.

   The image of Brook’s long curly red hair in his hand flashed in his mind. He remembered how he caressed it between his fingers last night after he took in the scent of it. Dam it! Get up!

   Landon followed the scent of bacon and ham to the breakfast room. All was in attendance but Brook.

   “Oh my boy how is Brook this morning?” Grams shouted from the other end of the table.

   “I assume she is well.” Landon took a plate and turned to the table of food. His stomach was hungry and could wait no longer.

   “Landon my boy we all know you looked after her last night,” Gram said. “How could you not know of her condition this morning?”

   He didn’t turn around. “She was already gone when I awoke this morning. I assume she is well because she was gone.”

   Sarah looked to Grams and then to Devon. “Where did she go?”

   Richards cleared his throat. “Lady Brook left early this morning.” He leaned closer to Landon at the table of food and said, “Wearing as little as a quilt I might add.”

   Landon’s gaze flew to Richards.

   “What was that Richards darling?” Grams asked.

   “I said, she was swearing she felt fit and I was glad,” Richards said.

   Devon tilted his head slightly and gave Richards an odd look. It caught Richards’s attention and he glanced at him. He gave Devon the eyebrow and walked away. Devon pinched his lips together with understanding.

   “Well perhaps you two ladies can look in on her after breakfast,” Devon said with a smile.

   “I think I shall like to go now. Lord Price may I use your carriage?” Sarah asked.

   Everyone at the table stopped and stared at her.

   Richards stepped forward and said, “I will send for one right away Lady Sarah.”

   Devon smiled at her. Rising from the table he offered her his hand to escort her outside.

   Grams waited for the room to clear. “I want to ask you something my dear Landon. What are your intentions with Brook?”

   Landon choked on his bacon. Grams stood up and went over to pat him on the back.

   “I fear it is more my question than the bacon my boy. Take a drink of your coffee then you can answer my question.”

   After managing to get the bacon down he turned to Grams who was now seated back in her place. “Your question is silly. The intention as you call it is…friendship. I aided a friend last night. No clothes were removed and I promise you she is still an innocent.”

   “Well that is another subject entirely my boy but I do not want you adding her to your list of women to visit in the middle of the night,” Grams said.

   Landon laughed loudly at her.

   Grams slammed her hand to the table and shouted, “I am an old woman Landon and you can not fool a fool boy.”

   “You are neither old nor a fool Grams. Early spring flowers appear dull in your presence my lovely.”

   Grams rolled her eyes. “Oh honestly Landon. You are too much for your own good. A menace to the society of young ladies and widowers.”

   “Careful not to neglect the perfectly aged as well,” Landon said and then smiled devilishly at her. “I give my word we are merely close friends and nothing more.”

   Grams let out a grunt. “I do not believe that for a second. She has had enough heart aches in her life Landon and I fear you will only add to that.”

   Landon looked at her and paused for a moment. “Is this your true opinion of me? That I am some rake running around taking what I want.”

   Grams gazed at him for a long while then broke the silence. “I see a mutual interest with you two. And sometimes that can cloud one’s judgment. She is beautiful Landon. And you…you are far too charming. I care about both of you too much to not be able to have you visit together if something were to happen.”

   Landon glanced down at his coffee. “I understand Grams. Would it bring you comfort to know I care too much for you to allow that to happen?”

   Grams smiled and said, “Immensely but I still do not trust that.” She stood up. “Well I’m off, the carriage is waiting.”

   Landon stood and grabbed her hand and kissed it. “Give her my best will you?”

   Grams squeezed his hand and said, “My fear is she has already had your best.”

   Landon chuckled. “If that were true I assure you she would not have left this morning my lovely.”

   Grams giggled. “You are truly wicked my boy.”

   Landon realized he left his tie upstairs. The room was straightened up already with fresh linens on the bed. He walked over to the dressing table and found his tie in a porcelain dish. Lying next to his tie was Brook’s handkerchief. Landon picked them both up and placed them in his pocket.

   He turned back and gazed at the bed. His mind drifted back to the night before and he could see her there lying in the candle light.

© copyright 2012