Friday, May 31, 2013

The Temptation of a Kiss ~ Chapter 15

~ Chapter 15 ~

Landon jumped in and rushed to where she had been. Plunging his hands beneath the water he felt for her. Come on damn it Red, I know you are here. He frantically moved every witch way for her. Landon closed his eyes tight. Okay look, you are I have not had many conversations over the years but I am begging you to help me find her. Please do not take her. He waiting for some kind of acknowledgment or sign but there was nothing but the sounds of mumbles of men around him and splashing of water. A bargain. That's usually what people offer up when they need your divine intervention or a miracle, right? Okay then. Pausing for a moment Landon promised the first thing that came to mind that he felt guilty about and swore he would try to never do it again.

A sudden snap as if someone had broken a twig in on the silent forest floor caused his eyes to fly open and he gazed straight ahead of him at the bank.

Devon,” he yelled. Landon ran over to a large tree laying against the bank half in the water. He reached down and within seconds made contact with her dress. “I have her.” He said to Devon as he came up to him from behind. “We haven't much time.”

Don't let go of her,” Devon said before he sank into the stream next to him. Ten seconds later he emerged and said, “She is tangled in the branches. I can't free her alone.”

Landon began to rip at her clothing which was not getting him anywhere. “The material is wet and won't give.”

Devon called out for Quentin. “We need a knife quickly.”

Quentin handed Devon one and pulled out another one from his pocket. Both went to work on Brook's dress under the black rushing water.

Landon held onto her hand with both of his. With every passing second it felt like an hour to him. You do know when I asked you to help me find her I meant for her to be alive. He gazed up and narrowed his eyes at the endless night's sky. Is that so much to ask? To take a woman's life who her herself does nothing other than give of herself to others without as much as expecting a thank you in return. What could you possibly gain by depriving this world of her smile, her kindness, her heart for mankind? A slight squeeze griped his hands and his gaze shot down towards the swirling water.

Devon surfaced. “She needs air, Landon.”

He took in a deep breath and went down. His lips made contact with Brook's. Covering his mouth over her mouth he slowly exhaled into her hoping she was getting something without taking in any water. Brook's pale skin shinned like a light in the dim space between them. He stayed down with her as long as he could. Finally he had to surface for air but as soon as he came up he went back down to give Brook more air.

As their lips met again he was glad to feel her other arm now free as she wrapped it around his neck. Just hold on Red you are almost free.

Landon softly touched her cheek with the palm of his hand. Brook closed her big blue eyes. I have never wanted to feel someone's touch more in my life than I do right now. Not just someone's, his. She felt his lips leave her mouth and then he tried to release her hand. No don't let go. Please don't leave me.

He gazed down to see Brook's other hand grasp at his arm. Landon went back down and kissed her lips tenderly with a softness she had never felt before. It was than in that moment she knew he would not let her die under there.

Rubbing her cheek with his thumb he did his best to show her he was not willing to let her go. I'm not going anywhere, Red. I wish I could comfort you with words but as of now that is impossible. Look in my eyes and see what I am trying to say to you.

Brook's grip eased and he stood up and quickly removed his coat hanging it on a branch next to him. Going back under for what he hoped was one last time he gave her another breathe. As he did Brook's body floated up towards him and she took in a deep massive inhale when hitting the surface.

Standing in waist deep water Landon took his coat and covered her nearly naked body. He drew her to him an held her within his arms. She squeezed his shirt in her hands as she struggled to regulate her breathing.

Take your time,” he whispered.

Brook shook her head no. “Where? Where is he?” she managed to ask.

Honestly I'm not sure. I was too focused of finding you.” Landon reached you to her face and with his finger pulled away the clinging wet hair from her eyes. “You are safe now and do not need to worry about anything else other than catching your breath, Red.”

She was comforted at the moment by his words. “You saved my life Landon, thank you,” she said. Brook's eyes locked with his. He wasn't smiling anymore. To her he seemed troubled by her gratefulness.

Landon abruptly released her and looked around. “We should head back to the estate and get you into some clothing.” He motioned to Devon to come over to them. As Devon approached he took Brook's hand and placed it on Devon's arm. “Will you aid Brook up the bank?”

Oh course I will,” Devon replied and then smiled at Brook.

She watched Landon walk away up the bank. What just happened? Why is he suddenly so cold to me? What the hell did I do?

Are you alright?” Devon asked as he guided her towards a low spot of land. There was no mistaking her tense posture or death grip on his arm. “Brook?”

Yes I am okay.” She flashed a half smile but did not look to him. “Thank you for helping to save me, Devon.”

He pattered her hand with his other hand. “Ah, just trying to return the many favors you have helped me with these last few months.”

This made Brook giggle softly. “Well I would say that this far exceeds all favors past, present, or future, Devon on your part. I do not recall ever saving your life,” she said.

Devon chuckled. “Brook, you were there for me when I did not even know I needed you. It was you who helped me to realize how much I loved Sarah.”

She looked to Devon then asked, “If I ask you something will you answer honestly?”

Yes,” he said with suspicion.

What is going on with Sarah?” Brook asked. “She is not herself at times and it seems to me to be getting worse.”

Devon shook his head slowly as he gazed at the path in front of them. “It is her memory from the head injury. Every week she is losing more of it. The doctors do not know what else to do about it.” He then fell silent.

Brook wasn't sure if she should press the issue any longer. She had no background experience with head injuries other than bumps and knocks she attended to from the locals at the pub. Her father was a kind man but not mild tempered in the least when pushed.

Devon broke the silence. “I fear I will lose her forever,” he whispered.

Brook paused and turned to him. “Perhaps you should try less conventional treatments.”

Devon shook his head. “No, no way. Sarah could end up worse than she already is. I won't risk it.”

Yes but you said yourself she is declining every week before your eyes. Something has to be done, Devon. She isn't aware she is losing memory is she?”

No.” Devon said in a soft voice. “Sarah remembers she forgets things but lately she has no idea when she is regressing or after wards. It is odd because she will all of the sudden be back in the present with me like nothing had ever happened.”

Landon walked at a good fifteen paces behind Brook and Devon. His jacket Brook was wearing barely covered her bottom. The only clothing that wasn't cut away from her was her camisole and even that suffered from the entanglement leaving it with gaping holes. Two men walking behind him spoke in low tones to one another and Landon was positive it was in regards to Brook's long bare legs.

These two better shut it before they are chewing on their own teeth. He watched her creamy skin move in the light of the torches. To him they were almost as alluring as her lips, almost. With bare feet she walked delicately. Every step seemed to whisper to him, “Follow me”. Even through his coat he could see the movement of her hips swaying in the most feminine way. It was clearly not only drawing his attention.

I wish I could have been one of the lucky chaps to cut away her coverings,” the man said.

The other laughed aloud. “You and me both!” I would've felt my way up to her-

Landon stood face to face with the man. “Oh please do go on because as soon as you finish your last filthy word I'm going to make sure you will never talk again. Do you think it's possible to swallow without a tongue?”

Let's have a little chat shall we gentleman.” Quentin said as he placed a hand on each of the man’s shoulders. He stood behind the two men and smiled at Landon. “I was quite honestly wondering how long you were going to listen to them.”

Landon's glare did not move from the man in front of him. “Not long enough I suppose.”

The man shrugged. “I could continue,” the man said with a grin.

Quentin slowly closed his eyes and backed up. “I tried to help you two idiots.”

Landon struck the man before he had a chance to blink. He fell backwards and did not get back up.

I got it from here, my friend.” Quentin said as he held the other man with one firm hand by the back of his collar.

Landon turned and began walking towards Brook and Devon who luckily did not notice the exchange. “Devon,” he said as he came up closer.

They turned to see Landon unbuttoning his shirt. “I will escort her the remainder of the way.

Devon looked behind Landon to Quentin seventy steps back. “Yes, well I shall see if Quentin needs company than.”

What are you doing?” Brook asked.

He pulled her over off the path behind a huge oak tree. “You need to put this on.”

Landon your coat in suffice I believe.” She watched him pull his shirt out of his pants while he was looking in every direction. “You are acting odd.”

His gaze flew to her and he just stared at her. The moment grew tense and heavy between them. Brook did not know what had provoked this behavior but she wasn't going to stand for it. Saving my life or not he is not going to order me around.

Brook turned from him to walk away and he took hold of her arm. “Put this on, Brook.”

Let go of my arm.” She stated and yanked it out of his grip.

Take off the coat and put this on, Red. We'll stand here all night until you do.”

His tone was low and she was not sure what to make of it. “I do not understand what has come over you but I do not care for it. Now, I am walking back to the estate and if you choose to stand her with your shirt in your hand than do so...alone.”

Brook again turned from him and Landon abruptly yanked her into his arms and at the same time slid the coat off her body wrapping the shirt around her just as fast. He took several steps back with the coat in one hand he pointed to her with the other and said, “You might want to button that up.”

Brook turned away from him without a word. Who does he think he is demanding I do something because he says so.

Bet you didn't see that one coming did you Red? I've never met such a stubborn woman in my life.

After a few moments she started to walk away. Landon smiled at his clever maneuver and the fact that he had out witted her.

Brook glanced over her shoulder at him and then let the white over sized shirt fall from her body to the ground. "I won't be needing this but thank you."

Are you crazy,” Landon said loudly. She was completely exposed and calmly walking away from him. He picked up the shirt and wrapped it around her waist from behind. Her naked skin was firmly up against him and he felt the sudden throbbing of his erection. Tying the sleeves in a double tight knot he said, “Woman, you are asking for trouble. Do you realize I just knocked a man out not too long ago for talking about your parts that you are so carelessly now showing off to the world?” He placed the coat over her shoulders and released her forward. “I can't fight off twenty or so men because you decide you want to be a little Irish redhead that resembles a mule.”

Brook's mouth dropped open. What did he just call me? She stood there as Landon passed by her. “Well who asked you to anyways, Lord Fields?”

His hands clenched but he kept walking. Foolish woman.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Temptation of a Kiss ~ Chapter 14

~ Chapter 14 ~

Landon laid in bed with his eyes closed. He could hear the soft wisps of breaths Brook had taken in as his lips settled next to her ear. What was I thinking spewing out all that to her. Why the hell would I tell her what I fantasize about regarding her? Bringing his hand in a ball to his forehead Landon tapped it to his skin. Stupid, stupid ,stupid! I mean seriously what did I think she was going to do? Turn around and fall into my arms. Ha, no that's what I wish her to do and I'm surprised I didn't let that reveal it's self too.

He gazed over to the clock on the gray marble mantel. It is still early. I could go apologize for what I said to her. God what am I saying? It's what I did to her! Foolish idiot. I cannot imagine what she thinks of me now.

Landon's feet hit the floor and he began to walk the perpetrator of the room. “I have made a mess of things now.” His pace was slow and steady as he walked the length of the room in front of the windows. “How could I be so selfish? I mean I am fully aware she is not an innocent but by no means is she experienced enough to handle what I had said to her. Damn it! The only thing I did was seduce her...hell I seduced myself.” Landon chuckled at the thought.

He paused in front of the balcony doors. Pushing them open he walked out to the railing. His hands met the rim of the cooled stone. Is it possible that she saw through my words and felt what I was really saying to her? I have never before been so caught up in a woman. She has this thing about her that I can't turn away from. I wish I knew what it was.

His gaze flew up to a startling sound off in the distance. “What the hell is going on down there?” He leaned over further. The path was lit with torches but the figures were still faint.

His heart seized at the sound of his name. Brook! “Release her now!”

The tone of his voice carried through the dark to Brook like trembling thunder. “Landon!” she cried out again. “Let go of me,” she screamed at the man. His bulky arms encased her whole body leaving her helpless in his grasp.

Landon flew through the hall and down the stairs. Turning the corner into the atrium he could not contain his fear. Landon shouted her name as loud as he could as he barreled towards the back doors.

Devon and Quentin locked eyes and immediately followed Landon's voice.

Brook kicked the man's shin with her heel as hard as she could. It was met with a chuckle in her ear. “You are needed by my Lord. He is waiting for us to return so stop struggling.”

Brook's mind raced. Where is Landon? God please help me. Do not let him take me. As she finished her plea Brook felt a solid pain on her head. The bright stars above seem to grow fuzzy. Keep my eyes open. Ouch my head really hurts. I think he hit... Her words trailed off to nothing as the grip of unconsciousness took hold of her.

Landon reached the spot where he had seen them. “Brook!” His body whipped around every which way of any sign of her. An elegant lavender scarf rest on the edge of the path before him. Landon picked it up and rubbed it between his fingers. Her scent danced through the air on a small breeze to meet him. “Red,” He belted out so loud it hurt his throat.

What is going on,” Devon asked as he ran up to his side.

A man. There was a man and he has her now,” Landon answered. “She was here a minute ago. The bastard had his hands on her.”

What man? Quentin asked.

The man who was here!” Landon yelled as he went to walk away.

Devon grabbed his arm and Landon snapped it back. “Okay look, we can't help you unless we know who you are talking about, Landon.”

There was a man and he took Brook. God damn it aren't you listening!” Landon began to walk down the path towards the woods.

Are you positive?” Devon asked as he followed him.

Of course I am. He was holding her and she screamed for me to help her. I took too long and now she's gone.” Landon stopped and gazed to Devon. “We have to find her right now.”

Okay we will,” Devon said.

No like immediately,” Landon couldn't even think straight. He didn't know where to go or how to move. He was paralyzed with an unspoken fear of losing her.

Devon placed his hand on Landon's shoulder. “We will find her soon. Quentin is gathering every man in the estate to aid us.” Devon stepped in front of Landon. “Hey, look at me. She will be safe and here soon.”

Quentin came up and began giving orders to small groups of men armed with torches and whatever they could use as a weapon. Within minutes twenty five men were walking a line in groups into the woods. As instructed they all paused at thirty paces to listen for a full ten seconds for signs of where she might be.

Devon was leading with three hounds who were given Brook's scarf to smell. He was sure they could not be far behind them. The dogs were pulling hard which meant the trail was hot. All three hounds took a sudden turn towards the stream to the right. Devon was lead into the water along the bank. Quentin ordered for half the men to cross and walk the other side along the bank at twenty paces back. Devon was the only one to walk the cool swift flowing river with the hounds. Although it was not deep it had been raining often over the past few weeks and the current was strong. It did not help he was getting pushed by the water at the back of his knees as he walked the rocky bed of the stream.

Landon although he was watching the stream with his eyes darting back and fourth to the hounds, he was thinking about Brook. If I had only been a minute sooner I probably could have saved her. I should have gone out on the balcony earlier then I would have heard her screaming for me. His heart skipped. Me, she was calling out for me. Of all the people in the house she thought to yell my name and I failed her. After all the rude and disrespectful things I uttered to her I was the one she cried out to help her. Landon's gaze moved from the water to Devon and then back to the hounds. I swear I will kill this filthy bastard. If she is hurt in any way I will choke the life from him myself.

Landon paused a second which caught Quentin's attention. “What is it?” he asked quietly.

Why is she not screaming for help? We should be able to hear her through the trees because it would echo and hold the sound,” Landon said as he looked to Quentin.

His lips formed a line at Landon's words. The fear that washed over him before his eyes caused him to shutter. “Let's move.” Quentin then shouted. “Men pick up the pace.”

Landon's legs grew numb. His hands and arms surged with a throbbing odd sensation. The swishing of water and the howling of the dogs was not enough to drowned out the sound of his own pulse racing in his ears.

Up ahead,” one of the men shouted.

Quentin stopped and then yelled, “Release the hounds, Devon.” He ordered the men to run up further along the bank and spread out to stop the man from fleeing.

Landon ran along the bank gaining on the man. Brook's limp body was draped over his shoulder. He could see her bound hands and feet lifelessly moving with the man's body. The faster the man ran the further back Brook's body was slipping on him.

With the hounds moving in on him he let go. Landon watched in horror as Brook's body fell head first into the stream. He wasn't sure where she was as her motionless body sank under the water.

No,” Landon shouted as he reached out for her still for far away on the bank.

Everyone in the water now,” Quentin yelled. “Reach in and feel for her.” He pointed to a handful of men. “All of you move downstream just in case she has drifted away.”

Devon looked to Landon who was standing staring at the spot where he had last saw her. “Landon,” Devon said. “Landon damn it!”


The Tempation of a Kiss ~ Chapter 13

~ Chapter 13 ~

Brook stared at the broad posture of his back until he disappeared down the path into the foliage. She hadn't realized it but she finally took in the breath she had been holding.

What am I do do with this? Chase him? Beg for his attention like a dog? She paused and gazed up to the glass ceiling. The stars twinkled through the panes. The memory of every one of his words would haunt her now and she dreaded the thought of them creeping into her head, her dreams, and worse yet her heart. No, he wants me to pursue him. I will never again do that. Not for him or any other man. To risk it all for one night with him is madness. I mean it is not as if he even truly cares for me, not in the way I had hoped he would. Just when I think I see it in his eyes the fact that he will never marry outside his circle reminds me that to him I am simply someone to pass his time with. The game...a chase. Brook suddenly stood to her feet gathering up her skirts in her hands. I need some fresh air.


Long thin finger warped tightly around his cane before the men in front of him. Black hollow eyes glared at them sending a cold chill straight through them to what was left of there hearts. Every one of them dare not look to the evil before them. Words remained just whispers inside their own heads not tempting the wrath of being heard.

Four men remained one captured from discovery. All five feared failure and what it promised for not only them but their families.

Drop to your knees,” his voice hissed.

All four heads darted up to see his long yellow nail pointing to the man on the left end.

Crawl to me,” a low tone echoed in the dim lit cabin. “Now!” He roared with a strike of his cane against the gray wood under his feet.

The man crawled forward daring not to close his eyes yet praying he had the courage to do so.

Where is the fifth?”

Here on the property, my Lord,” the man said. The growing sound of his own heartbeat nearly drowned out his words. Terrified he may not have spoke clearly enough he added, “He is reachable if you desire it, my Lord.”

He slid the tip of his cane across the floor to the man and raised it to his chin. Slowly he pulled his face up to meet his eyes. “Will you fail this time?”

The man gave his head a slight shake as he fought the sting of tears peaking in his eyes. The hard strike across his cheek was worth the pain if that was all he was to receive. Again his eyes remained to the ground. His body trembled. His cheek dripped blood but his tears stayed where the belonged, hidden from the sight of him, his master.

He stood with swift anger. “Bring to me the fifth and also one of the younger women close to my dear niece.” Turning from the men he gazed out the window to the faint glow coming from the estate. “We will pick them off one by one until only she remains. The men will be drawn out in search and easier to kill if alone. Save both Price's and Sarah for last. As for the rest, take them to the designated place and send word for me once you have completed your duty.” He spun around to the men. “Is this understood?”

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Erotic Short Story ~ The Night's Sinful Secrets



The Night's Sinful Secrets

Erotic Short Story


~ Chapter 1 ~
Athena giggled to herself as she ran through the Marquis’s maze. She heard the hushed ramblings of boots pounding the dirt in the far off distance. It has to be him and a few of his men searching for me. They didn't sound close enough to catch up with her yet.

She ran deeper into the maze at a playful pace. The image of shock flashing over him pushed her further to the limits of just plane naughty foolishness and if she was honest with herself, she loved every second of it.

Jase's pulse tore through his veins like a raging river. He stopped at a split in the maze. “Quiet,” he shouted out. “All of you go to the entrance and wait for me there.” Gaze back at his choice before him he stilled his body, listening for any sign of her.

Damn it Athena. If I had known you would take me seriously I would have never dared you to do this.  A vision of Athena hiking up her skirts as she removed her shoes all while gazing at him with playful determination and then dashing away down the stone steps barefoot, crept up in his mind. Floating lavender chiffon whirled behind her as she ran towards the maze.

When Jase called out to her she paused for a brief moment. Wild long waves chestnut hair fell lose as she removed her clip.  Even in the moonlight from a distance he could see her mischievous smile. “Are you too kingly to pursue what is your true desire, Grand Marquis?”

He hated when she teased him with the title.

To the right the trail looped back to the middle leading to the entrance. And to the left the path headed into the secret depths of exotic confusion. If one finds himself lost he may stay lost for days. That was the way it had been designed by his great grandfather. 

Jase strode in the direction he knew she would head, left. To her going right would be pointless. Within minutes he saw what he hoped wouldn’t. Taking up the purple scarf in his hand Jase squeezed it into a ball. Foolish woman. Does she not know there are other people wandering in the maze?  Shaking his head he quickly corrected himself. No, she knows because it was all part of the bet I made her. And she will stop at nothing to prove me wrong.

“Good evening,” she said passing a couple walking by. I guess I am not alone out here. A small laugh emerged. I can’t believe I am doing this. He will without a doubt refuse the marriage now. Father is going to be so cross with me.

Athena traveled further down the trail with little thought as to what tomorrow will bring for her. She had objected to the arranged marriage pleading to her mother she wanted to marry for love and although she truly cared for the Marquis, Athens was positive he did not share her passion.

Tonight will be the night the Marquis changes his mind. His insistence of duty and nobility is not something I will ever base a marriage off of…ever.

Ten minutes later Jase came upon a stocking and then another one twenty paces from that. “Blood hell,” he muttered. He shoved them in his pocket and kept walking.

Not far from there a couple bowed and said their greetings. Jase barely acknowledged them as he mumbled, “Yes you as well.” A firm scowl situated upon him now. He couldn’t help it.

Everything I have been planning is about to be ruined along with my reputation. Love, ha. Passion is for the foolish with unrealistic ideas.  I mean I can be more than passionate but I do not feel the need to show it like a school boy, especial in public.

Athena turned the corner to the left. Beautiful sculpted hedges of loving couples arranged in a circle drew a small crowd. Lit by lanterns they seemed to almost dance in the moonlight.

I’ve never seen such a display.  Her eyes widened as she entered the circle. After a moment she gazed around to the others surrounding her. I am the only one here who is alone.

One particular sculpture reminded her of him. She reached out and grazed her fingers over the form. It’s an amazing liking to him. Closing her eyes Athena saw his face. Strong square jaw with a slight clef on his chin. Perfectly formed lips she was positive would be very kissable. Sensual large deep green eyes that hid within them a devilish fun side he never allowed out. Fashionable longer blond hair that Athena wanted to touch on so many occasions but couldn’t. “You are almost perfect,” she whispered.

She took one last glance and left but not before discreetly making a point to the Marquis. He won’t be able to miss that.  Athena bit up her bottom lip as she continued on.

~ Chapter 2 ~

Ten minutes passed and Jase rounded the same corner Athena had. He walked past the hedge display heading forward with focus. Wait. Jase turned back around and strolled through figures. A few people were lingering about but there was no sign of her in there.

On his way out he passed by a striking piece. He remembered it from his childhood. His sister often sat by it. Jase gazed down and saw Athens’s undergarment that should have been covering her lower half lying at his feet. With a couple now behind him he kicked it under the hedge.

Does the woman not have an ounce of subtlety?  He ran his hand through his hair. I really almost want to walk away from this. I mean look at me. She has me chasing her down in the dark as she throws bits of her attire off her body.

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Temptation of a Kiss ~ Chapter 12

Chapter 12


The men arrived at the stables riding their horses to the back. Devon dismounted and wasted no time getting up to the house for a change of clothing for Landon and Quentin.

“Sir, is everything alright?” The stable boy asked with fear flooding his eyes.

Quentin did not turn to him. “Yes we are fine. I will need a few pales of water and some sponges if you would, Neil. Thank you.” He had hoped that would end the questions.

“For the horses, Sir?”

Quentin clenched his jaw and then realized his stead had blood smears on him. “Ah yes and I will need it as well.” He paused and then said in a low tone, “Anything else, Neil?” He heard the boy scurry away.

Landon tied his horse to the gate. “Can I be honest with you Quentin?”

“If you feel you must,” he answered.

“I did care for your game today,” Landon said. He caught Quentin’s eye as he smiled at him.

“Hey we got what we needed,” Quentin said and smirked back at him.

“Pardon me. I am looking for Mr. Alexander or Lord Price,” a soft voice said.

Landon’s gaze flew to Quentin’s. The young woman stepped around the side of the horse as she ran her hand along his neck. Landon’s eyes locked with the woman’s and she screamed a blood curtailing cry. He watched her place her hand to her mouth and he saw the blood mark her face from the horse.

“Oh Christ!” Quentin shouted as he lunged to catch her falling body.

“My God what the bloody hell happened?” Richards shouted. “Where is Devon?”

“He is getting us a change of clothes.” He put his hands up. “Believe me it looks far worse than it is, Richards. No one is hurt, well, not any one of us any ways.”

“We caught one of McMay’s men,” Quentin offered.

“Yes and Quentin had a grand afternoon playing a game with him, which,” Landon waved his hand down the front of him, “Ended in this.” He then smiled at Richards as if to say he was not happy either.

“Is that Hanna?” Richards asked staring at Quentin who was holding her in his arms.

“We did not get that far with her. You know the blood in all caused her to apparently shut down or faint,” Landon said. He turned to Quentin who was looking irritated at the moment and said, “Who knew a man’s nose could produce that much blood.”

“This is not funny, Landon!” Richards expression was fierce. “Lady Hanna is Devon’s cousin and she is an innocent sweet shy young lady. I can only imagine this must have been more than shocking for her. We need to get her into the house to Grams.”

“Oh no,” Quentin stated. “I have a house full of guests and they are not baring witness to any of this. Bring Grams to her. I have a loft in here and I will place her there until she recovers.”

Richards eyed him closely. “Very well than Quentin I will fetch Grams and Brook.”

“Shut the doors on your way out so no one else comes wandering in here,” Quentin shouted. He gazed down at the woman in his arms. She had the blackest hair he had ever seen with odd blue almost purple eyes from what he just saw.

“Quent, are you going to gaze upon the beauty in your arms or take her out of sight,” Landon asked as he pointed up to the stairs. “You do realize she is now covered in blood as well right?”

“Yes,” he said as he began to carefully climb the stairs with her. “She will have to change as well. I pray Devon and Grams can calm her and keep her from talking about this.”

“If not, I’m not playing anymore of your crazy games today,” He patted Quentin’s shoulder.

“Funny, Landon,” he said.

Just then they heard Grams shouting for Hanna. Landon leaned over the railing, “We are up here. Take it slow on the steps, Grams. She’s not going anywhere.”

He stood with his hands on his hips. Splatters and large droplets covered his face, arms, and shirt. Brook calmly checked him from across the room. Is that his blood? I don’t see any injuries on him. Landon slowly looked from the ground up to meet her eyes. His blond hair tinted pink in areas and he gazed at her with an odd stare.

Devon walked past her and placed a bag down on the ground at Landon’s feet. He was talking but she heard none of it. Her attention was focused on Landon as she watched him converse with the group. Neil passed by her with two pales.

“Brook,” Grams said.

Perhaps he is wounded under his shirt. He seems fine though. I wish he would stop staring at me like that. Brook took a few steps towards him hoping he might snap out of his glare on her, it only intensified.

“Brook!” Grams shouted.

Her head flew towards Grams. “I’m sorry, yes.”

“You need you to fetch clothing for Hanna please.”

“Alright,” Brook replied.

“If you see Sarah please do not tell her or bring her with you,” Grams added.

Brook slipped out the back door of the stable and made her way to the house still not knowing if Landon was hurt or not. By the time she returned with a dress for Hanna Landon and Quentin were gone. She left Grams to attend to her niece and walked back down stairs.

She paused when she heard Devon’s voice. Landon replied to whatever it was Devon said to him. She was not close enough to hear the whole conversation. Devon said her name and Brook paused. All their whispering is making it impossible to hear them. Why are they talking about me? She heard Landon laugh hard and then Devon continued speaking.

“Brook,” Richards yelled from across the stable.

She jumped and turned to him. She tried to hurry towards him. Oh this is embarrassing. Richards caught me eves dropping and now Devon and Landon know I was listening. Stupid! Still, what where they saying? Brook gasped in her thoughts. Maybe they were talking about last night. I hope Devon doesn’t think I am having an affair with Landon now.

“Is there anything I can help you with, Richards?”

“No, I just wanted to make certain you were alright.”

Brook could not help but smile at him. “I am perfectly fine but thank you. I do hope Lady Hanna will recover soon.” After a second she turned to him again. “Richards, I want to ask you about Sarah. I want to know what is going on with her.”

He saw the worry in her eyes. He let out a sigh than said, “Her memory is growing worse. It seems with every day we get further away from that night McMay did what he did to her, she loses more of her memory.”

“Brook’s eyes teared up. “Is there nothing that can be done for her?” she watched Richard shake his head with despair and her heart broke. I can’t lose my best friend. Oh no Devon.

“I had to introduce myself to her this morning, Brook. I think we should all prepare for this to grow worse as the days move on,” he said.

“I won’t accept this, Richards. There has to be something that can be done,” Brook stated as she gazed out the partially open door. “All hope cannot be lost yet.”

Brook walked back to the estate arm and arm with Richards. It was nearing diner hour and she still had to dress. Guests were arriving from neighboring towns and the day already felt as if it should be coming to an end for Brook.


~In the atrium later that night~


Landon was approached by a slightly older woman who has had her eye on him since her arrival. Brook watched carefully at Landon’s reaction to her long slender frame as she passed by him at first. She was married but looking for a lover while she is there at Quentin's estate, so the rumors whispered around Brook as she walked the room.

Her run in with the woman earlier as she walked the hall to her chambers was not pleasant to say the least. The woman had clearly honed in on Landon and Brook’s close friendship and did not like it.

Standing within the circle along with Sarah, Devon, Quentin, and Luke who is also Devon’s cousin and Hanna’s brother, she tried her best to keep to herself. Brook gazed round trying to seem too fixed upon him. The woman standing with him noticed his lustful glare and slowly moved herself in his line of sight.

“So I’ve been told you do a little traveling abroad.” She said as she toyed with the pearls at her plummeting neckline.

“Sum,” he answered as he watched Brook look over to Luke and then smile. Bloody bastard is staring at her lips. Just turn away Red. You don’t need to be so polite and smiley for him.

“I’m assuming you must have had the pleasure of experiencing many exotic cultures and…woman?” The woman trailed out her words with slow intent. “Tasted sinfully delicious foods, perhaps?”

Landon’s eyes narrowed at Luke’s back. “One could say that. Although there was one particular deliquesce I did not have the pleasure as you put it, of tasting.” Landon’s gaze moved to her. The woman was nearly on his lap.

Is he flirting with her? .The woman threw her head back with laughter. Uneasy butterflies arose in the pit of her stomach. I can’t watch this.

Landon had been teasingly informed by Devon as to why Brook was upset with him and now as he stands ignoring the woman babbling in front of him, Brook is all he is thinking about. Aroused by the thought of her being naked in a room with him and he did not know it, he is left feeling cheated in some way.

Sarah noticed her tension and follows her gaze to see Landon at the other end of it. Looping her arm through Brook's she insists they take a walk about the room and chat. Sarah makes note of Brook's tense posture and tries her best to make light of the situation whatever that may be, seeing that Brook has not fully filled her in on whatever is troubling her tonight.

Oh so you are going to walk around and avoid me are you, Red. Landon takes another glass of wine off the tray of a servant passing by.

There are not many people in the atrium. Small clusters of folks scattered here and there. It allows Sarah some amount of privacy to press Brook to open up to her.

Landon watched the women begin to walk. He gazes at the way her hips sway. Notices her long neck and thinks about how he would love to kiss it again. As they circle around and turn towards him she refuses to make eye contact. What’s this? You refuse to look at me? I think she is trying to get my attention. Little does she know she has had it all night. It’s unbelievable the way those beautiful curves of her breasts align perfectly with her hips. Greedy eyes follow the line down from her breasts as it tapers in to her waist. He imagines himself caressing his hands over where his eyes just were. How could she not be some man’s wife or lover?

The thought that she was naked is driving him mad now. What is this woman yapping about? Just flash her a smile and nod.

Sarah asks Brook what is troubling her. Brook knows she cannot lie to her. “I am growing concerned about feelings I am having regarding Landon.”

“I have noticed his behavior is different. Not in a bad way. I believe he may share your interest, Brook.” Sarah said.

“If he does Sarah, it is only for his own amusement. He himself has stated that his family would never allow for him to marry outside his class.” Brook stopped and turned to her. “I have been fooled once and do not care to repeat it.”

After another thirty minutes or so Devon and Sarah finally leave and Brook has wandered off to admire the rare botanical, so she tells herself. Landon watches her every move and has been plotting his next move. She stands tucked ways but not completely out of view in the foliage.

Landon wasn't sure if it was the tormenting thoughts plaguing him about Brook or if it was seeing her stroke the exotic foliage with her finger tips that made him abruptly cut off the woman talking at him but he did it.

He approached her from behind and as he did she heard the deep tone of his voice. “Some of these are sensitive to touch.”

She did not turn to face him. The quickening of her pulse froze her. The scent of him engulfed the air around her drowning out all others. The strength of his presence was over whelming and intoxicating. To fight wanting to feel it in a way that she secretly desired was growing weak. The thought of her walls begin to crumble scared her to death. Act as if he is just any other person to talk to.

“Did I startle you this morning when you awoke?” he asked.

“No you did not,” Brook lied. Take your leave now before you give him the opportunity to go any further. She cleared her throat but nothing came out after that.

The idea of sharing his torturous thoughts was arousing him but could he be so crud or bold enough to do that to a lady? Was she the type of woman that might become aroused by it? She turned her head towards a group laughing off to her left. Landon's gaze did not follow he fixed on her bare neck beckoning him to kiss it.

“I was told differently. So how long was it before you noticed me sleeping in the chair,?” he asked in a slow hush of words.

“I can't be certain.” Brook turned completely away from him. My face is turning red I can feel it. “Pardon me I must go now.”

Landon stepped in front of her. Still she could not bring herself to make eye contact with him, if she did he would see what she carries for him. “Please step aside,” she said while gazing at the potted plant at his feet behind him.

“I can't. I won't, Red.”

His tone was deep and soft and everything she wanted to feel from within his arms, through his kiss, and in his whispers against her skin. Landon's arm brushed against her arm as he walked round her. Even though they were fully clothed an electric wave of sensations flooded over Brook. She found herself taking in a deep breath and then another.

“What if I were to tell you I was not sleeping and saw you,” he said.

Brook took a step forward away from him and he reached out and took her hand holding her in place. The softness of her skin as he rubbed his thumb gently across the top of her hand teased his wicked thoughts further.

The comforting warmth of his hand stunned her. She hadn’t expected to feel so much from a simple hand hold. “Release me. If you had been you would've done nothing but leave at my insistence, “Brook said. She was determined to out word him and stop his silly game and leave as quickly as she could.

“If I had been awake I would have asked you to do something for me.” With her hand in his Landon inter locked their fingers together. He felt the motion of it still her.

“My request would've been for you to reach down and touch yourself but not for me, for you, the way a woman does when she is all alone with desiring thoughts of the man she wants.”

Brook squeezed his hand without being aware of it. Her whole body tensed at the thought. A feverish wave rushed through her. She envisioned standing before him exposed and caressing herself as she had wanted to so many times when thinking of him.

Say something. I should walk away now.

Landon released her hand and let it glide away from him. Slowly he walked around her, circling her motionless body hanging on his words. He knew she was imagining it as her eyes were fixed on nothing of importance.

“If you had slid your hand down to your delicate oasis I would have got down on my knees before you and watched your fingers do what mines were not.”

He paced around her and then paused. Landon noticed her body swaying slightly. “My tongue would've joined your fingers and bathed in the taste of your pink paradise, Red. Kissing you among the depths of your heavenly beauty. Licking and teasing you so softly. For me,” He leaned in closer next to her ear, “It would have been fantasies come true. One of many I have of you.”

Brook felt his words caress over her skin. Each one hotter than the one before. She was breathless and dizzy.

“Have you ever had that pleasure before? Wait don't answer that. I would like to keep my fantasy of me being the first to bring you to your climax in that way or any other,” Landon said softly, his lips nearly touching her neck. He saw Brook's eyes slowly close. “My mouth would be greedy for you, Red. The desire to taste and feel your moist arousal for me as I slid my finger inside you and push deep, would bring me a pleasure I can only dream of with you.”

She couldn't bear to hear any more. He had no clue what he was doing to her in ways she didn't understand herself.

Landon moved around to the other side of her. “Red, you look a little flushed.” He gazed at her lustfully for a long moment. Cupping her cheek in his hand and kissed her other cheek softly, then whispered, “Remember all this next time I'm in a chair sleeping before you.” He then turned and walked away from her.