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!”