Tuesday, May 14, 2013
~ 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 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.
Back to Chapter 1
The unconscious man spanning across Landon’s lap was growing bothersome to him. He looked down at the lifeless body and clenched his teeth. I cannot wait until you regain your wits about you because I will surely enjoy knocking them back out of you once more.
By the position of the moon he figured he had maybe three hours before the sun started to rise. Landon nudged his steed. I have to return before the house awakes. I lost too much time chasing him through the woods. The image of Brook in his arms flashed in his mind. Damn it! I should’ve left her a note but there was no time. I pray she wasn’t waiting long.
Landon sat down in a chair and gazed out the window at the sun beginning to peek over the horizon. His heavy lids gave into the need for sleep.
Two Hours Later
A warm spray of sunshine tickled Brook’s face. Reaching up she rubbed her nose and opened one eye shielding it with her hand from the bright light. It could not be any later than 6:30. I didn’t even get three hours rest. Mercy my eyes will be so puffy. Damn him for asking me to wait!
The thought of last night’s near kiss flashed in her mind. She let out a long sigh. I can’t believe I waited that long for him. Her arm found her forehead and it rest there. “He never returned,” she whispered. Closing her eyes she tried so hard to drown out his smile. All the words he had whispered to her. His touch. The way he smelled. All of it.
Brook threw back the covers and sat up. Loud chirping from the birds outside her window sang their morning songs. “Glad they have something to be joyful about, “Brook mumble as she walked to her closet.
There was no maid to aid her at her own request. Coming from a humble background she wouldn’t know what to do with one. Emerging from the closet she had removed all her night wear and had a pale blue dress in hand. She was not in the habit of walking around naked but she was never in a situation of having her own private chamber either.
The sun was now basking in through the French doors. Brook turned gazing at her bare reflection in the mirror. Perhaps I am too light. I resemble a ghost with a hint of freckles. Oh yuck. She examined her shoulders. I swear every morning I awake there are a few more of them.
Brook paused and gazed at her neck. She touched the spot where Landon’s lips had last touched her skin. Her eyes slowly shut as she could almost feel his warm breath upon her. “I wish you would have returned,” she said softly.
Her eyes opened and she stepped back as she shook her head. No more. Not another thought about him. Sleepy blue eyes glistened back at her in the mirror. She quickly wiped away a stray tear. That will be the only one I shed for him. You are not some foolish young girl anymore. His words carry no meaning and his desires are nothing more than just that…desires. A man’s need to concur and use. Brook paused for a moment gazing at the woman in the mirror she had no become. Although I wish it were different. I wish his words were not so empty. I…I wish he felt them the way he speaks them. So full of passion and romantic hidden wanton.
A white blur off to her left caught her eye. She let out a loud gasp at the sight of him and immediately covered her mouth with both hands. Staring at him she leaned forward slightly. Landon sat fast asleep in a chair in the corner of her room. Slowly she inched closer and noticed blood droplets down his shirt. Her hand reached out towards his swollen lower lip. Landon stirred a little and Brook yanked her arm back.
As she stood upright she caught her own reflection in the mirror. I’m naked! Oh dear lord I am really naked. Taking up her dress in her hand she ran into her closet and dressed without haste all the while peeping out the door for any sign of him moving about.
“What the devil is he doing in here?” she mumbled. “This is highly inappropriate. Especial given the fact I am naked!” With trembling hands she buttoned her dress up as far as she could then left the room.
“Sarah, are you awake?” Brook asked as she softly knocked on the door. Oh please be here.
The door opened and she met with Devon’s smile. “Good morning Brook,” he said. Her wide eyes caused him to chuckle. He pushed the door open further. “Please do come in.”
“Brook, good morning,” Sarah said from her dressing table.
She stepped into the room as she nodded at Devon. Ever so careful not to turn her half exposed back to him.
“I will meet you two lovely ladies downstairs.”
Sarah turned to Brook after seeing her reflection in the mirror. “Are you feeling well?”
“No I am not.” She sat on Sarah’s bed. “I…I found Landon in my room this morning.”
“What?” Sarah asked as she joined her on the bed. “Where?”
“He is sleeping in a chair in the corner.” She glanced at Sarah who was biting up her bottom lip. “Will you please button my dress?” She turned towards her.
“Did you wake him and say anything?” Sarah asked as she tended to Brook’s attire.
“No I couldn’t I was naked when I found him,” Brook said as she covered her face with her hands. She heard Sarah gasp. “I know don’t say anything, Sarah. I just pray he was really asleep because I was exposed for a while before I saw him.”
Sarah started to laugh. She couldn’t help it. Brook dropped her hands and just shook her head at the thought of it all.
“If I had been clothed I would have kicked the chair over,” she said.
“Oh you would not have,” Sarah said as she stood up. Gazing down at her she took her hand. “Let’s talk more over coffee and pastries.”
Brook sat in the large picture window waiting for Sarah. Between last night and this morning her head was both spinning and pounding.
“Brook.” She gazed up to see Devon standing before her. “Did you happen to see Landon this morning?”
Her heart skipped. “No,” she answered. Devon’s body language seemed odd to her.
“Alright thank you,” he said and turned.
“Wait,” Brook said a little louder than she intended to. “Why do you ask?”
Devon sat down next to her and leaned in close. “It is important I speak with him.”
Brook suddenly realized that when she had seen him he was bruised and his clothes were torn. She looked up to Devon seeing the concern in his eyes. “He is in my room.”
Devon’s gazed on her did not change. “Thank you. I will slip in and talk with him.”
“He wasn’t supposed to be there, Devon.”
He smiled slightly. “It’s quite alright Brook.”
“No, no it is not. I awoke and he was there,” Brook said softly. “He was not in my room by my invite and I need you to know that.”
Devon patted her hand. “Even if he was it is not my business to say different.”
Brook’s gazed fell to her coffee she held. “Thank you.” She watched Devon disappear around the corner. Why didn’t I remember Landon’s state before this moment? Now that I think about it I had not even mentioned it to Sarah. I should’ve sought out help for him. What is wrong with me?
“I have a buffet of pastries for us,” Sarah said.
Grams followed close behind her. “Good morning my dears. Quentin’s staff sets out a beautiful spread would you not say?”
“Are waist lines won’t be if we keep indulging,” Sarah said.
“Oh mosh posh to hell with that. I lost mine years ago.” She nudged Sarah’s side. “It hasn’t stopped any suitors from inquiring though.” She said than winked.
Brook let out a laugh as she watched Grams bite into a strawberry filled pastry. “If all women had you confidence, Grams.”
“We’d all be plump,” Grams stated with a mouth full of heaven.
“And happy,” Sarah added. She looked to Brook. “I’ve already put on weight since.” Sarah paused for a moment.
“Sarah,” Brook said.
Her dearest friend gazed up to her with confusion in her eyes. “Yes.”
Brook stared at her than glance to Grams. “Ah, I was just wondering if you would like to take a walk later this morning.”
“Yes I would love that,” Sarah said and then smiled.
Grams was looking to Brook with an expression as if she would explain later.
“There they are,” Grams said.
Brook followed her line of sight through the doorway into the entry. Her eyes locked with Landon’s. She didn’t hold it, she couldn’t and looked away. Devon approached the women.
“Good morning Lord Price,” Sarah said.
Devon stilled for a moment. “Good morning Lady McMay.”
Brook just stared at him with questioning eyes. What the hell is going on with her? “Devon, do you care for some tea?”
“I am riding with Landon this morning but thank you,” he said. Devon crouched down next to Grams and spoke with her privately.
“Brook, since when did you start using Lord Price’s christen name?” Sarah whispered to her over her shoulder.
Her head whipped in Sarah’s direction. “I do not know.” She stared at Grams and Devon who both heard Sarah and were watching them as they talked. “Pardon me for a moment.” Brook stood and picked up her coffee cup. “My coffee has cooled.” This morning is going stranger by the minute.
She walked across the entry to the breakfast room. It has to be from the attack. I wish Devon or Grams would have told me. She seems to be getting worse.
Her body froze upon hearing his voice. Turning her head slightly out of the corner of her eye she saw him leaning against the wall next to her. His casual posture was bothering her. I bet he has a smug devilish smile plastered about his face.
“Lord Fields.” Her tone was pointed and flat.
Landon’s smile fell as he pinched his lips together. He could tell she was upset with him. “I want to explain why I nev-
Brook cut him off. “No need to offer me anything. I beg you not to enter my room again.” She finished making her coffee than turned and without eye contact said, “And do not call me that anymore.” She walked past him not waiting for a reaction.
His initial instinct was to reach out for her as she passed by but restrained from doing so. He knew Devon would be ready to set off any minute and now was not the time to explain in detail the way she deserved for him to. He watched her walk away to join the others.
Devon waited for him at the front doors. Landon joined him and they walked to the stables together.
Devon could hear Landon’s muted mumbling to himself. He chose to let it go for the moment. “You didn’t put anything on your eye did you?” he asked.
“No. I arrived just as the sun was rising. I didn’t want to cause suspicion.”
They entered the stable and met with Quentin who had three horses ready to go.
“He is not far. I have to say I’m curious to know what you think we are going to do with him.” Landon asked Quentin.
He raised his brow at the two of them. “We are just going to have a little chat.” He turned from them and shrugged his shoulders. “And if that does not work we’ll play a fun game with him I like to call, what body part to you revere the most.”
Devon gazed over Quentin’s should to Landon. His mouth formed a straight line and his questioning eyes told Landon he might be serious.
“Um, do we all have to play this game or is it only a two person type thing?” Landon asked as he watched Quentin mount his stead.
“No, I will not subject you to participating but I am expecting both of you to help me interrogate him,” Quentin answered.
As they rode away from the estate Landon could not help but wonder exactly what it was Quentin did for the king. Perhaps this was an ordinary day for him or more to the point a common activity for him. He seems so normal otherwise. If I am honest, I guess I really do not know his dark half and I’m glad for it. The idea of severing body parts scares the shit out of me. He glanced over to Devon riding along the side of him. If aid is needed in finding out information I will not allow Devon to take part. After what happened to Sarah not too long ago he won’t be able to handle it. Bloody hell he already is looking green.
Arriving at the small hunting cabin where Landon had tied the man up, his blood began to rush slightly faster. Mostly at wondering what Quentin had planned. The odds of this thug giving up McMay is ludicrous.
Dismounting his stead he looked to Devon. He seems not even here with us. Something is wrong. “How about you keep watch. There are still two others lurking about somewhere in these woods,” Landon suggested.
Devon gave him a nod and remained on his horse for added views of the landscape.
Quentin stopped right outside the door. “I need you to just follow my lead and if anything needs to be done I will send you out.”
“Quent, I can handle this with you,” Landon said having no idea what he was saying.
Quentin chuckled at him and shook his head. “Alright Landon than let the games begin.”
He opened the door to see the man roped and bound in a chair. Quentin observed Landon had nailed it to the floor. “My name is Quentin Alexander.” He walked over and pushed open a window shinning the sunlight directly in the man’s eyes. “Can I offer you some water?”
After looking Quentin up and down he answered, “Yes,” in a low muttered.
Landon handed Quentin a ladle. I did a bang up job on him last night. Bloody bastard ruined my evening. I was so close to kissing her too.
Quentin took a chair and placed it in front of him. He glanced quickly at Landon before he sat down. “Lord Fields behind me is going to ask you a few simple questions. It is my sincere hope you chose to reply with honesty.” He pulled from his side a long narrow blade and laid it on his lap before the man. “If you refuse to give him any information or false talk, well, I shall be forced to use this and I really am not dressed for it today.” Quentin slapped the man’s knee and chuckled in a deep sinister tone. And as quickly as he started he suddenly stopped. His face fell stone like as he sat straight up.
Landon was staring at Quent with fascination. He heard him clear his throat and took this as his cue to start. “We know you were sent here by McMay. How many are with you?”
He paced the floor with slow steps waiting for him to answer.
The man’s chair juddered with brutality by Quentin’s foot even though it was fastened to the floor. “Speak,” Quentin hissed.
A wide gray yellow grin substituted for his words.
Landon shook his head at him. “Foolish,” he said. He placed a hand on Quentin’s should and asked one more time.
The man’s mouth moved for what Landon assumed were words until he saw the spit flying from his nasty lips landing square on Quentin’s face.