Sunday, September 8, 2013
Thank you to everyone who has been hanging in there waiting for the stories to continue. I have been working on The Temptation of a Kiss Chapters. Monday morning (my time zone) you will find it here....Happy Reading!
Pages of Romance . com is now either
http://pagesofromance.blogspot.com (Still working on this one)
I will always post a link here and on Erotic Pages of Romance facebook fan page. During my laps from being disconnected to the online world my domain name was up for grabs and someone bought it. All is okay though and life moves on...right?!
I'm very excited to be back online and writing again for you guys.
Monday, May 13, 2013
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.
Back to Chapter 1
It was now late into the afternoon when the carriage turned the corner to Quentin’s estate. Brook gazed out the window at the long line of tall old trees hugging either side of the drive. The Alexander estate was not yet in sight and she wondered how beautiful it might be. With the way Grams had described it she expected the estate to be breathtaking.
I’m thinking it has at least three floors. The ball room is sure to be majestic with gold gilding and deep wonderful royal colors adorning every wall. Oh I’m dying to see what my chambers will be like. Possible I’ll be lucky enough to have a room with my own balcony overlooking the gardens.
As the carriage climbed the hill the peeks of the chimneys popped into view. “Oh my,” Brook whispered. The estate was beyond grand. It was more majestic than she could have ever envisioned. Standing four stories high with two separate towers on either end, to Brook it seemed to be more like a castle. Detailed stone work covered every inch of the exterior that she could see.
A numerous amount of house staff and footmen waited at the entrance standing so stiff and proper. Brook’s carriage was second in line to be unpacked. She watched as the carriage ahead of her was attended to. My goodness they swarm like busy bees. Before she could generate another though, people and luggage were unpacked.
Her carriage door opened. An ungloved hand awaited her. Brook gazed up to see Landon staring in at her. “Thank you,” she said.
Once she was on the ground he leaned into her and said, “Yes well you’ve already sustained enough injuries today.”
Brook’s eyes rolled. “For heaven sake Landon you act as if I am some rare delicate flower.”
Her eyes caught his. “Who says you aren’t.” His stare was odd and Brook was captured in the moment. As much as she wanted to she could not pry her eyes from the way he seemed to be penetrating into her.
“Some of us are on the verge of melting back here,” Grams shouted. She fanned herself vigorously with no satisfaction in sight. “Do take your moment elsewhere so the rest of us might exit the hot box.”
Brook could not stop her lips from curling up at Landon’s long drawn out head turn in her direction.
He took hold of Gram’s hand. “You are simply radiant, my moist muffin.”
“My boy,” she found her footing on the ground. “There is nothing neither radiant nor desirable about a soggy muffin.”
Landon began to pull Gram’s fingers from her glove until it was off then kiss her gently. “Oh mmm, I beg to differ. Aged to perfection.” He said while licking his lips.
Grams burst in laughter. “You’ll nibble anything, my boy.” She caught his wink before she walked forward.
Brook followed close behind her still smiling. Sarah was standing at the front door. “Oh is this not exciting?” She reached out for Brook’s hand. “I have never been in a home this grand before.”
“And I thought Devon’s was large,” Brook added.
Sarah’s head whipped towards her, “Since when did you start using his Christian name?”
“Ah ladies I believe we should begin to find our chambers and start unpacking,” Richards interrupted.
Grams gazed back at him with a suspicious eye. Richards ignored it and herded the woman into the estate.
“Greeting! Welcome home.”
Brook’s mouth fell open. Sarah shirked and turned into Grams. Richards muttered, “Oh dear lord.” And Grams said, “Hello Paul. I can see you are,” she gave him a look over, “doing well.”
Paul stood with his hands on his naked hips with a larger than life grin about his sweet old face.
Quentin dashed through them. “Uncle Paul where are your pants?”
Paul looked at everyone like they were nuts. “On my body.”
Quentin motioned for the butler to aid him. After Uncle Paul was removed Quentin turned to group in the doorway. “My apologies. He has seemed to have been slipping the last few years. My mother and father were supposed to take him on their trip but apparently changed their minds.”
“Oh my dear it is not so bad. I think all of us can understand. I’ve known your uncle for years and happen to be very fond of him.”
Quentin clenched his hands together. “I can promise all of you he is harmless. He just grows confused and forgets things often, is all.”
Landon and Devon entered the door. By the look on everyone’s faces it was clear something had happened.
“What did we miss?” Landon asked.
“Two old plums and a pickle my dear boy,” Grams said as she walked to the candy dish full of sweets.
“A what and a what?” Devon replied.
“Uncle Paul,” Brook whispered.
“I’ve never been so embarrassed before,” Sarah mumbled.
Landon was beyond confused. Uncle Paul, two old plums, and a pickle?”
“I’ll explain later for now let’s get these ladies upstairs and they can freshen up,” Richards stated.
Brook stood admiring all the details she could take in. She followed everyone to the extra wide spiral stairs leading straight up all four floors. It was all so breathtakingly grand to take in.
Quinten escorted his guests upstairs. Upon reaching the second floor he turned to everyone. “The ladies will stay on this floor. I have arranged for all your rooms to be in the same wing.”
“I am speechless at the beauty of your home, Quentin.” Brook said. “I could see myself becoming lost easily. There are so many floors, wing, and rooms.”
He smiled at her. “For me this is just home. I grew up here most of my years.”
Sarah rubbed her hand along the rail of the staircase. “I am in love with all the woodwork.”
“Well than I do believe you will be pleased with your room, Sarah,” Quentin said as he walked them down the hall to the left of the stairs.
Brook was shown her room last. It was situated at the end of the hall with her door facing down the center of the hall. Quentin opened her door and before she could thank him he was called away.
Cream and lush reds covered every space of the room. Gazing around Brook noticed the French doors. Oh I don’t believe this. Opening up the doors she gazed out over a colorful garden path leading to a pond. It looks like a painting. Walking out onto the beige stone she noted the white wicker outdoor furniture. Perfect place to read or have afternoon tea.
A light knock sounded out from the room. Brook opened the door to a footman holding her bags. “My I?” he asked.
Brook opened the door wider. “Thank you very much.” He left with a nod and a smile. The type of smile that said any time any place madam.
She giggled to herself as she shut the door. A sigh slipped out as she gazed about the room. Her hand reached out and traced over the carved woodwork of the king sized canopy bed. Cream bedspread with red scrolls cradled the mattress. Fluffy pillows at the head board and a simple solid red pillow rest in the middle of them.
I could not imagine a more perfect room. She climbed the steps up to the bed and allowed herself to fall back. Her body sunk into the bed. I may actually get a full night’s sleep here.
“I was slightly worried about you climbing up into that bed yourself, Red.” Brook shot straight up. Landon was sitting in a chair directly across from her sipping a cup of tea.
Saturday, April 27, 2013
The softness of his touch forces my body to arch up towards him. 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 lain dormant.
Awakening is the woman I've never known. This stranger wants nothing more than to allow his desires to overtake 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 plague 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 skin acting as a hypnotic mist steadying my trembling body.
I need salvation from this. I want release from his wicked graze across my naked flesh. He draws out of me a panting that is tainted with sinful thoughts so teasingly naughty it will remain unprofessed and confined within my fantasies.
His mouth taunts my flesh. His hands rip at my resistance. In a moment of surrender my clothing finds its way to the floor. Puddled around my bare feet lay the only wall of resistance 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. The firm pressure of his fingertips sink into the back of my hair as my head tilts back with his force I gaze into his eyes as he whispers my name.
The warmth of his breath pants with a rush across my skin drawing yet closer to him. A needy hunger glazes over in his eyes and in the moment I now realize I am helpless to every desire he carries for me. I long to feel his passion deep within me filling my body fully. Taste the greed of his erect length.
All our movements cease as our lips hoover but a mere inch away from one another. A kiss says everything to the heart and I wait with nervous wonder as to what his will reveal. Even though my words at the start said only one night and this was all he had asked for still, his gaze is saying so much more.
My hand glides down from his neck and pauses resting over his heart. It is pounding with thunderous strength. I want so desperately to be the only one his heart beats for. As my deepest desired thought escapes out into the world I feel the heat of his skin cover my hand upon his chest. He presses my hand down firm against him allowing me to feel the pulsation.
“You affect me in ways I have never suffered before. Please, cure my agony. Your lingering lustful lips taunt my desires and have plagued my dreams leaving me in a position of anguish. I pray with your kiss you will release me from my prison of yearning after you. Alleviate my thirst to taste your voluptuous red sin and kiss me,” Landon whispered.
Surreal words fell from his mouth and she silenced them with her soft readied kiss.
More Chapters of The Temptation of a Kiss are Coming
Start with the first novel in the Whispers of Desire Series
Thursday, April 25, 2013
“What are you doing in here?” Brook asked in a hushed tone. She glanced quickly at the door.
“Watching you of course. I felt it my gentlemanly duty to see to it that you were safe and of course somewhat sound.” Landon replied as he leaned back on the chair.
“You cannot be in my chamber, Landon. Get out.” Her eyes narrowed at him. He was balancing on the back two legs of the chair. “If someone comes in and sees you here my reputation will be tarnished.” She watched him gaze at her with a devilish smirk. “Do not even say one word, Landon. This is not funny.” Brook stood from the bed. Landon rocked on the back legs of the chair with a gaze that she could not bring herself to look at.
“You worry far too much. We are two adults enjoying each other’s company having a conversation. It is not as if we are rolling around under the sheets in a tangled heated mess of flesh, Red.” He winked at her wide eyed expression. Red, come on I swear to you no one is going to come barging through that door.” He pointed with his finger.
“Landon please I would feel more at ease if we were to stroll in the gardens or-
“Brook my dear Sarah and me are setting out to.” Grams stopped half way into the room to the sound of a thud. “Landon James Fields! What on earth are you doing in this room?”
She did not move her gaze from him. Landon jumped up from the floor and set the chair right. “I…I was merely, um, that is to say, I am.” He paused and looked to Brook for help who was standing with one arm on her hip and clenching her teeth with wicked narrowing eyes at him.
“I was having a discussion about safety.” Landon pinched his lips together and lowered his brows.
Grams turned her body sideways and pointed at the door. “Out with you, boy!”
As Landon passed Brook he whispered, “Thanks for the help.”
Brook gasped at that and her fists tightened.
“Landon, I am moving you to the third floor this instant. You are not to enter through this door again unless the woman is on fire.” Grams scolded him.
“Well,” Landon began.
“One more word boy and you’ll be over my knee.” Grams warned him.
Landon stopped and took Grams’s hand in his looping it through his arm. “I do believe you have been threating that very same threat for years now, my naughty cupcake.
Grams slapped his arm with her free hand. “Boy, you are more trouble than you are worth.”
Landon laughed. “I know you do not think that beside whom would you pass the time with if I were not here to tease?”
Grams rolled her eyes as she nudged him forward. “I think the farther you are from Lady Brook the better.”
“What can I say, Grams the woman is just smitten with me.”
Grams let out a hoot of amusement in fact she could not stop herself once she started.
“What is so funny?” Sarah asked as she approached.
“Landon here believes Brook to be smitten with him and clearly he holds no attachment,” Grams said with giggles.
Sarah gazed over to Landon trying to hide her mirth. Landon just stared at them. After a few seconds he turned and walked off. “Where are you going, Lord Fields?”
“To the third floor.” He replied without turning to face them. “It sports a far better view.” This caused Grams to below out with more laughter.
Brook sat at her dressing table and gazed at herself in the mirror. Honestly what was he thinking? If it had not been Grams and someone I did not know well, it could’ve ruined me.
“Knock knock,” a soft famine voice said.
Brook gazed at the door in the mirror. Sarah’s smile was shining back at her. Brook turned and said, “Thank goodness you are here. I no longer have to talk to myself now.”
Sarah laughed. She sat next to brook at the dressing table. Brook turned back to the mirror.
“So,” Sarah said in a slow tone. “I came upon Landon and Grams in the hallway.” Brook pinches her lips together. “Are you going to tell me or do I have to assume it’s what I hope it is?”
Brook’s mouth fell open.
“Yes,” Sarah said as she gazed at Brook’s reflection in the mirror.
“It was nothing,” Brook snapped.
Sarah’s laugh filled the quiet room. “That man was upset about something and it was something to do with you.” Sarah stared at Brook than finally batted her eyes in an innocent playful fashion.
“I was lying on the bed and did not know he was here. When I heard his voice I told him to leave than Grams walked in.” Her gaze fell from Sarah’s. “See it was nothing.”
“Did he sneak in here?” Sarah asked.
“Yes and when I saw him he was drinking tea as if it was just any other day.” She shook her head. “Sometimes he gets me so frustrated, Sarah.”
“I will say it was very daring of him. With all the guests roaming around this place anyone could’ve come upon you two.”
“Exactly!” Brook stated.
“It may have ruined you,” Sarah said.
“It was rude,” Brook added.
“And wickedly childish,” Sarah included. She could tell Brook was not paying her any attention.
“So immoral and improper for him to act out like that,” Brook said.
“And sinful,” Sarah uttered. “So, very sinful.”
The low sultry tone made Brook turn her head from the reflection to Sarah’s profile. “What?”
Sarah faced her and whispered, “He is one bad boy, Brook and needs to be punished wickedly so.”
Brook could see her trying not to laugh. “Should I whip him?”
Sarah’s eyes widened. She took Brook’s hand and said. “Yes but only after you tie him up.”
The two started giggling. After a minute Brook gazed to Sarah. “I miss spending time with you.”
She reached out and hugged her. “Well you have me now.”
“I know but it’s not the same, Sarah.”
She pulled back and played with Brook’s red locks at her shoulder. “Shall we go find some trouble to get into downstairs?”
Brook smiled. “Let’s go bake something we haven’t tried before.”
Sarah’s head fell back as she laughed. “Oh boy the staff is going to be so cross with us.”
“It’ll be fine. We will clean up the mess afterwards.” Brook stood from the bench. “I promise not to burn anything this time.” Brook held out her hand for Sarah.
“Alright but do keep in mind we have to ready ourselves for dinner tonight,” Sarah said. “Grams will have our heads if we do not watch the time.”
“Has anyone seen Sarah,” Devon asked as he entered the atrium at the back of the house.
“I haven’t seen her since she went to chat with Brook,” Grams said. “Come to think of it I haven’t seen Brook all afternoon either.” She was seated comfortably on one of the deep red velvet settees surrounded by tall lush tropical plants looking like a plump royal goddess.
Landon gazed at Devon with an oh no look. “Let us examine this for a moment. One, no one has been reported injured. Two the house is still standing and not a blaze. Three, well, one and two make me happy,” He said as he looked to Quentin with a smile.
“Not to worry my boy,” Grams said as she patted his arm. “I’m sure the girls are enjoying the weather and picking flowers.”
“Sir!” A maid came running into the atrium, “We need you.”
“What is it?” Quentin asked as he walked towards her.
“In the kitchen, Sir.” She was breathless and panicked. “They set it on fire making cakes.”
Landon strode past them and said, “So much for number two.”
Brook shouted, “Sarah more wet rags.”
Sarah tossed a few to her. As Brook tried to smother one of the fires with them she lit her sleeve on fire. “I’m on fire!”
Sarah grabbed a rag covering Brook’s arm with it. “Are you alright?”
“Yes I am okay,” Brook coughed out. “We need help.”
“I sent the maid to fetch Quentin,” Sarah said through a wet rag to her mouth.
The kitchen soon filled completely with smoke. Brook was grabbing rags as Sarah was handing them to her from the water bucket. “Alright let’s move to the fire on the table, Sarah.”
They slid the bucket over and started covering the table with drenched rags. The smoke was too thick to see what was in front of them. The room was quickly becoming engulfed. Brook reached out her hand for a rag and made contact with something soft and fleshy.
“I’m here to help ladies. No reason to panic I’ve done this very same thing before.”
Brook realized it was Uncle Paul. That is not a rag in my hand and he has no pants on! “Oh my God Sarah,” she screamed and started jumping around shaking her hands.
“Brook,” Sarah grabbed her shoulders. “What is it? Are you burnt?”
“No it’s Uncle Paul and I touched it,” Brook shouted holding her hands out to Sarah.
She just stood there arms stretched out holding Brook’s forearms. “You touched…Oh you touched it!” Sarah flung Brook’s hands away from her.
Landon found himself with one word on his mind…Brook. Hundreds of images were running through his mind. Her body lying lifeless. Burnt or on fire. His heart raced and his feet matched at the speed of 6 horses in chase. Blood hell I’ll kill her if she is alive. His only reactions for her making him feel this way.
Brook shoved her hands in the water bucket and rubbed feverishly. This is insane. I’ll never be able to wash off the feeling of Uncle Paul in my hand. She gazed around the small kitchen but could see nothing. The smoke was a gray thick blanket. “Sarah we need to get out of here.”
“Sarah has to be in there with Brook,” Landon said to Devon who was fast behind him. He dashed past Landon and within seconds appeared with Sarah safe in his arms.
Brook heard a loud yelp. That was Sarah. “Sarah?” Where did she go? “Sarah!” She whipped her head every which way but saw nothing. The room was growing darker and the fact that her eyes were watering up from all the burning heat and smoke was not helping. I have to find her.
Taking a rag from the bucket she covered her mouth. I should just crawl forward she was in front of me. Something suddenly caught her eye directly in front of her. The growing ashen glow that was lingering throughout the room seemed to part and through all the smoke he emerged. Standing so tall and dashing.
Without a word he took Brook up off the floor. She wrapped her arms around his neck and he covered her face with his coat. “Sarah,” she said.
“Devon has her she is safe,” Landon said in a low soft tone. He carried her to the atrium. His body was stiff and his jaw line was clenched. A stone expression was fixed upon him.
He is angry with me. I don’t blame him I burnt down the kitchen. She studied him closely for a moment and then had to look away.
“Girls! You gave us a fright,” Grams blurted out in an emotional motherly scolding. She watched Landon start to check Brook over. “Are they hurt?”
Landon was looking at Brook’s arm. “I will need some ointment for this.”
Brook covered it with her hand. “I am sound. Please don’t fuss.” She wouldn’t look at him.
“Silence,” Landon said. His voice stern. His demeanor stiff.
Her gaze shot up to meet his. Genuine distress in his glare repressed any further words coming from her. Just look away. I can’t stand to see him look at me like this. It doesn’t make sense to me. He should not be this upset.
“Everything is alright.” Quentin stated as he entered the room. What use to be a white rag was now black with ash from his hands. “The fires are out and no one was injured.”
“Fires?” Grams asked as she looked to Devon.
“Yes apparently there was more than one,” Devon answered as he ran his hand through his hair.
“Three total to be accurate,” Quentin added.
“Oh dear.” Sarah said as she looked to Brook who was still eye to eye with Landon. “We are both so very sorry everyone. Quentin, I cannot convey my-
“Sarah,” he said softly, “It is an old kitchen that is hardly ever used. The important thing is neither of you were hurt.”
“Thoughtless, reckless, foolish.” Landon said as he stared into Brook’s eyes.
“Careless,” Brook added with raised brows.
“Inconsiderate, senseless, selfish,” Landon continued. His hand still resting at the side of her thigh. “Indifferent.”
Brook blinked a few times. Indifferent?
“Landon, let us go so the ladies can tidy up before dinner,” Devon said patting him on the shoulder.
He stood up without another word and left. Brook stared at the empty space he had just been in. Why is he so angry? Devon and Quentin seem okay and its Quentin’s kitchen. I should’ve said something.
Grams escorted the ladies upstairs and of course reprimanding them the entire way. Sarah was gripping Brook’s hand and she could feel Sarah still trembling slightly.
“Would you like me to sit with you a while?” Brook asked her.
She smiled at her softly. “I will be fine.” She leaned in Closer to brook and whispered, “Despite all that’s happened I still had a memorable afternoon with you.”
Brook gave her hand a squeeze and said, “Me too.”
~ Two Hours Later ~
A loud buzz filled the halls leading to the music room. Brook had not seen Landon since the odd exchange earlier. Standing in the doorway she spotted Sarah and Devon in the far left corner. I’m going to assume Grams and Richard are seated close by but where is Landon? My word there has to be at least twenty five people here. She rose up on her tip toes to try to see over heads. There was no sign of him in the room.
Oh this is just silly. I’m feeling disappointed I do not see him but am relieved I will not have to look into his eyes again for now. Brook, get a hold of yourself and stop playing with idol fantasies that will never happen.
Brook turned to see a butler holding a silver tray. "Yes."
"This note is for you," he said.
She took it from the try and thanked him. Turning the envelope over she examined it. Red? She couldn't help but let her heart quicken.
Landon watched her read the note. He saw the smile span across her face. Closing his eyes he sees her full succulent lips. Infatuated by the idea of caressing his thumb over them consumes his every though.
So possessed with the image of her rich red love begging him to indulge in a blissful elation of passion calls out to him. Forceful fiery need builds within him to a point of no denial.
Imprisoned in his own mind is the notion of a kiss…her kiss. Seductive in every sense of the word runs ramped inside his head. Desirable impressions turning into destruction of his will.
The lure of her smile, the way the corners of her mouth curl up is unbearable. It is the simplest of things. It is the temptation of a kiss.
Holding the elegant note in her hand, Brook paced around the groups gathered in the grand music room. What could he possibly want? Maybe they have found McMay or maybe he has found us. Gazing at the clock on the mantel, she realized it had only been three minutes. How long should I wait?
“Can I fetch you refreshment, my lady?” He paused for a brief moment, “I do believe you did not tell me your name.” He smiled with a wide grin up at Brook.
Brook glared at the small balding unshaven man push his glasses back up his overly large red nose. He had been following her around the room all night. Twice he grazed up against her bottom and once ran straight into the middle of her chest. On all three occasions it was by no accident and his hands lingered far longer than they should have.
After a long pause the man crossed both his arms over his chest as if he was hugging himself and leaned into Brook than whispered, “It is crowded here tonight. Would you care to go with me somewhere perhaps…more private?”
Brook continued to stare at the man who came up to her chest in height.
The man reached up and stroked his index finger along Brook’s arm. She slapped his hand away quickly and said nothing, she just stared at him.
He pulled his hand away with a swift jerk and sniffed his finger that had been on her arm. Brook watched him walk away rather fast. She swore she heard him giggle.
Moments later she was in the hall staring down the dim hallway. There was no sign of Landon as far as she could determine. Taking one last glace at the doorway of the grand music room, Brook began to walk slowly through the shadows.
Reaching the end of the hall, she turned to face the front. Where are you Landon? It was considerable silent given all activates taking place at the estate tonight.
Brook took a few steps forward just as two men appeared from the grand music room. A hand darted out and snatched Brook’s left arm, pulling her into the alcove. A strong hand quickly covered her mouth.
She tried to scream but the man holding her was fast and strong. He swiftly turned Brook around against the paneled wall so she faced him.
“Shhh.” He slid his hand away from Brook’s mouth.
“Landon! You scared me half to death! Why-”
“He placed his hand back over her mouth. “Shhh Red.” He leaned closer whispering, “I’m sorry. It was not my intention to frighten you.”
Brook swatted his hand away. “I do believe it was your soul intention.” She moved onward to the opening. Landon stepped in front of her. Brook gazed up at him slowly. “Landon I do not have time to play your little games. Now, I would like you to move.” Brook moved her eyes from him and focused on the shadows cast onto the wall from the candle.
Landon chuckled. “Do you really need to return to the company of all those people you and I both know, you don’t care to talk to.” He placed his finger under Brook’s chin and pulled it up to face him.
“You should not assume to know what I care to do and not do. I had happen to be having a splendid time before you sent me-
Landon laughed at her. “With the little bald man following you around?” Landon stepped aside and bowed slightly. “By all means then, Red, if that is what you desire.”
Brook pushed past him with furry. At the last second Landon took her and pulled her around and into his arms. “You cannot go yet. There are two men out there still.” Landon gazed down into her big blue eyes filled with frustration for him. “Are you not the least bit curious as to way I sent you the note?” Landon asked her.
“I was. But now, I do not really care. My life and everyone else’s does not seem to be in any eminent danger. I believe you were merely board with the guests and needed to amuse yourself.” Brook then tilted her head to the side as if gesturing him to challenge her theory.
Landon released her. God she is right. What am I doing? His gaze traveled from her eyes to her lips. No, that was not why.
After a moment Brook asked in a softer tone, “How did you know there was a man pursuing me?”
“Pursuing? I would describe it more to the effect of hunting.” Brook giggled. “Shhh,” Landon said as he pulled her further inside the alcove. “The two men are walking this way.”
Brook slipped between him and the wall. “I hear them.”
He gently moved Brook into the corner and stood in front of her.
“What are you doing?” Brook whispered.
“My attire is black and your dress is not. If I stand here I will block them from seeing you.”
“Oh, I see,” said Brook. She could not help her mind from wandering to the night he kissed her at Devon’s estate. I hate that I want to kiss you. I hate it even more you have not kissed me yet. Why was he watching me?
“I did not see you in the music room,” Brook said.
“That is one thing I am good at, making myself disappear.” Landon smiled at Brook’s agreement with a nod. “I was at first in the corner by the statue and then I just blended in as I trailed you around the room.”
Brook peered up towards him. “Trailed or hunted?”
Landon smiled and said. “Well honestly, chased. You move rather quickly, Red.”
“I had to. I was being hunted and stalked by a four foot balding creepy man.” Brook then batted her eyes at Landon and he chuckled at her humor. “And why was it precisely you found the need to follow me?”
Landon leaned in a little closer and said, “Because I like watching you.”
Brook felt her heart quicken.
“I happen to have grown fond of a particular part of you, Red,” he whispered softly into her ear. He was not touching her but he could tell she tensed her body.
Brook licked her lips before asking, “What specific part is that?” I cannot believe I just asked him that.
“From the moment I saw you Red, your smile and those big blue eyes of yours have captured my attention,” He paused. Leaning in closer to her ear he continued, “But the one thing about you that has captured all of my attention…is your lips.” He placed his hand on her waist. “Your beautiful lips have imprisoned my every thought when I gaze at you. I remember how soft they feel.”
Her body began to tremble and she was at a loss for words. You are all I’ve thought about since the instant I set my eyes upon you. Just kiss me already. What am I saying? Don’t, he can’t.
Landon squeezed her waist. He had not moved away from her ear. “The temptation of a kiss…your kiss is dangerous, Red.”
Brook turned her head and placed her lips against his ear and ever so softly whispered, “Yes, but to deny one’s desire for it can be…sinful.”
Landon moved slowly till he caught her gaze. Reaching up to her, he ran his thumb gently across her bottom lip. “I do believe that was the most single sexy thing I have ever heard. What a wicked thing to escape across your beautiful full lips, Red.”
Brook stared at him with a seductive gaze and said, “Did you mistake me for a naive pure innocent, Landon? If it is my lips and my lips only that you desire, then I will surrender them to you, but only this once.”
Landon took in a deep breath. “Do you need for me to kiss you, Red?”
Brook giggled flirtatiously. She had no idea where this was coming from but she suddenly felt powerful. “Oh Landon, I believe the need is all yours. Do you long to kiss me? Do you yearn to taste my lips once more? Do you hunger for the moist warmth of my mouth?”
“I do,” Landon said with a heavy breath. His length was hard and now throbbing. Red, if you say one more thing like that slow and seductively, I may have more than just a kiss from you. I have never ached so badly before for a woman. You are breathtakingly-
He felt her hand over his at her waist. “Landon, I want you to kiss me again.”
He smiled at her. “We haven’t even kissed once. The first two kisses did not count. They were far too short to be considered a kiss…a real kiss, Red.”
“I believe you to be charming and find myself enthralled with you Landon.”
“I find you to be fascinating and sensuous.” Landon leaned closer. “To say I need to kiss you will not describe how I feel right now.”
Brook reached her lips closer to his. “What would then?” She placed her hand against his chest and clutched his shirt in to her fist. Oh please stop teasing me.
Landon was but an inch away and he softly said, “Destitution.”
“Did you find him yet?” A voice shouted from down the hall.
Landon and Brook both jumped by the loud outburst. Landon turned towards the noise and then back to face Brook but she was still staring with wide eyes out the doorway. “I think it is Devon,” he said. “I should go see what has happened.” He waited for her to face him. “Brook?” She finally turned to him. “Will you wait here for me to return?”
“Are you sure that is such a good idea? I mean someone could find me here,” she said.
“Yes, but you will be alone. Have a seat right here on the bench and I should be back in no more than ten minutes or so.”
Brook sat down and said, “I will wait then.”
Landon picked up her hand and kissed it. “Do not leave, Red. I will return.” He kissed her hand again.
She watched him disappear around the corner. His voice echoed off the paneled hall. It made her smile at how deep it sounded. Brook waited and then waited some more. She had no idea how much time had passed.