Connor Welling & Missy Ashton
Short Romantica Story
A Forbidden Love.
With a torch in one hand, he took her hand in his other and pulled her towards the stairs leading down.
"Wait!" she cried. Gazing back to the guards quickly closing in on them, she had but moments to decide. Nervously clenching her night gown in her hands she squeezed her eyes shut. The pounding of the guards feet were drawing closer. "Missy," she heard him say. Opening her eyes she gazed down at him with breathless un decidedness. "Where are you taking me?" Missy asked him.
"Somewhere we will not be found, and you will be safe." He held out his hand to her once more. "Please Missy," his tone was deep and commanding. She could see fear in his eyes.
"I see her! This way!" One of the guards shouted.
If she didn't make a decision soon there fates will be sealed. "Conner," she whispered to him and placed her hand in his.
He smiled and said, "I would have taken you anyways. You know that don't you?" He watched her lips curl up in that tender way that had first caught his eye. A shadow of dark gray covered Missy before him. She screamed with surprise. Her hand left his and she was dragged away.
Conner felt his body falling backward and then an excruciating thud to his head. They must have tumbled down two flights of stairs before stopping in a mangled pile. Three of the four guards rose to their feet. The forth lay dead with a broken neck. "Take Lord Welling to his father," one of them said and then spit on Connor's feet. He pulled Connor's head up by his hair. "Ha, he shouldn't be any trouble now."
"And the lady?" one of the others asked.
"Secure her in the dungeon. I will deal with her shortly myself."
The others laughed wickedly. I need to get up. She needs me. He could not even manage to lift his own head up. Fighting the black silence that was coming for him was mute. Connor blacked out.
~ ~ ~
He Found Himself Back at his father's home. A great gathering of friends and family came together to celebrate his older brother Garret’s engagement. He felt like he had not seen everyone in so long, it was odd.
"Connor, you will be next in line my friend," Ben patted him on the back. "It is good to see you again my friend."
"Ah," Connor said shaking his head. "Not any time soon. I am not Garret and have nil desire to marry just yet." He sipped his brandy. "I have heard throughout town you are back on the market."
Ben's lips pinched together. "I have to say Connor; I do not know what I was thinking last season. I mean we are not that advanced in years. So what is the rush?"
Connor lifted his glass to Ben's. "Well for now the heat is off me with Garret’s wedding, but, I assume not for long. Between my father wanting to secure a male heir and my mother insisting someone give her a grandchild before she is too far in years, I'm going to disappear for about five years to the states."
Ben laughed. "Give me a heads-up and I will be sure to join you." The room began to buzz with loud whispers which grabbed Ben's interest. He nudged Connor and pointed to a small group of people standing in the doorway. "Is that not Heath Ashton?"
Connor recognized him well. "The older gentleman beside him is his father." He glanced across the room to try to catch his brother's attention. Garret was already headed towards the door with a smile on his face. Connor watched as his to be wife, Garret's fiancée, joined his side and greeted the group with warm welcomes. He gazed over to his own father in the corner with his mother. He appeared to be occupying himself with a few men in conversation, but could see his father had a watchful eye to the door.
"What is this all about Connor? Your two families hate one another," Ben said.
"Loath one another would be a more correct statement. I can only assume they are here for Garret's wife to be," Connor said.
Ben chuckled. "Theresa, you mean."
"Who?" Connor turned to him.
"Your brother's soon to be wife-your soon to be sister-in-law," Ben said. "You do remember meeting her do you not, Connor?" Ben ended with a chuckle.
"Yes I do. I just can't ever remember her name." Connor observed his brother and Heath leaving the room followed by Heath’s father, John Ashton. "Pardon me for a moment Ben," Connor said and walked in the direction his father was standing. He placed himself beside him. "Father," he said with a nod as his father glanced his way with a stern face. Connor waited for the right opportunity to excuse them from the group. He noted his father's finger tapping against his glass. Connor knew he was agitated with the situation, but he also knew his father had to have given his permission for it as well. Garret never crossed his father on any matter.
Connor looked down at Miss Haggerty who at some point in time plopped down next to his mother on the chaise. His poor mother smiled with a wiry smile at Miss Haggerty and then Connor and back to Miss Haggerty. It had not yet been a month since Connor told old round Lady Haggerty to shut it…at the opera…in a singing opera voice as loud as he could, after a bottle of brandy filled his belly. If that was not enough to warrant an unpleasant visit to his mother, he then turned, grabbed Haggerty’s niece and kissed her hard and long. Followed only by an announcement to pluck her innocence like an apple from a tree.
Miss Haggerty rolled her eyes at him, so Connor gave her a little wink.
Beverly, Connor’s mother rose to her feet quickly. “My darling. I believe our son wishes to have a word with you.” The group fell silent.
He starred at his wife then said, “Pardon us gentlemen.” Connor walked with his father out through the French doors closing them behind him once they were out on the balcony.
“I presume this is about Ashton?” He did not give Connor a chance to respond. “Theresa is under the care of John Ashton. Not related in any way of course. But he has offered the Sunny Acer’s estate as dowry and your brother is finalizing the paper work as we speak.”
Connor chuckled. “Why now? I mean you have been trying for years to acquire those fields.”
“It is just business, Connor. He has no use for it and all of the estates surrounding Sunny Acer's are in my possession. I can only assume he came to the conclusion it is but a nuisance to own it.” His father turned to leave.
“Sunny Acres has been fought over for three generations between our two families and then suddenly he has no qualm about releasing it into your hands father?” Connor stood up straight and shook his head at him. “I don’t believe it.”
“You do not have to believe it son. You only have to accept it.” He then walked away.
Connor looked up at the night sky. The moon revealed only half of its self to the night. Every star flicked with a twinkle.
“Oh, forgive me. I was not aware someone was out here.”
Connor turned upon hearing the woman’s soft sweet voice filled with surprise. The sight of her caught his breath momentarily. Her slender frame glided further out onto the balcony. “I do not mind,” he said. “The balcony is plenty big enough for us to share.” Connor could see she was trying not to give into a smile. He scuffed a line on the stone with his boot and then moved to the other side of the balcony. “That is the line that you are not allowed to cross.”
She pinched her lips together tight. “So this would be my corner over here.” She motioned to her left.
“Well you are not going to get both corners.” She smiled for him. “You do have to share.” Connor said. She let out a giggle at that. He gazed to her hand and noticed no ring upon her finger.
“I can share. I’m good at sharing,” she said and moved to her corner of the balcony. After a moment she gazed up. “Sometimes is looks as if the sky has been sprinkled with glitter.” She pointed up. “Night time is my favorite hours of the day.”
“I find that to be true for myself,” Connor said. He watched her gaze at the moon. “She is only half shy tonight.”
“Connor walked a little closer towards her. “The moon.”
She glanced back over to her left and leaned out on top of the balcony railing. “Oh, I see. Or you could say she is half daring tonight.”
“Are you a daring woman?” Connor asked with a devilish under tone. “Or are you shy?”
She glanced back at him as he drew even closer to her. “Perhaps both.” She twirled the fringe of her plum colored shawl around her fingers. A gentle breeze blew all the lose locks of hair around her check and chin.
Connor watched her tuck a few pieces of hair behind her ear. “Not at the same time I hope. That would be confusing for everyone around you.” He leaned on the balcony with his elbow. “Although very entertaining I might add.” It was hard for him to tell in the moon light what color her eyes were. Light green or blue he guessed. Her hair was so blond it nearly appeared white in the light.
She was still laughing as she walked over closer to where he stood.
“Ah, I expect that you remember and honor the line please,” Connor pointed down to their feet.
She looked down and drew her hand to her chest. “Oh dear, I nearly did forget about the line. Do forgive me. I do not know where my head has gone.” She gazed up to him with a shy smile. "I believe all this heat on my skin has me losing rational thought." She raised her hand to her check and slowly pulled back the hair that had come lose again. She watched him watch her. "This night air feels as if it is growing heavier and I seem to be having difficulty with coherent reasoning's." Her voice was so sultry she didn't even recognized it. Something about the way he was gazing at her was causing her to grow bold.
Yes, well, I had figured as much. This time I will over look the matter, but next time…well, I don’t know about next time but,” She laughed hard which made Connor laugh. “Let’s simply say next time there will have to be a reckoning so sorts.”
“A reckoning,” she repeated while still laughing.
“Yes…a…reckoning,” Connor said as he gazed at her. Her beauty is stunning. Blue-her eyes are light blue. God, she looks perfect in every way. Who is she? I bet her name is as beautiful as her big blue eyes.
“My sincere apology. I pledge to respect the line from this day forth,” she said as she gazed up at him again. Your eyes are as dark as the night covering us. So mysterious and yet warm. I feel- He smiled at her breaking her train of thought. “Can I ask you a question?”
“Is it a difficult one?” Connor raised an eyebrow at her. She shook her head no. “You may then, but I retain the option whether or not I feel the need to answer.” She smiled wide at him. “Your smile is contagious.” She covered it with her hand. “This is shy you, right?”
She removed her hand resting it on her chest. “I told you sometimes I am.”
Connor said softly, “I like the shy you. What else makes you shy?”
She gazed down at her hand now on the balcony. “Blurting out things I shouldn’t.”
Connor tilted his head at that. “Give me an example.”
She giggled. “Do you know Miss Haggerty?”
“A little too well,” Connor said. He was curious to where this was going. Did she know of what he had done?
“Okay, well, about a month ago she was at the opera, as I was with my cousin, and some man shouted for her to shut it, and then said he was going to pluck her nieces innocents. Well, afterwards she would not stop talking about it. So in a room filled with people I told her it was about time because the woman was turning into a spinster and she might actually enjoy it. I then added it might drive the gloomy witch out of her.”
Connor covered his mouth but could not contain his laughter. She started laughing with him till tears ran down her face. “I think you and I are the only ones to find this funny,” she said to him.
Connor composed himself. “I must tell you something even funnier.”
“The man who shouted those things was me!”
“What? No!” She hit his arm a couple of times as she laughed again. “I received an ear full for that one. My mother is still not speaking to me.”
“My mother did not know what to do with herself. My father on the other hand, well he sent me out to the country for the last month,” Connor said. “She is here you know, Miss Haggerty.”
She gazed up at him and said, “We should both be sure to stop and greet her before we leave this evening.” She shook her head up and down at him nodding yes.
“What?” he asked her with a smile. "My father would surly drive me out of the country."
“We are probably the only two people to ever insult Miss Haggerty. And we both did it within an hour of each other.”
“This is true. And to think, we both end up here, standing together under the half shy-half daring moon, talking about it.” Connor leaned back down on the balcony. “I have to say I’ve never met a woman like you before. I am glad you decided to come out here and share a balcony with me tonight.”
“So am I.” She gazed down at his hand on the balcony. “Please promise me you will go with me to pay our greeting to the old miserable hag.”
He chuckled and said, “Yes I promise. Now what was it you were going to ask me before?”
She giggled softly. “Oh, you are causing my shyness to reappear.”
“After what you just told me.” He teased her. “Hey, not only do we now share a balcony we are forever bonded with Miss Haggerty. You cannot possibly be shy with me now.”
“No, I suppose that’s true.” She paused. “What will you do if I was to cross the line?”
Connor leaned in closer. “That I have not yet decided.”
“Hmm, I see.” She looked out over the night sky. Slowly her foot slipped over the line and bumped his boot. He glanced down and back up at her. She had not moved her eyes from the sky. She slid her hand over the imaginary line of the balcony ledge. Her finger tips grazed his.
Connor chuckled. “A mire minor offence my lady.” He watched her smile widen. She took a big step and half way crossed the line.
Connor stood behind her and examined the position of her body verses the line. He walked back over to where he had been and said, “Well, now you look like the moon, half and half.”
She threw her head back and giggled. Connor took her in his arms. “Now I have you on my side and you can never go back.”
“I think I like it much better over here,” she said.
Connor kissed her with a tender touch. He felt no need to rush. It was as if he wanted the moment to last forever which was not like him. She ran her hands up into his thick black hair. He pulled her closer. “Oh you are definitely never going back over there,” he said through their kiss.
His hands slid down her back and cupped her bottom. She let out a soft moan and kissed him harder. She pushed him against the railing.
Connor broke the kiss. “This isn’t the shy half is it?”
“Shut it and kiss me,” she said. Connor laughed. He couldn’t help it. She was funny.
She slid her hands down and cupped his bottom. She whispered, “Your backside is firm.”
Connor grabbed her waist and said, “Okay...not shy.” He kissed her neck and trailed his tongue down to her shoulder. He heard her take in a deep breath.
“Do I kiss bad? I have never done this before. Would you like to go into the gardens?” she asked him. “I know of a little house in the back of the maze. I use to visit her as a child.”
Connor stopped. “You haven’t and you what?”
The French doors started to open and Connor flew six feet from her. Heath stood in the doorway.
He pointed to Connor. “You stay away from her, Welling.”
“Welling?” she repeated.
Heath looked at her and said, “Let’s go, Missy.”
“Missy?” Connor repeated.
Heath took her by the hand and started to pull his sister through the doors. She gazed back at Connor and he could see she was as shocked as he was.
Connor stood at the edge of the balcony. The last hours events running through his mind as he tried to make sense of it all. He looked at the doorway and strided towards it. He pulled the doors open and stormed out into the room. "Ashton!" Connor screamed with bruitle strength over the crowd below him. He pointed at Heath Ashton at the other end of the room.
Ashton stopped with Missy at his side at the threshold of the door and turned to face Connor.
© copyright 2011
Cary J Davis
Pages of Romance Publishing
Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7
Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Chapter 11 Chapter 12
Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Chapter 11 Chapter 12