Saturday, April 5, 2014

Love's Vengeance snippet

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Love's Vengeance
A historical romance novel

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     Pouring a good strong drink, Stephen sat at his desk, rubbing wearily across his face with the palms of his hands. He was cursing himself as every kind of fool he could think of, when a hesitant rap at the door brought his attention back. “Come in,” he called, half hoping it to be Desiree, having changed her mind and perhaps deciding to discuss things calmly and reasonably.
     Cunningham entered, closing the door after him and looked into the troubled eyes of his captain. He crossed to the desk to take a seat opposite Stephen for their usual nightly chat, when his eye was caught by something lying upon the floor. He bent down, picking up a silky sheer chemise and dangled it from his fingers, looking to Stephen. Then his eyes moved to the tousled bed and the evidence there of what had occurred. He walked slowly across the room and pulled the dagger from the wall, turning to look at Stephen with raised eyebrows.
     “Seems as if you’ve been to battle this night, Cap,” he observed, tossing the filmy garment across the bed and dropping the dagger upon the desk before Stephen.
     Pouring himself a drink, Ham sat down across from him and waited for a response but Stephen made no comment, only glared and took up the dagger, dropping it into a drawer of his desk, then slamming the drawer shut.
     “You showed great willpower these past weeks, Stephen. I’ll not fault you there. I’ve always known you to be a man of few words but you played the suitor with flair I never knew you possessed,” he nodded and drank deeply of the fine brandy.
     “Suitor, hell! The wench forces it, draws out the father in every man she meets!” Stephen barked, gesturing as if his heart were being ripped from his bare chest. “Even you!” he pointed an accusing finger. “By your concern tonight I would say she has captured your heart as well. Admit it, you old sea dog!” he smiled at his old friend with genuine affection.
     “Aye, that she has,” Ham nodded. “A rare lady indeed. She seems to have taken over the entire ship without so much as one show of firepower or one skirmish…” he glanced to the bed. “Until now.”
     “Yes, I fear she found me not to be the perfect gentleman she supposed me to be.” Stephen glared at the bed. “I am afraid I made a mistake this night which I shall pay for, for some time to come,” he chuckled softly with affected cavalier.
     But Ham noted sadness in the voice of his young captain and worry upon his brow. It seemed that this lusty young man had met, at last, the one woman who stirred a sense of conscience in him.

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