Thursday, December 08, 2011

Romancing a Christmas Past - Part 3

Read Part 1 and Part 2

“Hello gorgeous,” a gravelly voice breathed in her ear and Amelia shivered with excitement as the man’s hand slid away from her mouth.

“Thomas." She turned in the circle of his arms, hugging him close, his thin frame fuller than the last time she’d seen him. "What are you doing here?”

“I couldn’t miss the opportunity to see you at work,” he smirked and Amelia pushed him back, reaching up to make sure both hired earbobs still dangled from her earlobes and hadn’t been tucked into his pocket.

“What if someone saw you?”  
“Who in this part of England knows me? Besides, I’m no longer Thomas but the Comte De Villiers, newly arrived from France and looking for a bourgeois heiress in search of a title.” He stepped back into a pool of moonlight falling through a high window and Amelia gasped at his clothes. A dark greatcoat tailored well across his wide chest flared out over a gray jacket and matching breeches tucked into high polished boots. A white vest and impeccably tied cravat to make Beau Brummell jealous emphasized his fine neck and sharp jaw. It was a far cry from the course coat and stained tan breeches she’d last seen him wearing in Paris. “Je suis beau, no?”

“Oui,” she breathed, reaching out and rubbing the soft wool between her fingers. “Where did you find the money for these?”

“Had a bit o’ luck in Dover,” he smiled, his light eyes sparkling, a swath of dark hair falling slightly over his forehead. “Obviously, you’ve had some luck too.”

“My luck came in Paris. I won enough to pay my passage and my way into society.” Amelia pulled out the sides of her velvet coat and dipped into an exaggerated curtsy. “You are in the presence of Miss Amelia Slockholme, the orphaned heiress of a sugar plantation whose guardian has sent her from Barbados to London to make a suitable match.”

“You clever girl.” His lips twisted into a wicked smile as she straightened.

“It was easier than you can imagine to fool these country nobs. One forged letter of introduction to a poor old widow in need of blunt and as I was in.”

“And when you spring the parson’s mousetrap and your groom discovers there’s no money?”

“Another letter will arrive from my guardian explaining how a hurricane wiped out the plantation and left me penniless.”

Thomas threw back his head and laughed and Amelia rushed to him, grabbing his fine cravat and covering his mouth with her hand. “Be quite or they’ll hear you.”

His fingers slid up her exposed wrist, covering her hand as his lips dropped a feathery kiss on her palm. Amelia sighed, a familiar heat licking through her as he wrapped one arm around her waist and pulled her closer. “Who knew you’d learn so fast?”

"I had an excellent teacher,” she breathed as his lips met hers.

“Amelia?” Lord Ambry’s voice carried from outside and they froze, looking toward the door.

“Hark, the Herald Angel Sings,” Thomas snickered in her ear, his low, rumbling voice turning Amelia’s insides into molten lead. “Is that your intended?”

“If all goes well tonight.”

The shadow of a man appeared at the glass door and the doorknob rattle furiously. “Amelia,” Lord Ambry called through the wood. “Unlock the door. Everyone has gone to the stables. It’s safe to return to the house.”

“Time to continue the performance,” Thomas whispered.
“Come soon. I’ve found a lovely young widow who might just suit you.”

He dropped a quick kiss on her lips before pulling open the door and pushing Amelia out into the frost and practically into Lord Ambry’s arms.
“Why did you lock the door?” Lord Ambry demanded, stepping back and tugging at the edge of his glove in irritation.

“I didn’t want anyone to find me before you did.”
“Enough of this foolishness. Let’s get you back to the house.” He took her by the arm, looking cautiously around before pulling her down the summer lodge steps and into the clearing. The deepening cold had thickened the ice and Amelia stumbled slightly, Lord Ambry’s firm grasp saving her from falling once again.

They were half-way across the clearing when Thomas’s voice split the still. “I found her. She’s near the lodge with Lord Ambry.”
“Blast,” Lord Ambry muttered. “Come, we must hurry.”

He tried to pull her faster toward the cover of the trees but she held back, pretending to slip on the ice and pulling him down on top of her.

A second later, the clearing filled with people carrying torches, the orange lights flickering over the astonished faces of men and the disapproving scowls of matrons.

“And just what is the meaning of this?” the Duchess of Claverham demanded.

Lord Ambry jumped to his feet, pulling Amelia up to stand beside him. She kept her head down, studying the mud on her boots, doing her best to appear stunned and shamed instead of triumphant.

Georgie Lee
The talented Alyssa Fernandez will be picking up the story on the 10th, so be sure to stop by to see where our story goes from here.
And don't forget: Each post will contain the name of a Christmas carol. As readers, you're asked to follow the blog and then post a comment on each entry naming that carol. The person with the most correct answers will win a bundle of SEVEN fabulous Carina historical novels to keep them entertained over the festive period, and beyond.

19 comments:

Lisa Kessler said...

What a fun blog idea! :)

Great segment Georgie!!!

Lisa :)

Melissa Cutler said...

Such a great story, Georgie! I found Hark the Herald Angels sing in the dialogue. Yay! Love that contest idea, too :)

kog said...

Well done, Georgie!

I'm embarrassed to admit that it took me four reads before I found Hark the Herald Angels Sing. I had fun reading it each time, though!

Wendy Soliman said...

Fabulous third installment, Georgie. Can't wait to see where it goes next.

Cori C said...

Not only did I find "hark the herald angel sings," I was super impressed how you weaved that into dialogue. So cool!! I loved this story!

Georgie Lee said...

Thanks everyone. I'm glad you enjoyed the story!

Claire Robyns said...

loving the scoundral twist, lol. This is such a lark!

Joan said...

GASP! PLOT TWIST! Another great chapter. You guys are three for three! =D

"Hark, the Herald Angels Sing" is the carol.

Christi Barth said...

Hark the Herald Angles sing. What a great twist! Now I don't know who is going to end up as the ultimate hero or heroine.

Kirsten Arnold said...

Great twist, Georgia! It's so interesting to see how you're each interpreting the story.

Kirsten

Hark the Harold Angels Sing

Courtney said...

Poor dolt didn't even see it coming...lol

Today's carol is Hark, the Herald Angels Sing.

Alyssa Everett said...

I love your section, Georgie! Thanks so much for giving the next author (me) such a great set-up.

Gehayi said...

Hark, the Herald Angels Sing was the song (though Thomas says, "Hark, the Herald ANGEL Sing").

The_Book_Queen said...

The mystery deepens, it seems... :D

The carol is "Hark, the Herald Angels Sings"

Enjoy!
TBQ

DawnM said...

Ah an adventuress. Didn't see that coming.

The song is Hark the Herald Angels sing

Stevie Carroll said...

How wicked!

'Hark, the Herald Angels Sing'

Callie Hutton said...

I thought I'd already commented on this chapter, but I don't see it. Hark the Herald Angels Sing. Great story so far.

Kathryn Merkel said...

Hark the Herald Angels Sing.

Nice twist, off to find out what happens next.

drainbamaged.gyzmo at gmail.com

Shelley B said...

Wow! Didn't see that coming. The carol is Hark the Herald Angel Sing.