The door clicked shut behind Eve. Tension gathered between her shoulder blades as she peered into the dark hallway. Nothing had changed. Nothing. Doors ranged on both sides.
Was she caught in some time loop, like a computer loop, ever repeating? Only she hadn’t returned to any one period yet, including her own. A shudder ran the length of her spine and she wished it was from the cold penetrating the thin layers of her silk gown, but knew better. She wasn’t just lost in the castle, she was lost in time.
And what about Sebastian? Would she ever find him again? She had to. They weren’t engaged, but she had begun to hope he would ask her at the ball. He’d given her the emeralds to wear because they matched her gown. A man didn’t put his family heirlooms on the neck of a woman he did not intend to marry. She had to get back to him.
New determination firmed her steps as she moved to a new door. She took a deep breath and pushed. The other rooms had been lit by fire or candles. This one had nothing.
She pulled the handle only the door wouldn’t budge, as though she had to go through. But then it would likely shut and refuse to open as had the others – until she met and talked with the man inside.
She inched inside and wished she had something besides the silk of her skirt to wipe the dampness beginning on her palms. This room was dank and cold. No carpet muffled the click of her stilettos on the stone floor. Goosebumps lifted the hairs on her arms.
A hand clamped around her mouth, an arm around her shoulders. The door shut with a barely audible snick.
Fear knifed through Eve. She twisted and struggled, her chest heaving as she fought for freedom and breath.
‘Do nae say a word and I will take my hand from your mouth. If you so much as gasp, I will see that you spend the rest of my time here gagged and bound.’
His voice was deep and harsh. His tone enforced the hardness of his chest against her back. This man meant what he said. She nodded, her mouth moving across his rough palm.
Slowly, as though not trusting her nod, he removed his hand. She gulped in air. He smelled of heather and the Scottish moors. Wild and untamed.
‘How did you find me?’ His whisper was barely audible, but his warm breath moved against the sensitive skin of her ear like a caress.
‘Release me completely and I’ll tell you.’ She played a dangerous game, emphasized by the tightening of his hold and the clenching of his muscles. Plastered to him, she felt every shift he made. His heat seared her flesh even through the clothing separating them.
A low chuckle rumbled in chest. ‘Why would I do that? I already hold you captive. If you have betrayed me, I will bargain for my life with yours.’
‘Your life for mine? Who are you?’
‘A man fleein’ his country to follow his king.’ Bitterness tinged every word.
One of the wars for the throne. ‘Which king do you follow? Charles or James or maybe Stephen?’
His grip tightened. ‘There is only one king over the water.’
‘Ah, Bonnie Prince Charlie and James II.’ It must be after Culloden or possibly before.
‘Yes.’ His hand ran down her breast to her waist. ‘What are you wearing?’
Her flesh tingled from his touch. ‘Please, I’m from another time. The future. I need to return to Sebastian.’
He turned her. ‘I cannae see you, but I’m thinking you are the Lady in Green.’ His fingers shifted to her neck and ran over the necklace. ‘The emeralds.’ He stepped back. ‘At least I will be visited once before I leave my title and lands behind.’
She licked dry lips. ‘I didn’t know the Daubenays fought for the Stuarts.’
A sigh sifted between them. ‘So they succeeded. My brother will inherit and history will say I died at sea.’
She sensed him move. His lips touched her face, moved to her mouth. He deepened the kiss until she leaned against him grateful for his support. Too soon, he stopped. He pushed her away.
‘Thank you, Lady in Green. I shall remember your visit and your kiss until I die.’ He moved, taking her with him.
‘What are you talking about?’
‘’Tis time for you to leave and for me to catch a fishing boat to France. I hope we meet again, but if not, I hope you find your true love as the legend says.’
The door opened and Eve found herself in the hall. Chills shook her. Another one of Sebastian’s male relatives. But no Sebastian.
Fear and apprehension welled up inside her as she swiped away a tear. She had to find the right door. Had to…
I hope you're enjoying this read as much as we enjoyed bringing it to you...Georgina Devon