Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Lady in Green: Chapter Three


Rafe the Cavalier must be a fantasy, but Eve’s senses told her he was real. High time she found Sebastian and forgot him then, so she reached for the next door handle and told herself the stairs must be on the other side this time. 
‘Wrong again,’ she muttered, shaking her head to deny this new illusion.
Warmth and a mixture of sharp and sweet scents to keep moths, and worse, at bay drew her into a different world. For a second she took in rich colours and textures and a table overflowing with charts and papers, then a man with wicked blue eyes stepped towards her. Arrogant as sin and handsome as ten devils, his look ran hot promises over curves outlined by her expensively simple dress.
‘I am keen to get to the heart of things as any man, sweetheart, but you must be cold as charity dressed like that,’ he said with a smile that was half courtier and half pirate.
‘I’m quite warm,’ she said regally and it was true enough.
His loose shirt was undone and his sleek muscles and tanned skin invited touch. His crow black hair shone in the candlelight and one earring set with a matchless pearl should make him ridiculous. Eve decided if he was getting into a Shakespearian role he was far too good to need practise. 
‘Take your shift off then, so I can see how perfect the Daubenay Emeralds look against only your silken skin, my lady,’ he invited huskily.
‘Certainly not, how dare you?’ 
‘Dare all to win all,’ he asserted with a shrug that spoke of a dangerous man who lived a dangerous life, and loved every minute of it.
‘So women must fall at your feet and the treasures of the Orient pour into your hands? No, Mr Daubenay, you’re not king of the world.’
‘How could I be when I serve great Gloriana? Our Queen made me Sir Ranulf of that name, so I am neither mister nor ingrate. Leave over railing at me like a wife and listen for us as we could be, Lady in Green. Can you hear the whisper of us two as lovers on the air as I do? I’ll make the stars a crown nigh bright enough to match your hair and furnish it with gems even nearer your eyes than these, my love.’
‘I’m not your love,’ she murmured half-heartedly, as if he wasn’t heady and sense stealing as too much champagne.
‘You could be,’ he said so seriously she believed him and shivered.
He carried her hand to her lips and she felt honed strength and the promise and demand of his mouth on her skin, as if he was trying to imprint her heart. Ranulf turned her hand palm up so his next kiss lay hot and potent there.
‘Stay, lady,’ he demanded and raised his head to stare into her dazzled eyes. ‘They say you haunt a man for life – stay and share mine instead.’
‘I can’t.’
Eve wondered if a modern woman and a Tudor adventurer could love even as she whispered her denial. Backing out of the room with her eyes on Sir Ranulf, she wondered how he could be so like and yet so unlike Sebastian. In the corridor again she faced the phalanx of closed doors in front her and felt a guilty thrill at the idea of meeting any rogue males waiting on the other side. 
* * *

English author Elizabeth Beacon took the third part of Eve's surprising journey and had enormous fun throwing a new challenge at the poor girl. Eve promises to be a match for any rascally ancestor of Sebastian's she meets on her path to true love and took this one on with her usual courage and fine appreciation of a sexy hero. Visit Elizabeth's website at: www.elizabethbeacon.co.uk

Elizabeth Beacon's Seaborne Trilogy continues with:
The Scarred Earl, Harlequin Historical, May 2013
The Black Sheep's Return, Harlequin Historical, August 2013


Cheryl St.John said...

Chapter three is great, Elizabeth!

Barbara Monajem said...

Oh, my! I do love Sir Ranulf's poetic language!