And hesitated at the strange noises on the other side. A soft sobbing moan of pain.
The rapid click of heels on stone and the scrape of metal across metal drew her gaze to two shadowy figures circling each other. Men, their shirts gleaming white, and the blades in their hands a wicked flash of death. With a supple twist of his wrist the larger of the two had the point of his blade at the other’s throat, a welling drop of blood trickling down the white exposed flesh.
The loser went to his knee. ‘Grant mercy,’ he whined. ‘For God’s sake.’
Eve stepped from the shadows. ‘You will grant him the mercy he asks.’
The big man, so broad-shouldered and lithe, so like her Sebastian as the light caught his expression of wide-eyed shock, lifted his blade clear.
‘Who am I to deny the Lady’s request?’ His voice was deep, dark and delicious. And he was huge, and not just because of his shoes. Who would think a man could look so deliciously masculine in diamond studded high heels.
And he wasn’t the slightest bit out of breath. Unlike his opponent who, gasping like a stranded fish, scuttled to grab his jacket from a stone bench and fled in the blink of an eye.
‘You might have killed him,’ Eve said crossly. ‘And for what?’
‘For your honour, dear Lady. And mine. But I see you do not approve.’ He went down on one knee, the hilt of his small sword proffered across his forearm, his head bent, revealing the queue of his thick curling long dark hair. ‘Take this blade and with it this unworthy life. For without your esteem, what is left to me?’
Her insides clenched at his abasement before her. Her knees went all wobbly like a colt’s. Oh boy, these early Georgian men sure had sexy ways of putting things. She pulled herself together. ‘Don’t be ridiculous.’
He laughed, a deep rich sound in the velvet warmth of the night, and sprang to his feet, sheathing his sword as he did so. ‘Such a practical Lady in Green. Griffon Daubeny, àa votre service.’ He bowed with an elegant flourish. ‘Then you will grant me a kiss instead.’
Quick as lightning, he pulled her into the shadows and encircled her in his arms. The heat of his body warmed her, as did her instant response to his wonderful wooing lips on her mouth.
The man certainly knew how to kiss a girl senseless. And the soft velvet of his snug-fitting breaches hid none of his response to the pressure of her belly against his hips. Oh my! He really was a big man.
They broke apart, and this time he was breathing as hard as she. ‘Have I made you mine?’ he asked wistfully gazing down at her.
Music floated down from an open window leading out to a stone balcony.
The ball. Sebastian. ‘I’m sorry,’ she said. ‘So sorry.’ And dashed for the curving stone stairs leading up....
Ann Lethbridge loves Regency Romances and that is what she writes, but recently she and her characters have traveled back in time as they have in this round robin. Her next short story Undone is a Time Travel where her 21 st century heroine dreams her way to the seventeenth century and A Highlander in her Bed. For more information about Ann and her books go to: annlethbridge.com