Danger on WIP Wednesday

assaultI’ve finally found the right name for my novel about Prudence and David. Revealed in Mist, to be followed by Concealed in Shadow. The first one is sitting with the developmental editor, but I’ll announce a publication date as soon as I know one. Meanwhile, today I’m posting a piece from it: a moment when my heroine is in danger.

As always, I’m inviting you to post an excerpt from your WIP; any type of danger, and any level, from mild social embarrassment to death-threatening (or, as in this one, what has been called a fate worse than death).

Before she could react, he had ripped at her neckline, popping buttons, tearing the fabric, and exposing her corset and the curve of her breasts.

“Well, well,” he said. “You are a delicious little thing, aren’t you?”

Prue managed to keep her voice calm and level. “If you’ll wait downstairs with your friends, Sir, I will let Lord Jonathan know you are here.”

“Oh, let Annie wait. I’ve an appetite, and you’ll do to satisfy it.” He was pulling her skirts up as he spoke, and the hard shape pressing into her belly left no doubt about his intentions. “You’ll do very nicely.”

“No, thank you, Sir,” Prue said. “That is not part of my duties.”

“Don’t think about it as duty, little darling. Think about it as pleasure,” then, as she tried to twist sideways to escape him, “No, no, no. Naughty. Keep still or I’ll have to hurt you.”

“Let me go, Sir, or I’ll scream.”

“You think the whore will care? I’ve had her maids before. She growls a bit, but what’s she going to do? Serves her right for teasing us all and only dancing the kipples with Selby. And that bumptious squirt, Gren. Blame her, if you do not like it. Now keep still.”

Prue had been keeping her hands flat against the wall, not wanting him to immobilise them. Now she stilled her body as commanded, but let one hand creep carefully towards the cap that covered her hair.

She would need to be quick. He had her skirts bunched almost to the top of her thigh and was fumbling at the buttons of his fall with his other hand. If he noticed what she was doing… no, he was looking down, focused on the mounds he had exposed.

There. She found the long hat pin, a sharp pointed skewer made to her own specifications for occasions such as this. In one movement, she swept it out of her hair and in an arc, flipping it in her hand on the way, to jab it point first into the nearest buttock.

With an eldritch shriek, he let go of her, and she twisted under his arms and retreated up the next flight of stairs, facing him from that vantage point, the skewer at the ready.

“You bitch! You stabbed me!” he shouted.

The weapon he had intended to use on her, disclosed by the unbuttoned flap of his breeches, had not yet been discouraged by the sudden attack. She gestured at it with her hat pin.

“One step closer, and this goes into that.” The full length in the right place could kill, but a threat to his family jewels was more likely to get his attention than one to his life.

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2 thoughts on “Danger on WIP Wednesday

  1. This comes from book 2 of the Twins’ trilogy. I featured book 1, Angel Comes to the Devil’s Keep, on your blog last week (Thanks again). The book is entitled “The Earl Claims His Comfort.” This comes from chapter 1. The Earl of Remmington has been shot and left to die.

    In the deepest recesses of Rem’s mind, he thought he could hear someone talking, but the words remained garbled. His last conscious thought had been of his impending death. Therefore, he wondered if the voices were those of God’s angels. Although he was certain his expression had not changed physically, the thought brought a smile to his lips. “More likely the Devil’s disciples,” his mind announced. “You are not of the nature to know God’s mercy.”

    The voices dwindled to an uncomfortable silence, and Rem fought for the clarity his injury denied him. For several elongated moments, his unconscious mind claimed dominance, and Rem found himself tumbling toward the darkness once again, but just as he had abandoned the hope of the angels claiming him, a comfortably heavy weight landed upon his chest.

    Thump.

    The suddenness of the attack had Rem searching for his next breath.

    “Here!” A screeching voice demanded. “Down here!”

    There was fear and anxiousness in the tone, and something in Rem’s body reacted to the cry for assistance. His mind shut the door leading to the dark pit and began its climb toward the speck of light beckoning to him.

    “Wake up!” the voice demanded.

    Hands caught the lapels of his jacket to tug him forward. Even so, it was several seconds before he ventured to open his lids. When he did, the light caused him to blink hard.

    “Can you hear me?” the voice screeched as a body blocked out the sunlight to tower over him.

    “I’m not deaf, demme it,” he hissed as he cracked his eyelids open to claim the light once more.
    I
    n the end, the face hovering above his took on a familiar form. Dark curls. A heart-shaped face. The soft complexion of youth. The image brought him comfort while it frightened him beyond reason, for he knew the figure before him was dead.

    “So, it is true?” Rem struggled through a dry throat, swallowing hard against the unreality of the situation. “God prefers his angels to possess the innocence of children.”

    “I am no angel,” the face assured him.

    “You are…” Rem stumbled over the familiar name.

    Deirdre.”

    “Delia.”

    They said in unison.

    “What?”

    Rem squeezed his eyes shut to clear his vision, but when he opened them again, the childlike image remained.

    “Are you or are you not Lady Delia?” he demanded testily.

    “Not,” the figure pronounced as confusion crossed her features.

    Yet before Rem could gather his thoughts, the image retreated to be replaced by another. Blue-green eyes. Golden-red wisps of hair flamed with the light behind it. Full lips. Creamy white skin touched with flecks of the sun’s kiss. Although concern crossed the celestial being’s expression, the countenance before him was his idea of an angel.

    “Can you tell me what occurred? Are you injured?”

    The “angel” ran her hands over his body to search for wounds, but he held no thoughts of the woman’s charity. Her clean, slightly floral scent tempted him as nothing had in some two years.

    “Oh, my,” she said on a gasp as her fingers grazed his leg and came back bloody. She jerked a scarf from her head and leaned over Rem’s body to wrap the cloth about his leg.

    Rem knew he should warn her not to touch his wound, but the heat of her body draped over his danced through his veins. Her breasts brushed against his manhood, and despite his every limb feeling the numbness of inaction and the overnight rain, his body reacted to her closeness.

    “We must remove you to safety,” she said in anxiousness as her image returned to a point above him. Without the scarf to cover her locks, the woman was more angelic looking than before for the sunlight set the fire dancing in her tresses, and Rem permitted himself the hint of a smile.

    “I shall return to the manor and plead for assistance,” she said as she prepared to stand. “You must have the services of a surgeon.”

    Her words cleared the fog clinging to Rem’s mind. “No!” he snapped as he caught the stranger’s arm to stay her rise.

    “You require a surgeon,” she reiterated.

    Rem knew her correct, but his wound was no accident. He did not know whom he might trust among those at Tegen Castle.

    “Even though I’ve recovered your horse, I cannot permit you to ride on your own.”

    “You found Draco?” he asked with an attempt to sit up only to have the woman shove downward on his shoulders.

    “You cannot think to ride,” she insisted. “You’re too weak.”

    “You are not my demme mother,” Rem accused.

    She shoved hard against his frame, and although he knew the woman meant it as part of her chastisement, his mind returned to the pleasure of having her so draped across his body.

    “First, you, sir, will not speak so freely before the child. If you continue to act without respect for Miss Deirdre’s tender nature, I shall leave your carcass here to rot.” The woman poked Rem’s chest with her finger to punctuate her threat, but all his faculties could claim was the floral-scented drape of her hair as she leaned over him. His fingers itched to run them through the heavy ring of fire. “Moreover, from the cut of your clothes,” she continued without an acknowledgement of his distraction, “you are a gentleman. Therefore, you must be expected at Tegen Castle.”

    “Is Lord Remmington at the castle?” Rem said suspiciously. Some of his renowned reasoning had returned. After all, the woman leaning over him was a stranger. Though he prayed it not so, perhaps she was involved in the attack upon his person.

    “The earl is expected,” the woman repeated in what sounded of earnestness. But when she looked with more purpose upon his countenance, Rem noted a flicker of confusion crossed her expression.

    “Despite your objection,” Rem spoke with the authority he had developed during his time serving under Wellington, “I mean to mount Draco and seek my own care giver.”

    The woman continued to study Rem’s expression closely–too closely for his ease. “Very well,” she said at length. “Permit me to lead your stallion to the shade of the tree. Draco will be waiting for you there.”

    With that, she strode away, catching the girl by the hand and tugging the child along behind her. In her anger, the female was magnificent. Rem raised himself to his elbows so he might observe her retreat. It was as he expected. The sway of her hips as she sidestepped across the short expanse leading to the back road of his estate was a magnificent sight to behold.

    Swallowing a cry of pain as he lifted his weight to a seated position, Rem calculated how many steps it would take to reach the large elm.

    “Twelve,” he grunted while rolling to his one good knee. Not placing weight on his left leg, he grabbed the spindle-like branches of a large shrub, pulling himself to a standing position. Blowing out a short breath, he took a tentative step forward, followed by a hobble step. His good leg remained numb from a lack of use, while his injured one shot pains through his body to lodge in his tightened jaw, but his determination won out.

    “Four,” Rem hissed as he repeated the maneuver, and his resolve took a firmer hold.
    However, the rocky path had a mind of its own, and it meant to bring him down. As if the land rose up to claim his footing, he stumbled to land face first in the mud.

    “Hold the horse,” the woman instructed the child.

    When he looked in her direction, she was scampering over the short distance to reach him. “Keep back?” Rem growled as he shoved himself upward. The woman came to a stumbling halt. “I require no assistance,” he insisted in sharp tones.
    Biting down on his stubborn will, Rem slowly repeated the process of standing–this time without the aid of the shrubbery. Yet, his earlier resolve had suffered a blow with his fall, and he swayed in place. His disorientation was enough to send the woman into action again. She rushed forward to brace Rem’s stance, and her floral scent filled his lungs with an enticing aphrodisiac.

    “Please permit me to assist you,” she pleaded.

    “It is not necessary,” Rem insisted.

    “Allow the woman her due,” a very masculine voice called out from behind where the child waited with Draco.

    “What the bloody hell are you doing here?” Rem snapped as he took in the countenance of his former friend. “You’ve no demme business in York.”

    Yet before the Marquess of Malvern could respond, the woman shoved hard against Rem’s chest, sending him backward to land upon his posterior.

    “I warned you, sir, I would not tolerate your foul tongue!”

    • I love it, Regina. And, folks, we feature the first book this coming week (15 August), and it was on the Bluestocking Belles blog last Wednesday.

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