Well, I did intend to only post from one of my projects, but then I thought, what the hell! It's Christmas. So, I'm going to post several snippets from various projects.
This one is from Fortuna... A little way into the novel, and Fortuna is finding out a bit about some of Giles Dovecote's friends. :-)
The splintered remains of her teacup and saucer still lay strewn across the hall tiles. Fortuna crept to the bottom of the stairs. There was no sign of Dovecote or his man to ask for a nightshift, but Lord Darleston stood in silent repose against the wall by the drawing room door. His eyes were closed, while his long hair lay fanned across the shoulders of his dark coat like rich seams of copper.
Fortuna warily approached. She reached past him to open the drawing room door, only for his hand to close on top of hers as she clasped the doorknob.
“I shouldn’t if I were you.” His whispered words hissed against her cheek, sending a zing of fear and excitement through her insides.
“Why?” She jerked away from his touch, and rubbed at her hand as if she could remove the impression of his palm.
He was more powerfully built than Dovecote. Taller, his shoulders broader, hips narrower, and his mouth far more sultry. She recalled how he’d crowded her mother, and made her blush. How he’d spun her about the dance floor, his agenda hidden behind a façade of civility.
“Giles isn’t in there.”
A streak of danger hung about him that piqued her interest in a way that she dared not explore. She couldn’t imagine Darleston offering to protect her in the way Giles had.
He moved ever so slightly, so that his thigh brushed her skirts. “Do you believe in free love, Miss Allenthorpe?”
She blinked up at him uncertainly. “Free love?” It sounded like something a rakehell would enjoy and that she ought to faint over.
“It’s what you’ll find in this room. So, best be certain of what you’re seeking before you enter.” He tweaked the knob and let the door swing inwards.
In the bronze glow of the hearth, Neddy and Lady Darleston lay entwined. The latter wore only her stockings. The remainder of her clothes lay strewn across the furniture. Neddy, to her shock, was completely naked. The firelight licked pleasing shadows across the broad expanse of his back. His upper arms were thickly corded with the sort of muscles she’d seen on farm labourers and navvies. Not the sort of evidence of work she expected to see on a gentleman. Lower, his legs were equally firmed and covered in thick golden hairs. His bottom was comprised of two firm globes, which in that wild moment, she could imagine digging her nails into so they left red half-moon indents in the flesh.
Fortuna could count on one hand the number of real kisses she’d seen. She’d never seen real people engaged in a sexual act. Her breath became flighty as she watched them arch together. Lucy’s hand lay curled around Neddy’s thick and ruddy staff, while his fingers dipped repeatedly into her slit.
Curiously light-headed, Fortuna took a step back from the doorway.
“Do they excite you?” Darleston’s words intruded upon her wayward thoughts. His gaze fixed upon her face.
“Your brother... Your wife...” she gasped. How could he stand by and tolerate the adultery?