Yesterday, I celebrated my eighth wedding anniversary. Yay me! We made it without throwing in the towel. Yahoo!
Enjoy this excerpt from Many Strange Women written by…a strange woman!
Mr. Greene darkened the doorway, his face as unreadable as a blank sheet of paper and yet she sensed the anger emanating from him. It confused her. Why should he be upset? She hadn’t seen him in over a week.
“Mr. Greene, I’m pleased you could join us. My knight and I were just—”
“Having a nice cozy chat,” he finished for her, his voice clipped and in low tones as he came further into the room.
The sensuality that exuded from her husband struck her as potently as a caress. The spiky black hair, the green gold-flecked eyes, and the muscular frame made him pulse-leaping, mouthwateringly sexy. His charisma could have been an extra limb on his body and as tangible as flesh. Stonewashed jeans and a sleeveless T-shirt enhanced his looks, showing off the toned arms.
“I’ll take my leave, my lady,” Goijaart said as he got up from his seat across from her. Celeste returned her attention back to her knight. “Thank you for coming to see me, my lord. I do hope you’ll come again.”
“Verily,” Goijaart answered as he bowed. She noticed as he walked toward the doorway, Mr. Greene frowned at him. Goijaart met his gaze and then left the room.
“Is there something you require, Mr. Greene?” she asked as she took the bouquet from her lap and placed it in a small vase on the side table next to her.
“Why was Gonzo here?”
“He came to spend a few minutes with me. Is that a problem?”
“Yes.” He ambled closer to her and stood next to her chair. His green gold eyes glowered at her from his not inconsiderable height.
“Why is that?”
She picked up her dress and started sewing again.
“How many times has he been here?”
“How long did he stay?”
“No more than thirty minutes.”
“What benefit is this interrogatory, sir?” Celeste interrupted. She forced herself to restrain the nervousness rising in her. Tension radiated from him, palpable as breath. She could see the muscles of his forearms tighten, and his hands clench in fists.
“Why didn’t you tell me he was here?”
“Mr. Batcher did not give you the message?” She jerked her head up in surprise. “Patrick isn’t here,” Mr. Greene breathed out and Celeste noted his stance relaxed. “Yes, Mr. Batcher always notifies you when Goijaart is here. The two other times, you were away.”
“Oh.” His voice had softened to its normal timbre.
“Did you require me, sir?”
“I wanted to see if you would join me for dinner tonight. I haven’t seen my wife in over a week.” Celeste fought to keep from rolling her eyes. Hadn’t she made it clear she did not want anything to do with her husband? Did he not understand?
“No, thank you.” She responded politely.
“Why not Celeste? We’re married for heaven’s sake!”
He waved his hand in agitation. She put down the dress and looked up at him. “I do disdain repeating myself or answering ridiculous questions. But I’ll do this for you. I do not want anything but the barest of contact with you. I do not want your company. I do not desire to be with you. All I have taken from you has been your name and that you gave to me.” Her voice was at its driest, and she knew it.
“You are some piece of work, aren’t you?” A note of disbelief underlined his words.
“Whatever do you mean?” She pretended ignorance although she understood.
The gold specks in his eyes flashed. “You tell me you don’t want to have anything to do with me and yet Patrick gives me the bills of the money you’ve spent in handling your affairs. You don’t want my company and yet I find you in here with Gonzo as cozy as lovers.”
“Goijaart is not my lover sir. Neither are you.”
Before she knew it, Mr. Greene reached down, gripped her arms, and pulled her against his body. His hands scorched her through her layers of clothes. Her dress fell from her lap, and she gasped in surprise.
“What are you doing?”
His lips captured her mouth. Her first kiss—and the shock of it— rendered her immobile, and she stood stunned. He hadn’t closed his eyes but gazed into hers while his lips moved expertly over hers. Weren’t first kisses legendary for having rainbows burst from the air, and stars crash into the ground? None of these things happened. What did occur was a rise in the temperature of the room. Heat, long dormant under her icy will, began to diffuse through her body. This warmth differed from her anger. It cascaded over her limbs, transformed her muscles into mush. His lips were smooth and firm. They plied hers like boys in a playground, rough but teasing. Her eyelids began to grow heavy.
No, this can’t be happening, her mind screamed at her. My mouth belongs to Lord Westwood, not my husband. How could she betray the memory of his lips upon her person?
With icy determination, she damped down the warmth growing in her and turned her body into stone. She stiffened until most of her was as malleable as brick.
Mr. Greene drew back from her, and she missed his lips in spite of her resolve. She had to admit it, if only to herself, he’d taken her for a ride.
“Don’t you wish you were my lover now?” His voice spoke with confidence and male arrogance. There was even a hint of boredom with his tone, and she had the vague notion he didn’t expect anything else but some sort of capitulation on her part.
“After that display of your skill, no.”
About the Author:
Parker J. Cole is a writer and radio show host who spends most of her time reading, knitting, writing, cooking, and concocting new ideas for stories. Her first novel, Dark Cherub, won Best of Spring Reading 2013 from eMediaCampaigns. She lives in Michigan with her husband and beloved dog Sarah.
Visit her site at http://www.ParkerJCole.com