This is from my paranormal historical, Murder and Magick. Set in an alternate Victorian society where magickers are hunted as derelicts to society, my Druids series spans England, America, and Egypt. This is from book one, though you don’t need to read them in order.
Prequel: The Tryst is a short story set several weeks before Murder & Magick and is available in e-book form.
“In all that time, I’ve yet to see anyone, magicker or otherwise, rise up like a demon from hell, tentacles waving or some such, to slaughter innocents. In fact,” Raven noted that Malcolm’s left hand flexed at his side, “the one time I’ve seen anything close to a magicker was in a healing capacity.”
“Don’t let Corwin hear you,” Lucien offered with a sly, knowing grin Raven wondered at, “he’ll think you’re in collusion with the devils.”
Raven chuckled, retook Malcolm’s arm, and forcibly led them all further away from that contemptible man. “Then let us whisk you off before he mistakes the dimple in your cheek for the mark of a beast.”
Malcolm smiled down at her as she held his arm, the deep rumble of laughter vibrating along her skin. Unabashed desire glimmered for a brief second in his golden-green eyes, causing her fingers to tighten on his arm in response.
“Let’s storm the dining room. With Corwin distracting the crowd with horror stories we’ll manage to abscond with some of Mrs. Dodley’s special pastries,” Lucien suggested, with a glance at the group surrounding the Witch Hunter.
“Aye, Lucien,” Raven nodded, “we must save a few for Isadore. She’ll need the sweets after being trapped into listening to Corwin at length.”
Lucien led them towards the dining room, voice low so as not to attract undue attention. “If it weren’t so unseemly to toss the man out with the rubbish, I’d have his carcass out of this house in a heartbeat. But I don’t want to offend Lady Harrogate, as he is her guest this evening.”
“One would think,” Mac quipped as he looked down at Raven, wondering how soon they could leave the ball, “the Baroness Harrogate would have better taste in guests.
Men like Corwin seriously tried Mac’s patience. Considering he wasn’t the most patient to begin with, it was difficult not throttling him.
“My impression,” Mac said, “was that Lady Harrogate is going to instruct her son to vote against Corwin’s directives at Parliament. Has that changed?”
His hand reached to the crook of his arm where Raven’s soft, warm one rested. To the casual observer it looked no more than a gentleman touching a lady’s hand.
They both knew better.
“Lady Harrogate insisted she hear the other side for herself, and therefore invited Corwin,” Lucien answered. “Father will be none too pleased when he hears Corwin was in his house.”
“It’s a good thing your father is still in London,” Mac offered. “I don’t think his health could stand such an evening.”
“That odious man is a blight,” Raven interjected. Her deep blue eyes looked behind him to where Corwin continued preaching. Mac caressed her skin through her long gloves. She bit her lip, eyes locking with his to keep from freeing a gasp of pleasure.
Mac caught himself leaning down. Tearing his eyes from her delectable lips, he turned to Lucien.
She’d worn gloves so sheer this eve it seemed she wore nothing at all. The feel of such sheer silk between them had his imagination running wild with what he wanted to do to her. He wanted to use those silk gloves to tie her to his bed, have her at his mercy, a very passionate, and oh so lovely prisoner.
Hot need speared through him, a reminder, not that he required one, of the passion between them. He wanted her from the first moment he’d seen her alighting from the carriage outside Harrington Manor six weeks ago. Her dark tresses, blue eyes, and alabaster skin against the dark traveling dress she wore combined to present a beautiful woman, to be sure.
Something else about her thoroughly captured his attention though. A spark of life in her deep blue eyes, a bright and energetic laugh, an indefinable quality about her presence. He’d been instantly drawn despite the engagement ring on her finger. Some part of him his mother would be pleased to know had not disappeared, told him a gentleman never pursued the fiancée of another man. He hadn’t listened. That would not have surprised his mother one bit. The ring that sparkled even in the dim yellow light from Harrington’s electrical bulbs had not prevented her from succumbing to their shared desire, either.
She took it off whenever they made love.
To be sure, the gossipmongers would enjoy nothing more than ruining Raven’s reputation should word of their affair leak. Their tryst would be the salacious tidbit they’d latch onto and, he feared, would be hard-pressed to let go anytime soon.
–Love Romance Passion (5 stars)