Read Murder at Almack's: A Regency Romantic Suspense Short Story Online

Authors: Sharon Louise

Tags: #regency romance, #romantic suspense, #short story, #duke, #nobility, #aristocracy, #murder, #London, #Almack's, #wealthy

Murder at Almack's: A Regency Romantic Suspense Short Story (4 page)

BOOK: Murder at Almack's: A Regency Romantic Suspense Short Story
ads

“Yes, but who killed the duke?” Lady Goodfield said, staring down at the dead man with distaste.

 

Chapter Seven

 

“Indeed,” Lady Prysden said, standing across from Derrick on the other side of the duke’s body, the color high in her cheeks. “Is it not obvious?” She gazed pointedly at Derrick. “The Duke of Belville’s guilt does not assuage the Viscount Trulington’s own treason. The viscount kills to protect himself.”

“My son was condemned of treason at the duke’s own hand two years ago,” Derrick’s mother said. “The duke alone made the accusations, hours
before my son’s reported death.”

“For what purpose but the truth?” said Lady Prysden, her voice hard.

Lady Trulington turned her gaze to Eliza. “Is it not obvious?”

Eliza gasped. Turned anguished eyes to Derrick.

“All the more reason to kill His Grace,” Lady Prysden said.

Men moved toward Derrick from the fringes of the crowd, all with the look of hardened, seasoned soldiers and led by the footman from the front door, and Derrick understood now the man’s military bearing, he was in the employ of His Majesty and commander of tonight’s plot to capture the duke. “Not the viscount,” the footman cum commander barked out to his men. “The woman.”

Derrick stepped between the men and Eliza. He would defend her with his li—

The soldiers gripped Lady Prysden’s arms.

“Unhand me,” she said, outraged.

“Your ladyship,” the commander said. “We’ve had a watch on His Grace the Duke of Belville all evening. We saw you stab him.”

Lady Prysden drew herself up full height, her auburn hair gleaming in the candlelight. “I am with child,” she said in an imperial tone. “The duke’s heir. I will have my child acknowledged.”

“That’s for the judge to decide,” the commander said and hauled her away.

***

Derrick kissed his mother’s tear-wet cheek. Pulled her and his sister Anne into a deep hug, then he turned to Lady Goodfield and her daughter.

Lady Goodfield held his gaze, her head high, a bright flicker in her beautiful blue eyes, one that matched the flicker in her daughter’s eyes.

He knew that flicker. He’d felt it in his own heart. Of triumph. Of justice served.

With a bow, Derrick saluted the two women. He held out one forearm to the mother, one to the daughter. “May my family and I escort you ladies home?”

 

Epilogue

 

Sixteen months later

 

Lady Eliza, Vicountess Trulington, stood on the cold quay in the near dawn, the clink of metal on the shifting docks, the water calm—a clear passage, the dockmaster had said of
The Triumph’s
voyage—her heart soaring, her infant son in her arms, her eyes on the ship
as it made its way to the dock.

Men lined the ship’s bow, men in uniform, some propped by others, but her eyes were on her husband, Derrick flanked by Ellingham and Trevor, Derrick’s gaze fierce on hers.

The terror she’d felt when he’d gone a second time to war had eased when she’d received his letter, the letter arriving three weeks after the Battle of Waterloo, telling her he still lived. But rumors had abounded, of whom had survived, whom had not, some men’s names whispered as both, and it wasn’t until now, holding his gaze, did she let her heart feel joy.

The man who’d saved her from a marriage worse than death.

The man she loved with all her heart.

She raised their swaddled son in the air for Derrick to see.

***

Derrick stood at the bow of the ship, his eyes devouring his wife, then son. Joy leaped in his heart, cracking through the hardness that had come with battle, his taut, ever-alert senses finding ease. He’d settled his score against the damage the Duke of Belville had done to his family and his nation. Now he’d settled his score against the French.

He strode weary down the gangplank, the ship that had brought him from Calais tossing gently on the water, Ellingham and Trevor coming along behind.

One thought, one thought alone, filled his mind.

Eliza.

As if in a dream, she stood before him on the quay, their babe wrapped in her arms. Tears shimmered in her eyes, the sun bright on his wife and child. “I named him after Papa,” she said, her voice breaking. “I hope you do not mind.”

He kissed her, the memory of her lips that had sustained him in battle now real against his.

She pulled back. “My love—”

Love, he thought. Good God, he was blessed.

“—your arm.”

“’Tis nothing. ’Twill mend in a month’s time.”

She placed the babe—his
son
—in the crook of his uninjured arm.

Pride swelled in his heart. Pride. Joy.

Love.

He bent his head and brushed his lips over his son’s tiny brow. New life. For him. For Eliza.

A new world for his son. He returned Frederick to Eliza’s arms and wrapped his own around her beloved waist. “Come,” he said. “Let us go home.”

 

Thank You

for reading
Murder at Almack’s
. I hope you enjoyed Eliza’s and Derrick’s story!

 

If you’d like to get an email when my next book featuring the Framphamptons and the Trulingtons is available, as well as my other books,
click here http://eepurl.com/M9z99
to sign up for my New Releases email list. Your email will never be shared or sold, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

 

If you enjoyed this story,
please consider leaving a review here at Amazon
. Even just a line or two can help other readers find stories they might enjoy.

 

To learn more about the rest of my books, please go to my website at
http://www.sharonlouise.com
.

 

Books By Sharon Louise

ROMANTIC SUSPENSE

Spy Babe

Spy Betrayed

The Spy Date Series:

Spy Date: The Full Collection (Dates One through Nine)

Spy Date: First Date

Spy Date: Second Date

Spy Date: Third Date

Spy Date: Fourth Date

Spy Date: Fifth Date

Spy Date: Sixth Date

Spy Date: Seventh Date

Spy Date: Eighth Date

Spy Date: Ninth Date (The Conclusion)

 

PARANORMAL ROMANCE

Hell on Saturday Night

Tempest in a Pear Tree: A Christmas Story

 

Copyright Information

MURDER AT ALMACK’S

Kindle Edition

Golden House Press

Copyright © 2013 by Sharon Louise

Cover design copyright © 2014 by Golden House Press

Cover photograph of man and woman copyright © Hot Damn Designs

Cover photograph of ballroom copyright © Dreef/iStockphoto

 

All rights reserved. This book, or parts thereof, may not be used or reproduced, scanned, transmitted or distributed in any manner, form, or by any means, including information storage and retrieval systems, whatsoever without written permission from the author, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in reviews.

 

This e-book may not be resold or given away to other people.

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Table of Contents

Title Page

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Epilogue

Thank You!

Books By Sharon Louise

Copyright Information

ADS
15.4Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
READ BOOK DOWNLOAD BOOK

Other books

The Heavens Rise by Christopher Rice
Revenge by Mark A. Cooper
Time Warp by Steven Brockwell
Stowaway by Becky Barker
Defiant Brides by Nancy Rubin Stuart
Julie's Butterfly by Greta Milán
The Sifting by Azure Boone
Wrecked by Charlotte Roche
Sin With Cuffs by Carver, Rhonda Lee
Riptide by Adair, Cherry