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Authors: Doris O'Connor,Raven McAllan

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Yes.

“Oh
hell, you hate it don’t you?” She sighed dramatically. “You want a simpering
milksop, not an in-your-face stroppy cow. If you show me where my dress is,
I’ll leave you to it.”

He stopped
her rapid shuffle by the simple expedient of grabbing her by the elbow and
holding tight. “You,
ma petite
,” Kit said evenly, “are talking in
riddles. Why would I suddenly take an aversion to my wife? The wife I married,
knowing full well how assertive she could be, as well as how submissive. The
wife I want and love with every fiber of my being. The wife whom I worship. The
wife who completes me and makes me whole.” He twitched her over his knee before
he hoped she had a chance to assimilate what he intended. “The wife who
infuriates me, fucks me senseless, and tells me how much she loves me as often
as I tell her I love her. All the time. The wife to whom this is a much longed
for caress.” He swatted each round globe of her arse several times and rejoiced
in her long drawn out “ohhh, yesss.”

“The
wife whose ideas mesh with mine and loves the sweet sting of my hand on her
rear as much as I love giving it to her.” He rubbed the redness he had
inflicted. “More?”

 
“Oh yes … oh shit, please, please make me…
Argh what the hell am I
saying
?” She began to struggle. “Bloody hell on
wheels, let me up, now.” She bucked and as her elbow hit him squarely in the
bollocks he wheezed and let her flip off his lap to stand in front of him, arms
akimbo.

“You’ve
addled my brains. What a load of tripe you’re spouting. I’m single. I’m Lady
Victoria Hopewell. I live in St John’s Wood, I’m twenty-five, and I write
Regency novels for a living.”

 
“No.” He spoke slowly and kept a wary eye on
her hands and how close she was to anything throwable. If she got her dander up
and became roiled, he needed to know there was nothing valuable or heavy within
her reach. “You were Lady Victoria Hopewell but upon our marriage you became my
duchess.”

“So
you say. When, pray, were we married?” Skeptical was an understatement.
Mistrust oozed out of her.

“Almost
twelve months ago.” Kit kept his voice flat and unemotional. He daren’t show
how much this interchange affected him. “On Christmas Eve.”

 
“Hmm.” She began to pace fast, striding from
one side of the room to the other. “Tell me more and fast.”

Lord,
he’d soon be dizzy if he watched her for long. Dare he ask her to stop pacing
and calm down? One swift glance at her stormy countenance decided that. Not if
he valued his bollocks.

 
“What do you want to know?” How on earth could
he convince his wife she
was
his wife? That they did live in Regency
times and as yet were not blessed with a child but he intended to remedy that
soon?

“That
would be what year?” Victoria demanded. “When you say we tied the knot.”

“1814.”

“No
shit, Sherlock. It can’t have been.”

“As
today is December 1815, so it follows that this time last year was December
1814.”

“Oh
hell in a hand basket.” She sat down heavily and began to turn that strange
oblong box over and over in her hands. Once she did something to it, held it to
her ear and then dropped it onto the bed beside her with a grunt of disgust.
“Dead as a dodo. Figures. Look, are you sure?”

Why
was she so insistent on him repeating the date to her? Surely she knew what day
it was? “When we worried about our world and what would become of it? I’m sure.
Even though Bonaparte was imprisoned, those in the know were concerned about
his plans and his growing army of supporters. With good reason it turned out.
Anyway, that apart, we chose the eve of Christ’s birth to, well, to start the
birth of something new and good. Our marriage.”

“Where?
Where did we do it?”

He
jumped. That was a singularly stupid question. “Here, of course, in the
chapel.” Where else would a duke wed? “We were going to go to our house in the
woods to celebrate.”

She
looked at him blankly. Kit made haste to explain. “The one where we play
whenever we can. My betrothal present to you, for us.” She still stared at him
with no comprehension showing on her face. Kit sighed. “A small house near the
west wood, equipped for us by us and where no servants are allowed. Mainly
because what we get up to there might get me hanged, and you exiled. However,
nature foiled our plans. There was a tremendous storm, similar to the one
tonight and so we began our married life here, in this room.” He grinned. “We
can both be very inventive when need be. You did say you’d never look upon the
curtain ties in the same way ever again.” He paused and winked. “I offered to
have them framed.”

 

 

Chapter Five

 

Faversham
House, December 2015

 

Clara
blinked in the sudden light, and breathed a sigh of relief at the welcome
return of electricity. The old-fashioned radiators, which she so admired,
whirred into action with their usual clanking sounds. The half-naked man in
front of her spun around as though he was expecting to find a masked intruder
in his bedroom. Muscles bunched and released in his back when he bent down to
pick up a wicked looking hunting knife off the oriental rug that covered the
wooden flooring in front of the huge four poster bed she was sitting on…
 
naked

Oh, god I’m naked in front
of a complete stranger, who will see everything if he turns around. One I
almost had sex with.

Clara
barely suppressed a shriek at her thought processes. Reality set in with a
vengeance. None of this had been a dream. With the perfect replica of a Regency
bed chamber bathed in light, this man—whose tight ass she couldn’t help but
admire as the soft material of his breeches hugged his behind—this hunk, who
would put Raven McAllan’s Jack Trevithan to shame—would be able to see every last
one of her wobbly bits. Not that she was ashamed of her body, far from it, and
at least in her favorite Regency erotica writer’s books, the men of those times
always enjoyed their ladies’ soft curves, but this wasn’t a book on her Kindle.
This was her life, and she had the throbbing pussy and smarting ass cheeks to
remind her of that.

“What
sort of magic is this?” His deep voice took on that gravelly note of annoyance
that seemed to be a livewire to her libido. Just like she had done when she’d
been draped over his knees, her pussy muscles spasmed, and the top of her
thighs grew wet with her arousal. She’d been on the verge of coming earlier,
and it wouldn’t take much to send her over the edge now.

“Kit,
is that you? Enough, you had your fun. This stops now. I know you must be
hiding somewhere.” He looked round the room as though searching for something,
and when he turned back in her direction Clara made a hasty grab for the first
thing she could find to cover her nakedness, which happened to be the shirt he’d
been wearing. Once she had pushed her head through the opening, and fumbled
with the strings she was somewhat covered, if you ignored her boobs playing
peekaboo through the gap. His gaze snared on her assets briefly, and a secret
thrill went through her system, when he groaned and adjusted his cock. The
action made her look at his groin, and her throat went dry at the long, thick
imprint lovingly outlined by his breeches. There was something to be said for
men’s Regency wear when you looked as buff as this guy. What had he said his
name was again? Daniel, something. Duke of Hockwell, that was it. That name
rang a distant bell in her befuddled brain.

How
did you address a duke again? “Hockwell.”

He
frowned at her shout, yanked his gaze upward to her face, and her heart missed
a beat at the confusion she read in his ice blue eyes.

“That’s
My Lord to you, chit. This whole façade ends now. You and my cousin had your
fun at my expense. I bet your name isn’t even Clara, and you’re no lady’s maid.
More an accomplished actress from Drury Lane. Damn you, Kit, where are you?”

Ignoring
Clara’s shake of her head, he stormed past the bed and opened the door on the
other side of this chamber.

“Deuce,
that’s…”

More
light flooded into the room, as the light in the ultra-modern wet room came on
automatically, and the fan clicked on. Daniel sagged against the wall, and
turned so white, Clara was half expecting him to pass out.

He’d
accused her of being an actress, yet he must be giving the performance of his
life. Who would play such a prank on her though? Certainly not the stoic James,
and Vicky… No, as outspoken and fun loving as her newfound friend was, she took
her research into Regency times and in particular the missing heir far too
seriously. No wonder her books were so popular. When Clara had been told that
Lady Victoria Hopewell—one of her favorite Regency romance authors—was going to
shadow her for a few weeks and learn all about the house, the family and the
missing heir, she’d been over the moon.

The
missing heir…
No, it can’t be.

Not
for the first time that evening Clara cursed the amount of drink she’d
consumed. It still made her brain feel stuffed with wool, and no doubt was the
main reason why she’d come close to losing her virginity in the dark to this
man. She could almost imagine the pulse between her legs strum in tune to the
reckless part of her brain wishing they hadn’t stopped when they did. Sadly,
Daniel looked as far removed from being in the mood for a good fuck as it was
possible to be. She noticed with grim amusement that his erection had deflated
considerably.

“Daniel,
I’m not.” His head shot up and the flash of some undefined deep emotion she
glimpsed in his gaze took her breath away, and made her heart miss a beat.
Fleeting as that moment of connection was, she still felt it all the way to her
toes.

“What
year do you think this is?” she asked abruptly.

He
blinked, and straightening, frowned into the wet room again.

“1815,
of course.” His eyes drew together and when the full force of his azure gaze
settled on her, Clara didn’t dare move. Breathing proved difficult and her
pussy muscles started up their
take me, I’m yours
dance again. It was
beyond ridiculous the effect he had on her with just one glance, but she
couldn’t deny the connection arching between them like a living entity. With it
came the certain knowledge that this man was important to her, that he was the
one man she had been subconsciously waiting for all this time. After all, her
beloved grandmother had always said, she would know him.

“One
glance was all it took for me to know your grandfather was the one for me, and
life would never be the same again.” Taking her words to heart, Clara had waited
for that moment, and, in truth, had all but given up on it ever happening,
which was fine. She had her work and her naughty books, after all. Until this Regency
duke literally appeared in front of her.

Oh
god, the storm, him appearing. Time travel, is that my reality now?

“I
suppose you are going to tell me the year is something ridiculous like 3003.”
Daniel’s deep voice mocked her, and pulled her out of her internal thoughts. He
seemed to have recovered some of his equilibrium, if the haughty way he looked
down his aristocratic nose at her was anything to go by. And that should make
him a complete and utter asshole, not hotter than hell, surely.

“No
that would be ridiculous. The year is 2015,
My Lord.”

His
eyes flashed fire at her, and she swallowed hard when he pushed away from the
wall and advanced toward her. Like the prey caught in the headlights of
impending disaster, she couldn’t move, just sat there, all too aware of how
little she wore, and the fact that her nipples were doing their best to stick
out and wave at him like the
checkered
flag
at the race course.

“And
that is not ridiculous, I suppose.” He stopped just in front of the bed, and
towered over her. A tall, somewhat menacing presence.

“Not
to me, it isn’t.” Her voice came out somewhat wobbly, but there, she’d said it.

“Then
prove it to me.”

Clara
knew her mouth fell open at that imperious command, and the smirk that pulled
his lips up sealed the deal.

Ignoring
her body’s almost overwhelming urge to sink to her knees in front of him, and to
beg him to finish what they’d started, she squared her shoulders, and got off
the bed on the other side with as much dignity as she could, which wasn’t much
at all.

“Fine,
I will, let me just find my bag… ah here it is.” Clara spotted the tiny
drawstring bag which had come with her costume. She didn’t need the sudden
draft up her backside to know that she had just flashed her whereforalls to
Daniel, when she picked the thing up off the floor. His sharp intake of breath
confirmed he liked what he saw, and when she spun around, mobile phone in hand,
she wasn’t entirely surprised to see him tenting his breeches again.

At
least she wasn’t the only one to feel the combustible heat between them. He
frowned when she clicked it on and the display lit up. Opening up her internet
browser she brought up the website for Haversham House, and with a triumphant
snort shoved the phone at him.

“Here,
see. That’s the website for Haversham House, and that has me listed as the
curator, and James and Brenda, as permanent caretakers.”

“Impossible.”
He sat down with a thump, and she gentled her voice as she guided his fingers
across the screen. His breathing sped up and his knuckles turned white in the
strangle hold he had on her phone, as she took him through the site.

“And
you see, here on the blog is the invite to the Regency Christmas Ball. We do
this every year in an effort to find the heir, he…”

His
head came up at the mention of an heir, and the fine hair on her arms rose at
his murmured response.

“Through
time and space…you don’t belong…hell and tarnation.”

He
got up so abruptly, she almost fell off the bed. Not that Daniel noticed
because he paced up and down the length of the room like a caged tiger, and
then almost yanked the bell pull off its mooring.

“Erm,
you’re not expecting that to work, do you, because…” She stopped speaking at
his incredulous look, and held up her phone. “Let me text him. Cause they’re
just decoration … I think anyway.”

“You
think? You’re the curator, and you think? Surely you would know what you’ve
done with my house?”

****

His
cock tightened seeing Clara’s reaction to his words. She looked thoroughly
roiled at him questioning her abilities, and he hid his smirk when she got to
her knees and, hand on hips, glared at him. If looks could kill, he would have
already met his maker, and he wasn’t entirely sure this whole episode wasn’t a
wine fueled hallucination on his part. After all, he’d grown beyond wary at the
machinations of his time, and the expectancy of the ton for him to settle down
and marry, when nobody suitable for his needs had presented themselves. Daniel
had always known he would never settle for anything but true love in a marriage
and seeing Kit so much in love with his Lady Victoria had only cemented that
belief.

“How
dare you? I’m perfectly capable of doing my job, or at least I would be, if
this wing wasn’t locked away and my hands weren’t tied with the idiotic rules
set by your ancestor, this Lord Reginald gay as a fence post Danvers, who thus
died childless, and what?”

Her
ire increased in tune to his amusement, and he grew even harder. Damn it all,
he would have to have her and soon, or explode. All this talking, as important
as it was, was getting them nowhere fast, and he wanted, no needed to lose
himself in her sweet body.

Knelt
on the bed as she was with the light of the oil lamp right behind her, his
shirt was rendered transparent, and all her lush curves were on display, which
made his cock behave like a champion race horse galloping toward the finishing
line.

“What’s
so freaking funny about that?”

Daniel
reigned in his merriment with some difficulty.

“I
could ask you the same question. What has this Reginald being a very happy man
have to do with him not leaving an heir? Dashed inconsiderate as that was of
him.”

Clara
harrumphed, that was really the only word for it, and rolled her eyes.

“Oh,
for pity’s sake, he was gay as in homosexual, batting for the other team, and
all that, jazz, not that there is anything wrong with being gay. Love is love
after all, but you know, it doesn’t render itself to providing precious heirs.”

Daniel
had no idea what she was talking about. She might as well be speaking another
language.

“He
wasn’t able to perform?” he guessed.

Clara
snorted. It should have been an incongruous sound but coupled with her
wrinkling her nose, it was strangely erotic.

“I
wasn’t there, so I couldn’t possibly answer that, but it was more a case of he
couldn’t get it up for women, if you catch my drift.”

Daniel
had no idea what snowdrifts had to do with anything, but he thought it wisest
to keep that thought to himself. Really this woman had some strange sayings and
even stranger beliefs. Suddenly her words registered with him.

“You
mean he preferred the company of men.” At Clara’s nod, he shrugged his
shoulders and grinned. “That is not entirely surprising. A fair number of men
in my family seem to be that way inclined. Even so, he should have put his
personal preferences aside long enough to maintain his duty, and provided an
heir to the estate.”

A
discreet cough behind him alerted Daniel to the fact that they weren’t alone
anymore. Clara shrieked and, grabbing hold of the bed curtain, used it to
shield her half naked state as much as she could. Why she should be that
embarrassed to be caught in a state of undress in front of a servant was beyond
Daniel’s comprehension. His own valet had seen him in all sorts of state of
undress and compromising situations and never batted an eyelid, but the silver
haired man dressed in full Regency butler attire wasn’t Jenkins of course. No,
this was the man in the picture on the strange little black box Clara had shown
him. Dressed as he was in full Regency attire, the likeness of this man to the
butler of Faversham house in 1815 was startling to the extreme.

This
butler bowed his head, and with a hint of amusement in his grey eyes, smiled
toward Clara hiding on the bed before he sobered and addressed Daniel.

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