Authors: Karyn Gerrard
Tags: #romance, #erotic, #fantasy, #time travel
Published by Evernight Publishing at
Copyright© 2012 Karyn
Cover Artist: Sour Cherry Designs
Editor: Krystal Shannan
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
WARNING: The unauthorized reproduction or
distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. No part of this
book may be used or reproduced electronically or in print without
written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied
This is a work of fiction. All names,
characters, and places are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual
events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is
To Evernight Publishing and my editor Krystal
Shannan, thanks so very much.
To my critter ladies and writer friends, Gayl
Taylor and Kim Barnella for the support and talking me in off the
ledge. To my hero who offers his broad shoulder whenever I need it,
To the city of Saint John, New Brunswick,
Canada. My roots go deep. To my late grandparents on both sides of
my family: Thanks for all the wonderful memories through the years
of my many visits. To my extended family still living there, thanks
for the good times and for the ones to come. Hugs to
Timeless Hearts, 2
Copyright © 2012
The Honorable Catherine Ann Worthington was
frightened, though she hid it well. Careening down a muddy,
rut-laden road and being tossed about in a carriage was more than
she could bear. She was close to casting up her accounts, but to do
so in front of three other men would be mortifying. Catherine
clutched her reticule tighter in her fist. Her knuckles were
The only child of Lord Richard Worthington,
Viscount Sherwin, would not be traveling in a public conveyance by
herself without chaperone, let alone toss her crumpets on
unsuspecting passengers. Very clever of her then to borrow a
traveling gown and cape from her maid and pass herself as a lowly
servant, Catherine Johns.
The storm swirling outside worsened. The
thunder cracked with an increasing menace and the lightning lit up
the gray sky with a blinding brilliance. The rain hit the carriage
with the pounding rhythm of a thousand hammers. She had never seen
a storm like this. The skies were dark and dangerous and the winds
howled as if they came from the pits of hell. A lump formed in her
throat. Was she the only one petrified for her safety?
Catherine stole a glance at the man sitting
across from her. He was a rather tall handsome man who had
introduced himself as Mr. Jerrod Ross. Catherine's admiring gaze
traveled up his long, muscular legs. She found something very
appealing about a man with above average stature.
Thoughts of handsome, tall men soon drifted to
the squat, stubby man to whom her family wished her to become
betrothed. Her father would not listen to her objections regarding
the foppish Lord Lampton and he demanded she marry the man.
Lord Lampton was at least an inch shorter than she was.
He had a weak chin and already displayed the signs of
With a few stolen guineas and borrowed maid's
clothes, Catherine hatched her plan of escape. She hoped her
impulsive flight would make enough of a statement to her
overbearing father that she did not wish to have her life dictated
or her husband chosen.
Catherine's thoughts were jarred back to her
harrowing trip when Mr. Ross banged on the roof of the carriage
with his walking stick.
"You there, driver! Slow down!"
A useless endeavor, the storm overwhelmed and
drowned out all other noise and conversation. Catherine turned to
look at the young man sitting next to her. With his above average
height and handsome face, he made quite an impression as well. His
male beauty was breathtaking and he looked younger than her own two
years and twenty. This youth seemed oblivious to the storm. He
simply stared out the window and into the raging storm.
The distinguished looking older man who sat
next to Mr. Ross appeared flushed and ill. The travel did not seem
to agree with him either. Catherine held her hand to her mouth and
swallowed the bile which inched its way up her throat. Another
crack of lightning hit a nearby tree, showering the carriage with
sparks as singed branches hit the ground. She could not stop the
scream from leaving her throat. The older man winced.
was the man's name?
Catherine's last rational thought of names
dissipated as a clap of lightning hit the carriage and darkness
enveloped. A black mist surrounded, formed a ribbon and pulled at
her. For a brief moment she saw the two men whose names she could
not recall also being pulled, but in different directions. The
carriage, which was still in one piece, seemed to melt away. Mr.
Ross was still inside.
Catherine found herself alone and floating,
which made little sense. All about her was complete desolation. She
could feel nothing and could not move. The blackness of the ribbon
seemed to envelope and restrain her movements. All at once a
crushing exhaustion overcame her and her confused and frightened
When at last her eyes opened, , she was again
in the carriage, alone and traveling toward a swirl of light.
Catherine heard a myriad of voices. They ebbed, flowed, became
loud, receded, were sometimes clear, and sometimes a jumble of
nonsense fading into nothingness only to be heard again. A voice
whispered about the charge of a Light Brigade. Another stated her
Majesty Queen Victoria breathed her last at 6.30 o’clock surrounded
by her children and grandchildren. She heard a voice state
something of a king abdicating his throne for the woman he loved. A
deep gravel voice expressed how ‘never so many owed so much to so
few’. Then, Senator Kennedy has been shot and something about
feeling groovy? None of these words made sense to her. This had to
be a nightmare. Surely she would wake. Perhaps she was dead and
traveling to an otherworldly destination.
Catherine was thrust into blackness once
Joey Indelli grabbed the sniveling man's shirt
tighter in his fist. He leaned down next to him and whispered, "You
are two payments behind, McKeen. You know what I have to
"Wait, give me another two days. I'll have the
money, I promise!"
How many times had Joey heard the same words
from these idiots?
"Not good enough." He slammed his fist into
McKeen's face and heard bone crack. Blood spurted out of the man's
nose, down over his lips and chin, and dripped onto the cement
McKeen screamed in pain.
Joey threw McKeen against the brick wall and
then laid a powerful upper cut to his solar plexus. McKeen crumpled
to the floor.
"Tomorrow. Be back here at two o’clock with
the money for McGonagall or I will hunt you down and break your leg
just for kicks. You dig?"
Joey gave McKeen a kick to the kidneys for
good measure. Roughing up these deadbeats was all part of his
working for McGongall as a leg breaker. He glanced upward as cold
dirty water, dripping from broken pipes, splashed on his
Joey stood in the middle of the long closed
York Cotton Mill. It was a place he liked to do business. No one
could hear the screams when he worked over these dip sticks. He
grabbed a fistful of McKeen's bloody shirt and shook him. The man
had passed out, great.
In a sudden flash of light, accompanied by an
ear splitting roar, Joey was thrown away from McKeen a good twenty
feet. The blast knocked him senseless for a few minutes. He shook
his head to clear the confusion. Before him stood some type of
carriage, a chilled fog rose from it and there were chunks of ice
on the doors. He rubbed his eyes thinking he was seeing things.
Far out, maybe it was the grass he’d smoked last
He had to get McKeen out of here. Grabbing him
by the back of his collar, he dragged McKeen out the nearby door
and left him laying flat under a busted drainpipe. He turned and
re-entered the derelict mill. The carriage had not moved… so he
wasn't having a weed-induced hallucination.
Catherine moaned as her eyes cracked open.
Reaching for the door handle, she tumbled out of the carriage and
hit a hard surface. Her reticule was still looped around her wrist.
With great effort she pulled off her glove and
tucked it into her cape's side pocket. Her fingers spread as she
felt the surface where she lay. Where was the muddy
Her entire body ached and throbbed, but she
managed to raise herself onto her elbows and glance around. This
was not the road to Truro, Cornwall. She was in some sort of
dilapidated building. Catherine inhaled. She could smell stagnant
water and could hear dripping from every direction. The malodorous
stench was nauseating.
A door swung open and banged against the wall.
She gasped as a man walked toward her. The man was very tall and
dressed all in black. His mode of dress seemed strange. As he
strode closer a beam of sun broke through the broken window and
washed him in golden illumination.
The man was very
handsome. His hair far too long for a gentleman and his breeches
were far too tight. The material was very similar to the leather
coverings on her father's books. Leather breeches? No one in her
acquaintance wore such garments. This man must be of the lower
classes, perhaps a farmer or more likely a blacksmith.
He walked toward her with a confidence exuding
wicked danger. Her gaze was firmly fixed on his lower garment and
how snug they fit around his-man parts. Catherine was utterly
shameless. The man crouched down beside her.