Hearts Adrift – Part Twenty-Five

Chapter Twenty-Five   Manon did not, could not, believe her ears. That tone had been one of sheer spite if she had ever heard one. But then, that could not be right, could it? A mother who regretted the fact that her only son would indeed regain his health after an uncommonly severe fall, it was unthinkable. Slowly turning on her heels, Manon eyed the dowager with what she hoped was a reassuring smile. Better to keep up appearances. “Yes, my lady, of course he will. He is young and healthy and with the proper care, which I fully intend … Read more

John Thornton’s Unfolding Dream – 32

Chapter 20 Warning: Rated R John insisted that Margaret stay on the cot, and he would see to each of their personal washings. Margaret enjoyed seeing John walk back and forth. She studied his tall, lean body with all his chest muscles heavily defined under his nice light body hair. She remembered how lying against his naked chest hair, tickled her nose. He had a nice round-dimpled buttocks. She wondered if he knew that. Moreover, of course, the feast for the eyes was the thin dark line of hair that ran from his navel to that patch of curly black … Read more

Hearts Adrift – Part Twenty-Four

Chapter Twenty-Four   Manon carefully retracted the sheet just a few inches. Richard was lying on his back, and now she would be able to examine his ribcage more thoroughly for broken bones. Her skilful hands gently probed, looking for damage. As she had already assumed, there were no real fractures. Because Richard’s ribs had sustained considerable bruising, she decided to apply a firm bandage. He would have to keep himself immobile for at least a week. But first and foremost, Manon wanted her uncle to be properly groomed, so she asked Bright to perform this task, and then retreated … Read more

Hearts Adrift – Part Twenty-Three

Chapter Twenty-Three   Manon’s heart skipped several beats, then began racing wildly. A fear as black as night enveloped her, threatening to paralyze her. She staggered backwards until she felt the much-needed support of a wall. Her knees buckled only for a second, but she steeled herself; this was not the time to faint and be missish. She had to leave at once for Bearsham Manor. “Pru, would you please arrange matters with Matron so that the daily running of Greenhaven is secured?” she said simply and handed Jake’s letter to her friend, who read it at once. Pru blanched … Read more

Hearts Adrift – Part Twenty-Two

  Chapter Twenty-Two   In Brighton, Manon devoted herself to the running of the infirmary, due to her desire to ensure everything was firmly established. Richard wanted her to come to Bearsham Manor at the beginning of August, and that moment was fast approaching. It would be marvellous to see Richard’s estate, knowing how proud he was of his ancestral home. Manon also longed to see her little brother again. She fiercely missed Jéhan and was eager to know how much he had learned under Jake’s tutelage. The letters that Jake sent her weekly only teased Manon’s appetite for learning … Read more

John Thornton’s Unfolding Dream – 30

Chapter 18 John and Margaret tidied their small cot and cabin room and finally climbed the ladder to the upper deck. The sky was black but lit by a full moon with its reflective beam across the choppy waves. Spotting Branson talking with a group of young merchant seamen, John walked over to him with Margaret at his side. “Guv, the captain wants to speak with you. He wants to know about the ruckus down below and see to our fare for crossing the channel. I told him briefly about the abduction. I told him you would have to see … Read more

Hearts Adrift – Part Twenty-One

Chapter Twenty-One   “I hate him.” The sentence was uttered through clenched teeth, in a voice, low with malice. Mildred de Briers stood looking over Bearsham Manor’s sunny lawn from the window of her boudoir when she spoke the words that had simmered in her heart for twenty-seven years. “Yes…” The voice of her lover drawled, “you have said that before, more times than I care to recall, darling. It is time you acted upon it.” Mildred turned towards her large four-poster bed, where Jeremy Lawson lay sprawled in all his splendid nakedness. They had just made love, and Mildred, … Read more

John Thornton’s Unfolding Dream – 29

This Chapter rated “R” Chapter 17   “Margaret, are you sure? Are you quite sure? God, I have wanted you more than I have wanted to live another day but this is not the surroundings I would have wanted you to have, especially being your first time, my love. It will not be all that it can be.” John said, looking at her wistfully. “John, let this be my maiden voyage in all ways.” John did not need any more coaxing. He was assured that she wanted him and not just out of gratitude for saving her life.” Just one … Read more

Hearts Adrift – Part Twenty

Chapter Twenty   At The Wild Rose, Richard found Pritchard, on duty as he always was. The rest of his staff, his housekeeper, his cook, and all the footmen and maids, even the tweenie and scullery maid were at the infirmary. It seemed that Manon had commandeered his entire staff into her service. Since even her maid Bessie was absent, Richard carried Manon to her room and laid her on the bed. She had not stirred, not even when he removed her apron, shoes, stockings and mobcap. Not even when he spread a blanket over her and tucked her in. … Read more

John Thornton’s Unfolding Dream – 28

Reg, Goose, and Margaret had just arrived at the pier. Reg told them to stay at the coach until he found their ship and its sailing time. He would sell the coach and horses just before they sailed. Margaret had rarely been to a port. It was fascinating to watch all the work being done. There must have been twenty berths with about twelve ships in port. Lots of freight was being hauled by cart and donkey to the ships, delivered, and then returned with merchandise coming off of them. Two ships seemed to have passengers waiting far off the … Read more