Hearts Adrift – Part Twelve

Chapter Twelve   The ride to Brighton was to take six hours, necessitating a stop in Hastings for luncheon. The Saxon and Norman Inn, near Hastings Castle, served a decent shepherd’s pie and boasted an appreciable amber-coloured ale by the name of “Coxcomb”. Lucian Blackthorne, Viscount Rossiter requested the private parlour for his party. During the meal, Richard kept himself in the background, responding only when a direct question was addressed to him, glad that his friend Lucian was not drawing him into the conversation. Lucian started lecturing about the famous Battle of Hastings in 1066 and the subsequent conquering … Read more

Hearts Adrift – Part Eleven

Chapter Eleven   Manon woke when Bessy knocked and entered the room with a tray of tea and toast. “Sir Lucian’s compliments, miss; and would you join the gentlemen in the breakfast room when you are dressed?” the girl said in a cheerful voice. “Thank you, Bessy,” Manon answered, glancing surreptitiously around the room. She was lying naked under her covers, and she was terrified the maid would find out. He was not here. Understanding why did nothing to dampen down the wave of burning grief that washed over her as disappointment struck. He had left her after he lifted … Read more

Hearts Adrift – Part Ten

Chapter Ten   Manon’s proposition made perfect sense. Richard’s logical mind acknowledged Manon’s words, and his foolish heart welcomed them, of course. It was true that he loved her, and he knew beyond all doubt that she loved him back. Despite the fact that he knew they could never be husband and wife, Richard was overwhelmed by true, unmitigated happiness, because his Manon loved him. His Manon? Yes, it was the undeniable truth. She was Lily’s daughter, and Lily had been the light of his life. Manon, so like Lily, had come to fill the hole in his heart that … Read more

Hearts Adrift – Part Nine

Chapter Nine Lucian’s carriage was a large chaise-and-four, drawn by four splendid matching greys. It would cover the twenty-three miles in less than three hours. They were heading for Lucian’s estate, Whitehaven, near Romney in Kent. Jéhan was fast asleep, snuggled up in a blanket against Lucian. Jake was sitting next to the coachman on the bench, while Manon and Richard occupied the bench opposite Lucian. Night had fallen, and as the carriage rolled on through the quiet countryside, Manon felt her body go limp with fatigue. Her head lolled as her eyes grew heavy, and eventually, she could no … Read more

Hearts Adrift – Part Eight

Chapter Eight   As Richard had foreseen, they reached Boulogne in three days, but it was night when they entered the small seaside town. As a precaution, they had not slept at inns the two previous nights, after they had spotted a company of soldiers camped near the village of Quend, fifteen miles north of Abbeville. Instead, they had made camp in the woods lining the road. It had been uncomfortable, but not overly so, because the June nights were balmy. With Jake and Jéhan present, it also proved bearable to sleep close to Richard, Manon found. She took her … Read more

Hearts Adrift – Part Seven

Chapter Seven   Jake eyed them both with barely concealed astonishment, but he said nothing. “What about Jéhan?” Manon asked. “Could we not take him into the room also?” “I want to sleep with the other men!” Jéhan protested. “Jake is my friend, and I have to watch over him!” Manon saw her uncle’s sweet smile curve his lips before he answered, “Of course you must, my boy! Jake will watch over you also; will you not, Jake?” “Yes, master, I will. Rest assured, miss, he is safe with me.” Manon pressed Jake’s hand in gratitude, glad that the young … Read more