|Inspirational Cover Only|
I haven't decided which way I'm going to take it. Do I want to keep it a straight historical romance, or do I want to add a touch of fantasy? (I'm leaning toward fantasy, but only time will tell.)
So, I'm going to share with you a sneak peek of the rough draft. I hope you enjoy it!
Call Me Damon Rowe
The salty sea breeze spun through the open window so that the gauzy white curtains danced in the air as it drifted into the room. The early morning sun cast its soft rays of light onto the rows and rows of leather-bound books lining the wall. Not far in the distance, the faint chatter of pelicans and gulls echoed off the crystal blue water. It was already hot and sticky in Port Avi; the on again, off again breeze was the only reprieve from the soggy heat.
Inside the offices of Litchfield and Froggenhall, Kinborowe Litchfield hunched over his large teak desk. He squinted, his face drawn as he studied the accounting ledger. “Tyballis, have you met with Mr. Webb? His account is seriously past due. We must repossess.”
“I, umm…” Tyballis cleared his throat, “I met with him only two days ago, forgot to mention it to you…neglected to mark the ledger, sorry.” Tyballis hid his face behind a large stack of papers. Some days he hated his job. “Mr. Webb said he would be in today to put his account in order.” Tyballis slunk down even further in his chair, before adding softly, “I gave him until the close of day to be here.”
A heavy sigh hissed from behind Litchfield’s desk. “Tyballis, my man, you are too saintly. I believe Mr. Webb has already missed his appointment. It was yesterday.” Kinborowe daubed a heavy plumed quill into his glass inkwell before writing the word, Repossess in large letters across the heading of Mr. Webb’s account page. “Another farm and manor house will need to be listed in the advertisement we send back to England. Perhaps we can find a more suitable type of person this time.” Kinborowe shook his head. He had no time for people beneath his class.
Tyballis glanced around his papers. “Yes, Sir. I’ll have the advertisement drawn up.” He frowned and reached inside the desk drawer. He removed small flask and unscrewed the top. He glanced at Kinborowe. He wasn’t looking, so Tyballis took a quick drink and stuffed the bottle back into his desk drawer. His stomach gurgled, and his eyes widened. For a moment, he thought he was going to have to run to the toilet, but almost as suddenly as the urge came on, it subsided. He gently patted his stomach, before returning to his books.
The melodious sound of women’s laughter drifted through the open window and stopped short at the front door. As the heavy wooden door opened, it struck the silver welcome bell. Kinborowe looked up from his desk and quickly tucked his ledger into a long drawer. A genuine smile tugged at the corners of his mouth.
“Emlinie, my girl, what brings you to town?”
She grinned. “Just a short visit and shopping.”
“Good morning, Miss Joanna.” Kinborowe cast a longing glance over her form, and his eyes rested momentarily on her soft pink breasts. They poked up in peaks above her corset and gently bounced as she walked.
Joanna nodded. “Good morning, Mr. Litchfield. Mr. Froggenhall. I trust this day brings you good health and happiness.” She studied Kinborowe’s dark eyes and tanned skin. Her pulse quickened, and she licked her lips.
“I find myself quite well today, and I trust Mr. Froggenhall is enjoying the same quality of health.” Kinborowe motioned to Tyballis, as he crossed the room. He grabbed Joanna’s hand and gave it a gentle squeeze, then dropped it.
“Yes, indeed; quite well today.” Tyballis stood up from his desk and removed a book from the shelves behind his desk. He opened it, disappearing behind its pages.
Kinborowe reached out for Emlinie.
She wrapped her toned arms around her father’s neck and hugged him tightly. “You smell of tobacco and salt water.” She laughed.
Kinborowe sniffed his jacket, “I don’t smell anything.”
“You wouldn’t father. It’s just your scent. And, I love it.”
Kinborowe kissed her cheek. “And, I love you. Ladies, would you like a seat?” Kinborowe returned to the high-backed leather chair behind his desk.
“Oh, no thank you, Father. We can’t stay long.”
“Well then, may I ask what kind of shopping brings you girls to town today?”
“As you know Father, the Bushbury’s are planning a ball for tomorrow evening. Joanna and I met early this morning to plan our attire, and I realized I needed to buy new ribbon for my lacings. My heart is set on wearing my green gown, but the lacings are quite worn. I wanted to ask you if I could purchase new ribbons.” She grinned, and her dimples framed her smile.
“How can I resist that face?” Kinborowe leaned back in his chair.
“Mr. Litchfield, Joanna has to wear her green grown. It brings out the color of her eyes and makes her hair look like the sun setting over the ocean. Emlinie wants to look her very best.” Joanna smiled at Kinborowe and cast Emlinie a knowing look.
“And why is that?” Kinborowe stared deeply into Joanna’s green eyes. He held his gaze until Joanna’s face began to color.
“Jacobus O’Frazier will be there.” Joanna’s lips sucked into her mouth as she inhaled trying to recapture the words.
Emlinie’s gaze shot daggers in Joanna’s direction, but she held her tongue. She grinned again, “Father, the Bushbury’s have invited everyone of standing on the island, and while Mr. O’Frazier earns a meager living, he has governed Knightonn estate for several years now.” Emlinie paused, trying to soothe her father’s sudden change in mood.
“You remember, Mr. and Mrs. Knightonn traveled back to England, a few years ago, because of her failing health. Mr. O’Frazier’s standing in society has improved gradually ever since. So, it’s only natural the Bushburry’s have included him in their invitation. I’m sure you’ve noticed his steady upward climb in society. Nothing escapes your notice. Father.” Emlinie timidly smiled.
Kinborowe shuffled through some papers. “Yes, I have heard the rumors Jacobus O’ Frazier will inherit the Knightonn estate. Of course, the Knightonns have no sons.”
“Father, Mr. O’Frazier is quite close to Mr. Knightonn. He is like a son. It’s rumored he should inherit at least four-thousand pounds a year at their passing. Quite a living for a man, especially on the island.”
“I see.” Kinborowe studied his daughter’s face. “There may be probate on the matter. It will hold up his inheritance. The estate is on prime property.”
Emlinie frowned. “There’s no one. No distant relations. Nothing. I can’t imagine…”
“Never mind. You needn’t worry.” Kinborowe retrieved his ledger out of the desk drawer. “Emlinie, purchase whatever you need, a new dress if necessary. Tell Mr. Poff to charge it to my account.”
Kinborowe thumbed through his book, then looked up. “I’ve heard Mr. Withinghall will be in attendance. I also hear he fancies you. Emlinie, his estate is worth at least thirty thousand pounds a year, and he winters in Paris. He is a good match; I’d dare say, for my beautiful Emlinie.”
Emlinie paled. “Yes. He should be.”
“Well, you ladies enjoy your day, and tell Mrs. Rigsby I won’t be home for dinner. I’ll be taking it in the public-house tonight.”
“Yes, Father. Thank you.” Emlinie opened the office door, and Joanna followed. “I am tempted to look at Mr. Poff’s latest gowns since you’ve given permission.”
Kinborowe looked at his daughter. “Do as you wish.”
He gave Joanna a lusty glance, and she returned his gaze before following Emlinie out of the door.
Kinborowe listened as the girls’ voices grew distant, then spoke. “Tyballis, I don’t like the way Emlinie looks when she speaks about Jacobus O’ Frazier. It worries me, four-thousand pounds a year; ha. That’s nothing for a girl of Emlinie or Joanna’s standing.”
Tyballis shook his head. “I know Kinborowe; he might as well be a pauper.”
To Be Continued...
That's all for now. I hope you enjoyed your sneak peek into the working world of Arwen Chandler. If you enjoyed this, make sure to check out my other books available on Amazon.