Thursday, October 24, 2013

Thursday's Opening Scene - All Our Yesterdays - Pompeii By Janet Lane Walters

Before the opening scene, just to say Healwoman is free today at Amazon

Pompeii - from All Our Yesterdays by Janet Lane Walters

Estella watched the last of the funeral guests leave. Why did Caten have to die? Though much older than her, he'd been in good health until he'd collapsed while he'd toured the estates she'd inherited from her father. His body had been brought to his home in Rome for the burial. She was again alone, except for her distant cousin.

Blandon strode across the reception room and put his hands on her shoulders. She fought the urge to shudder. She had to hide her dislike of the man who now oversaw her estates.

"Dear cousin, take heart. I'll be your protector."

She drew away. "I wish to be alone to mourn my spouse."

He snorted. "Why mourn a man who surely bedded you but once? Or did he have vigor for more?"

She gulped a breath. Did he suspect? Her servant, Austina, was the only one who knew Estella had been a bride, but never a wife. "You speak of things you have no right to know."

He laughed. "Anger adds color to your face and makes your eyes sparkle. Daughter of an old man and wife of another. Let me show you passion."

"Leave it be. Be content to manage the estates and fill your coffers with coins. I doubt I will wed again."

He ran his hand along her arm. "A woman with your beauty and wealth won't be alone forever." Like a hound after a bone, he pulled her into an embrace and ground his mouth against hers. His tongue probed her lips. She jerked free.

"Estella, don't you see how passion overwhelms me?"

She retreated to the atrium and signaled one of the household guards. "Blandon, leave me. Send your reports and I will read them."

He smiled. "I'll leave, but I will return. Your lovely body will soon crave the attentions of a man."

She sank on a padded bench. His touch and his taste had made her ill. What would she do when he returned? Years ago, he had asked her father for her hand in marriage. Only her pleas had kept her father from agreeing to a betrothal. Her father had spoken to his good friend who had offered an alliance with his house. Caten had married her to protect her from Blandon's greed. Now his protection was gone.

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