A Devil DeVere Vignette
A DEVIL’S TOUCH is an erotic romance vignette that stands alone as a complete story, but also serves to bridge Book #4 The Devil’s Match and Book#5 Jewel of the East.
BLURB: In her last month of pregnancy, Diana, Viscountess DeVere, has barely settled into her new life and role as “the devil” DeVere’s wife, when her increasingly restless husband receives an urgent summons to London. When Diana inadvertently discovers a message he received from a known courtesan with whom he was formerly linked, she fears her marriage is over before it has begun.
Medford Abbey, a stately home in Kent – February 10, 1784
An hour later, Ludovic had kissed her goodbye, leaving behind a hollow feeling in her chest. Though fatigue had once more set in, Diana avoided her bedchamber for fear of dampening her pillow with tears of self-pity. Instead, she moped about the empty house until returning to the library. Thinking a book might serve as a distraction, she searched amongst the vast collection of leather-bound spines for something to help her pass the time until her husband’s return.
She pulled her beloved volume of John Donne’s poetry from the shelf but then returned it for fear of the memories it surely would invoke. It was after reading The Dream that she had first fantasized of going to DeVere’s bed. When she had eventually and inevitability succumbed to him, the reality had far exceeded her naïve fantasies of what could be between a woman and a man. He had loved her body and shown her pleasure in myriad manifestations, the memories of which even now filled her with longing for what had been and incited an ache deep within her.
Diana worried that she would never again experience such passion, that it was already spent—a mere three months into their marriage. Perhaps she was making too much of matters and all would return to normal after her lying in? Still she vowed, upon Ludovic’s return, to do whatever she needed to do to reclaim him before his jaded eye wandered to another.
She paused her perusal of the bookshelves to rub the small of her back with a woeful sigh before finally settling on the latest novel penned by Fannie Burney—the adventures of a young heiress named Cecelia. She retrieved the book from the shelf, but by now her feet and back ached so badly, she dreaded the thought of climbing the stairs to her private apartments.
Instead, her gaze settled on her husband’s highly comfortable and recently vacated chair. Alighting in the plush over-stuffed chair, Diana released a soft moan of contentment. Ensconced in the faint and wonderful scents of leather and Ludovic, a renewed calm settled over her. Giving in to the most unladylike urge to prop her feet on the desk, Diana took up a stack of papers to clear a spot, but a particular sheet of foolscap conspicuously penned in a most delicate and elaborate style of calligraphy caught her eye. It was definitely not a man’s hand.
Curious, she picked up the letter. The wax seal had already been broken, revealing a terse note of only a few lines. She hesitated with a pang of guilt, knowing she should not proceed, but her current state of anxiety overcame her initial qualms.
Most honored Efendi,
It is with the greatest humility that I appeal to he who once safeguarded my life. It is with exceeding distress that I must entreat you once more, being much in need of a friend and protector. Your most devoted and obedient servant,
Diana clutched the missive to her breast with quivering lips. An old friend indeed! Was it truly a man named Simon he went so urgently to meet…or an erstwhile lover named Salime?
TITLES IN THE AWARD-WINNING DEVIL DEVERE SERIES
(in reading order with hyperlinks):
A Wild Night’s Bride (Book#1)
The Virgin Huntress (Book#2
The Devil You Know (Book#3)
The Devil’s Match (Book#4)