NaNoWriMo project - currently offline to be edited and corrected.
When Lord Robert Durville loses his child and wife, he turns to a life of debauchery, gaining the reputation of a rake. Years later, he meets Eleanor Ashcroft one night, as her father looks to marry her to the highest bidder.
Intrigued by the feisty young woman, Robert leaves to make the money for a match. When he returns full of hope, he discovers the worst possible thing has happened. She's married. To his father. Yet, temptation remains for both of them.
Distracted by her surroundings, she didn’t hear him until he was nearly at her side. “Eleanor?” Robert Durville’s voice out of the blue made her jump, and she looked up to see him approaching.
“Robert.” She said flatly. Eleanor had been dreading this moment, and with good reason. The brief attraction that she had felt the night they met flared up again as his eyes locked on her. She pushed all thoughts to the back of her mind of the notion she’d once had that they would be wed. That was when she had hope.
“It’s so good to see you. What are you doing here? Is your father visiting? How are things at home? I have so many questions.” She couldn’t make sense of his expression. It was hopeful, as if he wanted her to be there to see him.
“Robert. There’s something I need to tell you.”
“Come. Let’s go inside and we will have something refreshing to drink. It’s been a long walk, and I am eager to hear what you have been doing.”
He was so different to the man she had met that night, it was as if he was carefree. No innuendo either.
"Robert, we need to talk.”
“We do.” He took her hand in his, pulling her towards the house. Reluctantly she went with him, as he talked about the journey he had been on.
“I’ve been in France, Eleanor. You would love it there, society is quite different. Perhaps we can go there sometime. Together.”
Her eyes widened as she realised what he was saying. A feeling of dread hung over her as she tried to get a word in, but he was so excited to see her that he just wouldn’t stop.
They were at the door of the house, and he took both her hands in his squeezing them gently while looking into her eyes. She heard the door creak and in the doorway stood his father. “Robert. I see Eleanor has welcomed you home. Nice of you to return.”
Robert tucked one of Eleanor’s hands under his arm, as if he didn’t want to let her go.
"I hope to be home for good this time father. Business went well in France and now I believe is a good time to take a wife.”
"It makes me happy to hear that. You have dwelt on the past far too long. While you were away, I too took a wife.”
Robert grinned. “That is wonderful father.”
“Yes, it is. Perhaps you would like to let go of her hand.”