Saturday, 7 August 2010

High Drama Blogfest!

Well, here it is, the awaited blogfest kindly hosted by D.L. Hammons.

Due to three sword fights in the last Blogfest I abandoned original snippet destined for this page -as taken from historical novel set period of English Civil War 1642-1649.

Instead I've selected a rather more emotional and dramatic scene in which item of clothing implies betrayal and intrigue afoot, the heroine (bride to be) in dire trouble . . .

Please note the family has been torn apart by the Civil War. Lord William is a Cavalier (Royalist)officer, his son a Parliamentarian officer. His lordship's ward and betrothed is a lady of rank albeit orphaned when a child and no relative of his lordship - she at one time madly in love with his lordship's son! 

As Anna returned to Axebury Hall she felt spots of rain on face and set Megan to a fair trot along the driveway; her thoughts hanging heavy upon breakfast taken in her room. The unruly behaviour heard below stairs throughout wholly indicative of men playing card games and laying bets upon the outcome.

Fed up with their raucous laughter and drunken giggles she’d taken to horse and countryside, and now nearing the end of her ride she rounded the corner of the mews to see horses saddled ready to leave.

A groom stepped forward to take Megan's reins, and Anna slid from saddle to mounting block and asked, ‘Who pray will be taking leave of the house?’

‘The prince ‘n’ all,’ replied the groom.

Anna rushed into the hallway, quite wondering why the gentlemen were leaving when the wedding was on the morrow. As she made her way to the library Prince Rupert stepped forth, his face rigid unsmiling, his tone matter of fact.

‘I bid you farewell.’ With that he brushed past her, the men assembled around the table at breakfast following in his path, until one of their number paused and most formal declared, ‘Lord William awaits your presence in the library.’

She walked into the library suspecting something amiss, but when her eyes fell upon her blooded gown on the floor she feared the worst. His lordship was sitting in a chair near vast mirror smoking pipe in hand. Something in his look as he spied her enter caused her to turn and attempt to flee, but he was on his feet in an instant the pipe cast to the floor.

Lord William caught her arm, her flight halted mid-step. ‘I’ll have you a Royalist whore before I’ll have you a Parliamentarian’s piece.’

His timbre of voice most threatening, Anna winced, his grip on her arm painful yet nothing compared to the evil glint in his eyes.

‘I’ve done nothing wrong,’ she said, defiant as ever, ‘and Morton’s your son.’

‘Son,’ railed William Gantry, dragging her across the room, ‘son? He’s no son of mine.’

‘If not yours, whose?’ she challenged, not for one minute believing Arabella, his late wife, would have had another man. ‘He has his mother’s eyes, and your hair, your body, your looks.’

Oh god, Lord Gantry was Morton as he would be in years to come. Why had she not seen that before?

‘Morton was wounded and needed help, that’s all.’

Her benefactor ignored her, swinging the door wide and bundling her through and into the grand hall. Its panelled walls seemed as though closing in about her, his lordship’s grip upon her unrelenting and painful. She very nearly tripped, her midnight blue velvet and brocade gown catching beneath her feet.

‘You don’t have to haul me around like an animal, I’ll do your bidding, whatever that may be,’ she said, trying to keep abreast of him.

‘Do my bidding eh?’ He chuckled, a look on his face the like she’d never seen before. It was distasteful touching treacherous intent. ‘I’ve loved you, provided for you, and you whore yourself to Morton.’

‘That’s not true. I’ve loved you always, and respected you for taking me in and providing me with a caring and loving home. I am your betrothed, why would I betray you?’

She seriously feared his intentions, and his sudden desire to drag her up the staircase. How he’d found out about her gown in the trunk was mortifying, and he was right about one thing, she did love Morton, had always loved him as she loved his lordship but had never told anyone not even Morton himself. If Morton had declared the same interest in her as his father she would have run away to the Lady Georgina’s and stayed there, waiting on Morton’s return.

Anna sensed danger in Lord Gantry’s anger. Dreadful thoughts came to mind and caused her to lash out at her lord. She pummelled his arm trying to force him to let go his fearsome grip.

He resisted her every strike whilst ascending the staircase, his superior strength keeping her firmly within his grasp. At the top she again attempted to break free: to no avail.

Dragged to the late Lady Arabella’s room, a sumptuous four-poster bed before them, he threw her at it, onto it, and still keeping hold of her arm he pinned her wrists together and held her down.

‘You fancy yourself a Parliamentarian whore,’ he said, as the sound of horses leaving the mews echoed through the window, ‘then I’ll show you what a Parliamentarian whore does for a Cavalier.’

Anna writhed with every intention of escaping his clutches, but he held her fast and straddled her thighs, her skirts undisturbed.

Helpless and unable to escape, she realised his intention, and said, ‘But my lord. I swear, swear Morton was injured, needing attention to his wound. That is all.’

It was as though his rage was all consuming, her words falling upon deaf ears as he fumbled in the crotch of his silk breeches.

‘My lord, I will not be treated like a whore.’ she said, fearing the worst. ‘I love you, and want you, and I have not betrayed you.’ Tears welled, flowed, and she felt it imperative to defend her honour. ‘I have not bedded down with Morton.’

He released his grip upon her wrists. ‘Prove me wrong in my assumptions of your betraying me as Arabella did before you.’

‘I would not, could not betray you my lord.’

Even now despite his anger and her fear of consequences unknown she felt compelled to prove her love for him. Strange as it was to feel pressured into proving herself, lips quivering and mind in state of flux, she could not bring herself to do his bidding. She was not a Parliamentarian’s piece, would not be treated as a whore and would have him apologise or she would leave Axebury Hall and go to Morton at Knoll House as soon as able.

Ps: For those of you that I haven't gotten to yet, (half) I'll be with you tomorrow. Promise!