Friday, 4 November 2016

The Butler's Rules

Another cheeky excerpt for you tonight while I wait to sign my contracts and ascertain which new book I will be finishing first from Handsome Devil, Stolen, Ruling His Queen, Arabella's Diary or one of my older series novels.  Which is your favourite?  Let me know.

Anyway, this excerpt is from my Supernatural Victorian Gothic BDSM/Spanking/Daddy Dom Romance involving Angels, The Butler's Rules.  I am putting the whole first episode on here tonight and would be grateful if you could leave a comment and let me know whether or not you would like me to carry the story on.  I really enjoyed writing it and I was inspired to do so when I fell in love with the Japanese Graphic Novel series, Black Butler drawn & written by Yana Tobosso.  Check the pic out below.  Any other fans of Black Butler out there?

I hope you enjoy the excerpt and as a side note I found out from an article on Digg today that apparently BDSM makes you more creative allowing you to access altered states of consciousness.  Interesting!!! :)

Happy Friday!


The Butler's Rules

Chapter One

Fairfax Court, London, 1892

Lady Cordelia Tempest followed the noise of the girl’s cries and the sounds of female flesh being spanked down the stairs to the kitchens of the large London house.  Slowly she crept down the steps praying that her footsteps would not be heard.  But the slaps were so loud now she thought herself safe from detection. 
The door to the main kitchen was slightly ajar as though someone had prepared for her curiosity.  On tiptoes she moved to the door and peered through.  Her hand rose to her mouth quickly to stifle a gasp at the scene laid out before her.  Mr Kent, her Aunt’s young and darkly handsome Butler was sitting in the middle of the room on a sturdy chair.  He wore no morning coat.  The sleeves of his crisp white shirt under his black waistcoat were neatly rolled up his arms and he was administering a sound bare bottom spanking to Angelina, the pretty parlour maid.
Cordelia had never seen a grown woman lying over a man’s knees with her skirts up around her waist and her bloomers pulled down for her naked bottom to be spanked.  Angelina kicked, cried and screamed with each firm slap of Mr Kent’s practiced hand.
“This will teach you not to travel out late in the evening, not tell anyone where you are going and then shirk your duties the next morning.  The mistress of the house left me in charge of the household and all who reside in her home are in my care.  I will have my rules obeyed or their will be consequences as you are now finding out,” he told the girl in a clipped brisk tone in between strikes.
Lady Tempest was wary of Mr Kent’s words.  She thought for a moment wondering if Mr Kent’s jurisdiction of care also stretched to herself while Lady Tabor was absent on business in India.  It would be an affront if it did.  Cordelia was nineteen and did not need to be treated like a child or cared for as one.  But she had a strange feeling Mr Kent’s words of warning were also meant for her own ears.  Mr Kent was her Aunt’s right hand man despite his young age and he appeared to serve as Lady Tabor’s bodyguard amongst his vast array of duties.  Cordelia had never known anyone else in her social circle with a Butler in his late twenties or with such responsibilities.  They were usually much older and not as handsome as Mr Kent.
Lady Tempest blushed thinking of how Mr Kent sent her heart fluttering every time he looked in her direction.  She had never seen a man with such dark eyes and smooth perfect skin over his manly features nor with thick luxuriant glossy black hair.  He was always so dominant and confident in his immaculately dressed appearance.  He was a figure she found hard to tear her eyes from when he was in the room.  Cordelia often thought he might be an angel in disguise with his perfect appearance.  But now his behaviour was serious cause for concern and her fantastical belief was more than unwarranted even in humour.
Without thinking she lowered her hand and rubbed her bottom.  She was determined to keep it pale pink and not allow it to be spanked crimson and unbearably sore like Angelina’s for some misdemeanour Mr Kent believed a punishment would be suitable.  
Angelina’s rump was plump and each strike caused her buttocks to jump, quiver and wobble.   Every smack was making her red.  Cordelia fancied when her spanking was finished the maid’s bottom would be as dark red as one of the brightly polished apples Mr Kent kept available for her to eat in the fruit bowl on the side table in the parlour.  It was a shocking sight.  Did her Aunt know Mr Kent was punishing the staff for their indiscretions?
Angelina was sobbing now, her protests were ceasing and her body was becoming limp and accepting of her chastisement.  Mr Kent’s hand moved to the tender backs of Angelina’s thighs flattening his hand to slap them harshly in turn before returning to her buttocks to finish with two more punishing slaps.
When he finished he rested his palm lightly on one flaring buttock and rubbed it gently.
“Good your bottom is burning nicely.  Every time you sit down for the next few days it will hurt.  Your soreness will remind you that I do not tolerate disobedience.  Do not test my patience again, Angelina.  He replaced her bloomers and then pulled down her skirts before raising her from his knee and standing next to her.  He pulled out the gold watch on a chain in the small pocket in his waistcoat, opened it and checked the time.
Angelina stood before him, her head bent and her hands clasped in front of her white apron covering her black dress sobbing.  Mr Kent closed his gold watch and began lowering his sleeves in a business like fashion.  Patiently Angelina waited for him to speak and give her permission to leave.  When he had finished lowering his sleeves he picked up his morning coat from the back of the chair and put it on, straightening his attire.  Then he turned his attention to putting his white gloves lying on the kitchen table and put them back on.  Cordeliacouldn’t help marvelling how tall and masterful he was as he looked down at Angelina, tucking his fingers up under her chin to raise her face to him.
“Now, I do not wish to have cause to put you over my knee and bare your bottom again for a spanking,” he said darkly, softly, seductively so much so Lady Tempest unexpectedly felt wetness trickle between her thighs with arousal.  “Learn from your punishment and return to your duties.  The bedding must be changed and made up.  Quick to it.”
“Yes sir, Mr Kent,” Angelina said still trying to eradicate the trace of crying from her voice.  She curtseyed to him and left the room on the opposite side to where Angelina hid behind the door.  
Lady Tempest decided to leave before she was discovered by Mr Kent but the sound of the butler’s voice calling her name froze her to the spot.
“Lady Tempest.  I know you are there.  I think it is time we had a talk about the concerns I have regarding your behaviour,” there was humour in his stern tone as she heard him walk towards the door with purpose.

Chapter Two

Afraid and pretending not to hear him, Cordelia lifted her dress and ascended the steps back to the upstairs as he opened the door.  Head down, heart pounding she ran for her life but as she neared the top step she had cause to cry out with startled fright for standing on the landing was Mr Kent.
She faltered and stopped mid step.  Cordelia looked up at him trembling, wondering how he had made it to the top of the stairs before her.  Even if he had come up the other stairway he could not have reached the landing in front of her so quickly.  The Butler looked down at her with his imperious dark eyes, a wicked smile curling his sensuous lips causing Lady Tempest’s heart to beat a little faster.  The result was a soft blush across her cheeks letting Mr Kent know she was more than affected by his handsome presence and even intoxicatingly, a little afraid of him.
‘There you are.  I wondered where you had got to,” he grinned.  “Now as I was saying we have a lot to discuss.  Please come and sit down in the library,” he gestured with his gloved hand in the direction of the room and stood to the side to allow her to finish coming up the stairs.
It began to perturb Cordelia that her aunt’s butler was having such a profound effect on her.  Stiffening her countenance and figure she tossed her head regally from him and continued up the stairs past him and in to the hallway, determined not to be afraid of him.
Cordelia made her way to the library.  She had spent most of her time there since Lady Tabor had left for India early that morning.  Even though it had been a short time since her aunt’s departure she missed the woman.  When she was in the large house it came alive.  There was always fun and laughter but now everything was quiet and there was too much time for Lady Tempest to dwell upon her feelings and the loss of her parents and small brother eight years ago.  Her thoughts always seemed to seek her out and remind her that apart from her aunt she had no other family.  Now she was to be alone for a year and for Christmas.
  Her widowed aunt had been upset to leave her but she was needed in India by her brother-in-law.  She was the only family he had now and while he lay sick his business and livelihood were being decimated by his jealous and unscrupulous partners.  Lady Tabor saw it as her duty and content Cordelia would be safe at the house, she left for India albeit with a heavy heart on leaving the niece she adored.  Lady Tempest could not bear it.  Reading kept her distracted and sane until the early evening when Charlotte was to collect her and take her to the theatre and for dinner at Bertrams, their favourite restaurant.  George, Clara, Sebastian and the nice American gentleman she’d met only two evenings ago at Clara’s home would all be there.  The loneliness would be eased for a short while at least.
Cordelia opened the door of the library and entered.  The December sun was already low in the sky at noon.  The hours of light dimmed so early at this time of year.  Only the approach of Christmas and its colourful gaiety around London and its homes brightened the atmosphere.  She turned and stood to face the Butler as he closed the door behind him.  Nervously she fidgeted with her hands like a naughty schoolgirl about to be scolded.  The very idea she should feel so nervous in front of one of her aunt’s servants disturbed her anger to haughty heights.
“Please, Lady Tempest I would prefer it if you sat down.  You barely ate any lunch and your paleness today makes me believe you are about to come down with a malaise.  Once our conversation is finished I will bring you afternoon tea.”  His dark eyes were filled with sudden concern as he studied her more closely.
“I do not wish anything, thank you.  And I would much rather stand,” she said haughtily.  “I am quite fine, Mr Kent.  I am missing my aunt and other than that I have a slight chill.”
“Please, Lady Tempest, sit down,” although he said it with a gentle smile there was no mistake as to the firmness in his tone.
  It made Cordelia wonder whether or not he would make her if she did not.  Not wishing to cause an argument, she gave an impatient sigh and moved to the one of the red silk padded chairs by the mahogany table near the fire where the book she had been reading lay.
Cordelia straightened her back and made sure her large sapphire blue eyes shone with just a little more defiance than was usual in her demeanour.  The Butler came to stand in front of her in the large high ceiling room and cast his hypnotic eyes down upon her.
‘Madam, did you read the letter Lady Tabor left for you?’ he began in his eloquent voice glancing at something on the table next to her.
Cordelia turned her head slightly to the side to guiltily view the unopened letter her aunt had given to her before leaving lying next to the book she had been reading.  She deliberately hadn’t read the instructions her aunt had given her in the letter as the result of childish anger that she had been left by the woman.  Although unavoidable, Cordelia felt hurt she had been pushed to one side.
“No, I have not, Mr Kent.  I have not yet had the time,” she lied.  The moment the words left her lips she regretted them.  How stupid they sounded.  She’d had time all day.
Mr Kent raised one eyebrow and gave her a disapproving look but he did not question her further on the subject.
“Please read the letter, that way when I inform you of the action I am to take you will understand the authority I have to execute it, madam.”
Feeling somewhat irritated now, Lady Tempest snatched the letter from the table and quickly opened it.  It read as follows:

My darling Cordelia,
It is with a heavy heart that I leave you.  If there had been any other way to help your dear departed Uncle’s brother then I would have done it.  I have to console myself that I am leaving you in the protection and care of the one man I trust above all others including those in my social standing.  Mr Kent is now in charge of the household, my staff and more importantly you my dear girl.
I know this will make you of ill humour but Mr Kent has my written authority to govern the house as he sees fit.  He is now your guardian and I sternly request you obey him without question.  He will protect you with his life and see to it that your every need is met.
I know I have never mentioned this before but there is a darkness that surrounds our family.  The same darkness that took my sister, your father and baby brother waits to take you from me.  I wish that I could tell you more but I dare not.  The time is not yet right and I am under oath to my friend the Queen herself not to provide you with any damaging information at present.  Just trust that you are in danger and do all that Mr Kent asks of you.  Your life depends upon him alone.  If you show any reluctance I am sorry, Cordelia but he has my full permission to force you to capitulate with any means necessary.  I am sorry my darling but I will not lose you like I lost the others.
All my love,
Your Aunt Cecilie.

Lady Tempest felt anxiety rise inside her body.  It betrayed itself through her trembling hand holding the letter.  Trying to compose herself she touched her hand briefly against her dark chestnut hair streaked with red gold piled on top of her head.
“What is this danger she talks of?” she asked the butler.
“I am afraid I am not at liberty to divulge that information at present, madam.  I am bound in honour to your Aunt’s request.”
“But you know?”
“Yes.  Do not be afraid, I will protect you, madam.  You have my word of honour,” he informed her gravely nodding his head with respect and placing his hand across his heart.”
Lady Tempest could not find any words.  Her frustration to learn more warred with sudden fear not to know anymore.
“Calm yourself, Lady Tempest.  The house is secure and everything has been taken care of.  Now there are more pressing matters that require attention and I will require your full co-operation.”  His tone told Cordelia that he was expecting resistance from her.  But at that moment she was too busy trying to work out what danger her Aunt talked of and the people who had murdered her family now wanting to do the same to her.
“I have been informed that you have. . .’ Mr Kent continued and then paused, a brow creasing his young dark features.  “Been seen in the company of the American, Abel Reeves.  Despite his wealth the man takes delight in being nothing short of a swindler and criminal for sport I have been told.  Young beautiful wealthy heiresses like yourself are also something of an unhealthy sport for him,” he said arching one eyebrow.  ‘I must confess I am surprised that such an intelligent lady like yourself would not see through his act and refuse to associate with a dangerous man like Abel Reeves.  I really thought you were too sensible a child for such behaviour.”
Cordelia looked up at him with affront at both his tone and his words.
“Mr Kent, I will not be spoken to in this fashion.  My behaviour is none of your concern.”
“Oh but it is, Lady Tempest,” the butler clasped his gloved hands behind his back.  “Your aunt has made it my concern by making me master of her home.”
There was warning in his eyes for her to desist from challenging him but her stubbornness and refusal to be controlled by the dominant man urged her to persist.
‘I am not a child anymore and I am more than capable of looking after myself.  I do not believe you.  Mr Reeves is an honest and respectable gentleman.  Besides I have only met him once and barely conversed with him.  Tonight I hope to change that for the better.  He is a man I would be proud to have among my close circle of friends.”
Cordelia moved uneasily in her seat.  She couldn’t tell Maria anything.  That was the last time she would confide in her maid.   She must have run straight to the old battleaxeherself, Mrs Potts the housekeeper.  Then she would have taken great delight in informing her aunt.  The woman appeared to know all of the gossip in London and would undoubtedly have heard rumours about people.  She made it her business to keep her ear to the ground and be alert as to anything that involved Lady Tabor’s family.

Mrs Potts and the rest of Lady Tabor’s staff were fiercely loyal to her and the family.  In return she was also deeply loyal and protective.  There was no trouble she would not help them with and she was generous in her pay and lodgings for them.  But Cordelia found Mrs Potts too stern and intrusive.  She rallied against the woman whenever she could and found her to be a gossip.  The woman seemed to disapprove of the freedom Cordelia was allowed when going out in to the town and when she could find a reason to curb it she would take it.  Now she was using idle malicious gossip to discredit one of Cordelia’s new friends whom she felt quite taken with and she was not going to be allowed to get away with it.
“I will not permit you to continue your relationship with this gentleman in any form and I expect my wishes to be obeyed.  He is not fit company.  And I would prefer it if you did not leave the house tonight.  It looks as though there will be some heavy snowfall.”
“I will not, sir.  I have a dinner engagement to keep and I am not in the habit of breaking my promises.”
“May I remind you of your Aunt’s wishes.  Must I enforce them, your Ladyship?” he questioned with a mischievous grin.  It appeared to Lady Tempest at this point that the wicked butler would have dearly loved to be given an excuse to enforce his rule upon her.
“You will not find me over your knee with my skirts raised for a spanking, sir,” she said angrily.
‘Oh but you will, madam if you dare to try me any further,” he snapped briskly, narrowing his black eyes to show he meant every word.
“You would not dare.  I shall go tonight anyway with or without your permission.  I am nineteen and not a child.  My decisions are my own and are not to be made by the likes of you, sir.”
The Butler’s eyes darkened further.  Fierce determination to win the battle of wills swirled dangerously within them.  He turned his head slightly to one side as though unable to decipher why she would not acknowledge his role as master of the house and obey him.  Why did she test him so?  His voice was velvet smooth, calm and quiet when he spoke to her again.  Yet the menace that lay behind it was clear.
“You will not be able to go anywhere if you are locked in your bedroom now will you, madam?”
“How dare you, sir . . .”
Cordelia stood sharply to deliver her strong rebuke but she was to find the room spinning in front of her.  She took a step and felt her body begin to crumple.  Mr Kent expertly caught her waist and lifted her half fainting form up in to his arms with great ease.  He carried her to the long red silk covered chaise longue across the room and laid her down upon it.  He positioned a cushion underneath her head and knelt down next to her prostrate form.  Quickly he removed the glove from his right hand and tenderly placed its back upon her forehead to test her temperature.
“You are warm, Lady Tempest and I fear your chill is becoming worse.  I must put you to bed.”
“No, please.  I am fine I just felt a little faint,” she tried to sit up but Mr Kent prevented it.  Gently he took hold of her shoulders and laid her back down.
“Nonsense.  You are ill and must be cared for,” he said with a frown.  “Please allow me to take care of you.”
The Butler seemed confused by her refusal to see sense and allow herself to be taken care of.  He pressed the back of his hand against her cheek sending her heart all of a flutter once more.
“I am not a child anymore.  Please allow me up.  Maybe if I have some tea I shall be revived and I will be able to attend my dinner engagement tonight,” she persisted, determined he would not win their argument because he perceived her weak with illness.
Lie still, Lady Tempest.  I will ring for some tea and then I will put you to bed to rest.  Perhaps the doctor should also be called.  But you will be going nowhere tonight.  I will have the maid make your apologies to your friend.  And if you continue to ignore my ruling on the matter then I will confine you to your room under lock and key until you accept my new position.”
Mr Kent raised himself from the floor and went to ring the bell for some tea.  Cordelia was growing tired of having to protest.
“I will be going,” she said sitting up.
“You will not.  I have forbidden it.  Now let us see an end to the matter,” he informed her curtly not willing to listen to any further discussion on the topic.  He lifted an arm under her legs and put them back down on the chaise to force her to recline in comfort.
Suddenly the doorbell rang loudly.  Mr Kent looked up and his eyes narrowed as though he already knew who the caller would be.
“Please stay here, Lady Tempest and do not leave the room until I return or so help me, madam I will throw you over my knee and spank you sore.”
Lady Tempest gasped in horror as she watched the infuriating man walk out of the library and in to the hallway closing the door behind him and to her horror locking it.  Cordelia sat up quickly.  Mr Kent appeared to be taking his new duties to extremes.  Either that or she was in much more danger than she really believed and the butler was taking strong measures to ensure her safety.  Still she would not allow Mr Kent to dictate her life or movements.  Her Aunt had brought her up from the age of eleven as a strong, independent and spirited young woman and no man was going to quash those qualities she kept with pride.  She heard the door of her Aunt’s London home and a male American voice.  The handsome Mr Reeves had come to call upon her.  Excitement made her stand.  Putting her hand to her head to somehow steady the dizziness she felt she made it to the door, with her mind set to knock upon it and demand Mr Kent unlock it until she heard the butler’s stern voice.

Chapter Three

“I am sorry, sir but Lady Tempest has taken ill and cannot see you this afternoon or indeed this evening,” she heard Mr Kent tell Mr Reeves.
“Oh that is a real shame.  Can I not see the lady for a brief moment? I have travelled across London with high hopes of waiting upon Lady Tempest,” Mr Reeves was pushing to see her.  She could imagine Mr Kent’s haughty features frowning.
“Lady Tempest is too ill to receive visitors, especially gentlemen,” the Butler said sternly.
“Oh come on, just five minutes,” the man would not give up.  It made Cordelia want to giggle.  Mr Kent did not like to be tested and it only endeared her to like Mr Reeves all the more for it as he bravely took on the masterful Butler.
“I will not repeat myself, sir.  Kindly leave before I have cause to escort you from the premises.  Lady Tempest is not receiving visitors today or in your case ever, sir.”
“How dare you speak to me that way! Impudent fellow.  Is the mistress of the house, Lady Tabor here?  I wish to complain about your behaviour,” Mr Reeves demanded.
“The mistress of the house has left for India on personal business and will not be back until the end of the following year.  She has left me in charge to govern her household as she sees fit.  I am also protector and guardian to Lady Tempest and after being informed of your true character I forbid her to see you.  I know what you did to the last lady you made your acquaintance and I will not allow my charge to befall the same fate. I do not expect to see you here again, Mr Reeves is that clear?” the Butler said darkly.  “If I do I will be forced to take strong action.  Now leave.”
“This is outrageous . . . “
There were sounds of a scuffle at the door and in the portico.  Cordelia rushed to the large and wide bow window to look out on to the gravel courtyard wondering what Mr Kent was referring to when he mentioned the fate of the last lady Mr Reeves had courted .  All of a sudden her thoughts were scattered when Mr Reeves flew backwards and landed heavily on the gravel.  Mr Kent’s tall attractive and imperious figure strode out of the portico and came to stand over him.  He struggled to stand with his cane and straighten his suit underneath his overcoat.  Mr Reeves stooped to pick up his bowler hat and turned to see Cordelia looking out at him from the window.  He shook his head at her with annoyance making her head lower with disappointment and shame that he had been treated so poorly on her account.
Mr Kent continued to glare menacingly at the man and when he did not move he roughly took hold of Mr Reeve’s arm to march him to the high wrought iron gate in the middle of the tall wall circling the property and its gardens.  Cordelia watched her Aunt’s butler push Mr Reeves through the gate and then lock it, depositing the key in his inside pocket.  Then he stood guard waiting for Mr Reeves to depart.  Mr Kent did not leave the gate until the man had disappeared down the road, standing with his arms behind his back until his figure disappeared back in to the crowds of people lining Fairfax Road.
Mr Kent strode back in to the house.  Despite her annoyance, Cordelia could not help feel aroused by the dominance in his striking figure.  Her feeling fuelled her anger once again.  She put her hand to her head feeling a little faint and hot once more.  Perhaps she better had sit down.  She was moving away from the window when she heard the door of the library being unlocked.  Cordelia’s heart began to pound.  Mr Kent would not be pleased she had stood with her small fever and witnessed Mr Reeves being thrown from the house.  The Butler was indeed serious and to his word about protecting her and taking care of her wellbeing even if she detested his interference.
He walked through the door just as Cordelia felt herself begin to sink to the floor.  Even though the door was at the other end of the long room with books covering every wall in high rows, the Butler appeared by her side in enough time to catch her in his arms.  He scooped her up and carried her swiftly from the room.
“You will take your tea in bed, Lady Tempest and then rest while I call the doctor.  And there will be no further argument from you,” he told her sweeping her up the staircase to her bedroom.

Cordelia woke a few hours later.  The room was dark.  She felt warm, comfortable and rested.  Her fever felt better after the tonic the doctor had given her.  She had been confined to bed and served tea by Mr Kent before being instructed to fall asleep.  Her body had felt so weak she hadn’t troubled to dispute his instruction.  As he’d tucked the covers around her chin she’d closed her eyes and fallen in to slumber.
Lady Tempest wondered at the time.  She was better, of that she was sure.  Hopefully it was not too late that she had missed her engagement.  She was eager to offer her apologies to Mr Reeves as soon as possible for the poor treatment he had received at her home today.  Her illness had prevented her from questioning the butler on his behaviour and why he had referred to his treatment of the last lady he courted.  She had to know the truth and she would not find it out languishing in bed.  Besides escaping the house and going to her dinner engagement and the theatre would teach the strict butler a lesson that she would not be controlled.

Quietly she woke Maria who was sitting next to her bed should she be needed, only the child had fallen asleep.  Instructing the woman to help her, Cordelia dressed in a beautiful pale blue silk dress with gloves and a fur cape.  Glancing out of the window she could see a small amount of snow covering the lawns and the gravel.  Mr Kent had been right and there might well be more.  Going out through the main gate was impossible.  Mr Kent still held the key in his possession.  She had expected him to lock her in the bedroom but instead he had placed Maria there to care for her.  That had been a mistake.  Maria could always be cajoled in a scheme, especially if it was exciting and clandestine. 
On tiptoes she hurried away from Maria down the long hall on the first floor where her bedroom was and down the sweeping white marble staircase holding on to the stone balustrade.  The house was quiet, subdued without her Aunt’s vibrant presence and dimly lit for the evening.  No one seemed to be around and more importantly Mr Kent was nowhere to be seen.  Stifling a giggle of triumph and waving up at a giggling Maria she made her way out of the front door and behind the house.  She hurried to the gardener’s entrance, her satin shoes padding through the light snow and out on to the street.  Cordelia made her way to the front of the house using the shadows as cover and down in to Fairfax Road to hail a hansom cab.

Chapter Four

Lady Tempest arrived at the restaurant to discover that her party of friends had been reduced to only the male contingent.  They were smoking and rather raucous in their behaviour with Mr Reeves and she was a little uncomfortable.  She was informed the ladies had decided to go on to the theatre without them.  The gentlemen had decided not to go.  Mr Reeves thankfully received her cordially despite the afternoon’s events.
“I must apologise for Mr Kent’s behaviour.  Since my Aunt’s departure he has become very protective of me.  He has always been that way but it intensified tenfold today.”
‘Does he know you are here with me now?” Abel questioned taking another puff of his cigar.
“No, no he doesn’t.  I made sure no one saw me leave.”
Abel smiled.
“Good.  How about I take you to somewhere private for a drink so we can be alone together.”
Cordelia felt herself blush.
“I shouldn’t really . . .”
“Oh come on.  You can trust me.  I will take good care of you.”
Cordelia was nervous but excitement for adventure burned in her veins.
“All right, Mr Reeves, I will trust you because I believe you are a true gentleman,” she said naively.  “I will come with you.”
But Mr Reeves was laughing.  It made her feel foolish and childlike.  She prayed no one else had her comment.
Mr Reeves picked up her hand and kissed it.  
“You are a very sweet young thing.  Come on, let us leave now.”
The rest of the party appeared not to care they were leaving.  They were conversing with two other ladies and were making their own arrangements to leave for somewhere else.  She could not help feeling aggrieved at the men’s behaviour with the ladies.  It seemed improper when they were courting two of her friends.  
Mr Reeves handed her in to his carriage waiting outside.  They chatted for a long time before Lady Tempest glanced out of the window and noticed they were leaving the city.  
“Abel, where are we going?  I thought we were going to the club?”
“I decided to surprise you instead.  I am taking you to my home in the country.  You can stay with me for a while and I can educate you in matters of the heart and body,” he said with a light grin leaning over to stroke her cheek.
Cordelia’s blood began to run cold in her veins.  What had she done?  Did the man believe her a whore? How could she have been so na├»ve and foolish?  She should have listened to Mr Kent.
“No, please.  You must take me back now.  This is a presumption, sir.  Take me back.”
“I am afraid I cannot do that.”
He caught hold of her waist and swept her along the red leather seat towards him.  She struggled and beat her fists against him both afraid and angry she could have been so badly used.
“I will not be ruined by you, sir,” she insisted through angry tears but he was too strong for her.  He forced his lips down cruelly hard on top of hers as his hand cupped and squeezed hard on her breast underneath the cape.  The carriage raced along the road through the trees to his country estate on the outskirts of the city.
Abel pushed Cordelia down on to the seat of the carriage removing the cape from her body.  He then took hold of the front of her dress and tore at it.  With all of her strength, Lady Tempest raised her hand and hit at the man’s face.  But she was to be rewarded with a heavy punch to her jaw and nose.  As Abel started to lift the bottom of her gown, a dazed and semi-conscious Cordelia began to believe there was no escape from being raped by the man and made his whore at his country estate.
But fate was to come to her rescue.  The carriage suddenly lurched forward and came to a stop.  Abel Reeves rolled off her body and fell to the floor.  There was a loud cry from the coachman and the sound of purposeful footsteps walking to the carriage door.  Cordelia knew those footsteps.  They belonged to Mr Kent.
The door of the carriage flew open and off its hinges.  Abel was up on his feet as Mr Kent’s familiar handsome face appeared through the doorway.
“Ah, Mr Reeves.  We meet again,” he said with a dark smile.
He glanced at Cordelia lying in a faint on the seat, blood dripping from her mouth and lip.  Stark anger and fear for her situation flashed across his eyes spurring him in to action.  As Mr Reeves came at him, he caught him by the lapels of his coat and threw him out of the carriage with superhuman ease.
Cordelia was vaguely aware of the men fighting but she was also sure she could hear the flap of large wings as though a giant bird were swooping down upon the men.  Abel screamed in terror and then all was quiet. 
Mr Kent reappeared in the door of the carriage, his appearance in his dinner attire of a black tails, white shirt and bow tie casting him an elegant figure.  He did not seem to have even ruffled his thick luxuriant raven coloured hair neck.  He moved in to the carriage and bent to lift Lady Tempest up on the seat.  He held her tight against him for a moment.
“I was so worried.  I thought . . .” he said stroking her hair.  He squeezed his eyes tight with relief as he cradled her against him.  She was too dazed and hurt to speak but she was sure she could feel him trembling against her.  “Let us put your cape on and get you home.”
Mr Kent put her cape on and then lifted her in to his arms and out of the carriage in to the cool air.  It was snowing heavily now and the movement finally beckoned the unconscious state she had been waiting for since she was hit.  Before the darkness that crept in to the corners of her vision swamped her she was convinced she heard the wings of the large bird beating again.  There was a whoosh of air and Cordelia would have sworn she and Mr Kent were rising in to the air.  But before she could learn more of the strange situation she imagined, her head fell over her protector’s arm unconscious.

Mr Kent landed quietly on top of the battlements on the house.  His large white and black feathered wings stretched out from his back beating against the wind and snow blowing in his face.  Another of his kind waited for him.  He stood from his crouched landing position still cradling Cordelia.  The other Angel walked towards him.
“Michael, why are you here?” he asked.
“I see you found her,” the Angel was also in dinner attire.  His longer blonde hair blew around him as he addressed Mr Kent.
“Yes.  Thankfully.  I have never felt such pained loss before.  I worried she was hurt or worse dead.  I have let her down.”
Michael put his hand on Mr Kent’s shoulder.
“No you must not think that.  You warned her and were there when she needed you the most.  Humans are prone to being stubborn and getting themselves in to trouble.  We have to negotiate their safety around their self destructive habits.”
Mr Kent looked downcast but he nodded and then he said,
“But she isn’t just human is she?”
“No, she is partly one of us and she does not know the danger that is coming to her.  Times are going to be hard.  We have detected our enemy in London and close at hand.  You must be firmer with the child if we are to preserve her life and enable her to perform the duty she has been awarded as a hybrid.  She is important.  I am here to offer you support and guidance, Jason.  You must accept it and not try to do everything on your own as you have done in the past.  This task I have given you is the most important you will ever perform.  We wish to support you.  This is your lesson to learn.”
Again Mr Kent nodded.  Michael lent over and traced a finger against Cordelia’s cheek.
“I know you have feelings for her, Jason.  Do not be ashamed or afraid of them.  They would not be there if they were not meant.  Not even I could prevent them.  Embrace them.  It does not mean you have to act upon them if you do not believe it wise or for the benefit of Cordelia.  But do not let them get in the way of your work.  The girl must be protected at all costs.  She is a beautiful child,” he smiled then frowned when he saw the bruise.  “Why would anyone hurt such a delicate creature?”
“Yes, I must put her to bed.”
Jason Kent did not want to discuss his feelings for Cordelia.  They were private and he had not yet learned how to deal with them.  He had put them aside to better protect his charge.
“Go.  I will be here if I am needed.  Do not forget to keep me advised of developments.”
Jason turned from Michael with another respectful nod and flew down to the front door.  Wasting no further time he folded his wings in to his back and made them disappear inside leaving no trace of them or disturbance to his clothing as he carried Cordelia in to the house.
When Cordelia was recovered from her ordeal he would discuss correcting her reckless behaviour over his knee with a firm bare bottom spanking among many other measures he planned to ensure her obedience.  Her life depended upon it.

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