Tuesday, September 9, 2014

That's not what I want

Greetings Everyone and welcome to #wipitup Wednesday my favorite day of the week for a variety of reasons, but mostly because of this blog hop. 
As most of you know I've been sharing from a current medieval story that I've tentatively titled 'Emilia' for now. 
She's been captured by the tyrants of a neighboring kingdom and sold as a pleasure slave at one of their auctions. 
Today we'll find out who this 'kind man' is who has made her purchase and what he means to do with her. 

“Come in, Emilia.”
Em swallowed hard and put her hand on the latch. His voice didn’t seem to reflect anger, but maybe that was because he didn’t know she had taken his property yet. He was sitting in a cushioned, high back chair when she entered the room. She stood just inside the door with her hands behind her back, holding the contraband while trying not to look guilty.

“Sit,” he said, pointing to a round cushion on the floor not far from the chair he sat in.
Em kept her eyes down as she walked past his bed and then knelt on the pillow. She noticed a flask of wine on the small table next to his chair and a glass in his hand. 

Before allowing herself to meet his eyes, she held the book out with both hands. “I’m sorry, master,” she said softly. “I was going crazy in that room with nothing to do.” She looked at his flowing white tunic, cinched at the waist with a brown leather belt. The V at the neck opened just so, exposing a light covering of hair. The same light brown as his eyes. Her fingers trembled as her eyes rose, pausing to see if his handsome jaw was clenched before meeting his eyes, which to her surprise did not look angry.

Corbet leaned forward and took the book, never looking away from Em’s eyes. “It pleases me that you can read, Emilia, but upsets me that you took it upon yourself to snoop through my study. If you needed something to keep you busy, why did you not ask Alice to give you something to do?”  

“I don’t think the other girls like me. I tried offering to help and they ignored me. I didn’t even know their names until a short while ago.” Em noticed a brief flash of anger in his eyes as he sipped his wine. “Alice told me I should stay in the bedroom and wait until you called for me. That pleasure slaves do not perform duties other than that which their master wishes.”

He let out a sigh, rubbing his chin. “I’m sorry that Alice was so cold with you. It was my instruction that she keep you comfortable in my absence. It is clear that she misunderstood. I will speak with her later.” He put his empty glass next to the flask on the table and settled himself back in his chair, crossing a leg. “Do you know why I asked you to my chamber?”

Em had been so worried about him being angry at her for the book she hadn’t considered the purpose for which he had probably called her for. Suddenly her stomach clenched and she looked away not wanting her eyes to give away her fear. “No, master.”

“I would rather you call me sir.”

“Yes, sir.” Her lower lip started to quiver and she was thankful of her long red hair as it helped to hide her face. After a short pause, she saw him uncross his leg and sit forward. Since he hadn’t known about her taking the book, she could think of only one reason he would require her presence. It was time for him to make use of his purchase.

“Why do I suddenly frighten you?” he asked, putting a warm finger under her chin coaxing her to look at him.

She didn’t want to look up, but feared his reaction if she disobeyed. A tear brimmed at her lower lid as she fought to pull herself together. In her boredom, she had wished for his presence, even entertaining the thoughts of what he might do to her and she would be lying to say it had not excited her. But now that she was here, the thoughts about what he would want from her scared her. “I… I don’t know how, and I’m scared.” Even through watery eyes, she could see him struggling not to laugh. With embarrassment added to her tilt of emotions, she pulled away from his gentle grip and let her tears fall.

“That isn’t what I want.” His words were tender, followed by his hand on her shoulder. “Look at me, dove.”

Wiping her eyes with the back of her hand, she turned to face him. “Why do you call me that? The auctioneer called me the same.”

“Sit back and relax, Emilia. I have no intentions of defiling you. Around here referring to a young lady as a ‘dove’ means that she is pure, a virgin.” He gave her a soft smile and sat back in his chair. As strange as it was, she missed the warmth of his hand. “I want to talk with you. I want to know where you are from, and more importantly, who might be looking for you.”

She stiffened. She couldn’t and wouldn’t sell her father out to the likes of Lancore, so she remained silent.

“It is for your benefit, my dear,” he said, pouring himself another glass of wine. “If you tell me where you’re from, I can send word that you are safe, and that you will be returned safe at my earliest convenience. I’m sure that you have family who are concerned about you.”

Emilia’s mouth simply fell open in shock. Had she heard him right? He was going to send her home? He cocked his head, giving her a puzzled look.

“You do want to go home, don’t you?”

“Yes, sir. I just don’t understand. Why did you purchase me if you didn’t want  me?” Although his words had made her feel happy and renewed her hope, she also felt the pain of his rejection.

“Lancore has a bad reputation. I’m sorry you have experienced it. Not all in Lancore are known for their loose morality and barbaric actions. I’ll admit, my motive for attending the auction was to buy a pleasure slave, but not because I wanted a woman for sexual pleasures.”
It was Em’s turn to cock her head and give him a confused look.
“I lost my wife six years ago, and I’m sick of the townspeople and other merchants trying to push their daughters on me for marriage. If they think I have someone, they’ll stop. Which is why tomorrow you are going to accompany me into town. I need to see some fellow merchants and I’m sure word has spread about you by now. It will be a good opportunity to show you off, and a pleasure to see the look on Cedney’s face. She’s the shoemaker’s wife and has tried everything to interest me in Thea, their daughter.”

“So you’re going to use me to give the impression you're taken? I can hardly see where parading me around as your pleasure slave is going to leave people with that understanding.”

“You’re in Lancore, dove. Those that know me will consider me such and the rest won’t care one way or another. When I travel to Melbourne at the end of the month I will take you with me and from there take you home.”

Em couldn’t believe what he’d just said. “Why are you going to Melbourne?” she asked, trying not to appear anxious.

He tipped back his glass, emptying it and set it down as before. “To sell saddles mostly, and some other leather goods.”

She couldn’t believe he’d been to Melbourne before, selling his goods in their merchant shops. “Can you really get word to my family?”

“Depending on where you live. A friend of mine is passing through town tomorrow. Spice merchant, Drake Renard. He’ll be traveling to Isendorf, Doclumur, and Melbourne.”

“Melbourne,” she said quietly. “Brom Elkseer is my father and I’m sure he is out looking for me with a few of his men. I’m worried for him. I’m sure he will check for me in Lancore.”

“The guards will not permit him to pass without valid  cause. If he starts asking questions about you, he will be escorted out of Lancore. If he becomes violent, he will be escorted with such.”

“My father does not give up so easily. If he thinks I am here, he will find a way to get around the guards and seek out every village and town in Lancore has before he stops.” 

“I’m sure your father and his men will take care of themselves. Your mother will have received my letter by week's end. Hopefully she will find a way to get word to him and ease his mind.”
That didn’t sound very reassuring to Em, who looked down at her lap worrying her hands, while trying to fight back tears again.
“Emilia, I’m sorry for all of this, really. Can you not appreciate that you are being spared? Think of what might have happened if Glom had won your bid?”

Her stomach trembled thinking of the gigantic man who, if not for Corbet, would have torn her apart by now. “Yes, sir. I am most grateful.”

“So we have a deal then? And you will behave while we are in public and not try to run when my back is turned?”

“Yes, sir.” She nodded. 

Hmm... he doesn't want her for his pleasure and it seems he is not all that worried about her snooping through his study and taking one of his books. Is this guy a softy or what? Maybe not. I invite you back next week to find out Corbet addresses the matter of Emilia taking what does not belong to her.
Until next week, please don't forget to visit all of the other amazing authors on #wipitup this week. 


  1. Wow. Corbet sounds like a great guy! I'm glad that he bought Em and hopefully he is telling the truth about returning her!

    1. A hero who lies? No way! Can't happen. Publishers say that's a big 'no-no' Readers want to admire the hero and well, no one likes being lied too even in a book.
      What I've been sharing so far from this story so far is only from the first couple of chapters... and the plot twist is just around the corner.
      Thank you so much for stopping by and for participating in #wipitup Wednesday

  2. Hmm - is he lying or telling the truth? Guess I'll have to wait for more snippets to discover the answer.

    1. You're the second person who thinks Corbet might be lying. I can't help but wonder why? Perhaps because if Em gets captured, and then returned that would be 'end of story'?
      I have to *snicker* here just a little. It's really just the beginning. So many variables and unforeseen circumstances can happen in Lancore.
      Thank you for stopping by Daryl and for joining #wipitup this week. I am loving Black Dorn and will miss you next week.

  3. Yeah, I'm not so sure I trust this guy ... but I'm all in to wait and see! As always, Melody, a great scene - and may I say ... I LOVE this characters!

    1. 3 of you now who don't think this guy is trust worthy? It's because of Lancores bad reputation isn't it? ~sighs~
      I think next week all will become more clear when I share the trouble Emilia deals with over having 'borrowed' his book. There are some serious plot twists coming up and the characters are taking me on a delightfully tension filled ride. I was honestly hoping to have this story wrapped up by now, but the characters just won't let me. That's the joy in writing though, no?
      Thank you for visiting, Shelly I loved the warmth in your excerpt today between Dana an Richard. I am developing a bit of a crush on Richard. And that line you wrote about his hands conveying all she needed to know was amazing. I Love your characters as well ☺

  4. Really liking these two, and though I don't think he's lying, I wonder what he is omitting to tell her. Rubbing my hands together for next week's installment :)

    1. Thanks for stopping by Jaye. I'm all excited to learn more about Callie and Stefan and hope you join the hop again next week. I get hooked on these excerpts!

  5. oh he is wonderful- I do enjoy him, especially how he planned to talk to Alice.

    1. Thank you, Joelle. Ah yes, Alice, she's becoming quite the character. ;-)