Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Perfect Hero - an excerpt

I think it is about time to let the world have a little taste of what will hit you all come October 21st when Hero Veasey's story emerges into internet ether.

Hero Veasey, a nicely brought up young lady, is walking her aunt's dogs in the Queen's Street Gardens of Edinburgh's New Town, chaperoned by her maid, one cold December afternoon:

With Beattie running on, full of the invitations and excitements of the past week and the week to come, it was easy to walk several times round the square while the dogs burrowed in the undergrowth and came leaping out to chase after twigs and bark at the saplings planted on the lawns. But the light was leaching away, and they needed to return home before it became entirely dark.
“Let’s try to catch the little horrors, Beattie. I will seek out Achilles, you look for Ajax. I last saw him over there, digging amidst the camellias.”
The girls separated and started calling the dogs. Achilles immediately broke cover and hurtled up the incline to where Hero stood, only to scuffle under the bushes by the gate where they had entered twenty minutes before. Hero picked up her skirts and chased after the tiresome pest. She squatted and tried to peer through the leaves, then stood again in exasperation only to jump back in surprise. A man loomed over her.
“Excuse me, I must beg a favour of you.”
His voice was educated and his cloak looked expensive. He wore a smart hat and silk scarf, and carried a fine walking stick. In seconds, Hero had taken this in but the sudden apparition still startled her.
“What favour?” she asked, examining him. He was not much taller than she, had dark eyes and was slightly breathless. He glanced back over his shoulder. As he turned back to face her, his eyes danced and his smile was rueful.
“You may slap me afterwards, any distraction will do.” He stepped towards her and reached a gloved hand towards her chin, which he tilted upwards. Hero’s eyes widened in astonishment as his face drew nearer and nearer. He was intending to kiss her! She was so astounded that she stood stock still while his lips touched hers, once, gently, tenderly, meltingly. He stayed still, and his eyes flickered away towards the gate once, but then seemed to focus once again on her, and she felt his other hand come up to her arm and then round her back.
He pulled away and murmured something incomprehensible as she gazed up at him, then he pressed his lips to hers again and she felt a shiver of response as he kissed her again, deepening the kiss. Her mouth opened, and she heard him give a brief moan. His tongue parted Hero’s lips. An entirely unfamiliar tingle assailed her, first in her breasts, then her abdomen, then lower. She found her body pressing closer to his, despite their heavy winter cloaks.
His fingers were on her neck and jaw and the tender skin beneath her ear, exerting the slightest pressure, but a pressure which made her lean into him and meet his kiss and reach one gloved hand to his shoulder. Her hand should have pushed him away, but she could not help slipping her arms about his neck, clinging a little closer, meeting his kiss, returning it. She was melting, she was incandescent. Valentine had never kissed her like this, never!
Beattie’s shocked voice only slowly cut through the miasma of desire that had overcome both Hero and the plundering stranger.
“Miss! Miss Hero! Let her go, you brute!” Then Beattie launched herself at the broad back that separated her from her mistress and began to pummel it, accompanying every wallop with her vehement words. “LET – HER – GO!”
Hero sprang away as his hold on her fell away and she watched him turn and easily catch Beattie’s flailing hands. She raised her fingers to her lips, still dazed. The man held Beattie off with ease and looked over the young girl’s shoulder at Hero,“ I do apologise. I’m not sorry I kissed you, but I shouldn’t have done it, I know. I do hope we’ll meet again, but in the meantime, I must dash. I have to see some chaps about a boat.”

That's all folks....


Barbara M said...

This was wonderful! I'm dying to read the rest.

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