|A Murder And A Kiss
Author: Fading-Scream PM
Set in regency London, a murder leaves the Montrose twins as prime suspects – at least in Nathaniel, Marquess of Hartington's mind. Cole and Catherine Montrose have many secrets to keep hidden about who they are and what they can do, but when Hartington starts digging into their past there is only one thing to be done - or is there?Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Mystery - Chapters: 15 - Words: 27,053 - Reviews: 20 - Favs: 6 - Follows: 13 - Updated: 02-09-13 - Published: 11-21-12 - id: 3076203
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Nathan had watched Cathy storm out of the room, muttering to herself as she made her escape. It didn't surprise him when, moments later, her ever-present brother moved to stand beside him.
"St. James." he breathed, already exasperated with the younger gentleman. "Do you ever tire of watching your sister's every movement?"
Cole looked down at his coat and brushed off an invisible speck of dust from its immaculate lapel, setting a facade of ennui on his face which emulated that which was worn by so many of the popular dandies of the ton. "Why, Hartington, I do believe that you may deign to devour my sister should I not be around to prevent it. It certainly looked as if you were about to do so tonight, until you angered her with some senseless rant, no doubt."
"She believes that you're faultless, the poor girl. Although it's not her fault, you are her brother after all. Had you murdered your cousin's wife with your own hands, Cathy wouldn't believe that you had done so, even if the facts were presented to her in black and white."
Nathan watched Cole's face for any sign of reaction.
"Ah, you believe I had a part in Charlotte's death do you? No wonder why Cathy had words with you." Cole mused. "However, you may be a suspect in this case too, Hartington."
Cole caught Nathan's eyes widen in surprise.
"Whatever do you mean? I couldn't be involved. I did not even know the woman personally."
A mischievous smile curved across Cole's face. "Hit a nerve there, did I? You thought that we never knew Charlotte had a lover, didn't you?"
"What does Charlotte having a lover do with me?" a storm raged in Nathan's eyes as he began to lose his temper, his voice slowly increasing in volume.
Having had a wonderful stroll in the garden with Edward, Harriet stepped through the terrace doors and straight into the battle which was rampant. She cast Edward a weary look before she excused herself and trod carefully into the line of fire.
"Gentlemen, I'm dreadfully sorry to impose on you in the midst of this... heated debate," she started cautiously, choosing every word she used carefully "but I cannot see Catherine anywhere. Do you know where I could find her?"
At least this would take their minds off of the topic in question, or so Harriet thought. Ever the charmer, Cole took her had in his and squeezed it before he turned to Nathan and spoke.
"The last I saw her, she was in the process of escaping Hartington."
And so the battle was ignited again.
Harriet felt the urge to role her eyes, but she refrained, settling for merely looking toward the heavens for patience.
"Again, I am sorry to interfere, but Cathy is not outside. I've just come from the gardens..." a faint blush coloured her cheeks.
"Perhaps she's gone to the ladies' retiring room." Cole suggested.
"She would have had to pass you to get there, and do not think that she would not have stopped your bickering if she had heard you. She's simply vanished."
The more she thought about it, Harriet began to believe that the fools' errand she had originally intended on sending the two gentlemen on, may not be so false. She hadn't seen Cathy since the minuet earlier that evening and, although the ball was an invariable 'crush', it was unlike her new friend to stray so far away from her brother.
"Do be a dear and help me look for her. I have something I have to share with her and it cannot wait a moment longer." A bit dramatic, Harriet had to admit, but it did the job.
Cole sighed in resignation and Nathan grunted in contempt, but they both turned their separate ways and began to search the ballroom, meeting up again in front of the terrace doors.
"Nothing." Cole stated, before he turned and headed out into the darkness.
Nathan and Harriet quickly caught up with him as he stood in the gleaming lamplight which lit a path to an elaborate gazebo, shrouded in white roses. A fountain's waters glittered under the lamp's soft glow and deeper in the shadows of the garden stood the statues which were dutifully commissioned by Lady Rushford herself. Sarah was so proud of them and often commented on how romantic they looked in the moonlight.
A gigantic marble angel stood proud, his wings spread out wide as if in mid-flight, daring all who came near to oppose him. Nathan had always loved that statue, but however much he begged Sarah to let him buy it from her she had always refused flatly.
"What's that?" Harriet pointed to a dark form beneath the angel Nathan had just been admiring. "Did Sarah get another statue?"
Nathan strode over to investigate, but the closer he got the more a sense of urgency overcame him. Lying in a heap was Cathy, her pale face illuminated in the moonlight.
A/N: I must apologize for my late update. Unfortunately while I was away on holiday my pc was struck by lightning and I've lost all of the chapters I had written for M&K (A Murder and a Kiss). So it looks like I have a lot of writing to get through again.
I hope everyone had a blessed Christmas and a happy New Year. May 2013 bring you all you could ever dream for.