Chapter 1

Coming Home

Eric picked up the note, read it again and threw it on the desk. I put my head in my hands and sighed. What the fuck?

I picked up the note for the millionth time and read it again. It didn't change. Stupid fucking asshole. He couldn't even die with an heir. Now I had to go back to fucking London and pretend to be a Duke. Fuck.

I slammed my hand down on the table. I looked up, a maid was standing at my door. "Is there something you needed, my Lord?"

"You might as well be the first to know. I'm now a "Your Grace." My brother died.

"I'm sorry Your Grace."

Wow she slipped into that easily enough.

"Can you find Carlton for me? Oh, and bring me a bottle of my American whisky and a glass."

"Yes, Your Grace."

***

"Carlton, have the driver stop at the gate. I want to walk up the driveway."

Carlton banged on the side of the carriage to get the driver's attention. The carriage soon stopped and I got out. I never thought that I'd be here again. I thought when I left it was forever.

I stood still for a moment and just looked at the house. It was still impressive. The garden was well kept, but the carriage house was empty. I wondered why. There should have been a family there. Well there would soon be a family there to greet my guests and watch my home. The roses were blooming. They were very nice.

When I got to the front door Carlton and the drivers of the carriages were unloading. "Where are the servants?" I asked aloud.

Carlton shrugged his shoulders. "I don't know Your Grace, I ran to the kitchen and I couldn't find a one."

What the hell? I went through the front door and up the stairs. Where was everyone? Damn it. I went into my father's bedroom. It was mine now. There was a girl lying asleep across the foot of the bed. Great. Just fucking great. I backed out of the room and closed the door. Other than her, the house was empty.

I went back down, took off my jacket and scarf and then helped unload the carriages. It was already dusky, things would have to stay outside until the morning. The rented carriages needed to go back.

I went upstairs and laid down next to the room that should have been mine. For a long time I looked at the ceiling and watched the flickering of the lamp light play tricks on it. It mesmerized me. I blew out the lamp and heard the girl next door to me make a noise or some sort. I jumped. Fucking Hell. I went into the hallway and heard her again. Without my lamp, it was really fucking dark. I inched along the wall to her door and knocked. Was she crying? She was crying. I opened the door and knocked on it again. Maybe she didn't hear me the first time. I waited.

I wished I had brought my lamp. Maybe she was sick or hurt or something. "Sweetheart?" I could just barely make out her body on the bed. I walked up to her and touched her head. She jerked away from me.

I went back to my room and got my lamp. I moved the lamp over her and I cringed. That asshole brother of mine. The girl was beaten. The bruises were at least a few days old. I was doing the math in my head. The asshole died the day before yesterday. Had this girl been here alone since then?

I moved the blankets over. She was on her stomach. I rolled her over to pick her up. Her arm reached out and grabbed my hand. She opened her eyes.

"It's okay. I'm just going to move you over. You'll be more comfortable."

"I'm fine."

"You are definitely not fine. If you want to go yourself you can, but you are definitely going between the sheets on the bed. It's cold."

She sat up. I got a better look at her. Her eye was black and blue on her left side. Obviously, she'd been punched. She held her left hand up to her chest. She was wearing a wedding band and the hand was swollen.

Her black hair was twisted in a loose plait down her back. Little tendrils of hair had escaped and were floating around her face in curls. She had blue eyes.

The clothes indicated that she was no servant girl. I guessed she was at least titled or had parents that were.

"Let me see that hand."

"No."

"No?" I smiled. Yep, she was probably titled. "Please?" I bent down in front of her and moved her small and ring finger.

"Ouch."

"Sorry. I think your hand may be broken."

"It's okay."

"Why do you keep saying that? It's not okay. You are not okay."

"Don't."

"Don't what?" I would never understand women. Now she was crying again. Fuck. "Come on. Get under the blankets." I helped her stand up. The top of her head was at my eye level. She was tall for a girl. I was close to six feet.

She stumbled. I pulled her forward into me. I almost grabbed her left hand.

"I'm sorry."

If she was sorry that she stumbled into me, why wasn't she stepping back? I could smell her and she smelled good. I knew right then that I was going to make love to her.

I put my right hand around her waist and pulled her forwards into me. She didn't protest. That was a good sign. Her arm went around my back. That was a better sign. I wanted that gorgeous neck of hers in my mouth. Then I was going to work my way down to her breasts. This damn dress had to go.

"Help me with my buttons."

I smiled. Damn she was hot.

I pushed her back onto the bed. "Why, baby, do they put so many buttons on these things?"

I realized that it was a shirtwaist. I pulled the top off her. She had a small camisole on underneath and I pulled it over her head.

"Finally." Her breasts were in my hands. They were just perfect for my hands. I was going to enjoy this. I licked her nipple with my tongue and then drew it into my mouth. My tongue ran over it and swirled around it. I felt her arm wrap around my head and pull me closer. I pulled back. I wanted her other breast now. "Yes baby that feels so good."

I felt her try to move her leg but it was trapped in her skirt. More buttons. I was frustrated. I accidentally tore it. I pulled it off her along with her slips. Her undies came off with a flick of my wrist.

Her legs came up around me. I didn't need any more encouragement. It was perfect. She was so perfect. I stopped. This was good, really, good. I looked at her and tucked my arms around her shoulders. I put my face in her neck. I wasn't going to be able to make this last. I was trying to breathe. I bit my tongue.

Her hand came to my face. "Please."

"Aww baby." I started moving. She was touching me and moving underneath me. Her hand went to her breast. This was too much. "Babe… I…" Fuck, fuck. I was trapped inside of her legs…

&

"What's your name? I don't even know who you are."

"Tess."

"Tess. I like it. I'm Eric."

"Eric. No. Eric Covington?"

"Yeah." She knew me. "Why?" I smiled

She gagged. I pushed her back. She ran to the sink basin and vomited.

I guess if I was hoping for a reaction, this sure the hell wasn't the one I was hoping for.

***

Hi Everyone,

This idea has been in my head

for a very long time.

Let me know if you like it.

Then maybe I'll write the next chapter.

I love you all,

Ana