The result was the scene snippet that was up on Shannon Vannatter's romance blog last week, and I thought I'd share it today since it's kind of a "This Day in Annapolis" sort of thing . . . and because I need to get cracking on some editorial duties this morning. ;-)
pre-order on Amazon! Walks Alone is an amazing historical romance that will intrigue, surprise, and delight you as you journey with a determined immigrant from Holland as she makes her way to Denver City . . . and straight into a band of wild Cheyenne. =)
Now for that snippet . . .
“I have heard enough.” She whipped the blanket off her shoulders and folded it with a series of sharp, angry motions.
He stepped between her and the door. “This particular anger is more for Wiley than me, isn’t it? I had no way of knowing you did not intend me to read it. So if you would like me to deliver you home to Williamsburg so you can berate him—”
She slapped the blanket onto a chair. “I will stay right here, thank you.”
Her anger was clear, yes. But more, there was stony determination beneath it. “You mean it. Even knowing how your family misses you—”
“Perhaps if my family had respected my wishes and canceled the wedding plans, then I would not have to stay away.”
He studied the upward slant of her chin, the fierce burning in her eyes. She would not be budged. Which meant he had two choices. He could give up and go home, convince their families the betrothal was off. If he chose that option, then he would in effect being saying good-bye to her once and for all. Giving her her wish, which might be the gentlemanly thing to do.
But the light caught the depths of her hair, and her eyes shone like moonstone. Her dress hung in total disarray, but her spine was straight and strong.
Emerson dragged in a long breath and cast his lot on the second option. “If you will not come home, then I shall stay here.”
She blinked, as if uncertain she had heard him correctly. “You…why in the world would you do that?”
His smile felt wry upon his lips. “Because if you are the woman I begin to see you must be, then you are worth the world.”
For a moment he thought he glimpsed tears in her eyes, but then she averted them, and he couldn’t be sure it was anything more than a reaction to the whiff of smoke from the chimney. Her hands fisted at
her sides. “You have never lacked for lovely words, Emerson. But it is too late. Go or stay, it is no concern of mine.”
He inclined his head. “Then with your leave, my dear, I shall stay.”
With all the lack of concern of a British lady, she picked up her coffee and took a long drink. “Enjoy the town.”
“I think I shall do so more this time than ever before. Given the company.”
Her brows rose. “I know not what company you have in mind, but I promise you it shan’t be mine.”
He pressed his lips together against a grin. “Then I suppose you shall stay hidden in Randel House? Because I assure you, darling, I still have friends enough in Annapolis that if you step out to a ball or fete, I will have secured an invitation to it as well.”
She looked as though she would have liked to dash the cup to the ground. Instead she raised her chin. “Very well. Enjoy the holiday celebrations too. But if you call me ‘darling’ again, ’tis the plank for you.”
A smirk sprang to his lips before he could stop it. “You have pirates among your new acquaintances?”
“Scores of them.” She sashayed past him with a smirk of her own, leaning close enough to say, “And Cap’n Mobcap’s not one to be trifled with.”
He let her by, mostly so she wouldn’t see his lopsided smile. Getting to know Lark Benton might be the most enjoyment he’d had in ages.