In three steps Marcus stood in front of his father, grabbed his shirt and shook him. “Tell me. What trap have you planned?”
Slowly, a grin stretched across the old man’s face until a full-blown laugh shook his chest. The eerie sound grated on Marcus’ nerves.
“You don’t deserve Lord Lockwood’s title,” his father spat.
Marcus pushed his father away, roughly. “You never deserved the title of Father.” He shook his head. “You’ll never know everything you put me through as a child, making me feel worthless in your eyes just because I was sick. However, because of your treatment, I was determined to gro
For the next few days, Marcus stayed in his bedroom or his study, drinking his sorrows away. Not even rum affected him anymore.Because of his lies, he’d lost Isabelle. She hadn’t talked to him since the night his father died, but her silence said it all. She wouldn’t forgive him, and soon she’d leave and return to her aunt and uncle in France.Agony twisted inside of him, causing so much pain and sorrow, sapping away his will to live. How could he go on without her? She had brought joy into his life—happiness he didn’t think he deserved. Now he wanted it back. He wanted to smile again, laugh, and love, but only if she was with him.
Donning the customary black mourning gown, Isabelle left the house and stayed in town all afternoon. She didn’t want people to think she cared nothing about her father-in-law’s death, but neither did she want to stay in the house while Marcus occupied it. Being outside in the sunlight helped brighten her day. If only in small measurements.As she moved from shop to shop, she thought about collecting things to take back to France when she returned. Her heart hadn’t softened toward Marcus, and she didn’t know if it ever would. Trust was a hard thing to build back up after it’d had been broken.Marcus had shattered her hopes and dreams with one lie that grew and festered. She still cared for him but didn’t want to. I
Dizziness flowed through Marcus’ head as he marched toward his friends. Whatever Simon had hit him with earlier to knock him out had left a nasty gash in his head. Weakness wasn’t an option. Especially now.Taking a deep breath, he pushed himself to help his fellow crew members. Just as he reached Gabe, Simon cut his friend’s leg with a lucky slice. Gabe stumbled back clutching his wound as blood trickled between his fingers. Simon lifted his sword to finish the deed, but Marcus stepped between him and Gabe, blocking the blow.Simon jumped back and held his ground, his gaze narrowed on Marcus. The room swam around him, and he blinked to gain his bearings. He must have strength. He’d come too far to lose, and now that he knew
Marcus held his wife as they held each other on the couch, staring into the low burning fire in the hearth. Satisfaction settled deep within him, as always happened after their loving. She sighed and cuddled closer, her hand splaying over his chest. He lifted her fingers and kissed each one before settling her softness back on him.“Marcus?”“Yes, my love.”“Are you planning to return as Captain Hawk anytime soon?”He chuckled. “Not anytime soon, but I will eventually. Prince Regent needs me—needs my skills now more than anything.”
Devon, EnglandThe pops of gunfire all around Isabelle Stanhope sounded like she stood on a battlefield, instead of riding in a stagecoach. The few other passengers screamed, sliding down into their seats. Fear of the worst kind surged through Isabelle as she bent over and clutched her trembling legs.Her life may end today.“Everyone stay low!” the driver yelled. “Highwaymen are swarming around us.”Panic thrashed inside Isabelle like a turbulent wave, threateni
Marcus Thorne glanced at the enchantress sitting so close to him with her hands clutching his arm. Good fortune had been with him as of late, and taking his enemy’s daughter prisoner topped the day. It didn’t matter if his men found nothing of consequence on the stagecoach, Marcus’ world had brightened because of the treasure sitting very close in front of him.He didn’t know Miss Isabelle Stanhope, just her father. Marcus had done the world a service when he purged the scoundrel from society. Marcus had dealt with the older man on several occasions and concluded the weasel couldn’t be trusted. He hadn’t planned on killing Commodore Stanhope, but the foolish man tried to stab him in the back. Literally. On impulse, Marcus shot the man between the eyes, killing him instantly.
If Isabelle didn’t get out of this closet-of-a room soon, she would scream. Walls closed in slowly around her. Indeed, she would suffocate if not for the anger pumping through her. As she shrugged out of her traveling jacket and sat on the small bed, she wondered where to hide the dagger. She’d been given ample time to realize her situation. Perhaps Hawk taking an interest in her was a good thing. But if he took her to his bedchambers, would he want to take liberties with her? Her stomach rolled with fear. To be ravaged by a pirate—whether or not he was now considered a highwayman—was a fate far worse than death. She must fight every step of the way.Many scenarios danced in her mind, playing out how she should act if he tri
Every muscle in Marcus’ body ached when he breathed. It especially hurt to open his eyes. He hadn’t consumed so much alcohol before that it had caused such an ill effect on him. The sun peeked in through his window, making him squint. What time of the day was it? Looked to be somewhere near the noon hour. Why did he sleep so long? There was much to do.Then he remembered Isabelle, the kiss, and the moment she thrust the dagger between his ribs. It took much effort to lift his throbbing head to glance at his wound, so instead, he moved his hands to the bandage wrapped around him. Apparently, he wasn’t dead, especially if his body screamed in pain.Where was Isabelle? Did his men know she’d tried to kill him?