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Topic: Let's write a book!

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Subject: Let's write a book!
Date Posted: 3/1/2010 8:39 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
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Here's the beginning. Add to the story!

     Emily walked along the deck, one hand gliding along the railing to steady her as the ship sluiced through the calming waters. Her gaze on the horizon where she looked for the cliffs that would signal she was almost home. After twelve years away, she was no longer certain it would feel like home and there would be no warm welcome, but it was her home nonetheless. In truth, there would be no welcome at all except for the paid retainers who would probably be strangers hired by her solicitor. She could not imagine that Spencer, who had served as the family butler since her grandfather inherited the title, had not been pensioned off or perhaps had even passed on. In all likelihood, only a caretaker would be in residence at the manor. She probably should have sent word that she was coming but she was on the first ship she could find that was departing Venice bound for England. Which would have meant she could carry the letter herself for it could not have been transported more quickly.
     The last time she had seen the manor, she ought to have been in the schoolroom rather than embarking on a ship bound for the continent. Oh, the odd course of events that had altered her life so completely! Papa had shot a man in a duel. But Papa was not a member of the nobility. They could kill one another with impunity! But Papa would have certainly hanged. Especially since it was a duke's uncle he had killed. And since Mama had died when Emily was very young and there was no one else to care for her, she fled to the continent with Papa. And now Papa had died too.



Last Edited on: 3/2/10 6:36 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/1/2010 10:20 PM ET
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A dragon soared by overhead. It was magnificent.

Date Posted: 3/2/2010 6:57 AM ET
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     Emily vigorously shook her head to clear it and the dragon reformed as a storm cloud. She had hoped the hallucinations would stop, wishing she'd never joined her father in his afternoon salons and daily absinthe indulgence. The euphoria he found may have helped him deal with the pain, but she had no such excuse. She had rationalized it as a way to share something, anything, with Papa. She never stopped to consider that he allowed her to drink that vile potion due to his own drug-induced lack of judgment. And her drug-induced lack of judgment had left her with a broken heart and without her virtue.

Date Posted: 3/2/2010 1:35 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
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She was not the only passenger, she had not seen but had heard the poor wretch in the next cabin a victim of the rough seas over night.

Date Posted: 3/2/2010 5:48 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
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Emily knew well the feeling of wanting to die, wishing the sickness would overtake you and your troubles would be no more.

Date Posted: 3/3/2010 1:05 AM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
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She could no longer indulge such thoughts however. There were wrongs to right she was a Talbot from the border marches the blood of the native born Princes of Wales flow in her veins as did the blood of the Conquer William.  The Dukes of Haverford owed her family and she would make them pay.  Had that not become her driving purpose after Papa had finally judged her of sufficient maturity to know the truth, behind the duel that had sent them in to exile.  They had beaten Papa but they would not beat her!

Date Posted: 3/3/2010 5:53 AM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
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She was tired. So tired. The emotional and physical efforts of nursing Papa for the last year of his life, Pierre's abuse and betrayal, preparing for the return to England and the voyage itself had all taken their toll on her health and her spirit. But the overwhelming weight on her shoulders was mostly due to her deathbed promise to avenge Papa and restore the Talbot name and reputation. A promise she fervently wished she'd never made for now, how to accomplish the deed filled her thoughts almost contantly.

For generations, the Talbot family had held pride of place among the gentry living in the shadow of Haverford's palatial ducal estate. Once it became known that she had returned, she'd be expected to call upon the house and pay homage to the pompous lord. The mere idea of that left her feeling more drained than any of the trials she'd endured in her years abroad. Emily drew a deep breath and held it. Where would she find the strength to face the duke? And how could she exact the revenge she'd promised her Papa?

Date Posted: 3/3/2010 7:04 AM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
Posts: 5,498
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No matter, it had to be done.  It was time to enact the plans she had made on the voyage over.  Holding her head up high and saying a prayer for strength and wisdom, Emily was ready.

Date Posted: 3/3/2010 7:44 AM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
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"Damn your eyes man!" came a bellow from the companion way which lead to the cabins below deck.   M  My Lord I was but doing your bidding you said I should see you to the ship no matter what,  answered a calm cultured indignant voice. If you don't want me to carry out your orders you should not give them!  She quickly stepped aside as not to collide with a man who smelled very like her Papa had after several days of drinking and well other things!  He staggered over to the railing breathing in deep gulps of the fresh sea air.  Lifting one finely arched brow at his state of undress, her eyes roamed over the naked broad shoulders and back down to  the blanket  held around his narrow hips the impeccably  dressed servant nodded to her as he came by with slippers and a silk dressing gown.  My lord your naked please put these on the servant was beyond exasperated.  The Lord dropped the blanket carelessly giving her a glimpse of his truly magnificent bottom and long muscular legs!!!  Pierre had been well put together but this man  was a work of art!

Date Posted: 3/3/2010 12:14 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
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"Get away from me!" Morgan said to his manservant.  "I'll get dressed when I'm damned good and ready."  Turning away from the deep blue of the ocean to launch yet another tirade at his faithful yet irritating valet, he was stunned to see that same deep blue in the eyes of a beautiful woman watching him from the deck.  Beautiful, yet haunted.

Date Posted: 3/3/2010 12:29 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
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Oh that's good Sherri!

Date Posted: 3/3/2010 12:46 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
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Stooping quickly to retrieve the blanket, Morgan whirled it over his head and settled it on his shoulders as if it were a theatrical cape. Clutching the edges of the blanket in his fists, he pulled it closed across his chest, in deference to her modesty more than his own.

"Forgive me, madame." Morgan shifted to address her directly and give himself a moment to justify his weak stomach. "I suppose I should avoid drinking brandy on sea voyages. Please, allow me to introduce myself. I am Morgan Benchley, Duke of Haverford." He sketched a deep bow but kept his gaze upon her face, only to see her jaw drop slightly as she attempted to stifle a gasp.

Date Posted: 3/3/2010 12:54 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
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THIS was Lord Haverford?  "Dear God", thought Emily.  Does he not know me?  Will he recognize my name?  Better to be wary, at least for the time being.

Steeling herself to appear calm, she curtsied and replied "Emily, my Lord Haverford.  My name is Emily."

Date Posted: 3/3/2010 12:55 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
Posts: 6,542
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Emily couldn't help but look her fill of this goregous man's form.  The dark hair that curled on his chest and narrowed as it travelled down to his jewels.   She could feel the liquid pooling deep within her.  Not since missing her last monthly had she felt such a physical response at the mere sight of the male form.

Date Posted: 3/3/2010 1:13 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
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Emily, he said her name aloud as if tasting the sound of it. Just Emily?  he asked,  For now, she anwsered and swept into the campanion way stoping to look back over her shoulder just once as she had seen the courtseans do so often. Before calmly walking to her cabin.  But once inside she slid down feeling weak and sicken by the encounter.

The Duke was fat and old and horrible he can't be the Duke.  Miss Emily what is it are you ill?  Tilly helped her rise.  Oh Tilly he is here that was him, last night in the next cabin.  Pierre! Tiily exclaimed staring at the door, as if he would barge in at any moment.  No No the Duke of Haverford is in the next cabin.  Well he's on deck naked but he's here.   



Last Edited on: 3/4/10 4:45 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 3/3/2010 1:59 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
Posts: 5,498
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Morgan stared after Emily as she disappeared from view.  Everything within him screamed her name.    "Charles," he said to his valet.  "Charles, when we get to shore, I want her watched.  Do not let her know she's being followed, but I want to know everything there is to know about Miss Emily."

Date Posted: 3/3/2010 5:13 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
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Emily slowly straightened her legs, pushing herself up the floor where she had slumped.

Suddenly, eyes closed tight, she slapped both hands to her heated cheeks. "What have I done?" She began rapidly pacing the limited floorspace of her cabin. "I avoided telling him my name as if we'd never meet again. But in the very near future, I'll have to call on him at his home. As if he won't remember our meeting on the deck of a ship! How stupid of me! It would have been better to just introduce myself and be done with it!. Well, there's no help for it."

Tilly plastered herself against the wall, attempting to take as little space as possible to avoid being trampled by her mistress who, by all appearances, seemed to be decending into madness.

Emily suddenly stopped, stared into Tilly's frightened face, and began slowly shaking her head. "Oh, Tilly. He's not at all as I remember him. Why did I not consider that he had grown up just as I did? I forever pictured him as a lanky boy of fifteen. And I saw not a shred of recognition in his eyes just now. Of course, I'd have passed him by, as well. He's changed so much."

Date Posted: 3/3/2010 6:09 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
Posts: 5,498
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Two Days Later.......

Emily disembarked from the ship along with her maid Tilly and her few meager bags.  There hadn't been time to pack everything in the rush to leave Venice.   "Home." Emily whispered to herself.   The word itself even seemed distant.  How much of a home would she find here in England without her beloved Papa?

Date Posted: 3/3/2010 6:21 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
Posts: 5,498
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Morgan watched from the carriage as his mysterious Emily made her way through the throng of people on the docks.  "Why is she traveling alone?" he thought to himself.   Turning to his valet Charles he received an answer to his unspoken question.

"My Lord, your wishes have been taken care of.  The woman will be followed and watched.  I've been assured our man will be most discreet."

"He'd better be," Morgan replied.  "He'd better be."

Date Posted: 3/3/2010 7:39 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
Posts: 9,174
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Prunella Lady Scales hugged her distant cousins daughter warmly the big bosomed violet scented hug nearly had Emily in tears.  Oh my darling girl how glad I am you came today for had you come tomorrow I would have not been here.  Norris the green room is ready for company isn't it take your time to freshen up dear and when you come back down we will have a long gossip with our tea. 
I am so happy to see you Pru, she sniffed are you certain I am not putting you out? 
There is no need for such worries I would have it no other way Pru assured her settling her plump body into the comfortable looking chair, and shooed her from the room.

It was a wholly feminine room with its white and gilt french inspired furniture no longer fashionable perhaps, but it suited Pru's house Green Silk draperies and counter pane with it's pink accents reminded her of a rose garden.  She hurried to freshen herself patting one last pin in to the fashionable chignon.   Don't unpack Tilly we leave at first light tomorrow.  Now how to get Pru to help her.........



Last Edited on: 3/3/10 9:21 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/3/2010 11:41 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
Posts: 9,174
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 I am  having way to much fun.

Optional next segment.

The post chase was every bit as horrible as Emily had feared.  She was seated next to and odoriferous scholar of religious antiquities.  Who's name just happened to be Percival Pendergast, fortunately he was going only as far as Oxford.  Next there was Mrs. Hart and her unfortunate looking children sweet Dicky had eyes the color of mud and hair that can only be described as a thinning birds nest.  The daughter Melody breathed only through her mouth and brayed like a mule at Percival Pendergast's inane jests.  She had the teeth of a mule so why not the laugh of one. 

Emily pretended to speak only Italian and thus was saved from having to make polite conversation.  Poor Tilly was stuck on the roof with 3 strapping farm hands, but judging by the sparkle in her eyes at each stop was enjoying herself immensely.  By Oxford Tilly couldn't hide the fact that she was well and truly drunk on Gin of all things!  



Last Edited on: 3/3/10 11:42 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/4/2010 11:28 AM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
Posts: 5,498
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"Finally," Emily whispered under her breath.  "We're finally here.....home.  Oh Papa!  Why did it all have to be this way?"  Emily thought to herself.  "Well, we're here now.  Come Tilly!" she said to her still slightly tipsy maid.  "Gather our bags and lets see what awaits us."  Without waiting for a reply, Emily gathered her skirts and began heading in the direction of Grandfather's house.  So caught up in her own troubles, she didn't notice the annoying Mr. Percival Pendergast had also alighted from the post chase.

Date Posted: 3/4/2010 8:20 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
Posts: 9,174
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"Tilly lass where ye off too"  One of the farm hands asked as he separated from the other men who were intent on going inside for a pint.  The big man's Saxon heritage shown in this coloring curly golden blond hair brushed the collar of his patched jacket. he had removed his hat and was standing at a respectful distance.  His clear blue eyes met Emilys for only a moment.  "Ahh Jackson we are going to Miss Talbot g g Grmpas house yep. where ish it at Missh  she said hardly being able to focus.  Jackson tried to hide his amusement.  "I hold you responsible Mr Jackson for Tilly's state"  Emily snapped taking the heavy bag Tilly was struggling with. " I am sorry Miss Talbot but it were chilly up on top and well a wee nip does warm the blood a might."  He seemed contrite Emily was exhausted and they had a long walk ahead of them.  Let me make it up to you Miss and to Tilly my cart's 'ere at the Inn and I'd be glad to drive ye. Where ever you need to go he put in.  I am unused to accepting rides from a stranger Mr. Jackson.  Name's Jack Miss, Jack Jackson  everyone knows me round ere.  I work up at the Haverford home farm.  "You work for the Duke?"   He straightened up and put out his chest which seemed to swell with pride  "Aye Miss"  and no better a Master is there on this earth unlike the old Duke right bastard he was Miss.  Pardon my plain speakin Miss"  He actually blushed.  We are going that way,  do you know the manor at  Bridgeview?   A  fleeting expression of unease flash across his face.  Aye Miss I know it but ain't no one there Miss 'cept  Old Crowley and he's probably passed out drunk at the Bull n Bell.    Emily looked around the coach yard.  "No hope of a meal or bed at the manor  tonight then" she said to herself.   He answered "No Miss I'd say not"  If you pardon me for sayin it might be best if you stay here tonight and head out that way tomorrow.  Emily turned to see where Tilly was  groaning to see her maid all but asleep on a stone mounting block.  Perhaps your right.   You want me to help you inside Miss I know old Geordie the Innkeeper,  I ain't never stayed ere but I been told the rooms are clean, and the foods good.    It seems we have no choice does it Mr. Jackson.   No Miss it don't.



Last Edited on: 3/4/10 10:11 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/5/2010 4:21 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
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Percival watched from the shadows of the evening.

Date Posted: 3/5/2010 5:08 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
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I promise I'll catch up. I'm trying to get my shipping done (yeah, Sherri, yours too) and heading out to Mom's where I'll write some more. You're doing fine ladies!

Colleen

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