TITLE: Miss Stewart's Seduction
GENRE: Historical Thriller / Romantic Suspense
Revenge required precision. Tom Caldwell needed a steady hand to fell the Earl. Good thing he’d schooled himself to a single bottle of wine.
He thrust out his arms and sent rumpled papers fluttering across the table. With fingers reeking of ink, he rubbed his flattened cheek and arched his neck toward the window.
What did one wear, when one might die before sunrise?
No! Practice improved a man’s aim. Tom would have confidence, though his very limbs revolted. Stumbling to his feet, he lit a taper. God’s blood, his noxious breath could set the room ablaze. He huffed in the cold air, tripped on the hearthstones, stabbed and thrust at the embers with the fire iron as if he were preparing for a swordfight instead of – this.
“Robin!” Tom kicked at the chamber pot and fumbed with his breeches. The boy was surely awake. Servants, like soldiers on campaign, and swindlers, and god-forsaken swine as he knew himself to be, all regularly rose before dawn. Ruffians, the lot of ‘em.
The lad appeared in the doorway, head bowed. “Shall I stir thy fire, Sir?”
“No, no – too late for that.” Then, trying for a measure of kindness, Tom softened his voice at the edges. “Warm me some water, and have Mrs. Lang send up coffee and bread.” A last supper, before the night was entirely run out.
He sprawled against the mantel and massaged his temples. Drink was a Devil, alone. Better to have followed Alex’s example, Almighty bless him.