Dark Knight & The Ladyby_Lady1SensuaL1Fire_©
This short story is a bit longer than my usual ones. But to take away events of the story to make it shorter, would take the integrity and true power of this story. Please read it careful and you wont regret it, this story means alot to me...it took me 6 months to write it, because I wanted it to be just right. thank you.
Standing alone on the Stanhope terrace, Lady Georgia Kent watched, as the first ball of the season was in full swing.
This was her coming out season, but Georgia was in no way enjoying herself. Her sister Lana and their cousin Bethany were the obvious belles of the ball. Both being considered fair beauties of the classical sense; having their considerable share of attentive beaux.
Forever being compared to her sister and cousin, with heir fair beauty and slender form, Georgia felt out of place, not feeling dainty by no means.
Georgia possessed an exotic beauty; dark curly chestnut hair with a hint of fire in those locks. She is petite in height, and too well-endowed for her liking. Many men preferred the fragile slenderness of the under-fed. Georgia is voluptuous without being plump. To her, she has very few saving graces; her honey-hued complexion and her midnight violet eyes, which she inherited all from her father.
Though Georgia was Lana's junior by two years, she felt awkward and unsophisticated compared to her sister. Oftentimes, when Lana was entertaining a suitor in the drawing room, she would feign any reason to send Georgia on an errand of some sort. It felt as though Lana was ashamed of her. The suitor would stare at Georgia in an odd sort of way. Almost as though his throat was parched as she walked by, Lana would hiss at her to leave.
So lost in her own thoughts, Georgia had the distinct feeling that she was being watched. she looked up from her wringing hands to stare into the most glorious grey eyes she's ever seen. Silver grey eyes gore into her violet ones with such intensity, that she looked away or risk being scorched in the process.
"Good evening my Lady Georgia, may I introduce myself?" The Dark stranger asked, but she had the impression that he usually did as he pleased anyway.
"H...how did you know my name, my lord?" Georgia stammered.
"I inquired of our hostess of the ball, who the intriguing woman with the violet eyes was" The stranger announced with amusement.
"But, why? Why would you want to know my name?"
"Can you not guess, my lady?"
"Please my lord, do not speak in such riddles. Who are you?"
"Forgive my lapse in manners. I am Lord Devon, Duke of Withermoor, at your service my lady".
"I am delighted to make your acquaintance, Your Grace." Georgia gave him her hand. A tingling sensation crept up her arm, as his lips gently touched her fingers. To Georgia's mortification, she blushed a bright red.
"It is very rare indeed, to see a natural blush on a woman. You are quite refreshing." Normally Devon was a man of few words, but this voluptuous little woman had him acting like a boy still in leading strings.
"I...I am pleased to meet you, but I must return inside. For my lady mother will be most concerned of my whereabouts. I am sure we will meet again. Good eve my lord." After a quick but graceful curtsy of respect to Lord Devon, Georgia then glides across the terrace, through the french doors, disappearing inside.
"Aye my beauty, we will meet again...soon".
* * *
"Georgia, where have you been , my darling?" Her mother, Lady Sophia asked with concern. Meanwhile, smiling with pride at her eldest daughter, surrounded by prospective suitors. Lady Sophia loves Georgia, but with her eldest daughter's pale beauty, her chances of landing a wealthy son-in-law are greater than with Georgia. Her younger daughter was pretty in an exotic sort of way, but not in the classical sense, as her sister Lana.
"I needed some fresh air, this ballroom is filled to the rafters, and the perfumes are becoming cloying."
"Are you not enjoying yourself? Your sister seems unaware of anyone else but her beaux. You would do well to do as your sister does so naturally, and surround yourself with potential suitors. Although you do not possess the classical beauty as your sister, you are pretty enough to land yourself at least an Earl's second son." Lady Sophia stated, unaware of how the words annoyed her daughter at the comparison of Lana and Georgia.
Georgia knew that her mother meant no harm, but her words stung nonetheless. Another reminder how effortlessly her sister attracted most of the men in the room. Even though most of them are fops and dandies, hoping to land the very marriageable daughter of the powerful Earl of Kent.
"Mother, what can you tell me about the Duke of Withermoor? He insisted on introducing himself to me, earlier in the evening."
"What did you say? The Duke of Withermoor? He has introduced himself to you, did he mention wanting to court Lana? This is most unusual, but he is rumored to be even richer than the King. Well child, what did he say to you?" Her mother finally stopped for air, long enough for Georgia to answer her questions. She tried to keep the amusement from her eyes as she watched her mother's face turning different shades, in her earnestness to know what the Duke wanted.
"When I was on the terrace, his Grace introduced himself to me. He already knew my name, he stated that he asked Lady Stanhope who I was. He looked at me intensely, though I cannot fathom why. what do you think this means, mother?"
Lady Sophia sat silently assessing her daughter for the first time. She was so engrossed most of the time with her other daughter Lana, that she missed how her daughter, Georgia, has really grown up. She felt a twinge of guilt. Georgia was the spitting image of her husband's mother, the legendary beauty of her time. Lady Sophia realized how much her youngest daughter resembled her paternal grandmother Eliza. She also possessed her uncanny intelligence as well. Could it be that the Duke of Withermoor has taken a fancy to her Georgia? Lady Sophia looked at Georgia with new eyes, of course it is possible that his Grace prefers her violet eyed daughter. This matter bears more thinking...
"He is one of the most sought-after bachelors in Christiandom." Her father startled her mother from her thoughts.
"Hello my princess. Are you enjoying yourself?" Lord Garrett of Kent smiled fondly at his beloved daughter. In his heart, she was his most precious child, reminding him of his mother, who he still dotes upon.
"Hello father. Aye, I am enjoying myself well enough. The architecture is splendid. I would simply love a tour one of these days. The statues in the gardens are divinely magnificent!" Georgia exclaimed excitedly. Her eyes sparkling with vitality and keen intelligence.
Lord Garrett laughed down at his daughter's upturned young face with delight. This girl has the wit of his mother, and her vibrancy as well. Though, most of all, she sees beauty around her instead of what she is wearing, or how to attract a man. His lovely daughter is refreshing without any artifice whatsoever.
"What is so amusing father?" His wife and daughter looked at him with confusion.
"Unlike your sister, you are totally unaware of yourself Georgia. Methinks you have attracted the attention of the very unattainable Duke of Withermoor. Lord Stanhope has discreetly told me of how he has been questioned by his Grace about you. Be careful of him, Georgia. He is honorable but he is somber and his said to be able to seduce a woman by his very essence. He possesses a magnetism that most women find alluring, but no one has ever been able to win his heart. He lost his wife and their infant along with her, in a carriage accident. He is a hard man, Georgia, for some reason, he is seeking you out. He does not give up until he retrieves what he desires." Her father left them to speak to his friend, Lord Stanhope.
"I have never seen father look so solemn before. How does he know so much about Lord Devon?" Georgia was beginning to feel a tingling sensation creeping up her back.
Georgia watches as a shadow passed across her mother's lovely face as she begins to speak. " Your father was the one that discovered his wife's body along with their son. Both fatally wounded on their way home from London. Your father was the one who had to break to news to his Grace."
* * *
Across the aristocratic-filled ball room, Lana was trying her best to attract the Duke of Withermoor's attention. She blatantly ignored the swains around her. Lana was on the prowl for a wealthy husband and she chose Lord Devon. Lifting her chin with arrogance, Lana muses that a handsome husband doesn’t hurt either. She was so sure of her beauty, that she thought, all she had to do was flirt with him thus casting him a come-hither look.
Lord Devon glanced briefly at the pale debutante who tried in vain to catch his eye. It took everything not to roll his eyes heavenward at this obvious ploy. He was on a direct mission to seek out a lovely pair of violet eyes that has haunted his thoughts, ever since he saw her standing on the terrace, seeming so woebegone.
Finally, he spotted her amongst her parents and Lady Derby. He made his way across the crowded ballroom floor, ignoring all women's stares that were forever following his every move.
For a moment, Lana thought The Duke was heading her way, so she smiled smugly. Though, to her horror, he bypassed her and went straight towards her father. Oh well, must be business she thought. I will be somewhat patient, she thought. Though, to her astonishment, his Grace was bowing over the hand of her plain-Jane sister Georgia. "I cant believe it. Why would he be interested in Georgia instead of me?" A genuine frown creased her light brow.
"May I have the honor of this dance, fair lady?" The Duke asked politely but his stance demanded no denial of his request. Standing still, his silver eyes boldly held Lady Georgia's violet ones.
Eyes widening slightly, Georgia was not ready to speak to this tall, dark man. " I would your Grace, but I am not feeling..." She began but Lord Devon held out his hand to her, and for some reason, she could not seem to say nay.
Georgia placed her small gloved hand in his large tanned one, meanwhile never taking her eyes off his face. For some reason, she was so riveted, that the murmurs of the ton went unnoticed by either Lord Devon or Lady Georgia.
At this moment, the very air between the two crackled with electricity; violet eyes meeting silver ones, melding into one. The Duke held her curvaceous waist in an almost possessive grip. Georgia's grip on his broad shoulders nearly scorching her hand from his magnetic aura. Never in her life has a man ever made her feel so deliciously female. All her life, she has been made to feel like the ugly duckling compared to her sister. Along comes this ethereal male with his burning silver gaze, making her feel as though she was actually pretty.
As if reading her thoughts, Lord Devon told her "I have never beheld such natural beauty such as yours. You are truly an English rose. Why do you hide away in corners or avoid other gentlemen? Surely you are not hiding, you are so hauntingly lovely." Lord Devon glanced at her in confusion with his eyebrows drawn.
Georgia gave a little bitter laugh, "Please, Your Grace, do not mock me for a second time. I know fairly well that I am no great beauty like my sister. If you are dancing with me to get a proper introduction to my sister, just tell me, but do not play games with me." Georgia chided, lifting her chin slightly in defiantly, her eyes snapping violet fire.
Lady Georgia began to turn away from him to leave the dance floor, when a big tanned hand gently held her at the elbow. Turning back, Georgia looked up into Devon's confused eyes. "What mean you by this, m'lady? I have not the slightest interest in anyone else."
"Come now, m'lord....."
"As you wish, Devon. My sister over yonder is slender and fair. While I am dark and plump compared to her. Why is it that you seek me and not her?"
"I am not interested in skinny females who resemble broomsticks and have no healthy color to their skin. Pale hair and pale eyes do not intrigue me. You are exotic, wildly beautiful and voluptuous. Just because you have a bounty of breas...."
"My Lord!" Georgia blushed profusely.
"Please Devon, do not speak so, it is most inappropriate."
"I speak thus because it is true. You are petite, exquisite and the perfect size to be called a woman, not a frail simpering, debutante like your sister. Nay, please do not get angry, but I see how she snubs you when other suitors are around her. She is jealous and vain, you are her complete opposite Please my lady..."
"Aye, touché, my sweet. Would you consent for me to call upon you on the morrow? I realize we know so little of each other, but when I first gazed upon you on terrace, I knew I had to find out who you are." Devon's lips seem to stiffen slightly at his own admission, his hands gripping his black leather gloves slightly.
Georgia looked up into his mysterious eyes to spot any deceit, but found none. "Aye, my...Devon. You may call upon me on the morrow if you wish." Georgia knew she was taking a chance, but she felt a smoldering aura just below the surface, directed at her.
"Would you like to take a drive in Hyde Park on the morrow then?
"That would be a delightful excursion indeed, Devon."
"My carriage will be outside after you break your fast in the morning. I will bid you bonne nuit, ma jolie." Following those words, Lord Devon; The Duke of Withermoor departed the Stanhope ball.
Devon sat back in the plush navy blue velvet cushioned seat in his carriage, contemplating what he has just done. He has just invited Lady Georgia for a drive in Hyde Park tomorrow morning. In the morning of all times, when his arm hurt the most. One year ago, Devon suffered a very painful reminder that accepting a challenge to a duel, whether by bet or otherwise, is extreme foolhardedness. More often than not, he is plagued by pain when first awakening in the morning.
The Duke brought himself back to the day that the strange incident occurred. He was in the middle of a duel, and had his sword ready above his head, ready to strike the final blow to his opponent, when a lightening bolt had surged through the sword to his body. It was the most eerie silence that had followed. He remembered the most heated energy coursing through him at the lightening's impact. Luckily, his feet were together at that very moment, and not apart, stopping the lightening from doing him major harm. Ever since then, Devon has been possessed with strange abilities, such as invading people's thoughts, sensing danger before they occur and to heal people with his essence.
* * *
Meanwhile, back at the Kent London house, Lady Georgia was lost in thought, thinking about her outing with the duke on the morrow. She was still baffled by the unsuspecting interest of Lord Devon, when her sister came waltzing into her chamber unannounced.
"So, my dear little sister, mother tells me you are to have an outing on the morrow with the Duke of Withermoor." Lana tried not to choke out the words.
"Aye, is it not wonderful? Imagine, Lord Devon interested in me, and we just met" Georgia mused out loud.
I will second that thought, Lana muttered waspishly. "Did he say what his intentions are, with your little excursion in the park on the morrow? I have noticed how his gaze lingered on me at the Stanhope ball last eve. His eyes bore into mi..."
" You are mistaken Lana, his Grace asked me permission to properly court our little Georgia" their father interjected pleasantly enough as he walked in. Although his mind wanted to inform his eldest daughter that her arrogance was misplaced. For he has seen with his own eyes how the Duke of Withermoor has taken an unusual fancy to his younger daughter, the moment he clapped eyes on her.
"Oh, father! We did not see you there" Lana tried to look contrite, but only managed to embarrass herself instead.
"Obviously" he muttered
"Georgia, I have a surprise for you my dove, for your special day on the morrow. I was made aware that you have not purchased any new clothing for yourself since last spring." Her father then handed her the box hidden behind him.
"Father, what ever did you do? I do not require anything" But Georgia was surprised by her father's thoughtfulness nonetheless. She carefully opened the lavender colored box and silver bow on top.
Tears welled up in her sparkling violet eyes as she scanned the contents of the box. Carefully folded inside the gossamer-like tissue, a complete riding habit in the exact shade of her eyes was presented to her. The riding habit was trimmed in delicate silver thread. The white riding gloves were also trimmed with silver in rose designs. Also included, were a new pair of black riding boots and a delicate hat of the same soft velvet as her riding habit.
Speechless, Georgia ran into her father's outstretched arms.
"What's this, no words of thanks for your old sire?" he jokingly said, not quite subduing the gruffness from his voice. He enjoyed coddling his youngest daughter, who never harped at him for new trappings as the rest of the females of his household. Oh no, his daughter of his heart demanded nothing of him , save his love and respect. This thought brought a smile upon his ruggedly handsome face, and a bout of nostalgia at the reminder of how Georgia has grown up. These mixed emotions sometimes reeked havoc with his iron control of his feelings. He wanted her to be his baby dove forever, but realizes that it cannot be.
"This was suppose to be your birthday gift, coming up in a fortnight, but I decided to give it to you now instead. I hope you like it. Your mother thought it too extravagant, but since Lana has had a new wardrobe this year and not you, I find it only fitting that my other daughter have something special as well." With that, Lord Kent departed his daughter's chamber, so that they may continue their conversation.
Thankfully, he could not have known the depth of his eldest daughter's jealousy. He could not see the anger building within her, for she wanted the Duke as her own.
"Well well, I see that father has all but delivered you up to the Duke's bed." Lana could not keep the sneering from her voice.
"Be careful Lana, your face is becoming green with envy. You would not want your complexion to be marred...that is most unbecoming." Georgia was becoming tired of her sister's constant badgering of everything she does and wears. "If I didn’t know better, one would think that you were jealous. Father already told you, that this was to be my birthday gift anyway. You have a new wardrobe every year Lana, what are you complaining about? Are you interested in the Duke yourself?" Georgia asked her sister, looking at her straight in her eyes.
"Nonsense! I have more than too many suitors already. I have never had any trouble acquiring anything by a simple look." Lana was honestly shocked by her sister's usually hidden strong spirit. She could not let on how the Duke's rejection of her advances only made her want him all the more....and she will do what she must to capture him as her own.
"Would you help me into this outfit, I need to see if it will require any last minute alterations. Meg is busy with mother".
"I suppose" her sister replied, mainly out of curiosity. Silently hoping her father had the measurements wrong.
A few moments later, as both women viewed the finished effects inj the cheval glass, Lana was stunned into silence by the utter perfection of her younger sister. As she stared at Georgia, she was angry enough to realize that the only place the outfit was remotely snug, was on her bodice. Georgia had full upthrust breasts that were straining against the material of the double-breasted jacket. Unconsciously, Lana gazed down upon her own bosom, or lack thereof.