When Charlotte took the position as secretary to Daniel all she wanted was to start a life of her own and to be as far away as possible from the dangerous man who had broken her heart. She would help him write his father’s memoirs. Dealing with demons, wizards, shape shifters, ghosts and time travel were the last thing on her mind....
Length: Epic Novel
Word Count: 227,459
Genre: Historical/Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Available formats: PDF, RTF, Epub, HTML, Mobipocket (.prc)
© Cover Art by Eliza Black, January 2011
New Concepts Publishing
Lake Park, GA 31636
This is a work of fiction. All characters, events, and places are of the author's imagination and not to be confused with fact. Any resemblance to living persons or events is merely coincidence.
The rising sun was making its first break through the fading night clouds when Jean stopped on the pavement outside number 9 Chelsea Crescent. It was a small house in comparison to the brownstone mansions that stood on either side but it was no less impressive. How could a dancer have that kind of money? Nervous but determined she moved to the door and listened. Jean took a key from her purse, opened the door a crack and listened a while longer. Hearing nothing but the ticking of a wall clock she stepped into still dark entrance way, moved quietly up the stairs and along a short hall until she came to a small, well furnished sitting room.
From where she stood, she could see into the bedroom. A naked woman lay asleep on the bed. Her black skin and the tattoo of red spider wrapped around her thigh created a powerful contrast to the white satin sheets. She sat and waited. As she waited, she steadied her nerves and rehearsed again what she had to say.
One hour passed. The sleeping woman woke, stretched and left the bed. She disappeared from sight. A moment later Jean heard a toilet flush. The female reappeared. She slipped on a robe, picked up a tray with two glasses and an empty bottle of wine and walked into the sitting room.
She was halfway across the room before she spotted the intruder. She gasped, dropped the tray and took a step back, knocking a flower vase off an end table.
"You should be more careful, Iris!" Jean smiled at the startled woman. "You are making a mess of your lovely home."
"How did you get in here?" Iris gasped, pulling her robe closed.
"I had a copy made of the key you gave Daniel. Since you live such a low life style I suggest you have a chain placed on your front door."
"Get out of my home before I call for the police!"
Jean shrugged. "I understand your anger however if you had not ignored my several requests to meet as civilized women I would have not been forced to do this."
"We have nothing to say to each other. Unless you want to tell me why you will not make love with handsome Daniel. He is your husband is he not? Maybe if you were not such a cold bitch he would not need a mistress." She sat, crossed her legs and swung her foot. She sneered as she spoke. Her rather plain face twisted with her anger. "And do not pretend to me that you care about Daniel! You will not divorce him as you said you would do a few months ago, so you stand in the way of his happiness."
"You cannot goad me with insults. However you are correct in one thing; I did not come here to speak with you. I would rather not waste my breath. I am here to give you something." Jean pulled a lavender colored flier from her bag.
The language of Iris's body changed. Her shoulders dropped slightly and her foot stopped swinging.
"Daniel comes to you because you are easy. Any man sometimes falls to weakness and an easy lay. He has told me often that you suit his needs, for now. He has plans to let you fall by the wayside eventually but I do not want to wait for that happy day."
"That is a lie! You will free him and he will marry me!"
"A few weeks back I hired a reputable private inquiry firm to look into your last few years. I was hopeful and quite honestly rather thrilled with the outcome. Daniel may like an occasional easy lay but do you think he will be happy to learn that for years you worked at a Parisian whorehouse. There, you were the most popular and highly in demand whore." Jean opened the flier and held it up for her companion to see. On the upper right hand corner was a printed photograph of Iris, naked from the waist up and lying back on a bed. "This is quite the establishment, isn't it? Very professional! For each of their girls they have what I call a 'menu'. Under your picture is a list of the things you will do with your various body parts, the amount of time that will be available and the cost. You are an expensive whore, Iris Cooper."
"Underneath and what I think is the most interesting is what they titled your 'specialties'. It seems that you are most at home 'entertaining' groups of men and women up to a total of six at one time. You were also available for private 'educational' parties with married couples," Jean smiled. "I have always found the French to be a strange breed. They must be beleaguered with so many sexual problems. How sad!"
"That was not the all I learned. I was not surprised by the fact that you are indeed a whore ... but the Satan worshiping coven and the murdered prostitute! That did open my eyes wide. It is no wonder that you and Lady Raymond had to leave France. You are lucky it is not two hundred years ago. They would have burned you at the stake!"
Iris left her seat, grabbed the flier, tore it to pieces and threw it at Jean. "Get out of my home!"
Jean stood, standing eye to eye with the furious woman. "I have more of those. Did you think I would bring it if I only had one? Stay away from Daniel Talbert!"
"No! I will not! He will not care about my past! He loves me. We will marry!" She narrowed her black eyes. A wide smile spread across her face. "It could be, Jean that you do not know as much about me as you think you do. Maybe you should see me less as Daniels lover and more as a dangerous enemy. Do not let your jealousy cloud what little judgment you have."
"You do not scare me. I will tell Daniel all about you, all of it."
Still smiling, Iris rolled her eyes. "What is the matter Jean? Now that Sebastian is dead are you not getting enough fucking? Does the memory of that foolish man still hold you so tightly in place? Why not give Daniel his rights? I do not mind. He will realize how lucky he is to have me."
Jean nodded. "Do not underestimate how much I care for Daniel. I promised his father I would be certain of his happiness and that is what I will do, at any cost. Do not make it so I have to show you just how far I would go to see to that!" She pushed Iris, sending her falling hard onto the floor.
"I will see you in Hell before I give up on Daniel!" Iris screamed.
"Hell is your destination, not mine." Jean straightened her jacket, glanced in the mirror and left the house.