17,115 words. 35 pages of prose. I am up by 500 words or so for the week already, which is a relief. I am a little typed out owning to a day where I clocked a million miles on foot, a doctor's appointment, food shopping, cat puke clean-up and cataloging, so I will offer up a little of today's writing:
For long moments, Robin laid on the deep couch of Roseward Lodge’s library, as intimate with every fiber of horsehair padding it as he was wont to be at a quarter past five in the morning.
The sun had not yet risen - it was, after all, a most unfashionable hour for anything – and the sound of the second floor maid cleaning the grate was the first thing to rouse him from half wakefulness. At the moment, she was unaware of the naked nobleman on the yellow silk monstrosity that had ended up at Roseward as a last resort. But it would only be a matter of time before she noticed the path of last night’s destruction: the sparkle of broken glass, the ink that had probably permanently stained the Turkish rug and the downy path of scattered parchment that had given Robin a paper cut he was only now aware of, rubbing his thumb against the growth at his jaw.
He didn’t have to look to know he had been abandoned by the negligible – but warm – weight of his Lady Unknown. The well of possessiveness that the ironic name stirred in him was both shocking and powerful. Last night, one of Permancie’s guests – a gently bred woman of noble birth suitable to the company of the Baron Permancie – had revealed herself to be a houri of the first water. Unabashed by her nudity, curious under his tutelage – for that was what it seemed to be for Robin – merely the beginning of her prospective education under his wing. Although he’d had no intention whatsoever of taking a wife, if Fate saw fit to throw before him a fallen angel, who was he to deny it’s dictates? Surely he would be counted lucky to have found an innocent with all the tricks of a Magdalen.
Robin’s slow smile facing the beamed ceiling had all the qualities of a cat with a canary. Could he have a ring on her finger by this evening? Her father had to be in attendance. He was, after all, the heir to Permancie: handsome and well-connected and £8000 per annum from his mother’s trust. He could have his valet cut a suitable bit of his hair for a ring – with any of the female servants to plait it into a round.
With his mind otherwise involved, Robin had quite forgotten the predicament of his brazen nudity in the Library – a fact brought home to him the moment the first floor maid saw him and shrieked her lungs out. Tearing up and searching for his discarded shirt – somehow finding its way beneath the desk – he threw it over his shoulders while the girl ran off for aid. What succor she thought to find, Robin was quite unsure of. The moment Thomas saw him, entering the room like an angry bull, his anger fled. “Master Robin. Rosie did say that one of Permancie’s gentleman had lain in wait for her, sir.” Thomas blushed as he qualified, “Unclothed.”
“Well, no need to call a search – I was the gentleman so adequately described. Although you can assure Rosie?” Thomas nodded as Robin tried the name, “that I had no designs on her nor did I intend to startle her. I simply lost account of the time.” Thomas undoubtedly took in the shattered tumblers, the contents of the desk now papering the rug, but said nothing.
“Very good, sir.”
“And Thomas?” Robin started, looking about for his pants.
“I would be ever so grateful if my father did not hear of this unfortunate incident. I so rarely come to the Lodge that I would hate to have my invitation rescinded until the time I inherit it.”
“And please let Rosie know I will be vacating the premises in a quarter hour. She can make free to sort the place therein.”
As soon as Thomas made his leave, understanding that he had been dismissed by Trebick, Robin darted towards his pants and the small object that had rolled off his body when he’d stood so suddenly. The pants were a lost cause. There was no way he would be able to get into them without the assistance of his valet. Not for the first time, Robin had wondered at the inconvenience of his own vanities. The object on the other hand was of keen interest. A small ring of milk white jade ran through with a vein of gold. It was far too slender for his hands, even his pinkie finger proved too wide to accommodate the jewelry. He could remember the exotic coolness of the stone on her right hand as her palm had touched his sex, quivering in sympathy with the memory.
Forsaking his pants – his shirt ran to mid thigh, sufficient to wade through the sleeping hallways before finding his own chamber if he was fleet of foot – he collected every stitch of clothing that he had so violently removed before quitting the Library. He had five hours to sleep, bathe and then fit himself for making the acquaintance of Lady Unknown – and then her father, who would undoubtedly be pleased with the match.