Read an excerpt from my latest WIP, Lord Lucifer's Little Bride
The Earl of Daneshaw fixed his only son with an arctic eye. "You, sir, are a scapegrace and a wastrel."
Lord Lucian Beaufort yawned and crossed one leg over the other. "So you have told me, Papa, repeatedly."
"And yet you have to still to learn your lesson. This last disgrace is beyond the pale!"
Since the incident the earl referred to included public drunkenness, seducing the wife of the publican whose bar he patronized, the destruction of property, and being taken up by the watch, Lucian could hardly disagree.
"How long what?"
"For how long will you cut off my funds this time?"
His father smiled coldly. "If you don't marry Miss Wincham, your allowance will be stopped until you come of age."
"Papa! That's two years from now."
"But Miss Wincham has a limp," Lucian protested.
"I don't care if she has a harelip. She is the only respectable heiress that I could find to take you off my hands. Besides, you haven't even met her."
"So she's desperate then."
Lucian thought rapidly for a moment. There must be a way to keep his father happy and ensure his independence. Perhaps if this Miss Wincham met him and then refused to wed him, it would buy Lucian a reprieve from the horrifying thought of marriage.
"Very well, sir. You have me at a disadvantage. I will meet with Miss Wincham and attempt to win her hand."
The earl left the window to pour himself a brandy. "How timely. You have an invitation to the Duchess of Cheverell's ball this evening. I am told that Miss Wincham will be in attendance. You can make her acquaintance tonight." He nodded his dismissal and Lucian plunged out of the study without slamming the door, although he longed to. He didn't dare.
Blast the old man, he had planned the whole thing. Lucian was conscious of an unwilling respect. When his father wanted a thing to happen, it usually did. He picked up his hat and jammed it on his head and stormed through the front door as the footman leaped to open it. To the devil with family. He was young and still free and he wanted to celebrate. Pity old Nicky had up and gotten married, though his wife, Jemima, was a lovely thing. His old friend had neither the time nor the inclination to go carousing any more, especially since Jemima was with child. That was to be his own fate, Lucian considered gloomily as he turned his steps towards St. James.
Duke Street was a perfectly respectable address, with the exception of one building which housed an expensive brothel known as The Nursery. Here the wealthy rakes and Corinthians could take their ease with lovely ladies who dressed up as young girls. They wore their hair down and clad themselves in lacy pantalettes, their legs on display in girlish white stockings, their bosoms revealed by transparent chemises and stays. Lucian felt a surge of lust.
"Good evening, Lord Lucian," the butler greeted him as he answered Lucian's knock. "The ladies are in the salon."
Lucian grinned. "Are we having a parade tonight?"
"Indeed, sir. Mrs. Fisher will be so pleased that you have come."
Pleased to see the pound notes in his wallet, Lucian thought with an unusual cynicism. He was usually too intent on his pleasure to have much thought for those that provided it.
Mrs. Fisher glided across the elegantly furnished room, her improbably red hair cut and curled in the latest style. She must have been quite the high flyer in her day.
"Lord Lucian, how pleasant to see you again. My girls have asking after you."
He was not that much of a fool. "Been busy, you know."
"Of course. Please join us, the parade is about to begin and I have the loveliest new girl. Her name is Rose and she is adorable." Mrs. Fisher led the way into the drawing room, where other men of his rank and fortune milled about, drinking the house champagne. She mounted the low stage and welcomed her guests. "Tonight's theme is The Serving Class. Gentlemen, may I present my little maids?"
The girls were all lovely, of course, clad in childish versions of what women in service wore. It was the stuff of many a young boy's fantasy. A dark-haired parlor maid wore a skirt so short he could see the curve of her buttocks. The ample breasts of a woman dressed as a cook and brandishing a rolling pin spilled out of her brief bodice. Another pretty thing, clad as a nanny, wore black stockings, her dress cut so high that her bare pussy peeped between her thighs. Lord, she looked just like his sister's governess, Miss Roper. Lucian spent himself many times alone his bed dreaming of her. Mrs. Fisher was a very clever woman.
Ah, that must be the new girl, Rose. She was blond and pretty with large breasts and a roguish look in her eye. Just the remedy for his current state of mind. Lucian smiled at the girl and she nodded. He grabbed a glass of champagne and tossed it off as he sauntered across the room with a practiced smile.
"You look like a little girl who needs a spanking."
Rose fluttered her eyelashes. "Oh, sir, I really do."
He grinned, not caring that all this was sheer artifice. "Let's go to your room." He squeezed her plump bottom and she moaned obligingly before leading Lucian up the stairs. Another night in Paradise.