Angel’s Seduction-Part Thirty-One

Angel’s Seduction copyright (c) 2006 T.A. Chase

Part Thirty-One:

I curl up in the window seat, staring out at a world I no longer fear being a part of. I’ve come to cherish my time here with Greyson. He has taught me strength and confidence. He’s shown me that not all the people in the world are out to hurt me.

Noises come from the duke’s study. The butler told me he’s still meeting with the man from earlier this morning. I don’t complain. There’s nothing pressing for us to do, though I find myself thinking about our bed upstairs. The door to the drawing room opens.

“Here you are,” Greyson says as he walks in.

I turn to face them and a glass shatters on the floor. The stranger stares at me as if he’s seen a ghost. I’m puzzled since the man had seen me that morning before I left for my ride. He stalks across the room and kneels in front of me.

I don’t flinch as he reaches out to touch my face. I’ve learned that not every outstretched hand is going to do violence to me. I frown at Greyson though.

“Who are you?” The stranger’s voice holds fear and disbelief.

“I’m,” I start to tell him. His voice sounds familiar.

“He’s Lord Williamson’s eldest son.” Greyson comes to stand by me. He rests a hand on my shoulder and squeezes.

“Ah, that would explain it then.” The man pulls his hand away, but remains at my feet. “I got only a glimpse of you this morning and your hat shaded your face. I couldn’t see the resemblance.”

I stare down in to the most unusual green eyes. They are as pale as the duke’s prized jade elephant. They shine up at me and a flicker of a memory comes to me.

“I know you.” This time I’m the one to reach out and touch a cheek.

“How is that possible?” The duke seems uneasy about this revelation.

“I’m surprised you do. You were so young.” A sad smile graces the man’s lips.

“Shade, answer me. How do you know Angel?” Greyson grabs Shade’s arm, forcing him to his feet.

They move to the other side of the room where two chairs are set facing a fireplace. I follow intrigued by this visit from my past. Shade stands, staring at the picture above the mantel. The expression on his face tells us he’s become lost in memories. The duke sits in one of the chairs and I sink to the floor at his feet. It’s my favorite spot unless I’m sitting on his lap.

“Shade, explain how you know each other,” Greyson demands.

Shade doesn’t respond and I wonder if his memories choke him like mine do to me.

“It was during the summer of my tenth year. I was staying with my uncle and his family. I remember a groom with the most unusual green eyes. He was nice to me. Didn’t treat me like a nuisance. I went about my days in complete ignorance. Then one morning, my tutor came to wake me up. We left my uncle’s house within an hour. I never really knew why. I remember my aunt was crying. My uncle and my cousin were fighting and yelling.” I recount those memories without thought.

“Your cousin? I thought your uncle only had one child.” Greyson frowns.

“He does now. I had an older cousin. I walked out of my uncle’s house and at the foot of the steps stood the green-eyed groom. His fists were clenched. Even as a child, I knew he was furious about something, but I sensed fear in him as well. I went home and two weeks later, my father informed me that my cousin was dead.” There hadn’t been any sadness in me. I didn’t know him very well, but it was after his death that my father began my abuse.

“His name was Jonathon and we were lovers. I still remember his laugh. I can still smell him and at times, it’s as if he’s in the room with me.” Shade turns to study me. “You look exactly like him. The night before you left, someone saw us together and told Jonathon’s father. He was furious. Threatening to kill us both for dishonoring the family name.”

Standing, I move to Shade. His pain is visible in his eyes. I can’t imagine what it would be like to hurt that way. I reach out a cautious hand. He can accept it or reject it. He takes it in his and holds tight.

“I was thrown off the estate and threatened with death if I ever tried to see Jonathon again. I did try. I couldn’t leave him to suffer alone. I tried for a week until someone told me he was dead.” He bites his lips to keep from sobbing.

“How did he die?”

I glare at the duke. How could he ask that question when Shade is so upset? Greyson shrugs.

“He killed himself. Slit his wrists and lost too much blood before anyone found him.” Shade slumps forward as if saying that takes all his strength.

I feel the scars at my wrists burn. My uncle had been unable to save his own son, but by saving his nephew, he had kept alive another embarrassment to the family name.

“I must leave.” Shade yanks his hand from mine. “This is too much.”

He nods to Greyson and leaves. Going back to the duke, I curl up on his lap. The safety I always feel engulfs me when his arms wrap around me and pulls me close to him.

“That explains a lot,” he mutters against my ear.

It explains a lot, but there is still much I want to know. I wonder if the mistakes of the past will build a solid enough foundation for my future?

7 Responses “Angel’s Seduction-Part Thirty-One”

  1. Anita says:

    I am getting a chance to get caught up to Angel and I’m glad for it!!!! This is definitely interesting!!! Can’t wait to read the extended version!!! Thanks T.A.!

  2. S. W. Vaughn says:

    Oh, wow!!!

    I was away all day yesterday (sniffle!) and I’m totally thrilled to find this waiting for me. How exciting!

  3. Jenna Howard says:

    Oh my! Intrigue, romance, great sex…this story has it all.

    I am sooo loving the uncle more and more.

    But now I’m on pins and needles as I wait to learn more.

    Hurry T.A. Hurry!!

  4. Sherrill Quinn says:

    Poor uncle. No wonder he’s trying so hard for Angel now. Great job, T.A.!

  5. Celia Kyle says:

    It definitely opens up the readers’ eyes about the uncle and makes me like his character all the more. He wasn’t there for his own son, but he’ll do whatever it takes to be there for his nephew. Everything that’s exposed in this excerpt is just so deeply touching.


  6. T.A.Chase says:


    don’t worry. I’m pretty sure Shade will have his own story. I actually have a couple of ideas rolling around in my head about him. 🙂

    Thanks. It is rather sad, but explains a little more about his uncle, doesn’t it?

  7. Celia Kyle says:

    Wow! Just…wow, is all I can think of right now. That is filled with so much and made me so sad, poor Shade. He needs a story TA, he can’t be left with so much sadness. Please?


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