Here’s another one for everyone! Mostly for my mother-in-law who keeps saying she wants more. That’s good for now…but when it gets to the erotic parts, I’m gonna be in trouble!

When not in the darkness of the library, the Duke still had a presence that filled the room. He towered over all of us, especially the Duchess, who looked so powerless in front of him. His hair was greying, but looked to once be a handsome shade of chestnut, almost like my own. He was well-built with a broad chest and shoulders and could surely endure…at least in his younger years.
“I heard that you were planning a trip to the countryside.” He looked back to the Duchess, catching the glare that she shot in Mouse’s direction. “It would be wise for you to rethink this.”

“And why so?” She asked, her tone no longer that of sweetness and innocence.

“There have been some reports that a sickness has been multiplying through Lady Richelle’s town. Peasants and nobility alike have been falling ill.” The Duke lifted his hand and with a thumb, brushed a tiny speck of filling from the tart off of the Duchess’ lips.

The Duchess nipped at his finger with a girlish giggle. “Nobility too? How very unfortunate.” Taking the Duke’s hand in hers, she lowered it away from her face and settled it on her hip. “But Lady Richelle has not mentioned any such sickness in her missive just a couple of days ago, so I do think we shall be safe.”

Duke Evereux frowned at her stubbornness. “I don’t think you quite get how these sicknesses play out, My Lady.”

“If there was any worry of such a sickness, my friend would have let me know. Do you honestly think that she would put me in any unneeded danger? Me? Her most beloved and dear friend?” She walked away from him and sat back down at the table.

When I looked back to the Duke, he stood rigidly, rubbing the bridge of his nose. “Adaline, do not be ridiculous. They could be sick right now and you wouldn’t know for a few days.”

“I am going.” The Duchess popped another piece of tart into her mouth.

Angrily, the Duke turned away from the room and started back towards the door. When he reached the threshold, he looked back over his shoulder. “You.” He nodded at Mouse. “Come with me.”

Mouse curtsied and hurried off toward the Duke without bothering to look back. The two of them disappeared around the corner and the door attendants shut the doors after them.

Angrily, the Duchess banged her fist down on the table. “That little slut.”

“How disgraceful.” Janae chimed in, reaching for another piece of tart.

The Duchess slapped the older lady maid’s hand and pointed towards the wall. “Get up! As if you are any better with Lord Devon’s cock in your mouth every morning and night.” She slammed a fist down on the table again and all the glasses clattered. “Get up!”

Admonished, Janae rose to her feet and stepped towards the wall so that she didn’t turn her back on the Duchess. Her cheeks burned a bright red which ran down her neck and turned the love bites a darker hue of purple.

“Just get out! All three of you! I will be ready to leave within the hour.” Duchess Evereux pushed back from the table and stormed out of the dining area back to her quarters, leaving Janae to scurry behind her, trying to catch up.

Marianne shook her head as she stepped forward and started to clean off the table. “That woman makes no sense. She tells us to leave and then leaves herself.”

I watched the door, expecting for something else to happen, since so much had already occurred in such a short time. Mostly, I missed Mouse and wondered if she was waiting for the Duke to call for her. Or did she go because she simply had to go?

Absently, I picked the silverware off of the table and deposited them onto the tray that Marianne used to collect the dirty dishes. “What about Mouse? Do we wait for her?”

With a snort, Marianne lifted the tray and started to walk off, glancing over her shoulder, as if expecting me to follow. “If you wait for Mouse, Charlotte, then you will be waiting here all night.” She used her hip to open the door, and waited for me to pass through first. “She will be fine. Now let’s go.”