Thursday, August 18, 2011

Love's Savage Whiplash Chapter 13 - Out of the Mouths of Parrots


In which dark Secrets are Revealed, some True, some Less so, and in which No One is entirely Sure which is which

Colin squinted after his lady love’s luscious posterior as she strode across the deck. He scratched at the stubble on his jaw. This strange journey into the world of pirates had made a man of him, in so many ways. But sometimes his dainty darling seemed to be far ahead of him in that respect. Wasn’t he supposed to be the Lord and Master of all he surveyed? Wasn’t that his god-given right as a Duke? Dukes were one step down from royalty, after all. After Dukes came Marquesses, then Earls, or maybe he had that backwards, but both ranked below Dukes. Viscounts came in last, he was fairly certain. Dukes were at the top of the heat and saucy ninja pirate ship captains didn't even make the list.

It was high time he took a stand.

“See here,” he called after Quinn. He caught the last curvy twitch of her buttocks as she swept down the hatch. So be it. If he had to scurry after her like a footman carrying his mistresses’ hatboxes, he would. So long as he made his point clear.

He dashed down the hatch after her. She was already halfway to their Cabin of Delight. “I demand to know what’s in that mysterious message from the sea. And what you know of Netherloin.”

“Demand?” She whirled around, her eyes blazing like sea glass reflecting the sun’s rays, rendering him momentarily blind. She was splendid. Magnificent. “I’m the captain of this ship. Only I can demand.”

“But sweeting…” Was that a tear he spotted on her brave but trembling cheek?

“And I demand the truth. Colin.”

When she said his name in that tone of voice, it sounded quite criminal. He quickly checked his conscience. Had he done her wrong in some way? Other than the obvious, naturally. But she’d seemed to enjoy that, if her constant cries of “By O-Watanube, that’s-good-don’t-stop-or-I’ll-shove-my-throwing-star-in-a-very-uncomfortable-place-board-me-baby-board-me-hard…” and so forth were any indication.

Or…was it something entirely different from their illicit activities? What was in that missive in the bottle? Where had it come from? If it had mentioned Netherloin, had it mentioned … him? “Hand me that letter.”

“Not until you tell me the truth.” She held it just out of his reach, which seemed impossible considering how much taller he was, but he was becoming used to her strange and magical abilities.

“The truth?”

“The truth!”

“You can’t handle the truth!” He shouted that last bit. She flinched backwards and whirled through the door to their Nest of Paradise. He stormed after her and found himself face to face with the lavendar visage of a squawking Pemberley.

“Truth! Truth!” the bird echoed, clearly taking Quinn’s side. Even his yellow-ringed eyes looked accusing.

“Pemberly, step aside. This is between the lady and me.” Pemberley flapped in the air, a purple blur of fury, before turning up his beak and hopping back to his perch.

“Truth, truth,” he muttered. “Duke. Truth.”

Colin clamped his hands around the bird’s beak. If the truth had to be told, it ought to come from him, not a damn feather-puff. “I’m not really a pirate,” he told Quinn.

Quinn flung herself onto the bed, tossing him a look of scorn. “I’ll endeavor to contain my astonishment.”

“My full name is Colin Darcy, and I’m the Duke of Earl. Our family seat is Netherloin.”

Pemberly made a sound somewhere between a squawk and a snicker. Colin clamped his hand more tightly around his beak. “Not that kind of seat,” he hissed at the bird.

He turned back to Quinn, whose hostile expression hadn’t softened one bit. In fact, she looked positively thunderous now, the way Miss Fitzgerald used to look when Ward had put a spider in her pocket. He blinked. Really, she looked quite like Miss Fitzgerald, now that he thought about it. The fact that he’d mostly witnessed Quinn naked had thrown him off. He’d never seen the governess naked. Not that he hadn’t thought about it. A sudden vision of the two women nude flashed before him. He flung his forearm over his eyes to block it, but it didn’t seem to work. They were still there, taunting him with their sinuous blond beauty, their charms exposed to his avaricious gaze, their breasts, oh Lord their bare breasts …

“There,” he choked. “Now you know everything.”

“You lie,” Quinn hissed. He lowered his arm to peer at her. She was still clothed. And alone. But his relief was shortlived. “Did you think I wouldn’t find out? Did you think simply because we happen to be on a pirate ship in the middle of the ocean, thousands of miles from England, that I wouldn’t discover the truth? Did you forget about the swallows?”

“The swallows?”

“The swallow that carried the bottle with the message from my sister! Your wife!”

The Nook of Passion spun around him. Confusion made him drop his hand from Pemberley’s beak. He barely felt the subsequent angry peck. “I don’t have a sister.”

“Ah ha! So you don’t deny that you have a wife!”

“I do.” But his voice held no conviction, perhaps because her use of the double negative made his head hurt.

“You do have a wife?”

“I don’t have a wife. No, definitely not.” Even though he was thoroughly confused, he was pretty sure he hadn’t married. Hadn’t that been the whole point of taking to the high seas? He hadn’t wanted to marry Chastity.

Quinn bolted to her feet and brandished the letter in her fist. “Are you calling my sister a liar?”

He recoiled in horror. “You’re Chastity’s sister? Lady Feelsgood?”

“Who is this Chastity and how do you know she feels good? First Sidebottom, now Chastity, not to mention my sister. You …. You depraved dupirate, you!”

Colin cast a desperate glance at Pemberley, who suddenly pretended to groom his under-wing area with his beak. The idea of turning the bird into Pemberley soup was suddenly quite appealing.

“I left Netherloin so I wouldn’t have to marry Chastity.”

“So instead you married my own sister!”

“How was I to know you had a sister? I’ve barely just met you.” That didn’t seem to help Quinn’s mood. “In any case, I’m quite sure I’m not married to anyone! I do believe I would know if I were, don’t you agree?”

That logic seemed unassailable to him, but Quinn turned her face aside. Colin couldn’t abide the hurt marring her lovely features. He’d do anything to wipe it away. “If I was married, how could I possibly do the…those naughty, wonderful things we’ve done together?” He took a nervous step forward, checking for the location of her throwing stars. But this line of argument seemed to be working, and no terrifying objects sliced through the air. “How could I delve into your sweet honeypot, how could I pluck your love harp, how could I have…” Words failed him. His voice faltered. “… fallen so deeply in love with you?”

Quinn gave a sob. He took her hands in his.

“Perhaps the swallow is misinformed. Perhaps the ink got a drop of seawater on it. Perhaps the droplet made Colin out of … I don’t know, Gollum. There must be a simple explanation. What does the letter say?”

Quinn shook her head as though to clear it. She took up the letter and read aloud. “My dearest sister Quinn. In the infinitesimally small chance that this might find you, I am overjoyed to share the news that I have become the wife of my dearest beloved Colin Darcy, the Duke of Earl. You will always be welcome at my new home, Netherloin. I can only hope that you too will know this kind of happiness, and that I will someday tenderly embrace you once again. Your loving sister, Julia Fitzgerald Darcy, Duchess of Earl.”

Julia Fitzgerald!! Colin stumbled backwards. Julia and Quinn, sisters! And just moments ago he’d been indulging in a twisted, perverted, glorious fantasy of the two of them twined together, wrapping their long legs about him like nymphs around a maypole…

He flung up his arm, but yet again it had no effect. The sensual images continued to assault him. White flesh, blond hair, pink nipples -- four of them, winking at him, taunting him…

Colin groaned. He had to make it stop. Say something, anything. “Julia’s your sister?”

Quinn slapped him across the cheek. “Your wife.”

“Your sister.”

She slapped him again. “Your wife.”

“Your sister.” “Your wife.” “Your sister.”

And your wife!”

She slapped him one more time, a stinging blow that made his eyes tear up. He grabbed her wrists and pinned them together.

“You don’t understand, Quinn! I know Julia…Miss Fitzgerald. We’re quite good friends, but she’s a governess. Why would I marry a governess? I’m a Duke!”

“Are you saying my sister isn’t good enough for you?” She pulled one hand from his grasp and poised it for another blow.

No more slapping, please. As a man, he couldn’t fight back. Although really, hadn’t he just been observing how ably she’d claimed the manly role? Did he have anything left in this relationship? “No! I’m saying she wouldn’t possess the fortune required to rescue the estate. That’s why I went to sea. I decided to make my own fortune rather than marry Chastity. And destiny brought me to you. If I were to marry anyone, surely it would be you.”

Quinn slumped onto the bed. Her face crumpled as she wailed,“But you can’t! You’re already married!” Pemberley shifted back and forth on his perch. He’d never liked hearing a woman cry. But Colin didn’t mind one bit. Finally, the tables had turned. He could do the masculine thing and comfort his tender darling. He sat next to her on the bed and put an arm around her.

“We’ll just see about that. We’ll go to Netherloin together and get to the bottom of this.”

Pemberley definitely snickered.

“Not that kind of bottom.” Colin hissed, rolling his eyes. Why must his parrot have such a dirty mind?

“But even if we do,” Quinn whispered, “It’s hopeless. You can never marry me.”

“Don’t tell me you’re married!”

“No, no, but … You’re a Duke. I’m a Ninja. It’s impossible.” She wiped a tear from her quivering cheek. Never had he seen her so tender, so … Julia-like. Really, the resemblance was remarkable.

“My love-nugget, Dukes can do anything they like. We’re one step down from royalty, don’t you know. Above Marquesses. Far above Viscounts.”

That seemed to perk her up. He had to admit he found this softer Quinn quite…arousing. As a matter of fact, she wasn’t the only thing perking up. She pushed him back on the bed and took his emboldened shaft in her hands.

“My sweet ducal dangle. My princely prick,” she murmured to his manhood. “My nearly-royal rapier. You’re the only netherloin I could ever need.”

He folded his hands behind his head and let her do as she wished to his lordly lance. A sigh of satisfaction eased from his lips.

Sometimes … it’s deuced good to be Duke.

To be continued...
*****

A Word to you, Our Dear and Gentle Readers: If you enjoyed this small offering, please do us the honor of returning to grace our humble blog with your presence one week hence, when we shall be delighted to bring to you the next installment of our little saga, which is to be entitled, Chapter Fourteen: Divulging the Duke's Deception.

And please partake of our Love’s Savage Contest. Leave a comment here or go to our Facebook page (link in the column on the right) and quote your favorite line from this week’s episode to be entered in a monthly drawing for a giftcard at the bookstore of your choice and a grand finale drawing for a signed e-reader cover.

Cordially,
The Naughty Nine
To read from the beginning: Love's Savage Whiplash Prologue

Read Chapter Twelve

Read Chapter Fourteen

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I somehow forgot to resubscribe when I got my new email and have missed the new story. Thanks Meg for telling me about it at RomCon!
Zina

Maria said...

Another good chapter ladies! I can't wait to see what happens when Quinn and the real Colin go back to Netherloin...lol.....

My favorite sentence this week:

“Truth, truth,” he muttered. “Duke. Truth.”

So glad to see Pemberley back in the story:)

elaing8 said...

LOL
There were a lot of great lines this week.my pick:
How could I delve into your sweet honeypot, how could I pluck your love harp, how could I have…” Words failed him. His voice faltered. “… fallen so deeply in love with you?”

Jean P said...

Another great chapter, was glad to see the parrot back.
I liked his lines.
Pemberley definitely snickered.

“Not that kind of bottom.” Colin hissed, rolling his eyes. Why must his parrot have such a dirty mind?

Sherry said...

Another wonderful chapter.
“I don’t have a wife. No, definitely not.” Even though he was thoroughly confused, he was pretty sure he hadn’t married.

Polly20 said...

Oooh - Colin's in trouble (again)LOL

When she said his name in that tone of voice, it sounded quite criminal. He quickly checked his conscience. Had he done her wrong in some way? Other than the obvious, naturally. But she’d seemed to enjoy that, if her constant cries of “By O-Watanube, that’s-good-don’t-stop-or-I’ll-shove-my-throwing-star-in-a-very-uncomfortable-place-board-me-baby-board-me-hard…” and so forth were any indication.

Ivelisse said...

I so needed that laugh, you guys are so wonderful. My fave was (btw it was hard to pick a fave this week):

“My sweet ducal dangle. My princely prick,” she murmured to his manhood. “My nearly-royal rapier. You’re the only netherloin I could ever need.”

lol