Chapter 8

Vaughn’s smile fell as soon as he left the room and the governess behind.

He had not intended to propose they meet alone that evening, but it was as if something had possessed him to ask.

Though he was loathe to admit it, he had left the Harrington’ estate thoroughly frustrated, days ago. He had been clumsy, letting his guard down with her as they’d argued.

He had found himself wanting, anxious to kiss her again, watching her lips purse and pout sweetly as she’d talked so passionately about literature.

But Charles be damned, he was going to prove that she was no different to the others he had seduced!

As Vaughn elegantly avoided a passing acquaintance or two, he wondered what it was he would actually say to the governess. He hadn’t really thought past getting her alone again and, well… kissing her senseless.

Fifiteen minutes later, he approached the stairs. She was already there, standing by the banister, looking nervous.

“You’re late.”

Vaughn took her hand from her side, raising her fingertips to his lips. The gesture, usually his way of putting a woman at ease, seemed to do the exact opposite to her, as he felt her hand shake slightly.

“My apologies.”

She extracted her hand from his, hastily. He couldn’t help smiling faintly as a bloom of colour lit her cheeks.

“My Lord, I… I must talk with you. Is there some place we might speak privately?”

Her frankness surprised him.

“Of course. Look, there’s a room over there. Let us hope it is unoccupied.”

Thankfully the room was empty.

Well?” Vaughn beckoned. “Come on. You should be used to marching into other men’s libraries by now.”

Estelle shut the door. “That is not funny.”

Vaughn walked over to the plush sofa and leaned back as if he owned it.

“You’ll see the humour some day.”

The governess frowned. “I highly doubt it.”

Silence stretched between them.

Vaughn watched her standing in the candlelight as it draped the room in amber monochrome. Suddenly he was overcome with the urge to just… look at her.

She was certainly not the most beautiful woman he had ever seen, but she had the fine, elegant features which many girls envied. Her figure was a little more slender than he usually liked, though he suspected her legs were—

“Why did you tell me to meet you, my Lord?”

“What is so urgent that you’ve had to invade a man’s personal study?” Vaughn countered. “Again.”

“I…I felt we should discuss—”

“I would have thought that you of all people should know that it is hardly proper to have a private rendezvous with a notorious rake, such as myself.”

He narrowed his eyes when he saw her swallow again. It seemed she was gathering her courage for something. She looked up at him finally, biting her lip in a way that made his pulse kick a beat.

“Please let me talk and say what I must, and then you can make your silly, unhelpful comments until you’re hoarse for all I care.”

Her frustration made him frown.

“There’s no need to get snappy, chick.”

“Well, pardon me for saying so, but I’m afraid there is a great deal to be snappy about!”

Vaughn recalled his plan to coax her into a false engagement. He had not considered any more tactics past getting her into his bed (after which, he was sure, she would not require any more convincing!)

But how in hell he was going to get her there when she was so bloody furious at him?

Perhaps he should try to kiss her again; that usually silenced her for a moment or two….

Estelle frowned, completely unaware of his train of thought.

“My Lord—”

Vaughn.” He corrected, absently, still thinking.

“I would rather not refer to you as if we are friends, my Lord.”

“But we are friends, chick.”

Vaughn leered.

“In fact, some people might say we’re more than just friends…”

Frustrated, Estelle turned from him. “Well then some people are completely raving mad, because we are most certainly not friends!”

He sighed. “Estelle, let’s not—”

“For heaven’s sake, have you no shame, Sir?! Do you not recollect that I just said—”

“No, sweetheart. You just said that you wouldn’t call me by my given name; you made no rules whatsoever about how I am to refer to you.”

“Oh, will you just stop being such an insufferable ass and let me talk!”

The Viscount grinned at her rather festive cursing. “Well? Go on then.”

Estelle pursed her lips.

“Very well! I shall get to the crux of the matter then. The first time we met, I thought you were an arrogant scoundrel.”

Vaughn smirked.

“Always a good start.”

“Unfortunately, I can see that my assertion in that respect was completely right! You are conceited, your behaviour is often inappropriate and crude, your… flattery leaves a lot to be desired, and you… you are entirely untrustworthy, so I ask you—”

“Now just wait a moment, sweetheart. I can understand some of these remarks, indeed, I agree with most of them – but ‘untrustworthy‘? I cannot let that—”

“Oh no. No, no, don’t even attempt to say that I have no reason not to trust you!”

“Oh come on—”

“You’ve taken advantage of me every time we’ve met, Sir! And don’t deny—”

“For heaven’s sake—”

“—that you have absolutely no honourable intent—”

“Will you desist, woman!”

Vaughn snapped at last.

“I am not a child you are scolding!”

He expected an apology, for her to creep away in submission… but the governess just glared at him after recovering from her initial shock, her heated gaze mimicking his own.

“I am fully aware that you are a grown man, my Lord.”

Something in her tone suddenly made his blood heat.

Without consciously willing it to do so, his mind conjured images of her from the night they had kissed on the terrace, her cheeks flushed, her lips swollen and damp from the ardent pressure of his.

“I never took advantage.” Vaughn affirmed.

“But—!”

When?” He demanded.

“When?!”

Estelle mimicked, outraged.

“You… when you kissed me, that’s when! You kissed me four times and I… I don’t even know you!”

“No,” Vaughn said softly, “I didn’t.”

Estelle let out a cry of exasperation.

“Yes, you did! Do not feign such ignorance, Sir!”

“It was only thrice.”

“—you can remember p— …what?

The Viscount smiled slightly. “We only kissed thrice, sweetheart.”

Frowning, the governess opened her mouth, shaking her head, obviously preparing to rebuke his correction.

“I think you’ll find that it most certainly—”

The little squeak of shock she made as his lips found hers almost made him smile, and he held firm as she attempted to struggle. He was gentle, of course, but she didn’t seem too keen on letting him ease her tension.

The stubborn chit.

She made another maddened sound against his lips, her free hand coming up to push at his chest. However, he took the opportunity to pull her closer, his own free arm snaking round her back.

After several minutes, Vaughn pulled back.

Estelle’s head swam, her senses saturated and lethargic.

Vaughn’s grin was wicked; seduction, temptation and sweet sin.

Now we’ve kissed four times.”

And that was when she woke up.

“Eugh! Will you stop being such an intolerable cad!”

“You were the one who seemed so intent on the mathematics, sweetheart,” he laughed, “I simply balanced the sums.”

“What do you want from me?”

The governess looked at him, and Vaughn was rather disheartened to see the unmasked pain in her eyes.

“Is it Marielle? Do you want to make her jealous? Is that it? Do you want something from her? From Lord Harrington?”

Her features hardened suddenly.

“Do you plan to tell everyone about what’s happened between us? To feed the gossipers their daily chunk of meat? Did you want to embarrass me further than you already have?!

Or did you just want a cheap laugh, Vaughn?!”

This sudden rawness gave Vaughn pause. For a moment, he had difficulty remembering what part he was supposed to be playing with the opinionated governess.

“What are you talking about? Do not be ridiculous.”

“Oh, I’m not the one being ridiculous here. What am I supposed to think?! Someone like you taking interest in someone like me?

No, Vaughn. It’s not me being ridiculous. It’s you. For thinking you could get away with it!”

“I don’t know who you think you are,” she continued relentlessly, “…or what you may think you are entitled to, but trust me when I say that it does not give you good enough reason to play games with people as if they are brainless toys!

“I… you have used hundreds of women. You charm them, sleep with them, use them and then throw them away because, although they give you some sordid manipulation of fickle comfort, you know they can never give you what you really want!”

The sound of passing footsteps drifted under the door, echoing crisply into the darkness.

“And what is that?”

Love, Vaughn.

The one thing you long for yet refuse to accept. You would throw a woman’s heart away, simply because if she truly gave it to you, you could not bare to lose it!”

“I can see it in the way you treat every one of them; the smile you fake, the bow you execute perfectly, the way you pretend to be interested in discussions about the weather – it is all an act!

And nobody would ever know, because you never let your guard down, not for an instant!”

“Your eyes never smile, did you know that? They never show anybody anything other than cool indifference because that is all you allow yourself to feel! Some say you are a rogue, Sir. A womaniser, a villain. But I?

I say you are just a coward.”

Even if she had absolutely meant everything she had accused him of, Estelle realised that she had perhaps spoken a little too freely with him.

She waited for his mockery and laughter, his casual comment that made light of the situation.

Instead, he simply looked at her.

Go.

At once, Estelle was tempted to apologise for overspeaking, but her mouth moved wordlessly.

Instead she fled the room, horrifed.

Because, along the edges of his authoritative voice, there had been an undeniable hate.

Apologise?

It was too late for that now.

Far too late.

A/N: Seasons is here! Hurray!

So it took me forever to get this chapter done due to frequent intervals of freezing and crashing. If you pay attention you may notice Estelle and Vaughn dripping because it started raining as soon as I started my game!

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9 responses to “Chapter 8

  • kathleen

    Yay! Another great update! Balancing the maths– lol. That was funny! I didn’t notice they were dripping the first time through! I don’t have seasons yet and haven’t updated to the next patch even, too much work getting my game right again, lol. I’m waiting until I finish the first part of my story so it’s not so tragic if anything does go wrong. I hope your game settles down soon!

    • Becki

      I’m glad you appreciate my (rather appauling) humour, hehe. I hope my game settles too. You were smart not to patch to the update! Are you writing a sims 3 story too? I’d love to read it ~ can you send me a link???

      Oh, and thanks for reading!

      • kathleen

        You’re most welcome! I’m reading a lot of people are still having issues with their games but I’m sure either EA will release a patch or Twallan will fix the worst of it.
        Yes, I’ve got a sims 3 story! It’s here http://futurespresent.wordpress.com/about/ and is basically science fiction meets victorian boarding school story. You find out more about the sci-fi elements as the story progresses. Thank you for your interest! 😀

  • Beth :)

    Wow, amazing update, I love your writing style. Like Kathleen said it was really funny when he ‘balanced the maths’. What’s seasons like? I don’t have it yet 😦 but really good chapter 🙂

  • Becki

    Seasons is pretty good, although I’ve only played about 10 minutes of Spring as of yet; although I’ve been away so long, no doubt you have Seasons yourself, now! I’m happy you enjoyed the chapter – another will be following shortly Xx

  • vampireXheart

    Balancing the maths :p lets be honest, every girl dreams of a bad boy like him. Even if it makes no sense to them.

    I didn’t even notice the dripping though :S You’re writing style is just fabulous too. it really fits in well with the theme of the story well.

  • LilyParker

    Enthralling! On the edge of my seat… 🙂

  • Taina

    Didn’t catch the dripping at all! lol this was good. Too good. I’m almost afraid to go to the next chapter…

  • LilyShadowWriter

    YES!!! After reading your other blog and loving it so much I figured I’d come check this one out and I definitely have not been disappointed. I’ve been reading silently so far, but I had to comment on this chapter–I just LOVED seeing Estelle stand up to that man!

    After all, while there’s a part of me that likes him, there’s no denying that Vaughn has been an ass, and I haven’t been too impressed with how he keeps forcing himself onto Estelle (even if those moments take my breath away, hahaha). Thus, seeing Estelle stand up to him and tell it to him straight made me want to jump right into the story and give her a high five! XD

    I’m intrigued to see where this goes from here 😉

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