Romantica Short Story ~ A Forbidden Love

A Forbidden Love So Passionate They Will Do anything to Save It

A Forbidden Love

   There is nothing more enticing than a forbidden love. Two people so desperate to feel one another in each others arms they'll do anything to feel it just one more time. Drawn to one another by a physical realm that can only be understood by one's heart. So in love that they meet in secret. A hush-hush passionate love kept quiet for fear of discovery.

   Connor Welling and Missy Ashton are pulled together by a physical force that is undeniable. Their eyes met once. Their lips touched just once. And now...their hearts are bound together forever. In one night their lives changed. A love grew between them so strong it tied them to one another for eternity. A love of passion, of desire, of devotion. A love shared that is also forbidden.

   He has vowed to spend  the rest of his life fighting for her love against all that stand between them. She will wait an eternity for him to do so.

A Forbidden Love

Connor Welling & Missy Ashton



~ Chapter 1 ~



With a torch in one hand, he took her hand in his other and pulled her towards the stairs leading down.



"Wait!" she cried. Gazing back to the guards quickly closing in on them, she had but moments

to decide. Nervously clenching her night gown in her hands she squeezed her eyes shut. The pounding of the guards feet were drawing closer. "Missy," she heard him say. Opening her eyes she

gazed down at him with breathless un decidedness. "Where are you taking me?" Missy asked him.


"Somewhere we will not be found, and you will be safe." He held out his hand to her once more. "Please Missy," his tone was deep and commanding. She could see fear in his eyes.

"I see her! This way!" One of the guards shouted.



If she didn't make a decision soon their fates will be sealed. "Conner," she whispered to him and placed her hand in his.



He smiled and said, "I would have taken you anyways. You know that don't you?" He watched her lips curl up in that tender way that had first caught his eye. A shadow of dark gray covered Missy before him. She screamed with surprise. Her hand left his and she was dragged away.

Conner felt his body falling backward and then an excruciating thud to his head. They must have tumbled down two flights of stairs before stopping in a mangled pile. Three of the four guards rose to their feet and the forth lay dead with a broken neck. "Take Lord Welling to his father," one of them said and then spit on Connor's feet. He pulled Connor's head up by his hair. "Ha, he shouldn't be any trouble now."



"And the lady?" one of the others asked.



"Secure her in the dungeon. I will deal with her shortly myself."



The others laughed wickedly. I need to get up. She needs me. He could not even manage to lift his own head up. Fighting the black silence that was coming for him was mute. Connor blacked out.


~ ~ ~



He Found Himself Back at his father's home. A great gathering of friends and family came together to celebrate his older brother Garret’s engagement. He felt like he had not seen everyone in so long, it was odd.



"Connor, you will be next in line my friend," Ben patted him on the back. "It is good to see you again my friend."




"Ah," Connor said shaking his head. "Not any time soon. I am not Garret and have nil desire to marry just yet." He sipped his brandy. "I have heard throughout town you are back on the market."

Ben's lips pinched together. "I have to say Connor; I do not know what I was thinking last season. I mean we are not that advanced in years. So what is the rush?"




Connor lifted his glass to Ben's. "Well for now the heat is off me with Garret’s wedding, but, I assume not for long. Between my father wanting to secure a male heir and my mother insisting someone give her a grandchild before she is too far in years, I'm going to disappear for about five years to the states."


Ben laughed. "Give me a heads-up and I will be sure to join you." The room began to buzz with loud whispers which grabbed Ben's interest. He nudged Connor and pointed to a small group of people standing in the doorway. "Is that not Heath Ashton?"



Connor recognized him well. "The older gentleman beside him is his father." He glanced across the room to try to catch his brother's attention. Garret was already headed towards the door with a smile on his face. Connor watched as his to be wife, Garret's fiancée, joined his side and greeted the group with warm welcomes. He gazed over to his own father in the corner with his mother. He appeared to be occupying himself with a few men in conversation, but could see his father had a watchful eye to the door.



"What is this all about Connor? Your two families hate one another," Ben said.



"Loath one another would be a more correct statement. I can only assume they are here for Garret's wife to be," Connor said.



Ben chuckled. "Theresa, you mean."

"Who?" Connor turned to him.



"Your brother's soon to be wife-your soon to be sister-in-law," Ben said. "You do remember meeting her do you not, Connor?" Ben ended with a chuckle.


"Yes I do. I just can't ever remember her name." Connor observed his brother and Heath leaving the room followed by Heath’s father, John Ashton.


"Pardon me for a moment Ben," Connor said and walked in the direction his father was standing. He placed himself beside him. "Father," he said with a nod as his father glanced his way with a stern face. Connor waited for the right opportunity to excuse them from the group. He noted his father's finger tapping against his glass.


Connor knew he was agitated with the situation, but he also knew his father had to have given his permission for it as well. Garret never crossed his father on any matter.

Connor looked down at Miss Haggerty who at some point in time plopped down next to his mother on the chaise. His poor mother smiled with a wiry smile at Miss Haggerty and then Connor and back to Miss Haggerty. It had not yet been a month since Connor told old round Lady Haggerty to shut it…at the opera…in a singing opera voice as loud as he could, after a bottle of brandy filled his belly. If that was not enough to warrant an unpleasant visit to his mother, he then turned, grabbed Haggerty’s niece and kissed her hard and long. Followed only by an announcement to pluck her innocence like an apple from a tree.




Miss Haggerty rolled her eyes at him, so Connor gave her a little wink.



Beverly, Connor’s mother rose to her feet quickly. “My darling. I believe our son wishes to have a word with you.” The group fell silent.



He starred at his wife then said, “Pardon us gentlemen.” Connor walked with his father out through the French doors closing them behind him once they were out on the balcony.



“I presume this is about Ashton?” He did not give Connor a chance to respond. “Theresa is under the care of John Ashton. Not related in any way of course. But he has offered the Sunny Acer’s estate as dowry and your brother is finalizing the paper work as we speak.”



Connor chuckled. “Why now? I mean you have been trying for years to acquire those fields.”


“It is just business, Connor. He has no use for it and all of the estates surrounding Sunny Acer's are in my possession. I can only assume he came to the conclusion it is but a nuisance to own it.” His father turned to leave.



“Sunny Acres has been fought over for three generations between our two families and then suddenly he has no qualm about releasing it into your hands father?” Connor stood up straight and shook his head at him. “I don’t believe it.”



“You do not have to believe it son. You only have to accept it.” He then walked away.


Connor looked up at the night sky. The moon revealed only half of its self to the night. Every star flicked with a twinkle. 

“Oh, forgive me. I was not aware someone was out here.”

Connor turned upon hearing the woman’s soft sweet voice filled with surprise. The sight of her caught his breath momentarily. Her slender frame glided further out onto the balcony. “I do not mind,” he said. “The balcony is plenty big enough for us to share.” Connor could see she was trying not to give into a smile. He scuffed a line on the stone with his boot and then moved to the other side of the balcony. “That is the line that you are not allowed to cross.”



She pinched her lips together tight. “So this would be my corner over here.” She motioned to her left.



“Well you are not going to get both corners.” She smiled for him. “You do have to share.” Connor said. She let out a giggle at that. He gazed to her hand and noticed no ring upon her finger.



“I can share. I’m good at sharing,” she said and moved to her corner of the balcony. After a moment she gazed up. “Sometimes is looks as if the sky has been sprinkled with glitter.” She pointed up. “Night time is my favorite hours of the day.”



“I find that to be true for myself,” Connor said. He watched her gaze at the moon. “She is only half shy tonight.”


“I’m sorry?”

“Connor walked a little closer towards her. “The moon.”



She glanced back over to her left and leaned out on top of the balcony railing. “Oh, I see. Or you could say she is half daring tonight.”



“Are you a daring woman?” Connor asked with a devilish under tone. “Or are you shy?”



She glanced back at him as he drew even closer to her. “Perhaps both.” She twirled the fringe of her plum colored shawl around her fingers. A gentle breeze blew all the lose locks of hair around her check and chin.



Connor watched her tuck a few pieces of hair behind her ear. “Not at the same time I hope. That would be confusing for everyone around you.” He leaned on the balcony with his elbow. “Although very entertaining I might add.” It was hard for him to tell in the moon light what color her eyes were. Light green or blue he guessed. Her hair was so blond it nearly appeared white in the light.



She was still laughing as she walked over closer to where he stood.

“Ah, I expect that you remember and honor the line please,” Connor pointed down to their feet.


She looked down and drew her hand to her chest. “Oh dear, I nearly did forget about the line. Do forgive me. I do not know where my head has gone.” She gazed up to him with a shy smile. "I believe all this heat on my skin has me losing rational thought." She raised her hand to her check and slowly pulled back the hair that had come lose again. She watched him watch her. "This night air feels as if it is growing heavier and I seem to be having difficulty with coherent reasoning's." Her voice was so sultry she didn't even recognize it. Something about the way he was gazing at her was causing her to grow bold.



Yes, well, I had figured as much. This time I will overlook the matter, but next time…well, I don’t know about next time but,” She laughed hard which made Connor laugh. “Let’s simply say next time there will have to be a reckoning so sorts.”

“A reckoning,” she repeated while still laughing.



“Yes…a…reckoning,” Connor said as he gazed at her. Her beauty is stunning. Blue-her eyes are light blue. God, she looks perfect in every way. Who is she? I bet her name is as beautiful as her big blue eyes.



“My sincere apology. I pledge to respect the line from this day forth,” she said as she gazed up at him again. Your eyes are as dark as the night covering us. So mysterious and yet warm. I feel- He smiled at her breaking her train of thought. “Can I ask you a question?”


“Is it a difficult one?” Connor raised an eyebrow at her. She shook her head no. “You may then, but I retain the option whether or not I feel the need to answer.” She smiled wide at him. “Your smile is contagious.” She covered it with her hand. “This is the shy you, right?”

She removed her hand resting it on her chest. “I told you sometimes I am.”


Connor said softly, “I like the shy you. What else makes you shy?”


She gazed down at her hand now on the balcony. “Blurting out things I shouldn’t.”


Connor tilted his head at that. “Give me an example.”


She giggled. “Do you know Miss Haggerty?”


“A little too well,” Connor said. He was curious to where this was going. Did she know of what he had done?


“Okay, well, about a month ago she was at the opera, as I was with my cousin, and some man shouted for her to shut it, and then said he was going to pluck her niece’s innocents. Well, afterwards she would not stop talking about it. So in a room filled with people I told her it was about time because the woman was turning into a spinster and she might actually enjoy it. I then added it might drive the gloomy witch out of her.”


Connor covered his mouth but could not contain his laughter. She started laughing with him till tears ran down her face. “I think you and I are the only ones to find this funny,” she said to him.


Connor composed himself. “I must tell you something even funnier.”




“The man who shouted those things was me!”


“What? No!” She hit his arm a couple of times as she laughed again. “I received an ear full for that one. My mother is still not speaking to me.”


“My mother did not know what to do with herself. My father on the other hand, well he sent me out to the country for the last month,” Connor said. “She is here you know, Miss Haggerty.”



She gazed up at him and said, “We should both be sure to stop and greet her before we leave this evening.” She shook her head up and down at him nodding yes.


“What?” he asked her with a smile. "My father would surly drive me out of the country."



“We are probably the only two people to ever insult Miss Haggerty. And we both did it within an hour of each other.”



“This is true. And to think, we both end up here, standing together under the half shy-half daring moon, talking about it.” Connor leaned back down on the balcony. “I have to say I’ve never met a woman like you before. I am glad you decided to come out here and share a balcony with me tonight.”

“So am I.” She gazed down at his hand on the balcony. “Please promise me you will go with me to pay our greeting to the old miserable hag.”


He chuckled and said, “Yes I promise. Now what was it you were going to ask me before?”


She giggled softly. “Oh, you are causing my shyness to reappear.”


“After what you just told me.” He teased her. “Hey, not only do we now share a balcony we are forever bonded with Miss Haggerty. You cannot possibly be shy with me now.”


“No, I suppose that’s true.” She paused. “What will you do if I was to cross the line?”


Connor leaned in closer. “That I have not yet decided.”


“Hmm, I see.” She looked out over the night sky. Slowly her foot slipped over the line and bumped his boot. He glanced down and back up at her. She had not moved her eyes from the sky. She slid her hand over the imaginary line of the balcony ledge. Her finger tips grazed his.


He chuckled. “A mire minor offence my lady.” He watched her smile widen. She took a big step and half way crossed the line.


Connor stood behind her and examined the position of her body verses the line. He walked back over to where he had been and said, “Well, now you look like the moon, half and half.”

She threw her head back and giggled. Connor took her in his arms. “Now I have you on my side and you can never go back.”

“I think I like it much better over here,” she said.


Connor kissed her with a tender touch. He felt no need to rush. It was as if he wanted the moment to last forever which was not like him. She ran her hands up into his thick black hair. He pulled her closer. “Oh you are definitely never going back over there,” he said through their kiss.


His hands slid down her back and cupped her bottom. She let out a soft moan and kissed him harder. She pushed him against the railing.



Connor broke the kiss. “This isn’t the shy half is it?”

“Shut up and kiss me,” she said. Connor laughed. He couldn’t help it. She was funny and seductive and demanding.


She slid her hands down and cupped his bottom. She whispered, “Your backside is firm.”


Connor grabbed her waist and said, “Okay...not shy.” He kissed her neck and trailed his tongue down to her shoulder. He heard her take in a deep breath.


“Do I kiss awful? I have never done this before. Would you like to go into the gardens?” she asked him. “I know of a little house in the back of the maze. I use to visit her as a child.”



Connor stopped. “You haven’t and you what?”


“Yes I-

The French doors started to open and Connor flew six feet from her. Heath stood in the doorway.



He pointed to Connor. “You stay away from her, Welling.”


“Welling?” she repeated.


Heath looked at her and said, “Let’s go, Missy.”


“Missy?” Connor repeated.


Heath took her by the hand and started to pull his sister through the doors. She gazed back at Connor and he could see she was as shocked as he was.


Connor stood at the edge of the balcony. The last hours events running through his mind as he tried to make sense of it all. He up towards looked at the doorway and stride towards it. He pulled the doors open and stormed out into the room. "Ashton!" Connor screamed with brutal strength over the crowd below him. He pointed at Heath Ashton at the other end of the room.



Ashton stopped with Missy at his side at the threshold of the door and turned to face Connor.


















~ Chapter 2 ~



Connor felt the fury of a hundred men run threw him. Heath has put his own sister up to this without her knowing it?


Heath flashed him a grin and then turned and left. Upon entering the carriage he looked to Missy. "Did he touch you?"


"No!" Missy replied. She turned away from him and stared out the window into the night. Connor. After all these years. He looks nothing like he use to as a child. The carriage hit a pothole and she felt the jolt. It shook her from the thoughts. Heath was glaring at her and she could feel it. He had no right barging out on the balcony like that. As if I am some child that needs a firm hand on me.


"Do not look at me that way Missy. You should be thanking me instead of squinting at me. If it was Father who had found you." He stopped and just shook his head. "I am no fool Missy. I am a man and I know just what Welling was thinking."


"You can be certain of no such thing Heath! Stop assuming and stay out of my business for once." She crossed her arms and her eyes fell back upon the window. The remainder of the carriage ride home was long. Neither of them said another word to one another.



~ Two days later at the Morton Ball ~



Missy felt Theresa's arm loop through her arm. "Do not tell me you have volunteered to chaperon me this evening Theresa." Missy received a sideways smile from her. "I gave my word I shall be on my best behavior."


"I respectful accepted the request knowing you would keep your promise. Your brother worries about you is all Missy."


She rolled her eyes. "Controlling is what he is Theresa and do not attempt to tell me different, he is my brother after all my dear cousin." Taking in a deep breath she finally said, "I was not aware it was Connor that night Missy." Theresa stopped and looked at her with a warm compassion. "I feel foolish for not recognizing him. If I had I would've never spoken to him. I love my brother and remain loyal to my family. Besides, I am certain he was unaware I was who I am as well."

Theresa began walking to the ball room again. "Oh I know he did not Missy."


Missy paused. "Why? What did he say to you?"


Theresa gazed into her wide pale blue eyes and saw a spark of more than just curiosity in them. She patted her arm lovingly and said, "I was getting the feeling he felt as foolish as you do is all."


Missy knew she was not going to be able to pry any more details out of her. Now was not the time.


Missy heard Heath's voice close by. Theresa squeezed her arm when she saw Garret. Her cousin was so in love with this man. Missy released her arm and gave Theresa a smile when she glanced back at her.


The couple left to the dance area leaving her to stand with Heath. She did her best to ignore him which wasn't hard given he was not much for conversation with her anyways.


"Missy! Missy!" She turned to see her good friend Elly. "I think everyone in the ton is in attendance tonight," Elly said.

"It most certainly feels that way. Elly, you are wearing my favorite dress on you. Pink is your best color." Elly smiles at her. "I am so happy you are back from the country. How was it?"


Elly smiles at her again. "You know I do not care for the country. This is what I love. All the balls and people. I feel out of sorts in the boring country." She gazed over to Missy's bother. "Good evening Heath." He turns slightly and gazes down at her and with a smile.


Missy steps between them and nudges Elly in the opposite direction. Walking away she said, "Do not pay him any of your attention. It would simply be but a waist El." After they had gone a good distance Missy whispered to her, "You are not going to believe what happened to me a few nights ago El."


"Do not keep me in suspense. What is it?"


Missy guides her up the staircase away from eager ears to gossip. "I met someone wonderful three nights ago."


Elly grabbed her arms. "Is he here tonight? Will you introduce us?" She saw her eyes sadden. "What is wrong Missy? Is he married?"

"No nothing like that. He is amazing and funny and so handsome I was melting in his arms when he kissed me?"


"You kissed him!"


"Shh El," Missy whispered. "Yes. After we had such stimulating conversation. I have never felt such a strong connection with another like I had with him. Heath found us on a balcony and dragged me away."


"Oh I see," Elly said. "Perhaps he will call upon you soon and then apologize to-


"No El. That will never happen. I am forbidden to see him and have been for many years now."


Elly tilted her head. "I'm confused."


"It was Connor Welling. Oh El, I did not even know it." Missy knew Elly would be as surprised as she was at the news.


"But how Missy? How did you not know?

"He did not know it was me either El." She gazed down over the increasing crowd. "I guess we have both changed so much these past ten years. El, he looks nothing like he had. He is built and so handsome and charming." Missy gazed back at Elly. "Why are you smiling like that at me?"


"Oh no reason other than you have been only kissed twice in your life and both by the same man. I find it romantic. Your very first kiss with the boy who you had a crush on and now with the man who used to be that boy." Elly sighed. "It is fate Missy."


Missy rolled her eyes. "Really? Fate had me kiss the same person twice and both times fate also had my brother find me and drag me away. That is not fate El. Bad luck is what it is called."


"I do hope he is here tonight Missy. I want to see your future handsome husband," Elly said with a giggle.


"Missy closed her eyes and then said, "I do not know way I talk to you anymore El. That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard you say…Fate.”


 "What did Heath say when he discovered you with Welling?"

Missy turns to gaze out over the crowd. "He was his usual self. Mean, heartless, and angry. You know El. "Missy pauses and bits up her bottom lip. “He did not afford me a chance to explain."


"All of London knows how Heath and Connor feel about each other. You could not of been so surprised Missy. Besides, I happen to cross paths with Heath the other afternoon in the park and he was quite pleasant. He can be somewhat charming you know." Elly glances at Missy. "Oh stop gawking at me that way...he was very pleasant." Her voice trails off to a whisper.


Missy let out a huff and shakes her head at Elly. "If you find him to be so charming than perhaps you should go and seek him out El."


Elly places her hand on her hip and says, "Perhaps I shall do just that!" Elly spins around and leaves for the stairs.


"You can inform him I will be returning home shortly without an escort, thank you!"


Elly pauses and turns back to Missy but said nothing. Missy watches as Elly disappears into the ever growing crowd.





~ Chapter 3 ~



Connor gazed up from across the ball room to see Missy standing at the top of the stairs. She looked radiant in her soft pink gown. Even more so than she had a few nights ago. Perhaps she is looking for me. Maybe she is waiting for someone. A man? No, a friend most likely. He glanced quickly around to see if anyone was watching for her as well. Connor adjusted his collar and straightened his coat. By the time he looked to the balcony again, she was gone. Where did she go?


He spotted Missy heading for the entrance. Connor walked swiftly to catch her before he could no longer see her, but failed. After a few moments he stood in the crowded entry to the grand ball room surrounded by bodies flooding in at him.


Missy made her way down the stairs to the entrance.


"Where are you going Missy?" Theresa asked.


She turned to face her. "I am leaving for home."


"Oh no you are not Miss. You know very well there are a band of robbers that have been holding up carriages the last two weeks," Theresa stated.


"We have an armed guard and the driver. I'm positive I will be perfectly safe." With that said, Missy turned and disappeared into the crowd.




He turned to see Theresa walking in his direction. "Have you just arrived?"


"No I was looking for someone," he answered without eye contact.


Theresa gazed in the direction Connor was. "I think it to be impossible to find anyone in this herd Connor."


He glanced down to her. "Perhaps you are right Terry."


"Terry?" She stared up at him and watched him squirm for a second. "Theresa...Connor."


"I know your name...I just-"


She began laughing at him. Connor did not know what to make of her behavior. Theresa looped her arm through his and said, "Come on Collin."


Connor paused and smiled widely at her. "As you wish Terry."


She led him towards the others in the group. standing in the middle of the room. as he approached his gaze locks with Heath's. Murmurs of voices trailed silent as he joined the circle. Connor refused to be the first to break eye contact with Heath. Go ahead say something. Give me a reason to deck you.


"Good evening Connor...Pardon me," Elly quickly cleared her throat. "Mr. Welling."


"Good evening mam." Connor replied and as he did he noted a flash of anger or maybe frustration spark in Heath's glare at him.


"I suppose you do not recall who I am after all these years," Elly said. Heaths eyes darted to Elly with the way she said it to him and Connor noticed.


Connor looked down at her bright smile. "Little Eli?"


"Yes!" Her smile grew. "You do remember me."


"My apologies, of course I do." out of the corner of his eye he saw Heath's fist tighten slowly. "How could I possible forget such a dazzling smile such as yours, Eli?" Connor knew he may be pushing Heath but did it anyway and leaned in closer to her while gazing at Heath and said, "Honestly your smile is far more striking then I had remembered it to be Eli." She let out a small giggle as Heath's jaw set firm, clenching his teeth.


The conversation within the circle fell back into its own normal rhythm. Connor waiting and watched for any sign of Missy. Finally he could not stand it any longer, he had to know. Leaning down to Elly, he asked, "Do you happen to know where Missy has gone to?"


"She has returned home for the evening Connor," Theresa said rather loudly.


Connor hoped the disappointment of Theresa's words were not displayed across his face. "I see," he said simply.


"Alone," Elly added.


"Connor whipped his head to Elly. His eyebrows pinched down. "Pardon?"


"She left alone," she repeated.


His expression took on a serious state. "Why is she alone?" his words were short and louder then he intended them to be.


"I did attempt to stop her but Missy would not listen to reason Connor," Theresa said.


"I am certain she will be quite fine," Garret added.


Theresa turned to him." A band of thieves is running amuck in this area most likely as we speak and are thugs. Last week Lady Nell was held up and thrown from the carriage as they were moving."


"Yes I was informed she broke her hip," Elly added.


A million things ran through Conner's mind as he listened to the women. How could Heath have allowed this? She is alone. He took a few steps towards Heath landing face to face with him.


Missy gazed out the carriage window into the dark night. Clip clopping of hooves soothed her thoughts from running away. I hate this stretch of road. She slowly closed her eyes. Perhaps this was not such a clever idea riding without more company. Oh you are being silly. I will be home in less than twenty minutes sitting in a wonderful hot bubble bath. The corners of her lips curled up. She could feel the warm blanket of water engulfing her naked body. Missy opened her eyes and realized the carriage was slowing down.


The group looked to Heath. "Are you going to tell me you gave her permission to leave without-"


Heath chuckled aloud. "No one gives Missy permission for anything...the woman does not ask for it." Connor's glare grew hard at him. "It would seem you do not remember her strongest qualities Mr. Welling."

"Oh, I remember enough to know her feelings still hold firm in her opinion of you, her own brother." Conner turned and walked away.

Missy's body jolted off the seat as she heard a warning shot fire by the driver or maybe the guard. Rumblings of men’s' voices flooded around the carriage. She did not dare draw back the curtains fearing to see their faces staring back through the window at her. Missy's hands and legs began to tremble sending a surge of emotion up the rest of her.


More gun fire rang out in the night and a large thud on top of the roof followed. Missy saw the shadow of a man's body fall to the ground outside the window. "Ah," she shrieked. Quickly covering her quivering lips, Missy knew they had heard her.


A soft gentle sound tapped at the window. It was terrible odd soft sound given the violence taking place around it. She felt her body slither up and back against the seat. It would be a matter of moments before the door swung open.


Connor rode hard along the dry dirt road. Every once in a while he would hit silver patches of moon light peeking through the trees lining the rode. The country was dark very dark which was one of the reasons he loved it so much. The blackest of nights never bothered him. He welcomed them to be honest. "Wait...I'm scared of the dark Connor." Her voice rang out in his head. She had always had a fear of it. The memory of her sliding into his hand to hold it tight sent a chill through him. "Missy," he whispered to himself.

The knocking on the carriage window stopped. Missy paused holding her breath. She couldn't bring herself to close her eyes ignoring her fear that was begging her to do so. Suddenly a crashing shatter blew glass all over her body. Missy let out a curdling scream.


"Hey boys, we have a lively one in here." One of the men said. He grabbed Missy by the ankle and pulled her towards the door. "Come on now stop squirming. It won't take long." The others laughed at that.


Missy kicked him hard in the face and he fell back into another man behind him. An arm reached inside the carriage grabbing a handful of her hair. "Little bitch!"


"No!" she screamed louder than before.


Connor heard a faint scream ahead of him somewhere. His heart began race with fear. He kicked the horse hard. "Come boy!" He knew it was Missy. His heart told him it was her.


Missy's body hit the ground. She barely felt it. The man lifted her up slamming her back with force against the carriage not once but twice. Everything started to go out of focus and she felt heavy all of the sudden.

"Oh no. This one is all mine tonight," The man holding his nose came up from behind the other holding her. He was shoved back with the free arm that wasn't holding her up. The man behind him took a swift hard swing and landed his fist right on Missy's cheek.

















~ Chapter 4 ~



"Where do you suppose he went?"


Theresa saw the spark in Elly's eyes and could not help but smile herself at the possibility of it. "I believe Mr. Welling went to fetch something important to him."


Elly giggled rather loud. Her excitement was obvious. "Do you think he will catch up to her?" Elly whispered while gazing out over the group of men in front of them.


"I'm fairly positive he is riding hard enough to do so." Theresa shook her head as her lips curled slightly.


"Could anything be more romantic? I wonder what he will say to her." Elly grabbed Theresa's arm. "Do you think he will just take her in his arms and kiss her without a word spoken first? Like a romance novel when the hero realizes he loves the heroin and chases her down to tell her but when he sees her he can think of nothing else other than taking her into his strong arms."

She heard Elly let out a sigh. Theresa's smile grew. She leaned closer to Elly, "He will if he's smart."  Elly's grip tighten slightly on her arm.




Missy's head slammed into the carriage door handle. Two of the men fought with one another to have first dibs with her, one of which still had her in his grasp. The collar of her dress dug into the back of her neck as he struggled with the stocky man behind him. She reached up and attempted to push away his hand on her chest to free the material.


“This cannot be my fate, not like this,” she murmured


"Hey fellas, take a look at this." Neither of the men heard him. The slender man whistled causing the horses to stir. Both men stopped and swung their heads in his direction. He took a step forward. "It would seem we struck gold tonight." He held up a coin purse that dangled from his finger by the petite string. He waved his arm towards Missy. "Boys may I introduce Lady Missy Ashton." He then took a bow.


The others chuckled at the news. The slender man stepped towards her. "The daughter of marquise Ashton and sister to the famously asinine, Lord Heath Ashton." He came up beside her and gently took up a lock of her hair between his fingers. He gazed at her with amusement. "You my dear a worth far more than just coin." He watched her eyes grow at his words. A grin slithered across his cheeks. "Your brother owes me my life back, but, not before I take my-" His gaze fell to her chest. "Retribution for his greed and...well I suppose it is not your concern."


Missy did not break eye contact with him all the while feeling his finger trace down over her cleavage. She understood her life would end tonight and yet she held no fear of it. Up until this point she had not spoken to any of the men. Somehow with her lips trembling fiercely she managed to lean closer to him and said, "Do what you must but know this, I will not fear you. I will not beg for mercy. I most certainly will not be submissive." Missy then spit in his face.




"Perhaps he is riding up to the carriage as we speak," Elly said softly. "I bet Missy is wondering why the carriage is slowing down or maybe it has already stopped. Connor is most likely knocking on the window this moment!"


Theresa patted Elly's hand still squeezing her arm. "Her first kiss will be magical."


Elly giggled. Theresa looked at her. "What is it?"


"He was her first kiss years ago!"


"That was him?" Theresa asked. "She use to talk about it all the time Elly."


Elly grew quiet just then. "I had teased her about it tonight and I believe that was the reason why she left."


Theresa said, "Well it is only because she still feels so strongly for him El. Do not worry, besides if you had not he would not be chasing her down as we speak."


Elly smiled. "That is true! Oh I can't wait to hear what he said to her. To think about the carriage door opening and she sees him gazing at her with a hungry wanton gaze."


"Elly. A hungry wanton gaze? Are you reading romance novels or writing them El?" Theresa asked with a giggle. She leaned up against Elly and placed the back of her wrist to her forehead resting her head against Elly's. "Oh it is all too romantic El. Please, the room is growing warmer. I feel I may...I may...I may faint," she said with her best whispered dramatic tone.


Elly's laughter drew attention of the men before them.




Missy's body flew through the air at the two men. "Have at it boys," he said as he wiped his face. "She is all yours tonight just don't kill her yet."


One of the men glared up at him as he reached for Missy on the ground. "Where is the fun it that?"


Still wiping his face he walked over to Missy. "I'm sure you will figure out how to amuse yourselves in other ways. Besides I said don't kill her. I never said not to ravage her...did I?" He tossed his handkerchief at Missy's face and winked at her.













~ Chapter 5 ~



Up ahead Connor saw a carriage stopped in the middle of the road.  The dim light of a lantern moved around off to the right around what look like a group of horses. Leading his stead off to the tree line he patted on the large beasts neck to quiet him. He crept silently towards the carriage. The saw Missy thrown to the ground and worse yet, heard the thud she made when her body made contact with the ground. Connor's heart seized. A nauseous numbing sensation flooded his body. Every instinct in him urged him to move forward but his training and common sense channeled him to observe the situation. Two men with her and one is out of view. Connor pulled out a knife from its holster. Take the smallest one out first then the fat one. He lurked closer and as he did he bent down and picked up a large rock.


He watched Missy kick the fat one in the knee and he went down immediately. This made Connor's task easier now. He was relieved up until the fat one got up on his good knee and punched Missy in the stomach. Connor's plan was to throw the rock behind the small guy to distract him but now he could not wait. He silently came up behind the small one and yelled, "Hey!" His deep loud bellowing generated the reaction he needed.



Garret laughed at the two women across from him. "Are you ladies amusing yourselves?" Their giggles trailed off. "I take it your company is not as entertaining as much as you desire it to be." He walked closer closing the gap between them. "Do I dare ask what is so funny?"


Theresa and Elly glance to one another. "Theresa, shall we share our thoughts on romantic ideas with your fiancé?" Elly asked.


Theresa watched Garret's eyebrows rise. "Darling, it is probably best if you don't." A smirk formed on his face.


"Connor is obviously the romantic in the family," Elly whispered to Theresa.




Connor made contact with the rock in his hand and the small man's head, knocking him out instantly. The fat man struggled to get to his feet from over Missy's body. She rolled out from under him and began to crawl towards the carriage.



The gleam from the shiny knife in the moon light hit the man in his eyes blinding him momentarily. Connor ran up to him. "You spineless fuc-" The end of that sentence was muted out by Connor's foot slamming into the underside of the fat man's jaw, sending him flying backwards.


"Ahh," Missy screamed out.


Connor whipped around. She dangled on her tiptoes as a tall man dressed in all black held her by the throat. Analyzing the man's position on Missy, Connor knew he was prepared to snap her neck.


"You sir a ruining a good time with my friends and I. Who are you?" The man asked.


"I was riding home and saw the carriage pulled over." Connor took a step forward. "Please take what you need and leave. I give you my word I saw nothing here and neither did the lady."


"Hahaha." He tightened his grip around her neck. "I have what I need right here." He slowly touched his lips to Missy's cheek all the while still starring at Connor. "Don't I...Miss Ashton?"

Connor's heart rate slowed and he realized it was Missy the man wanted. He wasn't going to kill her which was a relief to him for now. What the bloody hell does he want with her? His eyes feel to Missy. She held no fear in them. "Are you all right Miss Ashton?" He was careful not to lead on that he knew her.


"She is perfectly fine, aren't ya love?" The man said. Missy said nothing. He took a hold of her hair a yanked her head back. Connor leapt towards them. The man held out his hand and pointed his finger at Connor. "I am certain you do not won't to be the reason for her death do you?" He chucked deeply.


Missy felt the vibration of it seep in through her back and find its way to her chest causing her heart to race. The essence of evil within him engulfed her. She held Connor's gaze. He had to of seen the pleading in her eyes.


"I thought not." He said as he saw Connor freeze in place. "Drop the knife in your hand and walk around to the other side of the wagon, slowly." The man kept his distance from Connor while carrying Missy with him. "Now face the Carriage and put your hands on it palms down.


 Connor did as he was told after sliding the guard’s lifeless leg off to the side out of his way. "If it is money you want I can get you it. We can just leave the lady here and you can follow me to my estate. I will give you whatever you desire there."


As Garret walked away with Heath to get them some drinks, Elly turned to Theresa. "I know Missy still cares for him."


"I believe so as well. Garret and I went for a walk yesterday afternoon and we came up upon a tree with an engraving in the bark."


"What did it say?" Elly asked.


Theresa smiled. "Connor and Missy. I questioned Garret about it and he said Connor had carved it a year after they were separated by the families."


Elly placed her hands over her heart. "Oh Theresa, I do hope Missy will listen to her heart and not her stubborn thinking this time. She has always blamed Connor for trying harder when it came to his father."


"I remember that," Theresa said. "When we were at the tree, Garret reached his arm into a big hole inside the trunk of the tree and pulled out a small wooden box. Inside it was a blue faded ribbon and a ring."


"What? It is Missy's right?" Elly's eyes were growing teary.

Theresa shook her head yes. "Can you imagine all these years still holding a love for someone in that way? Garret said he knows Connor still comes back to the tree from time to time." Theresa grew quiet for a moment.


"What is it Theresa?"


"Garret told me Connor was a mess for a long time after the families tore them apart. He said Connor would leave the house every night a few hours after diner. One night he followed him. Guess where he went Elly."


Elly could not contain her emotions for the two of them and the love they still held. Tears seeped down her cheeks.


"He watched Connor for about an hour sit under Missy's window and stare up at it. Garret said he did this almost every night for a long time and then it slowly tapered off to just once a week and then about three years ago he stopped," Theresa said and then looped her arm threw Elly's. "How about some fresh air?"




"I don't you I have what I need right here. Why do I have the feeling you are acquainted with the Lady Ashton?" The man paused for an answer. "I'm sorry....what is your name?"


Connor thought about lying but was taught to stay as close to the truth in these situations as possible. "I am Connor Welling. Really I am nobody of any importance. May I ask why Lady Ashton is of value to you?"


"No you may not! Do you know her Welling?" The man asked rather loudly.


"Are families known to one another and yes I knew her when we were young." Connor said it like it held no meaning to him.


"Aha I see now." The man said. He pulled up Missy's chin towards him. "Do you remember the gallant Mr. Welling Missy?" He then chuckled slowly. "I wonder if he would like to come with us to meet your fate? I would much prefer your brother but-" He glared over at Connor 12 feet from them. "I think Mr. Welling will do."


"Where might that be?" Connor asked.

The man smiled with a wide grin. "I do believe you Mr. Welling may be surprised, in fact, I am positive you will be."



The fresh breeze on Elly's face soothed her overly wound up emotions. She leaned on the balcony railing and gazed up at the stars. "Missy wears a locket around her neck that she has never removed."


"It was given to her by Connor a week before they were forbidden to see one another," Theresa said softly.


"She has never allowed me to open it. I wonder what is in it." Elly said.


Theresa gazed over to Elly and said, "Perhaps she will show us someday."




Connor turned to the man and said, "I will go."


Missy struggled in the man's arms. "He has nothing to do with this. Just make him leave so we can get on with this." She gazed at Connor and locked eyes with him.

"I am not scared to die. My life, the one I wanted, was taken from me years ago. Since then it has been meaningless."


Connor froze. He held her gaze. His heart beat with a painful surge of joy and fear.


The man pulled on her dress ripping off the top buttons at her collar. "How touching Lady Ashton but really I don't give a shit." She pushed against him causing her dress to tear more.


Connor saw the gold reflection of her locket against her skin. After a moment he shouted ,"God! Will you just shut up Ashton. You were always running at the mouth. I can see you haven't changed much."








~ Chapter 6 ~



Missy let out something that sounded like a titch. "I wish you weren't here," she said.


Connor took his hands off the carriage and pointed at Missy. "You and your brother are nothing but users and spoiled brats!" He threw his hands up and pinched his hair. "God why did I stop? Once I knew it was you I should have turned around."


The man holding Missy by the throat stated laughing.


"Well I'm glad you find this funny Mr. because she would be the last person on earth I would willingly fore fit my life for." Connor shouted. He mumbled loudly, "It doesn't pay to be the nice guy with these Astons'."


Missy narrowed her eyes at Connor. "Go to hell! If my brother finds out you are involved in this Welling, he will have your head. You are the most des-"


Connor walked forward towards her a few steps. "I swear one more word you little chit and I will strike you and fill a lifelong desire!"


"You bastard I dare you!" She struggled against the man to get to Connor. "Your family is nothing but a joke throughout London."


Connor strode forward and grabbed her out of the man's arms so fast it shocked Missy as well as the man. Missy yelped from the force of his strength. He place his hand behind her head and slammed her body against the carriage. Missy winced as she let out a small sound of pain. He grasped her chin. "Forgive me," he whispered.


Missy gazed up into his eyes and he watched the tears stream down her face. She slapped him straight across the face with force. Connor stumbled back a step. He put one hand around her throat and placed his mouth next to her cheek and kissed it softly. "I won't let him hurt you."


Missy felt his body lean firmly against her body. His warm breath whispered to her, "God I do not want to do this."


She gazed up at him and he saw the most desperate plea for him to help in her eyes. "I'm sorry Missy. Close your eyes for me." Her gaze turned to confusion and as it did he raised his fist at her. The last thing Connor saw was an understanding fear in her eyes as she slowly closed them for him.


A solid mass of bone and muscle made contact with her cheek. Her body fell limp in his arms. Connor squeezed his closed his eyes. It was the only way to save her. Biting up his bottom lip, he raised his fist again at her lifeless body in his arm.


"Hey. Hey! You can't kill her yet. I need the bitch alive for a day or two." He took hold of Connor's arm closest to him. Connor did not release his grip.


Connor felt the chill of cool metal at his throat. He slowly turned his head and glared at the man. He wanted nothing more than to take his life. "What do you need her for?" he spat out at the man.


"Release her now," the man ordered.


Connor loosened his grip and Missy fell to the ground at his feet. "She is not worth it" He turned to walk away and mumbled, "Her father is the one I want vengeance with."


"Stop!" the man shouted. He watched Connor pause. "I can give that to you." Connor turned towards him. The man continued. "Her brother will come for her because his father will force him to, and when he does, we will be awaiting his arrival."


Connor pinched his lips in a line across his face and then said, "That does not give me vengeance on Lord Ashton."


The man smiled. "Ah but it does my friend. You see...they will both die a retched death and he will live. What better vengeance can one have leaving a man childless because of his own wrong doing."


Connor walked towards the man with caution. "You mentioned I would be surprised where she was to be taken."


The man pulled out a pistol. "Yes I did didn't I." He placed his knife back to its place at his hip. "Your father was the one who sent me, Mr. Welling." The man chuckled at him. "Do not be so shock, Welling. Your father is far from a saint. It would seem you two carry a common desire for punishment on the same man."


Connor laughed. "It is about time the old man took revenge for what was done to our family." He laughed again making an effort to sound pleased by the thought. The man motioned to the men on the ground. "These two idiots knew nothing of what I was truly looking for, and by the way I need to thank you. I do believe you have saved me the effort of disposing of them."




Elly giggled. "I had always wished for Mr. Welling to tell her he loved her after all this time. I mean, it was obvious they loved one another all those years ago. Missy did not leave her house for a full year after they were forbidden to love one another. She sat in her room on the balcony starring up at the sky all the time. Day and night for a full year."


"I am positive she must have felt as if a loved one had died El. I cannot imagine ever being separated from my Garret." Theresa turned to her with a big smile. "Oh my this night is turning out to be an exciting one."


"Yes but we are the only two who know of it," Elly stated. They turned to one another and began giggling. "I see a marriage in the future Theresa."


"Perhaps we should not get ahead of ourselves El. We still do not know if she has admitted her love for him yet," Theresa said.


"I bet you she is in his arms kissing right now, " Elly said.





Connor walked over to Missy on the ground. He picked her up and threw her over his shoulder. "The carriage is damaged. We will have to ride horse back." He glanced at the man and eyed him up and down. "I'll take her with me."


The man grinned. "And I shall ride behind you with my friend." He waved the pistol up in the air. "No offence of course," he added.


Connor chuckled. "If you feel more of a man with it, by all means then." He walked away to his horse down the tree line. If I try to run he will not hesitate to shoot me in the back. Out running him with Missy in this condition is out of the question. I have no choice but to go to where ever has planned to take her. He placed Missy over the horse's saddle and climbed up. Connor nestled her body between his arms. Her head rest in the crock of his neck. I can't believe my father has done this. Why?


An hour later riding up and over a ridge, Connor saw the peaks of shadows cast from an old castle in the midnight moon light. "Devils Tower, " he whispered. A name he and his brother Garret called it as children. Shadow Hill Castle was it's given name.










~ Chapter 7 ~



Connor's horse started to stir at the edge of the woods lining the castle grounds. "Easy boy," he said in a hushed tone. His eyes scanned the grim landscape all around them. "Where are you?" he whispered.


"If it is the the beasts of the night that draws your concern the torches keep them at bay Welling," The man shouted from behind him.


The chuckling of the man's laugh crept up Connor's back. In his mind he did not trust this man to not turn into one of these so called beasts and lunge for the back of his neck. The draw bridge came into view and Connor felt as if he was a lad again. The scale of the castle was still as he had remembered and tried so many nights to push away.


Connor steered his stead into the gated courtyard and dismounted with Missy in his arms. The man approached him with a sudden slight limp. Something he has not had before back at the carriage.


"I will send word to your father you are here and willing to aid him in his endeavors. I am sure he will be pleased as punch by the news." He flashed an evil smirk towards Connor.


"Is there a problem Sir?" Connor asked as he threw Missy over his shoulder.


Again showing his vile insides, the man laughed.


"When do you expect my father's return? I would much prefer to speak with him personally on the matter," Connor said.


"Return?" he stated. "He has made no appearance nor has plans to. This would be the cause for my presence." He stepped forward and leaned into Connor. "Do not mistake this for an innovation to procure a place as commander. I will not take kindly to the notion of it."


Connor leaned in yet closer to the man. Glared into his hollow black eyes. "I do not possess nor desire to, but, I will not be treated as a commoner in my own home." He looked the man up and down briefly. "Do we now have an understanding between who desires what and who does not?"


The man leaned back as a deep bellowing laugh emerged form a place Connor did not like. "I like you Welling." He turned and walked to his horse. "I want her in the tower if you could be so kind to secure this and...I need someone inside the chambers with her. I would ask you but-"


"And why not the dungeon. I would think it to be far more secure," Connor said.


"I know it to be easily accessible from the outside world. In the tower there is merely one way in and one way out," he said stepping into the stirrups.


"I see," Connor said. He is obviously no fool. Damn it! "You have clearly thought out everything Sir and I respect that. I will question you no further." Connor turned from him heading to the two story double doors.


"Good. Then I shall get no argument from you upon my request you secure her in the tower chamber with yourself locked inside as well," The man shouted turning his stead around. "I will return in three nights."


 He kicked the stead hard. Connor watched him blaze a dusty trail to the forest. Making his way into the castle he made himself known giving orders for wine, water, rags, clothes, and food. Connor headed for the tower in the back of the castle. Nothing had changed in the past twenty years. It emulated a cold presence still leaving Connor uneasy.


The staircase was a narrow spiral tunnel of gray stone. Impossible to make out what was around the corner the entire length up, which was 96 steps. He was already exhausted from the night’s events and now he had to not only carry himself up the long many flights but Missy as well.


Twenty minutes later he reached the corridor at the top. A narrow hall wound its way through two floors in the tower. He strode towards the second floor. Upon making it to the wood door, Connor laid his head to the chilled wood. How the hell am I going to get us out of this? I wish he would have placed us in the dungeon.


After a brief moment he unlatched the lock pushing it open. The room was surprisingly somewhat warm. A few candles lit the area where a large table sat. Connor quickly found the bed and nearly dropped Missy in it. His body followed her down. His elbows caught his body from crashing into her. He allowed his head to rest above her shoulder.


The door rushed open causing a creaking to echo wretchedly throughout the chamber. Connor flew up and to his feet.

A guard placed a tray and basket on the table. Connor glared at him with fierce rage. Partly from the man's ignorance and the other part fear.


"Do not ever contemplate of barging in this chamber again unless you no longer value air to breath." The man stood stunned at Connor's sudden outburst. He winced as he saw Connor draw near to him. "Do you understand me?"


"Y-yes Sir."


Connor gazed over the table taking stock of all he requested. "I need two maids sent up here." He opened the basket and pulled out some bread. Biting off a chunk he glared back at the man. With a mouth full of food he spat out, "What the hell are you waiting for!"


"Well Sir, Velture does not allow woman at the castle."


Velture? That has to be the man with the evil laugh. He looked over to Missy in the bed. There is no way I will allow any man to tend to her. Shit! Connor turned his back to the man. "You may leave now. Do tell the other idiots that at no point in time is anyone allowed in this room unless called upon by me."


He heard the door close at his back. Connor let his chin fall to his chest. After a long moment he reached out and took one of the bottles of wine and opened it. He thumbed through the basket. No glasses? Inbred fools most likely don't even use glasses. He chugged down a good portion of the wine rather quickly. He glanced over to Missy laying perfectly still. The bottle found his lips once more. Completely out cold as I would like to be at this moment. Oh God Missy, I now have to decloth you, sponge you down, and all the while be a perfect gentlemen about it. Could anything be more torturous? Of the long and endless list that was so very graciously provided to me by your brother, this one was not on the list, but I would definitely consider this to be forbidden. He finished off the wine and grabbed the supplies from the table along with the other bottle of wine.



Connor stood at the bed beside and popped open the second bottle of wine. "I much prefer a strong scotch but this will suffice." He swigged it back. "An impossible torturous task at times needs a little aid. And this will either help or hinder it. We will soon find out."


He could not bring himself to place the wine bottle to the table beside him. It seemed to be glued to his lips with no hope of remaining full. The liquid courage found its way to his belly.


Finally he set the half full bottle down. He studied the quietness of her for a moment. He sat down on the edge of the bed and reached over to the buttons of her dress, well what was left of them. His hands trembled before him. Connor drew in a deep breath as he pulled away the material covering her breasts. "Oh it's hindering." He closed the material back over her bare chest. "I shall start at your feet."


He chuckled to himself softly. He crawled down the side of the bed to her shoes only after removing his boots, coat, and unbuttoning the first four buttons on his own shirt. "This is nothing short of insanity. I have thought about this moment for the last eighteen years since we were young and this is the big reveal. You out cold and me half-drunk having to undress you all the while wanting nothing more than to ravish your body in any way possible."


He sat with his back to her and took the foot closet to him. Unlacing her shoe, he removed it and then the other. He examined her small narrow foot in his hand. The pale color of her skin stood out against his tan large hands. His erection from earlier started to make its self-known again. Connor shook his head. "Are you kidding me? Apparently I find your feet to be quit fetching and sensual."


His thumb rubbed over the top of her foot softly. After a moment he whispered, "I have never desired a woman as I do you Missy."

Connor turned pulling her legs apart and hovered over her body on his knees. "I'm going to make this part quick. My plan is to disrobe you from the bottom layer out and by the time I get to the outer layer, being your dress, I can cover your body with a very thick blanket and I will not see a thing."


He ran his hands up along her outer thighs beneath her heavy dress and then paused upon reaching the top. "Ah Missy, where on earth are your undergarments?" Thinking they might have somehow bunched up at her waist he pushed his fingertips up to the waistline of her dress. "Oh where the bloody hell are they?" His plan to safely keep his hands to her outer thighs of relatively what he deemed to be the safe area, was no longer possible.


Connor let his hands rest on her warm moist skin at her hips. Knowing he was now going to have to pull up her dress, he gazed up to her restful face and said, "If I pull back your dress and find not one stitch of clothing under here I will...well, I don't know what I'll do but I am going to do something."


Connor then took a deep breath and slowly, very slowly, pushed up her dress gazing at every inch of bare skin her dress exposed to his greedy eyes.




~ Chapter 8 ~



The mass amounts of wine had finally steadied his trembling hands until this moment. His desire for her throbbed with painful longing at this point. "Remember you are a gentleman." He murmured repeatedly the further up her dress went.


Delicate soft blond swirls of hair peaked out from beneath the hem of her dress. Connors eyes closed. A moral battle was taking place within him. He felt dirty and aroused at the same time. This was a task that needed to be done and yet he wished she was awake for it.


He let the material fall from his hands. Reaching out he took hold of the wine bottle on the bedside table. After taking a few swigs he gazed back down to her side and noticed a blood stain on her dress that had soaked through to the bed cover.


"Is this her blood?" Connor reached over and touched the deep red spot on her side. It was wet and as he made contact with it his finger sank into her side. "Why is she bleeding? My God was she shot?"

Fierce panic rushed through him. Connor jumped up on top of her body and straddled her. Taking hold of the open material at her chest he ripped the dress open to her waist. Finding his pocket knife at his side, he used it to cut away the material at her waist until the dress came free from her body.


"She was stabbed." He stuck his finger in the wound to gage how deep it went. His finger stopped at the first knuckle. Breathing a sigh of relief he said, "Manageable." The wound was very small and required no stitches. Connor found the water and rags at the table by the door. Her body lay exposed behind him and despite the fact she is wounded, he could not help but want to turn to her and ravish every inch of her body.


Connor turned with supplies in hand. Keep your eyes to her face. No sooner he said it, they darted down between her legs. Damn it! Standing at the end of the bed his eyes still remained where they had landed. Beautiful pink soft heaven.


He crawled up the 4 foot high bed to her feet. Rags in one hand and a bottle of water in the other, he ever so slowly and I might point out purposely moved up hovering her body on his hands and knees.


Again an honest attempt to keep his eyes on her face was made. The key word being was. Connor approaching her upper thighs and made the mistake of gazing down. He paused. He stared. He licked his lips.

"Hidden within your luscious folds is my deepest desire for pleasure." Connor moved on and tended to her wound.


Missy's eyes fluttered open to see a strange room. Where am I? Her heart leaped as she realized she was not alone in the bed. The weight of a man's arm hugged her across her ribcage. Slowly she turned her head to gaze at the man's face buried between her shoulder and a pillow. Oh dear God. She snapped her head forward and bit up her lips. Missy pinched her eye brows together as she looked down the length of her body. Oh dear God I'm naked!


Taking hold of the covers she jumped out of the bed not realizing it was four feet up. Landing on the floor with a thud, her covers did not follow her down.


Missy jumped up and locked eyes with Connor who was now sitting up.


"Oh!" She panicked and turned around making a full circle. "No no no! Don't look." She reached out and grabbed the covers yanking at them. They did not budge as they were wrapped around Connor's half naked body. Missy squatted down next to the bed.






"Do you need the covers?"




Missy listened to his soft chuckle as a sheet landed on her head. Quickly she wrapped herself in it and stood up.


Connor rolled out of bed on his side. "I need to remo-"


"I would like to know where my dress is," she stated.


Connor looked around at his feet. "I do not remember where I threw it."


"You better find it Welling," she spat.


Connor ran his hand threw his hair. "It is damaged Missy. I will have to fetch you another one."

"Damaged? I do not understand why it would be?" she said.


"I ripped it off of you last night. I was trying to remove it without causing any damage but then-"


"You saw me naked!" Missy shouted.


"Well I-I." Connor let out a sigh. "Look we have a past and it is nothing I haven't seen before."


"That was years ago and my breasts do not look the same," Missy said.


"I know. They are much bigger then I remember." Connor's voice trailed off at the end. He turned from her and winced as he shut his eyes. That's right just keep talking. What the hell is wrong with me?


"Who do you think you are Welling?" Missy yelled.


He turned back to her and said, "The man who saved your life twice last night! That is who I am and by the way, you're welcome."







~ Chapter 9 ~



Missy could feel his frustration as his gaze burned through her. "Twice?" she asked softly. The firm grip she had on the sheet softened and her eyes dropped to the floor.


Connor glanced over the length of her body slowly. He pointed to her midsection and said, "You are wounded on your left side. This was the reason your dress was damaged. When I realized you were bleeding, I-I ripped it off you."



Ripped it off? With her right hand she held the sheet tightly across her chest and peeled back the outer layer of the sheet with her left hand. Is it under my breast because I do not see a thing other than a strip of cloth running around me? Missy pulled her breast up and unknowingly exposed herself.



"It is further up," Connor said. He stared at Missy's nipple peeking out at the top of the sheet. The more she moved the more the sheet inched down. Her nipple was erect and rest between her thumb and finger. He imagined her dropping the sheet and cupping her breasts, teasing him wickedly. Turn around. Don't stare, it is only going to make it worse. God, my cock has never throbbed with this much pain in less than twenty-four hours before.


"Connor I do not see it," she said.


He walked over to her and took her by the hand leading Missy over to a full length mirror. Standing closely behind her, Connor slowly pulled back the sheet, exposing half her naked body. "You were at some point last night stabbed here."


She watches his fingers trace over the bandages at her side. His breath tickled the back of her neck and skimmed over and down her shoulder. His thumb brushed up and down  her side as they both watched his fingers in the mirror. Her gazed darted up to his reflection.


He felt a slight tremble ripple through her. Stepping closer he almost closed the distance between them. "I was terrified when I saw you bleeding." Her eyes widened. "In an insistent everything flashed before me." Connor moved his other hand to her waist. "Your smile. Your laugh. The sound of your voice. The way you say my name." He leaned down to her ear. "The way I feel for you." He gazed to her eyes in the mirror and saw a glossy sheen cover them. "I knew at that moment," Connor kissed her neck softly, "I could not lose you, Missy." He watched her eyes close and tears fell down over her cheeks.

Her heart was pounding. Her knees grew weak. His kiss deepens on her neck. "Connor." She whispered allowing her head to fall back against his shoulder.


He reached for Missy's hand holding the sheet and pulled it away from her body. "I died every day we were apart." He pulled Missy's chin up to him and kissed her gently.


Missy felt the sheet slide out of her hand and puddle at her feet. Connor drew her body closer against him sliding his arms around her waist. The softness of her skin under his hand was hot. So many years he has dreamt about this moment. Fantasizing so many nights about her in his arms as he stood beneath her balcony window, watching her grieve over what he was not strong enough to fight for.


He broke their kiss and let his lips trail down her neck to her shoulder. He held her so close fearing if he let go she may be gone. "Forgive me," he whispered against her skin.


Connor held his head down on her shoulder. He wouldn't look at her. Missy turned in his arms and cupped his cheek in her hand. She ran her thumb over his lips as she gazed into his eyes. "We were so young. There is nothing to forgive Connor," she said and then kissed them with all the passion she carried for him.

He deepens the kiss. The passionate explosion of a desire that was never filled between them now burned out of control. A lustful desire laced with unfulfilled passion and love engulfed them as they stood in each other's arms. With every second that passed it grew with the fierce intent of becoming everything and more that they held back from for so many years.


Connor paused as he heard the click of the door latch behind him.




~ Chapter 10 ~



Missy had not yet noticed Connor's pause. Opening her eyes her gaze locked with a guards in the mirror and as it did Connor covered her naked body with the sheet that had been laying at her feet.


Connor strode towards the door grabbing the gown from his hand and shoved the young man out of the door. After waiting a few moments he was not yet ready to turn around. With the gown in his hands he clenched it tight within his fingers and closed his eyes. Connor's breathing was still slightly labored and his erection was painfully hard.


A light gentle touch on his shoulder stilled his body as his mind went blank. "Connor," Her voice was a soft whisper. Missy reached around and took the gown from his hands. Without a word she let her fingertips trail across his hand along his arm and drift off away from his body.


He turned to face her seeing the sheet slid from her body as she walked towards the bench at the end of the bed. With her back still to him she let go of the sheet. Connor's gaze followed it to the floor. She was not more than twelve steps from him. Connor's eyes slowly ascended up the length of Missy's uncovered body. Watching her raise the night gown above her head and begin to slide it on, he desperately wanted to scream out stop.


Bloody hell just walk over to her. Standing here like a fool watching heaven disappear under a cloth.


Missy turned to him and to her surprise set see upon only his broad bare shoulders. Disappointment and frustration welled up inside her. He stood with his hands on his hips with his head hung down.


"Connor?" Her hands were squeezing the material at her sides. She gazed at his tanned skin as it glistened in the morning sunlight. A soft beautiful tan glow that she wanted nothing more than to taste, run her lips across, and kiss forever. A flush of heat washed her body with fluttered uneasiness. Why am I suddenly so nervous? Its..It’s just Connor. Missy's eyes dropped to the leg to the chair not far from him. "Just Connor," she whispered.


Did she just say "just Connor?" So ten minutes ago she was ready to give herself to me and now I'm just Connor. Her eyes finally locked with his. She appeared shaken or uncomfortable to him. "Yes," he answered her.



After staring at him for a brief moment she asked, "Why are we here and when will we be leaving?"


Connor ran his hand up threw his hair and turned from her. "I am not quite sure how to go about telling you this but it would appear you are the target, Missy." Connor strolled over to the window and gazed out at the forest tree tops. You cannot tell her about father. Damn it! How am I going handle this without getting us killed.


 "I do not understand. I thought the men were robbing the carriage and now you are telling me it is something else." Missy took in a deep long breath and then started to pace the aged  floor beneath her bare feet. "What a minute. How do you know this to be true? Did you happen to hear the guards talking?" She waited for his response. "Connor?"


"I think at this point in time the less you know the better, Missy." He had not yet turned to face her. She would see untruths in his eyes. It was something he was never able to hide from her.


"What?" She moved towards him. "I have be taken beyond my will and held in some tower like a nightmare fairytale." Missy was mere steps away from him. "I have a right to be informed-

Connor turned on his heels. "You just do not know when to listen do you?"




"Stop! You need to listen to what I  am telling you. We are in terminal danger!" He watched Missy's eyes widen. Now this is what I was thinking we-


"No I am leaving right this moment Connor." She turned from him and started walking towards the door. He reached out and took hold of her arm. "Missy stop."


"Get your hands off of me!" Missy's eyes narrowed at him.


He took hold of her other arm. "Damn it Missy!" He said as he shook her. "You and I will die." He continued threw his teeth. "The less you know the better. do you understand me?"


Missy pushed against his chest. He tightened his grip. "There is something you are not telling me Connor!"


He swung her around and stopped in front of the mirror. "Take a good look at yourself because your stubborn antics are going to kill both of us"


Missy pushed out of his arms and ran for the door. Connor ran after her tackling her to the ground. Missy screamed as loud as she could, "No!" Connor tried to covered her mouth. Missy then did the unthinkable, she kneed him in the groan. Connor let out a wretched moan. Missy pushed him off and started to get to her feet. He grabbed her leg and her face hit the chair. Missy kicked him in the chin causing Connor to bite his lower lip.


"Damn it Missy!" He staggered to his feet and placed his body in front of the door. "You are not leaving. They will all have their way with you Missy. This room is the only safe place, here, with me."


Missy pushed her body off the ground using the chair. She turned to him. Blood dripped from her forehead only matching Connor's lip. She looked wild. Connor's eyebrows pinched down. "Missy there is no need for this."


She charged at him with all her weight and slammed into his body. Connor grabbed her around the waist turning her to the middle of the room. Missy pushed him up against the wall, his body sounded off a thud as it hit.

"Quit a ruckus going on in here." The man in the door way stated with amusement smothering his voice. He stepped into the room with slow steps making his way directly in the middle.


Missy gripped Connor's hand behind her back. She was face to face with the evil itself. Pale skin covered every inch of him. So pale he looked sick. Dressed in black attire it was of a style she had not yet seen in London. She gazed at his smile revealing his gray toned teeth. My God. Her own thoughts clearly displayed across her face.


The man ginned at her in the most unrighteous way. Missy stepped back into right into Connor. "I assure you my dear you are most likely far more sound in my presents the the moment that is." His cackle fill the silence in every corner raising upward. "I believe thanks is in order. You see I must steel Mr. Welling away but do promise to return him before night fall for him to, resume whatever his plan was for you." His lips curled slightly at the corner. "Just a temporary rescue." The man bowed slowly. "My nary apology Miss Ashton."


 Connor squeezed Missy's hand and then pushed her off to the side. Without looking at her he walked past her and muttered, "I was hungry anyway." He grabbed his shirt off the floor. She has got to be scared and confused. I have to find a way to let her know I will get us out of this, I hope. The man walked to the doorway and called for the guard. Connor took something out of his pocket and placed it under his pillow.

Still without eye contact he moved towards the door. Connor stopped and turned his gaze at Missy. "Bitch." It was all he said to her. One word. One mean nasty unloving word and Missy was nothing but thankful. She saw in his eyes everything he was feeling.

The door latched shut and Missy glance over to the pillow.

















~ Chapter 11 ~



Connor Walked down the narrow stone stairwell that was nothing more than a spiral cold tunnel. No windows providing any natural sunlight ever entered this passage. The walls a dim gray with black slim of some kind, a mold perhaps, seemed it seep out of every crack between the lifeless blocks. God, I hate this place. The walls of this stairwell ooze evil itself. The sudden need to be carrying holy water and a crucifix tucked away inside my pocket is tapping me on the shoulder right now.


Reaching the ground floor he was lead a library, the castle had three, this particular one was situated in the back of the residence.


"Please, do take a seat, Mr. Welling." The man said motioning in a lazy way with his index finger to the chair opposite from him in front of the desk. He appeared to Connor as being irritated or bothered in some way.


Connor's gaze skimmed the room. He pulled out a chair and sat. He needed to somehow gain control of the situation and find a way out without alerting anyone. The next ten minutes were crucial. Connor has to remain cold and vengeful which won't be easy as he was about to stare straight into the devil's eyes. The man made his spin shiver.


A plate of food was set in front of Connor. He almost did it. He nearly looked up to the servant and thanked him. Jesus that's all it would take is one slip up like that. Grabbing the fork he dug in like he said he was starving earlier up in the tower. It was forced. He knew Missy was starving up in that dungeon of a tower. Gazing up only once to the man sipping his coffee watching him, Connor ate the entire plate.


Missy walked over to the pillow and lifted it. Her hand flew to her chest wear it normally would lay. The only thing she had left of Connor hung around her neck for the last several years, never left it. Reaching down she scooped it up. Her hand clasped it tight and all she saw was Connor's smile in her mind. Is it possible he feels the same way he had all those years ago? Missy opened the palm of her hand and gazed at the locket. Carefully she unclasped the locket, something she had not be able to bring herself to do for quite some time now. Is it truly forever, this love, this



"When will my father be arriving?" Connor asked.

The man's lips formed a straight line. Leaning back in his chair he clamped his pale hands together. "I do believe we will not be expecting him for a few more day if at all. It appears he has left the disposal details to me."


Mustering up a horrid gaze, Connor peered into the empty shell of the man. "I am not surprised by this. My father never did possess the stomach for such things." Connor paused for a moment. Raised his hand to his chin letting it rest there. "What is confusing to me is why my father never mentioned any of this to me."


The man leaned forward and set his elbows on the desk. "I could not tell you why, Mr. Welling." His smile revealed his gray chops. "This part of the job is always bothersome to me. Females and children," his gaze crept for the desk to Connor's face, "Is always so tempting to play and linger with."


Connor's heart was racing faster than it ever had. Dear God he truly is a monster. Missy is not safe. Think of something believable to say now. His toes curled inside his boots. He shifted in his chair and stared at the leg of the desk for a spell. Finally he gazed up to the man. "I find your statement to be very disturbing but at the same time it is not my business to judge or assume you to be sick in some way. I do not share your desire for torture nor lingering suspended state of pain. With that said I would like to confide in you that when it comes to the Ashton's I...I do carry a deep seeded-

"Please, no more needs to be said Welling," He rose to his feet, "I will gladly allow you to dispose of Miss Ashton in whatever way you see fit provided that she will be dead in the end." He held out his hand to Connor.


Connor stood and took a step forward. "I didn't much like you at first but will openly admit you are a sound cleaver leader." He met the man's hand and shook it. "Thank you for your understanding in this matter. How much time do I have?"


The man bellowed out in delight. "As much or little as you would like Welling."


Connor strode down the back corridor barley making it to the back balcony before releasing all his breakfast into the shrubs below. What the hell is he? Not human. Damn it! What am I going to do?




 Heath entered Garret's study without announcement. "I want to know what the bloody hell is going on, Garret?"


Gazing up from his paperwork Garret's eyes narrowed. "I beg your pardon?"

"Missy has vanished and I demand to speak to your," Heath snapped his tone low and his voice trembled.


He took notice Heath was clearly shaken by the tragedy and unknown details of Missy's disappearance and rose from his desk. "Heath please have a seat," he pointed to the club chair by the fire. "Tomas...Tomas." He shouted from the doorway.


"Yes sir." The footman appeared just around the corner. Garret whispered to the man and then sent him off. "Without haste!" he added.


Knowing the mid hour of the morning Garret took no caution with it and poured Heath a brandy. He took a seat in front of him and said, "I called for Connor. It will be a while before he arrives for his town home in town." Garret sat back and with all the compassion he could serve to Heath he said, "Start from the beginning please."


Heath shook his head. "I have hysterical women at my home. A whole group of them!" Gulping his brandy Heath finished it off in seconds. Garret held up the bottle.


"My hope is that Connor is not involved in this Heath." Topping off his own glass he paused. "Would it be so terrible for Missy and Connor to marry?"


"My father may take it into consideration but if they have eloped there will be no forgiveness, Garret."


"Sir...I have urgent news." The young footman interrupted.


"Go on with it, "Garret said.


"We have found one of the Ashton's carriages and...and"


"And what boy?" Heath shouted.


"There are dead bodies. Two men."


Garret shot out of his chair. "Show us where."


Thirty minutes later after learning Connor was nowhere to be found as well and none of the bodies were him Garret and Heath were now more concerned than ever.


Both of them stood at the side of the road. Garret gazed up and down the road. "Well, let's focus on what we do know about this. Missy's belongings are still in the carriage so we can rule out a robbery."


Heath clenched her coin purse in his hand. "Yes and the two men sustained wounds by the hands of a man, well the ones that caused their end. No gun was recovered."


"And no knife. There are two sets of horse prints leading off towards the north but three sets of foot prints next to the carriage on the same side." Garret bent down reaching behind the wheel." Heath is this Missy's do you think?"


Heath took the button in his hand. "Yes it was what she was wearing last night." He walked to the edge of the road. "What the bloody hell happened here last night?"


"Heath, let us take comfort in the thought if Connor is involved he is keeping her safe."

"I believe that to be true." Heath's attention was caught by the stark cream color of paper peeking out of a pile of leaves. He turned off his heels with the card in hand. "Garret." He flipped it out towards him and it read Connor Welling.


Garret gazed up and down the road again. He started jogging north looking at the road side as he did. Heath watched him stop several yards ahead and hold up another card. Returning to Heath's side he said, "He left us a trail to follow."




 Connor spent the remainder of the day reacquainting himself with all the secrete passages in and out of the castle. By the time he returned to the tower night was blanketing the sky.


The guard at the door was red eyed and slouching. "You are relieved of your post for the night," Connor said as he reached the last few steps. The man looked shocked. "Provided you return in the morning when I am ready to leave for the day."


"Yes sir...I mean my lord," he stuttered then bowed before Connor.


Entering the room Connor noticed the evidence the meal he ordered for Missy had barely been touched. A single candle light the opposite side of the room next to the bedside poorly. Golden hues flickered a fought against the cold gray stone trapping it into a small space in the room.


Missy lay in the bed on side in Connor's spot where he laid the night before. Her legs exposed from the knee down. A dim white sheet tucked under her arms. Connor looked around the room and saw her night gown draped over the mirror. His heart leapt at the thought of her naked body from last night.


Quietly Connor removed his coat and unbuttoned his shirt. Grabbing a chair at the table he turned it out to face the bed and he had the night before. He removed his boots and his shirt. Reaching up he ran his hands over his face and the up threw his hair. I wish this was not happening. How is it I always find myself in the most outrageous situations. The thought of her naked body lying under his popped up in his mind again. His head was hanging over the back of the chair and he again ran his hands up threw his thick hair. "Oh Missy," he mumbled.


The soft whisper of breathe trailed across his cheek. "Yes."




~ Chapter 12 ~



Connor's eyes flew open. He watched her slowly straddle him with her partially naked body wrapped in a sheet. His eyes locked with her's. It was there he found his peace, his reasoning...his heart all captured within her gaze. "Here we are locked in a tower and all day the only thing I can think about is last night when I first gazed at you naked."


Missy ran her hands up around his neck and softly placed her lips to his forehead. "What did you want to do when you saw me?" she whispered against his skin.


His hands gently skimmed her skin at her sides. The palms of his hands trailed up and down. "I had started at your feet removing your shoes and stockings." He ran a finger over the heel of her foot and up the back of her calf. Connor stopped at her knee and traced a circle around it. "I wanted to kiss every inch from your delicate toes to your knees."


Missy giggled lightly. "So my dress was not ripped off of my body?"



Connor blew against her neck and replied, "No it was but not at this point in time."


She kissed the left side of his temple. "No?"


"No," Connor continued, "I reached up to remove your undergarments and was surprised you were without...them. My thought was to remove as much as I could in a respectful way and then cover you up but I soon learned my will power is weak,  so very weak when it comes, to you."


Missy kissed his other temple. "Is it now my lord?"


"I was left baffled by the thought of you running about London so naked under you dress." He ran his tongue up along the side of her neck. Connor felt Missy's fingers run through the back of his hair as her body shuttered. "I slowly pushed your dress up and as I gazed at you Missy I believe my thoughts were sinfully naughty. My mouth wanted to taste you. My tongue desired to explore you." Connor's hands slid under Missy's bottom and squeezed. His cock was throbbing in the most painful way for her.


She let out a long moan and it was all Connor needed. He picked her up and strode over to the bed with her in his arms legs wrapped about his waist.

Connor paused and whispered, "Marry me."


Missy's eyes teared. "I've waited ten years for you to ask me this." She kissed him hard and slow.


He laid her on the bed and covered her body with his. Missy closed her legs around him again. She wanted him in every way possible. Her body ached to feel him to touch him to breathe him in. Is this even real? All these years waiting for him for this. I have to stop crying.


Missy reached up to wipe her tears. Connor took her hand in his and kissed the inside of her wrist and then with her hand in his brushed away a falling tear. "I love you Missy."


"I love you Connor and have all this time." She smiled then said, "You have no idea how many nights I thought about this moment. Prayed it would happen one day. Wondered what you would feel like inside of me."


Connor's hard length pulsated with a longing for her he had never felt before. His lips curled up. Do not ask her what, where, or how. She gazed at him and bit up her bottom lip. "Now tell me this," he kissed her neck with a deep sucking kiss. "When thinking about me," he ran his tongue under her chin to the other side of her neck and again kissed her skin deeply. "Did you ever desire to touch yourself as you longed for me to?" Connor's lips found her breast.


"Yes" Missy exhaled hard. She grabbed at his shoulders.


Connor side off to the side of her and whispered against her skin, "Show me Missy." He felt her hands slid down his shoulders across his arms and leave his body. He looked down to see her hand skimming over her belly. His breathe deepened as he watched her hands trail over the top of her thighs.


"You would touch me here Connor," she said.


He took her leg next to him and pulled it up over the side of his thigh. Oh keep going Missy. Not only will you be my wife but you will forever be the Goddess of my every sexual fantasy. He gazed at Missy's face and she had her eyes closed. He leaned in and whispered, "You are the most desirable creature and you are driving me to madness by doing this." He watched her slightly smile.


Missy reached down with her other hand and rubbed the inside of her thigh while the other hand gently closed around her breast. She heard Connor moan and then felt his mouth close over her nipple. "Connor!" she said with lustful pleasure.

The tone of her cry was a sinful call to him for more. He reached down to where her hand was and covered it with his. Moving her hand up together they touched her moist soft skin. Missy's body arched up. Connor didn't stop. His hand glided over her and finally spread her velvet pink skin open.


Missy's eyes squeezed tight. She felt the wet desire she held for him under her own finger tips. It was strange and erotic. Her body was alive and the thought of him watching her do this was igniting things within her body she didn't know existed.


"Connor please," She finally cried.


He had her hand stimulating her most sensitive spot with slow seductive strokes. His hand left her hand sliding down to her opening and with a gentle push he entered her.


Missy froze from the sudden sensation. "Connor go deeper please," she begged him.


He kissed her cheek. "I don't want to rush you or hurt you Missy."


Missy gazed at him, "No I want it to be you. I can't wait any longer Connor."


He threw his pants to the ground and laid himself between her legs positioning himself at her opening. He could see she was in a heated frenzy and was going to cum quickly. Ok go slow. Connor push the tip of his cock inside her. Holly shit! He squeezed Missy shoulders.


She pulled at his back. Connor pushed in further and then pulled back. "Missy are you okay?"


"Yes.  I'm not scared Connor." she said as she kissed his neck.


"I don't want to hurt you," he said. "Missy look at me."


Their eyes locked and he pushed in further. Missy lips parted. Connor slowly slid his entire length inside her. Missy bit up her bottom lip.


"You feel better than I could have ever imagined, Connor." She leaned up towards him and kissed him.


Their embrace was deep and he trust himself within her with slow gentle movements at first. He pulled her leg up high around his waist and Missy began to moan with long cries for more of him. Connor was barely holding out and with every little whimper and sound coming out of her it grew harder and then he felt it. Her body gripped his length and pulsated around him. Connor could hold out no longer and within seconds spilled himself deep inside her.


He held himself on his elbows over her and with breathless words he asked, "Was this everything you hoped for?


Missy giggled slightly. "You are more then I hoped for Mr. Welling.


Connor grabbed her and rolled over with her in his arms. Missy sat up straight on top of him. "You are even more beautiful from up their Mrs. Welling.


Missy's head fell back with laughter. He watched her in amazement over what had taken place in the last twenty four hours. I wish I had asked you this all those-


She placed her finger over his lips and then covered them with her lips. "Shh Connor what matters is now. He wrapped his arms around her. Missy continued, "I can't believe you had me touching myself."

Connor chuckled. "I have never been so turned on. Watching you caress yourself was causing my manhood to painfully long to be your hand." Connor traced his finger around one of her nipples. "There is so much more I want to do with you."


"Well you have a life time to do as you please with me Mr. Welling," Missy said as she nibbled his chin.


"I will remind you that was said from your lips twenty years from now," Connor said as he started to tickle her sides.


Missy wiggled off his body and curled up next to him. She grew quiet. "Connor?"


"Yes," he said as he pulled her into him closer.


"Are we going to be alive to get married?"








~ Chapter 13 ~

Final Chapter



Missy's question haunted Connor hours into the night. He gazed down at her sleeping so peacefully in his arms. How am I ever going to try her about my father's involvement in this? She'll never forgive me once she finds out. Damn it! I got to get us the hell out of here tonight.


He slid his arm out from under Missy and as his feet found the floor he gazed back at her. I will die before letting anything happen to you. Connor dressed and quietly made his way to the door. A loud creek echoed down the stairwell. He waited to hear any movement from the dark cold space below. Nothing...okay. Time to wake Missy.


"Missy it's time to wake up," Connor whispered. He watched her stir for a second. Gently he placed a kiss to her soft lips. "Missy open your eyes sweetheart."


Her eyes slowly fluttered open. "I felt like I had but a moments sleep."


"That's because you have, "Connor said. "It is about two o'clock in the morning." He saw the confusion in her expression. "We are escaping tonight."


Missy sat up rather quickly. "Why will we not wait to be rescued. Someone has to know of our disappearance by now. I mean my brother must surely be in search of me."


"Heath may also believe you and I have run off to marry, Missy." Connor brushed over her cheek. "I'm afraid this is our only option."


He help her down from the bed then handed her the night gown from the floor. Connor took her by the hand guiding her towards the door that he had left ajar.



 "Wait," Missy paused, "I'm terrified we will be caught, Connor."


Turning to face her Connor place his lips to her forehead and kissed her with a long embrace. "I will die before I let anything happen to you, Missy. I swear on my life." He gazed down at her. "Trust me."


He grabbed a torch and lead the way down the spiral stairway holding tightly onto Missy's hand. She had her other hand place on top of his as they walked slowly and so very quietly. They made it to the main floor and started to creep their way to the back of the castle where there was a secret passage under the castle leading out. Rat filled sewage stood knee deep at the bottom of the steps but Connor knew it was the only way out. He told himself he'd carry her if he had to.


Connor and Missy froze upon hearing shouts from behind them. He pulled her to the top of the steps and Missy stopped and yanked her hand back and away from his.


"I can't Connor!" Missy eyes teared. Her bottom lip quivered. "I can't," she whispered.



 He reached out for her hand and Missy stepped back from him.


"Wait!" she cried. Gazing back to the guards quickly closing in on them, she had but moments to decide. Nervously clenching her night gown in her hands she squeezed her eyes shut. The pounding of the guards feet were drawing closer. "Missy," she heard him say. Opening her eyes she gazed down at him with breathless un decidedness. "Where are you taking me?" Missy asked him.

"Somewhere we will not be found, and you will be safe." He held out his hand to her once more. "Please Missy," his tone was deep and commanding. She could see fear in his eyes.


 "I see her! This way!" One of the guards shouted.


If she didn't make a decision soon their fates will be sealed. "Conner," she whispered to him and placed her hand in his.


He smiled and said, "I would have taken you anyways. You know that don't you?" He watched her lips curl up in that tender way that had first caught his eye. A shadow of dark gray covered Missy before him. She screamed with surprise. Her hand left his and she was dragged away.


"Connor!" a curtailing scream, Missy's scream for him for his protection ripped through him as he fell backwards. The room went black. Connor was unconscious and dreaming of the first night they had rediscovered one another.




The hard edges of the chair slammed into her bottom as she was shoved down onto a chair in front of a man. He stood with his back to her. His silver hair in the dim lite room glistened from the glow coming from the fireplace.


"Leave us now." The man ordered loudly.


Missy sat waiting for him to turn to her and reveal himself. Seconds turned to minutes. The man just stood in place smoking a pipe. No words escaped past his lips. No movement other than his arm for the pipe.


"Ah I see you have arrived after all,"  Velture's evil devious voice filled the empty space.


Missy did not turn to look at him. Instead her gaze remained on the mysterious man in front of her.


"Yes I arrived only but an hour ago," he answered.


Why does his voice sound so familiar? And the smell of his pipe. Missy in this moment realized who she was staring at. Oh no, it can't be. She watched him turn and their eyes locked. She couldn't hide the hurt swelling up in her eyes. Missy knew he saw it even in the poor lit room. Why? Was all she could think.


"It would seem your son has changed plans on us." He grinned slightly. "Unfortunately he has encountered some unfortunate injuries." Velture watched Lord Welling's expression fall to the side of concern. He walk up behind Missy and pulled lightly as he stroked the back of her hair. "I do hope," he bunched up a handful of her hair and yanked her head backwards, "she was worth," gazing down at her he drew closer, "possibly giving his life for."


Missy gasped. No please do not let this be happening. I can't lose him again!


"Where is he?" Lord Welling asked.


The man released Missy's hair. "They are bring him to the study in the south wing." Velture circled Missy's chair slowly and then gazed to Lord Welling. "Perhaps a drink is in order, Lord."


"Yes perhaps," he said and walked to the canter on the opposite side of the room.


Velture leaned down next to Missy's ear and whispered, "Do tell me did you like it when he had you touch your dirty body?" He watched her begin to tremble. A small chuckle emerged out of him at the sight of her. "Oh I'm sorry how rude of me. You see Lady Ashton, I'm a bit of a peeping Tom and I so much enjoyed peeping in on you."


Tears spilled over down her cheeks and Missy had no hope of stopping them. His icy skin from the back of his hand touched her cheek. Missy's body shuttered and she squeezed her eyes shut.


"Velture," Lord Welling handed him a drink.


"Thank you, Lord." He turned his back and walked towards the fire place.


Lord Welling tapped Missy's shoulder and her gaze flew to him. He winked at her and gave her the most caring look to reassure her of his intentions. Missy's lips parted and Lord Welling quickly put his index finger to his lips and then tried to smile for her. Missy mouthed the name Connor and he nodded to her in understanding.


A loud knock filled the room and drew every one's attention. Velture strode across the room and opened the large solid wood door. "He has awaken my Lord and is requesting your presence immediately," the guard stated.


Velture bellowed out loud, "Well then so be it." He turned to Lord Welling, "Do you care to join me?"


Welling stood straight. "I would like to speak with him here. have the guards bring him to me."


"I don't think so Lord Welling. He is at present tied up right now," Velture said.


"Tied up! Untie him and bring him here, "Welling demanded.


Velture glared at him for a long moment then said, "He is a trader and will remain where he is...Lord Welling."


"This is my-


"Let me remind you who's men fill the walls of this castle and who's men are surrounding every entrance to the castle....mine!" Velture took a couple of deep breaths then continued, "I will not take orders from you. If you desire to converse with you son go to him."


Lord Welling knew he was right and was left unsure of what to do. As he had decided to challenge Velture's word the door came crashing open sending Velture to the ground. "Connor!" he shouted with surprise.


Connor jumped on top of Velture grabbing hold of his jacket. "You vile filth!" He slammed his head to the stone floor. Connor managed to smash Velture's head a few times before three guards jumped on him.


Lord Welling ran at the group of men and punched one of the guards knocking him off Connor.


Movement in the doorway caught Missy's eye and she saw Heath striding into the room followed by Garret and Ben.


After Connor was freed from the pile of men he stumbled his way to Missy's side. "Are you alright?" He hadn't waited for her answer and kissed her hard. "My God I was so worried about you. I'm so sorry it took me so long to get to you." He kissed her again wrapping her up in his arms.


"Connor, I thought you were dying. Velture said you were-


Connor took her face in his hands. "I said I would do whatever it took to keep you safe. Dying was not an option." He smiled at her softly. "I will never leave you again, Mrs. Welling."


Missy burst out in a half laugh half cry. Connor untied her arms from the chair.


"Welling," a voice commanded from behind him. Connor closed his eyes as he stood up to face Heath. "Thank you for going with my sister to keep her safe."


Connor shook his head in disbelief and his words. "I love Missy and have asked for her hand, Heath."


Heath held his hand out. "After what my father hears of your heroic actions here I am sound in the fact he will approve."


Garret approached his father. "What is going on here father?"


Lord Welling pulled from his pocket a note and a handkerchief. He handed over the note to his son and wiped off his face with the hanky.


Garret turned from him as he read the note out loud.



Dear Lord Welling,

   My name is Beth Velture sister to Dell Velture. Ten years ago you bought up our land that we were unable to pay on any longer. It had been in our family for generations. My father vowed revenge onto you and your family. My fear is that my brother has now set out to kidnap the woman your son loves in order to draw your family to a castle. At this point his plan is to kill everyone you hold dear while you watch.


   Please take this letter to heart and do not toss this aside as silly. I overheard him this morning going over this plan. My brother is very sick and has recently escaped a hospital. I will not turn him in for fear of my and my daughter's life.

Take caution,

Beth Velture

Garret turned to his father. "Why did you not tell us all about this?"

"I thought I could handle it besides I truly believed she was referring to Theresa." He slummed down in a chair and hung his head.


Connor walked over and placed his hand on his shoulder. "Father, I think I would have chosen to do the same thing"


Garret shouted out, "Perhaps you two are more alike than you care to admit to father." The room filled with laughter.




 Missy stood across from El. She observed her gaze to the other side of the room. Missy followed her line of sight and landed on Heath. She gasped softly.

"What was that I heard?" Connor asked as he slid his arm about her waist. "Is the baby kicking again? I'll have to have another talking to with him."


 "He is a her," Missy replied, "and no it is not that."


Connor leaned down and kissed her neck.



 "El is staring at Heath and he is gazing at her like a fool," Missy said.



 Connor chuckled against her skin. "Perhaps they are in love"



 "Well perhaps she should find a man with a heart or personality. I mean, what could she possible see in him?" Missy said.


Connor kissed her neck again and said, "Something only he shows to her."


Missy smiled and turned in his arms. "Like I do with you?"


"Yes and I hope forever with only me even though it was once forbidden, "Connor stated.


Missy giggled and then whispered next to his ear, "A forbidden love is the best kind."

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