What do Nora Roberts and Ernest Hemingway have in common? Head Hopping!

What do Nora Roberts and Ernest Hemingway have in common? Head Hopping!.

Nora Roberts is famous for her head-hopping.

Hemingway Head Hopped in The Old Man and the Sea.

Alexander McCall Smith  head-hops in his Botswanna series.

Sylvain Reynard is hopped up too in his book, Gabriels Inferno.

Sherrilyn Kenyon head hops.

Danielle Steel head hops.

Judith McNaught gives good head hop.

Stephen King head hops.

Julie Garwood insanely head hops.

Lisa Kleypass? Yep she head hops too.

 What is that you say? They can do it because they are bestsellers? Ya, I’ve been fed that load of crap too. Maybe they ARE bestsellers BECAUSE they give excellent head hop. How do they become excellent? They practice. They actually do it. They don’t avoid it like the plague it’s been touted or live in fear of being shamed because of it.  The web makes it sound like being clubbed over the head like a baby seal is preferable to being caught with your head hop down around your ankles.

And don’t even think about arguing that adding *** between POV’s is a tolerable approach. It’s about as stupid as putting on a condom after you’ve entered the portal of paradise and enjoyed yourself for a while. It’s disruptive and distracting and ineffective. (Didn’t your sex ed teacher tell you anything?) If anything is going to take you ‘out of the story’, that will. It’s like the author  jabbing at your eyeballs three times saying,   ” *wait for it*here it comes*bang! I just changed the POV aren’t I helpful?” 

Deep breath and moving on. If you examine the following little head hopping passage I promise that you won’t come down with some kind of STD.  From Samanthablair.com.

(The italics text is Brian’s point of view and the bold is Kyra’s.)

Brian watched Kyra’s car back out of the drive, an expression of sadness on his face. A deep pain settled in his chest as he watched the love of his life drive away. Kyra was going to miss him terribly, but she needed to follow her dream.

Well it didn’t make me break out in hives how about you? No, it’s not perfect but from a readers point of view, I got it. Brian and Kyra are sad that they are parting so that she can follow her dream.  I couldn’t resist tweaking it a bit to test out the purists objections to it below. What do you think?

Brian watched Kyra’s car back out of the drive and felt sadness wash over him. A deep pain settled in his chest as he watched the love of his life drive away. Kyra knew she was going to miss him terribly, but she needed to follow her dream.


Brian watched Kyra’s car back out of the drive. A deep pain settled in his chest as he watched the love of his life drive away. Kyra caught an expression of sadness cross Brian’s face in her rear view mirror. She was going to miss him terribly, but she needed to follow her dream.

Writing purists will tell you these things about the first version of the paragraph. Is it still true in the second or third?
1. If Brian is watching the car, he can’t possibly see the expression of sadness on his own face. ( Not anymore..so this one passes)
2. If Kyra is watching Brian’s face, then she can’t see her own car. (Nope not anymore …so this one passes)
3. Only Brian can feel the pain described in the second sentence. ( Nope the pain is clearly Brian’s in the later versions so this is a pass)
4. Only Kyra can do the missing described in the last sentence. (Yep Kyra is the only one missing and Brian is the one in pain got it pass)

Can I suppose, that if I pass the ‘test’,  I’m allowed to head hop? And Yep it’s all still head hopping. What was missing from the first that made the others easier to digest? Cues. I’m gonna call them “emoti-cues.” (It’s my term, all mine, but feel free to use it, just make sure you link back, credit me and tell your grand kids 50 years from now where you heard it first lol)

Anyway, I just made the “emoti-cues” clearer. You know like the old ‘he said or she said’ tags when you are writing dialogue.  But in this case it’s, Brian watched/Kyra knew or saw, instead of the he/she said tags. Something they are doing or feeling that you can cue readers to their POV.

If you think of this passage as an emotional conversation it makes sense. Their thoughts are linked by the experience they are both sharing. You wouldn’t write conversation dialogue with just one character, then wait for the next chapter for the other character to finish his part of the conversation would you? No that would be stupid….and confusing as hell.

I find, a lot of times, that I wish an author WOULD head hop. I want to know what the characters are thinking and feeling about in the scene as it unfolds. Not rehashed in the next chapter dedicated to the other character. You know, like when a character ‘remembers’ the conversation or they talk about it to another party later etc… By then I already know what’s happened and what everyone has said and done. I feel like I’m wasting my time re-reading the same scene just to find out how the other half feels all to avoid ….sigh…head hopping.

Look at this excerpt from Stephen King’s Dark Tower series, The Waste Lands. The emoti-cues are in bold.

He was wearing a weird little Lord Fauntleroy outfit, complete with ruffled white shirt and velveteen short pants. There were ribbons in his hair. Eddie felt a sudden mad urge to wave his hands above his head and scream But-wheat say, “Lud is o-tay!”

“Come on!” the kid cried in a high, piping voice. Several sprays of the green stuff had gotten caught in his hair; he brushed absently at these with his left hand as he ran. “They’re gonna do Spankers! It’s the Spankerman’s turn to go to the land of the drums! Come on or you’ll miss the whole fakement, gods cuss it!”

Susannah was equally stunned by the child’s appearance, but as he got closer, it struck her that there was something extremely odd and awkward about the way he was brushing at the crumbles and strands of greenery which had gotten caught in his beribboned hair: he kept using just the one hand.

See? Simple. Did your head explode? Didn’t think so. (Although Stephen King might like that.)

Here’s an annoying tidbit. In a  post on Writer Unboxed,  editor Victoria Mixon wrote about the need to limit this type of exposition. In a long-winded answer, to a comment poster, about authors like  Michael Chabon, (a head hopper apparently…shame shame shame) she responded.

(OK. You don’t have to read it all, I’ll sum it up. But it’s just below if you must. She didn’t say it was illegal in the writing world, such as not using punctuation correctly. (I’ve probably broken a hundred laws in this post….shoot me.)  She couldn’t even say that head hopping was wrong or bad. She said it was an “intensely sophisticated technique.” So what? Everyone tells us not to do it because it’s hard????? WTF? That’s what the problem is? Whew thanks for clearing that up! My 16-year-old thinks certain math problems are hard. Should he just avoid them? NO he should practice and gain skill. Du? )

“When we focus upon writing in scenes and save our exposition for certain, special lines, that throws the exposition into high relief, so it can serve its special function of a peek behind the curtains.

“However, when we ‘tell all,’ then we must have developed an enormously smooth and solid stylistic voice with which to carry the weight of all that exposition. Then the reader falls for the voice more than the story.

Those stylistic voices take years and years and years to develop properly, and they take line-editing by a professional editor like you simply would not believe… ”

“Head-hopping POV such as you described in Chabon’s novel is actually an intensely sophisticated technique. It’s so easy to lose reader investment in our protagonist(s) or, worse, confuse the reader about who the protagonist actually is when we keep switching perspective on them.

“It’s not that you can’t learn to do what Chabon does. Obviously he learned it.

“It’s that it takes a really long time and a ton of writerly dedication in order to learn the most sophisticated techniques of this craft. And it takes a knowledgeable mentor.”

 Personally, I like Randy Ingermanson’s take on the argument. From his site advancedfictionwriting.com

I’ll bet that 99% of my readers don’t know or care that I’m a non-hopper. Readers just care about whether the story is working for them.  But I have plenty of friends who hop heads all the time. “…”As far as I can tell, this works for my head-hopping friends. I’ll bet that 99% of their readers don’t know or care that they’re head-hopping. Readers just care whether the story is working for them. Po-tay-to. Po-tah-to. What really matters is how it tastes in the soup.

HEAR HEAR RANDY!!!! And I’ll add for those of you who hate head hopping. Nobody’s forcing you. If you don’t like the story, use your safe word.

Although, I have ‘writerly dedication, I may not have reached, ‘intensely sophisticated technique’. However, I feel qualified to write about this personal preference subject, from an expert reader point of view. Because really that’s what head hopping is, a personal preference or a style thing.

Are you going to tell me my preference isn’t valid if I say I like cake rather than ice cream? Of course not. It’s my preference. I own it. Nobody can tell me what it should be. Therefore, I’m not going to let anyone choose my preference to write or read head hops. You shouldn’t either. I say just tell your story the way you want to tell it and make me like reading it! If that means the dread head hop so be it.

Shit we wear white after labor day now don’t we? Who made up that stupid rule? Probably an overworked seamstress that was looking for a way to turn away too many clients during a winter rush. Makes you think about editor ‘pet-peeves’ don’t it? Maybe it’s just an easy tool for them to use in order to weed through that slush pile. Who knows. But I think *** surely makes their peeve easier to see.

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The flu that killed my story. From Barf to Botox

Well it’s been two years and I fed that story to my flu and killed it. I never did pick it back up and I haven’t read it since. It’s sitting on a flash drive somewhere. I lost all faith in telling it. Went down that rabbit hole of self loathing and quit. But I didn’t quit writing. I got hooked on fanfic. First reading then trying my hand at writing it. And I’ll tell ya…it was great.  So much support. So many readers. So much feedback! It’s like nirvana for the soul to have excited readers. A decided difference when people usually cringe when/if I ask them to read my stuff. (Thanks Mom, j/k,  n/r) But I found myself looking for ways to pass my original fiction off as fan fiction. My stories became more of an ‘inspired by’ than true fanfic. But I loved the community so much I didn’t want to leave it. I used real actors and cast them in my own stories and posted them.  But eventually I got so far away from actual fan fiction that I didn’t post my last short story. Why? Because while I enjoyed playing in sandboxes that weren’t mine, I realized that I really love building my own and filling it with whatever I wanted. Maybe jello who knows? In any case,  the story was still around and I was still having fun with it so that last, short, pseudo fanfic grew. I decided it needed a subplot, then more characters a more villainy (is that a word?) villain etc… What I ended up with? Believe it or not a completed 70,000 word first draft.  No pressure. I started it with absolutely no expectations. I asked absolutely no one to read it. It was just for fun it just happened to kept increasing in scope. Perhaps that’s why I got to the end with it. No pressure. It was fun. No expectations. And written completely by the seat of my pants.  I did a dance and drank a lot of wine and patted myself on the back, woke up with a few bruises i have no idea how i got…and then dropped it like a bad date. That first draft was a lot of words barfed up and splattered across pages and pages. I wove in subplots and characters and just kept moving forward. Once i got to ‘the end’ I was so afraid to go back and re read it. I knew it had more holes than a slice of Swiss cheese and inconsistencies too numerous to count.  I was so afraid to look at it again that I started writing something else.  I learned how important it is to at least attempt to outline a large piece of work. Strictly pantsing a short story ain’t so hard but for a longer work ug! So it sat for months, lonely and afraid that it would be left in the dark forever just as so many of my other failed attempts. I ignored it. Ignored it’s sad sack eyes and mopey frowns as I worked on my next story following a semi structured outline that is helping the flow A LOT. Then I caught a cold.  For some reason (maybe I was delirious) I decided to pull up that barf splattered first draft. I was surprised. It wasn’t nearly as bad as I had thought. Sure it had problems but they could be worked out certainly. I spent that week on a complete read through and then created a bikini outline that I attempted to jam all that drafts bits and pieces into. I pushed,  it pulled, there were grunts and embarrassing moments where something was exposed that shouldn’t be. However, eventually it worked. Sort of. I found a magic wand that goes by the name of Scrivener. OK not a magic wand but a great writing tool, program whatever. I pulled the manuscript into it and broke it down into scenes. What magic! If you don’t have this program…get it! It’s an awesome way to organize your writing without reams and reams of printed pages, cut outs, sticky notes, pencil, pen, crayon scratches. It’s hard to explain but it helped me through another draft. Barf draft. Bikini draft. Now I’m on what? I know! The botox draft. The one where all the wrinkles get smoothed out. hehe. I’m not dreading it. I’m actually kind of excited. But just in case I have, printed it out in a different font, different size, to trick myself into thinking it’s someone else wrote it. It’s three inches thick and used almost an entire cartridge of black ink. Wish it luck.

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So sorry there have been no new posts lately. I’ve been on a forced flu hiatus. There will be new posts shortly cough cough sniffle….

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Contest entry

Well I’ve been doing my best to put off writing more of my novel. I’ve made a few more contest entries instead. It’s addicting. It’s lovely to have people read what you’ve written whether it receives good reviews or not simply because they are actually reading it! Euphoria….so all I have to post today is one of my entries. In this contest we had to begin the short story with the line “A kiss is a terrible thing to waste”, it’s a line from a Meatloaf song. I’ll let you know how it fares when the votes role in:)

A kiss is a terrible thing to waste. Katie reminded herself of this repeatedly as Martin sat close beside her on the park bench. It was a perfect summer day and his kiss was just waiting right there before her. It looked wonderful, warm, soft, waiting for her to wrap her luscious lips in it. What was she waiting for?

Katie closed her eyes, her mouth puckering slightly imagining the sweetness that hovered just above her lips. She imagined leaning in, the sliding and gliding heat along her tongue, the feeling of joy that would envelop her if she just had the nerve to reach out and take it for herself.

It would be wrong but the yearning caused her stomach to flutter nevertheless. She wanted it, needed it, how could something so good be so wrong?

You must not Katie told herself sternly. The self denial almost painful. This is not good for you, and it might not be as good as you think. It might even be slimy or gooey or even dirty, her nasty inner voice added to Katie’s growing irritation.

Then the little devil that was ever present in another part of her mind countered.’Oh darling but you must! Think of the feeling, think of the decadence that awaits you! Don’t you see his smiling face? He wants you to take it!’ That dark little voice always got her into so much trouble but wasn’t it always so much fun when she listened to it.

Oh how Katie wished she could hear only that demon inside her now. How she wished there were never any repercussions for doing what was wrong, bad, naughty what have you. Martin was all warm smiles as the summer breeze ruffled his hair and she began to waver.

She ran her hands down her thighs. Drying her damp palms and feeling her generous contours. How would Martin feel if she just reached over and took what he was so obviously offering? What if he really didn’t intend to give her the kiss at all? If he pulled back at the last minute she would be devastated.

Katie laughed a bit,arguing with herself, how ridiculous. But surely a wasted kiss is just as much a tragedy as one taken when one shouldn’t? Wasn’t something stolen so much sweeter anyway? Perhaps she wouldn’t allow him to pull away.

Her mouth was beginning to water. How long had she been waiting for this? A second, a minute? It felt as if it had been an hour. The battle within her raging on.

She had never been very particular about how she received her kisses. She would happily take them from a friend or receive them from her mother. She even gave them dark and sweet to other boys. She sighed, but this kiss was like none other she decided, an opportunity not to pass up.

If she took this kiss she and Martin would either laugh or cry. Someone would pay for this kiss one way or another. It was just too cruel that she couldn’t divine what the outcome would be in this instance. Katie wished for some kind of sign that would help her decide if she should take this chance.

Then it was gone. Her sweet kiss pulled away. All of the turmoil she had built up around his kiss and the moment had passed. She had stupidly missed her chance and the kiss would be wasted, thrown away.

Oh how stupid she had been. Katie relived the past few moments in her mind. She could still imagine the feeling of that sensuous kiss upon her mouth. Sucking it in and savoring the sweet slide.

“Oh Martin please, I’ve changed my mind,” she said quietly with a coaxing smile on her pretty face.

To her astonishment Martin chuckled and quickly offered her another kiss. Oh sweet lord she would not waste another moment. She wanted it and to hell if it was bad or not. If there were tears later she would deal with them.

Without another second’s hesitation Katie reached out and grabbed Martin’s sticky little toddler hand and brought it to her mouth. She sucked the sweet half melted chocolate treat from his heated little mit.

She savored the forbidden candy. Her thighs would pay for this later but she would not shed tears for something so divine.

Martin did not seem unhappy with her theft. He unwrapped another candy. He giggled and waved it in front of her face as if this was now a new game.

With a shrug of her shoulders she let the toddler pop another kiss into her mouth. This one hadn’t been held so long, she let the chocolate warm and melt in her own mouth. Swirled her tongue in the sweetness and swallowed.

She would not shed a tear for her thighs. The treat was too good and wasn’t a kiss a terrible thing to waste anyway?

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Chapter 12 (c)

On my web surfing forays I’ve been searching things such as “I hate my own writing”, “Why are some writers so arrogant”, “Do you ever get sick of your own story”. You get the picture. Everything I pulled up again had the same theme. A very UN-unique theme. Just keep writing. Ug! I’m past that euphoric stage and just want to finish this damn thing. I love the second draft phase. In the second draft there is meat to work with. Add-ins that I thought of along the way and just noted in the first draft. I can’t wait to get to the second draft stage!


“A lady after my own heart,” The Inspector said with a quirk to his plush lips. “Mam it was my impression that we’d moved beyond formal address,” The inspector leaned back casually crossing his long legs at the ankles angling them closer to the fire. “In fact, “he continued folding his hands over his taught middle, “I believe we’d moved to such causal regard to be almost,” and he paused suggestively here, “scandalous.”

He regarded her with the feline grace of a hunter. One that’s known the scent of his prey and knows which bait works best to his advantage. It made Glorianna feel distinctly warm. His barley veiled words brought to mind all the naughty things he’d done to her last they’d met.

Glorianna tried to match his suggestive attitude with one of her own. “Indeed Clive,” she purred while pouring them both a finger of brandy. “We’ve gone far beyond that of casual acquaintance.” She took a provocative sip of her liqueur gazing at him over the rim of her glass as she let the heat slide down her thought. She delicately dipped her tongue out to lick the flavor from her bottom lip.

Clive leaned forward as if entranced. “Love I’d be more than happy to take this ‘conversation’ to mutual satisfaction.” He stood up gracefully with his surprisingly graceful fingers still wrapped around the glass. Glorianna thought he’d move straight to her but instead moved across the parlor to shut and lock the door.

Glorrianna swallowed dryly. Had she crossed this man off her list so soon? Perhaps he bore another chance? She felt herself heating and not from the fires proximity. Clive came to stand behind her and she felt one warm hand stroke the side of her neck. His fingers toying with a loose curl.

He leaned forward and she could feel the heat of his brandied breath on her cheek as he whispered in her ear. “Do you want to fuck me love?”

Glorrianna startled at the blatant suggestion but she was melting inside at his crudity. Oh how did he do that Glorianna wondered? A single sentence and she was ready to throw her skirts up again and with Vaughn just upstairs.

She would not feel shame at her reaction she thought. She wanted a lover. She needed a lover. Hadn’t she set out to capture just such a man a few weeks ago? But how could she conduct an affair when the one of the major reasons for wanting such a liaison was right upstairs? That thought put a damper on her lust.

She needed to find a way to get Clive to leave  and quickly. Before he found out more than she wanted him to. Before she gave into something that she didn’t have time for right now.

“Now Clive I would be a stupid woman indeed to give you what you took and sauntered away from not long ago.”

“Did you fancy a cuddle after then love?” He moved around to stand before her. With him standing and her still seated she was eye level with an impressively growing erection. Ah what a waste she thought.

“A girl does like a bit of affection after the fact Clive,” Glorrianna stood so she didn’t have to speak to the bulge in his pants. He didn’t back up as she had expected so she was virtually plastered against him.

He put his hands on her waist. His long fingers practically covering it’s circumference. Clive slowly glided his hands up her sides coming to rest just under her sensitized breasts. She was breathing heavier now with just the thought of those lovely fingers plucking at her tight nipples.

He brought his head down lowering his luscious lips to hers. The kiss was expected, anticipated. Clive gave her plenty of time to pull away. She found herself to wanton to do so. Those lips were mesmerizing.

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Chapter 12 (b)

Boy when I blocked out this story it looked like each block would be a chapter. I’m finding that the level of detail this story involves each block is adding up to about 3 chapters. In other words what I thought was going to be a 12 chapter novella is probably going to be more like 20. I thought I’d be done by now but it looks like I’m only 3/4 of the way through. Slugging along. Keep telling myself “KEEP WRITING” … ok ok you don’t have to yell hehehe.

It was midweek just before dusk. It was a chilly fall evening and the coming winter could be felt on the air. Vaughn was still upstairs and Sylvie had gone out shopping taking Sissy with her.  Glorianna was in the cozy parlor catching up on correspondence when a knock sounded at the front door. Glorianna pulled her shawl closer around her shoulders wondering who could be out on the chilly doorstep and felt glad that it wasn’t she.

A moment later Knox announced from the doorway. “An Inspector Levinson here to see you Madam.”

Glorianna felt sudden panic. What could the Inspector want? He couldn’t know that she was hiding Vaughn here they’d been very careful and her servants were loyal. If she turned him away now would he become suspicious if he didn’t have reason to be already?

“Show him in Knox, and please bring refreshments of the robust variety. I’m sure the Inspector must be chilled to the bone today.”

Glorianna congratulated herself on seeming unaffected upon receiving the Inspector.  He would not get the best of her this time she thought with a cat like smile. The smile was apt for this would surely be a cat and mouse interaction if she wasn’t mistaken and this time she was going to be the cat.

“Ah Mrs. Lockley, a pleasure to see you again. Thank you for seeing me.” He gave her a mocking bow with a twinkle in his eye that hinted at what they had shared on their previous visit.

“I’m sure the pleasure will be mine Inspector,” Glorianna responded impishly. If flirtation was what he’d come for she would serve it with abundance. There was no need to raise any questions as to why she was suddenly cold and uninterested.

Glorianna admitted it was no hardship to flirt with the Inspector. Tall and lean with an insouciant way of carrying himself that just begged for a lady to toy in return.

“Won’t you sit down inspector?” Glorianna gestured to a plush velvet chair. She moved to take the matching one flanking the fireplace.  The configuration made for a cozy chat.

Knox returned with a tea tray with a carefully placed decanter of brandy holding pride of place. He arranged cups and saucers as if for a ladies tea returned to his station outside the room. Little did Glorianna know but that Knox would have company during his vigil.

“A lady after my own heart,” The Inspector said with a quirk to his plush lips. “Mam it was my impression that we’d moved beyond formal address,” The inspector leaned back casually crossing his long legs at the ankles angling them closer to the fire. “In fact, “he continued folding his hands over his taught middle, “I believe we’d moved to such causal regard to be almost unseemly.”

He regarded her with the feline grace of a hunter. One that’s known the scent of his prey and knows which bait works best to his advantage. It made Glorianna feel distinctly warm. His barley veiled words brought to mind all the naughty things he’d done to her last they’d met.

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Chapter 12 (a)

Well I’ve been slugging away diligently on this story. I’ve made every effort to write at least 500 words a day. Most days I am just relieved when my word count reaches my goal. I don’t know why this has become so difficult. The words are no longer flowing and it’s a huge effort just to force out the requisite amount. I’ve read two books in a week and entered another short story writing contest. Nothing seems to help. I’ve spent hours web browsing on tips to keep up the motivation. The best advise I’ve found seems to be a universal one. “Just keep writing” so I am:)

Over then next few days Gloriannas household fell back into it’s old routine blending in the new addition of Lord DeWinn seamlessly. It seemed strangely natural for Vaughn to be in her household Glorianna thought. Glorianna felt the danger to herself if she allowed those feelings to grow.

In the mornings he joined them for breakfast where even Sissy seemed to have softened towards him, showing him the respect a man of the house would recive by bringing him the morning papers first. He wood Sylvie to his side reading out loud the antics and gossip of the ton. Glorrianna was sure should she ask her friend Sylvie would admit to clearly being in his corner when he subject came up of giving him a second chance.  Glorrianna made it a point not to ask her.

He retreated to his room during the day with a luncheon tray that cook took to him personally. Somehow after such a short time she knew all of his favorite foods already. There he’d peruse his photographic pamphlets and books and absorb himself thusly when callers were about.

In the evenings he could be counted on to add good conversation over dinner. When they retired to the warmth of their manly library he entertained with stories of his journeys into the back warrens of the east end where he had practiced his craft.  The room seemed to have been decorated with him in mind it fit him so well. Surely that couldn’t have been a subconscious decision on her part Glorianna thought. It irritated her that his memory would have infected even the decorating of her house.

It was when everyone retired for the evening that Glorrianna sat up late at night thinking of how close Vaughn was and how easy it would be to slip into his room and give in to all of her cravings. She had to fight with herself to remember that Vaughns presence here was only temporary. A situation caused by circumstance and not by desire. She also continued to struggle with Vaughns innocence.

It was true that he seemed more than he once was. Aside from the fact that he had grown from an over-tall gangly young man into a lean muscled man, his wide boney shoulders and torso gaining a padding of pure muscle that rounded out his clothing quite nicely. He was no longer a fickle, impulsive, self centered boy who laughed easily.

No matter how infatuated she had been with that boy she could see now that Vaughn had matured into a man in every sense of the word. He was not just physically harder. He was protective, thoughtful and resolute. The kind of man a woman could depend on, the kind of man that made a woman feel safe. She missed his easy laugh but the hard won chuckles he sometimes gave up were some how more meaningful, like a prize hard won.

However, it still remained to be seen if he was trustworthy. The pain of his long ago desertion still stabbed her heart late at night when the dream came upon her.  Could the young man she had known done such heinous things? She didn’t think so. Could the man he had become be a murderer? She wasn’t sure but she was finding that hard to believe.

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Chapter 11 (d)

Between bites of his meal Vaughn began relaying his suspicions to Glorianna. It did indeed seem to her that Vaughn was in fact being framed. However, what did she know of him now? Was he really the same person he had been eighteen years ago? How well had she known him then for that matter? She would have never guessed in her wildest dreams that the young man who had told her so ardently that he loved her, would leave her without a word or a backward look. She had believed him then to her embarrassment and pain. Could she believe him now?

For now Glorrianna resolved to keep her own suspicions to herself.  It might prove her incredibly stupid in the future but she could just not imagine Vaughn visiting physical pain upon her. She could not imagine him doing those awful things to those poor women. And she could not ignore the instinctual safety she had always felt and indeed still felt now with him nearby.

With a decisive nod of her head Glorianna agreed to help him. Until at least she found some definitive proof that she was indeed a fool. At that time she would promptly turn him over to Clive…Inspector Levinsin she corrected.

“Well we cannot keep you locked in this room,” Glorinna said on a sigh.

“No that would be quite intolerable,” Vaughn said with a smile and an irritatingly handsome dimple showing in his left cheek.

“Obviously Sissy knows of your existence here and through her Sylvie as well.”

“Can they be trusted Glorianna?”

Vaughn had taken her hand as she sat beside him on the bed. Was it a calculated move or was it as subconscious as her need to lean ever so slightly into him was? “I would trust them with my life.” Glorianna said firmly. “We don’t have a large staff here but each and every one is like family to me.”

“If you trust them then I have no choice but to do so as well I think,” Vaughn said making tiny circles with his thumb on the back of their clasped hands.

Ignoring the tingling sensation his fingers were sending up her arm she went on, “It’s not the staff I worry about while keeping you hidden here, it’s any outside callers.”

“Ah yes your gentlemen callers you mean,” Vaughn dropped her hand and she felt the loss.

“Among others yes,” she said with a bit of heat, was that jealousy she heard in his voice? Unbelievable! “I don’t live as a recluse here Lord DeWinn-“

“Glory,” he cut in can you not call me Vaughn? It is my name as you know and I think we are years away from being so formal.”

Glorianna cut a look at him and continued as if he hadn’t spoken, “As I was saying Lord DeWinn,” and she emphasized his formal address this time, “I don’t live as a recluse here and neither does Sylvie. We do have guests from time to time and we occasionally entertain. While I can make sure that don’t put out invitations for the time being I cannot assure you that we will have no one call upon us. To reject seeing them would also cast suspicion and we don’t want to do that.”

“I suppose you are right,” Vaughn said with resignation running  his long fingers through his hair pushing it off his wide forehead.

With his agreement made Glorriana got him set up in a proper guest room with it’s own bathing chamber. It was large enough for a seating area in front of the fireplace and would make a fine place for him to retreat to when guests called. She refused to think too much on how close his quarters now were to hers.

Knox was sent to Vaughns residence with a note for Harold advising of an extended impromptu house party Vaughn had suddenly joined. It did not detail exactly where he would be but Knox would be able to retrieve some of his personal items and Harold would not worry unduly when Vaughn did not show up at home.

Once all the arrangements were made Vaughn settled into life in the unusual household that Glorianna and Sylvie had built.  Little did they all know that Knox had been followed directly back to that household.

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Chapter 11 (c)

Glorrianna pushed on the unlocked door. Really the man was just too large she thought trying to move the door in spite of Vaughns body blocking it from the inside. “Stand away you oaf!” She said becoming more irritated with him by the moment. To think she had spared a moment of worry about him being angry!

Finally the door swung open to the view of a scowling Vaughn DeWinn. Oh the breath left her in a whoosh. Would she ever be able to set eyes on this man without the world tipping out from under her? He was so beautiful in a purely masculine way. He dominated the small room as she sidled inside shutting the door behind her. Really did she worry still about him escaping her?

“This is outside of rediculouse Glorianna,” Vaughn said his fists clenching at his sides.

“Ridiculous?” Glorianaa repeated her own heat rising. “What I find ridiculous is you steeling into my house in the dead of night and accosting me in my own bed!” She paced closer to him in her anger. Too late she realized her mistake. She could feel the tantalizing heat of his body seep into her own and from her diminutive height she had to crane her head back now just to look him in the eye, a distinct disadvantage in any argument.

Vaughn visibly calmed himself and said with restrained quiet. “I came to you for help. If it was a mistake please forgive me but I thought you might be willing to help.” He took a great breath into his lungs and Glorrianna could feel the front of his white linen shirt brush against her. She took a preserving step back.

At that moment the door swung open again and a grim faced Sissy entered with a tray. “Breakfast my Lord,” she said without expression as she set the tray down on the bureau, the only surface besides the bed in the tiny room.  She left just as quickly with a speaking look to Glorrianna. Glorianna  waved her away with impatience. This was no time for Sissy’s over-protectiveness. Really what did she think Vaughn would do?

Vaughn looked at the tray with longing and Glorianna huffed. Really could a man in this situation really consider food important? Apparently this one did as he sat on the bed with the tray across his knees. He really did look ridiculous. The bed was so small he had to stretch his legs out along the floor just so the tray could be held level on them. She fought back a mean giggle as she thought of the uncomfortable night he must have spent. It was nothing worse than he deserved she thought with a sniff.

Glorrianna began pacing the floor as he ate. Her nervous or was it angry, energy taking her back and forth across the small expanse. “Alright,” she said finally, “you came here for help. How pray tell can I possibly be of help to you Lord Dewinn?”

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Chapter 11 (b)

A groggy sleep deprived Glorianna made her way to the breakfast room. She felt as if she had not slept at all last night. Her eyes were gritty and her head ached slightly. Wisps of last nights dreams still filtered through her foggy mind.

Never before had her dreams seemed so real and never before had they included aspects that were not based in girlhood pain. Vaughn had seemed so real to her last night. She could nearly remember his scent enveloping her as he leaned over her bed. Could you smell in dreams?  He had come to her room and pleaded with her for help but what she remembered most vividly was her desire to keep him with her at all costs.

Sylvie dressed in a cheery cream and raspberry stripped gown was already seated in the sunny room as Glorianna pulled up a seat and poured her tea. She looked altogether refreshed and ready to face the day. Glorianna thought irritably.

Knox placed a plate of coddled eggs and toast before her and her stomach churned at the sight. She sipped her tea instead. She looked up to find Sylvie studying her intently.

“Darling is there something you would like to share?” Sylvie asked with a raised brow and a cat in the cream smile.

“Whatever would that be?” Glorianna mumbled. She was not in the mood for Sylvie’s little games.

“Sweetheart you look like death warmed over this morning.” Silvie said with sudden sincerity once shed gotten a good look at her friend. “Did you sleep at all last night?”

Glorianna set down her cup, “honestly Sylvie I don’t know. I was having those dreams again.”

“Ah those dreams…” Silvie said as if implying something Glorianna was not catching onto.

Sylvie knew all about the bothersome dreams that Glorianna had not ever been able to shake, it was quite irritating when all she had ever wanted to do was forget him. For the life of her, she could not understand why Silvie was all of a sudden making light of it.

“Well I wasn’t talking about the dreams sweet. I was inquiring as to your late night visitor or were you not going to share? Honestly you can’t keep secrets of that sort in a household such as ours.”

Glorianna looked at her blankly; the bite of toast in her mouth turning to dust as a dawning thought began.

Sylvie watched the play of emotion cross her friends expressive face. “Oh honey did you think he was part of your dream?”

Glorianna forcefully swallowed her dry toast and followed it with a sip of tea to moisten her mouth in order to speak. “Sylvie did you see him too?” She said in a croak.

“Not I darling but Sissy is a light sleeper. She reported this morning that she had seen you slip from your room and lead a most magnificent man, my words not hers, from your room up to the attic. Her description of the man…hmmm what did she say…ah yes ‘a great giant of a man with longish dark hair and shoulders the width of a doorway’. That sounds amazingly like a description of Lord DeWinn I thought.”

“Oh god Sylvie I didn’t dream him then he was really here!” Then Glorianna remembered locking him in to that attic room. “Oh my, he must be furious.” Glorianna pushed back from the table to tear from the room heading straight for the stairs.” She could hear the sound of Sylvie’s laughter as she instructed Sissy to make up a tray for their guest.

She slowed her steps as she neared the room into which she had locked Vaughn. He would be furious she thought hands perspiring. But then what care did she if he was indeed furious. He had stood her up last night not to mention abandoning her as a love struck girl she thought. With that in mind, her back straightened and her renewed anger put a bit of spark back into her. She reached out a hand and unlocked the door from a set of keys kept in the hall bureau just as the pounding of large fists upon the door commenced.

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Chapter 11 (a)

Vaughn lay on the cramped bed in the tiny attic room. He could tell by the light coming in from the small dormer window that it was early morning. He had not slept a wink. His legs hung off the bed and even curled he could not fit his large body comfortably onto the stingy mattress. Where was Glorianna? He needed to speak to her desperately.

He forced himself to forget the sight of her in her flowing white night rail. He hair in a messy braid and her sweet pink toes padding ahead of him as she had led him like an ethereal ghost to this room. Even sleep mussed her tiny form was an erotic site to his starved eyes. Her tiny breasts pinched with cold he cold close his eyes and remember her nipples brushing against her gown with every step. Vaughn squeezed his eyes shut willing his erection to subside.

Where was she? He needed to start thinking of how to get out of this blasted room. He had already tried the lock. She hadn’t left the key in the door so it could not be pushed out and retrieved under the door. She had taken it with her obviously. Was she so angry with him still that she’d leave him here to rot? How much of a disturbance could he make to get her attention without giving himself away to the rest of the household?

He needed to keep his whereabouts secret. It was the reason for coming here. There was no one else in London he trusted. Had he miscalculated? Was she even now calling the Inspector? He growled to himself. As much as he admired the man, he could not help but remember the look in the inspector’s eyes as they roved over Glorianna.

When he had arrived back at his house to get ready for the exhibition he had found that Inspector Levinson had left his card with Harold. The newspaper identifying the last victims was placed nearby. It was a shock when he’d read the identities of the latest women taken down by the East End murderer. At first he had thought that the Inspector had called upon him to photograph the victims again. Then he realized finally that all of the victims targeted had been his subjects. It could not be a coincidence. It all started to add up to Vaughn. He was being framed and the Inspector was looking for him.

Who could hold him in such low regard that they would want him to be blamed for those heinous crimes? His thoughts tumbled about. One way or another he had to get to the bottom of this. He could not stay in hiding forever. Vaughn began to pace. It was a short trek. His long legs made about three strides to the next side of the small room. Damn he felt like a trapped rat! He would give Glorianna another hour or two and then he would bring down the house to get out if he had to.

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Chapter 10 (c)

Caught in the dream she detested Glorrianna wept within the copes of trees at the the end of the lane of her childhood home. Why had he gone her dream self thought? She had come to their meeting spot again and again this last month and there had been no sign of Vaughn. She had read in the paper today an announcement of his marriage and her sobs became harder as she recalled the stunned feelings of betrayal. In her dream she was supine on the grass curled into herself in misery the sobs becoming painful in their intensity.

She awoke with a start. What had blessedly wakened her from this hatefully repeated dream? She searched the darkened room looking for any disturbance that might have disturbed her. At the side of the bed a great dark figure hovered over her and she sucked in a horrified breath ready to let loose a scream.

A  large hot hand came down over her mouth before she could let it out. Her breath stuck in her lungs. Her eyes huge in her frightened face until a familiar if unwanted voice began to sooth her. Could she still be dreaming? Never in the dream had he come back to her. Why was he here now, in this new addition, to torment her in her sleep?

“Shh Glory, it’s me,” Vaughn said quietly.

She could not speak around the hand still covering her mouth so she thrashed her head back and forth in fear.

“Glory I have no where else to go, please if I take my hand away will you hush?”

Glorianna was instantly intrigued by this new aspect of her dream. Perhaps now there would be some explanation from him. With a slight nod she quieted and the specter took away his hand only to run it carressingly through her unbound locks. A caress so real and warm she could almost believe this was not a dream.

“I’m being framed Glory. Now is not the time to explain in full. But I’ve come to beg a favor I have no right in asking.

He sat at her bedside his great weight dipping the mattress causing her to roll  closer to him. Never in any dream had she felt his warmth so profoundly.

“I need a place to stay for a bit. There is know one else in London I trust. Please Glory I need you to pay attention,” he said as her fingers began to slide up his arm in wonder.

Her questing fingers were throwing him off balance. He held her hands immobile. Is there a place I can stay here?

Her dream lover wanted to stay with her? This did not make sense her muttled brain argued. Always he had abandoned her. Now he wanted to stay? This made no sense. However, if she had a way to keep him this time she would. This time he would stay.

She swung her legs off the side of the bed and took her lovers hand. So warm and big she thought. She led him up the servants stairs to a small room in the attic. It had once been used to house servants that they did not need.


Glorianna gestured him to follow her into the room. It held a single bed and a chest of drawers with a pine aware at the side. He followed her in looking around and the sparse accommodations but he was hardly in a place to complain.

As if in a dream Glorrianna stretched from her tiny height and clasped his neck to bring his mouth to hers as she used to so many years ago. The kiss she imparted was both sweet and confusing. She had not uttered a word since they left her room, “Stay,” was all she said now.

She turned and left the room and when the door closed Vaughn heard the unmistakable snick of a lock being turned from the outside.

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Chapter 10 (b)

On the night of the exhibition Glorianna paced in the front parlor awaiting her escort.  She was dressed in one of Sylvies gowns and while she admired the azure color that enhanced her eyes spectacularly she could not help but be uncomfortable with the scandalously low neckline.  She would never have purchased such a thing for herself and that was the reason for lend. Sylvie had dismissed each of her gowns as too demure.

“Darling quite your pacing you are making me utterly dizzy watching you.”

“Sylvie I cannot believe I agreed to let you dress me tonight!”

“But sweetheart you look utterly dashing and Sissy did wonders with your hair.”

It was true, Sissy was quite talented dressing hair. She didn’t want to wonder how considering. Sissy had expertly swept it up into a stylish rumple and let the ends of her silvery curls cascade down her back past her shoulders. It was a decidedly provocative style.

“Here,” Sylvie said coming to her, “have a tot of brandy. It will do wonders to steady your nerves.”

“Sylvie, liquor is not the answer to all,” she said even while taking the cut crystal and downing the contents in one swift swallow.

Sylvie chuckled, “there now that should warm you sufficiently.”

“Where could he be Sylvie? It’s almost an hour past the time he had said he would call. I can’t imagine him to be so late. He was always such a prompt individual.”

“He was prompt eighteen years ago lovey,” Sylvie said sipping her own brandy, “you are dealing with an entirely different man now.”

“Could he really be so different? Is that a good thing or a bad thing do you think?”

“Well good in that it would be a different man than the one that left you high and dry,” her pixie brow furrowed, “bad in that you do not know at all what to expect of him.”


The clock chimed the hour of ten. Vaughn was now more than two hours late and Glorianna had to admit to herself that he was not coming. Perhaps he had not changed at all she thought. He had yet again left her with expectations that would fall short.

Sylvie had remained with her during the irritating wait. “Well I am done!” Glorrianna said emphatically. He obviously had second thoughts about escorting me. I wonder if he showed up at the exhibition at all for that mater.”

“You don’t know dearest, something could have detained him. Why don’t we retire? A good nights sleep with put everything right. “

With a sigh of resignation Glorrianna agreed, “lead the way.”

The two women made their way above  and parted at the top of the stairs. Sylvie gave Glorianna a kiss on the cheek and they parted ways to their perspective rooms.

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Chapter 10 (a)

Well I will be on vacation this weekend so my next installment will be on Monday.  Enjoy:)

Clive Levinson reclined in his bath and thought over the events of the day. Harelson sat precariously on the edge waiting for his master to impart more wisdom. The intriguing bubbles that he occasionally batted his kitty paw at holding most of his attention frankly.

“Ah Harelson,” Clive sighed, “if only everyone would shut up and show so much attention in what I have to say.” He chucked and splashed the cat playfully sending the feline scurrying away in a huff.

After he left an irritated Glorianna Lockely rearranging her disarrayed gown he’d stopped by Scotland Yard. A missive had been waiting for him from George Lusk head of the Whitechapel Vigilance committee. What had taken the blighter so long to forward it he could only guess. Clive frowned in thought at what the note both concealed and reveled.

It had read:

From Hell

Mr Lusk
I send you half the
Kidne I took from one women
prasarved it for you tother piece
I fried and ate it was very nice. I
may send you the bloody knif that
took it out if you only wate a whil

It was signed:

catch me when
you Can
Mishter Lusk.

It had been accompanied by a picture of the kidney stated in the note. A picture that closely resembled the style in which he had become accustomed to seeing in Lord DeWinns work.

Harelson hopped back up onto the tub. “Harleson, do you detect something strange about the note?” He inquired of his cat.

Harelson meowed.

“Quite,” Clive replied. The note was obviously supposed to be a misdirection. The words of someone barley literate. However, the sender had known to put a silent “k” in front of the word “knife” and an “h” in “while” which indicated to Clive that the note was intended to disguise a literate man. A doctor or a Baron perhaps?

Clive really didn’t think Lord DeWinn could have been the sender. He had a knack for feeling out a mans character and Lord DeWinn fit none of the criteria for being the type to commit these heinous crimes. However, circumstantial evidence was building up to implicate him, conveniently implicate him, as if he was being framed by someone that knew what to use to reach that end. Someone like Dr. Tesh whom Clive had no problem believing it was well with in the doctor’s character to do so. Nevertheless, the two had become Clive’s number one and two prime suspects.

The Chief inspector was not inclined to listen to this.

“No Harelson, there is something shifty going on at the Yard concerning this case.

The cat eyed him with seeming interest.

“They are discouraging me in following leads and concentrating on unlikely suspects. It’s as if they just want to find a plausible villain to satisfy the crowds.”

Harelson batted at a few more bubbles.

“Well Harelson my friend, it seems it’s up to you and me to hash this out.”

Clive pulled the plug on the tub. A disappointed Harelson took himself off in search of other distractions. Whether he believed in DeWinns innocence or not he must speak to him.

Clive began pulling himself together. There was a photographic exhibition this evening and he had been told that one of the exhibitors would be Lord DeWinn. It would be an interesting conversation Clive thought.

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chapter 9 (c)

The cab rolled up to her address in Brook Street. The gas lanterns cast a looming shadow in the ever growing fog that would soon encompass the city in a shroud.

The step of the cab was lowered and Clive stepped out onto the walk infront of her townhouse. She ook the hand Clive proffered and looked up at him as she gained the walk a moment behind.  She looked up at the facade of her house. So welcoming in the nearing darkness, gas lights flickering from behind the thick brocade draperies. The fire within would warm her clammy nerves.

“Let us make haste Inspector,” Glorrianna said nervously, “the chill of the city is upon us.”

With that Glorianna made her way quickly up the steps. The door was promptly opened by the ever present Sissy. Glorrianna would not spare a moment of this strange night wondering why Sylvies ladies maid was answering the door instead of Knox. She would certainly not question why she felt safer with Sissy at the door than Knox.

“Sissy we will adjourn to the rear parlor. Please have refreshments served there,” Glorianna said with as much composure as she could muster.

“This way Inspector,” She led the way to the private parlor at the back of the house. This was not a time for formalities, the more comfortable the better, Glorianna thought.

Her favorite room was already set with a crackling fire chasing away the chill of the encroaching evening.

Glorianna made herself comfortable on her favorite overstuffed settee. She motioned the inspector to the the chair across from her.  He ignored her suggestion and insinuated himself on the settee next to her, so close that their thighs brushed against each other, Glorianna squirmed in carnal  acknowledgement. At that moment Sissy entered with a tea tray accompanied by a much desired bottle of brandy.

“Thank you Sissy that will be all,” Glorianna said in her most respectable tone.

Sissy frowned and humphed as she turned shutting the door just short of a click.

“Shall I poor inspector?” Glorianna asked.

“As long as you are poring that brandy please do,” he said with a charming dimple showing in his unshaven cheek.

She yearned to stroke that rough cheek. To feel the contours of his masculine face benieth her fingers. She imagined herself reaching over and undoing his tie, the silken strands slipping through her fingers. Then she realized she was not just thinking those things but doing. The remains of his tie dropping from her nerveless fingers. Oh she was evil ended she thought.

Clive caught her fingers as she began to undo the front of his shirt. “Is this what you want Glorianna?”

She had not expected him to question her actions. He was more aware of what was going on than she was apparently. She was acting on impulse. He was still in fully cognizant of everything going on around him. How unshakable he was she thought.


Clive wrapped his collapsed hand around the delicate china cup that was filled to the brim with brandy, his tea of choice if truth be known.

The lady was primed he could tell and he was pleased. He knew in his gut that Lord DeWinn had prior claim and he would not even think of the vile Dr. Tesh. Yet he wanted her. That was the plain and unvarnished truth. He still intended to question her but the questions could hold a moment or two or three for that matter he thought indulgently. He needed answers, but he intended to have his fun first.

Quite obviously the widow Lockley intended to have her fun as well and he was not about to dissuade her from that goal. He was a man after all. A man with needs he reminded himself. He reminded himself ruthlessly that he could also use her needs to his advantage. Looking her squarely in the eye he began a merciless seduction.

“Glorianna,” he said in the quietest of voices almost questioningly.

She could not utter a word. Not to answer his unspoken question. Not to make small talk she was utterly with out words.

His hand delved benieth her fashionably narrow skirts, traveling up her thigh. His calloused fingers making contact with her bare skin at the slit between her drawers.

Oh this Is what I want Glorianna thought as she gave herself up to Clive’s seduction. To forget, to experience, to replace thoughts she should forget. Yet the imagine of vaughn intruded. She pushed them ruthlessly  aside concentrating on the feelings Clive was invoking. She wanted Inspector Levenson she reminded herself…Clive…she corrected in her mind.

“Oh yes,” she murmured.

“Is this what you want lovely?” he said kissing up the side of her sweetly turned neck, a finger delving into her wetness.

“yes, yes,”

“Do you want more love?” he asked in a husked voice.

“more,” was all she could say.

“ahh so sweet, so hot, so wet for me,” Clive murmured. “open for me love.”

She could do nothing but comply. The sweet extacy of what he was doing with his fingers defied all coherent thinking.

Suddenly he covered her on the settee. No longer were they sitting side by side. No longer were they in a polite embrace. She was prone on the couch he sitting at her feet skirts drawn up. Realization started to set in but he calmed her with a kiss at her knee.

“shhh love, it’s just us,” and is lips began to travel from her knee to the slit in her drawers. Oh how she wished at this point that she had been one of those evolved women that eshued undergarments. How much better it would feel if Clive had full access to her most personal parts. And then his mouth was there and she couldn’t think.

Clive was doing things with his tongue she had only dreamed of in her most depraved of fantasies. He tongued her nub and she shuddered with feeling. His wet mouth covering her most intimate of places. Oh this is what I need Glorianna thought in disjointed imaginings.

She was swept up in erotic feeling. Severed from her regular boring person. Injected forcefully into a world of bliss so strong it shook her to her core.

As the volcanic eruption inside her subsided she became aware of Clive hovering over her. His intense face one of obvious need. In a haze she allowed him to part her thighs and insert himself between them. He pulled her stays beneath her spare breasts.

“Ah love, you have lovely breasts,” he murmured lowering his head to suckle her exposed nipples. “So sweet, like peaches,” he said between licks.

“They are too small,” she said in wonder.

“mmm not too small just right for you love,” and he licked them again. One long tonging from under her left breast to her nipple and there he hovered. Breathing lightly upon the nub. Heightening the expectation before he sucked it into is mouth in a powerful draw.

Clive positioned himself over her,he had discarded his trousers, nothing lay between them. He took one hand and guided himself into her. God so tight, so wet, he thought as he pushed himself further inside. It was like heaven being inside Glorianna he thought. She smelled like spring time and felt like clouds bursting with rain. I’ve become a damed poet he thought disparingly.

They came together with long drawn out thrusts. He slided against her walls over and over. The feeling was sublime. He could loose himself in this woman he thought. Panting wih the aftermath of their joining he paused, damned if he would he thought. With an economy of movement he forced himself to disengage in what could surely drag him under if he stayed another minute. He had a damned job to do and no matter what the cause he should not be sidetracked by a beautiful woman, no matter that her scent and disheveled appearance made him want to forget any professional interest he had in her. He looked at her hurt and questioning eyes and began to again forget his professional perspective. No. He thought a prime pair of thigh and a sweet smile would not get the best of him,” Glorrianna,” he approached quietly.

“oh just get it over with,” Glorrianna said on a sigh as she began to right herself.

“What do you know of Lord deWinns and Dr. Tesh’s whereabouts on the night of  8 September?”a

“That was the night Annie Chapman died?”

“Yes,” the indpector said as he pored himself another cup of brandy.

“I cannot say clive ,” she used his name shyly. “I saw them both briefly but not at an hour that would give either an alibi, if that is what you really want to know.”

“Thank you for being truthful. I’ll admit that I needed to question you on this matter but please please do not interpret that my desire for you stemmed from such. You are a lovely woman and you will be my lovely in my mind. If you ever have need of me I will be but a message away.

With that he kissed the tender inside of Glorianna’s wrist and made his way toward the door. “It’s fine Sissy I’ll see my way out,” she could hear him say.

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chapter 9 (b)

This is what I mean by my characters taking the bull by the horns. My “outline/block” was simply that Inspector Levinson question Glorianna. He is supposed to use his mojo to get answers regarding Lord DeWinn. We ended up with a Bond street meeting, followed by a steamy carriage ride and ends up in her parlor under compromising circumstances. AND he still hasn’t questioned her! Ah well let the love scene roll I’m sure he’ll get to it eventually;)

Chapter 9

“Don’t look now sweetie but I think that is oh so yummy Inspector Levinson on the corner outside,” said Sylvie with a sly look on her piquant face.

“Where?” Glorianna said in a breathless tone, craning her neck to see out the window Sylvie was standing in front of. Then she saw him. He was an impressive man. Tall, loose limed and with full lips. He was quite an attractive specimen and she had not quite yet stricken him from her list of would be lovers.

Unfortunately they moved in different circles and she had not had the opportunity to become better acquainted with him. She would take the opportunity now she thought squaring her shoulders. Vaughn…Lord DeWinn, she corrected herself, did not own her and one confrontation between the two of them no matter how heated would not deter her from her quest. Wasn’t part of the quest for a lover a way to forget that man she thought?

Glorianna stepped out of the dress makes shop with an artificially insouciant air. Inspector Levenson turned from an equally fake perusal of the milliners shop window next door.  He doffed his hat. “Mrs. Lockley?” he questioned.

“Oh let us not stand on formalities inspector, please call me Glorianna,” she said with a coy smile. She was not sure of her flirtatiousness but it was worth giving it her best she thought.

The inspector smiled. “Ah Glorrianna, such a glorious name for such a lovely woman.”

Glorianna dimpled she was not immune to flattery it seemed, “what brings you to Bond Street Inspector?”

“If I am to be so favored with your familiarity Glorrianna I insist that you call me Clive,” said the inspector.

“It would be a distinct pleasure Clive,” she let the name roll seductively off her tongue. At least she thought it was her closest approximation of seductive Glorrianna thought with an inward cringe. “Now really…Clive what brings you here. Surely you cannot be shopping for a new chapeau,” Glorrianna nodded towards the milliners shop, a playful smile on her face.

“You’ve caught me out Glorianna,” Clive said chuckling. She noticed the small cleft in his full lower lip and wondered what those lips would feel like on hers. Oh she was such a tart she thought.

“Nefarious milliners business no doubt. Top secret and all that?” She laughed engagingly.

“No doubt,” he smiled in return, “actually I do have a legitament reason for seeking you out.”

“Since when is flirting legitament?” Glorianna asked groaning inwardly ye gad what a failure at flirtation she was.

“I think this conversation would be better held in a more private locale,” said clive.

“My thoughts exactly,” Glorrianna said with a secret smile.

Clive hailed a hansom cab and they were soon on their way to her Brook Street town house.


In the confines of the small cabriolet, Glorianna ignored her natural inclination to lean away from the gorgeous Clive Levinson. He seemed to understand her discomfiture for he said with a lopsided smile, “and here we are beautiful Glorianna.”

“Yes here we are,” she replied with a soft but giddy laugh.

“Are you going to tell me why you’ve plunged us in such an obviously compromising position?”

Glorrianna sat a bit straighter, she was the  author of her future. She would not be discomposed by the mear presence of a handsome man. “La! Inspector. It was simple expedience that put us in this cab together. Nothing more. Nothing less,” she hoped she sounded as convincing for she was trembling inside.

the tock of big ben could be heard from the confines of the cab. one strike two, three, four, five, Glorrianna noted. It would be dark soon and already the fog was encapsulating the city.

“Come now Glorianna,” Clive said insinuating a knee between her skirted legs. “It is much more than expedience that has placed us here,” he moved that leg in sultry time with the horses steps. He was not beyond using what tools were available to him to extract information. In this case it would be no trial at all.

“Alright Clive, pax,” Glorianna said on an exhalation of breath.

“ah now we get to the truth,” clive said in a sultry tone, his full sensuous lips spreading in a slight smile.

“please inspector…“

“ah ah ah Clive,” he reminded her, his knee putting more pressure on that spot that left her breathless.

Oh was she so depraved Glorrianna thought. That she could be lusting after one man and still so in love with another? But this was not supposed to be about love Gloriianna reminded herself this was supposed to be about sexual gratification and the oblivion that promised.

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chapter 9 (a)

Well I am back at it with much more enthusiasm thanks to my contest win:) This story is taking on a life of it’s own. It’s becoming much more of a “who dun it/erotic romance” than I had planned it to be. My first thought was that it would be another 20,000-30,000 word novella approximately 12 chapters. The story is not cooperating. I’m up to 12,000 plus words and there is so much more to explore. What I thought was the diddling middle is really a 3 part diddle. Not to mention that I have not written any of the ‘love’ scenes. I’ve added a character, the cross dressing maid Sissy, oh she/he is fun and a whole nother story. I’ve changed the name of the slick Dr. Melton to Dr. Tesh (I was never keen on Melton, I just picked it out of a hat) you’ll find out why in a chapter or two…ohhh such a mystery hehe

chapter 9

Extra Extra read it hear! Two more Whitechapel horrors. When will the murderer be captured?Read it hear first!

Sylvie was sitting in the small breakfast room nibbling on a piece of toast.

“Good morning dearest,” she said looking up from the paper she had been reading. “Dreadful news this morning.”

“Do tell,” Glorianna said helping herself to tea.

“Those awful murders taking place in the east end. Those poor women, “she shivered,”I cannot imagine the terror the community must feel out there. It makes me afraid even though the madman has not reached his hand into any of the respectable neighborhoods.”

“Sylvie you know that the majority of whitechaple and the surrounds are quite respectable.  Of course there are pockets of danger but look no further than Marleybone to see that.”

“Oh quite quite, I suppose I did not word that statement correctly , you know I’m not so much a snob or finger pointer for all that.”

Glorrianna had only to see Sissy to know that she thought with an inward chuckle. Did Sylvie really not realize that she was employing a man as a ladies maid? However, it was not her place to meddle in Sylvies private business if she did not wish to share it. She just hoped her friend was not so naively stupid and there was some other explaination for Sissy.

Glorianna opened the invitation that had been laid next to her. She fingered the envelope somewhat trepidations to open it. She recognized the hand writing even if she hadn’t seen it for eighteen years.

“Well darling are you going to open it?” Sylvie said with obvious anticipation.

“It’s another invitation,” Glorrianna said softly not looking at Sylvie.

“Sweetest do not keep me on pins!”

“It’s from Lord DeWinn,” Glorianna said looking up to judge her friends reaction.

“hmm to what?” Sylvie said drolly, a secretive smile on her petite face.

Glorianna smiled slyly in return. Her friend would stop at nothing in her matchmaking even if it was to promote a swain that was a self imposed ‘off limits’ candidate.

“Keep your petticoats from bunching,” Glorriana laughed. Oh it felt good to laugh at the situation, “Lord DeWinn has invited me to a photographic exhibition nothing more.”

“Well I shall be your escort dearest,” Sylvie said in her starchiest tone, “far be it for me to let you attend unchaperoned.”

“I’m a widow Sylvie.”

“Ah yes but a widow in search of a lover…”


“Oh don’t ‘Sylvie me’ I know what you are up to. I saw the way that man devoured you with his eyes. And don’t believe for one moment that I did not see you eat him up in return. Correct me if I’m wrong but he is a widower same as you now no?

“Oh Sylvie don’t start. It’s much too complicated for such a simple occurrence to make such a difference.”

“Well my peach I think it makes all the difference in the world. You are both now free. I would not be apposed to the two of you acting on it. I will be the soul of discretion.”

“I’m sure you will,” Glorrianna said with resignation. It seemed they would be attending the exhibition after all.

“I believe a shopping expedition is in order,” enthused Sylvie, “It’s been ages since we visited Madam Veroux’s.”

Glorianna did not want to quash her friends enthusiasm even if she did have serious reservations about accepting Vaughn’s reservation. It was so hard thinking of him as Lord DeWinn when he had always been ‘Vaughn’ in her mind. However, she must try to maintain some distance and it began with the way she thought of him. She could not so easily succumb to him. It was unthinkable. But oh how lovely his kisses had been.

“A shopping trip it is then,” Glorrianna smiled with forced gusto.

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I Won I Won

As I told you yesterday I took a brief (very brief) break in writing this story. I’ve read that taking breaks can be helpful and this tip surely was. I entered a flash fiction contest. The rules were the story must contain 500 – 900 words and must include a sex scene. Below is my winning entry:) I’ll be enthusiastically returning to the next regular chapter tomorrow.

The boy next door contest winner
He was her new neighbor. It was more than he could have expected for the girl next door to notice him in classes last term. It was painful to watch her leave for her summer job each morning. A sweet ponytail swinging with the sway of her hips.

He had taken to leaving her notes in her mailbox each afternoon. “Don’t wear panties today.” his first note read. He watched her leave for work the following morning, wearing a skirt. He wondered if she had followed his instructions. He fisted his erection imagining the unprotected lips of her sex moistening with the friction of each step.

“Do not wear a bra or panties.” read the next note. Again he watched her leave wearing another skirt and a camisole concealed by a blazer. He could not tell from his window if she had followed his instructions but he imagined that she had. He pumped his cock thinking of her small unbound breasts jiggling and available to his unfettered touch. Her pointed nipples inviting his lips.
A third note in her mail box read, “No panties or bra. Leave your hair down.” She panted at the thought. She could only guess who had been leaving her these notes. She couldn’t help being titillated by the thought of the sexy boy next door leaving them. She complied because of that hope.

She left that morning without her undergarments. It felt so naughty and illicit to be without that barrier. Her nipples brushing against her top was a constant reminder of the erotic pleasure she felt thinking of him. She’d been sure to comply to each demand, would he notice?

She hoped he knew she was following instructions. Would he continue this odd seduction? She hoped he would finally approach her. He was incredibly striking. Not handsome in a classical sense, overly tall and intimidatingly muscular with an arrestingly masculine visage. She had imagined more than once a look of ecstasy upon that face as he worked above her prone figure.
He watched from his window excitement gripping him. She bounced down her front steps, hair flowing free. She was following his instructions he thought, a groan of frustrated sexual desire escaping.

When she arrived home he was sitting on her doorstep. She stepped from her car and he rose, his height impressive, “hello there,” he greeted, a slanting smile on his full lips.

“Hello yourself,” she said with a shy smile. She nervously pushed her hair behind her ears.

“Invite me in,” he said in a soft but commanding tone.

She answered by brushing past him up the steps, the smell of her, vanilla and spice, reaching him in a rush of desire. She unlocked the door, pausing to let him enter. She closed the door behind him and leaned against it eyes cast down demurely.
“Remove your clothes, I want to see you,” he said crowding her against the door. He stood so close she could feel the heat pulsing off his large body.
She watched his eyes devour her as she began to undress. She felt pleasure low in her belly to see the admiration in his dark gaze. This was so different from the usual dating encounters she’d had. She didn’t have to think about what to do, how to please him. He simply told her. It was a thrill to watch his eyes heat as she removed each item of clothing. It was freeing.

Without undergarments she didn’t have much to remove and soon stood before him nude, nipples pebbling with excitement. He was still fully clothed and it added another layer of erotic mystery to the encounter.

After a lengthy look up and down her body with his sensual eyes he spun her around. It was a shock to realize they were still at the door. He placed her hands firmly above her head, hands flat against the door. “Stay here,” he said in a lust roughened voice.

She trembled with sexual excitement. Her breaths coming in pants. He insinuated a knee between her thighs, inexorably pushing them apart. His fingers on her sex were a shock making her body pulse and tremble. She jumped in surprise.

“Don’t move,” he breathed in her ear.
Unbelievably he had her where he’d always wanted her. The pleasure of seeing her naked body available and ready was more than he could bare. This first time would be unfortunately quick. He promised himself he would make it up to her.

With one hand low on her back, just above her beautiful buttock he unzipped himself. He guided his cock into her weeping passage. She gasped as his length imbedded in her tight, wet, channel. Oh so good was his only thought. He pumped with long sure strokes. Faster. Stronger.

She was soon convulsing around him. Her tight heat taking him with her. With a thick arm about her slender waist he held her steady and found his own release.
It was like a million stars crashing down around them. Holding her close, he thought possessively, she is mine now. Nobody else’s.

He turned her around gently and kissed her slowly, tongue gliding smoothly. Their first kiss

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Chapter 8 (b)

A few days ago I entered a writing competition. I needed to write about something different. Get away from this story for a short bit and it did help. The results should be in tomorrow. It would be really nice to get a little validation so I’ll cross my fingers. It could be either really good for my motivation or really bad hehe. Anywhooo I’ll post the results here and you can see for yourself why I ranked as I did:)

Chapter 8 (b)

Vaughn took a deep breath and rearranged his longish hair with one hand then replaced his hat. He looked towards her door and squared his wide shoulders. With a furrowed brow, he lifted the knocker and applied it with resolve. He was about to come face to face with the woman he yearned for, the woman he had not seen since he had wronged her eighteen long years ago. Please god he thought do not let her shut the door in my face.

The door opened promptly and Vaughn was faced with a tallish, semi masculine woman. If he did not know better he would have suspected the woman was actually actually a man. He handed her his card and said politely. “Is your mistress receiving?”

The mannish woman took his card saying in a voice that seemed unusually low, “There are two mistresses of the house my lord, and they are currently not receiving callers.” The woman made to close the door. This was not beginning well Vaughn thought.

He put a hand to the door before it could close in his face. “Please, err Miss,” her eyes squinted at his hesitation in addressing her; “if you could just present Mrs. Lockley with my card I would be indebted to you.”

“Very well,” she said on a put out sigh, “stay there just a moment. She turned away and Vaughn could distinctly here her murmur to herself something about “proposing louts….” Vaughn was not used to being made to wait on a doorstep and his fingers tapped against his thigh in impatience.

A moment later Vaughn was confronted with a pixie like creature, the maid hovering behind her looking more like a bodyguard now than a maid, “Lord deWinn,” the small woman said with a scowl marring her elfin features, “You are not welcome here!”

“Please Miss…?” Vaughn said at a loss as to how to address her.

“Mrs. Babbet,” she helped arms crossed over her chest. “You dare to show your face here?”

“I would just like to speak to Glorianna Mrs. Babbet,” Vaughn said wondering just how much she knew of their prior relationship.

Stamping her foot in a show of temper, “That’s Mrs. Lockley to you Lord DeWinn, and I believe Sissy told you she was not receiving,” she motioned to the maid cum bodyguard  behind her.  “You have ignored Mrs. Lockley for eighteen years and now you waltz in and expect an audience with her?”

Vaughn’s question was confirmed, Mrs. Babbet obviously knew quite a lot about his past relationship with Glorianna. “I’m sorry Mrs. Babbet but I must speak to her,” he said as he brushed by her and stepped quickly around a glowering Sissy.

“How dare you!” Mrs. Babbet said from behind as his long stride took him quickly from the foyer and towards what must be the main parlor. He would look in every damn room if he had to he thought.


Glorianna sat with her feet up comfortably sipping her brandy laced tea trying to calm her nerves. She would surely become an alcoholic if her nerves were continually frayed as they had been of late. First that horrible confrontation with Dr. Melton and then on the heals of that catastrophe Sissy had come to inform them that Vaughn had come to call. She shivered even though the room was not cold. How had he found her she thought and what was Sylvie saying to him now? Perhaps she should have agreed to see him.

However, she could not bring herself to. She had dreamt of him every night since the one at the Royal Photographic Society meeting. How much worse would it be if he were close enough to touch? She would embarrass herself for sure. She could imagine what a laugh he and his beautiful wife would have when they discussed poor little Glorianna still so much in love with a man who had abandoned her long ago. Tears began to form in her eyes. If she shed one more tear for that man, she would surely go insane.

On that thought, the door burst open and there he was, tall and commanding as she always remembered him to be.

“I’m sorry sweetheart,” Sylvie pushed past him rushing to her side, “he cur simply barged in. You do not have to speak with him! Say the word and I will have Knox and Sissy escort him out.”

Glorianna now saw that indeed Knox and Sissy were hovering in the doorway ready to act on their mistresses behalf.  Glorianna almost giggled with looming hysteria at the ridiculous sight of the maid nearly topping Knox the footman in height very nearly more masculine than he.

“It’s ok Sylvie,” Glorianna said swallowing the lump threatened to close her throat, “I’ll be fine. Please shut the door,”

“Are you certain? “ Sylvie asked in concern.

“Yes I’m certain,” she said standing on shaking knees. “I’ll call if I have need. I promise,” she reassured.

“Alright then,” Sylvie said pausing at the door, “we shall be nearby.” With a snick, the door shut.

Now she faced the man who had haunted her for so long. He was no longer a dream but flesh and blood. Oh how her heart ached just looking up at his beautiful face.

Glorianna gathered her wits. She would not let him see how much he affected her. “Lord DeWinn.” she greeted him with a composed nod. Surely, he would not see how she trembled.

“Glorianna,” his low voice rolled over her senses and she briefly closed her eyes savoring the sound. “There is no need to be so formal is there?” His brow furrowed just as it had eighteen years ago.

“We are strangers now my lord,” she said folding her hands in front of her to still their quaking.

He came to stand before her. He stood so close that she could feel the heat coming off his body. She now had to tilt her head back to speak feeling a bit dizzy. Was it the position she now had to hold or was it merely his proximity she wondered? “We became strangers the day you left without a word my lord.”

“Glory let me explain…”

“You have nothing to explain my lord,” she said with a bit of heat, “your actions have spoken volumes.”

“I know I hurt you Glory, I was young and stupid. I thought it was the best way but I can look back now and see that I was an ass. Please forgive me Glory?”

“As I said my lord there is nothing to explain, nothing to forgive. We were both young and I was apparently stupid as well, “she turned her back to him and stepped a pace or two away. She could not look at him and say the things she needed to say. She could not stand so close and not want to reach out and touch him. That would be foolish.

“How were you stupid in this Glory?”

She could feel that he had stepped up behind her, his words whispering from above her head.

“My lord, I’m sure many a young and impressionable girl has made the same stupid mistake that I did.”

The heat of his large beloved hands were now on her shoulders. He squeezed gently, “you made no mistake Glory, it was me not you,”

She whirled on him suddenly beyond sadness. “You see sir when a man tells an eighteen year old girl that he loves her she has the woeful tendency to believe him. I am not the first girl to be stupid enough to believe that!”

“I did love you Glory,” he said with vehemence. “I still love you!”

“Lord DeWinn, you are mistaken. We are strangers now, you do not know me and I do not nor do I want to know you know! I suggest you go back to your wife and leave me be. You have only dredged up old wounds and I have no desire to bring up more!”

“My wife is dead Glorianna!”

A shocked silence followed that outburst. Glorianna spoke into the quiet of the room, “I am sorry for your loss then my lord.”

Glorianna reeled inside. What was she doing pushing him away when all she wanted was to pull him closer? Nevertheless, she must! She could not be dragged back into the pain and hurt that was Vaughn.

“Good day Lord DeWinn,” she turned to leave but he somehow beat her to the door and locked it.

“Glory…,” he said crowding her, “I cannot articulate my feelings, god knows how I wish I could,” he said in an anguished voice, “let me show you,” he said reaching out and gently touching her hair his fingers trailing down to her neck exposed by her upswept hair, “let me show you how I feel.”

He lowered his mouth bending from his great height to meet hers.  She melted instantly. Oh how lovely those beguiling lips felt. His arms came about her as he deepened the kiss. He lifted her in those strong arms and she remembered how safe she had always felt in them. So different from poor Henry whom she had never felt protected in his arms. How distinctly different from Dr. Melton she inwardly shivered. She had definitely not felt safe in his arms she thought.

Vaughn carried her to the sofa and lowered her gently. He was always so gentle with her she thought loosing herself in his kisses. His big body came down over hers. He pulled back a fraction his large hand stroking the lines of her face. Oh how she loved this man. The thought made her freeze. Reality of what she was allowing breaking over her. She pushed against his wide shoulders.

“What is it Glory?” Vaughn whispered huskily.

“I cannot do this Vaughn.”

“Ah how I love to hear my name on your lovely lips,” he smiled.

“Vaughn you must stop,” she said with a bit more force pushing at him harder.

He sat up realizing she was now pulling away from him instead of burrowing closer. His brow puckered and he looked at her questioningly.

“I need time to think Vaughn. Obviously there is still an attraction between us but that is all there is.

“It’s not simple attraction Glory…nothing that simple,” he hung his head, elbows braced on his knees with his fingers dangling between his thighs.

“It is,” she said emphatically, “and if I succumb to this desire between us now I’m afraid I’ll be as much a fool now as I was as a girl.”

“You were never ever a fool Glory.”

“I want you to go Vaughn,” she said quietly

He stood with resignation written in every line of his body “alright. I’ll give you time to think, but I will be back Glory this is not finished.”

Vaughn unlocked the door, “just promise me you will stay away from Dr. Melton?”

She had already decided for her own reasons that she would but she was curious that Vaughn would make that request. “Why?” she asked simply.

“There are some things I’ve found out about him that do not sit right. He is not the man he puts out to the world.” Vaughn paused as if thinking better of continuing, “He will soon be under investigation for the murders in the east end and I don’t want you entangled in that.” He turned with that and showed himself out.

A frigid chill raced down Glorianna’s spine. Hadn’t she thought exactly that? That there was something decidedly wrong with the doctor after what he had visited upon her at the hotel? Oh, he was handsome indeed and compelling but her time spent with him in that room had convinced her that she should follow her feelings and cut short their liaison. What would Vaughn think of her if he knew exactly how much she intimately knew of the doctor’s façade? The evil she had felt lurking beneath his handsome exterior.

After that night she should have known better than be surprised at the burst of anger that the usually urbane doctor had shown. She relived the earlier meeting in her mind and resolved that in this case she had no trouble complying with Vaughns request.

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Chapter 8 (a)

I still have the diddle middle blues. I’m literally forcing myself to write just to have something to post on this blog. This was partially the purpose of this blog so I guess it was a good thing to do if I want to power on through this first draft. I did join a writing group that is really fun fan story . It’s a bit addicting like, mafia wars, sims etc… the more you critique other writers the higher you can promote your own writing on the board. The higher your writing is on the board the more people will critique your writing. I’ve been getting some really valuable feed back.
Chapter 8
Vaughn walked with purpose to the neat little town house on the corner lot of Brook Street. The day was unusually pleasant for London but his thoughts were not. He tried to gather them as his long legs ate up the ground and brought him inexorably closer. Would she even deign to see him he thought?
Almost upon the steps, he spied an angry looking Dr. Melton taking his leave of the residence in question. He wore an angry scowl upon his handsome face as he placed his hat upon his scrupulously pomaded blond head.
Vaughn decided he would put a stop to the doctor’s attentions to Glorianna right here and now. It was for her own good he reasoned. There was something off about the doctor. It was more than a feeling now. Thoughts of yesterday’s murder circled his head. She might not like it but she had to be warned.

The doctor was now down the front steps and making his way determinedly to a waiting hansom.

“Ho there!” Vaughn called out to him.
The doctor spun in agitation. He clearly did not want to be bothered at this moment. “Good day to you Lord DeWinn. I see you are putting the information I gave you to quick use,” he said with a scowl.
“I’d like a word if I might,” Vaughn said in a deceptively calm voice.
“I really haven’t the time for a tet-a-tet right now Lord DeWinn,” The doctor cast a dark look toward the house he had just left. “Perhaps another time.”
“No, not another time doctor. We will discuss this now,” Vaughn said looking down at Dr. Melton. He knew his height and breadth sometimes intimidated, he would usually be bothered by that fact, however now he used it to his advantage.
“I don’t want you calling on Mrs. Lockley again sir.”
“What rights have you to tell me what I can or cannot do my lord? I doubt very highly that the widow would like having a watchdog. She seems very capable of putting people off herself.”
Vaughn wondered what had just occurred between the two but went on “Right now I don’t care whether Glorianna likes it or not. What I do care about is her safety. I’m warning you now doctor that if you do not desist your attentions I will be forced to act.”
Dr. Melton narrowed his eyes, “are you threatening me with something my lord?”
“Indeed I am,” Vaughn, said darkly, “it may have come to your attention that another murder was committed. However, you may not know that the victim has been identified.”
“Yes I read about that, nasty business,” the doctor stroked his goatee, “yet I still fail to see what a threat that is to me.”
“The victim was identified as Dark Annie.”
“Dark Annie…?” the doctor said as if the name meant nothing to him.
“Come now Dr. Melton, your memory cannot be so faulty. Surly in such a short time you still remember me introducing her to you just the other day.
“Ah, Annie. The whore is dead you say? Well that is unfortunate.”
“It would be more unfortunate doctor if I shared with the intrepid inspector Levinson just how closely her fatal wounds resembled those of the autopsy I saw conducted by you at the hospital.”
“Hm, I see that I was mistaken in what I thought was a mutual respect my lord. If what you are doing is accusing me of being the vile bastard that has been terrorizing the east end of late, I am clearly wrong. I would also remind you that you met with Annie same as I. You are a much more familiar sight in those environs than I am in fact. I wonder where you were that morning I might ask?”
A dark look entered Vaughn’s eyes, “I didn’t say the murder took place in the morning.”
Dr. Melton looked uncomfortable, “I read the newspapers! Never the less it’s nothing to do with me so if you don’t mind,” he indicated his cab, “I must be going. I’ll thank you to keep your unfounded speculations to yourself.”
With a huff, the doctor turned and entered his cab. He suddenly leaned back out saying to Vaughn with an ugly sneer on his otherwise attractive face, his temper clearly in evidence, “By the way Lord DeWinn, you might tell that bloody little bitch yonder, “he said with a wave of his arm towards Glorianna’s townhouse, “that she aught to watch her tongue, or somebody will end up watching it for her.”
Vaughn watched the cab roll away a dark feeling blooming in his breast. The papers had not known the time of death at the time of publication. Therefore could not have reported it and by confronting the doctor he may have just made a bad situation worse for Glorianna.

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Chapter 7 (I think)

I’ve read that a lot of writers like to listen to music while they write. I tried it out with this latest bit of writing and it does not work for me. Music makes me want to move, no matter what kind,  not sit and type. So this was a failed experiment. Live and learn.

In this next installment I had to do a bit of rearranging of my “outline”. Very little changed, however with the way the story was unfolding some of the characters needed to do certain things before they were called for in the original sequence. If you notice below I “blocked” a portion of the story instead of actually writing it. It has a very involved sex scene. I like to add my sex scenes later. I have to be in the mood to write them and sometimes I have a headache…not tonight dear…hehe. (More on blocking here, apparently I’ve been using it and didn’t even know it!)

The young handsome radical doctor has invited Glorianna to dinner at a hotel. she knows the doctor is attracted to her but Glorianna is worried that she can’t “do it” with the doctor without love and Silvie offers her a concoction. She feels extra sexy and tries out her wiles in a room upstairs. There are things about the doctor that don’t sit right with Glorianna and after a night of shocking sexual surprises thinks twice about continuing the liaison. He’s way too serious and possessive for someone she barley knew (sex scene)

Diddling Middle Chapter 7 (I think)

Get it Here! Get it Hear! Murderer strikes again in the East End! Read all about it!

Vaughn’s breakfast was disturbed by an incessant beating on the front door. He set his paper down motioning to his man, “Don’t bother Harold I’ll see to this myself.”

He opened the door to his quarters to an impatient Inspector Levinson. “Lord DeWinn, pardon the intrusion but I have need of your help,” he said without preamble.

Vaughn gestured the inspector in, “would you like some coffee inspector?”

“Unfortunately I haven’t the time for such. I’m not sure if you’ve heard but there has been another murder in the east end. The reporters have already been on the scene and are creating quite the panic.”

“I’ll be what help I can,” Vaughn replied calmly.

“I need you to photograph the scene my lord. It is becoming quite the sensation. I believe this is a  repeat killing, very similar to that we found last week.”

“The one we discussed at the Photographic society meeting?”

“The very same. The crime scene is becoming disturbed. I want the details noted as only a picture can so that it can be studied. Notes alone are not going to be enough.”

“Let me gather my equipment and I can be ready straight away.”

“Harold,” Procure a cab for the the inspector and myself, we will be there shortly Vaughn barked.

Vaughn collected his portable camera and a tripod. He also included a few magnesium ribbons as the light may well be dim in the back streets of the East End even in full day as he had found on previous excursions.

When Vaughn and the inspector arrived at the scene it was boarding on mayhem. The inspector had not exaggerated.

“Lord Vaughn, this is Dr. George Bagley. He has been making an assessment of victim.”

“Lord Vaughn,” Dr. Bagley nodded his head gravely.

Vaughn acknowledged the doctor and began taking in the scene fully. He tried to be dispassionate as he looked for best angles and lighting. The victims left arm was placed across her left breast and her legs had been drawn up, knees turned outward. The body was terribly mutilated, the head severed lying about a foot away. Vaughn fought the urge to vomit.

“What do you have for us doctor?” Inquired Inspector Levinson.

“Well,” the doctor began in a clinical fashion circling the body as he spoke, “the time of death was about 5:30 this morning as best I can estimate maybe later. The instrument used at the throat and abdomen appear to have been the same. My opinion is that the murder weapon must have been a very sharp knife with a thin narrow blade. Probably six to eight inches in length maybe longer.”

The Doctor removed his hat smoothing the thinning hair and replaced his hat and continued in a contemplative tone, “The uterus and upper portion of the vagina plus the posterior two thirds of the bladder have been entirely removed..”

Inspector Levinson interrupted, “Have we located the missing parts?”

“Your deputies have found nothing since your departure sir. They seem to have disappeared with the murderer.”

Vaughn fought down another round of nausea and if he wasn’t mistaken had seen a slight shudder rack the seemingly unflappable inspector.

“I don’t want to cause undo alarm inspector,” said the doctor, “but the work was that of an expert. One who had such knowledge of anatomical or pathological examinations as to be enabled to secure the pelvic organs with one sweep of the knife.”

“A physician you mean?” asked Levinson

At that Vaughn looked up in surprise. The victim and the way her body had been laid open as if for examination, triggered an image of the autopsy he had glimpsed at Dr. Melton’s hospital.

“Has anything been moved inspector?” Vaughn asked.

“I don’t believe so…Doctor?”

“The body and near surrounding has not been touched by other than myself to my knowledge,” replied the doctor.

“So nothing needs to be re-staged? If you don’t mind stepping away inspector I believe I can begin photographing the scene then.

“Please,” the inspector indicated with a sweep of his hand. “I’ll be questioning Mr. Davies who found the victim in question. She has not been identified yet. I’ll be just over there if you need anything.”

Vaughn began photographing. Snapping pictures in as many angles as he could light clearly. He moved to the victims severed head and froze nearly loosing his battle to vomit. “Inspector!”

Inspector Levinson jogged back over. Vaughn pointed to the swollen face with the tongue protruding through the front teeth. Even in this gory version Vaughn could not help but recognize it. “I think I can identify the victim inspector. “Her name is…was,” he corrected, “Dark Annie.”

“You’re sure?” Levinson asked.

“Positive, I spoke to her just last evening.”

“Do you remember where and when?”

“Certainly it was about five o’cock just outside the Stratford on Dorset Street. Annie was a regular at that location.”

“If I might inquire my lord what was you’re business with the woman?” Levinson was always careful when questioning the aristocracy. He had to remind himself that they did not see him as an equal. Push too hard and he could be shut out. However, Lord DeWinn hadn’t seemed to fit this sterio type and Levinson felt comfortable asking.

“At his request, I introduced her to Dr. Melton.” The words hung in the silence that followed.

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Diddling middle

Well I’m not quite sure where I am chapter wise at this point. I’m following my “outline” but my characters are not cooperating. (yes I’m blaming them.) this is where I always get stuck. I have my beginning and I know where I want it to all end but I can’t help getting bogged down in the middle. It’s exasperating. Everything that I read about a “sagging” middle is so wordy that it drives me nuts. I did find this (below) on the web in reference to the middle of a novel and found it inspired me a bit plus made me chuckle…always a good thing:)

“Plot development is about being mean to your central character. And this is the place to kick them harder than ever.Despite all the setbacks they have suffered along the way, your central character now believes they are on the very cusp of victory, or of seizing the prize they have had their eyes on all this time.But they are wrong.Something terrible happens and they hit rock bottom. Their hopes of achieving their overall goal (the one they came up with right at the start of the novel) seem as good as dead.” http://www.novel-writing-help.com/plotting-the-novel.html

Diddling Middle

Glorianna and Sylvie sat at the breakfast table alternately eating and perusing mail and the papers. It was a favorite time of day for Glorianna. She loved their breakfast room, again done in light feminine colors of greys and blues. Silver damask wall paper was one of her favorite touches in the room .The table was not a grand affair but cozy and welcoming each morning. It had  view of the tiny garden at the side of the house off the street and late blooming roses could be seen.

Glorianna was staring at the elegant scrawl on a cream  velum card.

“What have you there dearest?” Sylvie asked taking a delicate bite of her scone liberally slathered with preserves.

“It’s an invitation from Dr. Melton,” Glorianna murmured.

“An invitation! Well that is grand!” she took a sip of sugared tea and went on, “He must be as interested in you as you were in him the other night.”

“Do you think so Sylvie?” Glorianna asked looking up with a questioning look at her friend.

Sylvie beamed, “but off course darling! Why else would he have sent an invitation so soon?”

Glorianna sipped her own black tea, “I don’t know Sylvie…”

“Nonsense!” Sylvie silenced her. “What does it say?”

“He wants to take me to dinner tomorrow night at the Claridge Hotel .” Glorianna said.

Sylvie said excitedly, “Oh that is wonderful Glorianna, you must say yes!”

“Dinner at a hotel with a man. Somehow it just doesn’t seem quite respectable.” Glorianna said

“Nonsense, it’s quite a respectable place. Why Queen Victoria herself has visited the establishment. Besides,” Sylvie said with a twinkle in her eye, “it’s not as if your intentions are quite respectable anyway.”

“I know”, Glorianna smiled in return, “that’s why it feels so wicked to accept the invitation.

“oh just do it sweetheart,” Sylvie said emphatically “Trust me this is just what you need. Haven’t we been discussing this all along?”

“Yes. Yes we have,” Glorianna said with determination. If she could help it she would not spend one more night thinking of that man! Although even thinking of him brought a twinge of pain in the area of her heart. “I’ll accept.” She said with a decisive nod of her blond head.

“Excellent!” said Sylvie, “Now lets discuss what you should wear!”

Vaughn sat down to his own breakfast in his rooms. His man placed the mornings paper on the table by his side. by his side. It was an unfashionably early hour to be awake but he couldn’t shake his country hours. By his standards it was late. By now he would have already taken his breakfast and ridden the estate, back at this time to sit down in his study to take care of the less interesting part of his day in paperwork.

He was disturbed this morning. He had visited Dr. Melton at the asylum yesterday morning. The horrors he had seen there were nothing compared to his feelings of the doctors personal patience. They were all prostitutes and Dr. Melton had a strange way of treating them. It bordered on the sadistic and was quite sexual to Vaughn’s way of thinking. Yet he was assured by the doctor that his patients ‘trade” must constitute the treatment. As many of them had gone insane as whores on the street it was only logical that they needed to be taught how a proper woman should conduct themselves.  (sex scene)

At the time this had made sense to Vaughn, yet the more he thought upon it the more he worried that the doctor was more likely sating some sick need within himself. And the more he worried about what the doctors interest in Glorianna could mean. He clenched his fist as he thought of the two of them potentially together.

Now that he’d fulfilled his obligation having taken the doctor to Whitechapel last night and meeting Dark Annie who earned some income from crochet work, making antimacassars and selling flowers, supplemented of course by casual prostitution. Dr. Melton had seemed very keen to have her photographed which made Vaughn distinctly uneasy.

Yet it was all worth it, Vaughn thought as he fingered the card with Glorianna’s address on it. Yes it was worth it he smiled a rare smile.

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Chapter five

A note about goals here. I had read that setting deadlines was a good way to keep you on track. I set a very simple goal of 500 words a day excepting weekends. But alas I am SUCH a procrastinator. Have I written 500 words a day? NO! However, I have a built in guilt monitor and I do end up keeping track of the days I have not written anything. When I do sit down to do my duty, I multiply the unproductive days by 500 and that is my new goal for that particular session. I’ve kept caught up with my schedule in that way so far. I write with diarrhea fingers, churning out 1,500 words or more anyway. Although I’m sure if I set a goal of 1,500 words every time I sat down I wouldn’t do it.  In other words by setting my goal so low I’m actually able to cheat AND keep up. So I guess goals and deadlines are good…even if I have a strange way of keeping to them.

Chapter 5

Late the next afternoon a message arrived for Vaughn where he had taken up bachelor quarters in London. It was a respectable address if not luxurious. But Vaughn was used to doing for himself with a minimum of help. He preferred it that way.

The missive was an invitation from Dr. Melton to meet with him at the Lloyd and Finch public rooms that same evening for supper.  Vaughn new the place. It was frequented by business men and clerks. He’d taken a meal or two there himself since arriving in London.  It was located conveniently to his bank.

Vaughn took his time piece from his waistcoat pocket.  Curious by the invitation he made up his mind quickly to join the doctor. He had plenty of time to make the meeting by walking. Since he’d been in London he hadn’t had nearly enough exercise, used as he was to laboring at his estate in Cornwall. It would also give him time to sort his thoughts as to how he felt about the doctor.

The man made him uneasy and he wasn’t sure why. It didn’t help that Glorianna seemed to look at the doctor with a smile in her eyes that used to fall upon Vaughn himself once upon a time. Could his uneasiness be simple jealousy. Well he would find out soon enough he thought and this would also give him a chance to politely try and extract Glorianna’s direction from the man.

“I’m glad you were able to meet with me Lord DeWinn,” Dr. Melton said smoothly. Standing to greet Vaughn and indicating a chair across the table.

“I was certainly surprised to hear from you,” DeWinn said politely.

“Why the surprise Lord DeWinn? I think we have much in common that could be useful to us both.” Dr. Melton said as he signaled a serving maid.

“And what is that exactly Dr. Melton?” De Winn said in a low tone. He couldn’t mean Glorianna could he Vaughn wondered. No. Nobody knew of his connection to her unless she herself had said something.

“Come Lord DeWinn, I photograph the insane and you are interested in criminal photography.” Dr. Melton said in an oily chuckle. “Truly those endeavors share a certain type of thinking if you will.”

“If you mean often distasteful then I agree in full Doctor.” Vaughn said as a tankard of ale was set before him.

“Ah distasteful yes, but oh so enlightening.” Dr. Melton said taking as sip from his own mug. “I made a few enquiries and it seems you’ve been frequenting the east end of late. Particularly Whitechapel if I’m not mistaken?

Eyeing the doctor with a purposefully blank face Vaughn replied, “you are not mistaken.”

“Good, good,” said the doctor, “then you’ve surely had a bit of experience in what I deal with at the asylum.”

“How is that?” Vaughn questioned.

“Let’s just say that my expertise is dealing with a certain type of woman,” the doctor leaned forward across the table. “It is my hope that by photographing them in certain instances of extreme upset that it can later be shown that their treatments have been beneficial with quantifiable photographic evidence.” The doctor sat back with a satisfied look.

“What sort of woman is that Dr. Melton,” Vaughn eyed the doctor warily. He did not like where this was going.

“Light skirts.” The doctor said bluntly, stroking his goatee,  a look of distaste on his face.

“In my journeys through Whitechapel I’ve found that “your women of a certain type” came to the profession because they had no other way of supporting themselves.” Vaughn said with censure.

The doctor smiled contritely “Oh you mistake me Lord DeWinn it is not simply that they are light skirts that makes them insane. It’s something entirely different. My focus just happens to be on this type of woman and what drives her from simply making a living on her back to needing institutionalization.”

Vaughn was growing impatient. He did not care for the way Dr. Melton thought about his patients. He had spent quite a bit of time of late in Whitechapel in particular and he had come to know some of the women Dr. Melton was referring to as “light skirts,” they were women to be pitied. There were very few ways for women to support themselves or a family if needs be even in this modern age. “I fail to see what help I can afford you Dr. Melton.”

“I have a proposition for you Lord DeWinn,” dr. Melton eyed him closely, “I need data to mark my progresses against.”Dr. Melton folded his hands across his middle, “ You see I only encounter these women once they have become a ward of the asylum. You’ve become chummy with some of the denizens and I’d like you to take me on a tour if you will.” Dr. Melton smiled cajolingly, “you also have perfected your photography in those locals as I have been confined souly to my studio at the hospital. I would greatly appreciate your expertise in photographing some of these women.”

Vaughn paused before answering considering, “and what do you offer in return?”

Dr. Melton put both hands palm down on the table leaning forward again. “A tour of the asylum and especially of my studio.”

This was indeed an interesting proposition Vaughn thought. As his interests mostly lie in the dark aspects of what photographing could do viewing dr. Melton’s invitation to tour the hospital opened up an aspect that was not previously open to Vaughn before. “I accept.” Vaughn said simply with a nod of his head.

“That is wonderful indeed.” Dr. Melton said with a wide smile. “I’ll be in touch and we can decide on a suitable time.” He rose to leave.

“Just one more thing,” Vaughn said before the Doctor could take his leave. “The woman you were with at the Royal Photographic society meeting,  I believe her name is Mrs. Lockley. Might you have her direction?”

Dr. Melton frowned in return. “Now see here Lord DeWinn,” he said jealousy evident. “What business would you have with the widow?”

“Widow?” Vaughn said on an intake of breath. Could it be she was no longer encumbered with a spouse he thought hopefully.

Dr. Melton hadn’t seemed to here him. With a huff he said, “I myself do not know Mrs. Lockley all that well I had just made her acquaintance that evening. I intend to grow that acquaintance  soon.”

Some instinct told Vaughn to fabricate, “We are old friends,” Vaughn said with an innocent smile. “Played together as children, she was like a sister to me,” he lied. “We lost touch in adulthood and she left the meeting before I could make my way over to her.”

“Hmm well, I have her direction in my office at home. I can bring it to you when we meet again.” With that the Doctor turned on his heal and left.

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Fourth Chapter

I was drinking a bit (maybe more than a bit) of wine while I wrote this so I think it may be a bit over the top and just plain stink but I’m going to remember that this is a FIRST DRAFT and will worry about the “stink-age” factor with the second draft. My goal here is to finish the story.

Chapter 4

Ensconced in a little parlor at the back of the house with a pot of tea between them and a bottle of brandy to lace it with, Glorianna and Sylvie sat in deep leather chairs  flanking the fire. It’s crackling warmth creating a cozy safe haven for the two women.

Glorrianna and Sylvie had enjoyed decorated this solitary room with masculinity in mind. Although they both adored the rest of the house, decorated to suite their feminine desires, this room alone they had furnished with the comfort of a male domain. One that they would have, in their past marriages, not been welcome in. Hence the appeal in creating the space. It was dark paneled and book cases flanked either wall beside the fireplace with it’s mahogany mantel. There was a massive bulky desk in the corner and the windows were covered in  deep burgundy brocade drapes. It should have smelled of cigars but as neither women smoked a more feminine scent prevailed. That could not be avoided as it was the domain of two women. But the leather and rich wood and books worked to create the atmosphere they had desired. Only on close examination would one notice that most of the books contained on the shelves were those that would appeal mostly to women. Both Glorianna and Sylvie were surprised by the comfort they found here. It was a favorite spot for them to talk over the day each evening.

Sylvie handed Glorianna a delicate china cup liberally laced with fortifying liqueur. “Now dearest, lets discuss this development.” Sylvie was the one person who knew all of Glorianna’s secrets. Her dreams, her past and her hopes for the future. The two women had always been in tune and it had been quite natural with the death of Henry to set up residence in town together.

“Oh Sylvie,” Glorianna said with a little hiccup of tightly held back tears, “I don’t want to talk about him!”

“Well that was all fine and good when ‘that man who must not be named’ was a specter of your past. But darling he is not in the past anymore when he is now quite clearly in the present.” Sylvie said gently.

“He broke my heart,” Glorrianna said on a tenuous whisper.

“I know sweetheart. The scoundrel has a lot to answer for.” Sylvie said bitterly. “I’ve a notion to hunt him down and demand satisfaction. If only people still dueled!”

“Silly,” Glorriana said with a half harted smile, tears pooling, “MEN dueled not women but I thank you for your ferocity.”

“In any case,” Sylvie said, “what do you think has brought him to London now? He’s been safely away in the wilds of Cornwall all this time, why do you think he is here now?”

“I don’t know,” Glorianna replied bitterly, “perhaps his wife…” she said the word wife with such vehemence, “needed new gowns or some such.” She took a fortifying sip of her laced tea, “She’s been here before with her mother you know.”

“No dearest I didn’t know. How did you?” Sylvie asked with an arched brow.

“She likes Madam Veroux’s designs as you know I do as well. I had visited Madam a few years ago and overheard her mentioned by one of the seamstresses. She had apparently just visited with her mother.”

Sylvie poured more brandy into her almost empty tea cup completely omitting the tea. “Oh dear. What did you hear”

“Only that she was beautiful and charming and her figure was perfect for Madam Veroux’s latest designs.” Glorianna sipped again almost choking on the virtually pure alcohol in her cup. “I wanted to die Sylvie. Right then and there just curl up in a ball on the floor of the dressing room and die it hurt so much.”

“Do you think that was her at the meeting?” Sylvie asked.

“It had to be,” Glorianna replied woefully. “did you see that woman? So elegant, slender and tall! She looked perfect with him.” Tears now escaped her eyes, “Oh Sylvie, if he is back in town for good how am I ever going to go out knowing that any minute I might run into them? I couldn’t stand it,” She hiccuped trying to force back the tears, “just seeing him across that huge room it was like time rushed back and I wanted to fling myself into his arms. Then I had to remember that they were not arms that would welcome me. Oh why have I never been able to forget him? I hate him for that!

Sylvie made a sympathetic sound and touched Gloriannas hand encouraging her silently to continue.

“How can I hate him and still so absolutely long for him?” Glorianna no longer able to hold back her tears sobbed openly, “I have tried so hard to forget, tried so hard to move on. Poor Henry was the result of those first attempts. But even know I still dream about him Sylvie.Every night I still feel his touch and experience his kisses” She turned a desperate look to her friend, “and then I wake up and realize it’s just a dream and cry myself back to sleep.”

“You loved him desperately,” Sylvie said softly coming around her chair to enclose Glorianna in a light hug.

“I love him and I hate him for loving him. I thought over the years I had made some progress in pushing him to the background but tonight has surely proven what a failure I’ve been. One glimpse and it’s as if eighteen years hasn’t passed.”

“It was a shocking surprise honey.” Sylvie said gently rocking her.

“What am I going to do?” Glorianna whispered.

“Well for one,” Sylvie said coming around to sit again, “you are going to be prepared. Tonight was an unfair shock. One that will not sneak up on you again.” Sylvie took a sip of her now tepid tea. She made a face and poured more brandy into her own cup. “You will go on with your life as planned and put that loathsome man out of your thoughts.”

“Remind me what the plan was Sylvie?” Glorianna questioned in a defeated voice.

“Oh honey,” Sylvie said in a comforting voice,”to find a lover, one who will sweep you off your feet and make you forget to ‘that man who must not be named’. Now tell me about who you met tonight.”

Their conversation continued in a bout of reluctant giggles as Glorianna described her meeting of the young dashing doctor and the rougesh inspector. She forcefully pushed him away. He did not belong in her present life and he would not intrude upon it she swore to herself.

Glorianna was happy that she was able to put Sylvie at ease with her talk of the men she had met tonight but as she lay in bed alone, curled up protectively around her pillow she could not help but think, “Vaughn, oh Vaughn I still love you so,” and drifted off to sleep, her pillow damp with tears.

She was married. What could he have expected Lord Vaughn DeWinn thought. That she’d waited for him? He thought with a self depreciating chuckle, swigging a long swallow of whiskey. She was lovely who wouldn’t have swept her up? He had abandoned her hadn’t he? It wasn’t the first or the millionth time he’d punished himself for up and leaving her without a word.

He had been young, barley twenty and a coward. He had been an ass he reminded himself  broodingly as he paced  his study. He had been forced by his impoverished family to uphold the contract they’d made with Mr. Howard his fathers business partner. He had given in too easily he thought. Once the hated marriage had taken place he had purposely exiled himself and his bride at the family estate in Cornwall.

She had hated Cornwall and she had hated him. Hated his big body and big hands. She had said their was nothing elegant or handsome about him and had loathed him on site. But she had followed along with the contract  forced as he had been. They had both been so incredibly unhappy. They both had been so young but he had also been so stupidly, weakly incapable of standing up to his family. It was his fault that they were both so unhappy he was sure.

If he had been lordly and elegant. If he had been able to love her his wife might have been happy but he could not, he had already given his heart and he wasn’t likely to gain it back. Becoming a recluse in Cornwall  was the one thing that he could do that his or her family had no say over. And there he had stayed. Cut off from the world, cut off from her. A self protection of sorts.

His wife had quickly come to hate him not only for his looks but for his self imposed exile during their marriage. She had visited her parents and friends frequently and went to London often but he had always refused to go. He had done his duty. He had broken his own heart. He had sired an heir on his unwanted wife, what more could they demand of him?

And then she had died. His unwanted wife had died a ridiculous death. She had caught a cold which turned into pneumonia and she had passed. After years of strife and yearning  all he could think was that he was free. He should feel guilty but he didn’t. He mourned not for her death but for the years that had been wasted for him for the life that he had dreamed of living, a life with her.  The day after his wife’s funeral he had left Cornwall. To start over,to start his life in London.

God seeing her tonight was not just a shock but an visceral seizing of his heart. He knew she lived here for most of the year and had thought that they might run into each other now that he was back in town. He hadn’t decided yet if he’d try to find her  but he had certainly  not expected to come across her so soon in  an environment such as the Royal Society of Photography. He had been totally unprepared.

She was beautiful he thought. A tiny goddess with silver blond locks so thick and curling he itched then and there to cross the room and sink his fingers into them. He could remember as if it were yesterday and not the lifetime of eighteen years ago that he had had the privilege to wind his hands through those tresses, holding her sweet face immobile for his kisses.

In the second that he had spotted her across the room he had had a vision, a recollection of tracing her dark winged brow with his fingers. Those dark brows  and lashes so in contrast to the rest of her light coloring. They surrounded her miraculous blue eyes. Again he thought the contrast should be wrong but instead made her face arresting. Her tiny figure her remembered well holding, caressing. A body so perfect but rendered in a frame so small. He remembered towering over her, wanting to protect her, always afraid of hurting her with his huge ungainly hands and bulky body. He had always been so gentle with her. He remembered his desperate wanting of her but so fearful of breaking her.

As a girl of eighteen she had been breathtaking, Vaughn thought, as a woman in her thirties she was stunning. And then she had run away with her friend. Their eyes had met for one fleeting moment and then she had run taking all of the light , warmth and air with her.

Vaughn had felt like a breakable shell in that moment. She hated him. She hadn’t forgotten him but it was with hate she remembered not love.

Vaughn gripped his glass of Claret so strongly that the fragile glass shattered in his colossal grip. He hurled the remains into the fire and slumped into a nearby chair. He must find her, he thought, the idea of going one more day since he’d seen her would be like repeatedly ripping out his heart. He wanted to know she was happy, content, loved. He wanted selfishly to see her one more time.

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Chapter three

I’ve realized that I am an incredible cheater. In this posted chapter I have done NO spell checking. This way when I tell you just how bad a speller I am you will believe me. You will also realize that had I had spell check turned on I would have been constantly making changes rather than continuing with the writing. I will cheat you on nothing in this chapter and you can see just how awful it is and how distracting it would be. If you are a really bad speller like me copy and paste this into a document and turn on your checker and watch the screen light up!

Chapter 3

Clive Levinson followed Dr. Melton into a cozy study down the hall off the main entertaining area. The Doctor shut the door behind them with sudden force. So the social gloves are off, Levinson thought to himself with a smirk.

“Now,” Dr. Melton began with a frown turning down his sculpted goatee, “what can possibly be so urgent that you must seek me out here instead of awaiting our scheduled meeting?”

Levinson had wanted to look through some of Dr. Meltons pictures in an attempt to identify a drowning victem earlier in the month. “As I’m sure you are aware,” Levenison began taking a small note pad and pencil from an inner pocket, “there has been a murder in the East End. White Chapple to be specific.”

“There are murders aplenty in that quarter inspector. Why has this one caused you to interupt my evening?” The Doctor said making his way to a set of decanters on a side board. He poured himself a measure of brandy, raising his crystal cut glass in a questioning guesture to Levinson.

Levinson gave the doctor a negative shake of his head declining the offer of liqure. He had to keep a straight head here.  He once again refered to his notes. The doctor was distinctly on edge Levinson thought suspiciouse curiosity. “The victem this time was a woman of a certain type doctor. A type that is well known to be your specialty in practice.”

“A whore you mean.” The doctor said taking a long sip of his brandy.

“As you say,” Levinson said with a nod.

“Again murders and whores are not a strange occurence in that area. Get to the point inspector,” the doctor said with ill concealled irritation.

Levinson began again closely watching the doctors face, “the woman murdered has been identified as a Mary Ann Nichols. My investigation has taken me to question her privious employer…a…”levinson reviewd his notes, “Mr and Mrs. Cowdry of Wandsworth. It seems the good couple found employing an alcoholic as intollerable they being tee-totallers. They turned her out last May I believe. “

Dr. Meltons face was a mask giving nothing away save for a slight twitch of his eye as he took a more generous sip of brandy. “Inspector I still have yet to understand your point.”

“My point,” said Levinson is that durring Mary Ann Nichols two months of employment it has become known to me that you had been a frequent visitor to the Cowdry residence.”

The doctor set his glass down slowly, “Are you implying something inspector?” the doctor said with narrowed eyes. “Yes, the couple were the reforming type and were refered to me. They thought to gain my advice in helping their servant…I remember that now.”

Interesting thought ‘he rememberes now’, Levinson continueing to watch the doctor. He tapped his chin with the end of his pencil, a habbit when he was deep in thought.

“I remember photographing the woman and offering my medical advice. I photograph all my patients as you are well aware.” The doctor poured himself another finger of liqure. Levinson closely noted a slight tremor in the doctors hand. “I asume the couple was unable to follow through on that advice as Mrs. Nichols was turned out shortly after.”

A quite filled the room. Levinson often employed the tactic as people were sometimes prone under tention to offer information when faced with silence. “I havent seen Mr. or Mrs. Cowdry since and certainly not Mrs. Nichols. As most photographers however, I do keep negatives of each of my pictures. I’d be happy to supply you with a print.”

Obviously thinking or hoping the interview was over Levinson thought with an inward smirk, Dr. Melton set his empty glass down and started for the door. “I think I have offered all I can on this Inspector. But there is someone here I think would also interest you in speaking to.”

Hmm Levinson thought deflection or a serious intent to help. Currious as always to see where it would lead he followed the now clearly uneasy doctor out the door and back to the gathering.

The doctor aporached a somber looking man who was extordianrily large. Levinson was a respectable six foot himself,  not short at all, but this man towered over him. He had unfashionably dark long hair brushing his color and severly sculpted sideburns. If not for his exquistly tailored evening wear Levinson could have easily invisioned him as a street tough. Beside him stood a fashonably clad lady. The lady in question was clinging to the gentlmans arm possesivly but the gent seemed oblivious.  Then Dr. Melton intoned, “Lord deWinn excuse me but may I introduce Inspector Levinson.”

“How do you do Lord deWinn,” Levinson said stretching his arm out for a handshake. “and is this your beautiful wife then?” Levinson looked to the brunett beauty with a questioning brown.

The lady in question smiled widely but then had trouble maintaining it when her escort replied “My wife is recently deceased Inspector Levinson,” deWinn said in a matter of fact voice, “this is a friend Mrs. Niffe.”

“Excuse me,” Levinson said, “Mrs. Niffe.” He gently shook her profered hand.

Seeming loath to give up her escort but obviously wanting to escape a manly conversation, Mrs. Niffe politely excused herself to the powder room.

Once Mrs. Niffe had departed the doctor began, “Inspector I think you might find Lord deWinn a font of information.” Dr. Melton looked between the two with a hopeful look on his face.

Definatly trying to deflect any more questions, Levinson thought.

“Inspector Levinson, it’s a pleasure to meet you,” Lord deWinn enveloped Levinsons hand in a masive grip.

“deWinn has an interest in criminal photography,” Doctor Melton said.

“More of a hobby,” deWinn said self depreciatingly.

“Nonsense,” the doctor went on quickly. “I understand that criminal photography has become quite helpful to the metropolitan police department in recent years. Is that not true Inspector Levinson?”

“Indeed it has Dr. Melton, although I think it may actually profit the news rags a bit more.” Levinson added with a quirk to his lips.

Dr. Melton went on, “deWinn has been photographing the east end the last few weeks I understand.”

Levinson’s attention perked up, “is that right Lord deWinn? What may I ask is your interest in that local for your photography interests.”

“Well as the doctor has said I have a bent toward criminal photography. The area of the east end is rife with criminal doings. It’s my hope at present to simply catch an incident  or perhaps have photographed something that would be helpful in solving a crime later.” Lord deWinn said in his low voice.

Levinson decided he liked this Lord deWinn. He could usually sum up a persons character quickly and was rarely wrong. Hense his very strong suspicion of Dr. Melton despite any hard evidence of any wrong doing. “Might I have your direction,” he found himself asking, “I’d be very interested in viewing some of your photographs Lord deWinn and perhaps you could be called to participate in one of my next cases.”

The first smile Levinson had seen thus yet crossed deWinn’s features, “that would be easy enough to facilitate inspector and I would be honored to help you in any way.”

“Good, good,” Dr. Melton said quickly. “I’ll let you two hash things out so to speak.” He looked across the room as if seeing an aquantence, “please excuse me I need to speak to someone,” and started to take his leave.

DeWinn stoped him with a touch to his sleave, “if you will a question before you depart Dr. Melton.”

The doctor looked at him with a raised brow.

“The lady you were speaking with earlier…what was her name?” asked deWinn in a soft voice.

The doctor replied “That was Mrs. Glorianna Lockley a guest of Mrs. Babbot a member.”

Levinson could not help but note the tone of possesion in the doctors answer. It provoked an irritation in Levinson to hear it. It seemed to have the same effect on Lord deWinn if his guess was correct.  DeWinn and Levenson looked at each other as the doctor departed with mutual displeasure over the doctors tone. He promised himself to call on Mrs. Lockley sooner than he’d planned. Someone needed to warn her that she may not want to go deeper than an aquaintenceship with the doctor.

DeWinn seemed to find himself and focused on Levinson. “Inspector it’s been a pleasure to make your aquaintence and I hope you call on me in the future,”DeWinn handed him his card,  “call on me anytime,” he said with another of his infrequent small smiles. “I think it’s time I collected my companion, I have an early appointment tomorrow.” Levinson shook his hand watching Lord deWinn as he found Mrs. Niffe.

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Second Chapter

I read A LOT though you’d never know it by my abominable spelling and punctuation. Once I had decided the time frame and location of my story I read a few novels that corresponded. It was very helpful and torture free. Again it put me in a good frame of mind to write THIS story. They were also helpful in adding a few facts about the time that I hadn’t come across on my own while web surfing. So without further ado here is chapter two. Hey that rhymes!

August 31st 1888. Extra extra read all about it murder done in Whitechapple. Murderer on the loose. (Mary Ann Nichols Murder 1)

The Hansom pulled up at 28 George Street in Hanover Square, the current location of the Royal Photographic society. Glorrianna was not nervous or so she told herself. When was the last time she had ever ventured out in anything but black or grey skirts she thought? It seemed a lifetime. Glorianna stepped out of the cabriolet to the outstretched hand of the driver,  she self continuously smoothed her fashionable bronze taffeta feeling a bit conspicuous even though bronze was hardly harlot red.

Silvie always the height of fashion was dressed in glaringly demure pale blue. She joined Glorianna  on the walk and linked her arm through Glorianna’s whispering in her ear “Common love, it’s a club meeting not a death sentence.” her friend said on a low chuckle. How Silvie could make a debutantes colored skirts look lascivious was beyond Glorianna. It was simply Silvie she guessed. The dark haired pixie could be wrapped in burlap and still exude sex Glorianna thought.

The two women entered the establishment and gave their outerwear to the footman standing at attention by the door. It was August and although the regular season had just ended there was already a foggy chill in the air but then again this was London.

Silvie glided in as if she was the lady of the manor all smiles and nods of her head.  Gloriannna sailed along with her until Silvie brought them to a stop before a distiguished gentleman presently being served a drink by an attentive server.  “Well hello Mrs. Babbet, what a pleasure it is seeing you again.” He said.

“Hello to you as well Dr. Melton. May I introduce my friend Mrs. Glorianna Lockley.”

Dr. Melton bowed elegantly over Glorianna’s hand kissing the air just above her knuckles, “a pleasure it is Mrs. Lockley.”

Glorianna took in a breath of fortitude as she looked upon the good doctor. He was a handsome specimen much younger than she would imagine a doctor to be perhaps in his late thirties? He gazed at her with stone grey eyes and a quirk to his sensual lips and she replied. “A pleasure indeed Dr. Melton.”

“Is this another model you bring to us Mrs. Babbet?” Dr. Melton said in a seductively soft voice.

“Oh no indeed.” Silvie said with a chuckle. “You will never see Glorianna in the altogether anytime this Sunday or next  I should believe.” Still smiling coquettishly, “Glorianna is just here as my guest to soak in the scene as you will.”

“Ah well, that is indeed a shame I can honestly admit that I wouldn’t mind photographing Mrs. Lockley in a state of undress.” said Dr. Melton never once taking his eyes off Glorianna. She felt utterly undone by his frank approval. A shiver of awareness traveling down her spine.

“La Dr. Melton,” silvie said with a swat to his arm, “ I know for a fact that you do not shoot artistic nudes.” With a sterner expression she continued. “ You are discomposing Glorianna unduly and she is far to lenient in manners and far to proper to understand your little joke.”

“Lenient,” Glorrianna asked with a confused lift of her well shaped dark brow looking from one to the other.

“Yes Lenient,”shot Silvie to her. “He is the Doctor in charge at the Tooting Asylum in Surry. His interest in photography is for medical purposes not artistry. He’s never shot a nude in his life I’m sure.” Silvie rolled her eyes for only Glorianna to see, “he’s bamming you Glorianna.”

“Ah I see,” Glorrianna smiled graciously. “I hope then never to see your nudes on display Dr. Melton.” She could give as sure as she could get Glorianna thought.

“A sorry sight they would be for sure Mrs. Lockley.” Dr. Melton chuckled in return.  “It’s lovely to find a woman so lovely who also possesses a sense of humor. Don’t you agree Mrs. Babbet?”

Silvie gave a noncommittal snuff in return. To agree would be to admit that she herself had no sense of humor as she alone had taken offense.  Silvie decided the better option would be to saunter off and include herself in another conversation. Glorianna was surely holding her own here.

“So Mrs. Lockley what do you think of our little club thus far?” Dr. Melton leaned down indecorously close to speak in her ear. It was a familiarity Glorianna had not invited but could not find distasteful. In fact it sent a shiver of awareness down her neck where his breath had fanned that was delicious. The young doctor was indecently handsome for his profession Glorianna decided. That could be the only answer. Glorianna was usually not so intimately aware of men. But she could not mind. Being the object of interest in such an attractive man made a reproach impossible.

Glorianna studied him thoughtfully from beneath her lashes as she contemplated her reply. “I find the gathering erm stimulating.” she said with a half smile.

Chuckling Dr. Melton took her elbow quite gentlemanly, “You are quite a delight Mrs. Lockley, but it would be remiss of me to monopolize such a lovely guest.” “Come he said with  polite smile lets see if we can find more ‘stimulating’ things.”

Glorianna was a bit shocked at her flirting and instantly thought that the doctor would try to steer her to a more private area. She was not used to flirting and she decided she had been quite bold. Bolstering herself to have to pull away hoping not to cause too much embarrassment, she was surprised when Dr. Melton angled her instead into a group apparently discussing a display of wall mounted photos.

“Gentlemen, Ladies,” Dr. Melton said in smooth tones, “may I have the distinct pleasure of introducing our newest curiosity seeker and guest Mrs. Lockley.”

The gentlemen and ladies of the group nodded politely introducing themselves. “Mrs. Lockley a pleasure I’m sure.” One blond gentleman inclined his head.”

“Ah Inspector (clive) Levinson.” Dr. Melton intoned. “Is it a happy coincidence that we find

you here or are you attending in a more official capacity?”

Inspector Levinson smiled sheepishly. Putting an attractive dimple in his cheek Glorianna noted. “I must admit that I was hoping to find you here Dr. Melton. I find that I am anxious for your help in the matter you are aware of.” Inspector Levinson’s brow furrowed with a bit of worried intensity making his what were lovely blue eyes gleam. He was an exceptionally attractive man in a distinctly roguish way. His evening beard was in on what would normally she guessed a clean shaven face. He had wavy honey colored hair worn quite short. He was distinctly out of fashion in that manner but his tall straight figure looked quite fine in his evening ware. “I find the interview we had scheduled later in the week a bit too tardy with circumstances that have recently come up.” Shooting Glorianna an apologetic glance he said to the Doctor, “Forgive me for the rudeness of importuning you in at a social gathering but my need for a few professional answers must override manners in this case I’m afraid.”

Doctor Melton frowned with a slight pursing of his wonderful lips. “Well if it cannot wait I suppose I can forgive the presumption.”

“Mrs. Lockley if you will excuse us I fear I must leave you to societies members tender mercies. However before the good inspector appropriates me I wonder if you would mind if I could have the privilege of calling upon you some time to further our acquaintance?”

Glorianna realizing she was loosing not one but two gentlemen she could honestly see forming a liaison with, tried to hide her disappointment with a smile. “That would be lovely Doctor,” Glorianna said a bit shyly, “and of course I won’t keep you from something of such seeming importance. Go with my best wishes of a happy resolve.”

With a curt nod of the head Dr. Melton excused himself from the group. “Gentlemen, Ladies…”  turning towards Inspector Levinson who he caught in a covert  examination of Glorianna herself. Dr. Melton frowned.

Inspector Levinson gave her a last lingering glance that to Glorianna seemed to smolder. “Mrs. Lockley, it was a pleasure to meet you. Perhaps our paths will cross again soon.” Levinson said with dark meaning as he caught the doctors frown and a slight smirk curved his full mouth. The two men then took themselves off. Most likely to a more private study to discuss their business Glorianna thought.

With a small sigh Glorianna turned back to the group who were now engrossed in a lengthy discussion of photographic lighting. Some expounding on the virtues of pyrotechnic flash powders, some arguing the safer time tested method of magnesium ribbons and another who was testing the use of electric bulbs.

As she let the conversation roll about her, Glorianna became conscious of a shivering awareness that suddenly traveled down the nape of her neck and down her spine. It was a sensation that settled low in her belly, heating her from the inside out. She had not felt it in oh so long. She had not felt it since the attention of “‘that man who must not be named’ had suddenly disappeared from her life. Surely she was attracted to the sensual Doctor and even the roughly attractive inspector. But it was much too early to expect either one of them to have that kind of power over her already. Wasn’t it?

Glorianna examined her feelings more closely now ignoring the conversation around her. Thank goodness she was too new to the society for anyone to expect her to add to the conversation. Try as she might she could find no alteration in those long lost feelings she had had so long ago for that man. Curiosity won out over fear and in a split second decision she spun around..and immediately gasped.

Silvie must have noticed her sudden distress and glided to her side whispering over her champagne glass, “Darling whatever is the matter? Your white as a ghost!”

Glorianna stood there in shock. Her eyes riveted to a spot across the room. A pain in her stomach like a punch to the gut bloomed to encompass her heart. “It’s him” she said in a  choked whisper to her friend.

“Him who,” Silvie said confused, quickly scanning the direction of her friends frozen gaze. Suddenly her eyes lit on the cause of her friends distress. A very tall gentleman who’s face rivaled a Greek god. A fantastic looking brunet lady clung to his arm oblivious to the byplay that was happening across the the room.  Silvie herself felt faint at the smoldering look he had trained on her friend.

Him, him,” Glorianna whispered back trying to hold her sudden tears at bay. “Oh god Silvie, he’s back…”

Understanding dawned on Sylvie’s face. “Good god dearest lets get you somewhere private. You look ready to cast up your accounts on the spot.” Her friend took a firm grasp of her elbow and steered her calmly but firmly toward the foyer discreetly imploring the footman to bring their wraps and hail a hansom for they wished to depart immediately. The well trained footman did her bidding with the subtle urgency her request had implied. Within moments they were ensconced in the cab and were rolling towards home. Silvie still clasping Glorianna’s cold clammy hand in hers, both women absorbed in their own tumultuous thoughts.

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Chapter one

Now the real fun begins. Another tip I found useful as I began writing again was to turn off the auto proofing. It was very distracting writing The Love Thief while this was on. Every time I saw something underlined I HAD to go back and correct it. By turning it off the writing went much quicker. It makes for horrible reading but this is a first draft after all. I have also realized a bit about my writing style and that is I’m an “adder inner”. I like to get my first thoughts down and then I will go back and add in any information I think is needed. I did quite a bit of dialogue here (I just reread Twilight and there is a lot of dialogue so I was in that mood) and not so much description. I will go back and add that in when I’m in the mood, most likely in the second draft. Here is my first chapter. I did do a quick spell check otherwise it would be absolutely unreadable. It’s still cringe worthy but again this is a FIRST DRAFT. I wish I could go see some of my favorite books at this stage it would be really interesting. So here goes:)

Widow Glorianna Lockley needed to find a lover. Her year of mourning was up and she was desperately  lonely. She sat in the front parlor with her house mate and best friend of years Mrs. Silvia Babbet also recently widowed. It was a lovely parlor she thought gazing admiringly at the light furnishings.

Glorianna and Sylvie had both sold their un-entailed London properties. Neither wanted reminders of their less than happy marriages. With the proceeds of those sales they had purchased a small but elegant townhouse in a respectable London neighborhood on the outskirts of fashionable Mayfair. With money to spare they had enjoyed decorating their small abode with a feminine hand. All of the furnishings were of the latest design but they had decided to paint many of the heavy pieces in whites and creams and golds. The heavy drapery and plush carpets needed to subdue the street traffic noises and the constant influx of soot were a perfect dove grey, harmonizing with the light furnishings perfectly. The house was serene and they both loved it without exception.

“Darling,” Her friend Silvie began taking a sip of her tea, “you simply must get out in the world.”

“I know.” Glorianna sighed plucking a bit of lint from her silvery grey skirt. “But where pray tell am I to get out to?” “I simply cannot abide listening to the giggles of society about poor Lockley.”

Silvie set down her cup and leaned forward  ready to impart serious wisdom. “Poo on all those ninnies. They are not laughing at you dearest but Lockley. They should not keep you from enjoying yourself now. You have nothing to be ashamed of and they well know it. You stood by that idiot when he was nothing but indiscreet!”

“Oh don’t start in that vein again.” Glorianna sighed. She knew Silvie was her staunchest supporter but she could never seem to make her understand that Henry Lockley had been there when she had needed him. Her husband had married her knowing full well it was without her maidenhead.

She had tried to love him, truly she did and she had had some degree of success but she could never love him the way that he needed to be loved.  She had given her heart away long ago and she had never been free to give it to Henry. To Glorianna Henry was a dear family member and she missed him.  After years of marriage where there were no pregnancies and he became more and more aware of her distaste in bedding him he had turned to a mistress.

Henry Lockley was a true monogamist and quickly fell in love with his mistress the beautiful  Violet, who loved him as if he were her prince charming. Loved him as he deserved to be loved. Glorianna had not begrudged him this, was secretly happy that he had someone that loved him so.

When Violet had become pregnant it was the joy of his life expecting his first child and she knew it pained him that this beloved and much anticipated child would be a bastard. Glorianna would always feel incredible guilt that she had stood in the way of Henry’s full joy. Guilt that it couldn’t be she that provided him with it.

Ultimately it was a tragedy and it angered her that society could be so callous as to find anything humorous about it. Henry had received a message that Violet was about to deliver and the doctor was attending her.  He had raced to the little house on Brook Street to attend the delivery. He was not going to be one of those passive fathers. He had fully intended to be present for the delivery and see his child enter the world.

According to the doctor Henry had stood at Violets bedside holding her hand. It was a difficult labor and there were complications. Poor Henry’s heart was not up to the task of beating so rigorously and before he could see his child, succumbed to an attach of the heart  and died at Violets bedside.

At least Henry was spared the knowledge that he would never have seen his child anyway. The little girl was delivered still born seconds after Henry had hit the floor and Violet had died shortly after.

Glorianna leaned her head back on the settee “Silvie you know how much I cared for that man and I simply cannot listen to the whispers and tittering behind fans that Henry Lockley would be the first man in history to die in child birth!” She closed her eyes and continued. “You know how guilty I felt about my marriage and if nothing else I can be loyal to his memory and frown upon those hurtful remarks.”

Silvie readjusted herself on her gold velvet chair and said in a chastened voice, “I understand love and I’m sorry if my inpatients makes me seem callus sometimes.”

“Impatient for what? Glorianna questioned.

“Impatient for a new chance. Impatient for you to pick yourself up and put yourself out there and find love again. You missed the mark with Henry but I utterly refuse to think that because you gave your heart at the tender age of eighteen to ‘that man who must not be named’ you can never love again.

Glorianna put up a hand palm out, “I refuse to discuss that man…” Just the thought of him sent her heart pounding and imminent tears were forcing their way to her resisting ducts.

“Hear me out,” Silvie interrupted. “Just try Glory. There is a meeting of the Royal Photographic Society Friday next. There are always interesting people there. Not society per say though all quality people.” She leaned forward and touched Glorianna’s knee imploring with her eyes. “Come with me. Talk to people. Open up just a little, you never know who you might meet.”

Glorianna tapped her chin thinking. The society’s stories Silvie shared were always interesting and different to be sure. Recently Silvie had agreed to model nude for one of the photographers to be used as artist poses of course. Her face was always turned away so it was impossible to identify her unless you were the photographer of course. Silvie was nothing if not shocking Glorianna thought with a smile.

Suddenly the Royal Photographic Society meeting sounded just the thing. “Alright, I’ll go with you…” she held up her hand to forestall the excited chatter that was surely to come from Silvie, “with the agreement that you will not be pushing me at any of your friends.”

Silvie sat straight like a school girl just complemented by her teacher. “I swear,” and she crossed her heart just like said school girl.


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Story board

A very interesting tip I found that sounded like it would help me a lot was a story board. This is probably not how it was meant to be done but this gave me a place to collect miscellaneous data and facts.  I think it will help me keep track of trying to describe my characters.

Some of the things I tossed in my virtual suite case to take on my writing trip were: clothing, places, maps and directions. I got a bit lazy while doing the web surfing. I pasted them in willy ninny as you will see. It is a very unorganized story board but like I said before I’m NOT an organized writer. Too much organizing makes writing a painful process and it WILL keep me from actually writing.

Now that my “outline” is done and I know who most of my characters are and they are ready to act, it’s time to cast their parts. This was fun (and yes I’m a huge CW fan can you tell?) it was like casting my own movie! Click below to see.

Story BoardStory Board


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Ok, so now I know I have a beginning, middle and end to my story. This is the extent I can stand to outline but I think it will keep me from diddling in the middle so much. Beware the only editing I did on this was a quick spell check (I am the worst speller I know). It’s very rough but I wanted to show exactly how my thoughts rolled out.


  • Lets all intruduce ourselves. Glorianna and Silvie


  • Everyone meets at the Royal Photographic Society and sparks fly. First ripper murder has occured. Glorianna finds herself attracted to Dr. Melton and Inspector Levinson


  • The doctor invites Vaughn to the asylum where he shows him his techniques for photographing the insane and an autopsy he’s conducting. Strangely all his photography are of women patients who were of a certain “character”.
  • Glorianna remembers her heartbreak over Vaughn. Vaughn reflects on his own treatment of Glorianna and remembers their relationship. He can’t admit to himself that he’s irritated that Glorianna is attracted to the Dr. He really doesn’t like the way the dr. talks about the widow Glorianna.
  • the next murder happens and Vaughn is called in to photograph. He’s been stood up at the coffee-house by Dr. Melton so he figures there is no use waiting on him and goes with the inspector. Things about the murder bother him such as the victim looks a lot like an autopsy the Dr. had conducted and he begins to suspect that Dr. Melton may be the murderer. (murder 2)
  • The young handsome radical doctor invites Glorianna to dinner at a hotel. she knows the doctor is attracted to her but Glorianna is worried that she can’t “do it” with the doctor without love and Silvie offers her a concoction. She feels extra sexy and tries out her wiles in a room upstairs. There are things about the doctor that don’t sit right with Glorianna and after a night of shocking sexual surprises thinks twice about continuing the liaison. He’s way too serious and possessive for someone she barely knew.
  •  After dinner Vaughn waylays the doctor while escorting Glorianna to his barouche and they clash again. Some of his questions to the doctor, released Russian dr., autopsy technique, why he didn’t show at meeting what was his alibi. dr. is defensive and turns around and slyly accuses Vaughn…he’s been photographing in the area the murders took place. The hints of suspicion will later worry Glorianna and confirm her decision to call things off with the dr. (date 1 murder 3 happens later that night)
  •  Inspector Clive Levinson calls on Glorianna when she is out shopping with Silvie. She admits to Silvie she finds the inspector sexy. She takes a bit of Sylvie’s concoction just before the inspector returns to question Glorianna on the whereabouts of Vaughn and Dr. Melton on Date 1 and she cannot give them an alibi for the time in question.

    Inspector Clive Levinson is a sexy intense man and Glorianna is under the influence of the aphrodisiac they end up having a steamy sexual encounter.

  •  When now suspect Dr. Melton disappears, Vaughn seeks refuge with Glorianna telling her his suspicions. Vaughn is now a prime suspect because he’s been seen roaming the area photographing the latest victim while alive.

    Glorianna must trust that Vaughn is telling the truth based on their past relationship. He’s been a country recluse since their aborted relationship and does she really know him anymore but the sexual tension is still there.

  •  Glorianna must dodge the sexy inspector Clive Levinson who wants to repeat their tryst while Vaughn is in her house.
  •  After another heated argument at breakfast Glorianna realizes that Silvie has laced their food with the aphrodisiac.
  •  Vaughn is very jealous and they have sex. She is sure it’s because of the aphrodisiac but (Murder 4 happens) she now believes he is innocent but must admit she’s been scandalous and hiding a fugitive to the inspector but she must clear Vaughn’s name he is clearly not the killer. She must trust in the inspectors discretion.

    The inspector is a player and ends up not caring what Glorianna does in her private life. He likes her but not serious about her just disappointed that they won’t fuck again. He invites her to call him whenever it might be convenient for her and the house is not so crowded. Vaughn is happy about that but he thinks she will. He thinks the only reason they had sex was because of the concoction. Silvie will later admit that she added nothing to the breakfast it was all them.

  •  Vaughn is worried that the Dr. at large is truly the murderer and may be after Glorianna now as she spurned him. So he stays to protect her. But he is called away for (Murder 5) by the inspector for an evening.
  •  Glorianna is confronted by the Dr. while alone and she defends herself ultimately plunging the doctor to his death from her window.
  • Inexplicably there are no more murders and it is concluded that Dr. Melton was the villain.
  •  Glorianna and Vaughn live happily ever after.


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The writing project begins

Hi all! This writing project came about as I finished and published my first eBook The Love Thief. I’ve actually written quite a lot but have never finished a single thing…until now. Sound familiar?

It took me a year and a half to actually complete my first full manuscript. The Love Thief is a 20,000 word novella. I quit that project several times for many different reasons, “I suck as a writer”, “how do I keep track of the story line” and my favorite “I just don’t feel like writing today”just to name a few.

But by struggling through that awful feeling of, I’ll never finish this stupid thing, to OMG I actually finished the stupid thing, I picked up a few tricks that I’m hoping will help a great deal with this new endeavor. I hope you will journey with me as I try out these new ideas for getting from point (A the start) to point (B the end). Once I reach point (B) I should have a passable first draft. Please feel free to offer constructive criticism along the way and hone your editorial skills on me:)

The first thing I did once I’d finished that novella was web surf a bit trying to pick up tips that would help me organize this new writing project now that I knew my habits a bit better. I read many interviews of published authors including Stephenie Meyer (Twilight anyone?)

I can lump the basic styles I came across into two basic categories 1. fly by the seat of your pants 2. Outlining.

The category that fit me the best was the “fly by the seat of your pants” style, which was exactly how I wrote The Love Thief. Obviously that style of writing was not optimal. It was very frustrating keeping track of the story. The whole getting from beginning to end without diddling around in the middle forever drove me nuts. However, I can think of nothing more hateful than outlining a story that hasn’t completely developed in my mind yet. To etch out each stinking detail in advance ug!

Therefore, I’m aiming for a hybrid this time around. Once I had a basic story percolating in my head I created a loose…very loose outline. Really just a short synopsis of what I wanted to happen in the story but still allowing me to flow with it freely.

I’m a visual person so rather than numbering and sub categorizing, I simply changed the color with each new section I wanted flesh out.

So for better or worse I’m going to just hang it out there and post my squishy outline right here tomorrow for all to see. It’s quite scary really! Maybe it will make you feel better about your writing. Maybe it will just give you a good laugh.

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