For the July Teaser, here’s another excerpt from His Spanish Bride. Malcolm/Charles doesn’t share his feelings much, with the Suzanne/Mélanie, with himself, with the reader. Here, though, are his thoughts on his wedding night, waiting for his bride.
And this week’s Fraser Correspondence addition is also a glimpse into Charles/Malcolm’s thoughts, this time ina letter to David.
He only had one bedchamber in his lodgings. Somehow he hadn’t properly considered the implications until now, home—odd word, “home”—from the embassy, Suzanne’s bandboxes carried into his cramped lodgings. Suzanne behind the bedchamber door. By the time he could remember, his parents had slept at opposite ends of whichever of their houses they were occupying. Assuming they were even in the same house. Much of the time they contrived not to be. Couples on more intimate terms still had their own bedchambers and dressing rooms. Even if they ultimately spent the night together, they had somewhere separate to retire to to prepare for bed.
Which presumably was what happened on most wedding nights among his circle. The bride retired to her bedchamber to disrobe while the groom went to his bedchamber to do the same before discreetly tapping at her door. Instead, Suzanne was in the one bedchamber with Blanca, preparing for bed, while he cooled his heels in the sitting room. And no matter what happened between him and Suzanne tonight, they only had one bed.
He shouldn’t have played the piano. Music created a false sense of intimacy. And at the same time it could reveal far too much. He never felt so stripped of his defenses as when he sat at the keyboard.
His cravat bit into his neck. The whisky decanter on the table by the windows called to him, but he subdued the impulse. He needed all his wits about him. This was no time to let himself be ruled by impulse. Or desire. What mattered was Suzanne—his wife, good God—and what was best for her.
Which was probably to be left alone.