Today's Poetry Train is another excerpt from The Gypsy Devil. (The regency I posted the first scene from last Monday.) :) I had a migraine yesterday, so I didn't get a chance to write something new for everyone. I hope you enjoy this one.The Gypsy Devil
(c) 2007 TA Chase
The fire crackled. Flames danced in an orange and red swirl. Beng sprawled in the chair in front of the fireplace. A glass dangled from his fingers. Whiskey lurked around the edge, threatening to spill.
Without taking his gaze from the flames, he held out his drink. “You might as well drink it. No need to waste good whiskey. I’m not sure why Marsden insists on pouring me a glass when he knows I won’t drink it.”
A hand emerged from the shadows, taking it. “Maybe he hopes to have it after you go to bed. How did you know I’d come in?” Shade sat down in the chair next to him.
Beng laughed. “Marsden can have some whenever he wants. He doesn’t need to sneak them. When you opened the door, the fire leaned your way for a second.”
Shade nodded. “Most people wouldn’t have noticed.”
“True, but we both know I’m not like most people.” Beng looked at his friend.
Shade’s dark hair was cut short. His olive skin glowed gold in the fire light. Except for eye color, they could pass for brothers. Shade’s eyes were a jade green, shining with all the mysteries of that same stone. Beng’s own eyes were such a light blue, he’d been told they looked white at times.
Dark circles graced Shade’s thin face. He was skinnier than the last time Beng had seen him.
“You work too hard, my friend,” he muttered.
Exhaustion blurred the spy’s green eyes. “Working until my body collapses is the only way to find peace sometimes.”
Understanding what Shade meant kept him quiet. Some ghost was riding the man hard. Beng could feel the weight of those memories in the room.
“I heard Northampton left for Paris.” Changing the topic seemed like a good idea.
“Yes. He left to escape rumors.” Shade drank the liquor in one quick swallow.
“And to spy on Napoleon, no doubt.”
Shade’s head shot up and Beng met the cold stare with one of his own.
“Why would you think that?”
“Most of the Ton are idiots, my friend, but don’t make the mistake of thinking I am as well.” Beng shifted, turning his gaze back to the fire. “I know there’s more to the duke than being a simple widower. Who is the young man traveling with him?”
“A young man he has befriended and is escorting to Paris as a favor to the man’s uncle.” Shade’s voice held a warning.
He didn’t heed it. “You’re doing it again. The duke has the same tendencies I do. Only he has less control over them.” He frowned. “Or maybe it is simply the duke has more courage to face the truth than I.”
Shade sighed. “You’re right. The young man is Northampton’s lover. The duke saved him from a terrible life. As strange as it may sound, they’re in love.” The spy rested his head on the back of the chair.
“It’s been known to happen.” Beng’s gaze made its way to the portrait above the mantle. A stern older man glared from the painting like he was challenging the world. “I’ve seen love in the strangest places.”
They were silent for a few minutes, remembering. Shade grunted.
“What do you want?”
Beng shut his eyes. “I need you to keep an ear open for me. It won’t interfere in your other business. Just while you travel about, listen for any gossip concerning a young lord who has gone missing.”
“Missing?” A glance was shot his way. “We know what that usually means.”
“Yes, we do, but I’d like to try and find him or at least find out what happened to him.” He pointed to his desk behind him. “His brother had some other men searching for David. No luck, but maybe a clue or two.”
“I’m willing to help you out.” Shade stood, dropped a hand on Beng’s shoulder before moving to gather the reports. “I’ll send you news if I find any information.”
“Thanks, my friend.” He didn’t stand or turn when the door opened and Shade left.
Making his way up to his bedroom, Beng thought about his friend. There was a man haunted by experiences in the past. He said a silent pray and hoped Shade found peace.
__________________________________________________________________So I hope you enjoyed getting a glimpse of Shade-if you've read Angel's Evolution, you'll know who he is. He does play a bigger role in this story, but he still hasn't found the man to make him forget Jonathan.
Have a great Monday.
Labels: Excerpts, Eye Candy, Poetry Train