Romance Fiction posted November 21, 2017 Chapters: 1 -2- 3 


Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
A love story

A chapter in the book Where The Grass Grows The Greenest

Caught In The Act (Part Two)

by Margaret Snowdon




Background
Rosaleen Kavanagh - only daughter of an explosives manufacturer, a fine catch for any man, but there#s only one she cares for - the Squire's son. Just before their wedding, tragedy strikes her family.
A watcher witnesses a young couple getting intimate in the woods, and when the girl turns her head…‘My God, it’s Rosaleen Kavanagh!’ he proclaimed out loud, speaking before he had time to consider the effect the sound of his voice would have on this couple who thought themselves to be utterly alone in their enchanted world!
He could have bitten his tongue and he wished the words and himself with them on the other side of the lake. To be caught in the act of spying – for that was how it would seem – on a boy and girl fast in the pleasure of love was ridiculous and he felt off-balance, a condition he did not relish.
 

 
WHERE THE GRASS GROWS THE GREENEST
________________________________________


CHAPTER ONE
CAUGHT IN THE ACT (PART TWO)

 
     At the sound of his voice the boy rolled away from the girl, leaving her lovely young body defenceless. White breasts and thighs were exposed, and a face which, even in its pathetic shock, still contained the lingering softness of her passionate love.

     Robson Levinson’s stomach quivered. He was a man well used to the charms of women. From Bassenthwaite to Carlisle he had roamed for he had been wild in his youth, drinking, gambling and much involved in the sport of bare-knuckle fighting, and later in the practice of Cumberland wrestling. He had been well-known for his great reserves of strength, his skill and stamina. He was favoured by women who liked  the dominance  of  his  arrogant  ways  and there were more than one or two blue-eyed cuckoos in the sparrow nests of the small, sturdy dalesmen who lived and farmed in the valleys of the north.

     He studied the awkward return of Rosaleen Kavanagh to the conscious world about her. She was the daughter of a wealthy business associate, the man from whom he bought the gunpowder used in his own mines. The boy – though he had seen him gallop his horse through the village with the God-given right of one whose family had once owned it, and ride the lower slopes of the fells with the same arrogance – was the privileged son of the local Squire, and virtually a stranger to him. He was away at school, or wherever  it  was  these  young  sprigs  of  the   gentry went, for most of the year, but he evidently came home often enough to acquaint himself with the charms of the delectable Miss Kavanagh.

      The girl lay flushed and disheveled, still as a woodland creature caught in the glow of the poacher’s lamp. Her eyes stared into his and she made no attempt to cover herself for she was deep in shock. She appeared to be mesmerized, scarcely able to comprehend that he was there. An enchanted moment ago, her bemused expression said, she had been held in the arms of her love, entranced and bewitched beneath his long sweeping caresses. Now, before she could get a grip on the loss of it and command her urgent body to stillness and modestly, there was only this man’s chilly gaze, his stiff-backed hauteur and his voice still echoing her name round the clearing where there should have been silence.

     ‘Mr L..Levinson,’ the boy stammered, raising himself   to  a kneeling position. His hands were at his pleated shirt and the belt of his trousers, fumbling in their eagerness to cover his brown chest across which whorls of pale hair lay finely, attempting to conceal the evidence of what he had intended for his companion. There was a crown of wood violets in his blond curls, put there, no doubt, by the girl with the high laugh he had heard.

     The boy’s breeches were tight and straining across his thighs and buttocks and when he stood he was tall and slender. He was exceedingly handsome with eyes which glowed a deep, chocolate brown in his sun-tinted face, and as he spoke his teeth slashed startlingly white against his wide mouth.

     Still he did not reach to help the girl.

     ‘Have you no manners at all, boy?’ Robson Levinson asked coldly, his eyes flickering to the girl’s state of undress.

     ‘I beg your pardon, sir.’ The boy’s face was flushed  with  the  residue  of  unfulfilled love and the agony of his embarrassment at being caught out. The dilemma in which he found himself seemed to have robbed him of his senses and he gave the appearance of not knowing quite where he was.

     ‘There is a lady present.’ The words were ridiculous in the circumstances. ‘Have you not the decency at least to offer her your coat?’

     ‘Oh … of course  … we had not heard…’ The boy’s politeness and the inbred courtesy which was directed towards those older than oneself might have amused Robson in another time and place, but now he did not smile.

     Only then, as the voices penetrated the fog of her bemused senses, did the girl come from the quivering languorous narcosis into which the boy’s hands and lips had spun her. Before he could move awkwardly to cover her with his jacket, she sat up and deftly pulled her bodice about her and swiftly did up each button, her eyes cast down, her expression unreadable. Immediately, but for her rosy face and long-fingered hands, every inch of her flesh was covered. When it was done she stood up, moving to lean protectively beside the boy. She slid her hand into his and then turned to stare, her eyes flashing defiantly at Robson Levinson. No anxious humility for her. Her head  lifted  and  the  softness  of  that  first  awkward shock left her eyes which had turned to flint, and her mouth hardened to an unsmiling resentment.

     ‘Good afternoon, Mr Levinson,’ she said boldly. ‘We did not hear your horse on the track – did we, Morgan? Nor your approach. Perhaps you and your terrier were careful where you stepped through the trees to this clearing which is, after all, well away from the track.  Are  you out  for a stroll, or were you looking for something which might be … of interest to your habits?’

     By God, if she wasn’t taking the offensive by accusing him of creeping up and spying on them, he had time to consider admiringly, then his own temper took him over and his lean face darkened.

     ‘If I had come with the village band I doubt you and your … er … friend would have noticed, Miss Kavanagh.’ His lip curled scornfully across his even white teeth.

     The girl’s eyes narrowed furiously and Robson saw the boy’s hand clench warningly  about hers,  but she took no notice. ‘Morgan and I are not just friends, Mr Levinson. As soon as it can be arranged, we are to be married.’

     ‘And the sooner the better, I would say, Miss Kavanagh.’

     ‘Nobody is asking you to say anything, Mr Levinson, particularly about something which does not concern you.’

     ‘And whom does it concern, Miss Kavanagh? Your father possibly?’

     She showed the first sign of confusion. ‘My father … when he … when we have told him of it will be only too pleased.’

     ‘He is not aware then that you and … and Morgan, is it … are to be married?’ Robson Levinson’s dark eyebrows arched and his eyes gleamed with sardonic amusement.

     ‘Well, we have not … it is only today that … but as soon…’

     ‘I should advise him of it at once if I were you. In fact, I would have supposed a gentleman...’ He turned his ironic expression on the boy, ‘…would have already  done  so.  Your  meeting  up   here  with  this young man…’ He looked again in the direction of the painfully embarrassed boy,  ‘…alone, might be misconstrued, don’t you think?’

     Her face became a vivid scarlet. ‘We were doing no wrong…’ she began, then bit her lip. ‘We were doing no wrong,’ she repeated more loudly, as though her insistence would convince him of it.

     They were  in  love, she and Morgan, and what could be wrong in the sweet display of it to one another? A love like theirs, her eyes told him stormily, could have no fault in it and she defied him to find one. It was as though she was resolved to justify what they had been about, knowing quite well that if it were to be discovered and advertised in the circle of her family’s acquaintances, her reputation would be in shreds.

     But she threw back her shoulders and lifted her head, the action saying quite clearly that she was not ashamed, and again Robson felt that stirring of admiration for her bold courage.  She did not cower behind the shoulder of her lover, but lifted her chin, flashed her sparkling eyes and dared him to say more.

     He did!

     ‘Come, Miss Kavanagh, do you seriously expect me to believe that your father allows you to be out here alone?’

     ‘I am not alone. Morgan is with me.’

     Robson’s eyes drifted to the boy’s flushed face and his cold smile was contemptuous, mocking. ‘I doubt he would permit you, despite your forthcoming betrothal – which, from what you say, he knows nothing about – to ride out with only this … er … gentleman to accompany you.’ Here a sneer at poor Morgan, ‘I shudder to think of the consequences to this young  man  if he were to learn  of this  escapade. Come now, tell us what did with the groom in whose protection your father must surely have placed you. George Kavanagh is not one to permit such a valuable treasure as yourself to roam the fells unchaperoned.’

     His eyes gleamed wickedly, but his face was cool.

     The girl faltered then and Robson saw her fingers clench more firmly about those of the boy. She turned to look up into his strained face and as she moved the rippling curtain of her hair swung about her. A strand wisped across her face, caught in the pink moistness of her lips and she reached up a hand to brush it away.

     As  her  hair caught in the golden light of the dying rays of the sun it turned to burnished mahogany, her grey eyes – strange and cat-like – darkened to pewter. The movement of her arm lifted the rounded fullness of her young breast, and she watched as Robson Levinson’s eyes narrowed in appreciation.

     She lifted her head imperiously, throwing back her hair, and Robson felt the blood run warm in his veins and the beat of it move against to his belly. Her little chin squared up to him and her eyes changed colour once more, striking like bright steel in her proud challenge of his authority. She was like a kitten spitting and showing its claws to a fully-grown panther and the man felt a spurt of envy at the realization that it would never be his task to tame her. Even had she not been mad with love for this young son of Squire Rodmayne of Ambleside, she was the most cherished child of a respected member of the community, a man with whom he did business and whom he called, if not a friend, at least a neighbor! She was not a woman to be tumbled in a hayrick, enjoyed and forgotten.

     She  had  not  yet  done with  him. ‘Thank you for your concern, Mr Levinson. It  is kind of you to show concern for my safety, but John will be along shortly and...’

     ‘When he catches up with you, you mean?’ His smile was icy.

     ‘Can I help it if my mare was fresh and I could not hold her?’ she countered.

     ‘And this … gentleman…’ The pause before the word was insulting, ‘… just happened to be here on the very route along which your animal bolted.’

     ‘Sir, I can explain.’ The boy, who appeared to have been quite overwhelmed by the older man, spoke at last.

     ‘Aah, you have a tongue then, Mr … er …’

     ‘Rodmayne, sir. My father is…’

     ‘Of course, Squire Rodmayne’s boy. It is a while since we met. You have grown somewhat … in more ways than one.’

     The boy flushed, the blood running beneath his smooth skin in the painful way it does when one is young, and again, Robson Levinson wondered at his own cruelty in baiting this youth who had done him no harm.

     ‘Let me explain, sir. Miss Kavanagh and I…’

     ‘Yes?’ Robson’s eyes narrowed in a menacing fashion over which he seemed to have no control.

     ‘We … well … it was my fault. I realize I should not have…’

     ‘No, Morgan, no,’ the girl protested, ‘…it was not entirely your fault.’

     The boy put a possessive arm about her and smiled down into her face with adoring love for her.

     ‘Despite your admirable determination to share the blame, Miss Kavanagh, I feel you would not care for your father to know of  this  incident.  And  if  I  were you, sir, I would do my courting in a more appropriate manner. It is the custom of a gentleman – as you should well know, having been brought up as one – to treat his betrothed as a lady and not as a…’

     ‘Yes, Mr Levinson?’ Morgan Rodmayne’s voice had become dangerously hard, and Robson was surprised. The cub had teeth then, given the right spur.

     ‘She is not a wench to be tumbled behind a haystack. Mr. Rodmayne.’

     ‘I am well aware of that, sir, and it was not my intention to…’

     ‘Your ardor ran away with you? Is that what you are saying?’ Robson’s voice was derisive, cruelly so. His foolish words about their morals sounded priggish even to his own ears. He lifted his hat courteously and turned away. ‘My regards to your father, Miss Kavanagh.’  

     His long stride took him swiftly to the edge of the almost dark clearing. With a sharp command to the waiting terrier, disappeared as silently as he had come amongst the tall, shadowed trees.
 
To be continued…
 
 
Characters:
Robson Levinson – mine owner
 
Rosaleen Kavanagh
George Kavanagh – her father
 
Morgan Rodmayne – in love with Rosaleen
Squire Rodmayne – his father
John: groom


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Sorry if this is a wee bit too long, but I couldn't divide it a second time.

I'd like to say a special thank you to all my friends for their kind and caring messages. I've recovered well from my stroke, apart from still tiring easily and dizziness if I bend. I've to go through yet more tests at hospital, but the main thing is the brain scan showed I'm all in tack there -- sigh -- thank the good Lord.

Blessings to you all,
Margaret
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