A Duke for the Road

By: Eva Devon

“No, I shan’t give in,” she breathed, obviously enjoying this outplay of what must have been one of her fantasies.

From what he understood, his highwayman played center to many a ladies’ fantasies given his frequent occurrence in the gossip sheets.

But in no way was he interested in playing her dark knight. “Alas, I must insist, for my presence is needed elsewhere.”

“Indeed?” she murmured as she trailed her hand over his black, breeches-covered hip. “But I need your presence, right here.”

Robert’s eyes flared and he nearly yelped at she reached for his person. Being young and male, his body performed the utmost betrayal, responding to her dramatic but experienced touch. But he had no intention of that infringing on his hasty getaway.

She smiled, her lips curling in a sultry grin and she traced her hand down towards his southerlies with surprising skill. Leaning in towards him, she whispered, “I must have you.”

Quickly pocketing the one earring, he stepped back. “We must all learn to live with deprivation,” he said as he reached for her other earring.

She let go but purred, “Ah, but surely a soul such as yours longs to give in to pleasure. Surely, this is the treasure you seek.”

Fantastic, he’d found a determined one tonight. Who was doing the pillaging? He wanted to know. He rather admired her boldness. But it wasn’t at all what he required at present. But then, hadn’t he known things were never going to go his way again? Robert took a step back, lifting his hands, feeling a bit like a bear tamer down at the pits.

She reached for the hem of her skirt and Robert rolled his eyes.

“Madam, I must admit that I have seen such treasures befo—” The words died on his lips as a pair of diamond and emerald garters winked in the moonlight. He opened and closed his mouth. “Mine eyes hath seen the glory.”

She arched a blonde brow, daring him.

And he was more than willing for this challenge.

“Ah,” he sighed. “I have never seen such beauties in my life.” The sincerity in his voice surprised even him, and sent a shiver of pleasure through the lusty young widow. But such jewels would buy his sister another new gown for the Season, and it would fend off the creditors a few days. Clearing his throat, he plunged the tip of his rapier into the soft earth and got down on his knees. It was, after all, what she desired. And given what he was about to get, a little indulgence for the wicked widow was not so very appalling.

He cupped her silk-covered calves then slowly, but firmly caressed her, moving upward, brushing the back of her knees, then stopping just beneath the garters. She gasped, her head dropping back. But that was as far as he was willing to go. Even he wasn’t quite willing to swipe a stranger in a field. And the risk wasn’t worth the temporary glory.

Lord alone knew what gifts she might be giving to her lovers, if she was willing to have a go at it in St. James’ Park with a complete stranger.

And he did not wish to add the pox to his delightful mix of troubles. He’d seen the way that went.

He untied each garter, putting them into his pockets then stood. He tugged her skirts back into place then tipped his tri-corn in a small bow. The red and black feathers shook, brushing his jaw.

“But you can’t be leaving,” she declared, her lush lips tightening in petulance.

“I can and I am, fair lady.”

Her eyes flashed with passion and her palm cracked across his cheek. “You insolent blackguard,” she huffed. “To sully a lady’s honor.”

Robert bowed. She certainly had a flair for drama, he’d give her that. He laid his hand against his chest, as if deeply sorrowful for his slight. “Quite, madam. I am a rogue among rogues, etcetera and so on. You have my apologies.”

Robert quickly turned on his booted heel, giving her his back, and strode towards Sir Valiant. Mounting up, he gave the lady one last salute. No doubt, she’d dine on this experience for weeks, trotting out her adventure whenever the conversation dulled.

Much to Robert’s annoyance, instead of angry hauteur, she stood with a dreamy lust tilting her lips and darkening her eyes.

Fantastic. Bloody fantastic. Why had his robberies all begun to unfold like the events in a trying theatrical as of late? Couldn’t the ladies just hand over the jewels without wanting a romp in return? A man could only take so much.

Then Robert blew her a bored kiss before he raced off back into the darkness. What the hell? He had an image to maintain.

Dearest Readers

It is the opinion of this author that if one has to be stopped by a highwayman then the only highwayman to be stopped by is The Gentleman Highwayman. The ladies sing his praises for his gallantry, stature, and turn of leg. The lords say while he is forceful and impudent, he is most respectful of a person’s safety. And it can be reported that said highwayman has once again collected spoils from an unsuspecting victim. The widow, Lady Rebecca Ridley, told her story most passionately to the authorities, what authorities there are, and gave interviews to no fewer than three papers, she was in such a state of distress. I do not think we have seen the last of this fellow. But, dear reader, surely it will all end in the long road up to judgement for this charming rogue

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