A character interview from Seduction of Dynasty.
At last I could get out of central London. I’d had an early meeting with my best ever friend, Anna La Salle, Deputy Chief Commissioner at Scotland Yard. These days we’ve all gotten used to soldiers and cops with machine guns mingling with the tourists in Whitehall. I often stand back and reflect at the madness and sadness of it all. I’m excited to be heading south to interview a true aristocrat and sexy hunk, but I never forget the danger that the police and military face on these magnificent streets, every minute of every day.
As I get nearer to Bloxington Manor I’m feeling quite nervous. I mean this guy is a peer of the realm and hob-nobs with the royal family. I remember going to bed after I’d sent Police Constable Shannon Aguerri to meet him. I just didn’t know what I’d find in the morning. I mean she’s got a heart of gold but also a big mouth and a bit of attitude – well honestly a truck load of attitude. That’s why she’d been kicked out of inner city. It could have been disastrous for all three of us. Shannon’s got so much front she’ll just face up to anything. Spencer Chamberlain Knightsmith, eleventh earl of Bloxington is a refined English gentleman and accustomed to respect. At first I didn’t know him myself, he’s the kind of guy who risks becoming a cut out wealthy aristocrat. I sure didn’t expect Shannon to find him welding up an old racing car with his overalls open to the waist and almost certainly nothing at all underneath. The view wasn’t wasted on Shannon.
I pull up in front of the pillared front entrance. Two long haired retriever dogs scamper towards me across the gravel drive. They look wet from the long damp grass of the meadow that runs down to the lake. A commanding voice booms out.
“Jilly, Bobby. Stop!”
The animals freeze and sit. In the distance I see the six-feet-four bear-like form of Spencer striding along the long drive of horse chestnut trees golden in the autumn sun. He’s wearing a tweed jacket, corduroy trousers and of course green wellies. Now my heart is beating a bit harder. This is the first time I’ve spoken to him since I set Shannon on him and put mayhem into his life.
He takes my hand and kisses me on both cheeks, European style.
“Emma – you’ve not changed a bit and you’re always early for appointments.”
“I like to set the scene before I get into the action,” I say.
“What a good strategy. Top class idea. Look, let’s get inside. I hope you’ve got time for some cold cuts while we talk.”
“Cold cuts?” I’d forgotten this old-style aristo language.
“Luncheon – I’m going up to the City later for a board meeting so it’ll be great to combine question with digestion.”
He chortles at his obviously choreographed expression.
“You’ve turned into a bit of a poet Spencer.”
“Well to be honest I do it just to make Shannon groan. She talks at twice my speed and my old duffer act slows her down a bit.”
I’m beginning to see what I set loose on the poor chap. I wanted him to be happier but I’m still not sure if I did the right thing. I look at his rugged face and brown eyes. His hair is still overlong and a little more grey. He eases a commanding hand into my back and smiles. I love his posh accent.
“It’s truly wonderful to see you again. To be honest I never felt we’d got to know each other before, well you know, before Shannon.”
“I was always watching you from a distance, feeling jealous of her if I’m honest. When you started to do things out of character I just had to let you go.”
“Out of character?”
“Like singing Elvis songs to her and taking her to Venice to propose.”
“All that kind of surprised me. You know a man is like a box of toys or something. A woman can’t control what’s in the box but she can choose what she pulls out and what games she plays.”
I stare at him. This isn’t the man I’d abandoned to the mercy of someone like Shannon.
“You’re deeper Spencer.”
“It’s called happiness. When you’re unhappy in life that’s all you are. Unhappiness is a city state. Happiness is a continent.”
His voice is deep and confident. If he wasn’t married I definitely could you know…….
We walk through the entrance hall with the grand stairway and through the long gallery of paintings. The Orangery is still the same with its view of the chapel and cricket field.
“Yes, I love that sense of history. I tell Shannon she should read the story of his father, Charles the First and his wife Maria. Now that was a love story.”
“Does Shannon agree?”
“She says she’d rather write a bloody hot love story with me than read one. She lives very much in the present.”
I watch his face in profile as he gazes out of the window. He nods in acknowledgement of the warmth her words convey. He turns to me and gestures me to sit. A maid wheels in a trolley with plates of sandwiches, sliced meat, salads and a range of beautiful fruit. He sits opposite me, his eyes flick to mine. I want to hold them and he lets me linger just a little longer than he would have allowed before. His sexiness is more obvious, more experienced. I’m showing a generous cleavage with a ruby pendant teasing his focus. He’s ten years younger than me. I smile and enjoy the ping in my belly. His eyes come back up to mine and I can see he knows what I’m feeling. I need to get control here.
“Those guys out there – your fans, they want me to ask you some quite personal things. I’m a bit shy to be honest.”
“Me too, but look, there’s only you and me here and we probably like the same stuff.”
“OK – the first moment you saw Shannon, what did you think?”
“You want me to be honest?”
“Well, we live in a world of sexy images. You get kind of numb and I’d turned off, shut down. When I saw her, even in that police uniform I had a surge like I was seventeen.”
“Do you think she knew?”
“Shannon knows everything. She just has to angle her hips a little, push out her lips a little. I covered things up by bumbling on about the car I was fixing. She moved half an inch into my personal space and, well I wanted to kiss her then and there. She knew.”
“You’ve got to tell me if you were wearing anything at all under those overalls?”
I’m afraid I’ve gone too far and embarrassed him. He looks down and then sweeps his eyes up my body to my face, as if he’s tracing the path with his finger. Oh no…things are getting, you know – possibly humid.
“No, it was a summer day.”
“You didn’t get to say that much. Did you think about her after she’d left?”
He smiles slowly and brings his hand to his chin. I’d followed Shannon’s actions that night so his answer would be news to me too. His expression is wicked and knowing. He speaks slowly in a slightly husky voice.
“Emma, we’ve not met for a while but there’s no one closer to me. Yes, I thought about her.”
“Yes, I took a shower and I couldn’t hold back.”
“Did you ever tell her?”
“No, I’m a English gentleman. I wanted her to want me as only that at the beginning. It seemed my most favorable angle”
Behind my eyes I roll a fantasy of this gorgeous gentle man letting go in his lonely ecstasy of pure sex, thinking of me. I knew what I’d be thinking of later. I take some food while Spencer stands and pours some mineral water. His groin is level with my eyes. I let myself imagine that shower scene, his groan, his release. Several times.
There is a voice in the kitchen out of sight. It’s a female and I know that south London accent.
We both stand as she almost scampers in, her golden skin and crazy black hair somehow shouting her personality without the need for words. Her blue eyes mixed with her complexion made me crazy with jealousy I admit. She was here now but I’d had Spencer to myself for a precious time. A time that would kindle a little heat in me when I needed some private warmth.
We hug. Her body is young and wiry compared to mine. I’d have no chance against her. She kisses Spencer’s lips and glances at me. A woman like me knows that growl from another woman.
“I hope he hasn’t been a sexy charmer. I don’t allow that sort of stuff in here and don’t forget I’m a cop.”
“He’s been a gentleman.”
“That’s what I feared. That’s what had me fooled. By the time I realized his tactic I had my clothes off and it was too late.”
Spencer has returned to his aristocratic look. Just once I caught his eyes on mine with a look of complicity. For sure this man – my man, made love to her but now I knew something of him she didn’t. You can’t ever explain to men how much things like that matter to a woman.
“When I last saw you here you were a regular cop. You’re a Chief Inspector now at Scotland Yard, ” I say.
“Yeah, bullshit will always baffle brains Emma – I know you’ve always worked on that principle.”
“Whoever told you I had any principles?” I say, wondering if her tone had a bit of edge.
“Ha! You walked into that one Shannon.”
“Look, it’s only catty cos you’re here giving Emma smiley eye stuff. Bugger off to work and bring me in some spontaneous red roses.”
Spencer rises, kisses her and walks the door. He glances back but avoids my eyes.
“I leave you girls to chat. Emma and I never got to say much and certainly nothing new.”
Once he was gone Shannon pours some tea and sits opposite to me where Spencer had been sitting.
“So, what did you talk about? If it wasn’t about me then lie – I know you make stuff up at the drop of your knickers.”
“Shannon – are you a bit jealous of women around Spencer?”
I let it drop and told her the truth.
“We talked about you and what happened when you first met each other…….”
Mid afternoon I drive out through the gates and head back to the crazy sprawl and scramble of London. I still feel turned on and you know, damp and naughty. I push a love song compilation CD into the player. I’d be at my flat in Chelsea alone for at least an hour before my man came home. Maybe I’d scratch my my itch of lust on him when he came through the door. Did I want to share that heat with another man? Maybe I’d take a shower with Spencer. Yeah, it’s a private affair and he’s my man after all.
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