Chapter 14

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Fallon screamed Emma’s name as loudly as her lungs could manage.  Chilton grabbed her aggressively trying unsuccessfully to cover her mouth with his hand.  Instinctive need for survival lent bravery to her actions.  Fallon bit piercingly at his hand with all the strength she could muster.

‘You vicious harlot!’ Chilton raised his fist into the air, ready to strike Fallon, but his hand did not reach her face, instead a powerful fist slugged his face.  Agonizingly Chilton fell to the floor.  It was dark, Fallon could not see who her rescuer was, but every predisposition inside her told her who he was.  As the darkness revealed more of the outline of her rescuer, Fallon saw Braeden lift Chilton up from the floor.  His fist swung into Chilton’s face again.  Braeden’s knee pierced into Chilton’s mid drift before he slumped to the floor. Fallon’s shock subsided.  She sobbed, covering her face with her hands.

‘Fallon!’  Emma and Burward came running, after hearing Fallon call out.

‘My lady, are you okay?’  Braeden’s voice was comforting,  his palm gentle, as he touched her shoulder to reassure her that she was safe from harm.

‘Yes,’ she stammered.  She looked up, her eyes dipping into his reassuring passionate eyes that held hers, offering her much needed comfort.

‘Fallon, what happened?’  Emma reached her sister.  ‘We were behind you and next we didn’t know which way you disappeared.’

‘The duke___ he said there was a bench where we could sit and next  ___  I did not know where we were.  It was dark and frightening.’

‘It’s okay,’ Emma wrapped her arms around Fallon protectively.  ‘Everything’s okay now,’ she murmured soothingly.  ‘Thank you, Lord Hampton,’ Emma smiled at him appreciatively.

Fallon looked up at him uncomfortably.  ‘Thank you,’ she whispered.

She wondered what he was doing out there alone.  She wondered where his companion was.

‘At your service my lady,’ his eyes gently teased.  ‘Here, you’re cold,’ he removed his coat and wrapped it around her shoulders.

‘Thank you,’ she accepted gratefully.  She could feel the heat of his body, his familiar scent on his heavy coat.

‘Perhaps you should all return inside.  The second show is about to start.  I shall deal with this mess,’ Braeden’s tone was grave and angry.

 ‘Where is Lady Abigail?’ Emma enquired.  I saw her with you at the refreshment stand.’

Braeden’s eyes shuttered.  How could he explain his instinctive fear that Lady Fallon had been in grave danger?  He had not thought Wentworth would be so stupid to attempt kidnapping Lady Fallon in such a public place, yet the dimwitted duke had attempted just that. 

‘She is with her folks.  I shall return shortly.  Go on,’ Braeden instructed.

The three turned away.  Braeden lifted Chilton like he weighed next to nothing and dragged him to his carriage.  He will deal with the duke more severely, when he came around.  How dare he take advantage of Lady Fallon?  How dare he even think to attempt to assault her?  His Lady….  She was his, nobody else’s.  No other gentleman should touch her… ever

 Little had Fallon known, that Braeden had discreetly followed her after seeing her step out with the worthless duke.  He did not trust Chilton.  He knew he was a good for nothing scoundrel and a disgrace to the ton.

The following morning, Fallon sat staring out the window.  There was no sun streaming into the Sunflower room.  It was a leaden, miserable day, matching her despondent mood. She watched the rain splatter against the window panes, trickle down the cement grooves and fall to the already sodden ground.  She sighed heavily.  Having hardly slept, her mind returned to the reprehensible event of the previous evening.  She was unable to dismiss the frightful encounter with Chilton.  He could have raped her.  She shut her eyes tightly, thankful for Braeden’s timely arrival.  How dare that despicable duke attempt to scandalize her in that manner?  The contemptible rakehell!  They were all the same.  Those filthy swines…masquerading as respectable gentlemen.

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