As seen on Not Another Romance Blog, this is the scene I wrote for the Historical Christmas Eve Giveaway with two authors posting a scene from December 2nd to December 23rd. It was such fun participating in this, so I thought I'd share it with you here as well in case you missed it =)
Without further ado, I give you:
A Drunken Escapade on Christmas Eve
Lady Amanda (daughter of the Marquess & Marchioness of Hawkwood) is celebrating Christmas with her family at their country estate. Her father’s best friend and his wife have been invited and are staying for the holidays along with their son Peter (the Earl of Charington) who is best friends with Amanda’s brother – the two have gone to Eton together and later to Oxford.
Amanda has known Peter her whole life (thus the use of first names) and is hopelessly in love with him. In attendance however, are also Amanda’s aunt and uncle who have brought Amanda’s three annoyingly beautiful cousins along. They are blonde and fair-skinned whereas Amanda has inherited her mother’s darker Italian complexion and chestnut hair. To make matters worse, the three cousins are all in love with Peter as well and have been fawning over him all evening. Jealous and insecure over his attentions toward them, Amanda finds it impossible to sleep. Desperate for something to take her mind away from Peter, she slips out of bed and heads downstairs in search of The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edmund Gibbon – a book that Amanda has found most helpful on other sleepless nights.
The scene opens with Amanda entering the library:
Amanda set her oil lamp carefully on the side table next to the door and adjusted the flame, brightening the space with a yellow glow. With the fire reduced to embers, the room was no longer as warm as it had been earlier in the evening and Amanda found herself pulling her dressing gown tight across her chest to ward off the chill. She glanced about, her gaze settling on the boughs of evergreen that had been cut from a fir tree earlier in the day and tied with crimson ribbons as per her mother’s instructions.
Taking a deep breath, Amanda closed her eyes for a moment to enjoy the rich scent of the pine. She loved Christmas and the atmosphere that accompanied it when Rambly Hall was filled with people – she just hadn’t anticipated how difficult it would be seeing Peter again.
With a small sigh and an admonishing shake of her head, she padded across the floor to one of the bookcases, spotting the thick volume she sought almost instantly. Reaching for a stool, she pulled it toward her and stepped up onto it. It wasn’t quite enough though and she was forced to go up on tiptoes, her right arm straining to reach the book she wanted. She almost had it – she was certain of it – if she could only …