A Gentleman and a Rogue

Monday, February 8, 2010

Excerpt from Across the Fickle Winds of History




SET UP: Tatiana and Olga have encounter with Father Gregory.

********

As I looked up, Father Gregory Rasputin stepped out of a dark corner, his wide, round, hypnotic eyes riveting both of us to our spot in the hall.

“Tell me, girls, what brings you here?” His voice smoothly purred,
and he clasped his hands in front of him.

As usual, he was unkempt,his hair was greasy, and his simple brown cloak was dirty. We were used to his appearance.

“I just wanted to check on Mama,” I replied softly.

The rise and fall of his chest was rhythmic and strangely soothing. His lips curved ever so slightly as his eyes seemed to drift over my figure. It was as if he was looking at me for the first time.

“I talked to the Empress earlier. She understands, Olga. I want you
to know she was taken by surprise by your father’s decision. I must
admit, I was as well. I did not expect this.”

His voice caressed me like a gentle ocean wave. Father Gregory
had always been kind to us girls, and certainly, he knew what to do to
heal Alexi, but father did not approve of him – especially when he
spent time around our mother. Tatiana and I had already agreed Father
Gregory was harmless, speculating it was father’s natural jealousy,
seeing another man around our mother, which had sparked his dislike.

“I understand, Father Gregory.”

He smiled that crooked smile of his, revealing his chipped teeth.
He truly was not an attractive man – certainly not the type to attract
my mother in a sexual way. His rough hands lightly began to stroke
his long, untamed beard.

“You know everything, Father Gregory,” said Tatiana, wrapped up
in the same gentle spell I had fallen under.

He walked over to Tatiana and placed his hand on her shoulder,
leering at her. “Sweet duchess, I see only what the Lord reveals to me. I would
even venture to say he is as surprised at your sister’s new status as we
all are,” he continued. “This was truly unexpected.”

I cocked my head as I looked at him with curious eyes. “And does
the Lord show you the future, Father Gregory?”

He turned to face me. “The Lord touches us all in his way, sweet
Olga. This is an honor you are very deserving of. Your mother is
proud of you. She confessed it to me.”

“Then why…?”

“Love will make a woman feel things they never felt before –
including heartbreak. I, of course, took that heartbreak away from the
Empress with the counsel of the Lord, replacing it with forgiveness.”

“You are a good man, Father Gregory,” said Tatiana.

He backed away from her, and I wrinkled my nose at the light
stench that came from his clothes.

“Um,” he purred, raking his eyes over both of us. He looked at us
strangely, perhaps imagining us as different people before his eyes
widened. He was prone to having visions and I wondered if he was
having one now. “Alexi wants me.”

“How do you…?”

“Know?” he said. “I have shared a part of my soul with him and
him with me. Good evening.”

With that, he turned around and left. Tatiana and I went back to our
room.

*********

You can purchase a copy at http://www.lulu.com

4 Stars, Shannon Yarbourgh, Lulu Book Reviews
3 Stars, Aimee Merzon, ForeWord Clarion Reviews

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