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The Reluctant King

Dermot McCabe

Published by Axletree Press

Copyright 2012 Dermot McCabe

Smashwords Edition

Smashwords Edition, Licence Notes

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Chapter 1

Half opening his eyes to the glimmer of light seeping through the ivy covered windows of his bedchamber, Cesare Greyfell tried to remember what it was that weighed so heavily on his mind. He turned over and gathered his knees up to his chest, attempting to create a cocoon of warmth around himself. But his body remained cold and his mind, swimming from the depths of sleep, flitted around the duties of office that awaited him until finally, the real cause of the sadness in his heart flared painfully into consciousness. He could picture her now with startling clarity; Lucretia Beaufort, strolling along the bank of the Yayla river with her companion Celeste, while he, hidden, feeling guilty, but unable to take his eyes off her, watched from Hazel Wood where he rambled each evening with old Thunder. Her laughter, her sweet rippling laughter, tormented him. He pictured again the exquisite curve of her breasts and hips under the clinging samite caftan that she wore with such casual grace. A hot flush suffused his whole body. He felt dizzy and angry; angry that she could make him feel like that, and angry at her apparent happiness that had nothing to do with him. He despised himself for that selfish impulse.

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