The Brothers Cameron: An Opportunity for ResentmentISBN: 9781452462660
COPYRIGHT: July 3, 2011
AUTHOR: Jesse V Coffey
GENRE: Historical Fiction, Romance, Scottish Drama
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Stephan Cameron is impetuous and lusty; William Cameron is measured and romantic. Only one thing can divide them--an attraction to the Lady Jessica Chynoweth, a flirty redhead. Only one thing can bring them together again--bringing the murderer of their father to justice. If it doesn't kill them first, they will!
Stephan Cameron was grabbed roughly about the shoulder and dragged to his feet from his seated position on the floor. He was unable to do it himself; his hands had been bound with a thick rope. He had lashed out at one of Lord Joseph’s men. His reward was a backhand across the face. His left eye was swollen, hard to see through. He was sure that it might be blacking nicely. It certainly hurt like the devil. It was the reason they had bound him. For a young man of fourteen, Stephan was surprisingly strong.
The rough yank to his feet caused him to be a bit unbalanced and Stephan tried to right himself by shuffling his feet. The grip on his shoulder kept him from falling back to the floor but he was not grateful for the help. He’d rather have fallen. The man holding on to him had the look of trouble, with hair the color of coal and eyes to match. He had a peculiar scar running down from his forehead, across the left eye and down to his cheekbone.
“Come on, ye thief, someone wants a word with ye,” the man purred with a silken voice.
Before Stephan could answer in his defense, the man shoved him forward, bouncing him off a wall. When they came to the open door, Stephan was thrown in. As his feet turned traitor, Stephan fell to the floor. Only one man came to help him: Vicar Charles.
“Stephan, lad,” he said, “are you all right? Let me help you, my son.”
As the vicar helped him stand, Stephan took the moment to look in the man’s eyes. “Vicar, I didn’t do it. I didn’t do it.”
Vicar Charles said nothing; he simply sighed and shook his head. The man at the head of the table answered for him.
“Of course, you did nothing, boy. They all say that, do they not, Vicar?”
Stephan turned to face the man, an anger growing inside of him. Lord Joseph Wyeth Turnbull, the Baron of Norwich, sat in his resplendent chair with his feet propped on a small footstool. He looked every inch the “Lord of the Realm” in his silk shirt and brocade doublet. His black hair was pulled back from his face and clubbed into a matching brocade bag. His manicured hands held a goblet of what had to be the finest wine in the shire. The room was full of the hangers-on of his court, courtiers and potential bed mates. The rumor was that Lord Joseph had brought courtesans from the French king’s court as a gesture of goodwill, leaving bits in exchange. Stephan knew none of these others. Except for the vicar, he recognized only one other figure in the room.
She stood next to Lord Joseph, her eyes cast downward. She would not look at him. Sarah Miller kept quiet, barely moving. Something was wrong and Stephan knew it.
“So, tell us, Vicar,” Lord Joseph said. “Tell us what was stolen from the church.”
The vicar cleared his throat, making his way slowly forward. “When I came to the church, this morning, I found that the offering plate and the candlesticks were missing.”
“They are of silver, are they not?” The baron smiled, pausing only to take a sip of wine. “You did say they
were of silver, yes?”
“Yes, my lord,” the vicar answered, “silver.”
Lord Joseph handed the cup to one of the courtesans and stretched the hand out to Sarah, who took it in hers.
“Come, my dear,” he purred. “You have nothing to be fearful of. That boy won’t hurt you.” He stroked her face with the other hand and said, “You must tell the truth.”