May every day be full of love!
I have a gift for you, dear friends, it’s an excerpt from the book Though Leaves May Fall, Madison Lake’s third and final book in A Cloud of Hawthorne Series.
Lavinia was deep within the woods collecting herbs for her mother’s stores. By this time Rosetta was feeling well enough to concoct her medicines but Henley preferred if she didn’t exert herself too much just yet, and she had agreed. Besides, it gave Lavinia a chance to be alone and sort out her problems, of which she felt she had many. Besides, she liked the stillness of the forest depths. Looming trees cast shadows on the ground below their outstretched branches. Sunlight streamed in creating ethereal dancing light. As a child, Lavinia had spent her most memorable moments playing in these woods surrounded by nature and creatures great and small. She always felt safe within the protective walls of the forest.
As she canvassed for comfrey, ginger root and yarrow underneath the loose ground covering, she thought of all that had happened since her return from school. School. It seemed a distant memory and it had only been two months past. Reuniting with her family as well as reconnecting to her home again had been pure joy, but she was also aware she was coming into her own as a woman. She had never considered herself a girl – or woman – who attracted men. She was not one to flirt or tease which made her completely desirable but unaware of how appealing it was. That is until now. Her mind wandered to the three (or was it two) men in her life. Ralph had been one of them but she realized now there never had been a sexual connection between them, at least not on her part. Looking back, they had met shortly after her arrival at school in New York City. She was young, naive and completely vulnerable. Had he preyed on that? She didn’t know anymore. She knelt down on the sodden leaves and rooted around for the ginger root that lay beneath. As her hands dug into the moist earth she became aware of a presence nearby. She looked up and saw a figure lurking in the thicket. Suddenly Jeremiah appeared from behind a birch grove.
“Well, hello there. I thought I heard something.”
“What are you doing out here?” Lavinia asked.
“I should ask you the same question.”
“I’m gathering herbs for my mother. Nothing more.” Jeremiah looked her up and down, not hiding his interest or intentions. Lavinia flushed with embarrassment and admittedly with some arousal. The forest was so quiet, the scent raw and earthy. She stood up, brushing dirt from her hands. Aware that her breath had quickened, as had the beat of her heart, she inhaled deeply and let her lungs fill with cool morning air. In doing so she could feel the fullness of her breasts ease out from her corseted blouse. The excitement of seeing Jeremiah stare at her, of feeling not only his presence but his fervour, stirred an anxiousness she could hardly contain. Had she been aware of any feelings toward Jeremiah she might have come forward earlier and made them known. But she remembered how he annoyed her, how angry he had made her time and time again. His selfish ways, his arrogance. Yet physically he was deliciously attractive, so much so that she somehow forgot how much he put her off. Was this the way of love? It vexed her. However, here she was, face to face with this extraordinarily handsome man. No one was near them. They were all alone in the deepest part of the woods. Lavinia’s desire grew stronger, aware of the situation she was in. Somehow the wrongness made it so much more titillating. She was not one to go against her family values or the social boundaries for a woman of her age and position in life, but the lust that stirred within her was becoming greater than anything she had felt before.
— I hope you liked it! I am now in the last stages of editing the book, and I am looking forward to having it published in a couple of months. In the meantime, you can read books 1 and 2 from A Cloud of Hawthorne series here: A Cloud of Hawthorne (read the first chapter free) and Where Daffodils Grow Wild (first chapter is also available for your reading pleasure.