Thanks for having me here today. I wanted to share my favorite scene from my latest books, The Magic of “I Do,” which hit stores earlier this month and is the second book in my paranormal/regency faerie series. My favorite scene follows a rather passionate love scene. Claire is pregnant and has known for months. But Finn is still unaware. She has completely disregarded her mother since their meeting for the first time, but she’s the only person she wants when things go poorly.
Here’s the scene:
“Don’t move, Claire,” he said. “I’ll get something to clean us up. I’m afraid you’re a mess.”
Heat crept up her cheeks, but she really didn’t care. She’d just rode his manhood until they’d both found that sweet release. She’d just taken him. All of him. And he’d given all of himself back to her. He reached for the towel he’d pulled from her hair and brought it down between them.
“Be still, Claire,” he warned as he slipped out of her. “Claire, are you having your menses?” he asked.
“You’re bleeding, Claire,” he warned. He kissed her forehead. “Don’t worry. I don’t mind. But it would have been good to know.” He chuckled.
Claire looked down between them and her heart leaped into her throat. She was bleeding. Her blood bathed his manhood, mixed with his seed. “Oh God, Finn,” she cried. She scuttled back from him, placing a hand over her belly where their child lay. “Something is wrong, Finn,” she cried. Tears pricked at the backs of her lashes. “Something is wrong. Call for a physician. Do it now!”
“I don’t think it’s as bad as all that, Claire,” he said.
“Now, Finn,” she screamed. “Call for a physician. Now!”
“Claire,” he warned. He got to his feet and approached her. But she didn’t let him touch her. He didn’t let her get away, however, and pulled her into him. “Don’t fret.”
A sob shook her frame.
“Claire, what is it?”
“I need a physician. Now.”
“All right,” he said.
Something was wrong. Claire was frantic. She sobbed against his chest, her tears wetting the front of his shirt as her body heaved with sobs.
“I’ll call for the physician. Do you want me to call anyone else?”
“My mother,” she said. “I need my mother.”
“All right,” he said, and he ran from the room to get a servant. He would send for the physician and send for her mother, and then he would find out what the devil was wrong with her. She was frantic for a reason. He just didn’t know what it was.
Claire was tucked beneath the counterpane on Finn’s bed when her mother arrived. She’d managed to stop the frantic sobbing. And she didn’t appreciate the whimpers her crying had left behind. Finn stood across the room and looked down at her. He’d donned a clean shirt and tucked it into his breeches, but he didn’t come any closer. Every time he tried, Claire cried even more. Finally, the door opened and her mother stepped through. Her auburn hair hung loose around her shoulders, and she wore a day dress that was buttoned wrong.
“Claire,” she said as she walked into the room.
But Claire felt a sob rise within her again. Her mother quickly searched the room until she found Finn. “Could you give us a moment?” her mother asked.
“I want to know what’s wrong.”
“So do I, but I have a feeling she’ll be more likely to tell me if you leave the room.”
“I’m going to marry her. I’m not going anywhere. Talk of menses and natural functions will not frighten me.”
Finn went and sat in a chair in the corner as Claire’s mother approached the bed. She sat down and pulled Claire into her arms. “What’s wrong, Claire?” she asked.
There was blood on the towel by the bed. “Did he hurt you?” Claire’s mother asked.
“I’m bleeding,” Claire sobbed.
Her mother struggled not to laugh. “Honey, that’s what happens when it’s the first time. It’s all right.”
“It’s not all right,” Claire wailed. Then she leaned forward and whispered to her mother. “This wasn’t my first time. My first time was several months ago, and I’m with child.”
Her mother’s mouth fell open, and remorse didn’t begin to describe what Claire felt.
“Did you call for the physician?” her mother barked at Finn.
“Yes, he’s on the way,” Finn replied. He sat forward in the chair and placed his elbows on his knees. “What’s wrong?”
Claire’s mother tucked her in more tightly behind the counterpane. She crooned to her as she stroked the side of her face. “Everything will be fine. You’ll see.”
The physician came in and shooed everyone from the room, including her mother. Claire squirmed under his gentle probing as he listened, manipulated, probed, and prodded her. He finally looked up, pulled the counterpane back up, and tucked it beneath her arms. “Everything will be fine, I think.”
“It will?” Claire whispered, hope swelling within her.
“I believe so. These things are rather common at this stage.”
“I’ve never heard anyone mention any such a thing.”
“Because old wives usually don’t talk of such things to young, unmarried ladies.”
Heat crept up Claire’s cheeks. “I see.”
“Shall we bring Lord Phineas in and give him the good news?”
Claire chewed on her lower lip. “I don’t know.”
“Is he the father?” The man began to pack his tools and implements back inside his case.
“Of course. We’re to be married.”
“Yet he didn’t know about the pregnancy.”
“I believe you’re past the point of no return now.”
Claire nodded. “I know.
The physician went to the door and opened it, and Finn and Claire’s mother came back into the room. But this time, Finn sat down on the side of the bed to comfort her.
The physician spoke. “Congratulations, Lord Phineas,” he said. “You’re to be a father.”
Finn choked. Like a dolt, he choked on his own spittle. The physician clapped him on the back with a laugh. “It’s not as bad as all that,” he said. “The babe is all right. I suggest that she stay in bed for at least a sennight, and then I’ll come back to check on her to see how things are progressing.”
“The bleeding wasn’t just her menses?”
The man chuckled again. “She hasn’t had menses in several months, my lord.”
She’d gotten with child the one time they’d been together, before she’d left to go back to the land of the fae. And she’d known all this time and hadn’t told him. Not a word. She’d been pregnant, his child growing inside her, and she hadn’t told him.
“Thank you, sir,” Finn bit out. He pulled some banknotes from his pocket and pushed them into the man’s hand. “I’d appreciate your discretion in this matter.”
The physician saw himself out, and Finn felt like he couldn’t catch his breath. He couldn’t look at her without knowing he’d done this to her, and without remembering that she’d kept it from him all this time.
“I’m going to ask you once, Claire. And then I’ll never bring this matter up again.” He waited and then said very quietly, so only she could hear. “It’s mine, isn’t it?”
She nodded, biting her lip so hard he feared she would rend it in two. “That night, I got with child.” Her voice broke. “I had planned to tell you.”
“As soon as I got up the nerve.”
“You have enough nerve to walk into danger, but you can’t tell me something like this?”
“I’m sorry,” she said, her voice a broken whisper.
Finn got up to leave the room. At the door he turned back to see Claire’s mother sit down on the side of the bed and pull Claire into her arms. Claire let her, and her mother was soothing her as he left the room, closing the door tightly behind himself.
A baby. Claire was increasing. She carried his child. A smile he couldn’t bite back tugged at his lips. A child. God, the idea of Claire growing big with his child… it was everything he’d ever dreamed of.
He was hurt that she hadn’t told him. But he knew now. And now he knew he couldn’t wait for the reading of the banns. He would get a special license and marry her tomorrow. Her father had wanted three weeks. But this would be a six-month pregnancy, if his addition was correct. She would deliver their child no more than six months after their marriage, if it took that long. Tongues would wag.
He grinned. Let them. Let them have their fun. He would have Claire. And they would have their child. And more on the way someday.
Finn poured a whiskey and tossed it back. The door to his study opened without a knock. “Are you angry?” Lady Ramsdale asked.
“Angry?” Finn said as he set his glass down. He was giddy with excitement. He strode quickly across the room and spun Lady Ramsdale around in a quick circle. “Are you bound for Bedlam? I’m going to be a father. I couldn’t be happier.”
Lady Ramsdale smiled as soon as she got over the shock of being spun around. “She’s afraid you’re angry at her.”
Anger was the last thing he felt. “I’ll go talk to her. I just needed a moment.”
She arched a brow at him. “And whiskey.”
“Where is your husband?”
“At Ramsdale House. Asleep.”
She knew. “You knew all along, didn’t you?”
“I had a feeling.” She went on to clarify, “Claire missed her menses for several months. Why do you think we stayed in the land of the fae so long?”
“Does your husband know?”
She shook her head. “No.”
“Do we have to tell him?”
She grinned. “I would suggest after the wedding.”
“Great idea.” He looked at her closely. She really was a lovely woman. And Claire did favor her. “Thank you for coming. You’re the only one she wanted.”
Her eyes welled with tears. “Thank you for telling me that.” Emotion choked her. “I’ll see myself out.”
Finn walked slowly back up the stairs. He opened the door to his bedchamber to find Claire had dozed off. Her face was blotchy and streaked with tears. He took off his clothes and slid beneath the counterpane with her. She stirred as he rolled her toward him. “Finn?” she asked, her voice groggy with sleep. And tears.
He pulled the counterpane lower and unbelted his dressing gown, which she still wore. In the low light of the room, he could see her looking down at him, as he looked at her nolongerflat stomach. It was ever so slightly rounded. He ran his fingers over her flesh, which teemed with the life they’d created.
“I’m sorry,” she whispered.
He bent and placed his lips to her belly. Then moved up and kissed her lips just as softly. “I’m not,” he said.
Claire began to cry, softly this time, not the great wrenching sobs of the moments before. Finn rolled her to the side and pulled her back against him, until she fit him like two spoons in a drawer. He placed a hand on her belly, his son or daughter, and said, “Sleep, Claire.”
“You’re not angry at me?” she asked, her voice raw with emotion.
“Sleep, Claire.” He buried his face in her hair and breathed her in.
© Tammy Falkner, 2013
As half of the Lydia Dare writing team, Tammy Falkner has co-written ten books, including A Certain Wolfish Charm and In the Heat of the Bite. A huge fan of Regency England, her regency paranormal series combines the magical elements of both mystical faeries and the glittering regency ton. Tammy lives on a farm in rural North Carolina with her husband and a house full of boys, a few dogs, and a cat or two. Visit her website, www.tammyfalkner.com, for more information.