Five minutes to midnight. Soon the church bells would ring out across Soho to herald the arrival of Christmas Day, but for now the heart of the city lay silent. Everyone else was long gone, which was exactly the way Faith wanted it. The door was locked and the phone disconnected. This was a private celebration.
She’d set the table for one. Silver cutlery gleamed on freshly laundered damask. Caviar glistened in its crystal bowl and angels on horseback sat perfectly aligned on a porcelain plate under a shining silver dome. On the carved sideboard a two-tiered antique china cake stand held bite-sized slivers of New York cheesecake and miniature caramel-glazed eclairs.
Three minutes. Faith lifted the bottle of Dom Perignon out of the silver ice bucket Continue reading
’Twas daybreak on Christmas, and all through the hall
All the servants were stirring, for tonight was the ball.
The Yule log was laid and the mistletoe hung,
In hopes that Sir Darcy’s fling would be flung.
Miss Lizzie still nestled all snug in her bed,
While nightmares of family danced in her head.
But Mary and Kitty, and Lydia, too,
Argued at breakfast about whom Darcy would woo.
“Oh, Papa, what have you done now?” Charlotte asked her father as he sat at the table calmly eating his Christmas pudding.
He raised his head and peered at her over the top of his spectacles with a frown. “What have I done?”
Charlotte pointed to the man standing in the doorway. “Lord Bickershaw has your note of hand for this house. He claims he won it from you.”
“Oh. That.” Lord Atherton sighed. “Meant to tell you about that, my dear. I was testing my new mathematical theory–“
“By gambling?” she interrupted.
He rubbed his forehead as if trying to erase a bad memory. “I don’t know where I went wrong. Things were going splendidly all evening, then all of the sudden they took turn for the worse.” Continue reading
Welcome to the 8LW Christmas Week Short Story Challenge. The rules, as made up on the spot in the comments to my Man-Caves and Brainwaves post a few weeks ago, are simple – write a short story of no more than 500 words including ‘Derbyshire’ and at least three of the following: Darcy, Rhinoceros, Woolly, Admire, Love, Mine, Villain, Volcano, Ghost. Extra kudos for including more than three, and kudos with sparkles for Christmas references.
Okay, here goes:
“Goddamn it, Darcy, this is no time to behave like a gentleman!” Rhett Favre snarled. Barely a handful of grains left in the game timer, one score behind, and still his best friend hesitated.
“I admire your ingenuity, Rhett.” Darcy Moncrieff looked over to the far corner of snow-covered Chatsworth Field, where Lady Elizabeth stood, desperately waving her woolly white pom-poms. “I love her more than my honor.” He stood tall and squared his broad shoulders. “Very well. Let us do it.”
What the hell had the Duke of Derbyshire been smoking when he decided to offer his daughter’s hand in marriage to the winning captain of the Christmas football game? He’d surely never expected Continue reading