This next author is someone I have not only had the pleasure of meeting, but is also a caring friend. He also happens to be notorious for his cliffhangers (*hint, hint*), and for making you want to keep on reading long after the book has ended. Here to share a Christmas story featuring Lucien, Heathcliff, and Eshe from Groom of Convenience is The Original Gaylord Ninja Dom, Mr. Vicktor Alexander!
Eshe’s First Yuletide
The hall was silent, most of the servants having left for their own homes, their families, or as all good servants were wont to do, becoming one with the shadows that surrounded them. The bannisters, balustrades, and walls were decorated with holly, ivy, and ferns. Lady Lucien Eddington, Duchess of Pompinshire smirked as he took note of the mistletoe hanging from every doorway. It was apparent that Heathcliff was determined to make sure that no matter where they stood he would be able to point above his head and steal a kiss. Though would it really be stealing a kiss if Lucien offered it willingly?
Lucien smoothed a hand over his protruding belly and sighed as he felt a firm kick from within, the babe within him not giving his consent to his fotmy’s wayward thoughts. While Lucien loved the child fiercely, he was more than ready to give birth to the child that had caused him more than a little bit of grief in the last few days.
He walked… no, he waddled… down towards Heathcliff’s study and knocked on the door. He missed Chester. He and the maid had grown inexplicably close in the last few months, and with the words of the last missive swirling in his mind, Lucien’s heart clenched. His eyes burned. He wanted to do nothing more than to climb into the carriage and ride to his friend’s side and come to his aid, but he was unable to do so. Especially at his advanced stage of pregnancy.
“Enter,” Heathcliff’s deep voice boomed from within and Lucien jumped slightly, jerked out of his internal musings.
Opening the door, Lucien stepped within the room and smiled at the sight of his daughter Eshe sitting on her father Heathcliff’s lap, her tongue poking out between her lips as she attempted to tie his cravat.
“Why, Your Grace, I do believe your cravat has met with a bit of an accident,” he said with a chuckle.
Heathcliff waved his hand at Lucien and rubbed a hand up and down Eshe’s back. “I have no knowledge of what you speak, my dear. Our dear Eshe is going to give me the best looking cravat in all of Angland. Is that not right, darling?”
Eshe’s head lifted and she smiled beautifically at Heathcliff. Lucien gasped, his throat clogging with emotion at the adoration he could see shining in his daughter’s eyes for her father. Eshe started off hesitant and fearful of Heathcliff, most people were. The scar on his face was quite off-putting, as was his demeanor and rather dominating personality, but he was so gentle with her and it wasn’t long before the two of them had grown close and inseparable. Eshe was truly a “Daddy’s Girl,” now and not only that, Lucien could tell that while he would have a hard time letting Eshe go when she finally married, Heathcliff would be heartbroken when she left them.
“Yes, Papa. I make you handsome.”
Heathcliff nodded. “That’s right, my sweet girl. You are going to make me look better than Fotmy aren’t you?”
Eshe covered her mouth and giggled. She shook her head. “N-no, Papa! Fotmy is mwanamke. You can not be this. He is a woman! You are a man! You must be mwanamume.”
Heathcliff put his hand on his chest and gasped, acting affronted. “But what if I wanted to be mwanamke?”
Eshe collapsed against him laughing happily and Lucien felt his eyes burn with unshed tears, his mind instantly going to Chester and Orley and their situation. His heart went out to them. Would they be able to enjoy a moment like this? He cradled his belly, trying to protect the life growing within him and sent up a prayer for his friend.
Lucien opened his eyes and found himself under the scrutiny of his husband and daughter. He offered them both what he hoped passed for a smile. “But of course. Why, I came in to see if perhaps you wanted to join me in the drawing room for some chocolate, cookies, a story for Eshe, and perhaps some music? This is Eshe’s first Yuletide with us and I thought that perhaps we should do something special for her.”
Heathcliff narrowed his eyes and knowing how well his former soldier could read his emotions on his face, Lucien thought of household chores, and the latest paper on medical advances in regards to dysentery. It was really quite a boring paper and Lucien had fallen asleep within five minutes of starting it, the doctor had droned on and on about the benefits of leeches and Lucien had been tempted to find the man and give him a good throttling. With Heathcliff’s crop.
“Well, that sounds like a great idea.” Heathcliff looked down at Eshe. “Would you like to drink hot chocolate, have cookies and hear a story while Fotmy plays the piano?”
Eshe nodded her head quickly and pushed away from Heathcliff as she climbed down from his lap and rushed from the room. She returned moments later and wrapped her small, thin arms as far around Lucien’s thick waist as she could.
“Thank you Fotmy,” she whispered.
Lucien smiled down at her. “You are welcome, my dear.”
She ran back down to wait for them in the drawing room and when Lucien looked back towards his husband the broad-shouldered man stood in front of him, his face a study of concentration, hands folded behind his back, unspeaking. Lucien could easily see him standing aboard the deck of a ship, his black hair blowing in the salty sea air, shouting orders to a crew of soldiers as they fought against Tfrenchmen hell-bent on world domination. Lucien felt his cock thicken in his drawers and he was glad he’d taken his mother’s advice to wear gowns for the last month of his pregnancy rather than breeches as he seemed to be suffering from the malady of inappropriate swells of passion and lust at the most inopportune times.
There was at dinner with Heathcliff’s parents when they had come to visit and Heathcliff had lifted his glass of wine to his lips.
Then when Heathcliff had just returned from riding his stallion with a few of the other gentlemen from Southerby and stepped into the entryway smelling of horseflesh. Lucien had taken one look at Heathcliff, one sniff of his husband and had to excuse himself, to put hand to groin.
Neither of those was as embarrassing as when they had ventured into town and Heathcliff had bent over to pick up Eshe when she had fallen. They were in the middle of town. Surrounded by people and all Lucien could think of doing was tearing off his clothes and begging his husband to fill him.
None of those things would be bad if Heathcliff wouldn’t smirk at him and follow him, kiss him, or enflame his ardour further.
So, the very fact that he now stood before Lucien, with his hands behind his back had Lucien on high alert.
“Are you quite sure that you are well, my love?” Heathcliff queried.
Lucien nodded. “Yes. I swear, Heath.”
Heathcliff stepped closer, his stomach pressing against the swell of Lucien’s own. “I would hate to know that you were in any distress. You know any pain you suffer is a dagger through my soul leaving me shattered upon the Tearth.”
Lucien smiled. “I know. I am in no distress, Heathcliff.”
“That is wonderful. I would have you experience nothing but love. Love, happiness, pleasure, and passion.”
Lucien trembled at the way Heathcliff’s voice lowered and he saw his husband’s right hand lift above their heads, a sprig of mistletoe clutched in his fingers. He let out a laugh.
“Everything you experience I feel as well, Lucien and vice versa. I wonder if you can understand what I am feeling?”
Lucien gasped as Heathcliff yanked him close, twisting their bodies in such a way that Heathcliff could devour Lucien’s lips. Lucien’s nostrils were filled with the scent of Heathcliff’s masculine fragrance. Bergamot, horseflesh, the fresh outdoors, and power, lust, strength, things Lucien would never be able to describe adequately to anyone should they ask him. He moaned and twisted his fingers in Heathcliff’s hair.
He wanted Heathcliff to spread him out on the carpet in his study, to fill him. To feel Heathcliff pound his cock in his arse until Lucien screamed his throat raw. Just when he was on the cusp of begging for it, pleading for release the sound of small footsteps running back towards them, caused them to separate.
Lucien blinked up at Heathcliff, dazed. Confused.
“Fotmy! Papa! Come!” Eshe gestured as she came back into the room, taking their hands pulling on their hands.
Lucien cleared his throat and followed along behind her and nodded.
“We’ll continue that, later,” Heathcliff promised.
“Yes, Your Grace. We sure will,” Lucien said, looking over his shoulder, the sight of the fallen mistletoe on the ground making him smile.
“No more, Eshe! I wave the white flag of surrender!” Heathcliff shouted, falling onto the ground. Lucien lifted his hands from the piano, clenching them, pain radiating up the joints. Eshe had asked for “one more” story and “one more” song for the past six hours. Lucien and Heathcliff were completely worn out. Any amorous intentions had been completely driven out under the stampede of childish exuberance of the Yuletide.
“But Papa! I’m not tired at all!” Eshe whined before yawning.
Lucien cut his eyes over at Heathcliff and lifted his eyebrows, pulling his lips in to cover a smile.
“Well we understand that, poppet. But your Fotmy and I are. Remember, Fotmy is trying to grow your baby brother inside of him, so he needs more sleep than we do.”
Eshe looked over at Lucien and narrowed her eyes, then she sighed. “That is right.” She stood and walked over to Lucien and placed her hand on his belly. “It is nice out here little brothers. You can come out now.”
Lucien chuckled. Eshe was the only one who spoke to the baby as if there were twins within. He stroked her cheek. “Thank you sweetheart. I am sure he likes hearing from you.” He gasped as a sharp pain shot through his back and his stomach. A vise wrapping around his middle. Something was wrong. Really, really wrong.
“Lucien? Are you well?” Heathcliff asked, rushing to his side.
Lucien shook his head. He gently moved Eshe away from the piano bench and made a move to stand up from the seat with his husband’s help. “N-no. S-something’s wrong, Heathcliff. I can tell. Something’s really, really wrong.”
When a rush of fluid shot down his legs Lucien looked down, he gasped and stared at Heathcliff.
“Your Grace? I do believe the baby has decided to arrive today.”
To read about how Heathcliff Eddington III, the Duke of Pompinshire, Lady Lucien and Little Eshe became a family, pick up Groom Of Convenience from Dreamspinner Press:
Blurb: In an alternate universe, in the country of Angland, 1814, the gentry live lives of culture and class. It is a time of courtships, marriages of convenience, and titles, where scandal can ruin an entire family. Gender lines are blurred, and making a good match is of utmost importance. Children are born to men and women, which has led to the acceptance of same-sex marriages. Lady Lucien Timothy Hawthorne is shocked and angry when he is betrothed against his will to Lord Heathcliff Eddington, III, the Duke of Pompinshire. While drowning his frustration at a popular gentleman's club, he meets "Robert," a gorgeous older man whom he sleeps with as "Timmy," regardless of the potential damage to his reputation. After their liaison, Lucien corresponds with Robert via letters left at Remmington, and they decide to elope. Before they can get away, Lucien meets his betrothed, Heathcliff, who he is surprised to discover is also his beloved, Robert. Both men desire a marriage of the heart, but they find out that sometimes a marriage of convenience can turn into love under the right circumstances. But Lucien has a secret, and Tlondon isn't as safe as they once thought.
About Vicktor Alexander:
Vicktor “Vic” Alexander wrote his first story at the age of ten and hasn’t stopped writing since. He loves reading about anything and everything and is a proud member of the little known U.N. group (Undercover Nerds) because while he lives, eats, breathes, and sleeps sports, he also breathes history and science fiction and grew up a Trekkie. But don’t ask him about Dungeons & Dragons, because he has no idea how to play that game. When it comes to writing he loves everything from paranormal to contemporary to fantasy to historical and is known not only for being the Epilogue King but also for writing stories that cross lines and boundaries that he doesn’t know are there. Vic is a proud father of two daughters one of whom watches over him from Heaven with his deceased partner Christopher. Vic is a proud trans* and gay man, and when he is not writing, he is hanging out with his friends, or being distracted by videos of John Barrowman, Scott Hoying, and Shemar Moore. Vicktor has published numerous bestselling novels and has a WIP list that makes him exhausted just thinking about. He knows that he will be still be writing about hot men falling in love with each other, long after he is living in an assisted living facility, flirting with the hot, male nurses.