SOMETHING WILD first appeared in the NO LAW AGAINST LOVE 2 anthology.
Lady Madeline’s first and only London season lasts one month before a family emergency forces her home. The memory of one gentleman remains with her, in particular his face and eyes.
Six years later Lady Madeline has the keeping of her sister’s four children. Sir Basil is plaguing her about some silly law that requires all English males over the age of fourteen to carry out two hours of longbow practice a week, supervised by the local clergy. The vicar refuses to waste his time overseeing such practice and urges her to wed Sir Basil—that being Sir Basil’s motive in pestering her.
Madeline approached Lord Baylor, a neighbor, hoping he will speak to the vicar. But with Lord Baylor is the gentleman she remembers from her one, short season; he is now the Earl of Spode. Her wild nature is intrigued.
Robert, the Earl of Spode, immediately recognizes Lady Madeline. She was the lovely young girl with the eyes–big, beautiful green eyes. When he hears her problem he offers to introduce legislation that would remove such an archaic law. In so doing, he hopes to get close to Lady Madeline–and make sure she doesn’t disappear from his life again.
All looked with interest when she and Lady Baylor entered. Madeline heard Lady Baylor’s laughter, heard her say something witty about finding her in the hall. Madeline supposed it was witty; her mind ceased to function as soon as she’d seen him. People laughed. He laughed. Then began the introductions. Madeline felt her heart beat faster. It was him! The gentleman from her short season. He was an earl? The Earl of Spode? She didn’t think he was an earl six years ago.
“I remember Lady Madeline,” he said as he smiled and bowed over her gloved hand.
What was she to say to that? I remember you as well? Yours is the only face I recall from my short, happy season? His dark hair had a mahogany tint and a bit of curl. She pulled her gaze from the intriguing implications of his hair, and focused on his eyes. Ah, yes. His eyes were a dark amber in color, edged with thick lashes. Many a night she’d sighed over the memory of those eyes; what might have developed between them had she remained in London.
His voice was low. “I regret we never shared the supper dance you promised me.”
Ah, but you have no idea how much I have regretted that as well. Madeline smiled and said nothing. Did he really remember her?
Robert Baideson, the twelfth Earl of Spode, gave silent thanks to whom or whatever had brought Lady Madeline back into his life. She was as lovely as he remembered. More so. Well, what he saw of her. Her bonnet covered her hair, but he assumed it was still red; a pretty sort of red streaked with gold. Her figure impossible to determine due to the shapeless gown and drab shawl she wore. The girl he recalled had a figure that showed promise of developing into something a man might never tire of loving. That he would have to determine. Robert remembered her eyes in particular. Large eyes a shade of green that brought to mind deep woods and moss and wood nymphs, and dappled sunshine on naked, white skin.
Robert was content for the nonce to watch and listen. He believed he’d found his countess, but six years had passed after all. She might have changed, but he didn’t believe so. She’d recognized him when they were introduced. There had been awareness when he’d looked into her eyes; her fingers had trembled in his; her lips had parted, as if in invitation. That certain something had been present when they’d touched—six years ago and just minutes ago. Now he’d found her, and if she proved to be all he thought, he would woo her.