Snippet: from the romance in Painted Trust
Great Britain 1898
Miss Edith Appleby has commenced employment with the eminent forensic surgeon Dr. Anthony Vaughn, he has come home late from a day trip to Glasgow to assist the medical Coroner there with a case. Their unexpected and delicious exchange of the night before on his mind.
The sight of her wasn’t what Vaughn expected. He’d seen the light was on, but he’d imagined he’d see Thomas in the anatomical lab, not her, not his Apple. Vaughn moved through the room towards his newest household member, his chest oddly tightening.
Flashes of her had come at unexpected moments throughout the day, on the train, while he examined the microscope slides, passing through a darkened corridor; they were a staccato of unexamined reminiscences, of relived sensations and growing wants. Despite assuring himself that last night was an anomaly, most likely for both of them. He’d nearly lost his footing in his effort to catch the last train to make it home tonight. Not that he’d go to her room—that was the realm of fantasy—but he’d been disappointed to find the theater and its surrounds dark and empty.
As if God, who had consistently ignored him at the surgical table, now chose to listen, there at the end of the room, bent over a dissection table, was his Apple. So engrossed was she in her task that she didn’t turn at his steps, not even as he came to a stop close behind her. She had a black elastic strap around the top of her head, holding in place a magnifying glass and light for detailed dissection work. The focus he read in her body told him this work was not new to her. There was a sense of confidence in her that she didn’t have in the surgery. Her claimed familiarity with anatomy and dissection had not been a fabrication, not like the rest of her apparent history. It seemed women with secrets were to be his fate.
She jumped and turned, the scalpel she was using suddenly poised as a weapon.
The dramatic stance was somewhat surprising yet totally overshadowed by the picture she presented with the great big magnifier in front of her eyes. Vaughn raised his eyebrows and the odd tightness seeing her generated in his chest grew.
“I am frozen in fear,” he murmured.