Description : My Lady, My Lord
London, October, 1822
DESIRE. A MAN’S CONSTANT COMPANION. Asfortable as a well-worn saddle. And yet, if uncontrolled, his torment.
Here in the London club where Ian Chance reclined, desire permeated the air. Palpable, hot, and thick, it dripped off crystal chandeliers like wax, curling around wisps of cheroot smoke in dusky clouds. The scents of musty tobacco, costly perfume, and brandy smoldered in the haze.
Some of the denizens of this gaming hell craved wealth. For some men, the thirst for guineas never diminished, no matter how plump the pockets. Others played only for the win, the intoxicating victory over other men. Yet others played for power and influence, the sort that came with a place in Parliament, a title, a ministry of state, the sort that fettered as it freed, trapped as it enticed.
But not all men sought triumph at the tables or advancement among their peers from this night’s prowl. For some, desire cut deeper—deeper than pride, than vanity, than the need for influence, gnawing into a man’s nexus, his groin. These men craved sex, lusting like spring rams over the demi-reps arrayed throughout the opulent house in fragrant silks and satins. Sophisticated women, some titled in their own rights. Still, demi-reps. A few of these tarnished gems would apany the hungry hunters home tonight. A lucky handful of the gamblers seeking to dip their wicks in noble pots would find satisfaction before sunrise. And upon that dawn, wrapped in a fragrant feminine embrace, they would discover themselves caught.