Authors: Cheri Champagne
He hated making her miserable, but it was his duty to keep her from him. She may not see it now—or ever—but Charles was determined to.
He withdrew his pistol from his opened desk drawer, cocked it, and aimed, as his door crashed open to reveal the haggard form of Billy, holding a blunderbuss.
“Came wi’ a delivery, Hydra.” Billy aimed the blunderbuss at Charles’ chest, while Charles had his pistol trained on Billy.
“I am pleased that you could drop by for a visit,” Charles drawled. “However, I’m afraid that if you attempt to shoot me, you will not leave alive.” Billy snorted. “Where is your delivery?”
The man reached into his pocket and pulled out a wrinkled and dirty missive. “From th’ Boss.” His lip curled into a taunting sneer.
Charles stood, his pistol still aimed unwaveringly at Billy’s chest. He walked cautiously toward the man and accepted the letter.
He placed it in his breast pocket then glared into Billy’s gruff visage. “I confess, I am rather shocked that just you and I remain, Billy. I had thought that Frenchie would be the survivor of the four of you. That does not happen easily with traitors like you.”
“’Nuff talk.” He jabbed Charles in the ribs with the end of his blunderbuss. “The Boss said that if’n I get th’ chance, I should kill you in cold blood. But I fancy seein’ you read that there letter, and be ’round while you cry like a sissy miss. But ye know, it would be mighty entertainin’ to ruff you up a li’le bit first.”
Charles had had enough. Quick as a flash, he knocked the blunderbuss out of Billy’s hands, slammed the heel of his palm into the man’s nose—breaking it instantly—and swiped his leg beneath Billy’s, knocking him to the floor in a bloody mess. He untied his cravat, pulled it from around his neck with a
, and tied the intruder’s hands behind his back with a neat, tight knot.
He straightened, dusting his hands of the filth that coated Billy’s clothing, and reached inside his pocket for the letter. He would bring Billy to the Home Office, but he could not leave until he had satisfied his burning curiosity.
He opened the bit of parchment and scanned the writing.
Charles’ thoughts scattered as he read.
His heart skipped several beats, then began to thunder hard and fast against his ribs.
It couldn’t be. How could they have known?
He read through the message once again, then hovered over the lines that filled him with dread.
You may have won against my best men, Hydra, but we have learned several interesting facts since. Now, we will not rest until we have removed your heart.
, the words repeated in his mind.
Charles quickly set down the missive and pulled several fresh pieces of vellum from his drawer. He dipped his pen in the ink and began to write with trembling fingers.
His plans would have to change. It appeared as though he would be required to spend much more time in Bridget’s company than he had thought.
About the Author
Cheri Champagne has had a passion for the written word since she was a child; even before she learned to write, she would scribble “stories” into notebooks and read the imaginary words aloud for all to hear. As a child and preteen, Cheri wrote adventurous short stories and heartfelt poetry, filling her notebooks with writing she would enjoy for years to come. Since then, Cheri poured insatiably over the pages of every historical romance she could get her hands on.
In College, Cheri first focused on Creative Writing and English Literature, thus beginning her eternal love of Jane Austen’s work. She then graduated with honors with an Applied Business Technology degree in the Administrative Assistant field.
After getting a job straight out of College, Cheri quickly moved up the proverbial ladder to Inside Sales, to Accounts Receivable in a mere four months, where she stayed until she left on maternity leave.
Cheri and her husband married and two years later they had their first son, followed quickly by their second a year and a half later.
When her sons were still very young and Cheri’s love of historical romance still very strong, her husband saw one particular receipt for a sizeable bookstore purchase and knew of her partiality to writing, suggested that she try it. Cheri, having been longing for her favourite authors to create very specifically plotted novels, agreed. She began writing her first novel in 2011 and after the first paragraph, was completely addicted.
In Autumn, 2012, Cheri and her husband were overjoyed to discover that they were expecting their third child, but in January 2013 they were shocked to learn that they were having twins in the Spring. With that unexpected but very happy discovery, their lives changed forever.
In addition to reading and writing, Cheri crochets, paints, scrapbooks, gardens, collect antiques (teacups, artwork, books, and skeleton keys, specifically), and above all, plays with her children.
Still passionate about her sizzling historical romances, Cheri writes as often as she can manage and continues to come up with a seemingly never-ending supply of plots, writing them exactly how she likes to read them.
Thank you for purchasing this copy of
, Book One of The Mason Book Series by Cheri Champagne. If you enjoyed this book by Cheri, please let her know by posting a review. If you purchased this book through Amazon, it is eligible for a free Kindle Match.
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