When I was first planning His Wicked Shadow, I was going through a bit of a love affair with Kate & Leopold. By which I of course mean, I was more than a little bit enamoured by Hugh Jackman. As such, it was only natural that he was my casting for James Elliot, the troubled Earl of Lincoln.
|"My dark and brooding nature cannot be contained within a mere caption."|
James and the secret that rules his life are the reason I made the switch from third to first person narrators - a switch I've never gone back from. It's much easier to keep a secret when the narrator doesn't know!
Following shenanigans with his childhood friend, Elinor Montague, at a masked ball, James high-tails it to Europe for two years, returning a changed man. Here's where he and Ellie see one another again for the first time after he makes a surprise return...
Door number five was ajar, which was unusual, and I stopped abruptly, wondering if I had miscounted. Door number five was never open, and I never remembered it being used before. As I leaned nearer, something moved in the room and I froze as a figure leaned into view. All I could see was the back of a man in shirtsleeves; a slice of his shoulder and arm as he moved before the dresser mirror, tucking his shirt into his pantaloons. I stared at his reflection, a feeling of nausea circling my throat. There was only one man that it could be, but that was impossible, inconceivable, unbelievable.
He leaned over, reaching for something on the dresser, and my eye was caught by some strange marks on his wrist. Reflected in the mirror I could see two long, parallel lines – white, puckering scars, which stretched almost the length of his inner forearm. Just below the wrist were two more slashes, forming a shallow cross. I unconsciously moved forward to try and get a closer look. There was something strange about the marks, and I stared at them, trying to imprint the shape in my memory.
As I shuffled closer to the door I stepped from the carpet onto the wooden floor. At the tap of my boot against the bare board, he looked up into the mirror. Cool amber eyes held mine for a long moment.