Huzzah! I’ve met my word count for October! Halfway through the month, I’m feeling pretty good about that. That also means that whatever comes out until November is bonus material and will put me ahead overall. Woop woop!
I want to show a little bit of Luke’s father, Philip. I’ve been showing off a lot of Luke and Aiden interactions, but as fun and insulting as those two may be, the reality is that she was stolen. Right out from under her father’s nose. The man is on the verge of a total breakdown, but he knows something that we don’t. 🙂
Philip Avery sat at the bar staring into his ale. His eyes were bloodshot and his face was drawn. His normally trimmed beard had grown wild and unmanageable, and his knuckles whitened as he held one of his hands in a fist.
It had been almost two weeks since his daughter had gone missing, and there was little that his fellow townsfolk were offering to help.
Tommy laid a gentle hand on his arm, taking a seat next to him.
“You should sleep,” he said softly, “robbing yourself of your health is not going to bring her home any faster.”
Philip took a ragged breath and closed his eyes. “They think I am mad.”
And they did. When Tommy and Philip had first run from the tavern after the men in cloaks, the townsfolk thought nothing of it. No one took kindly to strangers, and these men had a business to keep afloat. When Luke never came home, Philip began to ramble on about her captors and not much of it made any sense.
It was a beast that had taken her, he insisted. A giant brute of a man whom he had encountered before. They laughed at him. Even Tommy was unsure about the truth his parter was spewing. He didn’t voice his doubts as bluntly as everyone else, but Philip knew.
“Are you certain it was him?”
Philip nodded. “Yes. I would recognize that man anywhere.”
Tommy sighed quietly and took up a mug of ale himself. “So he’s back then.”
“It’s just as I’ve been saying,” Philip said, his voice a jaded, bitter whisper, “the Black Duke has returned.”
Because of his situation, he is coerced by Tommy to visit his wife, Isabella, and explain what has happened to their daughter. The only thing is, Isabella is, in short, barking mad.
Reaching over the small table, Philip took hold of her wrist, preventing her from leaving the room. “Isabella. Calm down.”
“Let go of me, Philip,” she said evenly, “we may have been married once, but my king is in danger. I must go to him.”
“I never divorced you.” His normally friendly and inviting eyes were now cold and harsh baring down on her. “You are still my wife.”
Expertly, she pulled her wrist free and hurriedly crossed the room. “I’m sorry!” she called back to him.
Tommy moved to soothe Philip, but he pushed him aside, reaching for Isabella’s arm again, and pulling her from the doorway. With a crushing grip on her elbow, he stared her down.
“My daughter is missing,” he growled, “Your child has been kidnapped and all you can think about is your imaginary lover! Get ahold of yourself, woman!”
“Philip,” Tommy said, coming up behind him, “it’s not her fault.”
“Cale loves me,” she protested weakly.
“He doesn’t even know who you are,” Philip whispered, pleading with her to come to her senses. “You’ve never met him.”
Finally allowing himself to be wrenched away from her, he watched her reaction from a few feet away, thankful for the strong hand Tommy kept on his shoulder.
“I can’t help you,” she said, lip trembling, “I don’t know what you want from me.”
“I don’t want your help,” he told her truthfully, “I just want you to remember.”
I absolutely adore Isabella. She’s generally quite comical, her infatuation with the king balancing out the heavy romance (if that’s what you want to call it) between her daughter and, the Black Duke himself. 🙂 In fact, the third book in this series is going to focus around Isabella’s obsession, Philip’s determination to find Luke, and Cale, the poor weak, sickly king who finds himself tangled in this fierce family drama. But we will save that for later.
For now, I’ll end this with a doodle.
Book of Luke completion progress: 28%
The Noble Project completion progress: 7%