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Hidden secrets, familial destinies and a love that can never be denied.
Stunning Jenna Penworthy's looks are drawing admiration from most men she encounters, not least the ruthless and lascivious Lord Edwin Penrose, whose lust for his wife's favorite maid is becoming more and more ardent. With Jenna and her mining fiance Trystan's livelihood dependant on the Penrose Tin Mines, Lord Edwin knows it is only a matter of time before the voluptuous virgin will be his. That is until his cousin returns to Cornwall from America. The irrestibile and carefree adventurer, Sir Jack Bartholomew, finds himself caught up in protecting the alluring servant who has so captured his heart. But with Jenna, a mere servant girl, betrothed to another man, Jack realizes he is certain to be denied his overwhelming desires. Then destiny takes a turn and a stormy encounter with Lord Edwin seems to seal Jenna's fate. Set amidst the harsh and windswept moorland of 1840's Cornwall, A Fateful Wind tells of hidden secrets, familial destinies and a love that can never be denied.
Jack opened the heavy wooden door, the smell of stale tobacco and ale wafting out into the street as he entered the pub. He caught a glimpse of himself in the walled mirror behind the bar, at first barely recognizing the disheveled man staring back at him. His once smooth face had been replaced by ruddy stubble, his normal fine set of whiskers now bushy and overgrown. His clothes were muddy, his nails filled with filth and his hair matted against his face. He shuddered with shock at the sight of himself. He spent the past week in London with a bottle of whiskey in one hand and a half-drank bottle of rum in the other. By night, he barely slept, roaming the foggy London streets in a drunken haze and banishing the wanton advances of the Soho street prostitutes with great disdain. By day, he sprawled out across the bed in his dismal hotel room, engulfed in a deep depression, which sapped his once unfathomable vitality and ambition. Thoughts of his enterprises in America vanished from existence. He cared little for what the future held. What future could he possibly have without Jenna?
Jack grimaced as he thought of her. Taking the pint of strong ale from the busty barmaid, he drank it down in one go, following it with a jigger of whiskey.
“Drowning your sorrows are we, Sir.” The Barmaid asked in a deep cockney accent.
“Aye,” he answered gruffly, in no mood for any engagement in conversation, especially with a vixen of a wench.
The barmaid smiled knowingly, pouring him another pint of ale. “Well, you just be careful around these parts of the world. There’s men who’d kill to get their hands on a nice bit of gold like that there pocket watch of yours.”
Jack looked down to where the pocket watch hung loosely from his grubby waistcoat. They can have it for all I care, he thought miserably.
“What brings you to Soho?”
“Heartache,” he replied bitterly, taking the time to look at her properly. Her auburn hair lay in a mess of curls around her shoulders, her face smattered with freckles that also covered the ample cleavage billowing from out of her blouse. Her face held the expression of a woman who had seen and experienced everything a common, working class life held to offer. Her smile indicated she would offer far more than a pint of ale should a gentleman and his wallet wish it. Jadedly, he laid a sixpence on the mahogany bar and made his way to leave. He was in no mood to talk and, quite frankly, he was fed up with women, with their wily and crafty agendas. He felt he found in Jenna a woman who seemed different than the others, innocent, untouched by selfish whims and desires. How wrong I was, he thought dismally, to believe she actually loved me.
His walked in a drunken stupor through the narrow alleys skirting around Soho and out to Covent Garden. The early morning fog swirled in front of him as he pushed aside the litter with his cane. The rancid smell of poverty and disease hung like a cloak in the still night air. Through the hazy mist, he could make out the entryways of the various brothels and whorehouses scattered around. He heard the cackling laughter of the harlots as he approached with beckoning words of enticement. He wanted little to do with them. Their advances filled him with repulsion. He searched wearily for the doorway of his hotel. He knew it had to be around here somewhere. The fog was becoming thick with mist, covering the street in a blanket of darkness.
Jack stopped, looking all around him. The streets familiar to him in the light of day now seemed like strangers – dark, cruel and precarious. He carried on. The tiredness of having little sleep over the past week combined with the vast amounts of alcohol he consumed gradually filled his body with weakness. Blindly, he continued placing one foot in front of other searching for the hotel until, in the foggy darkness, he tripped over the curb stone and fell hard on the wet, slimy, cold, cobble-stoned pavement.
“Jenna," he cried out in anger, pounding his fist against the pavement until the skin broke across his knuckles. “How could you do this to me? Why?” His cries rang out in the misty night air, greeted only by the sound of reckless frivolity coming from the distant whorehouses. He reached into his coat pocket and pulled out the flask of whiskey, feeling the warmth permeate through his body as he downed the contents. Pulling his coat tight around his body, he laid his head down on the cold pavement and closed his eyes.