by Janne E. Toivonen
Book 1 the of Adult Historic Romance series, Eva and the Irishman.
Part One, Origins.
Belfast, Ireland, Late 1890’s, Dady Mansion.
Conversation between the Dady’s cook Annie, and Liam (The Irishman):
The next morning, Liam came whistling into the kitchen.
Annie smiled at him. “I don’t believe I’ve ever heard ye whistlin’ before, Liam.”
He smiled back as he poured himself a cup of coffee from the pot on the stove. He sat at the table as Annie fetched the cream and sugar. He liked his coffee with lots of cream and sugar. As he sat and stirred his cup, he stared at Annie. He could see that his steadfast gaze piqued her interest. He grinned.
“What?” she said finally.
“I’ve found the perfect housekeeper for ye.”
“Who, Liam? And please don’t say it’s the “girl” you were with on your birthday.”
“Annie, I want ye to meet her. I’m going to get her now.” He looked at her in all seriousness. “We’ll be here for lunch.”
“Liam, you are the boss while your parents are gone. I can’t tell ye what to do or who to hire, but …” Annie tried to be adamant, but seemed to lose out to his sweet face so full of hope. “Fine, I’ll meet her. I can see how this is makin’ ye happy. But if I think yer parents will disapprove, I will tell ye.”
“Fair enough, but you won’t be disappointed,” he said with confidence, smiling at her. “Got any breakfast?”
“Of course, don’t I always?” She smiled back but still seemed skeptical.
She took a linen towel off a plate piled with eggs and sausages. She put it down in front of him.
“Thanks, darlin’,” he said with enthusiasm.
His animation flustered her, and she blushed.
“Smile, Annie.” Looking at her with a big grin, he picked up the fork and dove into his breakfast.
Near Rauma, Finland, Mid-1890’s, Mattson Farm.
Conversation between Eva and Eino (pronounced ’AY-vah, and ’AY-no. First syllables rhyme with MAY and are accented).
As Eva walked down the narrow country lane, she breathed in the wet forest fragrance, sharp and piney. Her thoughts went to the Mattson middle brother, Eino. The same age, they’d grown up close friends. They had always been sweet on each other, but lately he had been pursuing her in a more grown-up way, catching her alone and cajoling her into kissing him. Just the day before, she had been collecting the eggs for Mamma Mattson. With a full basket, she turned to leave the coop. She startled when she discovered Eino standing in the doorway, leaning on the jamb. His penetrating blue eyes and lusty look made her rouse.
He smiled. “Here you are again, Eva. All alone.”
She couldn’t help but smile. “You are always sneaking up on me.” Then she tried to temper her giddiness. “Yes, I’ve kissed you before, but I’ve told you I don’t love you.” She felt the untruth in the statement.
His eyes peered deep into hers. “That’s not what your kisses say to me.”
“You are like a brother to me, nothing more,” she said. Yet she throbbed at his nearness, and she liked it. His pursuing her had made her feel special, but then his older brother Victor had started to pay attention to her. Having two brothers pursue her, especially with Victor being nineteen, was very enticing to her.
Eino frowned. “I don’t believe you,” he said and walked right up close to her, making her take a half-step back. His lusty look came back.
She peered around him to the door, nervous yet drawn to him. She saw no one outside. No one could see them. He put his hand behind her back and pulled her close. She felt her knees buckle and she gasped for air, her desire an electric tingle where their bodies met. She could not take her eyes off his. He leaned into her and put his lips on hers. She found herself kissing him back.
When the kiss ended, he looked into her eyes. One corner of his mouth ticked up in a smile. “You like my kisses. I can tell.”
“But I don’t love you, Eino,” she fibbed again.
His smile disappeared, and his eyes lost the twinkle. Disappointment, then anger, shrouded his handsome face.
She tried to push him away, but he wouldn’t let her go.
His eyes stayed on hers. “It’s Victor, isn’t it? I’ve seen you two together lately.” His eyes blazed with jealousy.
“We’re just friends,” she said, though she knew that, too, was a lie.
“I don’t know what you see in him. He’s a Mamma’s boy.”
“Just because he doesn’t give your mother a hard time the way you sometimes do, doesn’t make him a Mamma’s boy.”
“Sure, it does. He’s always been my parents’ favorite. Perfect Victor. They have no idea—and now he thinks he can just push me aside and—”
“Stop! You are jealous of Victor’s and my friendship.” She put her forearms in between their bodies and pushed hard to loosen his grip on her.
He let her go, but said, “It’s been you and me all along. I don’t believe that you don’t love me. I tell you, you are making a mis—”
“You don’t get to choose. I do. Now let me by.” It unnerved her that he read her so well, but she refused to let him tell her whom she should choose. She took the egg basket and left promptly before he could see anything else in her face that belied her words.
ALREADY PUBLISHED EBOOKS: Novels 1-3 Available on Smashwords.com and other ebook retailers (not Amazon yet).
COMING SOON: Book 4, The Sweet Fragrance of New Mown Hay, on Smashwords.com