I'm taking a break out from Pandora to give you another taste from Slave. The full cover will be revealed tomorrow, but here's a sample of the cover and what's behind it. Be sure to check out all the other tasters by visiting the blog.
Will knocked on the door, casting cautious glances over his shoulder. He slouched a little lower, trying to be even less conspicuous.
“Will. Come in,” Bart answered, holding the door for him. “Martha, this is William, the boy I told you about.”
“Boy? He doesn’t look like a boy. How old are you?”
“See, not a boy. Come on in, Will. Are you hungry? I think we have some supper left. Daisy will gather a plate for you.”
Will’s eyes rested for just a moment on the black girl in a maid’s dress. “No, thank you. I ate.”
Martha held her gloved hand out and Will took it, kissing her knuckles. “Pleasure, Ma’am,” he replied mechanically.
“Leave him be, Martha. You know he isn’t here to see you.” Bartholomew Brandon took Will’s hand from her and pulled him behind. Will saw gold gilt from all sides as they passed rooms to the door Bart opened. When he’d met Bart in Blue Moon House, he had never guessed the man was wealthy.
“Sir,” a second maid said, bobbing a curtsey and leaving the room.
“You didn’t want one of them to stay, did you? I don’t ask it of all of them, but some have been forthcoming.” Bart gestured at the woman leaving before pouring himself a glass of liquor.
“No, thank you.” Will stood beside Bart, utterly perplexed. He knew what he’d come here for, but he was uncertain how to proceed.
“A drink?” Bart offered, turning over a second glass.
“No, thank you.”
“I’m sorry, Bartholomew. I know you wanted privacy, but well, I’m very curious about your young man.” Martha Brandon entered the parlor and took a seat in one of the chairs.
“Can’t get enough of seeing black ones, can you? There’s a reason I have no male slaves, Will, and she’s it.” He lifted the glass to his wife before pouring the last of the contents down his throat. “Shall I take charge?” He appraised Will. “Take off your shirt.”
Will cringed slightly, looking at the woman watching them. “I’d rather not.”
“You’re putting the boy off his game, darling. I told you he likes men.”
“I know, but I wanted to see.”
“Excuse me,” Will said, bowing and ducking out the door.
“Oh, wait, William. Wait, please.” Missus Brandon chased him down the hall. She grabbed onto his elbow and was nearly dragged when he didn’t stop immediately. Her squeal did what her hand hadn’t.
“Pardon,” he begged, bowing low again.
“I’m sorry, Will. I didn’t mean to frighten you off. Bart told me how long it has been since he first offered. It must have taken a lot of courage for you to come. I didn’t mean to test it. Please. Go back to the parlor.”
Don't forget the other great tastes on the blog and come back tomorrow to see the whole cover!