A promise. A poison.
A race to save a love balanced on the edge.
On the night they were to elope, a spurned lover returned. A gift, she claimed. But the clockwork contraption unwound a poisonous bloom, sending Lady Emily and Luca, her gypsy love, on a desperate race to reach the cure.
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WOULD SHE COME?
As the first rays of the setting sun struck the gleaming windows of Knowlton House, Luca stood beside the sole remaining campfire, one hand clutching a handful of viridis powder ready to cast it into the flames. If all went as planned, his bride would soon abandon the only life she’d ever known, trading it all for a new one among the Roma. With him. At last, he would feel whole.
That is, if they’d not been discovered by her father, the Duke of Avesbury. The man had eyes everywhere, and with a single word in a carefully chosen ear, he could throw a wrench into all their plans.
Luca smoothed down the front of his indigo waistcoat, the only one he possessed that hadn’t been patched or darned.
What Emily saw in him—a gypsy with a knack for fixing enormous balance plows and a side talent for crafting clockwork creatures, both pragmatic and frivolous—he’d never understand. To the manor she was born, but aspired to trade polished silver spoons and fine silk gowns for brass and rough wool. And him. Her love humbled him.
He’d made a few weak attempts to discourage her notions, but in the end selfishness won. Besides, she was of age, and he would not deny her the freedom to choose the life she wished.
And so tonight they leapt into the future, together. Consequences be damned.