Between the Devil and the Duke by Kelly Bowen

Between the Devil and the Duke by Kelly Bowen

Author:Kelly Bowen
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Published: 2017-01-31T05:00:00+00:00


The Marquess of Hutton had been imprisoned in the White Tower.

That revelation had taken Alex aback, until he stopped to consider it. The White Tower contained nothing but stores of gunpowder and records. No civilian traffic went in and out, and the only entrance to the ancient keep was guarded. Perfect if one wished to restrict and control access to a prisoner. It also made it easy for Hervey to use his rank to send his men elsewhere on another fruitless mission, deftly clearing the way for a soldier and a clerk to slip inside.

Once they were in, Hervey had joined them, leading them through mazes of barrels stacked in rooms that had once been banqueting halls and council chambers for the most powerful men and women in the country. They followed him up a spiral staircase and stopped in the northeast corner of the upper floor, in front of a door that was almost black with age. Light from the tall, recessed windows spilled across the stone passage, creating long, repetitive patterns at their feet.

“Gave him a room in the old king’s chambers,” Hervey said with a slight sneer. “He’s even got a real bed in there. Can’t say we didn’t provide him with the best.”

“Indeed.” Alex eyed the medieval-looking door, bolted and padlocked from the outside. A rectangular metal plate had been added to the upper portion of the door at a more recent time, fixed on one side with heavy hinges. On the other, another padlock secured it. Hervey had produced a key and inserted it into the lock, the sound of it turning inordinately loud in the silence around them.

“Got a visitor, your lordship,” Hervey announced as he swung the plate to the side, revealing a long eyehole crisscrossed with an iron grate that would allow a clear view of the room and its occupants but prevent anything from being passed through.

“You’re not going to open the door?” Alex asked.

“You said you wanted to speak with him. So speak. Be so kind as to lock up when you’re done, or the next time you come knocking, I might not remember you, diamonds or not.”

Alex gazed at him impassively. He was quite sure that he’d be able to pick the locks within minutes if he so desired. He tucked that bit of information away for future consideration.

“You have ten minutes, Lavoie. Ten minutes and then my men on the south side entrance will resume their posts. Though you may not have that long until the warders of the keep do their rounds. The presence of our illustrious guest here today has them a little more diligent than you’ll like. And I have no control over those men.”

Alex gazed at the guard. “Diligent?”

“They’re like mice today, everywhere in the keep corridors, making sure their titled cat stays safely locked away.” He paused. “Don’t get caught, Lavoie. You find yourself in chains, I can’t help you.”

“Understood.”

“Pleasure doing business, as always,” Hervey said, and, without another word, melted into the shadows down the passage, his footsteps fading.



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