Mid Week Tease: Behind the Iron Cross #MidWeekTease #MWTease
It’s Wednesday? Well, we all know what that means! Courtesy of the lovely and talented Sandra Bunino, I’m sharing another teaser from Behind the Iron Cross, my delightfully kinky historical MMF romance set in 1923 Berlin. Here’s a flashback sequence where an 18-year-old Kat learns what her uncle’s Parisian friend Giselle really does.
Enjoy, and make sure to hit the list after the teaser to see other great Mid Week Teases!
In the aftermath of World War I, Berlin has become a hotspot of decadent pleasures, and American millionairess Kat Tracy is determined to enjoy each and every one of them with Sam Hellman, her late brother’s lover and her convenient “fiancé.” But when the two of them meet Friedrich von Bader, a former German Army officer turned reluctant prostitute, their wicked games take on a new meaning.
Dinner had been just as splendid as predicted, and Giselle had promised to take Katherine out at some point for tea and shopping. But Uncle William had run into some company owners at dinner and was inveigled into an impromptu business lunch the next day. Bart had slipped out of the hotel at a ridiculously early hour (or simply hadn’t come back in the first place, Katherine guessed). Her lady’s maid/chaperone Alice was pleasant enough (a huge improvement on the unfortunate Jane), but the poor woman was also a martyr to migraines. One of the dreadful headaches had struck just that morning, and Katherine had insisted that Alice go lie down in her room with a damp rag over her eyes until the dratted thing had run its course.
Which left Katherine at loose ends. She mused over the idea of visiting Notre Dame or the Louvre, but neither idea held much appeal. It wasn’t until she found one of Giselle’s letters in her trunk that a wonderful idea came to her.
It had been even easier than she’d thought. The doorman of the hotel had been more than happy to summon a large black taxi cab for her, giving the address in the ninth arrondissement to the crabbed driver. Feeling wonderfully daring, Katherine had made sure to tip the doorman, and the driver when he finally pulled up in front of the beautiful cream stone building with green shutters and black ironwork balconies full of greenery.
Surely visiting times in Paris didn’t differ that much from Bridgeport, Katherine reasoned as she went up to the large green door with its immaculate paint and gleaming brass trim. And Giselle had invited her out, after all. If the Parisian woman was otherwise occupied, the arrondissement’s collection of shops and galleries looked intriguing enough for an afternoon’s browse.
The door opened, revealing a maid in the classic black French uniform. She gave Katherine an oddly bold look, scrutinizing her from head to foot. “May I help you?”
“I’m here to see Madame Giselle, if she’s available.” Katherine held up the envelope with Giselle’s address on it in lieu of a calling card.
The maid smiled, her manner relaxing a bit. “You must be the new girl. Come in. But make sure you use the rear entrance from now on.”
Katherine frowned. The new girl?
Before she could say anything the maid stepped back, waving her through into a pretty little foyer tiled with a black and white chessboard floor and decorated with a huge arrangement of fresh flowers on a polished wooden table. The delicious scent of the flowers perfumed the air, but Katherine barely had time to appreciate it as the maid turned on her heel and headed up a flight of wide marble stairs. She had to hurry to keep up, grabbing her skirts as gracefully as possible and lifting them as she followed the maid to the second floor.
“Excuse me, I think I should explain—” Katherine tried to say as the maid stopped in front of a polished oak door.
“No need,” the maid said cheerfully. “Madame Giselle pays me very well. What happens here is no business of mine.”
Katherine tried to make sense of the words as the maid swung the door open, ushered Katherine into a little office that overlooked the boulevard. “Madame is busy with a client at the moment, but I’ll tell her you’re here as soon as they’re finished.” With a nod, she closed the door.
Boggled, Katherine turned in a circle to study the room. It held the unmistakable stamp of Giselle’s taste, from the comfortably upholstered green velvet chair behind the Louis XIV desk to the Tiffany lamps that would light the room at night. What it didn’t hold was an answer to the maid’s nonsensical phrases.
Madame is busy with a client. Katherine had assumed that Giselle, who always wore the most stylish gowns in a variety of greys and blacks, was a rich widow of one of Uncle William’s business partners. Now, however, she realized that she didn’t know very much about the elegant Parisian woman at all. Perhaps she teaches piano, or is a singing teacher. With Giselle’s warm honey voice, Katherine could easily imagine her as a retired opera singer who only took the most promising pupils. Did she think that we would look down on her for being an instructor? I can’t think of anything more wonderful and romantic than being an opera singer.
A muted sound, almost a cry, came from the far end of the office. Curious, Katherine headed there, studying the bookcases that lined the wall. After a moment she puzzled out that the central bookcase was actually a door painted to match the bookcases on either side. At eye level was a little circular flap attached to a small screw.
A brief touch revealed that the flap swiveled up, revealing a peephole. Katherine put her eye to it.
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Posted on August 4, 2015, in Behind the Iron Cross, Mid Week Tease and tagged Behind the Iron Cross, historical romance, m/m/f romance, Mid Week Tease, nicola cameron. Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.