Extract from Hostage Queen

A drawing of Margot by Clouet.
And here is one of the Duke of Guise. Isn't he gorgeous?

Margot was walking along the passage from her husband’s apartments to her own chamber when an arm suddenly hooked about her waist, and with a small squeal of alarm she found herself pulled behind an arras into an ante-room.

Before she could draw breath to protest, a mouth had closed over hers in a long, demanding kiss. Quite unable to move, being trapped between the unforgiving door and the powerful breadth of a man’s chest, she succumbed completely to the pleasure of it. But then it was a truly wonderful kiss.When she was finally released, she gave the perpetrator of this outrage a sharp slap across his handsome face, even though she’d known instantly that it was Henri of Guise. How could she not, having savoured the delicious taste of his lips more times than were quite proper in a young girl?

Entirely unconcerned by her reaction, he put back his fine head with its cut of close cropped curls, and laughed. ‘I thought you’d avoided me long enough, my pretty, and that it was time we got re-acquainted.’

Margot straightened her gown, flustered by the warm flush of excitement on her cheeks. ‘And you thought that was the way to go about it, did you?’

He smiled at her, a molten power in his liquid, dark-eyed gaze. ‘I needed to gain your attention.’

‘You have most certainly achieved that,’ and she laughed suddenly, tremulous, nervous, and as delighted as he by the encounter. But then, instantly ashamed of herself for this apparent betrayal, Margot scowled crossly at him. ‘I should not, by rights, even be speaking to you. I will admit that I do not believe all the rumours I hear about the Princes of Lorraine, nevertheless we are enemies now, you and I.’

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