DAY 12

One of my favorite scenes to write in A Scot to the Heart is the scene where Drew and Ilsa play at being ghosts, since Drew's sister has been hoping to see a ghost at Stormont Palace. I had so much fun with that scene, I wrote it two different ways. Here's the first version…

Deleted scene from A Scot to the Heart

“What are you doing?” she whispered.

For answer he held up a short length of chain, the iron links clanking faintly.

Ilsa’s eyes grew wide. “No…”

His grin was wicked. He stepped up next to her and whispered in her ear, “Come be naughty with me, and give my sisters the fright they so desperately crave.”

“I can’t,” she whispered.

His grin dimmed.

“Not without dressing the part,” she finished.

“I knew I was right to bring you along,” he breathed, and she ran to her bed, where they tore the sheets off the bed and draped them over their heads and shoulders. Ilsa fussed at hers, letting it trail on the floor. There was no hope of that for him, with his height.

“I’ll go first,” he whispered, the chain pressed beneath his arm. “You follow, at an interval.”

“Wait!” Ilsa tossed aside her draperies and darted into the corridor, wedging open the door to the roof. A brisk cold breeze whistled down the corridor. “Atmosphere,” she whispered, returning to his side.

“Brilliant.” He looked so fiercely pleased, her chest swelled with delight. “Now we can go quietly and let the wind do the howling.” And the breeze did make a noticeable, unearthly wail as it rose and fell.

Drew stepped into the corridor, tucking the chain beneath his drapes. Hunched over, he started toward his sisters’ rooms, giving soft but audible clinks of the chain.

Ilsa left her bedroom door ajar, with a slipper in place to hold it against the rooftop breeze. She glided along behind him, swaying her arms as if unbound by gravity.

Better than if they had planned it, the wind kicked up and created a low booming moan along the empty hallway. Drew’s draperies fluttered, wraith-like, and he gave the chain a hard clank.

A door cracked open, the light of a candle piercing in the dark corridor. For a moment there was silence, then—

“Ahhhhh!” Bella screamed and threw the door shut with a tremendous bang. Within seconds another door, then another cracked open. Ilsa glanced up involuntarily as the door directly opposite her flew open, and she couldn’t help grinning at a thunderstruck Felix Duncan. She pressed one finger to her lips and raised her arms even as she sped up. Drew was hustling down the corridor now that they’d been seen, the chain rattling louder than ever.

Ilsa hurried after him, trying not to burst into laughter at the cries and exclamations in their wake. She turned the corner and bolted, sprinting on her toes to be quiet, and flew along into her room, swinging through the doorway just before Drew eased it shut.

The uproar still sounded in the corridor beyond, with doors slamming and running footsteps and voices raised in panic. Ilsa flung her borrowed sheets on the bed and then collapsed on top of them, laughing so hard tears ran down her face.

“Shh,” he whispered, stretching above her. “You’ll give us away…” And then his mouth was on hers, his hands on her body, and Ilsa reached for him eagerly. She’d never had such fun, such a wild thrill. The excitement of it coursed like lightning through her veins, even before he touched her and it all turned to liquid flame, coiling in her belly and igniting along every nerve.

A rap at the door some minutes later sent them springing apart. “Mrs. Ramsay,” came Felix Duncan’s voice. “Are you well?”

“He saw me,” she whispered. “In the corridor.” Drew’s brows snapped together. She shook her head and put her finger on her lips before levering herself up. Making a motion to him to stay where he was—sprawled gorgeously across her bed, his shirt askew and his kilt riding up—she blew out the lamps and advanced to the door, holding up the lone candle.

She opened the door a crack. “Yes?”

“There’s been some… disturbance,” he said, his eyes twinkling. He wore a loose shirt tossed over his head and a blanket clutched around his waist. “Mrs. St. James bid me see that you are well.”

“Oh my.” She yawned delicately behind her hand. “Quite well, sir. I was not disturbed at all.”

“Were you not,” he murmured. “Very good, ma’am.”

“Andrew! Andrew is not in his room,” came Mrs. St. James’s cry from around the corner. “Where is he?” The babble of voices rose in renewed alarm.

Mr. Duncan raised one brow at Ilsa. “The captain appears to be missing. Have you any idea where he might be?”

She widened her eyes innocently. “How could I?”

“Hmm,” he said dryly. “No thought at all?”

“I’m sure he is quite well, and there is no cause for worry.” She smiled at him. “Good night, sir.”

He grinned. “Right. Good night.” He walked away, his blanket trailing behind him. “I shall find him, Mrs. St. James,” he called. “No doubt he’s gone for a walk outside, missing guard duty after so many weeks away from the comfort of the army…”

Ilsa shut the door and turned back toward the bed.

Drew hadn’t moved except to put one arm behind his head, and was watching her with a wicked smile. Mindful of all those people still milling around in the corridor outside, she turned the key in the lock before grinning back and putting down her candle.

He sat up and pulled her to him, right between his legs. Ilsa ran her hands up his arms to circle his neck. “No idea where I am, eh?” he whispered.

She shrugged. “If they will believe you miss guard duty, why not that?”

“I’m selling out of the army, you know.”

Ilsa put down her candle. “A captaincy does seem a rather humble position for a duke.”

He watched her approach, his hazel eyes glittering beneath their lids. “Not that there’s anything wrong with being humble.”

“No? Are you?” She fingered his belt. “Do you like taking orders?”

“Aye, and giving them.”

“So you’re yearning to order me about?”

“Nay,” he rasped, as her fingers started up his stomach. “I am at your command tonight, madam.”

It was reckless and wicked and she knew all that before she touched him. But tonight she was wild and reckless, and so full of life and energy and desire. The corners of his mouth tilted up as he watched her, waiting for her, all but begging her to throw herself at him.

“And if I wanted to have my wicked way with you?”

He spread his arms wide. “I wish you would.”

The Desperately Seeking Duke Series

<About a Rogue> About a Kiss A Scot to the Heart How the Scot Was Won All the Duke I Need Desperately Seeking Duke: The Ultimate Epilogue