When I first started writing The Abandoned Countess, I wrote in third person style so that the story was told by narrative. I was about half way through when I decided to change this to the first person view and in doing this I had to cut out a few scenes that were written from Kaidan’s perspective. I thought you might like an insight into Kaidan’s mind (a behind the scenes as it were) and have added a couple of these deleted scenes below.
Chapter 8 – Dinner at the Forster residence.
Abigail and Kaidan have just argued about Hempworth and Vivian has interrupted them. Abigail has moved away to join the Collins’.
Kaidan watched her walk away with a growing sense of frustration. The woman was infuriating! She didn’t understand the possible danger she was putting herself in, particularly if she put her trust in Hempworth. His eyes narrowed as he glanced at the man in question, sitting on the settee with Sophia. He didn’t trust him. He may appear to have the innocence of an angel but Kaidan didn’t like him and now Abigail could be at risk by associating with him. He had tried to warn her but it had fallen on deaf ears. There must be a way to get through to her before it was too late.
“I do declare that you have not listened to a word I’ve just said,” Vivian pouted.
Kaidan smiled down at her and patted the hand that still rested possessively on his sleeve. “On the contrary, my dear. I agree it is overly warm in here. Show me this terrace you speak of.”
Kaidan leaned both hands on the balustrade and watched as Vivian plucked another rose from the vine, pulling its petals off one at a time. “Is this not a most romantic setting?” She purred and moved closer to him so that their arms brushed lightly. “I remember an evening much like this one when you and I were standing much like we are now. Do you remember what happened next?”
Kaidan did remember. He had taken her in his arms and kissed her. He looked down at her upturned face. “That was a long time ago.”
She smiled seductively. “But you have not forgotten,” she moved closer still, pressing up against his arm, “and nor have I.”
Taking his hands from the balustrade, he gently placed them on the tops of her bare arms and held her slightly away from him. Gazing down at her he wondered at the definite lack of interest he felt. A few years ago he probably would have accepted her blatant offer. But now he felt nothing. She was a very beautiful woman. She had always been attractive but her beauty had now matured. But still he felt nothing. “Come, perhaps we should return inside.”
Chapter 16 – Almacks
Kaidan is waltzing with Vivian and Hempworth has approached Abigail.
Kaidan swirled Vivian to the edge of the dance floor and tried to keep Abigail in view. She seemed to be handling Hempworth but he wanted to be alert in case she needed him.
“The countess does look rather ravishing this evening.”
Kaidan turned back to his dance companion, faintly surprised.
“But I would prefer to have at least a little of your attention as we dance,” Vivian pouted prettily.
Kaidan gave her a charming smile, silently chiding himself to be more careful. Vivian had noticed his glance at Abigail. “I am sorry, my dear,” he pulled Vivian slightly closer to pacify her. “I confess to a certain amount of curiosity where Countess Rathbourne is concerned. Hers is a very unique situation and I cannot but feel a little pity for her.” He winced inside. Pity was not what he felt at all but the devil take him if ever anyone knew that.
Vivian threw a scornful look at Abigail. “One can only imagine the reason the Earl left her. Have you heard the rumours about it?” Her eyes glinted with glee.
Kaidan nodded. “Though I do not put much stock in them.”
“Oh? What do you suppose happened to him?” Vivian widened her pale blue eyes innocently.
“I cannot rightly say. Perhaps he will come back one day and tell us why himself.” Kaidan watched as Vivian pouted once more, no doubt she was hoping he would help her start another rumour.
“Did you know the Earl?” She asked.
“I made his acquaintance briefly some years ago but I believe I was out of the country when he married.” Kaidan responded smoothly.
“Yes, you were gone such a long a time. I despaired of ever seeing you again!” Her pout was back. “I quite missed you, you know.” She pressed closer in his arms again.
Kaidan raised an eyebrow. “You found solace in Cockcroft’s arms readily enough.”
Vivian’s pout turned angry. “What else was I to do? Did you expect me to wait eternally for you? Pine for a man I did not know if I’d ever see again?”
“You were married less than a month after I left!”
“Oh, it’s all in the past now. Let us not quarrel over it.” She fluttered her eyelashes flirtatiously. “Besides you are back now and I am a widow out of mourning-“ she left the rest to hang meaningfully.
To Kaidans relief the last strains of the waltz died away, giving him an excuse to release his hold on her. They applauded the orchestra politely and as Kaidan escorted her from the dance floor, he noticed that Abigail and Hempworth were no longer standing to the side of the dance floor. He felt the hairs on the back of his neck stand up and covertly sent a gaze around the crowded hall. They were nowhere to be seen. Surely Hempworth would not try anything in a crowded room of people! But by the niggling coldness running down his spine, he knew he was not so sure.
With a charming smile he delivered Vivian back to her waiting party but as he was to turn away, Vivian placed a hand on his sleeve. “Kaidan darling, I am going to freshen up but I am rather parched. Perhaps you would be so kind as to procure me a lemonade and I shall meet you in the supper rooms?” She smiled sultrily.
Kaidan kept his features carefully schooled in a friendly smile and gave her a quick nod. He could not have cared less for her comfort but at least the small errand would give him the opportunity to search for Abigail. If Hempworth had laid a single finger on her…
He ran his gaze over the crowded assembly rooms again and, picking the longest route to the supper rooms, he started to move through the throng of noisily chatting and brightly dressed patrons. His eyes darted left and right and through the sea of black jackets, white cravats, silk, lace and feather headdresses, he suddenly caught a flash of a cerulean blue coloured gown. Quickening his pace, he followed the flashes of blue silk until it disappeared around a corner. Rounding the corner himself, he sighed with frustration as he was met by yet another group of gentleman and ladies as they crowded around the entrance to the supper rooms.