Katerina felt her heart pounding in her bosom as she cautiously crept along the moorland path, lifting the hem of her skirts with one hand and her lantern with the other. The Moon made the moors a mosaic of silvery sward and deep, ominous shadows. Did one of them conceal Pierre, the tall, dark stranger with the mysterious and slightly dangerous smile? Katerina desperately calmed her breathing, least it break the fragile string that replaced the sturdy cord that normally laced up her bodice. A string, she knew, that would part under any pressure, such as strong hands seizing her from the shadows, and thus avoid an embarrassing situation like last Tuesday, when she had to stand there for five minutes while he figured out how to get the damn thing off.
"I can't believe you sent that in," groused Laura, in a way that Ted did not find at all convincing.
"You should be happy," he replied, his voice somewhat muffled as he pulled the white linen shirt over his head. "Most authors would die for a call from an agent who wants to represent them." With practiced movements he tied the cuffs of his bloused sleeves closed.
"Yes, but most authors would have a clue that it was going to happen, and which story the agent was talking about." Laura settled her several layers of under-dresses in place, then started with the over-dress. She had a flash of panic about her shoes, then remembered that they were indeed on. She always felt embarrassed when she needed help getting dressed, but it was impossible for her to reach her feet once she had all the skirts in place.
Ted had his pants on and was lacing them up so that they conformed to every line of his body from the knees to the waist. Laura found it so distracting that she missed the arm-hole of her bodice.
"Well, all you need to do is send her three chapters and an outline, and you will be on your way to being published. I thought that's why you started writing again." He sat down to pull on the high leather boots.
"Of course it is. But I was expecting more time." She worked the lacings of her bodice to produce the "Hi, I'm Laura and these are my boobs" effect that gave her what Ted described as, "not so much cleavage as an honest-to-God rift.""I have the main idea, but there's still a lot to do. Including a lot of research." She started fixing her hair.
Ted stood up and admired himself in the full length mirror. He smoothed his moustache dramatically, then reached for his wide leather belt, with its dirk and pouch. He bent down and gave Laura a kiss on the neck. He whispered in her ear, "The wooden bridge near the golf course." She heard him trot down the hall, through the front room, out the front door and into the night.
Laura continued working on her hair for another several minutes, all the while thinking about Katrerina and all the peril she was going to get into. Finally she rose, donned her cloak, and moved through the house, turning off lights as she went. She closed and locked the door behind her.
Thirty seconds later the door opened and Laura came bustling through. She went to the hall table and picked up a brass-and-cut-glass lantern. Muttering, "I'd forget my head if it wasn't nailed on," she exited the house again, to do a little research.
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