Woodcut illustrating Shanghai Massacre
Previously in the novel: Leon, a novice mercenary, is foiled in kidnapping the Archbishop of Canterbury by a mysterious man in black. The man in black turns out to be Edward the Prince of Wales. Soon to join the world of espionage is Wallis Spencer, an up-and-coming Baltimore socialite.
(Author’s note: this chapter contains mature situations.)
Lady Elvira Chatsworth could not contain herself. At the exact moment of climax with the Prince of Wales, she emitted a scream, a glass-shattering scream. Not that it mattered because it was eight o’clock in the morning in the prince’s stateroom aboard the HMS Wyndemere one day out from Shanghai. They had danced and drank champagne all night. Her husband, the ambassador, went back to his cabin because he had an important diplomatic strategy session that morning, which allowed her to have an experience of a lifetime—being bedded by the future king of England. And no one could hear a sound.
David nuzzled her neck. “I am pleased the British ambassador was so preoccupied with his staff that I had the opportunity of entertaining his wife.”
“Yes, he’s quite upset,” Elvira said, trying to keep her body from tingling for the third time. “Everyone at Downing Street is in a dither over this Shanghai Massacre scandal.”
“Massacre?” David asked as his tongue darted into her bellybutton, tasting her body. “What massacre?”
“Don’t you know about the Shanghai Massacre? It’s the current world crisis!”
“That’s why the Royal Family has prime ministers, ambassadors and such to worry about unpleasant matters.”
“Unpleasant indeed.” Elvira tried to continue even though her breath was becoming labored. ‘The embassy in April overreacted to a student protest and ordered soldiers out onto the street. Several students were shot down. Now we are in a fix. If we relieve the ambassador in charge it would been an admission of guilt which Great Britain cannot do. But we cannot ignore the entire incident. The empire’s reputation is in shambles.”
“And when did this happen?”
“Of what year?”
“This year, 1925.”
“Of course! The whole world is shocked.”
“I thought it was still 1924.”
“You are such a naughty boy.” She giggled.
David drew himself up and planted a kiss on her lips. “Those things have a way of resolving themselves.”
Elvira turned her face. “You mean you don’t care?”
“My dear, I don’t care much about anything.” He smiled. “Right at this moment I care about you.”
“And why is that? Why are you always involved with married women? Why weren’t you interested in Princess Stephanie of Germany? What a diplomatic coup that would be. A royal wedding between Britain and Germany. But no. You’re mad about women who belong to other men.”
“But, right now in this place, aren’t you glad?’
“That’s what my father calls me.”
“I know very most of the women you romance believe you will demand they divorce their husbands and marry you.”
David nibbled at her ear. “Gossip.”
“I loathe gossip,” Elvira announced.
“Rot. You love gossip. You did nothing but gossip about the affairs of London high society from midnight until the sun rose. You almost bored me to tears. Most of what you said was wrong.” He clucked her under the chin. “I know you can’t wait to disembark at Shanghai, have tea with the other ladies of the embassy and tell them you have slept with the Prince of Wales.”
“You are a scoundrel.”
“In fact, why don’t you tell them I am ill equipped to mount any woman and you spent the entire evening listening to me complain about my father?”
“How low can you be?”
“Oh, much lower. Tell them I’m a homosexual and am using all these wives as a cover.”
She slapped at his bare shoulder. “Why would you spread such lies about yourself?”
“If people keep busy spreading the lies they can’t figure out the truth.”
“And what is the truth?” For a flickering moment Elvira anticipated hearing some truly outrageous admission by the Prince.
“I want to make love to you one more time before breakfast.”
She studied his lean, tanned, handsome face. One eye squinted more than the other, making him more intriguing. She didn’t know why she pretended to be indignant. His reputation was as clear as a polished goblet. He traveled the world shaking hands for his country. And he shook hands like an expert. That was no gossip. Sliding down under the covers, Elvira smiled.
“As you command, Your Majesty.”