Dominique awoke with a start. She glanced about at her surroundings, recalling that she’d lain
down earlier, feeling ill. Twilight had since struck, lending her house a cozy luminescence. There it was
again. A distinct knocking at her door.
Not as ill as when she’d first arrived home, Dominique was still feeling a bit fuzzy headed. She
couldn’t imagine who would be visiting her and was less than thrilled at having to answer the door in
her nightclothes. She grabbed a robe and hurriedly donned it. Barely cracking the door open, Dominique
squinted at the kind looking man smiling tentatively at her. “May I help you?” she asked.
“Hello, Miss Harrison,” the white haired man replied. “My name is Doctor Simms. I am Lord
Montford’s physician. He asked that I come check on you to make sure you’re alright.” Dominique was
taken aback at the doctor’s reason for his visit. She should feel flattered that Derek was concerned
enough about her to send his private physician, but any connection to him, directly or indirectly, was not
something Dominique wished to deal with anymore.
“Thank you for your concern, sir, but I assure you I am fine.”
“Pardon my saying so, Miss, but you don’t look fine,” the doctor said as tactfully as possible.
“Would you please allow me to come in just for a moment to check you over?”
“No, I will not. Please relay Lord Montford my gratitude for his concern, but it’s really not
necessary.” Dominique watched in avid interest as the doctor turned toward the waiting carriage out
front and shrugged his shoulders in a gesture of uncertainty. She peered out from behind the doctor and
was alarmed to see Derek emerging from the carriage, a look of determination on his face. Her eyes
widened in shock and Dominique retreated to close the door. Before she was able to do so, Derek
managed to reach them.
He forced the door gently inward to avoid hitting Dominique. Her eyes were wide, her mouth open
in shock. “What the hell are you doing?” she cried, clutching her robe tighter about her.
Derek picked her up beneath the knees and carried her outside, ignoring her cries of rebellion. The
doctor closed the door securely behind them. “Haversham, do you think this a wise thing to do?” the
doctor asked, the innocent favor he was doing for the earl now eerily suspicious of aiding in kidnaping.
Dominique did her best to fight Derek, demanding that he put her down, but she was still too weak
to prevent him from carrying out his plan. Once in the carriage, he cradled her in his lap, the doctor
seated across from them. Dominique finally calmed down, certain that Derek would do her no harm. She
couldn’t imagine why he was so dead set on removing her from her home, but in her present state she
really wasn’t up to arguing about it. The brief bout of activity had taken its immediate toll on
“I apologize for the dramatics, Dominique, but since you refused to cooperate with Doctor Simms,
you left me no alternative. You are obviously sick and have no one to care for you. I wanted only for the
good doctor to examine you and let me know the results.”