Start your weekend off with some paranormal romance and download Johnny Doesn’t Drink Champagne.
I’m seventeen and he’s twenty-one.
That’s okay… isn’t it?
He drives a Lamborghini.
He was born in 1462.
He seeks revenge, but there is one person standing in his way.
On a high school trip to London, Madison Lambourne meets seductive stranger Johnny De Vere, who believes he knows her already, and is torn between love and revenge.
Eager to learn more about this beautiful, lonely, young man, Madison agrees to go with him to a re-enactment at the Tower of London. Dressed as a highborn medieval lady in a black velvet gown, she accidentally slips through a doorway that leads to the past. Knowing she will not last long on the streets of medieval London, Johnny must follow her… with devastating consequences for them both.
A wild time-travel adventure full of love, lies, mystery and betrayal.
I run, with my heart thundering and a rushing sound in my ears. I’m hampered by my gown, which is bundled up over one arm. My bare legs are visible for all to see but I no longer care. I try to head back the way we came, but the maze of narrow streets confuses me and it is so gloomy and dark. There don’t seem to be any streetlights around here so I head for a dim light at the end of one of the alleyways, hoping to find my way back onto a main street.
About halfway down the alley I am whirled around, shoved roughly into a wall. I feel the texture of crumbling plaster – or is it dried mud – under my fingertips, and a lattice work of sticks underneath. I scrabble against it, but I can’t get free. Something thick and warm and hairy – a man’s arm, I guess – is around my neck, suffocating me. I scream, but he silences my scream with a huge hand over my mouth. Something glints in the darkness, and I feel a pinprick of pain on my neck.
A knife. He has a knife.
I tremble. The blade of the knife is against my neck. The point touches my flesh and if I make the slightest movement he will cut my throat. I’m weak with terror, and my knees threaten to give way and shorten my journey to my inevitable, violent death.
“Unhand her, ruffian, or you’ll swing for this!”
Johnny’s voice in the darkness. I dare not call out to him though. The pressure of the blade is still there at my throat. It does not waver. In fact, my attacker, who I cannot see but I can smell, is laughing.
“Find your own sweetmeat, lad!”
Johnny inches nearer to me. Even in the darkness I can feel it. “Leave her be, or your life ends tonight!”
The older man snorts in disgust. “You’re no match for me.”
This time it is Johnny who laughs. “Indeed I am not. I will vanquish you and tomorrow your body will be on that stinking midden with the horse dung, where it belongs.”
I sense a frisson of fear go through the hefty body of the evil man who holds me. His beard is touching my face and his foul breath nauseates me. Still he refuses to release me.
I see a flash of steel and a dagger is drawn. “I warned you.” Johnny’s voice is low and menacing. A whispered curse in the darkness.
In an instant the men engage in one swift lunge. The knife falls from my neck and clangs onto the cobblestones at my feet. I sense Johnny’s body close to mine, but I can’t see him. I can’t see what’s going on at all. The sound of metal rasping against metal chills me, and then there is a cry of pain.
“Please! Have mercy!”
Johnny’s voice answers him – stern and cold. “Would you have had mercy on the girl, you foul dog?”
The man who attacked me falls to his knees with a heavy thud. I stand, quaking with terror in the dark alleyway, unable to move or speak. Then, an even more chilling sound – my attacker, on his knees, begging for his miserable life.
“Please, sir, please. I didn’t mean her no harm!”
I tremble and try to touch Johnny’s arm. “Let him go!”
A tense moment passes. A black silence. I almost wonder if my plea for mercy came too late. Perhaps the deed is already done and the evil man lies dying at my feet.
But then, Johnny speaks. “Begone! The lady’s heart is warmer than my own. She spares thee.”
In the darkness the man struggles to his feet, panting with fear. He doesn’t stop to look for his knife. He starts running – running away from us down the dark alleyway. As fast as he can go. I listen, hardly daring to breathe, until I can’t hear his footsteps anymore. Johnny takes my hand, and though I want to recoil from his touch – I don’t. He has saved me. He has saved my life.
“Come on!” he says, angrily. “I find the stench of that ruffian’s blood detestable, and we must find a safer place than this. London is full of cut-throats, Maddie.”
Johnny pulls me along by the hand and we head towards the light again. My dress is trailing in the filth, but I no longer care. We come out onto a wider road – but there are still no street lamps. I’m shaking, but it is all becoming clear.
I look up at the face of the man who has just saved my life.
“The moat,” I whisper, my voice shaking with fear. “At the Tower of London. There was water in the moat.”
“I know.” His voice is terse. Cold.
“But the moat was filled in,” I say. “Ages ago.”
“I’m sorry. You were never meant to see… ”
I’m shaking uncontrollably now. “Where the hell are we, Johnny?”
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