Somewhere I'll Find You





  LISA

  KLEYPAS

  Somewhere

  I'll Find

  You

  Special thanks to Mary Jo Putney

  for her kindness and generosity to me

  To Griffin, with love,

  from your mother

  Contents

  Prologue

  The music of the May Day celebration filled…

  Chapter 1

  She was late. Julia quickened her pace, trying…

  Chapter 2

  As soon as the hired detective left the room…

  Chapter 3

  Savage continued to stare at her until Julia…

  Chapter 4

  The moment Julia entered the greenroom…

  Chapter 5

  It was difficult for Damon to keep from staring…

  Chapter 6

  Damon awakened slowly, puzzled at finding…

  Chapter 7

  The opening night of My Lady Deception…

  Chapter 8

  Tell the butler that I wish to see…

  Chapter 9

  Filled with vitality and a sense of lightness…

  Chapter 10

  As Julia undertook the half-day journey to…

  Chapter 11

  Staring at her husband in silent wonderment…

  Chapter 12

  There was usually a little extra magic in the…

  Epilogue

  They held a small wedding without fanfare…

  About the Author

  Other Books by Lisa Kleypas

  Copyright

  About the Publisher

  Prologue

  Warwickshire, 1824

  The music of the May Day celebration filled the air, drifting from the village to the honey-colored castle on the lake. One of the occupants of the castle, Damon, Lord Savage, the Marquess of Savage, wandered along the road to the village, lured by the music in spite of himself.

  He was not a frivolous man, nor did he enjoy taking part in large gatherings. For the past two years Damon had devoted his life to rebuilding his family's fortunes, and looking after his younger brother and ailing father. The responsibilities he had assumed did not allow time for entertainment. He was drawn to the village by a mixture of curiosity and loneliness, and the need to be out of doors.

  A multitude of girls in white dresses were gilded in the mauve light of sunset as they danced around a tree that had been hung with ribbons and garlands. Laughing, drinking, and singing, the villagers gathered to celebrate the pagan festivities of May Day, which would continue through the night.

  Unobtrusively Damon stood at the edge of the crowd while the evening darkened. Torches and lamps were lit, throwing flickering shadows across the grass. Although he had seen the May Day ritual many times before, Damon was still struck by the picturesque sight of the maidens twining long streamers around the maypole. Gracefully they skipped in a circle, their hair crowned with circlets of flowers, their white skirts billowing around stocking-clad legs.

  Like the other men present, Damon took note of the particularly attractive girls. It had been a long time since he'd had a woman. Later, he had promised himself, he would take a mistress and enjoy the pleasures he had forsworn, but for now there was too much to be done. If only he could rid himself of the inconvenient desire for a woman's touch, for the soft perfume of feminine skin, and the feel of slender arms wrapped around him. During the days he was too busy to dwell on the subject, but at night…

  Damon's chest moved in a taut sigh. He watched the revelry for a few minutes more, conscious of an emptiness inside that refused to abate. Deciding to return to the castle and indulge in a large snifter of brandy, he turned away. All of a sudden, his attention was caught by a group of strolling players that had arrived to take part in the festivities. Raising their voices in boisterous song, they joined the crowd and clapped their hands in time to the music.

  A few friendly villagers encouraged the newcomers to join the dancing maidens. Two of the women complied, but the third, a slender girl with blond braids pinned to the crown of her head, shook her head adamantly. The revelers persisted in spite of her refusal, pulling and pushing the girl toward the maypole. Someone placed a circlet of flowers on her head, making her laugh reluctantly as she followed the other maidens in their path around the garlanded tree.

  Damon watched the girl in fascination. She was easily distinguishable by her dark dress and the grace with which she moved. She seemed like a sprite who had suddenly appeared from the forest and would vanish at any moment. It was strange, the effect she had on him, his body turning hollow with yearning, every sense focused on the sight of her and the high, sweet sound of her laughter.

  She's just a girl, he told himself silently, trying in vain to rid himself of the urges that consumed him. She's a girl like any other. But that wasn't true. The strength of his reaction to her alarmed and electrified him. He would give all he owned for one night with her. He was never vulnerable to sudden impulses, had never been ruled by anything but logic and reason. It seemed that all the recklessness he had never allowed himself to feel had come over him in one moment.

  Damon moved around the edge of the crowd with the deliberateness of a predator, his gaze locked on her. He wasn't certain what he intended to do, only that he had to be near her. She was dancing faster now, driven by the music and the impatient tugging of the girls who had joined hands with her. Laughing, gasping for breath, she managed to break free of the circle and stumble away. The garland of flowers flew from her head and landed near Damon's feet. He bent and closed his fingers around it, unconsciously crushing some of the fragrant petals.

  Blotting her perspiring face with her sleeve, the girl wandered away from the crowd. Damon followed her, his heart driving hard in his chest. Although he didn't make a sound, she must have sensed his presence. She stopped and turned to face him, while the May Day crowd continued its revelry. Damon ventured closer to her, stopping a scant foot away from her.

  “I believe this is yours,” he said thickly. She looked up at him, the color of her eyes indistinguishable in the darkness. The hint of a smile appeared on the tender curve of her lips.

  “Thank you.” She reached for the flowers, her cool fingers brushing his for a split second. He felt the shock of it all through his body.

  “Who are you?” he blurted out.

  The girl laughed, perhaps as startled by his bluntness as he was. “I'm no one of importance. Just an actress with a traveling company.” She hesitated briefly. “And you?”

  He remained silent, unable to answer while the heady scents of crushed flowers, wine, and perspiration filled his nostrils and made his blood rush through his veins. He wanted to tear her away from the crowd and carry her to the woods, bear her down to the damp leaf-covered ground…He wanted to press his mouth against her pale skin, and unbraid her hair until it rippled between his fingers.

  The girl regarded him curiously, tilting her head to the side. “You must be from the castle,” she said. All at once her expression became wary. “Are you one of the Savages?”

  Damon shook his head, denying who he was, wanting to detach himself from everything in his past and future. “I'm a visitor here,” he said, his voice slightly hoarse. “Just as you are.”

  She looked skeptical but seemed to relax.

  “Where are you from?” Damon asked.

  Her teeth flashed in the darkness. He had never seen anything as beautiful as her smile. “I don't choose to think about my past.” She pushed back the stray locks of gleaming blond hair from, her forehead. “Why did you come outside, sir? Was it to take the air or watch the dancing?”

  “To find you.”

  A quiet laugh escaped her, and she t