Moonlight Mistress Excerpt – Arrivals

Moonlight Mistress is out December 2009 from Harlequin Spice. In this scene, Lucilla is briefly and unexpectedly reunited with her lover.


After Hailey was safe and cared for, Lucilla walked down the muddy path back to her quarters in one of the slapdash rear huts. She was dizzy from lack of sleep and reliving, in a near trance, the moments when Ashby had shifted from one form to the other. If only she could tell Pascal. For a few wild moments, she considered ways of sending him a letter–through the French command, perhaps, or to his relatives in Le Havre–before laughing at herself. He would not be pleased to hear from her, she was sure. He no doubt had quite a few pretty mademoiselles trying to catch his eye.

No, that was unfair; there was work to be done, and she felt sure the French army had not overlooked his usefulness. It made her feel a bit better to think of him occupied with engineering problems. She could even consider him with nostalgia.
He would love knowing that werewolves truly existed. She could encode that information in a letter, perhaps; it would not be like sending a letter simply because she wanted to do so. He would wish to discuss her discovery with her, and they could–no. She really had nothing to do with all this. She was neither an officer in the army or a person with any scientific standing that an army would recognize.

…Oh, she would give anything right now for a cup of tea, heavily dosed with Irish whiskey.

When she pushed open the door to her hut and saw the light on, Pascal standing there beside her bed, at first she thought she was dreaming. In one stride, he held her by the arms. A moment later, his mouth swept down upon hers. His mustache tickled her nose. That felt real. He drew back, looked down at her as if to confirm his welcome, then kissed her again before lifting her off the dirt floor and holding her tightly against him.

Lucilla stroked her hands up and down his back. Was he thinner than he’d been? She’d never before seen him in his uniform. The pale blue didn’t really suit him, nor did the loose cut of his jacket. Of course, her own uniform added at least ten years to her, and included a silly hat and cape besides, so she supposed she couldn’t criticize.

“Lucilla,” he said. He kissed her cheek and set her on her feet. “I thought I would have to search you out.”

“How did you–“

He shrugged. “I am a spy. Not in the field,” he added, hastily. “I persuaded them that would be unwise. I have been working with data that others provide.”

“But, here–

“I missed you,” he said, with devastating simplicity. He cupped her cheek in his palm. “I had hoped you might miss me, as well.”
Exhaustion and shock shattered over Lucilla’s head like a shell exploding. Before she could burst into tears, she buried her face against Pascal’s chest. She wrapped her arms around his waist and held on. “Yes,” she said, muffled against his uniform.


c. Victoria Janssen 2009

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About Victoria Janssen

Victoria Janssen [she, her] currently writes cozy space opera for Kalikoi. The novella series A Place of Refuge begins with Finding Refuge: Telepathic warrior Talia Avi, genius engineer Miki Boudreaux, and augmented soldier Faigin Balfour fought the fascist Federated Colonies for ten years, following the charismatic dissenter Jon Churchill. Then Jon disappeared, Talia was thought dead, and Miki and Faigin struggled to take Jon’s place and stay alive. When the FC is unexpectedly upended, Talia is reunited with her friends and they are given sanctuary on the enigmatic planet Refuge. The trio of former guerillas strive to recover from lifetimes of trauma, build new lives on a planet with endless horizons, and forge tender new connections with each other.
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