It may be a bit premature to bring out the outtakes before, oh, the actual book, but I couldn’t resist sharing this snippet from Pink IX, featuring– who else?– everyone’s favorite chaperone, Miss Gwen.
In this scene, formerly part of Chapter Two of Pink IX, Augustus has just spotted Georges Marston at the Balcourt home. Unfortunately, MIss Gwen sees him, too.
I wanted to keep this scene, really I did. I went through all sorts of contortions to try to fit it in somewhere, anywhere. Alas, there was no real reason for it to be in the text– other than my personal amusement– so, with a snip here and a snip there, it was cut from the story and Miss Gwen was introduced elsewhere.
But that’s what Outtakes are for, right?
“What’s that buzzard doing here?” Miss Gwendolyn Meadows, the least effective chaperone since Juliet’s old nurse, stalked up to Augustus’ left shoulder. Augustus could only be relieved that she was glowering over him, rather than at him.
She slapped her fan ominously against one palm. “When I expel a man from the house, I expect him to stay expulsed.”
“What is this noise that besets me?” declaimed Augustus. It didn’t take much artistic effort to look pained. There was little love lost between him and Miss Wooliston’s chaperone. “A burning thread of inspiration trails before me and I must follow where it leads!”
“To Marston?” Miss Gwen snorted. Her snorts had been known to blow small countries off course. Augustus would have held on to his hat had he had one. “Just see you don’t singe your fingers. Not that you’re the sort that has anything to worry about. You’re not his type.” She looked Augustus up and down, from his tight, knit breeches to the billowy folds of his shirt. “You don’t do much for me, either.”
“For which I nightly give thanks on my knees fasting,” muttered Augustus.
Miss Gwen nodded approvingly, sending her purple plumes bobbing. “There’s nothing wrong with application to the Almighty. If you’re lucky, maybe He’ll send you some proper outer garments. Ha!” She jabbed him with her fan, right in the sensitive spot between his ribs.
Augustus emitted a very unmanly squeak.
Miss Gwen smirked. “Enjoy your evening, Mr. Whittlesby.”
She sailed away, looking for another soul to torment. If she weren’t such a damned good agent…. For all her eccentricities, Miss Gwen had a spine of steel and a nerve to match. Augustus rubbed his wounded midriff. Unfortunately, her fan appeared to made of the same material.
More from Pink IX coming soon… including a title!