Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Teaser Tuesday - The Lady and the Tramp


When I first put The Tramp into A Season for Treason and A Season for Scandal as an Easter Egg, I had no idea that he would end up playing an actual role in this series, but once I got to A Season for Spies, I realized that he was perfect for a bigger part in the story than anticipated. Which meant, of course, that Evie would have to make her way to the Tramp's Den at some point.



Making his way through the Warrens, Anthony stopped at several other taverns before finally finding himself at the door of the Tramp’s Den. Unlike the first place he stopped, he had not been able to find any word of Mitchell in the others. All of them were filled with news of the hunt for the man, as there were plenty of dockworkers frequenting them, but no one had seen him or seemed to know about him. Or if they did, they were not speaking up, even to help with the hunt. And he did not see anyone who appeared worried or anything other than filled with fury and a desire for justice.

Anthony did not know whether to be frustrated or comforted by that. He did not want Mitchell to have more allies than he already did, but at the same time, it was making it very difficult to find the man. Perhaps Camden would have more luck at his dinner.

Considering how Mitchell operated, it was entirely possible his allies were among the upper classes rather than the lower. Still, he would have had to hire out his dirty work in places like this, including the recent assassination attempts.

Though Miss Davies, now Lady Durham, had said the highwayman who kidnapped her had talked like one of their set. He still had not been found.

Damnation. Was he looking in the wrong place?

After a moment, he realized it did not matter. Either way, he needed to make sure every possibility had been covered. Otherwise, the lapse would bother him. Small lapses could sink a mission. If there was something to discover at the Tramp’s Den and he passed it by or missed something because he thought there was nothing to be found, he would never forgive himself.

He knocked on the door.

Opening, a huge man stood in the doorway, filling it up, a bruiser, with a healing cut over his left eye and a frown on his face.

“Butch,” Anthony grunted. They’d met before when Anthony was in a similar guise.

“Tony.” Butch stepped back, allowing Anthony to step through the doorway, eying him warily. “The Tramp willna like it if there’s trouble.”

“No trouble.” Anthony held his hands up as he passed by the other man. “I’m looking for information.”

“Ain’t ya always,” Butch muttered. There was some truth to that. Anthony shrugged. Butch knew Anthony was not exactly what he appeared to be, and one of the best things about places like the Den was people were not questioned too closely.

Unfortunately, it was also probably one of the reasons why Mitchell had connections to this place.

“I need to talk to the Tramp.” It was best to start at the top. If he explained why he was there, the Tramp might be more open to letting him make his own way through the hell. While the Tramp was one of the Kings of the Underworld, he was also loyal to his country.

Anthony did not believe for a moment he would countenance treason being plotted in his Den—if he knew—but he still wanted to look the man in the face when he asked him. Just in case. No stone uncovered and all that. He needed to know he could trust his initial instincts about the man.

Butch blinked. Nodded his head.

“You can go to his office to wait.”

“Where is he now?” It was already into the wee hours of the morning. By now, Camden and Miss Stuart would be home and abed, even if the soiree had run longer than usual. Anthony would not allow the late hour to make him sloppy, but neither did he wish to extend it beyond what was necessary.

A smile flashed across Butch’s face.

“Putting on a show.”

Anthony stifled a groan. The Tramp would not have been out of place in the Society of Sin with his proclivities. He thoroughly enjoyed fucking his lady on the balcony overlooking the main floor of the Den, where everyone below could see and hear her. When he was not putting on a show, he kept his lady plugged with a tail and soft cloth ears that made her look like a puppy.

No one would guess she had once been a debutante. When he first realized, he had been worried about how she ended up here but ascertained she was perfectly happy where she was. After some snooping, he discovered the Tramp had legally married her, with the permission of her guardian. Although Anthony would have mounted a rescue, anyway, if it had been necessary.

Now, instead of being Lady Delilah Darling, she was the Tramp’s lady, fucked in front of an audience of all classes on a regular basis. Including quite a few members of the ton who could have recognized her if they had paid attention—the way Anthony eventually had.

“You can watch while you wait.”

“No.” Anthony shook his head. “I’ll go to his office if you can let him know I’m there once he’s done.”

He was no prude, but he did not have any desire to watch the Tramp’s antics. He had seen them often enough on previous visits to the Den. As titillating as they could be, they held no interest right now.

It had nothing to do with a particular black-haired, green-eyed beauty who had taken up all his thoughts.

“As you will.” Butch closed the main door and opened the next, which led to the Den’s main floor. The small hallway between the two doors was helpful for raids and keeping out unwanted groups of people. Only so many could fit there, creating a bottleneck. While Butch or the Tramp’s other main man, Frank, were fighters of the first degree, anyone could be overwhelmed by superior numbers. The door setup helped prevent that. “You know where it is.”

Anthony had only been in the Tramp’s office once, but yes, he knew where it was.

With the second door open, the wash of sound flowed over him—arousing, shouting, laughter, the sounds of people having a good time. Above them all, the Tramp was on his balcony, his lady in front of him, while he thrust into her from behind. Her dark hair hung in front of her face, so her expression could not be seen, but he could hear her moans as the sounds of everyone else ebbed and flowed.

Some were watching, some were not. Those who came to the Den regularly knew they could expect to see such a show on most nights. By the end of it, when she came, they would cheer, the way they always did.

He moved through the crowd, keeping an eye peeled for Mitchell, but he was nowhere to be seen. Anthony was so busy looking for the man in the crowd, he almost did not notice the woman.


Miss Stuart.

The two names overlapped in his thoughts when he caught sight of her. Yvette, the whore he had met in a French brothel—Miss Stuart, her true identity—was laughing at something one of the gentlemen she was talking to said as she leaned forward. Their eyes were on her breasts, which were in serious danger of spilling out of the top of her dress. Both of them were members of the ton, and either could recognize her at a future date.

What the devil is she doing here?


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