Is the alluring Baroness Lorenza working against the king? Who are the mysterious men who attacked Jeremy Cross? Will he find out in time to save the king and himself? Available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, other fine eBook vendors and Gypsy Shadow Publishing at:
When Sci-Magickal student Jeremy Cross, saved the King of England from assassination he thought he’d had all the adventure he’d ever get. He was wrong! He is asked to be a ‘secret’ bodyguard to the King of the country of Andorra. His job is to determine if the alluring actress the Baroness Gia Lorenza is working against the king. Little did he know the assignment would lead to more danger than he had ever imagined. Mysterious assassins, intrigue, espionage and the dread prospect of appearing on stage are just the beginning of the thrills he faces as he tries to determine-is she one of the good guys or a true femme fatale?
Word Count: 26200
Pages to Print: 91
The King’s Airfare
When the Baroness Gia Lorenza entered the main lounge of the luxury Luffe-Zeppelin III, every male eye turned toward her. She slid across the floor with an effortless sensuousness that sent the blood pressure of every man in the room to fly higher than the dirigible. I was among them.
The Baroness was tall and lithe with dark red hair and that shade of pale skin that the poets might once have called alabaster. Her thin frame sported womanly curves in all the correct places, a fact that her brilliant blue dress showed off to great effect. The dress had a low décolletage, where hung an opal cameo given to her, some say, by King Edward of England himself.
Above all that was arresting about her were her eyes, jade green and shining with humor, set above a thin nose and perfect, bow lips. She laughed as she entered the room alone, as if recalling some past jest.
One of the goat-legged Satyrite stewards, approached her with a note on a tray. He wore a white uniform jacket and an airman’s cap that was perched oddly between his two short, curling horns.
Only human and Satyrite servants staffed the airship, as even though the ship used Helium, it was felt the weight of steambots was prohibitive. It gave the trip an old fashioned charm, despite the ultra-modern feel of the huge aircraft.
The Baroness took the note from the servant, glanced at it and laughed again. A lilting sound that, though not loud, still rang clearly over the constant hum of two 24-horsepower engines moving the airship forward at a cruising speed of thirty miles an hour.
The Baroness turned the power of her smile and her glance across the room, where three extraordinary figures were seated near a large observation port.
One was broad-shouldered and square-jawed, clearly a member of the Prussian Junker class, with a dueling scar on his left cheek and a monocle. His blond hair was close-cropped and his expression was set in a perpetual sneer. His uniform announced his rank as a major.
The second figure was an officious older man with the stoop-shouldered posture of a scholar, with full and bushy sideburns of the type commonly called mutton chops. He had a thick head of silver hair and nervous hands that were constantly moving. His clothing was neat, but clearly that of a civil servant.
Both of the men were focused on the third who sat at their table, a wine glass in his hand. He was younger than both his companions and dressed in the latest fashionable waistcoat and jacket of expensive velvet. His dark, wild hair and a jawline beard framed a handsome, carefree face. His eyes were an unusual amber color, and his smile when he motioned to the Baroness was wide and easy.
The red-haired siren glided across the floor of the room to the table with the three, who rose as one.
“Baroness,” the dark-haired man said. His voice was well-modulated and had a hint of a Russian accent. “So good of you to accept my invitation.” He motioned to an empty seat.
“How could I refuse so gallant an invitation, Your Majesty?” she asked with an ironic tone and a deep curtsey.
“Please, my dear, I am not the King of Andorra here,” the dark-haired man said. “I am simply Boris.”
“Then I shall be simply Gia.” She accepted his hand and sat in the offered seat.
All this was played out for those in the lounge, and every man in the room felt a stab of jealousy of the king of the tiny country. Yet we were on the ship because of King Boris, the first of the Principality of the Valleys of Andorra. The former Russian nobleman had discovered the world’s only deposit of Andorrite beneath estates he had purchased in the tiny country before the close of the Great War. The meteor-delivered crystal was vital to the control steambots at a long distance, making him one of the richest men in the world.
When Andorra declared war on Germany during the Great War, Boris had seized the government of the small country and signed a secret agreement with the Kaiser just weeks before the German Empire won. Thus the Kaiser recognized King Boris the First, and a new dynasty began.
The tiny nation—lodged between Spain and France and barely one hundred and eighty square miles—by virtue of the Andoritte deposits and Boris’ investments—became a major force in the newly-reformed Europe.
The fact that Boris was only in his early thirties and still liked to live a life like King Edward of England—whom he knew well—had when he was the crown prince, made him a cause celeb in all of Europe.
He had just come back from a visit to Vienna to see the opening of the opera season and was homeward bound to Andorra la Vella, his capital city. On board was an entire theatre company bound for the St. Laurent Theatre in the capital. The Baroness Lorenza was the lead actress in that company and the reason I had joined it.
My job was to keep the King of Andorra from falling in love with her!