The Black Sea

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Summary

In 1850, plague is raging through Ireland, forcing thousands of young girls to flee to America. Byron Drake is waiting. Drake is cold and ruthless, snatching the young, impoverished girls as As the girls rounded another corner, they saw a black carriage waiting under one of the dim lamps, its horses stamping impatiently in the cold. When the heavily bundled driver saw the girls, he jumped down from his seat and opened the carriage door. Apprehension filled Edith’s chest. This was foolishness. No one in Boston was going to help two Irish prostitutes. No one. A black, gloved hand emerged from the darkness of the carriage interior and offered itself to Clara. She looked up hopefully, then accepted the hand and stepped through the door. Edith strained to see into the shadow, then the same gloved hand was suddenly before her, beckoning her to enter the carriage. The driver stood patiently as Edith hesitated, holding the door open for as long as was necessary for her to make a decision. She looked behind her, surveying the foggy, empty streets. She returned her gaze to the still waiting hand, then quickly took hold of it before she could change her mind. As the gloved hand tightened on her own, fear bit through her heart. Still, she allowed herself to be pulled into the foreboding unknown of the carriage.

Genre:
Romance / Adventure
Author:
elmbryant
Status:
Complete
Chapters:
45
Rating:
4.7 24 reviews
Age Rating:
16+

Prologue

The cold fog hung thick in the Boston night, threatening to settle as icy droplets on the young girl’s shoulders. Her breath had already crystallized on the stringy, blonde hair drooping around her face. She pulled her crocheted shawl closer. It was mostly decorative, meant to call attention to her dainty shoulders rather than to keep her warm. Still, the girl could not help but tie it around her, seeking comfort in its futile threads.

Looking each direction down the street, she searched for a fine carriage that might house a gentleman who required her services. She detested most of the men who sought her companionship, but would welcome any excuse to be out of the cold. Even though it was early, the lanes were empty, except for the miserable fog and the eerie light of the gas street lamps.

She crossed her arms and rubbed her shoulders, eying the empty lane as she shivered. Worry creased her pretty brow. Things would not go well for her if she returned to Mr. Drake empty handed.

She heard the rhythmic footsteps of boots on the cobblestone street, then saw her friend round the corner, fog swirling around her long skirts and dark curls. Her friend wore an excited expression on her face, something that was entirely foreign to them lately.

The dark haired girl spied her friend and quickened her step. “Edith!” she cried, catching the girl’s hands in her own. “I have found a place for us, for both of us! We can escape this wretched place! Come with me!” Her voice rang with an Irish lilt, and the girl eagerly tugged on Edith’s hands toward the direction from which she had just come.

“Wait, Clara!” Edith pulled back from Clara’s grasp, not understanding her friend’s sudden enthusiasm. “What are you talking about? What place?” Edith’s voice betrayed the same melodic accent.

Clara was almost breathless. “A man came up to me. He said he had work for us. Real work! Not this... life.” She swept her hand across the empty street to emphasize the hopelessness of their current situation.

“No, Clara,” replied Edith, keeping her voice calm to steady Clara’s enthusiasm. “You know we cannot trust strangers. You don’t know this man!”

Clara stood motionless for a moment, and Edith could see the frost that had accumulated on her eyelashes. Clara spoke, her tone firm and decided. “I have to take the chance, Edith. I cannot do this anymore.”

Edith sighed. “At least we know that Mr. Drake will give us a warm place to sleep as soon as we make enough coin for him. We know we will not freeze, or starve. But this man? We know nothing about him.”

“I’m with child, Edith.” Clara’s statement was matter-of-fact, though Edith could see the desperation in her eyes. “If Mr. Drake finds out, then... who knows what will happen to me?” She looked hard into Edith’s face. “I have to take this chance.”

Edith took her friend’s hand sympathetically. She knew that Clara was right, that Mr. Drake had no use for a pregnant girl. Clara’s life was over. And then what would Edith do without her only friend? Clara tugged Edith’s hand once again, gently. This time Edith willingly followed after her.

They rounded another corner, and Edith saw a black carriage waiting under one of the dim lamps, its horses stamping impatiently in the cold. When the heavily bundled driver saw the girls, he jumped down from his seat and opened the carriage door. Apprehension filled Edith’s chest. This was foolishness. No one in Boston was going to help two Irish prostitutes. No one.

A black, gloved hand emerged from the darkness of the carriage interior and offered itself to Clara. She looked up hopefully, then accepted the hand and stepped through the door. Edith strained to see into the shadow, then the same gloved hand was suddenly before her, beckoning her to enter the carriage.

The driver stood patiently as Edith hesitated, holding the door open for as long as was necessary for her to make a decision. She looked behind her, surveying the foggy, empty streets. She returned her gaze to the still waiting hand, then quickly took hold of it before she could change her mind.

As the gloved hand tightened on her own, fear bit through her heart. Still, she allowed herself to be pulled into the foreboding unknown of the carriage.

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Further Recommendations

Divarules101😎🤑: These chapters were short but detailed and amazing keep up the good work.👍👍

Philippa: I loved a story about two people who had a terrible past one showed pain through anger thr other through sadness but they each grew to love each other.You should be so proud to write something so meaningful even though it's a fiction alot of it happens now (in reality apart from wolves of course)

fbrittmon123: Its a pretty good story.The plot it pretty good and so is Blaires life lol

cathleendow: I like it.i read it for beginning to end.

Karen: Interesting story line. Trying to figure out Jacob's role in this. Wondering what species the baby will be. Authors writing good so far.

Sumoni Mukherjee: It's good. Little jumbled. So at starting failed to capture the plot. But guess I am in it now

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Elena Alexandra: Nice plot. Nice way of writing jut a bit too much detail when discribing stuff. It makes me curious of what is coming next

Serinnity: Very good so far, cant wait for the next part.

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mamabear0793: Pretty good book. Exciting details! In depth descriptions make this story even better visually. Glad i found this app as well as this particular book.

Julie Partridge: Loving the plot

Satya Lakshmi: It's really nice and interesting please update soon eagerly waiting for your next update

Anne: Love the storyline and tease, can't wait for more episodes to come..

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