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Lessons in Temptation, missing scene

December 18th, 2009 (09:53 pm)

This never made it to the final version. It explains an event referred to often in the book - Orlando getting his bum whacked by Helena Stewart.

“Orlando Coppersmith!”
“You’re for it now.” Jonty Stewart grinned. He loved his mother dearly, but there were times she resembled little less than a Valkyrie. “She only achieves that volume and ferocity when someone has well and truly blotted their copybook.” The Master of St. Bride’s never addressed his teaching staff in quite such stentorian tones.
“I don’t think I’ve done either.” Orlando Coppersmith turned pale. “Have I?”
“No idea. Can’t think offhand of anything that would raise the maternal ire to quite that pitch. Unless…” Jonty thrust out his lower lip in thought.
“Unless what?” The answer never came—their hostess appeared, as full of wrath as the Archangel Michael and twice as righteous. The vice-chancellor of Cambridge University couldn’t appear as wrathful or as frightening, not even when St. Bride’s college or its equally worthy inhabitants had misbehaved. Which was a rare occurrence.
“Jonathan, would you please leave us?” Helena Stewart gave her son no alternative. Go he must, whether he would or not.
She’s calling him Jonathan. It’s worse than I thought. Orlando felt his life passing before his eyes. It hadn’t been a bad life, the shining glories of the last two years—his time with Jonty—overshadowing the fears and tedium of the previous twenty seven. If he had to die, he would do it nobly, and beneath the talons of his almost-mother-in-law seemed a suitable place.
“And now, young man,” Mrs. Stewart fixed Orlando with a gimlet eye, “what have you and Mr. Stewart been up to?”
For her to call Jonty by his full name was bad enough, but for her not to refer to his father as Richard was calamitous. “We looked at these crossword things, with Jonty.” The answer was exceedingly feeble, although it gave Orlando a modicum of thinking time.
“I don’t mean this morning, which you know very well. I mean just now when Jonathan and I were at the theatre matinee.”
“We played bridge.” A sinking feeling, like a lift descending in its shaft, hit Orlando’s stomach.
The clock sounded seven, making him jump out of his skin. Or perhaps it was guilt having the same effect. “And we looked at a new bidding system.”
Mrs. Stewart rolled her eyes. “Just how, in all this innocent amusement, did Mr. Stewart end up in quite such a state?”
“Ah. There was this old book, concerning an ancient form of the game, and it lurked on the top shelf. I naturally offered to reach it for him but he insisted on climbing the ladder himself. Unfortunately it was in rather a poor state and he took a slight fall.”
Mrs. Stewart snorted, her handsome blue eyes as bright as one of the Bunsen burners down in the labs. Orlando wished he was back in Cambridge right now, being experimented on. “That I already understand, from the horse’s mouth. It explains his rather dishevelled state of clothing. It doesn’t explain his mood.”
“Oh. I believed we needed a small reviving drink. Just the one, I can assure you.” Bunsen burners under the soles of his feet would be infinitely preferable to this.
Mrs. Stewart didn’t just snort this time, she grunted. “So he assures me. Yet, for a man of very sober habits, one who can hold his drink extremely well, he is in a most reprehensible state of inebriation. Someone is lying to me.”
“I can swear to you that we aren’t. We merely had a brandy and soda each. And one of those powders for Mr. Stewart.” There, he’d said it. Now they were all going to be in trouble.
“Which powders?” Mrs. Stewart’s speech was measured, not a style of communication she usually employed.
“The ones which Dr. Panesar gave us. He’s an eminent research chemist, up at Bride’s, very interested in the analgesic effects of certain substances. He’s produced this new organic compound which he thinks will be highly effective as a method of reducing pain and distress. He’s been getting various members of the Senior Common Room to try it, purely in aid of serious medical research. We each have a supply which we are to administer on appropriate occasions, then make a careful note of the effects so that he can compile a paper on the beneficial…” he trailed off. The look in his hostess’ eye would have roasted Dr. Panesar and his powders at fifty yards.
“You can stop indulging in the academic persiflage. What this all boils down to is that you’ve been using my husband, your father-in-law to all intents and purpose, as a subject for medical experimentation.”
Orlando hung his head, thinking longingly of being far away, anywhere but here. Why on earth had they chosen to break their journey in London? “I only wanted to help.”
“Well, I dare say that’s exactly what Hamlet said at Elsinore. Not good enough, young man. I’ve been told that Mr. Stewart has been giggling and chasing the parlour maid.”
“I tried to stop him.” It sounded terribly feeble. It was.
“So I believe. It led to an outbreak of language. Mr. Stewart doesn’t swear and yet I understand the words he employed were such as my father would have described as being suitable to a foremast jack.”
“I’m sorry, I didn’t realise there would be such an effect.”
“Have you used the stuff before?”
“Yes, on me. It just knocked me out for two hours—when I woke up I felt marvellous. I assumed…”
“Don’t assume, Dr. Coppersmith. And don’t go around experimenting on my husband.” Mrs. Stewart sat, silently fuming, while Orlando waited for sentence to follow judgement and condemnation. “I have sent my husband to his bed to sleep things off—he’ll remain in his room until the morning, irrespective of whether he wants to or not. I’ve had to make an explanation to the staff to cover his uncharacteristic behaviour, but there remains the matter of your involvement. I accept that you didn’t deliberately lead him astray as I first feared, although there is culpability.”
Orlando felt like he was facing a court martial for mutiny and Admiral Mrs. Stewart was as harsh a hanging judge as any man could fear to face. He wished she’d just hang him now and have done with.
“I believe I should consult my son on this matter.”
That was the last thing he wanted to hear; Mrs. Stewart would be harsh but her son would be totally without mercy. To Orlando’s surprise, Jonty, when he arrived, stuck up for him nobly, assuring her Dr. Panesar had asked them to administer the powders in any situation which would help his study. They’d not anticipated any ill effects. He reminded her that Orlando’s previous record was one of immaculate behaviour, except for the minor matter of going out in the snow without his hat last Christmas.
“So am I not to administer any form of redress?” Mrs. Stewart was disappointed that there wasn’t to be at least a visit to the pillory.
“Oh I wouldn’t go as far as that. I think that a whack on the seat of the pants would be right and proper.” Orlando was horrified that Jonty could have suggested such a thing, even in jest. But the look in his lover’s eye explained much—he obviously found this whole scene ridiculously arousing and was going to get the last ounce of pleasure from it.
“I think that Orlando,” Mrs. Stewart started, the man she referred to noting with relief that he’d gained enough ground to be accorded the honour of his Christian name again, “is too old for such a thing.”
“Now that is unfair. You saw fit to wallop my backside only the last time we were in Sussex. What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.”
Mrs. Stewart produced an uncharacteristically sly grin. “I thought that you were both ganders, dear, but never mind.” She rose, approaching her guest, one who was usually highly favoured. “He insists, so I must obey.” She was almost laughing by now, as was her youngest son. Even Orlando’s initial horror had turned to amusement. She gave him a wallop that was more noisy than painful and then gave the goose a libation of the gander’s sauce himself, for giving people cheek. “Now, for goodness sake promise me that you’ll behave yourselves while you’re down in Bath. I know people there…”


Posted by: Jestana (jestana)
Posted at: December 18th, 2009 10:09 pm (UTC)
StB: Archie

Aw! I'm sorry this scene didn't make it in. 'Twas very funny! Still is! *giggles madly*

Posted by: charliecochrane (charliecochrane)
Posted at: December 19th, 2009 04:22 pm (UTC)

:) Thank you. It amused me, but in terms of pace, it had to go.

Posted by: Jestana (jestana)
Posted at: December 19th, 2009 06:00 pm (UTC)
StB: Horatio

*nods* Yeah, I can see how a scene like that would slow down the overall book. And it didn't really advance the story except show that Jonty's family has accepted Orlando so well that he's being treated like another son.

Posted by: Jess Faraday (jess_faraday)
Posted at: December 18th, 2009 11:13 pm (UTC)

Naughty!Jonty! What a troublemaker! I do hope that Orlando gets his revenge!

Posted by: charliecochrane (charliecochrane)
Posted at: December 19th, 2009 06:59 pm (UTC)

Orlando usually gets his revenge somehow or other. usually other.

Posted by: cassandra_gold (cassandra_gold)
Posted at: December 18th, 2009 11:50 pm (UTC)

Hahaha I love Helena Stewart!

Posted by: charliecochrane (charliecochrane)
Posted at: December 19th, 2009 06:59 pm (UTC)
tommy boy

I like her, too. *g*

Edited at 2009-12-19 06:59 pm (UTC)

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: December 19th, 2009 03:45 am (UTC)

When I read the book, I was curious as to why Orlando would experiment on Mr. Stewert. It didn't seem in his character. This excerpt cleared up my confusion. Thank you.

Posted by: charliecochrane (charliecochrane)
Posted at: December 19th, 2009 07:01 pm (UTC)

My pleasure. Poor Orlando, he's such a victim of circumstance at times.

Posted by: Lokei - a little mischief now and then (lokei)
Posted at: December 19th, 2009 04:00 am (UTC)
curl my lashes

*chuckling madly* Oh, man, I wish this had made it! The mystery is fun, but the interpersonal relationships are even better.

Speaking of persons, m'dear, there should be something teeny in the post winging your way, if it hasn't arrived yet.

Posted by: charliecochrane (charliecochrane)
Posted at: December 19th, 2009 07:00 pm (UTC)

For me, it's the relationships which make this series. Alas, the scene wasn't relevant to the rest of the tale and had to go.

Ooh, I shall keep an eye on the post. Thank you.

Posted by: mashamaven (mashamaven)
Posted at: December 20th, 2009 09:29 pm (UTC)

I haven't even read "TEMPTATION" yet and I'm still laughing!!!! GREAT scene! Thanks for friending me!


Posted by: charliecochrane (charliecochrane)
Posted at: December 20th, 2009 09:35 pm (UTC)

My pleasure.

Love your icon.

Posted by: mashamaven (mashamaven)
Posted at: December 20th, 2009 09:41 pm (UTC)
My Icon

YUMMY! Me too-you should see my mouse pad! My sons will kill me! I have a lovely picture of JB and Scott on my desktop. My sons say that THEY should be there! I told them that if they send me a picture suitable for my desktop of all three (31, 28, 26) I would change off!

Posted by: charliecochrane (charliecochrane)
Posted at: December 20th, 2009 09:45 pm (UTC)
Re: My Icon
pretty boys

LOL. Scott and John have often graced my computer background, although I have Tommy Bowe (rugby player) at present.

Three sons? I have three daughters, about the same age differences, although 12 years younger in each case.

Posted by: mashamaven (mashamaven)
Posted at: December 20th, 2009 10:04 pm (UTC)
Re: My Icon

Too bad! Your daughters are too young for my sons and they are not Jewish LOL! If I could send my boys to ??, maybe I could go and see JB in panto! I wanted to see "La Cage" so badly *sigh*

Posted by: charliecochrane (charliecochrane)
Posted at: December 21st, 2009 02:49 pm (UTC)
Re: My Icon
tommy boy

I have to say I had no desire to see La Cage. John in drag does nothing for me - I prefer him butch. :)

Send your boys to Cardiff and they can camp out by the theatre to catch him for you.

Posted by: mashamaven (mashamaven)
Posted at: December 21st, 2009 04:55 pm (UTC)
Re: My Icon

I think that he makes a gorgeous woman but I am also interested in him male! Have you seen Scott in person? The friend who got Scott's autograph for me at Comic Con said that he's simply gorgeous! Two gorgeous men, one incredibly talented and I don't get to see either!

I finished "Temptation" yesterday-WOWZERS!! It was my favorite so far!!

Posted by: charliecochrane (charliecochrane)
Posted at: December 21st, 2009 04:58 pm (UTC)
Re: My Icon

I've seen Scott twice. Once when we were stage dooring John and once when I was drinking coffee in a restaurant opposite the road where he and John live (don't ask *g*).

Pictures don't do Scott justice - he's gorgeous.

Glad you liked Temptation. Any idea who I had in mind when I wrote Jimmy Harding?

Posted by: mashamaven (mashamaven)
Posted at: December 21st, 2009 05:02 pm (UTC)
Re: My Icon

"Pictures don't do Scott justice - he's gorgeous. "

That's what my friend said-exactly!


Posted by: charliecochrane (charliecochrane)
Posted at: December 21st, 2009 05:08 pm (UTC)
Re: My Icon

Yep on both counts.

Posted by: mashamaven (mashamaven)
Posted at: December 21st, 2009 05:11 pm (UTC)
Re: My Icon


(Deleted comment)
Posted by: charliecochrane (charliecochrane)
Posted at: December 26th, 2009 02:56 pm (UTC)

Jonty will deny for the rest of his life that he would ever suggest Orlando getting a whack.


Posted by: kayberrisford (kayberrisford)
Posted at: July 22nd, 2011 12:15 pm (UTC)

*g*! Read this book while I was 'on tour', so very pleased to find this missing scene while I was looking up what's next :D

Hehe, shame this didn't make the final cut, but very funny :D

Posted by: charliecochrane (charliecochrane)
Posted at: July 22nd, 2011 08:10 pm (UTC)

Thanks, love. The thought of you fangirling Take That amuses me greatly!

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