Artemis Greaves, The Duchess of Wakefield

Artemis is the overworked companion to Lady Penelope Chadwicke and the possessor of a pair of lovely dark gray eyes.

Heroine of Duke of Midnight.

Also appears in Scandalous Desires, Thief of Shadows, Lord of Darkness, Darling Beast, Dearest Rogue, and Duke of Sin.

Read order for Artemis’ story arc: Scandalous Desires » Thief of Shadows » Lord of Darkness » Duke of Midnight.

* * *

Penelope shifted next to Artemis, glancing down at the floor and then to the table between the chairs. “Drat.”

“What is it?” Artemis whispered. The orchestra had launched into a lively tune.

“I’ve misplaced my fan.” She looked up, her brow furrowed. “I must’ve left it in the duke’s box. Too bad, because if the play had not already started, I could go back and spend more time with the duke.” She shrugged. “But you’ll have to get it now.”

“Of course.” Artemis sighed silently.

She placed Bon Bon gently on her seat before leaving the box. No one was in the corridor now, and Artemis gathered her skirts to run lightly down the hall. She paused outside the duke’s box to catch her breath and pat at her hair, and as she did so, she couldn’t help but hear the voices within, for the door was not shut fully.

“…must belong to Lady Penelope. It’s far too expensive to be Artemis’s,” Miss Picklewood was saying.

“Who?” came the duke’s bored drawl.

“Artemis Greaves,” Miss Picklewood said. “Come, Maximus, you must’ve noticed that Lady Penelope has a companion.”

Artemis put her hand up to push the door open.

“You mean that invisible little woman who trails her everywhere like a pale wraith?”

The duke’s deep, masculine voice seemed to cut straight through Artemis. In the back of her mind, she noticed absently that her fingers were trembling on the door. Quietly, she balled her fist and let it drop.

“Maximus!” Miss Picklewood’s tone was shocked.

“You must admit it’s an apt description,” the duke replied impatiently. “And I don’t think I can be faulted for not knowing the woman’s name when she does everything she can to blend into the woodwork.”

“Artemis is my friend,” Phoebe said, her tone very firm for one so young.

Artemis took a deep breath and carefully, silently, backed away from the door. She had a sudden horrific image of the door opening by itself and those within finding her there, listening.

She whirled and ran back the way she came. Phoebe’s kind words should’ve healed any hurt the duke had inflicted so carelessly. He didn’t know her, didn’t care to know her. What a man like him thought of a woman like her should make no difference at all to her.

But no matter how many times she repeated this to herself, the arrow of his words still stuck in her bleeding breast.

And she still quivered with rage.

–from Lord of Darkness