The First Night. Sometimes I wake and for just a moment, I can feel the cool wash of soft sheets over my flesh. I can hear the ocean rolling and. preparing for the first day/night. Planning is essential to a successful move. As you pack up, create two “first day” boxes. This will save you time and energy that . It is Aditya's first night after marriage and he is expected to act as man. He overpowers his wife, until something brings back memories of the.
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FIRST NIGHT TIPS & IDEAS. Well, the adventure begins soon! Thanks so much to all of you for caring enough to lead your group. Here are a few things to keep. This lively book takes us back to the first performances of five famous musical compositions: Monteverdi'sOrfeoin , Handel'sMessiah in, Beethove. Page 1. FIRST. YEARS. HARTFORD. NIGHT.
She had her aunt and father to care for. And Maree and Nels. They needed her to be strong, to look out for them, to fight for their home. Quick as a wink, she snatched one of several crystal figurines crowding the mantel and pocketed the costly trinket.
Aunt Eleanor widened her eyes in mock innocence. Her mind touched upon her wedding night and shied away from the memory—a bleeding wound that could never be staunched. She was no longer a dewy-eyed eighteen.
She was mature, wiser, no longer expecting a knight in shining armor to save her. Experience had taught her the world was a hard place.
Only the circumstances of men kept her living in luxury one moment and indigent the next. Never again would she rely on a man for rescue. Never again would she believe love could be so easy, or at least so easy for her.
So what if her heart had turned into a hard little stone.
A heart of stone could never break. But it could feel fear. Like the fear of finding herself at the mercy of a stranger. Her fate lay in the hands of a man who would probably cast her out without a penny. Nicholas Caulfield owed nothing to her. There were, however, others to consider. Yesterday he had attacked the upstairs maid while she changed the linens in his room. He ranted that she was a Spanish spy come to poison him. He periodically believed himself in the sixteenth century with Papist spies about bent on assassinating Queen Elizabeth.
The new earl would want to rid himself of such a blight. No one wanted a half-mad old man skulking about the place. Many of the staff had quit since her father had become so unstable. Only the most stalwart remained, like Maree and Nels. Formerly members of a traveling show, they could not be considered standard household servants. They relied on her, needed her. Despair, acrid as vinegar, rose up to choke her.
If only she could have inherited. Then all would be secure. If only. Meredith stopped and gave a small shake of her head. She had always wanted a child, but never before had the lack of one carried such significance. She joined her aunt before the mantel. Propping her elbow on the gilded surface, she mused aloud.
When she did, her words were slow and pained, as though trying to make sense to a dim-witted child. I have not seen Edmund in years. And the two of us never. But no one else is. Some other way to keep us from living on the streets? I, for one, am not suited for poverty. But certainly there is another way. He is kin to Edmund. Blood is blood, after all. It is a good lie if it serves to protect us. An invisible band wrapped around her chest and squeezed, making it difficult to breathe.
Will he examine you himself? Even limited in experience as I am, I can only surmise there comes a point when a woman increasing must deliver a baby. What then? At market? They are quite resourceful. Orphanages are no better than asylums. To think we could save one poor baby from such a fate. Why, we would be providing a Christian service. She angled her head thoughtfully. Then he could inherit.
A girl would just put us right back where we are now. Meredith could not dispute that logic, even as mercenary as it sounded. Feeling her resolve slip a notch, she tried to lodge another protest. Children are messy creatures, especially boys. On the contrary. Her heart warmed at the thought. The prospect of defrauding an earl, however, tied her stomach in knots.
Yet what choice did she have? Meredith closed her eyes against the tiny hammers beating against her temples from inside her head. Suddenly she felt very small, powerless, as though a powerful current swept her along. Defrauding an earl must carry grave penalties. The plan is foolproof, Meredith. Just imagine how upset he will be when he learns he is not the next Earl of Brookshire. Considering upon whom his wrath would focus, so did she. Aunt Eleanor brandished a sheet of parchment and flattened it on the desktop.
Quill pen in one hand, she crooked an impervious finger at Meredith. You are the far better correspondent. You shall have to compose this. She closed her eyes in one long fortifying blink. Almost anything was worth such a guarantee. Gathering her courage, she wrapped shaking fingers around the quill and, with a deep breath, began to write.
A small spark of hope flared to life deep in her soul as the tip of the pen scratched parchment. Lifelong security. Chapter 2 nm N ick was not a pimp. No more than he was a man interested in engaging the services of a whore. That much was clear. The stark misery in her face proclaimed her humiliation. His acceptance would offer her a reprieve— at least until her husband sunk them back into debt.
Then Basslye would force her to offer her body yet again in exchange for his debts. Who knew whom the lender might be the next time?
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Yet the thought of using her repulsed him. The fear in her too large eyes reminded him of another woman brought low by the very man who was supposed to love and protect her. Over the years, he had done some terrible things—thieving, stealing, and, when called for, killing. But even he had his limits. Leave the way you came. Rushing forward, she fell to her knees and grabbed his hand in both of her cold ones.
He said a lot of men would pay good coin for me. He still might do just that. She lifted her face, shiny with tears, and clutched his hand tighter, her nails digging into the back of his hand.
And there is kindness in your eyes. Tell your husband the debt is cleared. Be gone when I return. He had not gotten this far in life by being tenderhearted. It had been a long time since he thought about his mother, but that sad little pigeon in the other room had conjured her ghost.
Settling himself into the chair behind his desk, he turned his attention to his uninvited guest. Mac Swell relaxed in a chair beside the stranger, not bothering to ask if he could remain.
Equal partners in several gaming hells and betting shops throughout London, they had no secrets. Albert Grimley of Snide and Grimley. Grimley blinked and appeared a little frightened. Not the best way to break the news I suppose. Grimley claims I have a habit of running away at the mouth a bit. You, sir, are the new Earl of Brookshire. Nick closed his eyes in one long blink, but it did no good. Opening his eyes, the solicitor still sat across from him, delivering the most shocking, distasteful news.
It must be a nightmare. He pinched his leg beneath the desk. It did no good. This was one dream from which he was not waking. No sane man would turn down an earldom. Mac shrugged, holding both hands up in a gesture of helplessness even as his smiling eyes indicated his enjoyment of their little drama. He cleared his throat. This meeting was likely not unfolding the way he had imagined. But he was not most men. He preferred his life the way it was, with his roots in the aristocracy completely erased.
That his father had been an earl made little difference in the world he chose to inhabit. It was a fact Nick preferred to forget. Mark me off and move down your list. Your half brother left no heirs. Any of it. Not the property. Not the money. And especially not the title.
You may either sell it or give it away, but that will require some paperwork, not to mention the necessity of a downloader in the matter of selling. The matter of your title is another issue. You will have to go before the courts to officially renounce your title and Oak Run since the family seat lies adherent with the title.
A refusal should suffice. Clearly, Nick did not meet his expectations. Well, he could care less. Grimley bent to pick up his leather satchel from the floor. I will leave you now to process this news. You will surely come to your senses in the morning. Grimley settled his somber, brown beaver hat on his head. Much depends upon you.
Aside from the property, you bear responsibility for countless lives. And of course there are Lady Brookshire and her relations. They still reside at Oak Run. Had the man not yet figured out that he did not keep abreast of family matters?
That Grimley in fact addressed the blackest sheep ever expelled from a family bosom? Good day to you, gentlemen. Nick replied with an indifferent shrug, willing his jaw to unclench. Mac kicked his feet up on the desk and wasted no time getting to the point. Nice ring to it, eh? Fancy that! Wait till everyone hears.
No more hanging about here. Besides, I need to be here to keep an eye on business. Who would do the books? That pastyfaced nob does not qualify as talent.
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This is a business, Nick, not a charity. Bad business, that. They sank into silence. He knew Mac was giving him time to think, to mull things over in his mind until he was ready to discuss the subject hanging so heavily in the air.
The old, sour taste he so loathed filled his mouth and throat. He wanted nothing from the man that had destroyed his mother or from the world that had turned a blind eye. Voices, laughter, and the faint whirring sound of a roulette wheel floated from below.
Nick knew he should make an appearance. The dark shadows of his past had been roused, spoiling his humor. The lights of London flickered and blinked in the inky night. You could get in among the peerage and make some change. Mac nodded in understanding, but the disappointment was clear in his face. Rising to his feet, Nick downed the remainder of his brandy before excusing himself, glad for the solitude awaiting him.
As close as they were, even Mac could not understand how the prospect of returning home rattled him. There was a slight movement on the bed.
An uncertain, hopeful smile flitted about her lips. He leaned against the door and observed her lazily, his mood dangerous. She nodded, flaxen hair dancing against her generous breasts.
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For once I want to choose who shares my bed. Nick pushed off the door and crossed the room, his strides long and fierce. He buried his fingers into her soft shoulders and pulled her close, kissing 26 SOPHIE JORDAN her savagely, releasing all the anger and frustration brewing inside him, forgetting his determination to leave her untouched.
Perhaps he was that big of a bastard after all. He stripped his clothes and lowered both their bodies to the bed, his movements mechanical, his touch perfunctory. It was only a temporary escape. A distraction from the emptiness, from the perpetual night that lived inside him. As she rubbed her body against his, he felt only a flicker of interest flare to life. It was impossible to feel anything when one was but a hollow shell.
A living, breathing man should feel. Only it had been years since he had felt anything at all. Dearest, I am quite ignorant when it comes to babies.
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Your father did not tolerate bad behavior. I felt like I was dealing with a peer and not a child. She had not known a carefree, funfilled childhood. The stern visage of her father had squashed any such gaiety. She had been an adult all her life.
A solemn, proper adult. Perhaps it was best her father was unaware of the world around him. It saved her from enduring his censure for the perjury she was committing. Shaking aside the disturbing thought, she stepped back from the window. Since we are going through such trouble, perhaps you should acquire two babies. One could act as a backup in case something happens to the original?
I shall think on it. They sounded so mercenary. Although reluctant at first, she had warmed to the notion of having a child. She had every intention of loving this baby—of lavishing on him all the love and attention she herself had never received.
With that in mind, she examined the room critically. Aired out, drapes drawn, it was quite cheery. She had paid it little heed over the years—for the obvious reasons—but now she felt a small pang of regret at the sight of the newly polished crib.
Her babes should have occupied its confines by now. Most women of five and twenty had a string of babes for which to account.
One of the ears was nicked from age. Her fingers curled tightly around its sleigh bottom. In that moment, she admitted that the need for security was not her only consideration.
The realization frightened her. It meant her motives were not totally altruistic. No going back now. Meredith quickly straightened, her cheeks flaming as she turned to see Mr. She made a quick mental note to cease thinking aloud. The habit could become dangerous now that she possessed secrets. The Brookshire family solicitor had arrived yesterday, and Meredith felt great relief that he would be the one to inform Nicholas Caulfield of his changed fortune instead of her.
They call it maternal instinct. Grimley leaned back on his heels and rocked his paunchy frame with a knowing air. It was his greatest wish. Brookshires were probably rolling over in their graves at the prospect of her passing off an orphaned waif as the next earl. She reminded herself that Edmund had every chance to exercise his rights as a husband.
Instead, he chose not to. She had to do this. And not just for her. Others depended upon her. The butler showed him to the drawing room, and I volunteered to fetch you. So soon? Now the farce would truly begin. Grimley took her arm and led her from the nursery. Vikings were fierce. Pirates were fierce.
What did he mean? I know it is hard to believe, but he was not eager to accept the title. I would not be surprised if he viewed this as deliverance of sorts. She did find that hard to believe. Why would Nicholas Caulfield not want the property, wealth, and prestige that went with becoming the Earl of Brookshire? Nervous, Meredith delayed looking at the man in question, allowing Grimley to seat her on the settee beside her aunt. She took an inordinate amount of time arranging her skirts before lifting her gaze, then exhaled a great lungful of air.
This swarthy man with dark hair and matching eyes was no pasty-faced Englishman. His tanned skin stretched over high cheekbones and a square jaw, reminiscent of the Spanish pirate in that gothic novel she had secretly read and reread as a girl.
He bowed as Grimley made the introductions. His finely tailored jacket stretched tight across broad shoulders. This dazzling display of manhood was Nicholas Caulfield? Her nostrils flared, catching the faint scent of clean woods and saddle leather as he took her fingers in greeting.
She stared at the dark hair of his bent head and wondered if it felt as silky as it looked. She choked back her dismay and stared, mentally listing all the reasons why this man could not be Nicholas Caulfield. For one, his eyes were not the Brookshire blue. How had this man sprung from the Brookshire family tree? A hot flush warmed her cheeks. Mortification filled her at the vulgarity of her thoughts.
Collect yourself, she silently commanded, trying to pay attention to the conversation at hand. His attention trained on Grimley, he was thankfully unaware of her intense regard. I traveled by horseback and made good time. Such a distance, my lord? He looked ruthless, the type to kick all of them out on their ears. The barest of smiles graced his lips.
It was a practiced smile, the type bestowed on countless women. A small secretive smile to let her know he knew his effect on her as an attractive male. Arrogant man. To disguise her discomfiture, she lifted her chin and refocused her attention on the boring solicitor.
The moment had come. Their lie would now be revealed to the one it most affected. Anxiety knotted her stomach. Grimley glanced her way as if trying to gauge how to break the news. I received a most interesting post from Lady Brookshire. Good news, actually. Caulfield narrowed his eyes speculatively on her, obviously expecting her to elaborate.
Swallowing, she tried again, forcing herself to speak firmly and in no mincing terms. Never, in all her days, had she imagined herself speaking of such a delicate matter to a veritable stranger. The only disruption to his cold reserve was a slight ticking in his jaw, and what that signified she could only guess.
Those deep brown eyes probed her until the silence grew strained. She wanted to look away, afraid he would decipher the truth in her face, but his penetrating gaze held her hostage. Why did he not speak?
Meredith wrenched her eyes away from his and shifted restlessly on the settee. Hopefully, he would credit her discomfort to the fact that such delicate subjects were not typically for discussion among strangers.
Even estranged relatives. Finally, he spoke. Obviously, the prospect of a child changes everything. I must say my colleagues and I found it most intriguing. She wanted to strike the fool. Caulfield certainly found such a situation lacking amusement. Surely this was a mistake. Grimley had led her to believe Caulfield would not stand to inherit.
Caulfield had not missed her altered stance and had the audacity to wink at her. Her mouth thinned at the impertinence. If the child is female, there have been no provisions made, just as there was no jointure provided for you, my lady. Grimley exactly what she thought about British law. Meredith gaped in disbelief. Could they have been wrong about him? He would assume responsibility?
As simple as that? She took another look at his hard features. More than likely he wished to appear magnanimous in front of Grimley and did not mean a word he uttered. Even if he did, how long would his generosity extend? A year? Ten years? What would become of her if something befell him and he died? Once again she would be left scrabbling for her livelihood.
I was hoping you would make such a gesture, my lord. Leaning forward, he grasped both his knees. It truly speaks to the manners and breeding of the aristocracy. Feeling slightly sick at the possibility of defrauding a truly honorable gentleman, Meredith pressed a hand over her queasy belly. She wanted to hate him, needed him to be a greedy, villainous man, undeserving of the inheritance.
For the sake of her conscience, he had to be. Unfortunately, he did not sprout the horns and forked tail she desired. At least not yet. He and Edmund shared the same blood. The wretch in him would surface yet. I feel responsible for them as well. I will not support the indolent. As if she needed him telling her how to run a household. She had managed without a man these last years. Dreams of love no longer clogged her vision. Might I inquire of your plans for the interim?
You should not worry over its management in your delicate condition. Delicate condition, hah! What did men think was so delicate about childbirth?
The gall. To think he needed to oversee matters for her when she had managed the estate for years without any man directing her. Her cheeks burned. Was he suspicious or simply bold with his words? My aunt and I stayed a fortnight there shortly before he. It seemed wise, especially considering that she had not seen Edmund in three years, when he last brought a hunting party to Oak Run. Fortunately, she and her aunt had been in Bath at that time to corroborate the story. It was highly unlikely that anyone could contradict that Edmund had visited her at least once while she was there.
He left the management of Oak Run to me. You undoubtedly wish to return to London. This is your home too. They all froze in a surprised tableau. With his white hair wild about his head, her father looked fresh out of the asylum. The blood pounded in her temples and she braced herself, instantly recognizing he was having one of his bad days.
His flashing eyes settled on Caulfield with deadly intent. For a man of seventy years who had spent almost every one of them behind a pulpit, he was amazingly spry. Chapter 4 nm A unt Eleanor screamed.
China shattered on the carpet and Meredith gave the broken pieces a brief, mournful cringe. Grimley hollered for help. Few studies have investigated the factors influencing the first-night effect. Several factors, such as environment, age, and psychiatric illnesses of participants, have been proposed as possible causes of the first-night effect.
Several studies have reported no first-night effect and negligible night-to-night variability when participants slept at home with ambulatory polysomnography in their usual surroundings. In sum, these studies suggest that factors other than the familiarity of the environment may influence the occurrence of the first-night effect. One factor that may influence the first-night effect is an individual's previous sleep pattern.
To control for this potential effect, some studies have required that participants adhere to a regular sleep-wake pattern prior to study entry. However, to date, there have been no direct reports of the effect of previous sleep patterns on the first-night effect. In this study, we aimed to evaluate differences in sleep architecture between the first and second night in a sleep laboratory setting to confirm the existence of the first-night effect.
Furthermore we investigated the effect of the previous week's sleep pattern on the first-night effect. We chose only young healthy male participants in order to rule out age, sex, or health-related confounds. Recruitment strategies included advertisements on Internet bulletin boards and staff referrals. All participants had no experience sleeping in experimental situations.
All completed questionnaires regarding their sleeping conditions and physical and psychiatric health prior to participation. A psychiatrist HJL interviewed all participants before enrollment to rule out sleep, psychiatric, and medical problems. Participants underwent two consecutive laboratory-based nocturnal polysomnography NPSG. Additionally, participants were asked not to ingest alcohol in the two weeks before and throughout the duration of the study.
A total 24 individuals participated in the study and were included in analyses. None of the participants had physical or psychiatric illnesses. Participants gave written informed consent after receiving an explanation of the purpose and the procedure of the study. Participants were paid for their participation.
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Design For the week prior to NPSG, participants were instructed to adhere to regular sleep around 11 p. They also kept a sleep-wake diary and wore actigraphs Actiwatch-L, Mini-Mitter to identify sleep-wake patterns for the week. Next, two consecutive nights of polysomnography were conducted. Each participant arrived at the laboratory at 10 p. Lights were turned off around 11 p. The recording lasted approximately 8 h. The ESS is a simple and brief self-administered questionnaire that measures average sleep propensity chance of dozing over eight situations that are commonly experienced in daily life.
The ESS score can range from 0 to 24, and a normal score is assumed to be 10 or less. Two versions of this scale may be used: the entire 8-item scale AIS-8 with a total score ranging from 0 to 24, or a brief 5-item version AIS-5 with a total score ranging from 0 to These 19 items are grouped into 7 component scores, each weighted equally on a 0—3 scale. The sum of scores yields a global PSQI score, which can range from 0 to 21 with higher scores indicating worse sleep quality.
Each item is rated on a 5-point scale of distress, anchored by 0 not at all and 4 extremely. Three global indices provide measures of overall psychological distress: the general symptom index, the positive symptom total, and the positive symptom distress index. T-scores greater than 50 are assumed to indicate significant psychiatric distress. Participants were asked to wear actigraphs all day except when taking a shower or exercising to prevent water damage.
An actigraph is small portable device worn on the wrist or ankle that records movements over extended periods of time. It estimates sleep-wake schedules by raw activity scores based on computerized scoring algorithms.
They are used to gather information about each participant's sleep-wake pattern. In this study, we used a sleep-wake diary that asked each participant to record following components: the time the participant went to bed; the time lights were turned off; the time the participant thinks sleep onset occurred; duration that the participant was awake after initial falling asleep; total sleep time; the time woke up; the time got out of bed; quality of sleep; start and end times wearing actigraphs; the start and end times of any daytime naps; and duration in dark places.
We compared nightly data from the sleep-wake diary and the actigraph to exclude poor adherence and inaccurate data large discrepancies.A sour taste filled his mouth. The entire house had turned into a min field, as people had to move precariously to avoid bumping someone sleeping on the rented mattresses that sprawled all over the house, occupying every inch.
Nick stepped back, dropping his hands to his sides. It would have been close to dawn now. Nothing could complement such atrocious gowns, matching turban or no. But she did not think he was old enough. How had this man sprung from the Brookshire family tree?
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