Background: This story was originally written for the SS/HG Exchange on livejournal. The prompt I was given was:

1. Regency - Hermione ran away from her husband (Snape) on her wedding night when she discovered he had only married her to protect her. Snape is a reclusive Duke with a mysterious background (a spy for the Crown). Now they meet again and he's going to claim his wedding night. (Virgin!Hermione preferred).

I took liberty to change Duke to Lord... and went with it :) Enjoy!

Disclaimer: Potterverse is not mine and never will be. The plot and OC's, however, are mine.

Chapter One

Hermione paused in the doorway. His bedroom was far from what she had come to expect from everything she had experienced; it was light, airy and held such a welcoming feel that she had to swallow down a giggle at the thought.

She smiled as his arms slipped around her waist, coming to rest on her stomach. "I take it you approve?"

"Yes, I –" She groaned as his lips softly brushed against her neck.

He gave her a gentle push towards to the bed. "You'll be safe now." Attaching his mouth to her throat again, Hermione struggled to focus her thoughts.

What? Swallowing thickly, she pushed his hands away from her. Spinning round she faced a lust-drugged Severus Snape. "Excuse me?!" She planted her hands firmly on her hips and forced her breathing to calm.

"I can protect you now you're here. With me." He took a graceful step forward, reaching to pull her towards him again. His eyes were heavy-lidded, and his mouth was relaxed in a smirk. "I want what is now mine." Lowering his head to kiss her, he was unprepared for the hand that came in contact with his cheek with a resounding slap. "Never, ever lay a hand on me again, Madam!" Holding her wrist in a vice-like grip, he winced as he moved his jaw to check for damage.

"Let me go!" Wrenching herself free, she ran towards the door. "I can't believe you did that!" Tears running down her cheeks threatening to blind her, she stumbled through the door and down the hall.

She was unused to her heels, and as she launched herself down the stairs, she stumbled and twisted her ankle. Pulling them off, she continued on her hurried journey. Finally making it to the main entrance, she paused for a second when she heard her name.

"Hermione! Wait!"

Shaking herself, she moved forwards again, and when he uttered her maiden name, 'Granger', she found her throat choked with sobs. He hadn't married her for love after all.

AN: Thank you for reading! I look forward to reading your reviews!