His Michaelmas Mistress

His Michaelmas Mistress by Marly Mathews

Book: His Michaelmas Mistress by Marly Mathews Read Free Book Online
Authors: Marly Mathews
would have Uncle Edward and Aunt Alice chasing you away, given the age difference between the two of you. Violet is quite enamoured with you, I think. Besides, she’d probably give her eye teeth to marry a duke. She’d love to know that she married higher than Rose and Iris. Of course, Rose and Iris care not about such things, and mayhap, Violet will mature enough someday that she shan’t care about it, either. No matter what happens, she shall be eighteen in one year, and she will come with a sizable dowry. I expect it would do wonders for this dusty old place.”
    “Oh, aye, I should think so. Although, I’ve seen Violet, and she’s just a mere slip of a girl. I’d rather have Ruby, honestly. Thank you, Julia. You should go now, before your watchdogs return.”
    “They aren’t watchdogs. They are chaperones.”
    “Whatever you say, dear.” He smiled at her, and gave her a gallant bow.
    “You are incorrigible,” she laughed.
    As Julia turned to leave, she heard him say, “I hope you get that befuddled baron to realize that you truly are a gem amongst women.”
    “I think he already knows. He fears that he is paste made up to look like a jewel, Tobias.”
    “Ah, I understand. You shall simply have to convince him otherwise. As for Charles, I think I can convince him that you and he are rather ill matched now. It might take him a while to let go, but I daresay he will eventually. He hasn’t any other choice, does he? Too much has changed.”
    She gave him one last smile, and left. She inhaled deeply, as the fresh cool air filled her lungs. She couldn’t wait to get back to Lovett Lands. 
    “Shall we depart?” Simon asked, helping her and then Ruby up onto the curricle. “You know, Cousin Julia, this thing is a death trap.”
    “Rose called it that once,” she held the reins. “It has always served me well, and gives me such a thrill when I’m racing.”
    “I heard about those races. I heard you’ve won quite a bit of money through those races.”
    “Who told you we made such wagers?”
    “I shan’t expose my source,” Simon said stubbornly, walking back over to his horse and swinging up on it. The grooms dashed away, as they headed away from Avondale Abbey.
    “Shall we race back this time?” Simon called to her.
    “No…I haven’t the heart,” Julia said sadly.
    He nodded his head at her, and kept pace with the curricle.
    “The Duke is quite handsome. I thought by the way he was described at Lark Hall that he would look like a little toad,” Ruby mused.
    “Oh, heavens, no,” Julia laughed. “He has his fine qualities as well, and I’ve never found him to be too disparaging on the eyes.”
    “And Lord Charles…he looked a little different from how desperate he looked on your wedding day.”
    “My wedding day that wasn’t…” Julia chuckled ruefully.
    “You seem to be a woman who knows how to get what she wants, Julia,” Ruby said. Her forthright attitude struck her as odd, since everyone believed Ruby to be afraid of her own shadow but then, she was related to Thomas Somersby, and it seemed as if she had inherited some of his traits. To a lesser degree—but still they were there.
    “Not always. Who I want right now, doesn’t seem to want me.”
    “Perhaps, you just need to give him a little bit of motivation,” Ruby suggested. She sighed heavily. “Alas, I shall be relegated to the shelf for the rest of my life. I don’t think anyone would want what I have to offer. And I become terribly tongue tied around men that I fancy. I recoil, and have the sudden compulsion to run away. No matter how much I try to remain stalwart, I always seem to crumble, and I am either running or hiding. It is most vexing. No matter how much I try, I cannot control myself.”
    “Did your mother give you a Season?” Julia asked.
    “Uncle Thomas wanted to pay for it, but Mama wouldn’t hear of it. She doesn’t trust those men that search for wives on the marriage mart.”
    Julia snorted.

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