The Prospect: The Malloy Family, Book 10

The Prospect: The Malloy Family, Book 10 by Beth Williamson

Book: The Prospect: The Malloy Family, Book 10 by Beth Williamson Read Free Book Online
Authors: Beth Williamson
appeared on the doorstep. “You weren’t thinking of leaving this cabin, were you?” The older man had a smile on his face, but it was a disturbing smile, more a baring of the teeth than a friendly gesture.
    “No, just letting in fresh air.” Declan’s expression might have been carved from stone.
    “Mr. Drummond, as you can see I am completely recovered. Would you please lift the quarantine so we can walk about the fort freely? I find the small cabin to be stifling when I am no longer suffering from sickness.” She forced a brightness to her voice she did not feel. Her trust in the medic was almost nonexistent. His collection of funds from Declan’s pocket was approaching unreasonable.
    Drummond could be ignorant, but Jo believed he was simply a dark man who took what he wanted from others without thought to the consequences. His gaze traveled up and down her body, pausing at her breasts before proceeding. Jo realized belatedly her nipples were still hard. Jackass.
    “You do look better than the last time I saw you, Mrs. Callahan.” He emphasized the Mrs. as though he had been listening to their argument. “However, I do not believe you are no longer contagious. Typhoid is a very serious disease, not to be taken lightly because you wish to stroll along the promenade.”
    Jo felt each word as though he slapped her with it. She had a hard time not gasping or shouting at him. The man intended to keep them prisoner until Declan had no funds. Then he would throw them out into the mud as though they were offal to be disposed of. She was an intelligent woman with enough knowledge of people and their behavior to do what she had to to let Drummond think she believed every lie he spoke.
    Instead of slapping the man, she forced a smile to her face. “Of course you are the expert, Mr. Drummond. How much longer do you believe we should remain quarantined?”
    “At least three more weeks. I don’t want this disease to spread to the good folks in the fort.” That disturbing grin made its appearance and she tightened every muscle in her body not to react. “Do you have this week’s rent, Callahan?”
    Declan’s jaw tightened and she thought she heard a tooth crack. He didn’t speak or move, and Jo wondered if he had been pushed too far.
    “Of course we do.” Jo turned to go to her own reticule, where her meager funds would keep the wolves at bay to give them enough time to escape their prison.
    Declan’s hand stopped her. His touch was firm but gentle. “No need, lass. I’ve got the money.”
    He reached into his pocket and pulled out coins, which he slapped into Drummond’s outstretched palm. The medic was surprised by the vehemence of it. Jo wanted to tell Declan to keep his feelings hidden, but there was no chance of that now.
    “Do you need any supplies?” Drummond tucked the coin into his trouser pocket.
    “Of course we do.” Jo smiled tightly. “Some staples would be welcome if you would be so kind as to arrange for them.”
    Declan’s glare almost set her hair on fire with the fierceness of it. She ignored him and waited for Mr. Drummond to take the bait she dangled. They needed supplies if they were to escape from the fort.
    “I’ll be right happy to.” Drummond held out his hand again.
    A low-pitched growl came from Declan, but he put more coins in Drummond’s hand. Jo felt sick about how much money Declan had given to this man and Parker. He had kept her safe and alive, both with his care and his money. She would pay him back for everything he’d done.
    “Thank you for all you have done for us, Mr. Drummond.” Jo kept the smile on her face, calling upon all the lessons in manners ingrained in her from the time she could toddle.
    “My pleasure, Mrs. Callahan. I hope you keep on getting better.” With a tap to the brim of his hat, he disappeared from view.
    Declan slammed the door so hard, Jo moved a few inches from the impact. “You think it wise to flirt with the man who has a tight grip on

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