The Sextet Presents… The Lady Takes a Pair [In Days of Olde] (Siren Publishing Ménage Amour)

The Sextet Presents… The Lady Takes a Pair [In Days of Olde] (Siren Publishing Ménage Amour) by Cheryl Brooks

Book: The Sextet Presents… The Lady Takes a Pair [In Days of Olde] (Siren Publishing Ménage Amour) by Cheryl Brooks Read Free Book Online
Authors: Cheryl Brooks
Tags: Romance
completely by surprise,” William admitted. “I did mention that there was a young lady coming to the party for a very specific purpose.”
    “You didn’t tell them she was only here to see if she met with your approval, did you?” Nick asked.
    “Of course not,” Will replied. “I said she was here for your approval.”
    “And what about my approval?” Juliet asked. “Didn’t it count for anything?”
    Nick grinned. “More than you will ever know.”
     
    * * * *
     
    After lunch, Nick introduced Juliet to his gardeners. “I have assured Lady Rotherford that she shall have free rein in the rose garden. Therefore, she may prune and pluck and hoe to her heart’s content. She may even pull them up by the roots and start over if she chooses. I am sure she can count on each of you to assist her.”
    Nick was pleased to see caps doffed and bows made to his new wife. After the introductions, the men found her a wide, shady hat and gloves, gave her a basket and pruning shears, and turned her loose. He sat on a bench and watched her for a while, scarcely able to believe his good fortune. She was such a gentle soul—passionate, to be sure—but pleasant, like a cool breeze on a hot day. Considering her background, she might have grown bitter and resentful, but she hadn’t. She’d remained sweet and kind in spite of the earl’s tyranny.
    He left her with reluctance, knowing that estate business awaited him in his study. Although he worked steadily for several hours, his thoughts often drifted back to her, and the recollection of her kneeling in the rose beds, happily pulling weeds, made him smile. When he’d finished his work, he went back out to check on her. She was dirty, sweaty, and perfectly content to be so.
    “Oh, Nick,” she sighed as he approached. “I am truly in heaven. William brings me a glass of lemonade almost hourly, and the gardeners are as nice as can be. I could stay here forever.”
    “I am pleased to hear it. This garden is yours. Consider it a wedding present.”
    She gazed up at him with misty eyes. “You are too generous, my lord.”
    He knelt beside her, his hand cupping her chin. “Your happiness is very important to me, Juliet. If you are ever unhappy, please tell me, and I will do my utmost to change that.”
    “I doubt I shall ever have cause to complain. Still, though the garden is quite lovely, it is only partly responsible for my contentment. The kindness everyone has shown me is what makes it all so special. I am not used to being treated thus.”
    “You should be,” he said. “And I promise to do my best to see that you know nothing but kindness from now on. You deserve nothing less.”
    “And you deserve as much, perhaps even more.”
    Her lips touched his in a kiss so sweet it tore at his heart. Nick never doubted that William loved him, but the love of a woman was different. Softer, gentler, yet it made him feel strong. It was an unselfish sort of love, the love that gave birth and life, but needed protection.
    He and William would provide that protection.
    All the days of her life.
     
    * * * *
     
    William filled yet another glass with lemonade and set it on the tray, along with a plate of biscuits.
    “You’ll be spoiling her if you keep that up,” Mrs. Biggs admonished him.
    “It pleases me to spoil her,” William said. “Although I am not certain she can be spoiled—not after the life she led before Rotherford found her.”
    She snorted in disgust, shaking her head. “That father of hers! What a nasty piece of work he is. Never a kind word for anyone.”
    “Not even his daughter.” The mere thought made William long to give the earl a thrashing he wouldn’t soon forget. But then, if he’d treated her better, her life would never have joined up with theirs.
    Mrs. Biggs nodded. “Poor dear. She’s been like a plant without water, dyin’ o’ thirst.”
    William hoisted the tray. “Hence the need for lemonade.”
    “Oh, go on with you.” Mrs. Biggs

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