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 Page B

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
at the time of our marriage. Therefore, your consent wasn’t strictly necessary.” Reaching into his pocket, Nick pulled out the document in question. “I read this very carefully before I signed it, and I have since had my solicitor check it over. Strange, there is no mention of votes in it, yet the question of Juliet’s dowry was spelled out in rather vague terms.” He unfolded the paper. “ The dowry of Lady Juliet Nordsworth shall not be paid to Nicholas Hartford Pennington, Viscount Rotherford, until such time as Thomas Richard Nordsworth, Earl of Clarenhurst, deems fit . Peculiar wording, don’t you think?”
    “Yet you signed it.”
    “I did, indeed. It suited me perfectly.”
    The earl snorted his disgust. “Not likely. You want her money, don’t you?”
    “I have no need of it. I wanted only Juliet. Whether you choose to believe that or not is your choice.”
    “Are you implying that I cannot count on your vote tomorrow?”
    “Oh, yes,” Nick replied. “You can count on the fact that I will, indeed, cast my vote. However, you cannot in any way influence it.” He arched a brow. “Did you really think you could?”
    Clarenhurst’s scowl had been known to strike terror in the hearts of his adversaries, often goading them into headlong flight. Rotherford, however, merely smiled at it.
    “You cannot browbeat me, either,” Nick said. “I refuse to be bullied or intimidated, and as I see it, you have no hold over me whatsoever. Nothing legal , anyway.”
    “You are married to my daughter,” Clarenhurst shot back.
    “Very true. However, that only makes you my father-in-law. Juliet is my wife , and if you ever intend to see her again—or meet your grandchildren—you would do well to remember it.”
    “You would keep my grandchildren from me to blackmail me into paying you her dowry?”
    “Really, Clarenhurst,” Nick drawled. “Blackmail is such an ugly word, and I believe I’ve already made myself clear on the subject of Juliet’s dowry. I do not want it. I shall put that in writing if necessary.”
    “You may not want it, but you cannot stop me from giving it to any child of hers.”
    This tactic was so unexpected, Nick nearly choked on his wine. “True,” he conceded. “I cannot—nor can I stop you from giving it to Juliet, although I must caution you not to attempt to use that money as a means to turn my wife or my children against me. You will regret it.”
    Clarenhurst glanced up sharply at the steel in Nick’s voice. “Do you seek to threaten me?”
    “Not at all,” Nick replied. “Nor will I be threatened by you. I simply wish to make my meaning quite clear.” With a short laugh, he added, “I must say, you surprise me. I had no idea you were so anxious to part with such a large sum.”
    The earl shrugged. “My son has yet to produce any offspring after three years of marriage. I hadn’t realized it had been so long until recently.” His face sagged along with his shoulders, erasing the casual nature of his shrug. “Time has a tendency to pass more quickly when one reaches a certain age.”
    Which explained a great deal. “And from that, we may safely assume that Juliet’s may be the only grandchildren you will ever have.”
    “Just so. They will not inherit the earldom—that would go to my nephew’s son—but every man has pride in his lineage, whether he be an earl or a blacksmith, and I would not wish to see my line die out.”
    Nick arched a skeptical brow. “Are you certain that is your only concern? Do you not wish to dandle a grandchild upon your knee before you depart from this life?”
    The older man’s brow furrowed, and his chin rose in defiance. “You are too young to understand the motives of a man of my age and station.”
    “Oh, I think I can guess,” Nick said, ignoring the earl’s stiff tone. “When one reaches their dotage, one wishes to be surrounded by a loving family rather than receiving occasional duty visits from distant relations who

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