Duke Ever After (Dukes' Club Book 5)

Duke Ever After (Dukes' Club Book 5) by Eva Devon Read Free Book Online

Book: Duke Ever After (Dukes' Club Book 5) by Eva Devon Read Free Book Online
Authors: Eva Devon
though in truth, he was rather stunned that even the progressive Cordelia would say such a thing.
    Cordelia shrugged. “From the way you’ve responded, I think you should marry her at once. Humans are much like wolves and swans. I do believe we recognize our life mate on sight.”
    “Do you, my love?” a deep voice said from the doorway. “I thought you were going to murder me for a good long while when we first met.”
    Cordelia’s entire being lit up as she spotted her husband the Duke of Hunt leaning against the gilded doorframe. “I almost did, you know. Several times.”
    Hunt grinned, crossed to her and swept her up into his arms. He sat then tugged her onto his lap. “Bloodthirsty wench.” 
    “Oh, there would have been very little blood,” she teased.
    “Ever efficient, my duchess,” Hunt replied, teasing a lock of her hair behind her ear.
    Aston felt himself experience that duality that had been all too common as of late. When in the company of Hunt and his wife or the Duke of Darkwell and his duchess, he felt both alarm and fascination.
    He longed to stare. To see the genuine love and affection that he had never known.
    That was not entirely true. He did know love. The purest love in the world. The love for a child.
    But this was different. This was a love he couldn’t fathom. The love of two adult people who accepted each other entirely.
    Derek tossed down the last of his brandy. “Well, I’ll be going.”
    “You’ll be putting breeches on, you arse,” Hunt growled lightly.
    “Your wife suggested I warm myself before the fire.”
    “Well, one should expect to be cold if all one wears is only a blanket.”
    “I lost my clothes after a swim,” he defended.
    “If you go swimming in Scotland,” Hunt replied flatly, “one should especially expect to be cold. Go to your room. No one wants to see your naked person.”
    Aston knew what he had to do.
    There was only one thing. After all, he had a reputation to keep up.
    So, he strode toward the open door. Once he was sure his front was out of view, he dropped his blanket, trailing it along the ornate rug behind him and allowing his arse to be in full glorious view of the Duke of Hunt.
    Cordelia let out a peal of laughter.
    Hunt groaned. “Scarred. Scarred for life, old man.”
    “I hear the envy in your voice,” Derek retorted and he strode from the room, knowing the sooner he went back to his merrymaking, troublesome self, the sooner he’d be reminded that young women like Lady Rosamund should never even enter his lusts. . . Let alone his deepest thoughts.

Chapter 5
    Derek strode over the heather-covered ben, drinking in the crisp, windswept air forcing himself to think of anything but her .
    Lady Rosamund.
    Wild, Highland lass.
    Adventurer.
    Beautiful, odd goddess.
    Ah, yes. She was all those things. And she was one other thing. A damned dangerous wench with the power to see him well and truly married.
    And that?
    That was never going to happen.
    It might seem strange, after all the trouble that his father had gone to that Derek would let the direct line die out. If he owed it to anyone to marry and have a son, he owed it to his mother.
    But he couldn’t quite bring himself to do it. Because if he started doing what he was supposed to, his father would have won. That cold bastard deserved to lose. Again and again.
    There was also the simple fact that women died in childbirth. . . His own mother. The mother of his son. . .
    He feared for Cordelia. He couldn’t help it.
    Women took death into their hands and faced it in a way no man could ever know when they took to the child bed.
    He heaved out a sigh. It was a dark thought for such a glorious place.
    He tried to focus on the rugged hills and the smoke curling up from the distant chimney of his destination.
    At present, distraction was essential because, despite all his own reasons for never, absolutely never, seeing Lady Rosamund again, he kept feeling his feet try to wander over the hills

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