Independent Brake (The Dominion Falls Series)

Independent Brake (The Dominion Falls Series) by Sarah Cass Read Free Book Online

Book: Independent Brake (The Dominion Falls Series) by Sarah Cass Read Free Book Online
Authors: Sarah Cass
Tags: Romance, Western, cowboy, suffragette, historical western, 99 cent romance
change settled around her, for she knew many things would change now. If they managed perfect discretion, things would mostly change only for her, but that was enough. Just as when she’d left home to come to Chicago, the fear she felt stimulated her almost as much as it held her back.
    The carriage slowed to a stop in front of a simple, but stately stone-front home. The tall windows shimmered with light, but not a soul passed near them. When the carriage door was open for her, Katherine accepted the driver’s hand and stepped out.
    Rather than give into her own hesitation, she strode up to the door straight away. Before she could even knock, the door opened to reveal a butler very unlike the one her parents had hired years back.
    Instead of a stuffy, grumpy older gentleman, this man was young, and smiled warmly. He nodded in a quick bow. “Miss Wells. Please, come in. Mr. Warner is expecting you. May I take your shawl?”
    “Yes, thank you.” She shed the wrap and offered the butler a smile.
    “I’m Loren, if you need anything, please don’t hesitate to let me know.” Loren gestured to the room on their right. “Mr. Warner is in the parlor.”
    “Thank you, Loren.” Katherine stepped to the doorway, but hesitated there.
    In the room, Patrick sat with his back to the door. The corner of a book was visible around the edge of the chair. A glass of liquor sat beside him, a fire crackled in the fireplace in front of him. One the right was a settee under the closest window. To her left sat a piano, dusty from disuse.
    “No one has touched it since my sister went and got herself married.” Patrick rose from his chair with a warm smile. “You don’t happen to play do you?”
    “It’s been years, but I did have lessons when I was a child.” Katherine returned his smile and stepped into the room. “I don’t dare play for fear of hurting your ears.”
    “Too bad. Please, come in. Would you care for a drink?”
    “Please. I’m a bit nervous, I must admit.”
    “Do you like whiskey?”
    “I’m not sure. I’ve had beer and wine and champagne, and even a sip of brandy, but I’ve never tried whiskey.”
    “And you call yourself a mining camp child,” he tsked as he crossed to his liquor cabinet. While he poured her a glass, he spoke, “I find that whiskey is good for a bracing blow of strength. It’s also good if you’re just out to get drunk.”
    “I thought that’s what beer was for.”
    “Beer is to get out of drinking bad water, made with bad water.” He handed her the glass. “It’s the everyman’s drink. So is whiskey, I suppose.”
    Katherine eyed the glass, unsure if she should go forward. After a sigh, she lifted the glass to her lips and tossed back her head. The liquid burned down her throat, and she coughed as she handed it back. Once the burning sensation passed, a pleasurable shiver passed through her and helped her shake off her nerves.
    “Better?”
    “Yes, actually. Might I have a little more?” She didn’t bother to be embarrassed by his chuckle. On a night like this, liquid courage was required.
    “I don’t usually explain my methods, but as this is a unique situation, perhaps it would help?”
    “I believe it might.”
    He returned with another full glass for her, and one for himself. After he’d guided her to the settee, he sat beside her. “I’ve spent the past day considering this unique situation. I’m used to lying with innocent women, but most of them are rather swept up in the romanticism and my charm.”
    “And your humility,” she remarked drily.
    “Naturally.”
    When she managed to lift her gaze again, she joined in his laughter. “You might be charming, but that isn’t why I’m here.”
    “Precisely. So you likely have more nerves than most. Also, I’ve considered your friendship with Delphine both a help and a hindrance. She has likely told you many things about what it might be like.”
    “I’ve heard the first few times can

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