lawyer’s voice startling him so that he gave a jerk and turned his head to hear her reply.
“No,” Juliet replied.
“You will find it quite dizzy with activity I’m afraid,” Landon said.
She turned to face him. “Will I?”
Amos nodded. “There is always traffic in the street, functions to attend. You will be called upon in the afternoons by the ladies of London eager to meet the spouse of Earl of Broadmoor. No doubt tongues will wag.”
“I am not sure that is a good thing.” Her mouth turned down sourly.
“She is already on to you, Mr. Black.” Landon grinned.
“You jest as if this were a game, not a marriage.”
His chuckled died as swift as it began. “Forgive me, Lady Montague, it was rude of me to laugh. However, my wily friend is correct. Being my wife means that your quiet days are over and you may soon long for your country life. You will soon be exhausted from attending balls, musical evenings, operas, and other functions.”
“I feel at a loss.”
“Do not fret. My mother will be there to help until you gain confidence.”
“Ah, I see.”
“Speaking of the dowager,” Amos began. “Does she know of your—change in fortune?”
Landon shifted in his seat, not wanting to think about those keen blue eyes that would pierce his soul the moment they walked into the house in Kensington. “No, the countess has been kept in the dark.”
“I do say, clever of you.”
“Why is that?” Juliet glanced between the two men.
Landon pinched the bridge of his nose. He did not want to get into this now. He needed a few hours of quiet to plan his attack. Grasping at straws, he said, “My mother will be a bit miffed at not attending our nuptials.”
“Surely, she read the banns.” Juliet’s nervous glance darted back to his lawyer. “Did you not post them in the London papers, Mr. Black?”
“I did, Lady Montague.”
“Then she must have seen them. I shall invite her to your home for dinner this week.”
Not if Mr. Simmons did his job . He had yet to tell his mother about the venture. The last thing he needed was the sharp lash of her tongue before he could whisk his bride to the altar. So, he’d enlisted the help of his valet to keep the matter away from her prying eyes. Landon glanced out the window. “Mother rarely reads the paper. She is often busy with her schedule.”
“Still, we must have her over to smooth the transition.”
Amos raised a brow. Landon sent him a dark look and he erased it from his face.
“The dowager has a set of apartments within my home,” Landon explained.
The coach grew quiet.
“She lives with you,” Juliet said.
“I see.” Juliet grew silent, pondering the implications. “Nevertheless, this means I come unannounced,” she said, her voice flat.
He glanced to his left, the dismay evident by the deepening lines around her mouth. His heart twisted for he let her down with in the first hour of their wedded bliss. “My dear.”
She held up a hand. “Let us not speak about this again.” She breathed deeply and the hurt slid from her face as she erected a mask of indifference. “I shall endeavor to make amends.”
Before he could soften the wound, Juliet moved away from his side to stare out the window. A dark cloud descended upon his shoulders. Already he’d learned that his wife despised being taken for granted. Amos opened his mouth to speak, but Landon cut him to the punch with one word. “Silence.” He didn’t need to be reminded of his shortcomings.
Dusk settled across the rooftops of the city as the carriage pulled to a stop in front of a familiar, white-stoned doorway. He hated to wake her. Her head rested comfortably on his shoulder, while his arm encircled her waist, holding her safe. He analyzed the moment. It was a nice weight. Neither too heavy nor too light, maybe best cataloged as perfect. She turned her head and rubbed a cheek across his jacket front. The smell of fresh