Sari Robins

Sari Robins by When Seducing a Spy Read Free Book Online

Book: Sari Robins by When Seducing a Spy Read Free Book Online
Authors: When Seducing a Spy
care one whit about its favor. Tess wished she could be so cavalier; whether accepted or reviled, it was her world and she couldn’t help but care.
    Wheaton scratched a snowy whisker. “Could youimagine what Séverin would do if he ever learned of you? I don’t think he would appreciate the innocuousness of your efforts on my behalf.”
    Tess doubted that all the information she passed along was completely harmless. A little fact about a looming debt or a cousin in France could lead to further questions and deeper secrets still. But that was not her purview, and Tess chose to believe Wheaton’s little lie, for she could not bear to dwell on the truth of it.
    Wheaton’s bushy brows rose. “Can you imagine how he would treat a little flower like…what is your assistant’s name? You know, the one with the pretty dark curls.”
    A chill slithered up Tess’s spine.
    He shrugged. “I’m simply giving an example.”
    Tess willed her heart to calm. She felt like one of those newfangled lanterns, the ones with the many mirrors reflecting the inner light. With different people she showed different aspects of her personality, but none of them was the whole picture.
    Now, with Wheaton, she was the appearance of calm indifference, but she listened, hard. Nuance was her specialty; hidden meanings, his.
    Removing her hand from his, Tess coughed into her balled fist to adjust her voice to an even tone. “Is that something you anticipate?”
    “What?”
    “Exposure.”
    “I must anticipate every move our enemies might make. Even the most repulsive.” Again that grandfatherly smile. “But this is all conjecture. There is no danger that I foresee. To you or to your assistant.”
    Tess met that icy, all-too-innocent gaze. She realized that it was a mistake to try to paint Wheaton as anything but the cold-blooded viper he was. Better to appreciate the dangers than to get bitten by the hand that supposedly fed her.
    He sniffed. “I am simply reminding you how important the work that we do is to all that we hold dear.”
    “I wouldn’t be doing the work if it wasn’t important.”
    “May I remind you that it was money that led you to sign on in the first instance. Not patriotic duty.”
    Looking down, she made a point of examining a fingernail. “You seem to forget the fact that you were threatening to tell everyone that I’d written the article on the Brinkley affair in the Girard Street Crier .”
    “Would it bother you if people knew?”
    She shrugged. “Not so much anymore. But at the time, yes, it was quite incendiary. And staying anonymous did greatly influence my decision—”
    “There’s no need to discuss matters long forgotten,” he interrupted, holding up a hand. “I’m simply hoping to encourage your efforts where they have been less than forceful.”
    She looked up. “When have my efforts been less than required?”
    “When it comes to that society for females.”
    Tess smiled. “I would think that you have more important things to engage your valuable time—”
    “That’s why I’m the one who thinks and you’re the one who simply gathers the information.”
    Tess licked her suddenly dry lips, waiting for him to drop his coup de grâce. Wheaton’s gaze was too self-satisfied; he knew something, for sure.
    “Countess di Notari made application for membership at your society yesterday. Something you would already know if you were investigating the society as I’d asked you to.”
    Tess willed her cheeks not to warm. “I spend a considerable amount of time and energy at the society—”
    “On those wretched ‘good works’ projects, not on the members’ activities. What can you learn of use if you whittle away your hours at Marks-Cross Street Prison?”
    “Other members volunteer with me. But that’s not the issue. So what if the countess the informant mentioned has applied for membership? That doesn’t paint the entire society as seditious.”
    “But it’s telling.”
    “Perhaps. Or

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