Sari Robins - [Andersen Hall Orphanage]

Sari Robins - [Andersen Hall Orphanage] by More Than a Scandal Read Free Book Online Page A

Book: Sari Robins - [Andersen Hall Orphanage] by More Than a Scandal Read Free Book Online
Authors: More Than a Scandal
    “Open the damned book.”
    She breached the volume and the bindings crackled with disuse. Bold black scratches marked the first pageand she read, “Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.”
    “Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure ,” she replied distractedly, flipping to an inner page.
    “A play? How boring. Why bother hiding such a tome?”
    “I don’t think it’s a play at all,” she murmured, scanning the page. “Look, this is about tying knots. Intricate ones.”
    Yawning into his hand, he pushed himself up onto his heels. “That’s even worse than a play; it’s manual labor.” He stood, easily balanced on the tilted roof. “I’m appalled, actually, that someone thought enough of themselves to put such dry rot onto parchment.”
    Looking up, Catherine envied his easy grace. She had to keep herself from glancing down too frequently, or she’d topple. She squinted up at him and he graciously blocked the sunlight from her eyes.
    “I’m off,” Prescott declared, flicking dust off of his bright yellow coat. “And you see I was right about you.” He waved his hands wide. “Even while having the benefit of all this beauty, you read a tiresome book. You’ll never catch a man that way, Cat. Men like their women silly.”
    “And I like my men clever and modest. So I suppose that means I will have to do without.”
    He t’sked. “You have an exceedingly poor view of my kind, Cat.”
    “Growing up with the likes of you might have something to do with it.”
    “One day, Cat.” He shook his head, exhaling noisily. “One day some poor sod is going to come along and showyou the error of your ways.” Tapping his finger to his chin, he added, “Or perhaps that poor sod might be me—”
    “You’ve got the part about the poor sod right, Pres,” she huffed. “But the rest is rubbish.” She grazed her hand across the page, liking the feel of parchment under her fingertips. “I will never marry.”
    He was silent for so long, she looked up. He had an odd look on his face.
    He stared down at her a long moment, and she had the strange sense that he was about to say something important. Then he turned away and looked out over the lawn. “I miss wage-war.”
    “The battles?”
    “The victory.”
    “I never really liked the game.” She grimaced, recalling the times she’d bothered to play and had been the last picked for a troop. “It made me…tense. I always felt like something bad was going to happen.”
    “Like what?”
    “Like I’d never be good enough. I’d always cause the troop to lose.”
    “That’s why you hardly played?”
    “You can’t have any fun if you don’t join the game, Cat,” Prescott offered softly.
    “I know. I know. But I never wanted the responsibility for a loss.”
    They were quiet a long moment, Prescott’s old arguments hanging in the air between them. He’d always chided her for what he saw as her tendency to assume more responsibility than he considered healthy.
    Prescott dusted off his hands. “Well, I need to rally orI’ll be late.” Assuming his blithe tone once more, he added, “Promise me, Cat, you will at least try to do something amusing on this glorious day.”
    “Your definition and mine of amusing, Prescott, are worlds apart,” she replied, turning the page and reading.
    Lady Jamison is a fool. Spouting off to any who will listen about how she has so many jewels that she must keep a separate dresser for them. She’s practically inviting trouble. And then to show off the brass key to the dresser she keeps around her neck? Who needs a key when a lock is no match for anyone who really wants to break inside?
    “Weren’t the Jamisons one of the first families that was burgled by the Thief of Robinson Square?” Catherine asked Prescott as she scanned the page.
    When she received no answer, she looked up. Prescott was gone. She must have been so

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