Saved by Scandal

Saved by Scandal by Bárbara Metzger Read Free Book Online

Book: Saved by Scandal by Bárbara Metzger Read Free Book Online
Authors: Bárbara Metzger
Tags: Regency Romance
uncle will fight you for Ansel’s guardianship. We might find we have nothing to say to each other.”
    “Now you are acting like a peagoose, my dear. I am not drunk, and I will not regret our marriage. I will not stay in London without you, however. I am sorry, but if you won’t have me, I’ll be sailing for Jamaica on the next ship. I’d rather be leaning over the rail than listening to all the laughter at my expense.” He took her hand in his and brought it to his lips. “Be brave, my dear Margot, say yes. That is all you need ever say to please me.”
    “I can bring Ruff?”
    “Ruff?”
    “My dog. His name is Rufus, for his color, but I call him Ruff, so he can say his own name.”
    “If you wished the beast to speak his name, ma’am, you should have named him Grr. Whyever would you keep such a mean, mangy creature?”
    “Because he loves me, and protects me. And I think he is beautiful.”
    “Very well, I will hire Ruff a cook of his own, and buy him a dozen pairs of leather gloves.”
    “And my dresser? Ella has fallen on hard times since her husband was arrested, for a theft he did not commit.”
    “The dragon Ella?” He shuddered, but nodded. “And I suppose you expect me to see him exonerated and brought home?”
    Margot simply smiled.
    It was enough. “Very well. You can bring anyone and anything. Except I think you should leave the fruit bowl for Mrs. McGuirk. Ansel shall paint us another.”
    “Then…then yes, my lord…Galen. Yes, I would be honored to accept your wonderful, generous offer.”
    “You have made me the happiest of men, my dear.”
    “No, but I promise to try!”
    With that, she threw herself into his arms, where she fit very snugly indeed. Galen pressed a kiss onto her forehead, sealing their bargain, before setting her aside. “As delightful as this getting better acquainted may be, we have a great deal to do, sweetings. I shall give you two hours to pack and change your gown, although this one is delightful, but I know how females set great store by such things. I’ll send a baggage cart for your things, along with a crew of footmen to help. Meanwhile I shall shave and see my solicitor to draw up settlements for you, and write the notices to be sent to the newspapers. And send a note to make sure Skippy and the bishop are ready for us. Better make that three hours before I get back with my carriage.”
    Three hours to prepare for her wedding? Margot had to laugh. Some girls took an entire year to purchase their trousseaus and plan their wedding breakfasts. But she had few enough belongings to pack, and few enough gowns to choose from. Besides, given more time she might find more reasons to change her mind…or fall into a mindless panic. “Here,” she said, handing him the diamond-strewn ring and the license, “you better take these with you.”
    Galen paused in his mental list-making: fetching a bouquet, ordering champagne iced, seeing that the rooms adjoining his were aired and ready to accept a new mistress. “The ring? Why?”
    “So you can present them at the church, of course.”
    “Of course.” She was not reneging already. Relieved, he slipped the ring and the document into his pocket, adding them to the roster of details to be remembered. Then he pried off his own gold signet ring, with the three trees carved into its onyx face, and pressed that one into her palm. He folded her fingers over the ring, then kissed them. “You hold onto the family heirloom. Lady Woodbridge-to-be, so you know I’ll be coming back.”

Chapter Six
    Whoever was about to say marry in haste, repent at—never got the chance to finish.
    The baggage wagon and three sturdy footmen arrived in less than an hour. Ella put them to work hauling trunks and boxes, and hot water for mademoiselle’s bath, Mrs. McGuirk had them turning carpets while they waited for further instructions, and waited for a glimpse of their new mistress. If any of the viscount’s men thought to comment on the

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