Lord of Wicked Intentions(Lost Lords of Pembrook,Book 3)(42) by Lorraine Heath
And surely if her father had not been ashamed of her, he would have brought her when the park was teeming with people. She didn’t doubt that he loved her, but she was beginning to realize that he might not have been as proud of her as he’d always claimed. He’d never taken her into a dressmaker’s. He’d never ridden by her side through a park.
She supposed Rafe Easton did it without any embarrassment because he was notoriously scandalous himself. She couldn’t deny that he epitomized what she imagined fell into line with most ladies’ dreams—tall, handsome, with just enough aloofness to be intriguing. He would make the women come to him. She wondered if he would expect her to initiate their coming together. She very much doubted it.
If he waited on her to be ready, he would find himself waiting a good long while. Although perhaps not as long as she’d originally thought. She didn’t like knowing that he was such a loner. No one stopped to speak with them, no one shouted greetings. Rather people seemed to make a point of avoiding them as though they were in danger of catching the plague from them if they got too close.
Her initial reaction had been that it was because of what she was to become—a woman of low moral character. Yet she was coming to realize that it was more the wall surrounding him that kept people away. He didn’t smile, he didn’t greet, he didn’t acknowledge. He was a lord, and yet he wasn’t treated with the deference of one. She wanted to tell him that it didn’t matter to her that his business dealings rendered him not quite respectable. He’d made something of himself, and yet it was obvious that all his hard work had not returned him to the bosom of the aristocracy, had not returned him to where he should have been.
Swearing harshly, he grimaced. He must have tightened his hold on the reins because his horse sidestepped and had to be brought back in line.
“Whatever’s wrong?” she asked.
He gritted his teeth, shook his head. “We’re about to be put upon.”
“By whom?” Glancing around, she spotted the couple on matching bays trotting toward them. They were near enough that there was no hope for escape, but as they got closer, she had suspicions regarding who the gentleman might be. His eyes gave him away. The pale blue that resembled ice over a lake—but they weren’t cold. Rather they were warm and inviting, twinkling with amusement that matched the smile worn by the lady riding beside him. Her hair was such a pale blond as to be almost white. Her eyes were a molten silver. Evelyn would not have described her as a great beauty, and yet there was a nobility to her bearing that graced her and made her unforgettable.
They brought their horses to a halt as Rafe and Evelyn did the same.
“Brother, I never expected to run across you here,” the man said.
“Is Sebastian about?”
“Somewhere. Mary insists he make appearances.” He shifted his attention to Evelyn. “I don’t believe we’ve been introduced.”
“Allow me the honor of introducing Miss Evelyn Chambers. Evelyn, Lord Tristan Easton and his wife, Lady Anne.”
Lord Tristan swept his hat from his head. “A pleasure. You’re Wortham’s sister.”
“Half sister, yes.”
“So sorry for the loss of your father,” Lady Anne said.
“Thank you.” She was acutely aware that she was not dressed in mourning and she should be.
“She’d be in black, if I didn’t insist otherwise,” Rafe said. “It’s a horrendous shade on her. Does nothing to flatter her complexion.”
“I think we go to extremes on the mourning attire,” Lady Anne said kindly. “I say that as someone who wore black for two years.”
“You lost your father as well?” Evelyn asked.
She smiled softly. “No, he is quite well. Like so many, I lost my betrothed during the Crimean War. Tristan and I met when I hired him to take me to Scutari to visit Walter’s grave.”
“Tristan was a boat captain for a bit,” Rafe said.
Lord Tristan growled in a manner very similar to Rafe’s when he wasn’t happy. “Ship captain. There is a difference between a ship and a boat.”
“They both float on the water.”
“And there, the similarities end. If you would go sailing with us, I could demonstrate the difference.”
“You still have your ship?” Evelyn asked. She could imagine how wonderful it would be to be able to go wherever she wanted, whenever she wanted.
Lord Tristan gave her a kind smile. “No, I sold the Revenge to a gent who I knew would appreciate it and care for it. But I’m designing and building yachts. I suspect yachting will become quite the thing in a few years. We’ll be taking the first one out for a testing next week. If Rafe joins us, you’re more than welcome to come along.”
“I’ve never been on the sea.”
“I found it quite exhilarating,” Lady Anne said.
“If you’re testing it, then there’s a good chance it might sink,” Rafe said.
Lord Tristan laughed. “Do you think I would dare risk my wife on something I wasn’t sure of? Besides, I know you swim.”
“That’s not the point. Although it hardly matters. We won’t have time for the boat.”
“Probably for the best because if you called it a boat while you were on board, I’d heave you over the side.”
“I’d like to see you try.”
Evelyn had never seen two men glare at each other in such anger. Were they going to come to fisticuffs? She’d never witnessed a fight before. She suspected what was hovering between them had nothing at all to do with the ship or the boat. It went much deeper. Lord Tristan was one of the brothers who had left him, gone on without him.
Copyright © 2015 by Read Best Books Free Online