Lord of Wicked Intentions(Lost Lords of Pembrook,Book 3)(89) by Lorraine Heath
Tristan explained what Laurence had told him. Mick swore harshly beneath his breath. “ ’Tis true that he never is long from this place. But of late he’s been spending more time away, so I thought nothing of it. You should make inquiries of Lord Wortham.”
“What might my brother have to do with any of this?” Evelyn asked.
“He stabbed him one night, right in the gaming area, in front of everyone.”
She stared at him. “What? No. Rafe told me—” She slammed her eyes closed, remembering the exact conversation.
“Say it wasn’t him.”
“It wasn’t him.”
She blurted a very unladylike invective, and opened her eyes to find the men staring at her as though they thought women were incapable of uttering obscenities. “He never referred to the man who stabbed him by name. Only referred to him as an idiot. I should have known. He has a very low opinion of Geoffrey.”
“One well deserved,” Mick said. “Although for the life of me I never understood where Wortham got the guts to do what he did. A more cowardly man I’d never met.”
“Maybe someone else is responsible for his sudden backbone,” Keswick said. “I’m of a mind to have a word and find out.”
As Evelyn followed Manson down the hallway, with Tristan and the duke behind her, she was amazed by how differently she viewed the residence. She had once considered it home but now she realized that it was her father who had made it home, not the walls or the portraits, the furniture or the decorative pieces—although there seemed to be far fewer of those. She wondered how many items Geoffrey had sold in order to relieve his debts.
When they walked into the library, Geoffrey shot out of his chair and hurried around his desk. “Your Grace, Lord Tristan, this is an expected surprise.”
She couldn’t fail to notice how he had ignored her.
“You know Miss Chambers, do you not?” the duke asked.
Geoffrey’s face turned a mottled red. “Yes, of course.”
“You would be remiss in not greeting her as well.”
He gave her a perfunctory nod. “Miss Chambers.”
“My lord. May I say that you’re not looking well?” He had lost weight, much as she had after the death of her father. His skin had an unhealthy pallor to it. Dark half-moons had taken up residence beneath his eyes.
“Your Grace, how might I be of service?” he asked, once again giving her a cut direct.
“It has recently come to my attention that you attacked Lord Rafe with a knife.”
If at all possible, Geoffrey looked even more ill. Sweat suddenly beaded his forehead. “He provoked me.”
“In such a way that killing him would have been acceptable?”
“It was—” He turned away, his hand shaking as he plowed it through his blond hair.
“It was?” Lord Tristan prodded.
“An unfortunate misunderstanding.”
“Where is he?” the duke demanded to know.
Geoffrey spun around, his expression one of incredulity. “I haven’t a clue. Dimmick doesn’t confide in me.”
Evelyn felt a jolt of unease and took a step forward. “What do you know of Dimmick?”
“Who is he?” the duke asked her.
“He owned the club before Rafe,” she told him. “He’s supposed to be dead.”
“If he was, he rose from the grave,” Geoffrey said, his manner superior as though he relished the thought of knowing something she didn’t.
“What’s your association with him?” Lord Tristan asked, menace reverberating through his voice.
Geoffrey stepped back as though he were in danger. “I . . . I borrowed some money from him.”
“Too much. He threatened to kill me. You must understand . . . that’s why . . .”
“Why what, Geoffrey?” she asked, marching forward until she stood toe to toe with him. “Does he have anything to do with you hurting Rafe?”
“I was supposed to kill him. Then my debt would have been forgiven.”
“You were going to kill him because of money owed?”
“It was either him or me. This Dimmick fellow is a nasty bit of business.”
“You bastard!” Without thought or planning, the anger roaring through her, she bundled her hand into a fist the way Rafe had taught her, brought it back, and plowed it into Geoffrey’s face. He landed like a felled tree, blood spurting from his nose.
Lord Tristan knelt beside Geoffrey. “Looks like you broke it, sweetheart.”
“What do we do now? How do we find Rafe?”
“We’ll take him with us back to the Rakehell Club. He might be able to give us some clue that Mick will understand.”
“I don’t know where to find Dimmick, I don’t know how to get word to him. He just shows up out of the fog,” Geoffrey whined, sounding as though he were holding his nose. It was red and angry looking, and Evelyn could see his eyes were bruising. She thought she should have felt remorse. Instead she wanted to hit him again.
They were back at the club, in Rafe’s office. Geoffrey sat in a chair while Mick and Rafe’s two brothers glared at him.
“I’d heard rumors that Dimmick hadn’t died,” Mick said. “Didn’t want to believe they were true. He holds a grudge. Makes sense that he might be responsible for Rafe’s disappearance.”
“How are we going to find him?” Evelyn asked.
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