Surrender to the Devil(Scoundrels of St. James,Book 3)(64) by Lorraine Heath
As the sun began to peer through a part in the draperies, Sterling watched as Frannie opened her eyes. “Good morning,” he said, trailing his hand around her breast.
She sighed and stretched. “Good morning to you.”
He rolled onto her and slid easily into her. He nuzzled her neck. “You feel so good.”
Rocking languidly against her, he watched the smile of contentment ease over her face. “This is a fine way to welcome the morning,” he purred.
She glided her hands down his back, cupped his buttocks. “I love the way it feels when you’re inside me.” She released a long, low moan. Turning her head to the side, she widened her eyes, stiffened, screeched, and dug her nails into his skin.
He jerked his head to the side.
“Wot’s ’at on yer back?” the little thief asked.
“None of your damned business. What the devil are you doing here?”
“What about the fellow watching you?”
He lifted a bony shoulder. “Sleep. Ye ain’t doing it roight, ye know.”
“I beg your pardon?”
“When yer foikin’ ’er, yer s’posed to make ’er cry. Me mum always cries.”
“Yes, well, I’m not at all surprised by that revelation, but you see I’m making love to her and that requires a certain finesse, which I doubt your father has the wherewithal to possess.”
Frannie started giggling and what had begun as one of the loveliest mornings he’d experienced went to hell. Bringing the sheet up to provide her with some semblance of modesty, he rolled off her and sat up, whipping the sheet over his hips.
“Aren’t you mortified?” he asked.
She shook her head. “Children in the rookeries often sleep in the same room as their parents, often in the same bed.”
It was a wonder they produced more children after the first.
“You there.” He pointed at the boy. “Go find the kitchen. Get yourself something to eat. And don’t you dare run off. I’ll send this beast on my back after you, if you do.”
The boy’s eyes widened. “Is it real, then?”
“Just mind that you do what I say.”
“Can I meet ’im?”
“Depends on whether you’re still here when I go down for breakfast.”
“I will be. I promise.”
The boy ran off, his little stick legs moving remarkably fast.
“Where are you going to find a dragon?” Frannie asked.
“I’ll worry about that later. At least for now, I don’t think we need to be concerned about him running off.”
She tiptoed her fingers along his back. “Were you really making love to me?”
He rolled back over onto her. “If you have to ask, then I’m obviously not doing it well enough. Let me try a bit more diligently before I go searching for a dragon.”
He made love to her twice. Yes, he most certainly made love. Afterward, she went to Catherine’s room to begin preparing for the day. She had a bath readied and took a leisurely soak.
She didn’t want to think about Sykes, but she worried that he’d seek some sort of retribution if he discovered she again had his son. As for Nancy, Frannie decided she’d gotten whatever she deserved. Just as quickly, she changed her mind. No one deserved Sykes.
His son might have a filthy mouth, but she didn’t think he was beyond redemption. What surprised her was the rapport that seemed to be developing between Peter and Sterling. For a man who proclaimed to despise light fingers, he certainly seemed to be taking to the boy.
After her bath, she had Agnes help her with her hair, then selected one of Catherine’s morning dresses. A dark blue that seemed dignified yet provocative. She was fairly certain that Sterling had readied himself for the day much more quickly than she had.
So she was surprised when she arrived at the breakfast dining room to find him not there. She asked one of the footmen, “Has His Grace enjoyed breakfast yet?”
“Can you tell me where I might find him?”
“I’m sorry, ma’am, I don’t know. Mr. Wedgeworth might know.”
“And where would I find him?”
“I believe he wanted to speak with Cook about luncheon.”
Indeed he did. She found him in the kitchen.
“Miss Darling, was breakfast not to your satisfaction?” he asked.
“It was very nice, thank you.” Even though she hadn’t eaten. She was most anxious to find Sterling. “Do you know where I might find the duke?”
“In the art room. Would you like me to escort you?”
The art room was on the top floor in the corner of a wing she’d not yet visited. The outer walls were all glass and the sunlight poured in, creating a halo around Sterling as he sat behind Peter. Peter was in trousers but what she assumed was a shirt someone had scrounged up for him was lying in a rumpled heap on the floor.
Sterling, holding a palette, was painting on the child’s back. A dragon, of all things.
“He needs lots of fire,” Peter said.
“Yes, well, you’ll take what I give you and be grateful for it,” Sterling said.
Sterling’s mouth twitched as though he were amused and perhaps pleased that he’d acquired a bit of politeness from the boy. “Is fire across your shoulder sufficient?”
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