By Elizabeth Rolls
Short-listed for 2006 Romance Writers of Australia's Romantic ebook of the 12 months Award
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It nearly choked her, but somehow she got the hated name out. ’ And bobbed a curtsy. Another voice broke in. ’ Chapter Two Verity wished she could turn to stone at the sound of Aunt Faringdon’s voice. Or at least to ice so that she wouldn’t feel anything. The soft voice bit deep. ‘You, Selina! Take yourself off. Presumptuous girl! ’ Lady Faringdon turned to Lord Blakehurst, all honeyed smiles. ‘I must beg your pardon, Lord Blakehurst. That sort never know their place. ’ She bore Lord Blakehurst away, casting a look over her shoulder at Verity that promised dire retribution on the morrow.
He grimaced. Given what she had done, it was entirely possible that Miss Verity Scott had remained at the cottage on purpose. Much easier to slip out unnoticed from here. He glanced around the small room. It might be empty and cheerless, but at least it was clean. No doubt Verity had seen to that. According to the villagers, Scott had became a complete recluse towards the end, refusing to allow anyone else in the cottage, completely in thrall to his opium. A chill stole through him. No doubt the loss of his arm had been a terrible shock for Scott, but suicide…He grimaced.
She’d liked bluebells. He’d beg some bulbs from the gardeners. A queer sound from Lord Faringdon brought him around. His jaw clenched, Max raised his brows questioningly. Lord Faringdon looked as though he might strangle on his cravat as he tugged at it. ‘Ah, well…um…as to that, Blakehurst…no marked grave, y’know. Sad, very sad. Weakness in the bloodline, no doubt. ’ Max’s stomach churned at the import of Faringdon’s words. No marked grave… Then she had…the memory of another suicide’s grave rose in accusation.