Two Little Lies
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in the beginning. But not so often of late. And not at all, surprisingly, since meeting Esmée. Was that, perhaps, the definition of hope? Impassively, he studied it in the lamplight. He realized with a measure of relief that it stirred nothing in his heart now. The beautiful ringlet was…just a lock of hair. A trifling bit of sentiment, like his cache of bad poetry. A reminder of what a fool a man could be, were he not careful. But Quin had become very, very careful. Ah, yes. Despite the shock he
called it. Viviana spent an hour each morning seeing to the running of the household with Mrs. Douglass, a duty Chesley had charmingly foisted off on her. The rest of the forenoon was devoted to her harp or her violin. Nowadays, however, even her music no longer soothed her as it had done during some of her darkest and loneliest days in Venice. When it failed her now, she would simply leave the house to walk or to ride if it was not raining—and sometimes even the ill weather did not deter her.
back, Vivie,” he answered. She surprised him then by lifting her hands to his face. “I know,” she whispered. “I don’t look back. I cannot let myself. I cannot bear to question the choices I have made. But today, I—I just don’t know.” He closed his eyes and turned his face into the palm of her glove. He could feel her ever-comforting warmth beneath the supple leather. “Your touch is like a dream to me,” he whispered, almost unaware he spoke the words aloud. “So many times I have awakened to
there you are, my boy!” Quin turned to see his uncle, who appeared to be held hostage by the new curate. “Mr. Fitch was just telling me that he is a bird-watcher. Frightfully exciting stuff!” Viviana hastened through the hall and up the stairs at a frantic pace. Cerelia. Poor child. And more alarming still, what on earth had Quin Hewitt been doing in the nursery? She went straight there, to see that Cerelia sat perched on a table, stripped down to her stockings and drawers. Miss Hevner was
raven hair. The gown was set well off her shoulders, and left a vast deal of her creamy, faintly olive skin to be admired. And to his chagrin, Quin found his eye almost uncontrollably drawn—but to her eyes, rather than anything lower. Tonight her lovely madonna’s face appeared strained and wan. Faintly etched lines were plain about her eyes; not lines of age, he thought, but of something worse. Suffering, perhaps. How he hated that. Never would he have wished such a thing on her, not even in his