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Bound by the Christmastide Moon by Christina McKnight

Bound by the Christmastide Moon by Christina McKnight

Author:Christina McKnight [McKnight, Christina]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Published: 2018-09-10T23:00:00+00:00


CHAPTER 8

M allory sat in her rear-facing seat, her hands twisting and knotting in her skirt as their carriage made the short jaunt to Castle Keyvnor. She’d wallowed in remorse all night, her guilt finally getting the best of her when the day dawned clear and bright.

The carriage hit a deep rut and sprang back up as the well-maintained Wycliffe conveyance gained a bit of speed. The desolate seaside terrain was nothing like the lush greenery surrounding her family home in Launceston. Though still in Cornwall, her estate did not have the unrelenting winds and salty ocean air constantly battering the land.

Aunt Hettie groaned on the seat across from her and readjusted her position from where she’d slumped low.

“I told you I was perfectly capable of calling on Lord Lichfield at the castle without you,” Mallory replied, keeping her irritation from entering her tone. “It is only a ten-minute carriage ride away from Tetbery. You could have practically seen me arrive from your bedchamber window.”

Her aunt shook her head with a frown. “Not proper, not proper at all, a girl tramping about Cornwall unchaperoned. That Banfield family would have a right good laugh at the lot of us.”

Mallory had been correct in her words to Lord Lichfield—Silas—the day before. She’d slipped back into Tetbery without anyone the wiser. When she’d joined Felicity and her aunt for their evening meal, her dear friend had offered a powder to be taken with table wine to diminish the ache in her head. Mallory had nearly ruined her own excuse when she questioned what Felicity spoke of, but she’d recovered with swiftness, thanked her friend, and taken the awful mixture.

She may not have had a headache before, but the mere disgust of the powdery substance almost incited one.

“You do not agree with my match to the earl?” Mallory asked, already sensing her aunt’s response would be to the affirmative. “He is a kind enough man.”

Aunt Hettie snorted, crossing her arms over her heavy chest. “You met him for no more than an hour’s time. You cannot know if he is kind—or much else. He hardly spoke of anything of a personal nature.” Hettie glared at Mallory across the carriage. “Plus, he was raised in France. An English lord, raised in France. What will people think?”

At her aunt’s questioning stare, Mallory remained quiet. Never, in all the years she’d lived with her aunt, had Mallory ever witnessed Hettie giving a single care for what people thought of her or her choices in life. It had to be a ploy to convince Mallory the man was unsuitable because her aunt knew Mallory cared greatly about what others thought of her.

Mallory would not fall into Hettie’s trap.

Nor could she admit that she did, in fact, know beyond a reasonable doubt that Silas was an honorable man.

Which was exactly the reason they were headed toward Castle Keyvnor.

She needed to apologize for not trusting him, for accusing him of intentionally lying to her, to assure him she was resigned to their match.



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