Sutton's Spinster (The Sinful Suttons 1) - Page 47

And how she wished it were a whip. She wanted to lash him. To strike back. To make him hurt.

His expression, however, remained impassive. “Is that ‘ow you see me then, Lady Octavia? A baseborn scoundrel beneath you in every way?”

“Yes,” she hissed, although it was not the truth. “That is how I see you because that is what you are, is it not? Did you know that neither Anne nor Elizabeth can read or write?”

Her words appeared to give him pause. “They can’t read or write?”

“Not a letter.”

His jaw tensed. “They will learn.”

Of course they would, and with her dedicated help. No thanks to him. All the irritation that had been coursing through her on behalf of Anne and Elizabeth mingled with the outrage of seeing him kissing another woman.

“Your daughters have been staying here with you for weeks, and yet you never noticed,” she continued. “Instead, they were in the care of a cruel woman who was more interested in drinking gin than seeing to their welfare. The girls have been running wild over a gaming hell, and they have added the words bitch and arsehole to their vocabulary.”

“Satan’s teeth.” He winced, then raked his fingers through his coal-black hair. “I ain’t perfect.”

The urge to burst into tears was ridiculously strong. But she would not. She refused to show a hint of weakness.

“That much is apparent, Mr. Sutton,” she said, careful to keep her voice cool.

His hazel gaze was dark, his countenance stern. “I’ve never claimed to be a saint.”

This was his explanation for kissing another woman on the second day of their own marriage? That he had never claimed to be a saint? Octavia was simultaneously hot and cold. Theirs had not been a love match. Difficult indeed to give her heart to a man who had essentially forced her into a marriage of convenience. A marriage of ill-conceived inconvenience was more like it. But neither had she expected him to be faithless. How naïve she had been. Had not his every interaction with her from the moment their paths had first crossed proven to her just how ruthless a man he was, just how jaded a rakehell?

Do not cry, she warned herself, tightening her hands at her sides into fists so that her fingernails scored her palms. “You are London’s greatest scoundrel.”

His lips—traitorous lips, lips which had kissed another—tightened. “As I said, there is an explanation for Mary.”


Somehow, giving the woman a name felt like a new form of betrayal.

“Who is she to you?” she asked, wondering if he was like most men of polite society, a wife on his arm and a mistress in his bed.

She should have suspected. Foolish of her not to have at least wondered—he was Jasper Sutton, after all. Perhaps if she had, she would have been more prepared for the inevitability of his infidelity.

“She works for me.”

“As your mistress?”

“No. I don’t ‘ave a bloody mistress.”

Part of her wanted to believe him with a ferocity that took her by surprise. However, the other part of her told her she had already seen more than enough proof that he was not to be believed.

“You have already proven yourself untrustworthy on the second day of our marriage,” she pointed out coldly. “Why should I believe anything you say from this moment forward?”

She wanted him to give her a reason. Oh, how she did. But there could be none which could ameliorate the pain of seeing another woman in his arms.

He raised a brow, standing stern and impassive. “If that’s ‘ow you want to play it, Mrs. Sutton, then that’s ‘ow we’ll play it.”

His every h had fled from his speech, but Octavia did not care what it meant.

She shook her head. “Is this a game to you? You could have hired another nursemaid for Anne and Elizabeth, one who would care for them properly. You need not have forced me into a marriage you have no intention of honoring.”

“I forced you, did I?”

“Yes,” she bit out, feeling furious and not knowing how to harness her emotions. “It was either marry you or become a companion in the country to spare my sister and her family the scandal. You did not suppose I wanted to marry you, did you? I wanted to remain unwed. That was my true wish.”

Tags: Scarlett Scott The Sinful Suttons Historical
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