Sutton's Spinster (The Sinful Suttons 1) - Page 49

He wasn’t sure which was worse, that he had not been quick enough to remove Mary’s clinging arms and lips from his person, that Octavia had witnessed the entire wretched incident, or that she had subsequently believed the worst of him. Her angry words echoed in his mind.

You are London’s greatest scoundrel.

Well, and if that was what she thinks of me, to the devil with her, said his mind. Too bad the rest of him wouldn’t listen. He still wanted her more than ever. Longed for her desperately. Now that she was his, the stupid lust that fogged his mind whenever he was in her presence—or outside it for that matter—had not lessened. If anything, it had grown stronger. More consuming.

There had been hurt in her eyes. He had caused it. And he had never intended to bring her even a moment of distress.

She believed he had forced her into marrying him. Did she think him a complete villain? A monster? A man capable of bedding his wife one night and then tupping a moll in his office the very next afternoon?

He hated that she believed he was such a callous bastard.

He hated that he wanted to be a better man for her.

Not a man who had failed to realize his daughters could not read or write. But a man his wife looked at with love in her eyes.

Christ, what a stupid arsehole he was.


Rafe’s voice tore Jasper from his thoughts.

He turned his attention away from the smoldering ruins and back to his brother. “What is it?”

“I asked you what we’re going to do to the goddamn Bradleys to make them pay,” Rafe snarled.

He was getting soft.

Two days as a married man, and he was already as yielding as pudding.

“I’m going to bloody well baste old Tim Bradley,” he growled, forcing away the lingering lust that coiled in his belly and burned in his blood. His cock had been throbbing ever since he’d left Olivia’s bed the night before, but he had forced himself to the floor and to maintain his usual routine because he would not be led about by his prick. But also, he had no wish to make too many demands of her.

Octavia had been a virgin, and he was not a small man. Likely, she would be sore today. There had been no sign of that, of course, when she had stormed into his office as he’d been shocked by Mary’s ardor. Some of which would have been aided by blue ruin. He had tasted gin in her kiss, and she wore the jaded look of a strumpet who had made her bed with far too many coves.

The cold rains continued to lash at him, but nothing seemed capable of soothing the heavy, aching need for Octavia.

“I’ll be ‘elping you,” Rafe said, his accent slipping as Jasper’s did, under the pressure of emotion.

And of course he would accompany Jasper on this necessary mission. Rafe was a rakehell, but he was also unafraid to use his muscle and fearlessness whenever necessary. He was equally skilled with knives, pistols, and fists. A good man to have on one’s side in a fight.

“We will take Hart as well,” Jasper decided, forcing himself to return to the carefully practiced speech that attempted to copy the upper classes with whom their elbows regularly brushed.

It was an effort he made each day. Recently—ever since Octavia had come into his life—maintaining the façade had grown more difficult. He had not slipped this many times in as long as he could recall. That he had done so because of her was cause for worry. In the rookeries, a man could not afford to be weak. Nor could he lose himself in any vice, whether drink, gambling, or cunny.

He took one last look at the smoking husk of the building that was to have meant the broadening of their empire. The rain kept pouring down, lashing him mercilessly. Jasper took a deep breath, bringing in the soot, the charred hopes, the burnt wood and plaster and upholstery.

An old voice, sneering and low, returned to him from the dim recesses of the past he had done his damnedest to forget.

Do not forget where you came from, boy. You came from ‘ell, and one day soon, ‘tis there you’ll return.

Perhaps his father had not been wrong about that.

Jasper turned back to Rafe. “Time to pay a call to the Bradleys.”

Chapter 9

Octavia turned the page in the book she was attempting to read, words swimming before her but failing to find purchase in her heavily burdened mind.

The hour was late, but she was too distraught to sleep.

Tags: Scarlett Scott The Sinful Suttons Historical
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