Sutton's Spinster (The Sinful Suttons 1) - Page 82

“We love you Mama,” they said.

“We all love you,” Jasper told her, pressing a kiss to her cheek.

“And I love you all as well,” she returned, happier than she had ever imagined she could be.

At her feet, Barnaby sneezed.

Drunkard gave a small bark.

Motley shifted on her lap and began chewing on the counterpane.

“Arsehole,” Jasper muttered under his breath, leaning forward to pull the blankets from the dog’s sharp teeth.

“We heard that,” Anne said.

“His name is Motley,” Elizabeth corrected.

Octavia gave him a pointed look. “I am beginning to understand where the girls truly learned such words.”

He grinned unrepentantly. “Well, you did marry a scoundrel, Mrs. Sutton. What else would you expect?”

What else, indeed?


The culmination of all her hard work was in her hands. Her scandal journal’s first issue had finally been printed. Tales About Town had already sold all available copies that morning, but fortunately, Octavia had retained one for herself. As she surveyed the final effort once more, she released a sigh of contentment. She was quite pleased with the accomplishment, which was not just hers but also that of some fellow ladies who had clandestinely reported scandals and worked with her to write the columns.

Their aim was simple—not just scurrilous gossip, but gossip that was relayed in a humorous fashion. Lightness in a world of far too much darkness, as Jasper always liked to say. But then, there was mostly lightness in their world these days.

Smiling and humming to herself, Octavia found her way through the townhome to the room Jasper had begun using as his office whenever he was not at The Sinner’s Palace. The door was ajar, and she did not bother to knock, merely crossed the threshold, careful to close it at her back lest any curious pairs of eyes wander by.

Her husband glanced up at her entrance, a welcoming grin curving his lips. “Are you still carrying about your edition of Tales About Town, my love?”

She grinned as she crossed the sumptuous carpets in her slippers. “If I am?”

He rose and prowled around the desk, meeting her halfway and taking her in his arms. “You deserve to be proud of your journal, minx. I’m proud of it and you.”

She wrapped her arms around his neck, the copy still dangling from her fingertips down his back, but almost forgotten now that she was this close to her husband’s lips. “Thank you, Jasper. I could not have done it without you.”

“I’ve no doubt you could, but I’m pleased to have aided you.” He nuzzled her ear and inhaled deeply. “Ah, the scent of heaven. I’ll never grow tired of it.”

“I hope not,” she teased, shivering as his lips skated over the lingering scar from that awful day. It was a reminder she saw in the looking glass. Just how close she had come to losing everything. She had vowed never to take her husband or her children, or for that matter any of the goodness in her life, for granted.

“I understand the journal’s copies sold in less than ten minutes,” he murmured, kissing and sucking his way to her jaw.

She tipped her head back and swallowed a moan as he dragged that wicked mouth of his to hers in tantalizingly slow fashion. “Demand for the next issue is high as well, and we have yet to finish collecting all our gossip.”

Her network of spies in fashionable society was growing by the day. As it happened, ladies took great joy in reporting on the nefarious deeds of gentlemen who had once wronged them. Lord F. got so inebriated at Lady P.’s ball that he relieved himself in a potted palm. The Earl of M. is rumored to be desperately seeking a bride after a devastating loss at the tables.

And so it went.

Her plan of secretly renewing her acquaintances with ladies from her old debutante days had proven largely beneficial. The letters she had written had all been returned with gossip or vows to help. As long as they were assured their anonymity, the ladies of the ton were willing to report on every scandal and outrage.

He gave her a slow, sweet kiss before raising his head and gazing down at her with so much love, her heart ached. “You are a success, my love.”

“We are successes,” she said. “The Sinner’s Palace II will soon be opening.”

In the wake of the fire, the family had purchased a new property in a far more advantageous West End location. After some small renovations and the hiring of a chef, the club was almost ready for its official beginning.

Tags: Scarlett Scott The Sinful Suttons Historical
Source: Copyright 2016 - 2023