Hi Everyone!

Okay, so I know you'll probably hate me for this but at 12:00AM tonight, I will upload a chapter to this story. However, before that happens – cause I love bargaining – I would like you lovely, lovely, lovely people to do me a huge-ish favor!

So, here's the deal:

I have these two books: The Life and Times of Elizabeth and the Duchess and The Life and Times of the Heir and the Keeper. Yay! And they are now – for 1 week – available on Amazon Kindle. FOR FREE. Yes, this is clearly the important part. And I need 2000 new downloads to get my book deal. I have 752 from yesterday. So this is where you come in!

All you need to do is get my books for free! My numbers go up, bada-bing! And of course I update like a good person – not a horrible, evil tyrant-person…. – lol.

That said, I'll put in a bit of the new chapter in here (and yes, this is what /I've been working on, besides school and studying for this evil HUGE exam and doing research…etc)….

And could I just say, in the spirit of full disclosure, that I couldn't have picked a more ridiculous place to end that last chapter…My only excuse is that I had to run to the lab that morning rolls eyes…moving on…Btw, odd how I always wrote in the third person…

Mayfair, London

May 14th, 1816

"Hardly," his Grace remarked, more to himself.

She took one more step away and then paused, stiffening her back and preparing to tell him what she had practiced carefully several times in her mind.

"I think I understand what has happened, your Grace," she began, glad she sounded reasonably calm.

"I don't believe you do, Georgiana, or we would be having quite the happy reunion rather than this…"

She raised her hand to stop him and was only slightly surprised that he complied.

"No, I do, really. You didn't want a wife," – she ignored his groan – "and you have acted accordingly. You abandoned me in your hunting cabin, where I had the displeasure of meeting one of your regular guests," – his raised eyebrow was the only sign that he understood what type of guest she was referring to – "conveniently neglected to properly inform your family of my…existence, and would likely have continued to do so if I hadn't disturbed your plans by coming here. Well I will save you the taxation of doing so, because I am leaving today. Going back to Danbury."

She clarified the last at the odd expression that crossed his face at that pronouncement.

"You are not leaving," he began and closed the gap between them, so she was forced to look up to face him. She opened her mouth to refute that declaration, but he audaciously bent his head and kissed her into silence. The wave of pleasure she had at the first touch compelled her eyes closed and as he urged her lips open she let out an involuntary moan. At the sound she heard him groan and he broke the kiss with obvious reluctance.

"No, you are not leaving."

The statement brought her out of her reverie and she narrowed her eyes at him, steeling herself against the temptation of his closeness.

"That, was not…that did not mean anything."

"On the contrary, my dear girl, it meant everything."

"Perhaps to you, but I believe in conversation not submission to…to baser tendencies." She practically spat the last at him, angry with herself for succumbing to those exact tendencies. That earned the reaction she was hoping for and he frowned.

"Perhaps I would be willing to have conversation if I wasn't forced to do it with a child." She couldn't help the twinge of hurt that his words caused and he must have noted the effect as he closed his eyes in chagrin.

"I didn't mean that…"

"Of course you did! You think I'm a child; one you can leave wherever you please, who will ask you no questions and be amazed at your sophistication."

As she said the words, it occurred to her that she had just described, not necessarily a child, but a quintessential biddable young bride.

"And have I ever asked you to be any of those things?" He sounded too reasonable by far and it only served to irritate her more.

"You've implied it many times, your Grace." He frowned again, noticing the epithet in her use of his title.

"I would like to focus on the matter at hand, Georgiana. First, you are not leaving, so I beg you to please put that out of your head. Second, I would like to explain what happened that led to your unfortunate period alone in Hargrove. Third, I would like us to take the evening for the opera, I've just learned there is a particularly entertaining one which everyone must see."

"I already told you I'm leaving, I refuse to stay in this house," she retorted, aware that her decision was largely due to her unwelcoming mother-in-law. If this was Harthorn's house, why was everyone living here? She shook the question away and continued, "And I could not care less what your reasons were for disappearing; it likely is best that it happened anyway. I don't think I should care for a man who can barely have a…"

"You care for me?" He interrupted his awe making her blush furiously.

"That isn't relevant."

"It is extremely relevant, and for God's sake I had an accident!" He finished impatiently.

She pushed at him and was glad he didn't resist her getting away from the cocoon he had created.

"That isn't the point."

"How is that not the point?" His exasperation was all too clear.

She bit her lip and turned away from him.

What she had realized in her pacing here before he arrived was that the reason she had worried so much about him, the reason she had felt that surge of joy and even the rage that followed, at his return was that she had fallen – unfortunately – in love with the Duke. But she had fallen in love with whom he had been those last few days in Hargrove, with the man his servants had described, with the brother his sister so clearly adored. The unfortunate part was that this man standing behind her didn't love her. How could he? And she could not stay here worrying when he would grow tired of the "amusing child" that he saw and send her back to the country.


It was on the tip of her tongue to accuse him of the very thing she wondered about, but she couldn't and instead forced out the one defense she still held.

Tehehe…more to come.

Anyway, I feel like I've known y'all forever and a day and I really need your help now! Just download! And enjoy! Reviews are always welcome, of course :D

Tehehe, couldn't help myself.

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