Duke Goes Rogue(74)By: Eva Devon
“Surprisingly, I am not afraid of that. Not yet.”
She bit her lower lip, afraid to tell him. “That my life will change.”
“It will. You know it will.” He held her tightly, kindly. “We will change. We will be parents.”
“No, James.” She blew out a breath, trying to find the right words. “You fail to understand me.”
“Help me to understand.”
She closed her eyes, then snapped them open. “Will you send me away?”
He gaped at her. “Why in God’s name would I do that?”
“I must continue my work,” she declared passionately. “I must continue to work with you.”
Oh so slowly, he reached up and cupped her face. “Of course you must. I could never ask you to be anything than who you are. What kind of a father would I be if I did such a thing to my child’s mother? We must be an example for the baby. You are not a vessel just to bear my child. You are my companion, my help mate, my friend.”
Tears slipped down her cheeks and she circled his neck with her arms. “We began as friends, did we not?”
“Yes and we will end as friends when we are old and gray. But we are also lovers.” He wiped the tears from her face. “We are the luckiest souls in the world.”
“Why, yes,” she said. “We are.”
Two Years Later
The little boy stumbled about laughing. He was chasing pieces of paper as Olivia and James discarded draft after draft of the new speech that would be delivered in the House of Lords next week.
Funding for proper orphanages was needed. There were too many children abandoned in the East End. And she, for one, refused to let them be swept up by the work houses.
Olivia peeked at her son who was delighted throwing the papers into the air and watching them fall. He shrieked with laugher when James grabbed hold of his middle and tossed him up towards the ceiling.
As always, she felt a mixture of pride and terror when her husband engaged in such exciting play. But she knew he was doing something that had never been done with him as a child.
James had never played with his own father. Now, he played with his son every day.
Oh there was nanny, of course, and a nurse. But Adam wasn’t relegated to the nursery to be trotted out once a day.
Their son played with them on the woven rug in the library or in their office.
They sang songs and played horses whilst they did the important work.
And as James tucked her under his other arm, kissing each of them on the temple, she knew why they did so.
Because they were a family.
Perhaps they weren’t a scandalous family or a terribly eccentric family. Oh no, they were the best family.
She held on to her husband and son, completely undone by the power of their love.
The best family in all the world.