A Lord’s Sizzling Riddle – Extended Epilogue

Three Months Later

“Well,” Rachel said as she entered Michael’s study. “That’s that. Miss Summers has proven herself to be the capable housekeeper I knew she could be. She’s arranged for the twins fitting with the modiste, has arranged for the seasonal refurbishing to take place in the next week and the preparation for the ball we’ll be throwing for Christmas is under way.”

“Hm.” Michael nodded as he set another signed paper aside. “I am glad she took to the promotion so easily.”

“Speaking of promotions …” Rachel perched her hip on a side of the desk, far from his papers and ink. “My sister is soon to be Countess Fulton, and from what I learned on her last letter, she has found a friend, Countess of Blackstone who is guiding her on all the forms of ladyship.”

“Ah, the Original of London.” Michael smiled. “She could not have found a better friend. That lady runs her life with composure and precision. She is brilliant too, and no one crosses her.”

“Kitty said the countess would rather wear trousers than an evening gown,” Rachel said.

“Hence the name Original,” Michael said. “There are even rumours she owns gaming hells too.”

Rachel’s brows lifted high. “Are you saying she is a bad influence, then?”

“Not in the least,” Michael said while scribbling his signature on another sheet. “She might be the best person to help Kitty navigate the world of backbiting ladies and scornful lords while becoming a lady in her own right. Lady Blackstone had to do so when her husband was found dead in the bed with his mistress.”

Rachel blinked once and blinked again. “Oh.” Moving away from his table, she found a seat in one of the main wingbacks around the table.  Looking at his work she asked, “We’re all set for going to Kitty and Robert’s engagement party in the next hour. Are you sure you’ll make it?”

“Don’t worry about your sister, she is in good hands, with her friend and Robert,” Michael said while signing a last paper and setting his quill on the blotter. “As for these, I am nearly done.”

A thought ran through her head. “Have you heard anything from Miss Stanley?”

He nodded once. “She’s comfortable in her placement in Exeter.”

Seeing the tight tick in his jaw, Rachel felt it prudent to steer the conversation away from the woman who had nearly—so nearly—splintered them apart.

After resting a paperweight on his papers, he sat back in his chair and rubbed the back of his neck, letting out a soft groan.

Spurred on, Rachel stood and went to his side, resting her hand on his shoulder and using the heels of her hand to give him a massage. “Good heavens, you are tense. Stiffer than a plank of wood.”

Twisting his head, Michael quirked a brow to her, and she blushed at his look. “That is not what I meant.”

Swiftly, he shot out an arm and pulled her onto his lap. With an eep, she felt herself laying sideways across his lap, and he grinned. “Ah, but I cannot help thinking about that anyhow. I love how you are, sweetheart, feisty in bed and so demure out of it.”

Again, she blushed. Since their first night together, he had brought out a newness in her, and their lovemaking had opened a world of wonder in her mind. They had spent every night they could in bed, with Michael introducing her to countless positions and endless pleasure.

Her cheeks pinked with the memories of how he had kissed, caressed, and worshipped every crook and cranny of her body. Yet even after throes of bliss, she found much more to Michael than his passion. Michael shared endless memories of his parents, his childhood, antics at Eton, and how he had put his nose to the grindstone and pushed himself to excel.

Resting her head on his shoulder, she smiled. “We’ve come so far, haven’t we?”

“Yes.” He stroked her arm. “Very much. At first, I had found Robert’s judgement not to marry Kitty before he constructed his house a bit ludicrous, but now it’s done, I can see his logic. It is the best pleasure a man can have to place the love of his life in his home, in his bed, knowing that proof of his commitment to her is all around them.”

“I think my father had the same thought when he built our home with his two hands,” Rachel replied. “It’s a badge of honour, I think.”

“It is,” he said. 

“Just as is taking in my family.” Rachel kissed his jaw.

After their marriage, Michael had insisted on moving her and their younger siblings from Berkshire to London, knowing that more opportunities rested in the city than in the country and would give her sisters entrée into the ton. Michael had hired a slew of schooling tutors, elocution, and dancing masters, and Jean and Jane had taken to city life like ducks to water.

“Thank you,” she added. 

He eyed her. “No thanks necessary. It was the right thing to do. Your sisters are going to be belles of the ball one day, and I might have to walk with a pistol to warn their suitors away.”

Laughing, Rachel sat up. “I’d think that is how you would be with our children. Jean and Jane are going to be proud aunts one day.”

He cocked his head. “Are you trying to tell me something, sweet?”

“We’ll be having a visitor; I can’t be sure …” she said quietly while taking his hand and resting it on her flat belly. “I dare say he or she will be arriving in … seven, eight months, give or take?”

 It took mere seconds for him to pick up on her meaning, and he stared at her, awe-struck. “Did you mean that you and I are going to have a child? You’re increasing?” 

She nodded. 

Michael gently sat her up, moved the object on his desk to the side and sat her on it. Then, he went to the door, closed it and flung the deadbolt into its place. When he came back, his stride meaningful and desire ripe in his eyes, Rachel felt her blood heat.

Rarely did Michael initiate sex anywhere else than their bedroom. She could count on one hand their time in their carriage, coming from the Opera and another in the Vauxhall Gardens, but nowhere else.

Now, his intention was bright and clear. 

“Michael, we’re going to be late …” she said while reaching for him.

“I hear fashionably late entrances are all the en vouge these days,” he said while reeling her into his arm, and he had her up against a wall in moments. 

He lifted her bottom and smartly she wrapped her legs around him as he undid his breeches. With a touch to her wet, inviting core, he took her up against the wall. Every moan and gasp, Michael wrung out of her, Rachel could see that being tardy to the engagement party was the last thing on his mind.

His hands gripped her slim hips, and Rachel loved his strength as he effortlessly lifted her nearly his length before slamming her down again. Spearing her hands into his hair, she felt her body flutter and ripple around him, utter bliss racing up his spine.

Rachel pressed her mouth to his, kissing him as she he drove deep inside her, the heat of their sudden joining her undoing. His fingers found her pearl and rubbed it mercilessly. 

Uttering a breathless cry, Rachel splintered around him, her body shuddering while pleasure took her to a higher plane. She grabbed onto him while Michael found his zenith and released in her clenching sheath. 

Pressing her against the wall, Michael buried his face just under her neck, trying to catch his breath. “You have given me more happiness than I thought I could ever have, Rachel. Because of you, I am no longer alone. I have hope and happiness and now, a family.You are everything to me.”

She cupped his jaw, feeling his rough shadow start to come in. “Just as you are to me. I don’t think, in a hundred years, or if I knew every word in the dictionary, that I can express how much you mean to me.”

Gently, he let her down, kissing her long and deeply. “I know, love.” After nosing at her ear, he said, “I think we have an engagement party to get to.”

***

The engagement party was small but sufficient, with Robert’s good friends, their wives, Rachel, Michael, the twins, and their mother. A scant few servants wove through the guests with trays of champagne and wine and the light from the chandeliers reflected on the gold paper of the large drawing room.

While taking a glass of water, Rachel broke away from Michael’s arm to find Kitty. Her sister, standing in the middle of the room, a few feet away from where Robert was speaking to other gentlemen, was glowing. 

She was clad in a shimmering gold gown that accentuated her small waist, the skirts billowing out before her. The neckline was modest and square, with small puff sleeves at her shoulders. Hugging her, Rachel nearly wiped a tear from her eyes. 

“You look wonderful,” Rachel said. “I don’t need to ask if you are happy as I can see it in your eyes.”

“I am,” Kitty said, while grasping her sister’s hand. “Deliriously so. Robert is a such a lovely soul. I don’t think I can fall further in love with him if I could.”

“I’m sure you can if you try,” Robert said smugly while he circled Kitty’s waist with his arm and dropped a demure kiss on Kitty’s temple. 

“Scoundrel,” Kitty teased.

“Ah, so you have found that out too,” Michael said while he joined Rachel. “Don’t mind his rapscallion ways, dear. He’ll grow out of them.”

“Is that my future son-in-law,” Hannah said as she came to join them, while fixing a fringed turban on her head. “Ah, yes. Welcome to the family, dear Robert.”

He bowed over her hand and kissed it. “Thank you, Missus Haddington.”

“Hannah will be just fine,” her mother said, then turned to Rachel. “I reckoned you two were going to miss it altogether. What kept you?”

Michael coughed into his hand and muttered, “Had to go see a man about a horse.” That made all four laugh. Robert clapped him on the shoulder. “Good man.”

Rachel pinked and sipped her drink. “Nevertheless, we’re here now.”

After a quiet conversation, the group dispersed, and Rachel got to meet Countess Blackstone and found the lady as delightful as she was strong-minded. Michael was right; Kitty had found a good friend.

“Care to take a spin with me,” Michael murmured in her ear while a four-string quartet struck up a tune. “I cannot wait another moment to have you in my arms.”

He led her to a balcony and into a languid waltz. She let him pull her closer. She preferred the warmth of his arms over a glass of champagne any day of the week. His steps were perfect, his gaze unshakable, his embrace scandalously tight, even for a makeshift waltz. 

“Shall we tell them, sweet?” he asked.

Rachel looked over to where Kitty stood laughing and beaming before she shook her head. “This is their night; let them have it. We can make the announcement another time.”

“So smart, gracious, and loving,” he said. “God, I love you.”

When the impromptu dance ended, he took them back to the room, took a glass of champagne from a passing waiter, and sipped it. Tilting her head up to him, she smiled while her hand dropped idly to her stomach. 

“Pardon me, dear,” Hannah placed herself almost between them and plucked the glass from Michael’s hand. Her mother turned to her, gave her a long look, and swiftly took the glass from her. “You shan’t be drinking this.”

“Mother!” She dropped her voice. 

The widow smiled and winked. “Don’t worry. I’ll keep your secret.”

With that, she was off, and Rachel turned to her husband. “Well, that’s that, I suppose.”

He shook his head. “Remind me never to bet against your mother.” She laughed, and happiness swirled around, settling upon her at that moment. She felt happy, full, an all-encompassing happiness, happiness born of love, and soon, there would be much more to share. 

THE END


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15 thoughts on “A Lord’s Sizzling Riddle – Extended Epilogue”

    1. This was a wonderful story! Rachel and Michael were a perfect match. I especially enjoyed the riddles that they would ask each other. I wish there were more of them. It added a nice touch to the story! I’m excited to read more of your books, as I will enjoy any surprises that I find inside. Thanks for a GREAT read!!

    2. There were a few problems….if Kitty was the bridesmaid why was she sitting in a pew? Secondly up until the 7o’s or 80’s it was stated as being. Father and of the Son and the holy ghost. On kindle there is a line that is repeated.
      Granny J.

  1. You have brought us a an amazing story that has plenty of emotional ups and downs. The machinations of the housekeeper was particularly spiteful. The extended epilogue is a wonderful glimpse into the Rachel and Michael’s on going relationship and hopes for the future. A very captivating story.

    1. Thank you so much dear Stephen! I am so glad you enjoyed the story! I really appreciate your lovely words and support! Make sure to stay tuned because my new book is coming soon!

  2. This is a very good and wonderful story where all the characters are dealing with one type or another of emotion Very good extended epilogue

    1. Thank you so much my dear Gwen! I am so glad you enjoyed the story! I really appreciate your lovely words and support! Make sure to stay tuned because my new book is coming soon!

    1. Thank you so much for your lovely words and support, my dear Ann! I really appreciate it!

      So glad you enjoyed the story!

      Make sure to stay tuned because I have more coming soon!

  3. A truly wonderful story. The characters were amazing. A happy ending was simply the icing on the cake. I so enjoyed it from beginning to end

  4. Thanks for a lovely story well written and mostly lovely characters, I must admit I felt a bit sorry for the housekeeper. . Imagine loving for so many years.She is Going enough to maybe meet someone to love and be loved the extended epilogue was a fine ending. Babies !lovely

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