A little wicked scene from Book 7 of my next Wicked Affairs book - unnamed at this point! And a little throwback, too. Tell me what you think.
They say bad things happened in threes and London was rife with talk of the newest bad things to have happened.
The most tragic, of course, had been the shocking death of Louis Ederline, the old and perverted marquess, who owned more primitive erotic art than ought to have ever been made in the first place. He left behind an innocent young wife some speculated had never been deflowered by her ancient husband or at least deflowered in the traditional sense.
The second bad thing had befallen the favorite horse, Maid of Cadiz, in a race at Newmarket. Not only had the thoroughbred lost, she had lost spectacularly. And to an upstart at that. The winning horse was owned by the Earl of Archer, Charles Standifer, running a horse he had owned less than six months and with eighteen to one odds. His wife, Alizabet, had thrown herself into her husband’s arms after, to the shock of all.
The third bad thing was bound to happen sooner or later. Lady Lindley bore her bad luck stoically. Her long-time lover, Trenton James, the current Earl of Dahlingford, had ended their one-year arrangement amid rampant speculation and accusations. For over a week, the Tattler had been full of on dits regarding lying, cheating and certain other insinuations one could hardly countenance. Though if it was to be believed, Dahlingford was the man to do it.
Unless one lived in London during the Season. Then anything was possible.
Rather than believe her grand fete would be ruined by death, debt and debaucheries, the Duchess of Pelham thought it might be a rather spectacular evening.
She saw her husband Randall VanLandingham across the room and shot him her best smile. As he always did, he smiled back, one brow cocked and one hand braced against his hip. Other things happened in threes also.
As she made her way across the ballroom, trying to get to her husband, she congratulated herself. This was her first crush at the renovated Grosvenor Square mansion. Wall-to-wall aristocrats, titillating scandal and the best of everything.
“You look happy,” Randall said, sliding his hand about her waist and ignoring the friends beside him.
She stood to her toes and whispered, “Do you remember that naughty suggestion you had some months ago about a third person with whom to share our bed?”
“Yes?” His brow hitched a bit higher.
“I’ve found the perfect person for us.”
“Does this willing woman have a name?” He was cautious with his question.
“Jet black, wavy hair. Startlingly blue eyes. Sound familiar?”
“If she is in this room, I see three or four possibilities.”
“He!” Randall’s forehead creased.
“Trenton James. I think he would be perfect. Don’t you agree?”
“My darling wife, I will need to be as dead as Ederline before I allow that to happen.”
She leaned against him, pressing her breast to his arm. “Oh, are you sure? He could tempt the most virtuous woman to sin. Why not me?”
Randall laughed. “Because you have me. And I am enough man to overcome any of my wife’s wicked temptations.”