The Lady Takes a Pair

By: Cheryl Brooks

In Days of Olde

The Sextet Presents… The Lady Takes a Pair

Lady Juliet Nordsworth may be the daughter of an earl, but even her rank cannot save her reputation following a scandalous tryst with a stable lad. Nicholas Pennington, the Viscount Rotherford, however, is in need of a lady who will not only provide him with an heir, but will also accept his current lover, William Davenport, who is also his footman and valet.

The Earl of Clarenhurst thinks he can secure Rotherford’s vote for the repressive laws he has proposed by giving the viscount his only daughter’s hand in marriage. Little does he know that his future son-in-law has both a mind and a will of his own.

Attracted to both men, Juliet is aroused and intrigued by a demonstration of their love in a secluded spot on Rotherford’s estate. Rotherford’s offer of marriage will free her from her father’s tyranny, but can she trust her heart to two men?



DEDICATION





For all of the wonderful people I have worked with throughout my nursing career. You have enriched my life in so many ways, and I wish health, love, and happiness to each and every one of you.






Chapter One




Viscount Rotherford was highly annoyed to discover that Lady Juliet Nordsworth remained apart from the rest of the company even though she was an invited guest. Yet there she was, tucked away in a quiet corner, her somber gray gown doing very little to augment her beauty.

Like a damned governess.

As the Earl of Clarenhurst’s daughter, Lady Juliet’s downfall might’ve been overlooked if her tryst with a stable lad hadn’t been witnessed by one of society’s most formidable dowagers. In the wake of the scandal, her furious father had banished her to the relative seclusion of his country seat and had cast her lover out without a reference. Evidently preferring to keep his wayward daughter firmly under his thumb, he’d refused to introduce her to society, nor had he bothered to marry her off to some worthy commoner.

Five years had passed since the scandal, and in all that time, Rotherford hadn’t given the story more than a passing thought. He had once overheard the earl comment that it was better for his daughter to remain a spinster than to marry beneath her station. However, now that he’d finally met the lady, the viscount longed to give the haughty peer a piece of his mind. Her spinsterhood may have been better for her father, but was it truly better for her?

Perhaps it was, particularly in light of what Rotherford had in mind. Unless she held a grudge against her stable lad, she clearly didn’t despise the servant class the way an earl’s daughter ordinarily would. No, he thought as he studied her discreetly. Despise was too strong a term. Beneath her notice was a better description of the way she should have felt—unlike the way she’d been watching William.

Her eyes weren’t the first to be drawn to Rotherford’s handsome footman. Of medium height with broad shoulders and a winning smile to complement his green eyes and wavy ginger hair, William could’ve had his pick of any maiden in the village. However, his tastes had run in a slightly different direction. Like his lord and master, he craved the taste of a man’s cock as much as the delicate tang of a woman’s warm juice.

Rotherford and William had been lovers for some time, but lately they’d both felt a certain longing for the fairer sex—aside from the fact that a viscountess was necessary to provide Rotherford with an heir.

He’d first become aware of Lady Juliet at a house party given by the earl. Rotherford knew that Clarenhurst, who had always struck him as something of an autocrat, had only issued the invitation in an attempt to drum up support for the repressive laws he was attempting to push through the House of Lords. Rotherford disagreed with the earl on almost every political issue, and had been on the brink of refusing when his friend Wrexham had advised him to accept, if only to keep an eye on the opposition.

Rotherford had reluctantly agreed, never suspecting that the earl’s disgraced daughter might pique his interest. He truly had taken the lovely Lady Juliet for the governess when he’d first spotted her—until he remembered that Clarenhurst’s children were too old to require one. Wrexham had verified that the lady in question was, indeed, the earl’s daughter, and was able to refresh his memory on the details of the scandal.

Despite his cordial dislike of her father, Rotherford had been drawn to her. With hair the color of ripened wheat and eyes a brilliant cornflower blue, at first glance she could’ve passed for an innocent debutante. However, closer scrutiny revealed a lady in her early twenties with a provocative smile that suggested a rather different nature. His attempts at discourse with her were thwarted by her father. Nonetheless, those brief conversations left Rotherford longing for more.