Today, I thought I’d give an example of why Perry wishes Christopher wasn’t in The Earl’s Scandalous Wife.
Two days later, Perry was sorting through his ledger to balance his account when a knock came from his library door. Surprised that Paula felt the need to knock, he looked up. But instead of Paula, Christopher stood in the doorway, a question in his eyes.
“What is it?” Perry asked when he didn’t say anything. In all the time he’d known him, he never knew Christopher to be shy about saying what was on his mind. And in this case, he almost felt like his cousin was playing a game with him.
“I know you left London with a delightful young lady, but I don’t see her anywhere. Did she run off before you could marry her?”
“No, of course not.”
“Then where is she?”
“Not that it’s any of your concern, but she’s taking a bath in her bedchamber.” Why he was telling Christopher this, he didn’t know.
His cousin breathed a sigh of relief and walked further into the room, not bothering to wait for the invitation before he sat down and plopped his feet up on the desk. “That’s good. I tell you, it wasn’t easy to find a lady willing to marry you. Agatha’s been at me nonstop about finding you a wife ever since Sophie ran off with another gentleman.”
Fighting back the urge to grimace, Perry turned his attention back to the ledger. “Sophie wouldn’t have been happy with me. We would never have made a good match.”
“Precisely! I told Agatha that, but she was upset with her sister for days. You’re better off with someone who doesn’t crave constant excitement.”
“Oh?” While he knew Christopher considered him boring, he wished he wouldn’t point it out whenever possible.
“I meant the bad type of excitement.”
“I wasn’t aware that excitement could be bad.”
“Of course, it can be. Some gentlemen actually die in bed during lovemaking. Did you know that was possible? I didn’t until Ethan told me about Lord—”
“I’ve heard enough. Your point is well noted. Excitement isn’t always a good thing.”
“Fortunately, all has worked out and you’re married. You did marry her, didn’t you?”
“Yes, I did. What kind of gentleman do you take me for? I wouldn’t run off with her and sully her reputation by not marrying her.”
“Well, I suppose one could argue that she sullied your reputation since she was the one who kissed you.”
With a sigh, he set his quill aside. “Did you come by to mock me?”
“No, I came by to make sure you’re married. Agatha fretted the whole time you were gone. Believe me, it’s not easy to talk a lady into doing anything interesting in bed when they’re worried about something.”
“Does everything have to be so…personal…with you?”
Christopher shrugged and clasped his hands over his stomach. “I happen to find such talk entertaining.”
“Apparently. In the future, I’ll thank you to confine such talk when you’re with your friends.”
Perry shook his head and shut his ledger, deciding he’d continue sorting through his finances at a later time. While he knew Christopher purposely said things to unnerve him, he couldn’t figure out how to ignore them. If he could, then he suspected Christopher would stop. After all, how much fun was it to try to bother someone who didn’t respond the way one hoped?
The sound of footsteps directed their attention to the doorway and Perry smiled when Paula walked by. She got lovelier each time he saw her. He called out to her, and she turned to enter the room.
“My cousin wanted to congratulate us on our wedding,” Perry called out, motioning to Christopher who at least had the sense to straighten in his seat.
“Yes,” he said and shot her a grateful smile. “Thanks to you, Perry finally has a wife. You’ll never know what a relief it is that someone made an honest gentleman of him.”