Seduced by His Touch(120)

By: Tracy Anne Warren

“Don’t worry. I’ll be there, though I doubt I’ll be much help.”

“I can hold your hand.”

“And squeeze it as hard as you like, too.”

She smiled, then returned to the previous topic. “As nice as Braebourne is, I want our child to be born here at home. Our home, that you chose for me.”

“Well, I just want you to be happy. And while I like this house, the place isn’t important. Wherever you are, whether it’s here in Kent or London or anywhere else you may decide you wish to live, that’s home to me.”

His gaze met hers, his eyes warm and full of love. After a long moment, he turned and went to retrieve the mail.

“So, is there a letter from Cade?” she asked. “Did Meg have the baby?”

Returning to his seat, he flipped through the correspondence. “There is a letter, but it’s from Edward.”

“Well, open it. Let’s hear.”

He read silently for a moment, then smiled. “She’s had the baby. A boy, born on the twenty-first. They haven’t named him yet, but they’ll send word again as soon as they do. Apparently, Cade would have written to tell us the good news himself, but he was too exhausted. Meg’s labor went on for nearly nineteen hours and Cade was frantic with worry. But mother and baby are doing fine, both of them hale and happy.”

“Oh, I’m so glad. What else does he say?”

“Mama was a godsend, apparently. Kept everyone calm. She says to tell you that if you haven’t delivered in the next two weeks and Meg and the baby are still doing well, that she would love to come here to help with your lying-in.”

“Your mother is wonderful, and I would adore having her here for the birth. Of course you must write and say she is most welcome.”

Jack dipped his head, but not before she saw a glint of relief in his eyes. She knew in her heart, though, that he had no cause to worry. Everything was going to go well, and next month they would bring a beautiful new baby into the world. On the other hand, she had to confess that it would be reassuring having his mother with them to give advice and lend her support.

Laying a hand on her rounded belly, she let herself daydream.

“What’s this now!” he declared. “Good heavens, I don’t believe it.”

“Believe what?”

“He’s really going to do it!”

“Do what?”

“Get married.”

“Edward, you mean?

He nodded. “He says the time has arrived for him to take a duchess.”

“Well, if Edward wants to marry, I can’t see the harm. I assume he’s going to look for a wife during the Season.”

“No, he’s already found one. They’ve been betrothed for years.”

Her jaw dropped open, stunned to silence.

“Exactly!” he said in complete agreement. “Ned says he hopes we’ll be able to come to London this summer to meet her, if the baby is able to travel by then, of course.”

She considered for a long moment. “Well, we’ll have to go, since I’m sure my curiosity won’t let me stay home.”

Their gazes met and they both smiled. A yawn caught her a few seconds later, her eyes growing moist with sleepiness.

Folding the letter in half, Jack set it aside. “Nap time.”

“I don’t need a nap,” she protested.

“You most certainly do, since you got barely a wink last night.” Standing, he leaned down to help her out of her chair. “Come, my lady. It’s off to bed with you.”

“Now why does that sound so vastly improper when you say it?” she murmured, as he levered her to her feet.

“Because I’m a vastly improper sort of man.” Enfolding her in his arms, which were long enough to reach around her, even with the baby between them, he drew her close for a kiss. “Aren’t you glad?”

“Eternally.” A radiant smile stole over her face. “I love you, Jack Byron.”

He kissed her again. “I love you, too, Grace Byron.”

“I know you do. You show me every day just how much. Now, take me to bed, my lord.”

Tucking her against his side, Jack did exactly that.