A Kind And Decent Man. Mary Brendan

A Kind And Decent Man - Mary Brendan

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      Hard, unsteady fingers lifted to her cheek before sliding across her jaw. Long sooty lashes parted to reveal tortured relief in David’s sapphire eyes. “What in damnation do you think you’re doing here?” he gritted out.

      “Looking for you,” Victoria answered with rash honesty.

      Mary Brendan was born in North London and lived there for nineteen years before marrying and migrating north to Hertfordshire. She was grammar-school educated and has been at various times in her working life a personnel secretary for an international oil company, a property developer and a landlady. Presently working part-time in a local library, she dedicates hard-won leisure hours to antique browsing, curries and keeping up with two lively sons.

      A Kind and Decent Man

      Mary Brendan



      MILLS & BOON

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       Chapter One

       Chapter Two

       Chapter Three

       Chapter Four

       Chapter Five

       Chapter Six

       Chapter Seven

       Chapter Eight

       Chapter Nine

       Chapter Ten

       Chapter Eleven

       Chapter Twelve

       Chapter Thirteen

       Chapter Fourteen

       Chapter Fifteen



      ‘I’m begging you to hear me out, sir!’

      ‘Remove yourself. I have nothing further to say to you and will listen to no more.’ The words snapped out, the frail man showed his visitor a slumped-shouldered back.

      ‘You will hear me out.’ The quiet determination had the elderly gentleman twisting unsteadily about. Undisguised alarm in weak grey eyes elicited a sardonic tilt to the youthful supplicant’s mouth. Talk of fighting had obviously also reached his ears. The doddering fool probably believed him disposed to hitting someone almost thrice his age. He reined in his temper, politely but firmly requesting, ‘Please, let me at least speak to your daughter before I leave…’

      ‘My daughter is removed to Hertfordshire with her aunt.’ The information was bitten out in icy triumph. ‘She seemed unaware of your true character but I have now told her of your revolting habits and morals. Moreover, she knows her duty to her father.’

      Fierce blue eyes bored relentlessly into watering grey. A white line traced around the young man’s thin, compressed lips and a cord of muscle formed, jerking a lean cheek.

      Instinctively the girl’s father stumbled back a few steps. He knew of his dangerous reputation. Oh, he had heard every sordid detail gossiped abroad, and he knew this was not a man to trifle with. But his contempt was impossible to contain, and finally exploded in a hissed, ‘You have the effrontery to come here and offer for my daughter? You? The younger son of a bankrupt viscount, with no prospect of title or wealth to recommend you? You, with your gambling, your whoring, your brawling…your disgusting breeding? If your parents were struck down dead in the street I doubt that carrion would risk the taint of picking them over.’ He had gone too far, he was sure, and his bloodless, puckered lips pressed so firmly shut they disappeared.

      A flash of even white teeth revealed the young man’s appreciation of the imagery and the mirthless smile terrorised the elderly man more than the leashed rage he could sense radiating from him.

      ‘Remove yourself before I call Brook to eject you.’ The words were pushed out, emerging in a strangled whisper.

      The threat provoked no more than a careless elevation in the young petitioner’s thick dark brows. But he exhaled a steadying breath through set teeth. ‘I am aware, sir, that at present I have little to offer. But within two months I will have. I have several deals on the table and the prospect of much more. I can raise considerable finance through a private source…’

      ‘You think you can buy my daughter?’ the elderly man spat, hoarse with outrage, bony fists quaking at his sides.

      Exasperatedly snapping back his dark head, the young man finally yielded and pivoted on his heel. He turned by the door and leaned his tall, powerful figure back against its mahogany panels. Sapphire eyes narrowed in his handsome, angular face, riveting into his gaunt, stooped tormentor. ‘Oh, I know I can,’ he softly promised, before quietly closing the door behind him.

      Chapter One

      ‘Promise you will, Victoria.’ The whispered words were thready and Victoria Hart inclined her head closer to her husband.

      A thin-skinned, thick-veined hand trembled out and rested upon the crumpled black satin of her hair. He stirred it beneath his fingers. ‘Promise me, my dear, that you will write to him and tell him. I want you to do it now…this minute.’

      ‘Hush,’ Victoria soothed, closing wet grey eyes to shield her grief from him. ‘You can write yourself when you are feeling a little better.’ The words were gasped out as she battled against the tears threatening to close her throat at such futile

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