Yuletide Treasure

Free Yuletide Treasure by Andrea Kane

Book: Yuletide Treasure by Andrea Kane Read Free Book Online
Authors: Andrea Kane
didn’t even come out when your grandfather visited. Though I’m positive he knew the vicar was here—I saw him watch the carriage arrive.”
    A slight smile. “Noelle, you spend far too much time spying on your uncle’s window.”
    â€œIt’s only too much ’cause he’s there too much. If he weren’t, it wouldn’t matter how often I looked, ’cause he wouldn’t know I was looking.” On the heels of that bit of reasoning, Noelle pursed her lips. “Why don’t you visit him anymore?”
    Brigitte sighed. “You and I have discussed this. I didn’t visit him at all—not even the one time I went to his chambers. I merely went to ask if we could celebrate your birthday, and he agreed.”
    â€œI didn’t hear him shouting. Neither did Fuzzy.”
    â€œThat’s because he didn’t. I explained the situation, and he gave his consent.”
    â€œThen if you weren’t arguing and you weren’t visiting, why were you in there such a long time?”
    Heat suffused Brigitte’s body as she recalled the answer to that question.
    Those moments in Eric’s arms had been the most unexpected and exquisite of miracles—excruciating pleasure and equally excruciating anguish. Oh, he’d warned her, been honest with her from the start. Not only about his motives for taking her to bed, but about the aftermath, how it would affect her. He’d been right. They’d dressed and parted like strangers, leaving her emotionally raw, bereft, craving something Eric was unable—unwilling—to give.
    But he was wrong that the ache would result in regret. It hadn’t. Anguish or not, Brigitte wouldn’t erase their lovemaking for anything on earth. She was Eric’s wife now, and even if he chose to denounce it, they were bound in abeautiful and irrevocable way that was hers to cherish for the rest of her days.
    Lonely days, if Eric had his way.
    â€œBrigitte?” Noelle was tugging at her skirt. “Can’t you remember what you and Uncle talked about?”
    Brigitte’s flush deepened. “We didn’t talk about much, Noelle. Other than celebrating your birthday, which he conceded to—and Christmas, which he did not.”
    â€œWhy do you think you can change his mind about Christmas?”
    â€œBecause I’m a fool,” Brigitte answered, gazing wistfully down at the lush greenery in her hands.
    â€œNo you’re not!” Noelle’s defense was fast and furious. “You’re just up-to-mist … ick,” she added. “Up-to-mistick. I always forget the ‘ick’ ’cause I can’t understand how such a yucky word got to be part of a good one.”
    Brigitte grinned. “I see your point. And, yes, I am optimistic. However, I’m also playing with fire. Your uncle will doubtless become livid when he learns of my plans.”
    â€œYou’re not afraid of Uncle, are you, Brigitte?”
    â€œNo, Noelle, I’m not.”
    â€œWhat are you afraid of?”
    â€œ H-m-m?” Brigitte blinked at the sudden change in subject.
    â€œYou must be afraid of something. Like Fuzzy and I are afraid there might be big monsters under my bed. We check every night to make sure it’s safe. What are you afraid of?”
    â€œHeights,” Brigitte confessed.
    â€œHeights?” Noelle’s eyes widened in surprise. “You mean like high up places?”
    â€œ Um-hum.”
    â€œWow.” Noelle sounded incredulous. “Didn’t you ever climb trees before you got grown-up?”
    â€œOnly short ones.” Brigitte caressed Noelle’s smudged cheek. “Come. Help me gather a few more sprigs of holly. Unfortunately, it’s clustered in this area—far too close to your uncle’s chambers to grant me peace of mind. Let’s be done and on our way before he catches a glimpse of us.” She returned to her

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