Being The Viscount’s Pawn – Extended Epilogue


Eighteen months later

Marcus could not believe that his life could get any better. He gazed out the window of their country home at the green fields of grass that expanded out into a deep forest. The sunlight was bright, and they were blessed with another rare cloudless day.

 He heard Edwina pacing the hall, quietly murmuring to their child. Her voice was soft and sweet, but he could tell that she was tired. It had been a particularly restless night for their child, and therefore, it had been for both of them as well.

 “Olivia, close those beautiful eyes and get some rest for mama, won’t you?” Edwina whispered.

Marcus smiled, his heart full. After Olivia had been born, he did not think he could ever feel happier than that, but every day that he woke up was better than the last. They’d moved to the countryside to escape the noise and bustle of London, and Marcus had not regretted it one bit. They now had time to enjoy their daughter, who would be turning one in a matter of days. Not only that, but they also were afforded the opportunity to enjoy each other as a couple.

“Did you finally get her to sleep?” he asked quietly. When he glanced down, he saw that the baby’s blue eyes were wide and blinking. “I suppose not.”

“As you can see, the answer would be no,” Edwina said, laughing gently.

Marcus looked down at the child, who was the perfect mix between the two of them. Olivia was graced with the exact shape of Edwina’s mouth, that perfect bow that he loved so much.

“My parents should be arriving today,” Edwina said. “Soon, I hope. I was told to expect them early in the afternoon, so I can’t imagine that we should have to wait much longer.”

Marcus nodded; he knew how desperate her parents were to arrive before Olivia’s first birthday. They had written letter after letter, and Marcus could nearly hear the excitement in the Baroness’ voice through the written words. He smiled; his mother had reacted much the same way when Olivia was first born.

Now that they resided in the quiet countryside near London, Marcus found that this was much the life he preferred. He watched Edwina cradling Olivia in her arms, the tender way she stroked the infant’s tuft of brown hair, and his heart sung.

Their child was the picture of everything perfect in his world. She giggled in her one-year-old voice, and Marcus smiled. He could not believe now that he had put off having a child for so long. His little family was everything to him, his entire life. Marcus reached out to stroke his daughter’s rosy cheek, and Olivia babbled at him, her eyes bright with happiness. Her hand reached out for him, grasping one finger in her fist.

It seemed so foolish to Marcus now that he had nearly thrown this away just to shirk the responsibilities and expectations his father laid on him even after the man’s death. Olivia and Edwina brought him more joy than he could ever have known without them, and he was grateful now for the circumstances that brought him towards the love of his life.

“Oh, Olivia,” Edwina said. “I do think it’s time for you to try for a nap! What do you think, my child? Won’t you try and get some sleep?”

“Olivia, you need to let your mother rest!” Marcus playfully scolded. “Here, why don’t I take her for a moment?”

Before Edwina could hand him their child, there came a knock upon the door. Edwina straightened in her excitement. He watched the look of joy pass over her face as the door opened to reveal her mother and father.

“Edwina, my dear!” the Baroness cried, throwing her arms up to embrace her daughter. “And, oh, the little one! Look at how much she’s grown, my goodness! Howard, is she not simply the most darling thing?”

The Baron stepped forward to shake Marcus’ hand firmly, a warm smile on his face.

“Good to see you,” his father-in-law said, clasping Marcus’ shoulder with his free hand. “I’m glad that the two of you are doing well!”

Marcus noticed that the Baron’s leg had healed completely. He still had a slight limp even almost two years after the incident, though he no longer needed a cane to get from place to place.

Just behind him, Olivia began to wail in Edwina’s arms, and Marcus heard his wife sigh in exhaustion. The infant’s voice rose overhead and reverberated off the walls, her tiny face red in exertion.

“I should say that’s an overstatement,” Marcus said. “With this little one, we’ve barely had any time to rest! She only stops crying when Edwina or I hold her. She fusses with Burnette, though the woman is so good with her.”

Edwina’s parents chuckled fondly, and the Baroness took the child in her arms. Amazingly, Olivia’s sobs quieted down. A laugh came bubbling out from the child, and her small hand reached up for the Baroness’ cheek.

“Now that we’re here, you two can have a little time to relax,” Sophia said. “We’ll have our luggage brought in, but in the meantime, perhaps you two should rest. There is no shame in a nap when your child’s grandparents are visiting!”

Marcus breathed out a sigh of relief, smiling at Edwina. She looked exhausted but was still the most gorgeous woman he had ever seen. Edwina turned to him, a heavenly happiness in her green eyes.

“A nap does sound wonderful,” Edwina considered. “Doesn’t it?”

“Absolutely,” Marcus said. “Would you really not mind, Baroness?”

 “Of course, I wouldn’t mind,” she said. “This sweet little cherub is the reason we came! Look at how big she’s gotten; soon to be one, my goodness!”

The Baroness directed these last words to the child herself, who smiled at the woman with a huge grin. Marcus breathed out a sigh of relief and turned to Edwina, who was already heading up to their bedchamber. She turned to give him a look of contentment, and Marcus returned it, his eyes bleary. His energy was depleted as well, and a little rest was too tempting to turn down. He found that the moment he turned the door handle to their chambers, a rush of exhaustion fell over him.

Marcus loosened Edwina’s gown and helped her out of it, allowing her the respite of sleeping in her shift, and Marcus hung up his waistcoat. The bed was more inviting than he thought it would be, and he relished the thought of having this time alone with his wife.

“This feels amazing,” Edwina said, hiding her face from the sun as she crawled beneath the sheets. “I’m so glad they’re here to watch Olivia for a little while.”

“That makes the both of us,” Marcus agreed, sliding in next to her. “For one so small, she has the loudest set of lungs that I’ve ever heard.”

“Shocking given that her father was once considered the quietest man of the ton,” Edwina said, brushing back a lock of his hair that had fallen over his face.

The two of them laughed together, and Marcus pulled her close. He breathed her in and let a strong sense of peace wash through him. Marcus took in the sight of Edwina’s tired green eyes glinting back at him, the way they closed slowly, blinking in her tiredness.

Marcus himself felt his eyelids growing heavier, but when he opened them again, he saw that Edwina had already fallen asleep. Her chest rose and fell softly in the light, and she looked like the picture of tranquility.

As Marcus gazed at his wife, his heart swelled with joy. He had a perfect family, and it was everything that he could have wanted and more. He knew then without a shadow of a doubt that his life had more meaning than he could ever truly know, and from now on, he would never have to worry about anyone’s expectations ever again.

In Edwina’s eyes, Marcus would always be enough.

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  • Wonderful story about two delightful characters.Edwina and Marcus coming together.Delightful.The Extended Epilogue was the best finish for a delightful read

  • Totally enjoyed this story. Enjoyed watching Edwina and Marcus’s relationship develop into true love. It was truly exciting and nail biting at times and kept the pages turning. Great Extended Epilogue as well, and wished it go on and on…

  • Totally engrossing. Filled with all the elements – danger, mystery, passion, intrigue, tenderness and love to a fulfilling HEA.

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