How to Deny a Duke – Extended Epilogue

Six Years Later

“There it is,” Clarissa cried out and pointed through the carriage window.

“Stop!” Dylan called beside her, tapping the side of the carriage. At once, the carriage came to a gentle halt at the side of the road. “It hasn’t changed much, has it?” Dylan asked her from the opposite side of the carriage.

“To be sure, we should go inside.” At her words there was a murmur of agreement from her lap. She looked down to see their son squirming in her arms. He did his best to reach the window to look out at the bookshop.

“Books!” he called out when he realized what it was.

“Yes, Tommie. This is where your father and I first met.” She tried to pull her son back into her lap, but the boy was insistent, trying to scramble down to get through the door.

“Somedays, I think he loves reading almost as much as you do,” Dylan teased her, pulling a laugh from her as they followed their son down, with their nursemaid beside them.

“I think he loves it more. Though I thought it an impossible thing!” With love, she watched as her son hurried into the bookshop, aided by the nursemaid on one side and one of the footmen that had attended to the carriage on the other. Still so young, Tommie had to strain and lift his little legs up high to climb up the steps into the bookshop.

“He grows taller every day,” Dylan whispered in her ear beside her as he looped her arm with his, leading her toward the bookshop.

“That he does. Soon, we’ll struggle to run around after him,” Clarissa laughed at the idea. “It was hard enough running after him when he crawled.”

“I’ve never seen such a fast crawler,” Dylan said playfully, leading her through the door. The moment they both stepped inside, they fell quiet, looking about the place they could recall so well. “I cannot tell you how many times I have pictured this place, remembering that day,” Dylan whispered the words so close to Clarissa’s ear that she felt a shiver of excitement pass through her body. It ran down her neck and across her spine.

“I have, too,” she confessed.

They hurried forward, deeper into the shop, letting Tommie rush ahead with the nursemaid and footman, toward some shelves that housed books aimed at children. Clarissa was about to follow when she felt Dylan tug her to the side.

“Where are we going?” she asked.

“To find a book.” He was searching the shop, it seemed, for somewhere in particular. “Did I tell you I received a letter from Noah this morning?”

“How is he?” Clarissa asked as they sidled through a narrow avenue bordered by some very tall shelves.

“Good. Very good indeed, it seems. He is relishing his life greatly in the country in his little cottage. Mother is greatly enjoying her stay with him, and I believe he is falling in love again.”

“He is?” Clarissa asked excitedly as Dylan pulled them to a stop. “That’s wonderful.”

“It seems he has fallen for a local solicitor’s daughter. They are courting, and fortunately, this time, there is no one to object to my brother following his heart. With a little luck, maybe this time he will be able to ask the woman he loves to marry him.”

“I am so happy for him.” Clarissa was startled by the sheer warmth inside of her. Since her marriage to Dylan, she had grown to know Noah much better. She loved him as she would have loved a brother, had she had one. He was a kind soul, and the pain he suffered was fierce. It was a relief to see he could finally find his own happiness in this world.

“Have you noticed where we are?” Dylan said with a mischievous smile on his lips. Clarissa looked around them and up at the shelves, noticing exactly where they were.

“Oh. Here. Where we first met.” She giggled at the idea. “It is a good job that book fell when it did. Perhaps something made it fall?”

“God? Fate?” Dylan asked, making a point of pushing back all the books on the top shelf to make sure nothing would fall this time.

“Luck, perhaps,” Clarissa acknowledged.

“Thank God for a bit of good luck.” Dylan moved toward her. It was familiar, showing he was about to kiss her.

“We are in public!” She laughed with the words.

“But hidden by shelves.”

Dylan’s lips found hers. It was instantly passionate, with his lips molding to hers and moving in a delicate dance. Within seconds, he had taken her tongue with his own and deepened the kiss to such an extent that one of her hands was holding onto the shelves beside them to keep her standing.

“Ah-em.” The clearing of someone’s throat made them snap away from each other, to see the same shopkeeper that had served them all those years ago was nearby, pretending to be very focused on his job as he returned some books to a shelf.

Dylan laughed in Clarissa’s ear as he dragged her away.

“We were caught!” she said in horror.

“Oh well. Another precious memory from this place to add to the list.”


Clarissa tucked the son she adored in bed before she lifted a hand and raised it to her stomach. She and Dylan had been trying for some time now to have another child, but things had not happened as quickly as she had hoped for. Now, at last, she had some good news to tell him.

After bending down and kissing Tommie on the forehead one last time, she retreated from the room and went off in search of Dylan. After their excursion in town earlier that day, Dylan had found himself with work to do on investments. She wandered toward the study, finding him inside with a candle beside him to light his face and a pile of paperwork on his other side.

“You have been working for hours,” Clarissa declared as she opened the door and stepped inside. He smiled instantly as he looked up from the paperwork in her direction. She noted how he had shed his jacket and his cravat in his effort to be more comfortable, with his sleeves rolled up to his elbows. The sight of the muscle exposed on his forearms and the glimmer of open chest had her mind wandering. She found herself closing the door behind her, a very particular move that made Dylan smile all the more.

“Something tells me you’d like me to stop working for a bit,” he chuckled with the words as he sat back in his seat.

“Perhaps I could distract you for a short while?” she asked, rounding the desk to move toward him.

“You know you always can.” He pulled her into his lap. “In fact, there is an excellent way you could distract me at this moment,” he whispered to her, drawing his hands lovingly across her waist and down her hips. She wriggled in delight at the touch, loving how it was always like this between them. Every time he touched her, there was excitement and passion.

“Oh, good. We think alike, husband,” she said playfully and leaned down to kiss him.

The kiss was a passionate one but slow and languid at first, with each of them indulging in the moment. Not only was the kiss full with stolen and playful nips that made them smile into their kiss, but also intimate touches. Her hands ran down his chest, feeling the muscles that were carved beneath the waistcoat and shirt, whilst his hands caressed her hips and moved to her skirt, lifting it a little for a delicate touch against her thigh.

“Don’t stop, Dylan,” she whispered.

He didn’t need pleading with. He stood from the chair, taking him with her so that her back was to the desk as he moved her toward it. He lowered her onto the desk, placing her across papers and knocking others to the floor. The candle was moved to a table behind them, somewhere safe, casting them in dim light.

Clarissa’s hands were fast, almost as fast as Dylan’s, as he reached for the skirt of her dress and lifted it up around her waist. She undid the fastening of his trousers before she laid back across the papers.

“I love everything you and I do, Clarissa,” he whispered to her, lifting one of her legs and kissing down the inside. She squirmed at the touch, finding a breathy moan escaping her lips before he settled himself between her thighs. Stunned at the touch, she gasped the moment his tongue found her core.

“As do I,” she murmured back, finding she struggled to say anything at all as he kissed her in the most intimate of ways, driving her to the very precipice of complete pleasure. “My love… I’ll be there in seconds if you keep doing that. I want to reach that point with you tonight.”

He lifted himself from her, his smile so full that her hands raised toward him, pulling him closer to her. He didn’t hold back anymore. He released his length from the last covering of his trousers and found her center, pushing it inside of her.

The pleasure was instant. He started gently at first, almost teasing her with the softest of rocking motions, back and forth, but the more Clarissa lifted her legs, wanting more of the feeling, the bolder he grew. Soon, his thrusts were deep indeed, driving her into such a frenzy that she clutched at the desk beneath her, scattering more of the papers to the floor. Dylan clearly didn’t care about the documents, not when he was moaning her name in such a way, whispering loving things.

“So close, Clarissa.”

She could feel it too. There was something about these stolen moments together that she loved so much. The thought of them alone was enough to bring her to that edge.

He teased her again, brushing his fingers across her hips and then down to the nub of nerves that was just above her center, above where they were connected. With that touch, she was sent over her edge. The pleasure enveloped her, making her buck toward him as he stilled, spilling himself inside of her. Her name fell rather loudly from his lips as they came down from their high.

She giggled softly, feeling it vibrate through their connection as he lowered himself over her.

“Every time,” he whispered as he kissed down her neck and across the open neckline of her dress. “Every time is amazing.”

“I know,” she said breathlessly, struggling to catch her breath at all.

“Maybe this time, we will have made a brother or sister for Tommie.”

Realizing she hadn’t yet told him her news she placed her hands on either side of his face and urged him to look up at her.

“Love, we have already done that. A new little one is on the way.”

His reaction was instant. He kissed her again, so hurriedly that she laughed into the kiss, struggling to keep up with him.

“I hope you are not finished for tonight, Clarissa,” he murmured against her lips. “After that news, I hope to spend the entire night making love to you.”

The End

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  • Thank you for another extremely enjoyable book filled with secrets, intrigue, twists and turns. Love the ending, as usual, and seeing there was an extra epilogue. 🙂

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