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An Immovable Object


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"Let me see if I understand you correctly Lady Habersham," the blond-haired Duke sought to clarify. Her suggestion had awakened his senses from the mild attention he paid her otherwise. "You are suggesting my cousin marry my lover? Could it be that I did not hear you correctly?" The Duke of Buckingham put aside his glass of French wine so that nothing would cloud the moment.


"I would put it differently, your Grace," Edith sought to reply tactfully. "You profess to love my charge Gwendolyn, as I understand it. I credit your experience as knowing the nature of love. Therefore, I should think that you would want what is best for her. Is it best for her to live in your shadow and bear your children as bastards? Should she not have a proper husband and be able to walk in proper circles? If there was a man who would wed her, with her past, then I should think you would applaud it. If no such man steps forth, then why not one of your own blood?" There was no mention as to whether the Duke would continue to exercise some dominion over her once she was wed.


"If Gwendolyn wishes to marry someone, she can come to me surely and discuss it," George replied carefully while thinking of the best tact for sending the old busybody on her way.


"I am her guardian now," Edith replied. "I should think that we should both agree on what is best for her going forward."


"Why Francis?"


"He is a very nice gentleman, did you know? He gave up his room at Windsor for a lady. Heunderstands the nature of chivalry as so few young men do these days. And, he has the most marvelous hair," she noted with enthusiasm. "What lady could resist wanting to run her fingers through that golden fleece? You do know the Greek legend of Jason do you not? My husband had all the books on Greek mythology. They are wonderful stories even today."


"That may well be madam, but Francis is his own man. If he wanted to marry her, that would be one thing."


"So, you are saying you have no objection to him marrying her then?" By the movement in her seat the Duke knew that she declared the fact as a triumph, as if agreement with her plan.


"I did not say that."


"What did you say then?" Edith tilted her head to listen better, much as a hawk might tilt its head when observing prey.


"I say that it is best not to meddle in such things. Let Gwendolyn follow her heart, and let Francis do whatever it is he wishes to do."


There was a pause on the part of Lady Habersham, as if to silently scold the Duke. "It is one of the few things left to the older generation your Grace. It is our right to meddle."


George's stony exterior melted in that moment. Who was George Villiers to proclaim that people should not meddle? He was a master meddler himself. "Touche," he muttered as he picked up his wine glass in salute.


"Then let us find something else worth your meddling Lady Habersham," he laughed.

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