“I promised Henry that I would keep our son safe.”
“He was safe at Thornson, was he not?”
“Until you came, yes.”
“Marguerite, what did you think I would do to a child? Is your opinion of me so low that you would believe me capable of harming a child?”
Her head shook beneath his chin. “No.”
“Then why hide him?”
She shrugged. “I was afraid…I thought that…” She sucked in a big breath of air. “I thought that if people saw you and Marcus together that they would think…they would assume…” She paused and buried her face in the folds of his tunic. “They would know he was yours.”
Darius closed his eyes. The pain behind her words tore at his heart. “And why would that be so bad, Marguerite?”
“I promised Henry to never let anyone know the truth. In exchange, he raised Marcus as his own and made sure both of us wanted for nothing.”
“So, he knew?”
“Of course he knew. I was not a virgin on that wedding night. I was already carrying your child.”
“From our wedding night.”
“Yes. Henry protected my child and my honor.”
“And in exchange he gained a son he could no longer conceive on his own. My son.”
She pushed him away. “It was not as if he stole him from you.”
“Heavens, no. He could not steal what I did not know I had. How clever of him.”
“Clever? You talk as if he devised some great plan for his benefit.”
“Did he not? You think Thornson held your honor and well-being above his desires?”
“Desires?” Marguerite fisted her hands at her sides. Her face flamed with anger in the midday sun. “Desires? What desires? What evil plots do you lay at a dead man’s feet?”
Before he finished his missions and returned to Faucon, he’d lay a great many evil plots at Thornson’s feet, but this was not of that caliber. “I did not say his planning was evil, only clever.”
“Please, Marguerite. Do not seek to convince me you have become blind or addled. Tell me the people of Thornson did not look upon your elderly husband in a different light once your condition was known.”
“Different?” Her forehead creased while she searched for an answer. “No. I do not think they did.”
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