Escaping her Noble Past (Extended Epilogue)

One Year Later

Melissa looked down at the perfect little boy in her arms. He was only four weeks old, but already she could see his father in him. He had James’ chin and his nose, though he’d taken her bright blue eyes, and he already had a shock of brown hair. She rocked him gently, unable to pull her eyes away.

“He won’t disappear if you stop looking at him,” James said, chuckling at the sight of his wife.

“I know,” she replied. “But I just can’t get enough of him.”

“He is rather adorable, isn’t he?” he agreed with her.

They were in the garden of the Lornadale countryseat, a parasol placed over mother and baby to ensure they remained in the shade.

“He’s… I can’t even put into words what he is; he’s that wonderful. Besides, I have to get every moment I can with him because I suspect when Aunt Martha and Becky arrive, they won’t let me hold him the whole time they’re here.” she said.

James tutted. “I do wish you’d call her Rebecca.”

“But she likes being called Becky,” Melissa chastised—and not for the first time during their marriage.

“But her name is Rebecca.”

“And the baby’s name is Patrick, but you’ve called him Pat more than once in his short life.”

James smiled and nodded as he conceded. “Very well, you win. But only for now.”

They’d named the child after Melissa’s father. It had been James’ idea after he witnessed how desperately she missed him. The gesture had truly warmed Melissa’s heart, and she secretly vowed that if they were to have a girl, she would insist on naming her after James’ mother.

“What time are they due to arrive?”

“Early evening,” James replied. “Their rooms are ready, and I’ve had the cook prepare something special for dinner.”

“I simply cannot wait to see them,” Melissa said. “It’s been far too long.”

“And all it took to get them to visit was to produce an heir.” He chuckled. “In her letter, Rebecca said she simply cannot believe she is an aunt.”

Melissa looked down at the baby again and smiled. “If it wasn’t for the evidence right in front of me, I suspect I would have difficulty believing I was a mother.”

“But a wonderful mother you make,” James said, watching them lovingly. “I cannot wait until we have a whole brood of children running around the gardens!”

During the year that they were married, their life had become peaceful and relaxed. That suited Melissa perfectly, for she’d had enough excitement to last her a lifetime. They’d settled into a quiet routine, with James running the estate and Melissa socializing when she wasn’t doing charity work or needlepoint.

She still adored poetry, too, and at night, when they were alone, she would recite poems to her beloved husband, thinking of him just as she had that day she read romantic poems to Aunt Martha and Becky. It was when she was finished that he ravished her, and he did so often and eagerly. She encouraged and adored it. Their lives had become full of passion and love, and they could barely keep their hands off one another, often making love in whatever room they happened to find themselves rather than making their way to their bed.

Melissa sighed and stood up, babe still in arms. “I’m going to put Patrick down for a nap.”

“Why don’t you join him, darling?” James asked. “You look tired. And by the time you wake up, Rebecca and Aunt Martha will be here.”

Melissa yawned, unable to stop herself. “I think you are right; I will do that. It’ll be nice to wake refreshed for them.”

As she laid in bed, drifting off to sleep, she imagined what the upcoming season would bring. They were set to return to London as a new family, and Becky had expressed interest, finally, in finding a husband. For a while, Melissa had thought Becky would marry Lord Marles, but they didn’t suit. Melissa could see that now, but she was determined to find the right husband for her. Indeed, Becky had matured until a true young lady. With the guidance of her aunt and now, her sister-in-law, she had grown from the willful, silly thing Melissa had first met into a young woman ready to find the life she was supposed to lead.

When Melissa woke a few hours later, she was surprised to find Patrick hadn’t woken her sooner. She checked herself in the looking glass and ran a comb through her hair, then found her way downstairs. Everyone was in the drawing-room, little Patrick in Aunt Martha’s arms.

“Here’s your mummy now,” she said in a singsong voice. “All rested again.”

Patrick’s whole hand was wrapped around Aunt Martha’s smallest finger, and Melissa’s heart melted to see it. Rebecca stood up and moved toward her sister-in-law.

“Melissa! How wonderful to see you!” She pulled Melissa into a tight embrace. “I’ve missed you so much. Chidswell Manor is so quiet without you there.”

Melissa giggled. “You don’t seriously miss all the drama, do you?” she asked.

“No,” Becky admitted. “But I miss you and the conversations we used to have. I simply cannot wait until we all return to London! I have missed the busyness of the city.”

“And, of course, you are eager to meet those fine eligible bachelors who might attend season.” Becky blushed, making Melissa laugh. She leaned forward and kissed Becky on the cheek. “My darling sister, any one of them will be lucky to have you.”

“This boy is going to be a wonderful success, you know,” Aunt Martha said, interrupting their conversation.

James let out a peal of laughter. “The poor little thing is only four weeks old. He can barely keep his eyes open. How on earth do you propose to know he will be a success?”

“It’s in his blood,” Aunt Martha replied as if it were perfectly obvious. “We come from a long line of successful people, you know. And from what I hear about Melissa’s father and her ancestry, she does too. Little Patrick here has no other choice but to grow into a great success.”

Melissa giggled. “Something tells me you are a bit biased, Aunt Martha.”

“Not at all,” she cried incredulously. “Just look at him! He’s the most beautiful baby England has ever seen.”

Becky peered over her aunt’s shoulder and cooed at the baby, then looked back up at Melissa. “She’s most definitely right about that. Patrick is the cutest thing I do believe I’ve ever seen.”

Later, long after Patrick had been put to bed and Aunt Martha and Rebecca had retired after their journey, James and Melissa relaxed. He sat at the end of the couch, a glass of whisky in hand, while she lay curled up, her head on his lap and his fingers running through her hair.

“Did you ever think we’d get to this point?” she asked.

“No,” he admitted. “I tried to resist you so very much.” He chuckled. “But no matter what I did, you would not get out of my mind.”

“I could tell,” she said. “You tried to push me away.”

“Could you blame me?” he asked, lighthearted and full of love. “I’d become obsessed with you, this perfect commoner who was trying to take over my life.”

Melissa scoffed and sat up, looking at him incredulously. “I did not try to take over your life,” she said. “Quite the opposite, in fact. And then I was certain you wouldn’t rescue me.”

Their teasing stopped with that comment, and James looked at her seriously before cupping her cheek in his.

“I was always going to rescue you, Melissa. And I will always rescue you again, now and forever.”

Melissa leaned forward and stole a kiss, her lips soft upon his. “And I appreciate that,” she said in a whisper as she pulled away.

“But the truth is,” he said, his eyes still closed and his voice hoarse, “you rescued me as well.”

She tilted her head and looked at him questioningly, briefly marveling at the fact that they had never before discussed this in the whole year they had been married.

“How so?” she asked.

“You rescued me from me, Melissa. I would have wandered the earth, lost and lonely, had I not found you.”

“But you did find me,” she said, smiling at him. “Quite literally, lying in the middle of the road.”

“I did not find you by chance, my love, but fate guided the way. We belong together, always and forever.”

“And we shall always make each other happy.”

“We already do. I love you, Melissa, more than life itself.”

“I love you, James, and long may it continue.”


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  • Fantastic sweet story about three very different people.Excellent and the Extended Epilogue was a great ending to this sweet story

  • Hello Lorena, ‘Escaping her noble Past is another one of your excellent books that l could not put down, just when l believe l know what’s coming l’m surprised again, as l said before my emotions are up and down,
    I absolutely love your imagination, your stories are all very different and l thoroughly enjoy them all.
    Ps: l have tried to review your books but l seem unable to get through, Thank you again for a wonderful read 🙋🏻‍♀️

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